Chapter Ten ~ Trust and Obey

Chapter Ten

Esme waited until Edward had Bella out of earshot before returning to the odious girls. How could either of them think Edward would leave Bella? She was firm in her belief in soul mates. Carlisle was hers, Rose was Emmett’s, and Bella was Edward’s. 

“Mrs. Cullen, we must work together to prevent Bella from sinking her claws into Edward. She is nothing, has nothing, and will do everything possible to get to his money,” Leah urged, plastering on a sympathetic smile. 

“Yes, Mrs. Cullen, that is what she is doing. She has been munching off of Rose for years,” Tia added. 

“Really?” Esme asked, knowing Bella wasn’t munching off anybody. Rose had gone on and on about how Bella was more like a sister than a friend. When the conversation turned to Bella deciding to move to Boston, Esme asked if she could help with finding a place for her to rent. However, Rose explained Bella wanted to purchase a condo and when Carlisle asked where she had been looking, Rose said the Seaport District. Esme had been shocked and asked if Bella had received a life insurance policy when her parents died. Rose said yes, but not an overly large one. She then explained Bella had been in an accident and received a settlement. Esme knew it must have been an extremely large settlement to afford a condo in the Seaport District. 

“Bella has always been a dead weight around Rose’s neck and it looks like she has moved on to Edward,” Tia said.

Esme had heard enough. She needed to put them where they belong, which was to the curb. “All my life I have run into girls like you. Rich little daddy’s girls who have been told all their life they are better than everyone else. You feel you are entitled to everything or everyone just because you are you. Well, let me tell you now you are not nearly good enough for my son.”

“But Bella,” Leah began, but Esme stopped her.

“Unlike you, Bella is real. There is nothing fake about her. Now let me tell you two how it is going to be. From now on, you will dress appropriately. If I catch either of you dressing like this,” Esme said, pointing to their dresses. “I will have security to escort you from the property.”

“But we are Rose’s bridesmaids,” Tia declared. She knew her sorority sister would stand by them. 

“So what. Once I tell Rose what you two have been up to, she will kick you to the curb herself,” Esme explained. “For once in your petty life, think of someone other than yourself. This is Rose’s wedding, not yours.”

“You can’t do this,” Leah snapped.

“Yes, I can. Now leave the party and go back to your cottage. I don’t want to see you anywhere near the tent. Tomorrow I will come by and see the dresses you are going to wear to the engagement party. And if I find them unacceptable, you have two options.”

“What would those be?” Tia growled. She was getting sick and tired of listening to this old woman. Edward Cullen was a grown man, and he was going to be hers.

“Option one is if the dress is unacceptable, we will take you to the city to select new dresses,” Esme delineated.

“And option two?” Leah questioned.

Esme grinned. “You will pack up your sleazy clothes and go back to daddy.”

“You wouldn’t dare,” Leah gasped.

“Have you forgotten who you are talking to? I am Esme Cullen and this is my home.”

“Do you know who we are?” Tia snarled.

“Yes. You are the daughters of William Black who is currently under indictment for insider trading and a ponzi scheme. The money you are wasting away on these hookers’ dresses was from hard-working people who thought they were investing for the future. Instead, your father pocketed the money.”

“THAT IS A LIE!” Tia screamed. There was no way her daddy had done something like this.

Esme reached in her purse and pulled out her phone. She pulled the report up on her phone. This was something neither Emmett nor Rose knew about. The security company had run a background check on everyone who was staying at the compound. Everyone else came back clean, but not theirs. Their father’s pending court case was a red flag for the security. Handing her phone to Tia, who grabbed it and looked down at the screen. A few moments later, Tia let out a feral scream, turned, and threw Esme’s phone in the water. 

“LIES!” Tia yelled, as tears threatened to escape her eyes. “Our daddy is a powerful man and he will destroy you. Leah, let’s get out of here.”

Esme watched as they stomped away. She didn’t know if they would be here tomorrow, but she was going to make sure they didn’t embarrass Rose. She was going to be her daughter in two weeks and no one hurt her family. Well, one thing was for sure, for tomorrow she was going to have to replace her phone.

~T&O~

Edward and Bella walked hand-in-hand back to the party, allowing their connection to flow between them. Edward looked down at Bella before entering the tent. His awe for her was overwhelming. “Would it always be like this?” he thought.

“Bella,” he muttered, skimming his finger over her smooth cheek. “I just wanted to tell you how happy you have agreed to be with me. I never thought I would want anything more than a Dominant/submissive relationship.”

“Me too,” Bella sighed, as thoughts of them in his playroom danced in her mind.

“I know it is not the weekend, but I was wondering if you would like to spend a few hours in the playroom tomorrow. We both need something to blow off steam before the Engagement Party and nothing would calm me more than having you give me control of your body, your soul, and your heart,” he murmured, running his hand from her cheek, down her neck, and placing it overtop her beating heart.

“Hmm, I couldn’t agree with you more,” Bella purred, her eyes dancing with excitement, with thoughts of Edward working, tying her up and doing as he sees fit to her willing body. 

“But tonight, I want you in my bed, where I plan to make sweet love to you,” he announced.

A smile broke out across her face. “Is the party over yet?” she asked, giggling softly. 

“I wish, but we don’t want to miss hearing what mom said to Leah and Tia,” Edward laughed. Walking back into the tent, they headed over to the bar to get a couple of drinks. Standing at the end, looking out over the crowd, was his father. Carlisle had the most serene look on his face. “Let’s go hang out with my dad.”

“That sounds perfect because I could really use a drink,” Bella admitted. After getting their glasses of wine, they made their way to Carlisle. Once beside him, Edward wrapped his arm around Bella, resting his hand on her hip. 

“Edward, Bella, this turned out nice,” Carlisle said, looking back out. “Esme outdid herself.”

“Dad, you know she has been planning for this for years,” Edward remarked.

While Carlisle turned to see his son, he also saw the young woman pressed protectively against Edward. “She never lost hope her sons would find the person who would be their entire world, and tonight, her hopes came true.”

“Dad,” Edward gasped.

Holding up his hands, Carlisle smiled. “Oh, look, here comes your mom.”

Esme had spotted Carlisle, Edward, and Bella at the bar. She needed a drink. 

“Not a hair out of place and all your nails are intact, so they must have gotten off lightly,” Edward joked.

“Who?” Carlisle asked, concern written on his face. 

“The bridesmaids from the corner of Evelyn and Norfolk,” Edward grumbled. 

“Oh,” Carlisle gasped, keeping his eye on his wife. As she drew close, he reached and grasped her, giving it a squeeze of support. She gave him a half-hearted smile and walked up to the bar.

Esme growled. “Give me a double Jameson on the rocks.” The bartender quickly poured the drink and placed it in front of Esme. Picking it up, she downed the drink without stopping and slammed the glass back on the bar. “Those girls are the biggest bitches I’ve ever seen, and I’ve met some doozies. I can’t believe Rose is friends with those two.”

“They are sorority sisters of Rose and they never liked me. I saw how happy Rose was with them, so I kept my mouth shut about my feelings,” Bella explained as she looked around the tent to find Rose dancing with Emmett. They were staring into each other’s eyes with the all-powerful love they shared. 

“Well, you should have,” Esme declared.

“Where are they?” Edward asked, glancing around the tent for them.

“I told them to leave the party, and I didn’t want to see them until tomorrow,” Esme explained. “I also told them I didn’t want to see them looking like streetwalkers around our guests and if they did, we would escort them off the property.”

“What are we going to say to Rose if she notices they have left?” Bella wondered. She wanted nothing to ruin this time for Rose.

“We will tell her they were not feeling well,” Esme explained. “Hopefully, she will be so busy meeting her other guests she won’t pay attention to their absence.”

As the evening came to a close, no one missed Leah or Tia. The limo took the couples back to the house. Once inside the door, Rose and Bella both removed their heels, while Emmett and Edward loosened their ties.

“Damn, I am so fucking exhausted,” Emmett groaned. “Even my dimples hurt from all the smiling.”

“I don’t think I will remember half their names,” Rose disclosed.

“Don’t feel bad. I don’t know half of them myself,” Edward chuckled, glancing down at Bella. She looked as tired as he felt. “I will leave a message for Maggie about us having a late breakfast.”

“Sounds great,” Rose murmured, her body leaning against Emmett for support. “Come on baby, you promised me a foot rub.”

Edward and Bella made it to the third floor and as they neared The Pearl’s door, Bella slowed, causing Edward to do so as well. Standing at the door to the room, Bella looked up at Edward. “I guess this is where we say goodnight.”

“Did you forget about our conversation?” Edward whispered, brushing his thumb over her lips. 

Bella’s breath hitched. “Which part?”

Leaning down, he began placing kisses up her jaw until he reached his ear. “The part where I want to make sweet love to you in my bed.”

“Edward,” Bella moaned.

“Slow, sweet, love,” he sighed, licking the rim of her ear. 

“Yes,” she mewled, her heart racing.

Edward pulled away and reached for her hand. “Come with me.”

Bella’s every thought was of Edward thrusting deep inside of her, but she needed a few minutes. “Can you give me a few minutes?”

“Sure, sweetheart. Come to my room when you are ready,” Edward urged, placing a sweet kiss on Bella’s lips, then walked towards his room.

Bella watched as Edward walked in his bedroom door before opening her door. Rushing in the room, she ran into the bathroom, removing her shoes and gown. Leaving her hair up, she stepped into the shower and washed off the night’s activities. Shutting off the water, she wrapped herself in one of the fluffy towels and headed to the closet and pulled out the long satin nightgown they had picked up today at La Perla. Slipping it over her head, she sighed as the silky material danced against her bare body. 

Fuck, it felt heavenly and she couldn’t help but smile, thinking about what Edward will say and do when he sees her. Pulling the hairpins from her hair, she brushed until it was silky smooth. After a last glance in the mirror, she headed toward the man who made her want more. 

Edward took a quick shower and changed out of his tuxedo while Bella was doing whatever it was she was doing. He knew he stank of sweat and cigar smoke. After stripping off his clothes, he placed them in the hamper for the cleaners. Overall, the night had been a tremendous success. He had been told by so many people what a wonderful match Emmett and Rose were. Then came the compliments about how beautiful and intelligent Bella was and what a perfect power couple we were. Her charisma had people hanging on every word. She was perfect, and he was going to do everything possible to keep her in his life. Finishing up with his shower, he dried off and slipped on a pair of red satin sleep pants. After finishing brushing his teeth, he walked into the bedroom and looked around. As he looked at the bed, he realized he could fuck a woman a hundred different ways, but he had never made love to a woman. Yes, he cared for his submissives, but Bella was more than a submissive to him. As he breathed in deeply, he made the room as romantic as he could in the little time that remained. When there was nothing else he could think of doing, he laid down on the bed and waited.

“Edward,” Bella called out, standing in the doorway. She was so nervous and hoped he couldn’t see her hands shaking.

He looked up and gasped. Bella was a vision, and he was one lucky bastard to be the one she wanted to be with. Standing up, he held out his hand and waited for her. Slowly, she took the remaining steps and grasped his hand, sending the electric current up his arm and straight to his heart. “You look like an angel.”

“Thank you,” Bella purred, as she eyed him from his face, down to his chest, and finally to his delicious “v” which was pointing towards his glorious cock. Licking her lips, she looked back up at his face. “And you look like sin.”

Pulling her closer, he wrapped his arm around her waist. “I love this gown, though I know of one thing which would make it perfect.”

“And what is that?” she asked, rubbing her hand up his chiseled chest. Damn, no one would ever know that it was almost thirty-nine years old. He had the body of a twenty-five-year-old.

Slipping his thumbs under each strap, he slowly pushed them off her shoulders, causing the gown to slide down her body and onto the floor. “To see it on the floor,” he replied as he leaned down and began placing light kisses from her shoulder, across her collarbones to the other shoulder. Finishing with the last kiss, Edward swept her up in his arms and gently placed her on the bed. He took a moment to enjoy the enchantress laying naked in his bed. Her dark hair fanned across the pillow like a heavenly halo. A wayward thought flashed through his brain. He could see her here every night, in his bed, no, their bed wrapped around each other as they slept. 

“Edward, please,” Bella pleaded, wanting him inside of her, filling her, stretching her. 

Once had pushed off his sleep pants, he crawled onto the bed, and covered her body and kissed her with all the emotions he had inside of him. He didn’t know the words to describe it, but he had never felt them before. Pulling back from her lips, he looked deep into her molten chocolate eyes. “What do you need?”

“You, only you,” Bella answered.

“I only want you,” he admitted as he began kissing down her body. Reaching her full breast, he took the nipple between his lips and suckled. 

“Edward,” Bella moaned, arching her back to push her breast closer to his mouth. 

He couldn’t help but smile around her nipple. As he sucked, he reached down her body to her pussy and ran his finger along her already wet folds. He stroked her clit, causing her to moan even louder as she lifted her hips. Looking up at her face, he continued stroking her until he felt her tense and let out a whimper. God, she was stunning when she came. Lining his cock up to her entrance, he slowly entered her slick, hot pussy.

“Yess…” Bella moaned, lifting her hips to pull him deeper.

“Fuck, so fucking good,” he groaned as he thrust in long, slow strokes into her sex.  

“Oh my God,” she cried, wrapping her legs around his waist, pulling him closer with each thrust. She needed him to consume her, make her his. This was not sex, this was something so much more. 

“Damn, baby,” he called out as he picked up speed, driving deeper into her. Every time they were together, it got better and better. Feeling his own orgasm building, he wanted her to come once more.

“So close,” she mewled.

“Come for me,” he adjured. “Come for me, love.”

Hearing him call her love sent her over the edge again. This orgasm exploded, causing wave after wave of ecstasy to wash over her, her inner walls clamping down around his cock.

Feeling her squeezing his cock as she came, caused him to thrust forward in one powerful thrust, shooting his hot cum deep inside her womb. When the last of his orgasm spasms stopped, he collapsed on top of her. He finally caught his breath and pulled back slightly so he could look at her. Bella was the most beautiful woman he had ever known, yet now she was even more stunning. The afterglow of the love making glistened against her alabaster skin. 

“That was stupendous,” Bella whispered, bringing her hand up to his face and cupping his cheek, feeling the prickly hairs of his jaw. Humming with the thoughts of what they would feel like on her inner thighs as he licked and suckled her clit. 

As he placed his hand on top of hers, he replied, “That was better than stupendous.” 

They stayed that way for a while, looking into each other’s eyes, with them still joined. Finally, he rolled to the side, breaking their connection, yet bringing her on top of him. Placing her hand into his, they lay in each other’s arms, not saying a word as they soaked in the unspoken feelings that were coming to light. 

Chapter Fifteen ~ Fire of Your Soul

Thank you, again, for sticking with us and for leaving a review if you did. We appreciate you sharing our love of Twilight. Unfortunately, this is not ours. We just like to play with the characters created by Stephenie Meyer.

Chapter Fifteen

         Bella and Renee walked to the elevators, pressing the button for the lift. “This place wasn’t always so swanky,” Renee explained. 

“What do you mean?” 

“This place used to be a burnt-out apartment complex. Your father worked on that fire. When was it? I think it was when you and Angela were just babies. This place completely burned down. There was one fatality, I think. Most everyone else got out in time. Minor injuries, smoke inhalation and stuff like that.” She tapped her finger when the elevator opened. “There was one fatality, and there was a victim who was horrifically burned. About seventy percent of third-degrees over their body. There was little hope that the victim would survive, but he did.”

“Oh, wow,” Bella breathed. She knew that burn victims were susceptible to so many infections and painful recoveries. “Do you know where the guy went?”

“After he was released from the hospital, he disappeared. I don’t know,” Renee said. The elevator doors opened. “Mr. Volt’s condo is down this way.”

They found the condo, but there was a note on the door. The writing was sloppy, but it said that Mr. Volt had to step out and would be back in a few minutes. It was important for him to talk to Renee. The door was open. Renee pushed through the door and smiled. “Isn’t this gorgeous? Look at the view overlooking Puget Sound?”

“It’s very barren, Mom,” Bella snorted, looking around the empty condo as she hovered by the door. 

“That’s why we have this, smart ass,” Renee snickered, putting the sample boards in what would be the kitchen. “Mr. Volt wanted to make sure that everything gelled together. So, Alice and I created a couple of options for him.” She looked at her daughter. “Come inside, Bella.”

“It feels weird walking into a condo that’s not mine,” Bella shuddered. 

“Mr. Volt will be here in a few minutes. He gave us permission, baby,” Renee argued. 

With a sigh, Bella stepped away from the door, but left it open. When she turned the corner to enter the kitchen, the door slammed shut making both women jump. Bella looked around before running back to the door. Fruitlessly, it wouldn’t budge. 

“You’re not going anywhere,” said a raspy, damaged voice. “You walked into this trap … like a moth to a flame …”

~o~o~o~o~

Edward dialed Bella’s number for the hundredth time since they returned back to the fire investigation lab. It went straight to voicemail. He frowned, hanging up without leaving a message. He tried it again and again, each time going to voicemail. “Damn it. Chief?”

“What is it, Edward?” Charlie replied. 

“Have you tried calling Bella or Renee?” he asked. “Have you called the cops?”

“I’ve called the cops and they’re sending someone to talk to me regarding the coffee shop fire,” Charlie answered. “Rose is still on the phone with the commissioner.”

“Try calling your wife, Chief. I’ve got this sinking feeling that something’s happened to Bella and Renee,” Edward choked out. 

“Okay, Edward,” Charlie agreed, nodding as he took out his cell phone. He dialed Renee’s number and it also went to voicemail. “She’s not answering.”

“Not answering or going straight to voicemail,” Edward pressed. 

“Voicemail,” Charlie snapped. “What’s the difference? They were going to a spa today. Their phones may be off.” Edward gave his boss an exasperated look. “You’re freaking out.”

“You should be doing the same,” Edward muttered. “Someone is targeting your family, Chief. Your wife, your daughter, my girlfriend … are a part of your family. Something’s not right.”

As Edward said that, a pair of detectives came walking into the lab. “Chief Swan?” asked the male detective. Charlie nodded. “I’m Detective Jacob Black and this is my partner, Detective Leah Clearwater. We’ve been assigned to the fire at La Marzocco.”

“Yes, thank you for coming by,” Charlie said, shaking their hands. “This is one of my best and brightest, Lieutenant Edward Cullen. He started the investigation at the coffee shop. My other lead investigator is in my office, on the phone with the fire commissioner, Lieutenant Rosalie Hale. Do you have news about the victim found in the fire?”

“We’re still waiting for the autopsy results,” Detective Clearwater said, reading from a small notepad. “The remains were horribly burnt. Dental records will probably be used to identify the victim. However, the only thing that the coroner said was that they were certain that the victim was male.”

“Did they die before or after the fire?” Edward asked. 

“Before,” Detective Clearwater answered. 

“So, obviously with that death, this is a criminal investigation,” Detective Black said. “And, on your call, you mentioned that you believe that a number of fires are connected. What do you think that connection is?”

“Chief Swan,” Edward replied, blinking to his boss. “Every fire has been connected to him. It started over five years ago with the fire near the Benaroya Center …”

“The fire where you lost your daughter?” Detective Black asked. Charlie nodded, his heart clenching. “I read about that in the newspaper. I’d gone to that concert before she’d died with my girlfriend at the time. She was a huge fan of your daughter, following her career since she’d started at the Seattle Symphony. It was over my head, to be honest, but I wanted to make my girlfriend happy. I’m so sorry for your loss, Chief Swan.” 

“Um, yes,” Charlie said, his brows pulling together.  “And, thank you for your condolences.”

“My partner has a case of lack of filter,” Detective Clearwater deadpanned. “Brilliant detective. Doesn’t think before he speaks.” She glowered at her partner, who rolled his eyes. “What other connections do you have?”

“After the apartment fire, there was a lag in time. The fires with the same signatures didn’t start popping up until about four or five months ago,” Edward explained, looking at his notes. “First, there was a fire at Ludwigs. Chief Swan’s wife contracts a lot of work through Ludwigs for her interior design business. Then, the next fire was at Rudy’s Barbershop, where the chief used to get his hair cut. This most recent fire, the one from last night, is a coffee shop that I frequent with my girlfriend, Dr. Isabella Swan.”

“So, the fires are all connected to your family,” Detective Clearwater said. “Anything else?”

“The signature is also similar,” Edward said. “The fires are designed to look like accidents, but they clearly aren’t. An accelerant was used in each fire …”

“The commissioner has an idea,” Rose blurted, running out to the lab. “Oh, wow. Sorry … I didn’t mean to interrupt.”

“It’s okay,” Charlie said, waving his hand. “This is Detective Jacob Black and Detective Leah Clearwater. They’re in charge of the death investigation for the coffee shop. What did the commissioner say?”

“Does the name Aro Volturi mean anything to you?” Rose asked, reading from her notebook. Charlie pulled his brows together, but shook his head. “How about the name Marcus Volturi? The Stockyards?”

“The Stockyards is the location for that new condo complex,” Charlie said, snapping his fingers. “I think Renee was hired to do some work in a few of the units.”

“The commissioner received a letter from an attorney about ten years ago, speaking on behalf of Aro Volturi. He was suing the city due to the negligence of the Seattle Fire Department, and specifically, Chief Charles Swan. He’s emailing over the information as we speak.” From her desk, her tablet chimed. “There it is.”

Charlie sat down, his face drawn and pale. Confusion colored his expression as he tried to place the names that Rose had mentioned. Edward turned to look up the names on his computer. 

“Okay, here we go,” Rose said, walking back to where they were all huddled with a stack of papers. “The lawsuit was filed about twelve years ago by Aro Volturi. According to the paperwork, he was horrifically burned in an apartment fire at the location now known as The Stockyards. Additionally, his younger brother, Marcus, died in the blaze from burns and smoke inhalation at the scene.”

“Why wasn’t I notified of this?” Charlie asked, scowling at Rose. “I was named in the suit.”

“According to the legal department, they tried to reach out to Mr. Volturi, but he fell off the face of the earth, it appeared. They tried to locate him through private investigators, but they stopped after a year of searching. With his injuries, the department assumed he’d passed away and the case was dropped,” Rose answered. 

“Why does the commissioner think that it’s this Aro character?” Detective Black asked. “According to what you just read, they thought he died.”

Rose flipped through the file. “He nearly died. He spent the better part of five years in a rehabilitation facility in Italy. From the paperwork, it looked like he stayed there.”

“That still doesn’t explain why Aro was fixated on the chief,” Detective Clearwater reiterated. 

“Because the fire was caused by an electrical short, exacerbated by chemicals in a cleaning closet,” Edward read from his computer. “In the file, it said that the building had passed inspection, just a week prior but faulty wiring caused the blaze. It spread quickly due to cleaning supplies and paper products in that closet. Just like all of the fires that have been linked to Charlie. He’s recreating the fire that caused his injuries with each subsequent fire he’s setting. But, why the delay in between the fire at Angela’s apartment until the Ludwig’s fire?”

 “We can answer that,” Detective Clearwater said, reading from her tablet. “He was in jail. I just put his name into our database and Aro Volturi was arrested for driving under the influence about a month after that initial fire. It was his third arrest and he was put in jail for three years, then into a halfway house for another year.”

“Do you have an address for this guy?” Charlie growled. “I want to give him a piece of my mind. He’s …”

“Chief, you can’t. We have to step away from this. We’re all too involved,” Rose argued. “This is personal, especially for you and Edward.”

“We have an address. He’s staying with a great-aunt, Sulpulcia Volturi. She lives in an assisted living building in Tacoma,” Detective Clearwater replied, but frowned as she read further from the database. “But, his parole officer, after his last visit, said that the aunt died and left him an inheritance. There’s no updated address.” She blinked up and sighed. “Well, he doesn’t have a car, or a driver’s license. It was permanently revoked after his DUI conviction.”

“He may have a partner,” Detective Black suggested. “The damage to the La Marzocco cafe is extensive. There’s no way a man who has scars over most of his body has the dexterity to cause that much damage. From their preliminary report, it was a fast-burning blaze.”

“I agree with you, Detective Black,” Edward nodded. “Do we know what Volturi’s injuries were?”

“Um, most of his torso, arms, hands and down his legs. He had some damage to his face. The doctor noted that he lost vision in his left eye and he was completely deaf in his left ear and partially deaf in the other one. ‘The most extensive damage is to his right hand and arm. He only has two digits remaining and the burns went almost down to the bone; requiring extensive reconstruction. It’ll be lucky if he doesn’t lose his arm.’ That’s what his doctor said at Virginia Mason.”

“He had a prosthetic limb on his right hand when he was brought in five years ago,” Detective Clearwater said. “It would appear that he did lose his arm.”

“He must have a partner. But, who?” Detective Black mused. 

“I don’t know, but I need to find out where my wife and daughter are,” Charlie muttered, the brevity of the situation hitting him like a ton of bricks. 

“Now, this is all supposition,” Rose said. “We don’t know for certain that this is Aro Volturi, trying to enact his revenge on you.”

Charlie glowered at Rose as his cell phone chirped from his pocket. He tugged it out, reading the text that he’d received. “It’s from Renee.”

“What did she say?” Edward asked. 

“‘Like a moth to a flame … they just can’t stay away’,” Charlie said, his eyes widening. “Oh, fuck. He’s got them. This guy, whoever is targeting my family, be it Aro fucking Volturi or whoever … he’s got Bella and Renee.”

“Give us your phone, Chief. We’ll put a trace on this number,” Detective Black said. “If the phone that sent you the text is still on, we can pinpoint where they’re located.” 

Another text was sent through, but this time to Edward’s phone. He swiped his finger across, seeing Bella’s number and it was a picture. Edward paled, showing his boss and the detectives what had been sent to him. Bella was tied up, covered in bruises and scrapes. Her eyes were wide with terror and tears were spilling down her cheeks. 

She won’t look as pretty when I’m done with her. She’s just drawn to the flames … Just like her sister. Will she scream as she burns in hell? 

~o~o~o~o~

Renee grabbed Bella’s hand, pulling her close. The man before them was dressed in black pants which were covered in dirt and stains along with a black zip-up hoodie that was in the same condition. She could see only a tiny bit of his eyes, though his cheeks and nose were visible. What she saw was someone who had been burned, badly. The scarring was extensive and by the looks of it, he had not received any reconstructive surgeries, only the bare minimum to encourage healing. 

Being the wife of a fireman, Renee felt compelled to help those whose lives were changed due to fires. She was a member of several organizations and foundations that funded outreach programs for individuals and families who were affected by fires, either by providing shelter or money for their recovery. Reconstructive surgeries were extremely expensive and many couldn’t afford them. That was where the organizations and foundations came in, to offset the overwhelming cost. 

Aro couldn’t believe his plan had worked so well. He could finally make Charlie Swan pay for the death of his brother and neglecting to extinguish the fire, burning him so extensively, leaving him scarred and deformed. For years, he’d been in pain and that pain was the catalyst to bring Chief Charles Swan of the Seattle Fire Department to his knees. 

~o~o~o~o~

Aro’s brother, Marcus was three years younger than him, yet they were extremely close. Their father had left them right after Marcus was born and their mother was an alcoholic. She was always drunk and never took care of them. So at the age of eight, he was cooking, cleaning, going to grocery stores, and taking care of Marcus. Aro was mother, father, brother, best friend and protector, wrapped up into one.

They lived in a tiny two-bedroom apartment. He and Marcus would wander up and down the streets and alleys looking for aluminum cans and glass bottles to recycle for cash. With this money, he was able to buy food for them. It wasn’t much, but it was better than going hungry, which he had done many times so Marcus could have something to eat. 

Their mother received welfare and food stamps. Aro and Marcus were thankful each month the rent was taken out before she received the rest, which she used for alcohol. With her SNAP card, she’d stroll into the corner liquor store and buy the most potent booze she could afford, drinking until she passed out. 

Right after Aro’s eighteen birthday, his mother became sick and was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. Six months later, she was dead, leaving him and his brother. It was a blessing and a curse. They didn’t have to worry about their mother using their welfare money on booze, but it also meant that the boys were on their own. 

Shortly after their mother’s death, Aro dropped out of high school, becoming his brother’s guardian, and found a job at a janitorial company. It meant that he had to work overnight, but it allowed him to be home during the day and early evening with Marcus. He was bound and determined that Marcus was going to graduate from high school and, hopefully, go to college. 

Aro’s boss had been impressed with his hard work and dedication. So, he put him in charge of his own crew, which meant that he would keep the industrial cleaning supplies at their apartment. Thankfully, the building supervisor allowed him to store the large buckets of chemicals in a storage room at the end of the hall from where they lived. 

For a couple of years, things were going well until he fell into the habit of going to the local bar on the weekends. Marcus had worked at McDonald’s for a few shifts a week and with the newfound freedom, Aro found that he enjoyed the taste of whiskey. He wasn’t a fall-down drunk like their mother. Though, he didn’t have to be to get a DUI. When his case was brought before the judge, he pleaded that he was the caretaker of his young brother and that he had learned his lesson. The judge took mercy on the young man and took his license away except for driving to and from work for six months. 

Aro stayed away from alcohol and out of trouble with the cops for the next year. Marcus was about to graduate and had been accepted to Loyola University in Chicago. They were waiting on the notification of a grant that would make it possible for Marcus to go. Without it, there was no way that Aro could afford the $34,000 yearly tuition. 

The deadline for commitment was fast approaching. Marcus was working and Aro was at home resting before he had to go in that night. Looking at the time, he knew that the mail had probably arrived. So, he went down and opened the small mailbox in the lobby. Inside, there was a letter from Loyola’s financial aid department. Quickly opening it, he read the horrible news. Marcus had been denied the grant. 

Aro was crushed. This was the one way for his brother to get out of this hell hole.  Rushing out the building, he jumped in his car and drove to the nearest bar, where he downed glass after glass to numb the pain that he was feeling and the anger at how unfair their decision was. He dreaded telling Marcus. His brother was so eager to attend university and like that, with a stroke of a pen, those dreams were crushed.

Hours later, Aro stumbled out of the bar and climbed into the driver’s seat of his car. He only made it to the end of the block when he heard the sirens behind him. The officers had been sitting across the street and saw him stumble into his car. After a field sobriety test, which Aro failed with flying colors, he was put into handcuffs and taken to jail. It broke his heart to have to call Marcus to come to bail him out. 

They had just enough for the bail, yet not enough to pay the impound fee for the car. It would have to stay there until they could raise enough money to get it out. They took a taxi home, Aro couldn’t look at his brother, ashamed that he had failed his brother once again. He had so many big dreams for him. Now, they were all gone because he had turned to alcohol to dull the pain. 

When they got home, Marcus turned and stood in front of his brother, betrayal swirling in his expression. “Why?”

“I don’t know,” Aro answered, as he stared at his feet.

“YOU DON’T KNOW! How long have you been an alcoholic?” Marcus raged. He had seen his mother drink herself to death and he vowed that he would never touch the stuff, ever. Aro had always been there for him, taking care of him, making sure he had something to eat. 

“I’m not an alcoholic,” Aro replied, his voice full of emotion.

“Then, why do you have TWO DUIs? When did you get the first one?” 

“A few years ago. I didn’t want to tell you because I was ashamed,” Aro said.

“So how often do you get drunk? Daily?” Marcus growled.

“NO! Today was the first time I had a drink since my last DUI,” Aro growled. He was feeling bad enough and to have Marcus question him made it worse. 

“Why today?” Marcus snapped, wondering what caused his brother to turn to the bottle. Had he lost his job? Was he sick? 

Aro shuffled his feet and rubbed his hands together. “The letter came today about the grant. You didn’t get it.”

“So, instead of telling me, you go to a bar and get plastered. Bro, I need you more than I need a fucking grant,” Marcus agonized as he was crumbled inside.

Shame engulfed him. “I’m sorry,” Aro muttered.

Marcus stepped towards him and wrapped Aro into a tight hug. “I love you, brother, and we’ll get through this together. Nothing can hold us down. We’ll figure it out.”

They sat down on the sofa and talked about everything except college and the DUI. Aro called his boss and told him that he was sick and couldn’t come in tonight. Caius, his boss, was at first shocked because this was the first time Aro had ever called in. He told him to get well and not to worry about the missed pay. Since Aro never took a day, he was still going to pay him. He didn’t want to lose a good worker. 

After Marcus handed Aro four painkillers for his growing hangover, and a bottle of water, they headed off to bed. Aro settled in and felt better after he realized that his brother still loved him, even though he fucked up. Falling into a deep sleep, he didn’t move until he heard sirens outside. 

“Damn, that’s fucking loud,” he groaned, his head splitting from all the alcohol. Stumbling out of bed, he headed towards his bedroom door, pulling it open only to be hit in the face with flames and smoke knocking him back into his room onto the floor. Shaking his head, he knew he had to get to Marcus. 

Putting a t-shirt over his mouth he began to crawl out the door and towards his brother’s room. The flames were so close, they seemed to reach out for him, wanting to wrap him in their hot embrace. 

Suddenly, there was a loud blast causing the floor to shake, then the wall beside him fell on top of his back and legs. His clothes caught fire and he was in agony as it began to burn his skin. In spite of the pain, he still had to get to his brother. Reaching out, he grabbed a beam and pulled with all his might. However, he couldn’t move, he was trapped. With the last bit of his strength, he called out. “MARCUS.” A moment later he passed out from the pain and smoke.

Aro awoke in a hospital room with bandages covering most of his body, even though he couldn’t really feel anything. He was hooked up to several monitors, with bags of clear liquids which hung from poles and he had an oxygen mask over his mouth. 

What had happened and where was he? 

Shutting his eyes, he tried to remember what he was doing last. Then, it hit him like a brick wall – the fire. 

Marcus. 

Where was Marcus? 

He searched for someone to ask, though no one was around. He finally saw the call button, pushing it over and over again. He had to find his brother. The more he thought about his brother, the harder it was for him to breathe and soon the alarms of the monitors began to blare. 

A nurse and a doctor came scurrying into the room. “Aro, you need to calm down,” said the nurse, pulling the call button from his hand. 

Aro tried to speak, but his voice was muffled by the oxygen mask. “M-M-M-Marcus,” he choked out. 

“You need to stop moving, Aro. You’ve been burned quite severely,” the doctor said sternly. 

“He’s trying to say something,” the nurse said. 

“My brother,” Aro hissed behind his mask, coughing deeply. He tried to move his hand to pull the mask away. The nurse stopped him, giving him a sympathetic look. She waited until his coughing stopped before she pulled the mask away. He stared at her, his eyes burning. “My brother, Marcus. Where is he?”

“Was your brother in the same apartment as you?” she asked, covering his face with the mask. Aro nodded. She blinked to the doctor, who had a sedative ready. “I’m sorry, Aro. The fire burned fast and deadly. Your brother was trapped in his room and he didn’t make it.”

“No! No! No!” Aro screamed behind his mask, sobbing at the loss of his brother, his best friend and his only family that he loved more than his own life. He thrashed in his bed and he didn’t notice as the doctor pushed the sedative into his IV. 

While Aro recovered and recuperated as best he could, he found out the truth of what happened that night. The Seattle Fire Department was too slow in responding and the fire was caused by an electrical fire, exacerbated by chemicals that made it spread quickly. The man who’d found Aro and his now deceased brother, Chief Charlie Swan, didn’t do much to save him other than pull him out from underneath the beam that had fallen on Aro. The beam had blocked the chief’s way to Marcus’s bedroom, resulting in his death. 

Aro was beyond angry and he was determined to make everyone pay for what had happened to him, the years of agony and the numerous surgeries he’d had to deal with the burns that covered a majority of his body. 

The fire stole Marcus away from Aro. So, it seemed only fair that a fire would steal Charlie’s family from him. He’d succeeded with the death of one of his daughters. That violinist didn’t burn to death, but she still died. 

One Swan down … three to go. 

~o~o~o~o~

In the apartment, the door slammed open. Renee turned to see who was coming in, praying it was someone who could help. 

“I picked up as much as I could, Aro,” came a male voice. “My credit card is maxed out, man.”

“With the chemicals, it won’t take much,” Aro said, his voice raspy as he met up with the man who came into the apartment. “I’m just eager to see these women burn to a crisp. Make Chief Swan feel the same pain that I felt when I found out my brother was dead.”

“If you really want him to pay, we could have more fun with them,” the man said as he stepped from behind a support beam. 

“Peter?” Bella asked. She could barely see him. Aro had used her face as a punching bag and his prosthetic hand was hard. 

“Yeah, bitch,” Peter snapped. “Your daddy dearest embarrassed the hell out of me and blacklisted me that night at the benefit. Rose was teasing me all night. I was only telling her what I wanted. Fucking asshole. Perhaps, you’ll be more than eager to oblige. I bet your pussy is nice and tight.”

“Enough,” Aro growled. “No fucking.”

“Just because you can’t have sex doesn’t mean that I should be denied my prize,” Peter purred, looking at Bella. She was sitting on the ground, next to her mother. “Cullen gets to fuck you any time he wants. I just want a taste.”

“Over my rotting corpse, Peter,” Bella sneered. “You will not touch me.” 

Peter backhanded Bella, picking her up and slamming her against the wall. “I’m touching you now, you cunt.” His hand moved to just above her sex and Bella kneed him in the balls. He dropped her, cupping his family jewels. “You’ll pay for that.”

Aro watched the interaction, but in his mind he was having a conversation with his brother. “Brother, you may be mad about my death, but this is going too far. Mom’s drinking got worse after she was raped,” Marcus said. “Make him stop.”

“You’re right, Marcus,” Aro sneered. “Peter has fulfilled his usefulness.”

“Shoot him. Make it quick. Don’t let him suffer. Yes, he’s an asshole, but …” Marcus commanded, standing next to Peter, who was still hunched over. “In the head. And, perhaps the cock?”

Aro took out the gun and he cocked the hammer. “You leave me no choice, Peter. I said no fucking.” Without batting an eyelash, not that he had any, he shot Peter in the face. He collapsed onto the ground, blood spilling from the head wound. With another shot to his crotch, Aro looked at Bella and Renee. Both of their faces were pale, shocked at his callous disregard for life. “I may be a monster, but I do not condone rape.” He picked up some duct tape, tossing it to Bella. “Tie your mother up. Over there.”

There were two chairs in the center of the condo, overlooking Puget Sound. It was a beautiful view, but this was not the time to think about the view. 

“Now! Isabella!” Aro sneered. 

“Come on, Mom,” Bella said, helping her mother to her feet. Renee, thankfully, had been spared Aro’s ire. She’d been tossed against the wall, but Bella was the one who got the beating. They walked to the chair. 

“Around her feet and arms,” Aro said. “Tight, not too loose.” 

“Make sure you watch them, Aro. The younger one is a fighter,” Marcus whispered in Aro’s ear. 

Aro walked to where Bella was taping her mother to the chair. Tears were streaming down her cheeks as her hands shakily handled the duct tape. “Tighter.”

“If it’s any tighter, she’ll lose feeling in her extremities,” Bella argued. 

Using his good hand, Aro tugged Bella back by her hair and snarled in her ear. “I don’t fucking care. Make the tape tighter, bitch.” 

He pushed her forward and she fell onto her hands. She crumbled as she heard a sickening crunch in her left wrist. She cried out, sitting on her ass and cradling her hand. 

“Bella,” Renee sobbed. “Are you okay?”

She bit her lip, nodding and went back to taping her mother up on the chair. She struggled since she knew she broke her wrist. When she finished, she stood up and glowered at the disfigured man who huddled in the shadows. 

“Sit down, bitch,” Aro snapped. Bella sat down in the chair behind her mother, trying to figure out a way to diffuse the situation. “Tie up your legs.”

Bella did the best she could with her throbbing hand. When she was done, Aro strapped her hands to the chair and clumsily tied her up. As he did that, she got a closer look at him. His skin was melted off. One eye was covered by a patch and the other was so damaged with cataracts. “It doesn’t have to be like this,” Bella whispered. “We can help you. I can help you. I’m a doctor.”

Like a viper strike, he used the gun to pistol whip her temple. “Shut. Up.”

Bella whimpered as the gun caused her skin to tear open and blood dripped down her cheek. She watched him as he paced, talking to himself. 

“I’m going to make it right, Marcus. What should I do next?” he asked the apparition of his long-dead brother. “You were always the smarter one.”

“Make a call to Swan. You have their phones. You’ve already texted their loved ones,” Marcus said, shrugging. “In order for him to feel your pain, they need to watch them die. Watch as their flesh blisters and burns. Listen to their screams. I screamed for you, Aro. I tried to get to you that night. The door wouldn’t open, brother. I didn’t want to lose you. I didn’t want to die.”

“I know, Marcus. I failed you,” Aro said, pulling out one of the phones he’d taken from the two women. “I’m going to make it right. I have to.” He shook his head, stuffing it back into his pocket and grabbing the chemicals that Peter had picked up. He put the cans around the women, opening them up. With a scowl, he took out the phone and thrust it to Renee. “Dial your worthless husband.”

“I can’t. The bindings are too tight,” Renee answered shakily. “I can use my finger to open the phone and you can dial him.” 

Aro grunted, using her thumb to open the phone and he found Charlie’s contact information. He took a photo of the women, sending it to the number before calling Charlie. Making sure that the phone was on speaker, he stared out the window. 

“Swan,” Charlie answered gruffly. 

“Check your text messages,” Aro hissed. “I have your wife and daughter.”

“What’s that shit around them?” Charlie snapped. 

“Everything I need to make them burn to a crisp, like you did to my brother, Swan,” Aro yelled. “Your lazy ass didn’t save him and now, your lazy ass won’t save your wife and remaining child.”

“Aro, don’t hurt them. They’re innocent,” Charlie pleaded. 

“So was Marcus,” Aro screamed. “He was the good brother. He was the one who had a way out until you killed him! He should have had a future. He didn’t deserve to fucking die. Now? Your wife, your children … they’re going to die and you’re going to live with the pain of being left behind.”

“Please, don’t,” Charlie cried. “What can I do to make this right?”

“Bring back my brother,” Aro rasped. 

“You know that’s not possible, Aro. I’m gone. I’m still with you … but I can’t come back. Zombies aren’t really a thing,” Marcus quipped in his mind. 

“You’re not funny, Marcus,” Aro grumbled. 

“What did you say?” Charlie asked. 

“Nothing. Come to The Stockyards with Isabella’s boyfriend,” Aro said, narrowing his remaining eye. “Alone. If you don’t come alone, your wife and daughter will meet their maker, dying the same way my brother did. You have a half hour before I warm my hands on their funeral pyre.” He didn’t wait for a response before hanging up. 

He tossed the phone onto the floor and he began his ritual before starting the fires. He organized the cans according to their flammability around Renee and Bella. He checked and rechecked his lighter. As he fumbled around the apartment, he didn’t see as one of the cans fell onto the floor and its contents spilled onto the concrete, settling around Peter’s body. 

“Aro, I know that you’re in pain. You’re struggling with reality. Fuck, you’re talking to a ghost,” Marcus said. “Is this what you really want to do?”

“I’ve killed, Marcus. First, Angela and then that little faggot at the coffee shop,” Aro said. “God, he wouldn’t shut up!”

“Don’t forget your partner,” Marcus said wryly, crouching over Peter. “You’ve avenged my death, brother.”

“No, I didn’t! Charlie Swan killed you. He ignored you,” Aro ranted. 

“He fucking saved you, idiot!” Marcus argued. “If it weren’t for Charlie Swan, you’d be with me, six feet under.”

“I couldn’t even have a funeral for you, Marcus. I had no money and you were cremated … not that there was a lot left,” Aro said sadly. “I don’t have a way to remember you, brother. Instead, I see you in my dreams, in my nightmares.”

“In your reality,” Marcus said. “Aro, I will always love you. Despite what you did that night I died and what you’re doing now, I love you. You’re my brother, my best friend. You protected me when Mom didn’t give a shit. Stop this, brother.”

“NO!” Aro screamed, fumbling with his lighter and it fell onto the ground, igniting the chemicals around Peter’s corpse. Aro took a clumsy step back, away from the flames. Despite his actions, starting fires, he was terrified of the flames. He scurried toward the women, holding the gun. The condo quickly filled with smoke and the fire alarms went off. 

“Brother, I forgive you, but I can’t stay here and watch this,” Marcus said, standing between the two women and the fire. 

“I’m doing this for you, Marcus. I need you to stay,” Aro sneered, leveling the gun. “You will stay.”

The door was kicked open and a tall man with bronze hair and a turnout coat burst through. Charlie Swan came in afterward, dressed similarly. Aro’s plan was not fully in place. All the pieces were in play. “Like a moth to a flame …”

A/N: Dun … dun … dun …

Leave us your thoughts!

Chapter Nine ~ Trust and Obey

Chapter Nine

Bella had finished putting the last pin in her hair. Edward had requested she wear her hair up tonight. She had no clue why, but she was excited to find out. 

After their conversation with Rose and Emmett, Edward suggested they all needed some downtime and relaxation until the party tonight. He led Bella into his bathroom, where he had filled the jetted tub. Once they were naked, they climbed in and allowed the hot water to soak into their overworked muscles. Edward knew that she still had to be slightly sore and had been good at keeping his hands and other anatomy away from her sensitive flesh. He enjoyed just holding her against his chest as the hot, bubbling water splashed around them. They talked about tonight and who was expected to be in attendance. 

“I am a little nervous about meeting so many people,” Bella divulged.

“My parents will be there this evening and they are going to love you,” he admitted. He had not told them about Bella and he hoped to surprise them when they walked in together arm in arm.

“Really?”

“Baby, you are the only woman I have ever introduced them to, who wasn’t just a submissive. You are my first girlfriend,” he explained. He was a thirty-eight-year-old man and this was his first genuine relationship. 

“Just promise me you won’t leave my side,” Bella asked. There were only going to be very few people she knew at the party. Besides Edward, Emmett, and Rose, she knew Rose’s parents, Victoria and James. They had been her surrogate parents after her parents’ death and she loved them dearly. The only other two people she knew were the bridesmaids, Leah and Tia. Their attendance was the one thing she and Rose disagreed on. 

Rose had joined a sorority in college, but that was not something Bella could see herself enjoying. While Rose was participating in sorority events, Bella found her way into the BDSM community. It was in the sorority where Rose had met Leah and Tia. The first time Bella met them was a few months after the attack. She was still healing physically and she was holding on by a thread emotionally. 

One typical Seattle rainy afternoon, Bella was having a bad day. She hadn’t slept for the last two days, nightmares happening whenever she closed her eyes. Curling up on the couch in her old, stained yet comfortable yoga pants and oversized UW sweatshirt, she pulled out her tablet and began to read a new fanfiction story by her favorite author. Bella had read every story she had written and the author admitted that she was a “wordie bitch”. She was just getting caught up in the story when the doorbell rang. Getting up, Bella went to the door and looked out the peephole to find two dark haired girls. As soon as she opened the door, the girls looked her up and down with disdain.

“Who are you?” the first girl asked, her nose wrinkled up.

“I’m Bella. Who are you?”

“We are Rose’s best friends, Leah and Tia,” Leah answered. “What are you doing here?”

“I live here,” Bella replied.

“Oh, Leah, she must be Rose’s charity case,” Tia sneered. “Homeless people are part of the sorority philanthropy project.”

“Excuse me?” Bella gasped. 

“Tia, I think we have some donated clothes we could bring her,” Leah said sweetly. 

Bella was just about to tell them off when Rose burst through the door.

“Leah, Tia, sorry I am late,” Rose exclaimed. “I got stuck in traffic.”

“Oh, Rose, it is perfectly fine. We were getting to know Bella,” Tia bragged.

“That is wonderful. My sorority sisters are making friends with my best friend. I knew you all would get along wonderfully together,” Rose beamed, her blue eyes sparkling.

After the horrible day, Bella avoided the hateful two-faced bitches. Now they are going to be bridesmaids and she would have to act like she liked them. 

Looking at the time, Bella needed to get her ass in gear. Slipping the robe off her shoulders, she slipped on a white lace thong and covered her nipples with the petals. Removing the gorgeous gown from the hangar, she stepped into it and pulled it up her body. Stepping back, she took in her appearance in the mirror. The gown really was beautiful. Turning to see how it looked from behind, she noticed the thong was visible. Taking a deep breath, there were two things she could do. One, leave on the thong or two, take it off and attend the party without panties. Turning once again, she knew what she needed to do.

She was just finishing putting on her lipstick when Edward stepped into the bathroom. 

“HOLY FUCK!” he groaned. The woman was sin on legs. 

“Do you like it?” Bella said, turning around in a circle so he could see every inch of her. She felt confident and assured of her sexuality because of him.

He stepped forward and wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her flush to him. “Do you know how hard my cock is going to be this entire night?” Nuzzling her neck, he kissed along the bare shoulder while his hands moved from her waist to her ass. Damn, she had the best ass he had ever seen. Then he noticed he didn’t feel anything but her. Pulling back, he looked into Bella’s eyes, which were sparkling with a mischievous glint. “Did forget something?”

“Hmm, maybe?” she smiled.

Dropping to his knees, he pushed up the gown until he got to her pussy to prove that sure enough, she wasn’t wearing any panties. Taking several deep breaths, he leaned forward and placed a kiss on her smooth mound. Sitting back on his heels, he looked up at her. “Where are your panties?”

“I could see the line through the dress,” Bella explained.

“Woman, are you trying to kill me,” Edward groaned.

Bella smiled at him. “We need to send Linda a thank you gift.”

“Why?” 

“Because I asked her to help me find a dress that would drop you to your knees and there you are,” Bella giggled, taking in how sexy he looked in his tuxedo. Damn, she could feel herself getting wet. It was going to be one long night.

Edward broke out into laughter. He couldn’t remember the last time he felt this happy and carefree. He worked hard building an empire, which included many days and nights eating alone, sleeping alone, just being alone. It wasn’t until this moment that he realized just how lonely his life was without her. Placing one more kiss on her pussy, he lowered her dress and got to his feet. His eyes roamed, from the top of her head to the bottom of the gown. “It seems you are missing a few things.”

“My shoes are in the bedroom,” Bella advised.

Taking her hand, he led her into the bedroom, where two boxes were sitting on the bed. 

Bella saw the boxes and gasped. She knew what the black velvet box meant. He had purchased her jewelry, and knowing Edward, it was going to be over the top. The other box looked like a shoebox. “What have you done?”

Bringing her hand up to his lips, he placed soft kisses across her knuckles, across the back of her hand, and then onto her wrist. Dropping her hand, he bent and opened the one box. Reaching inside, he pulled out a shoe. It wasn’t just any shoe, but Stuart Weitman diamond and silver strappy stilettos. He had called in a favor when he found them online earlier today when they had gotten back. She needed to feel like the princess she was and these shoes would definitely do the trick He only hoped she wouldn’t ask how much they were because he knew she would have a fit. There were 464 finely cut pear-shaped Kuwait diamonds decorating the strappy sandals. 

“Edward,” Bella gasped, looking at the stunning shoe he was holding.

Once again, he was down on his knees, putting on the shoes on her delicate feet. As he buckled the last one, he leaned down and kissed the tops of each foot. “Your feet actually enhance their beauty.”

“Oh, Edward, they are stunning,” Bella gushed, twisting her ankle from one side to the other to get a better look at them.

“You are stunning, the shoes are just shoes,” Edward said, standing up and picking up the black box and bringing it in front of them. “Bella, this is not a collar. This is me, wanting to shower his girlfriend with gifts. I hope you will accept this and allow everyone who sees it to know you are worshipped for the goddess that you are.”

Edward opened the lid and Bella looked inside. “OH MY GOD!” Bella exclaimed.

“Will you wear this for me?” Edward asked, his hand trembling a little. 

“I’m afraid I’ll lose it,” Bella muttered as she ran her finger along the stones.

“So, I will replace it with a bigger one,” he joked, as he lifted the necklace from the box. He tossed the box on the bed before draping the necklace around her neck. He kissed her neck once he had closed the clasp. It was impossible to resist kissing her, tasting her skin, and feeling her tight pussy wrapped around his cock.

Bella’s hand rested on the necklace. She couldn’t believe he had purchased this for her. “Thank you.”

Placing a kiss on her nose. “It is only the beginning.”

“You don’t have to buy me expensive gifts,” Bella insisted.

“I know, but I want to spoil my girlfriend,” Edward declared. “Well, we are both dressed to the nines and I can’t wait to introduce you to the cream of Boston society as my girlfriend.”

Bella took Edward’s hand and gave it a squeeze. “Let’s go have some fun.” They descended the stairs to the ground floor, where they saw Emmett and Rose. 

“Wow, Bella that is a dress,” Rose gushed.

“Damn, Rose, your dress is a killer. Only the bride to be should be in white,” Bella said.

“Emmett, we are going to have our hands full trying to keep the assholes away from our women,” Edward joked, punching him in the arm.

“I tried to get her to change,” Emmett grumbled. He had been shocked when she stepped out of the bathroom in this dress, which the front plunged all the way to her waist and was backless. A small argument ensued, but Rose told him under no uncertain terms that she was wearing this dress.

“I bet that went well,” Bella giggled. 

“Yeah, I thought she was going to find Edward for a whip or something,” Emmett muttered.

Edward and Bella both began laughing. They had talked about who was going to be the Dominant in that relationship should they decide to try. 

“Mr. Cullen, the car is ready when you are,” Sam announced from the door.

“Alright everyone, let’s go have some fun,” Edward said.

Everyone got in the car and a few short minutes later, they were pulling up to Edward and Emmett’s parents’ home. A few moments later, Carlisle and Esme stepped out the door. Emmett exited the car and assisted Rose. They were quickly embraced in adoring hugs by both Esme and Carlisle.

Edward slid out of the car and offered his hand to Bella, much like he did yesterday, and just like yesterday, as soon as they touched, the electrical current flowed between them. Bella stepped out and he wrapped his arm around her waist.

“Relax, they are going to love you,” Edward whispered into her ear.

“Edward,” Esme called out, pulling away from Emmett.

Taking a few steps towards his parents, he stopped and pulled Bella tighter. “Mom, Dad I would like to introduce my girlfriend, Bella Swan.”

“Girlfriend?” Esme choked out. She never thought she would ever hear Edward introduce a woman as his girlfriend. She and Carlisle knew he was a Dominant and he only had relationships with submissives. As long as her boys were happy, she didn’t mind whatever type of relationship they were in, yet she could tell Edward was not happy. Looking into his eyes, she finally saw what she had been hoping for all of Edward’s adult life. The same look Carlisle had when they first met. Her little boy was in love, even though he probably won’t admit it to himself.

“It is a pleasure to meet you, Mr. and Mrs. Cullen,” Bella said, reaching out to shake their hands.

“None of that, it is Carlisle and Esme,” Carlisle insisted, taking hold of her hand and placing a kiss on the back.

“Dad, quit trying to steal my girlfriend,” Edward chuckled, giving his father a wink.

Esme stepped forward, pulled Bella into a hug, and whispered in Bella’s ear. “Thank you.”

Bella didn’t know what she was thanking her for, but she did make her feel very welcomed. When Esme had finally let go of the hug, Bella watched as she pulled Edward into the same type of hug. After they parted, she saw Esme wipe a stray tear from her eyes. 

“Everyone has arrived, so let’s get the guests of honor to the tent,” Carlisle instructed. 

The couples walked through the house and out the back to where the massive tents were set up. Just as Rose had described, with the columns, lights and sheer material. It was magical. 

Carlisle and Esme entered the main tent first and a minute later, the DJ’s voice came across the speakers. “The guests of the honor have arrived. Ladies and gentlemen, the best man and maid of honor, Mr. Edward Cullen and Miss Bella Swan.”

Edward and Bella walked arm and arm into the tent. The tent was packed, yet Edward didn’t care about anyone else who was here. He had everything he ever wanted on his arm. 

The DJ continued the introductions with the guests of honor, Emmett and Rose as the bride and groom. It took forever to get through the crowd, Esme introduced both Rose and Bella to everyone. Esme gushed about what a beautiful young woman Rose was and she couldn’t be happier to be gaining a daughter. Then she introduced Bella, boasting that she was Edward’s girlfriend and how happy she was that he had chosen such a doll. Just as he had promised Edward never left her side, even though several men tried to get him to join them for a drink. 

They finally made it to their table and Bella felt a knot form in her stomach. Leah and Tia were already there and as soon as they saw her she could see the look of hatred on their faces. Rose was busy talking with a lady from the art council and didn’t notice what they were wearing. Leah’s dress black, with small strips of fabric covering her nipples, with no back or sides. It looked like she had gotten it from the clearance table at a dollar store, but Bella knew she paid a shit load of money on it. 

Bella didn’t think she had ever seen a more horrible dress than this one, until she took a look at what Tia was wearing. Her dress was white with the entire sides completely nude. Everyone who saw it knew she wasn’t wearing any underwear. Bella wasn’t wearing underwear either, but the only person who knew that was Edward.  The two of them looked like cheap whores.

“Della, it is so great to see you,” Leah said, rushing over and kissing her on the cheek. 

“Hello Leah, Tia, I hope you had a pleasant trip in,” Bella choked out, wanting to find some disinfectant to wipe her face. 

“We did. Daddy flew us out on one of his Gulfstreams,” Tia replied, not taking her eyes off Edward. She and Leah had been doing their research ever since they found out that the wedding was going to be on the Cullen Compound. With his wealth and looks, he was the type of man that one of them would undoubtedly snag into marriage. 

“Did you have a nice bus ride?” Leah giggled. “Oh, and I am happy you were able to find a dress at the Goodwill, but dear, that fake diamond necklace is a bit gaudy.”

“Excuse me,” Edward interrupted. He had been watching and listening to these two bitches cut Bella down and he had had enough. “Her name is Bella, not Della and she is my girlfriend. Oh, and the gaudy necklace is real.”

“Girlfriend,” Tia stuttered. There was no way Bella could snag a man like Edward fucking Cullen.

Edward wrapped his arm around her waist pulling her closer and placed a kiss on her neck. He hoped this would give her the strength to speak up for herself. He felt her take a deep breath.

“Yes, girlfriend,” Bella replied, then leaned forward, not wanting to disturb the party. “I have held my tongue, but no more. You are here to support Rose on her big day, just as I am. You will keep your snide remarks to yourself and for God’s sake, stop shopping at the Dollar Tree Clearance rack for your dresses.”

Edward couldn’t help but laugh at what Bella had said to the two bitches. “Come, I want to introduce you to the Mayor and his wife.” As Edward suspected, Bella,  impressed the Mayor and his wife. They invited them for dinner after the wedding to talk more about her thoughts on marketing the city. She was the complete package, brains, beauty, and sexiness. 

The announcement was made that dinner was served, so the wedding party sat down at the table. By the time Rose and Emmett got to the table, everyone was already seated and she didn’t get to see the full effect of Leah and Tia’s gowns. She gushed about how happy she was that they were here to enjoy the festivities. 

After a wonderful meal, the DJ began to play music for dancing. Leah and Tia had been semi-quiet during dinner and as soon as it was over, they left the table. Bella was happy they were sitting on the opposite end of the table, so she wouldn’t have to listen to their high-pitch voices. 

“Did you enjoy dinner?” Edward asked, rubbing his finger up and down her arm. 

“I did. The caterer was fantastic.”

“Yes, he is a family friend who does all our events,” Edward advised.

“Is he catering the rest of the events?” Bella inquired.

“Yes, and mom has a design team who will transform this tent into the Engagement Party,” Edward explained.

“I really don’t want to know how many people are coming to the Engagement Party,” Bella groaned.

“Don’t think about it,” Edward said, placing a kiss on her lips. He was so addicted to her taste. He needed her in the playroom again, and soon. Maybe they could have a quick session tomorrow to help her with the tension of the Engagement Party. He needed a few minutes of fresh air to get his cock back into control and he could use the bathroom. “Mom, can you keep Bella company for a few minutes while I use the restroom?”

“Sure, sweetheart,” Esme smiled, moving over to the chair next to Bella.

Edward headed out of the tent and down the boathouse to the bathrooms. The cool ocean breeze helped him calm down. Walking into the boathouse, he noticed the signs on which bathroom was for men or women. After finishing his business, he washed his hands and went out the back door to the deck which overlooked the water. Smiling over the success of the night, he basked in the fact that Bella had the cream of Boston society eating out of her hand. He felt horrible he hadn’t asked Bella what or where she was looking for a career. Shaking his head, he kept forgetting how little time they had known each other. Lost in his thoughts, he didn’t hear the pit vipers come up behind.

Leah and Tia had followed Edward to the boathouse and were waiting for the opportunity to show him they were better than that mousey Bella. They still couldn’t believe Rose had made her the maid of honor. Well, they will just take Edward from her. Quietly Leah walked up behind him wrapped her hands around his waist.

Edward smiled and took in a breath. Bella had found him. Closing his eyes, he drank in the feeling, but there was something missing. Where was the electricity that always followed between them? Opening his eyes, he turned around to find it wasn’t Bella, but the hideous bridesmaids.

“So you had enough of Bella, she is very stifling and pitiful. You need a woman who can handle all you have to give,” Tia purred, running her hand down his chest, as Leah ran her hand up his arm.

Edward brought his hand up and pushed Tia’s hands away, then stepped away from Leah. He was pissed. “What the fuck do you think you are doing?”

“Showing you what a real woman can do for you,” Leah said, running her finger down the valley of her breast. 

“I am only going to say this once. I don’t want either of you. You are nothing more than a pair of gold-digging whores, who only want to be trophy wives or trophy sluts, take your pick. I wouldn’t touch your diseased pussy with someone else’s dick. So let me put this into terms that you will understand.  I respect myself and Bella too much to even contemplate a relationship or liaison with either of the two of you. Stay away from Bella and me, or I can promise you with everything you hold dear, I will ruin you. I don’t care who your daddies are. I can guarantee you that I am more powerful and will crush them as well as you. Now, I am going back to the woman who will always have my heart,” Edward growled. 

He turned to leave to find Bella and his mother standing at the end of the deck. “Bella?”

Bella and Esme had decided to go to the bathroom as well and as they walked out, they heard Edward’s raised voice. Coming around the corner, they saw him giving Leah and Tia a piece of his mind. Then she listened to his final statement and her heart began to skip a beat. She held his heart and she needed to tell him he had hers.

“Edward, dear, please take Bella back to the party while I have a little talk with these two,” Esme said, all the while wearing a fake smile. 

Edward quickly closed the distance between them, taking Bella into his arms. Leaning down, he captured her mouth pushing all the desire he had for her into the kiss. He didn’t care who was around. Right now, it was just the two of them.

Chapter Fourteen ~ Fire of Your Soul

Thank you, again, for sticking with us and for leaving a review, if you did. We appreciate you sharing our love of Twilight. Unfortunately, this is not ours. We just like to play with the characters created by Stephenie Meyer.

Chapter Fourteen

After Edward dropped Bella off at her parents’ home, he drove to the location of the latest fire. He parked his Bronco next to Charlie’s department vehicle in the staging area across the street. He pulled on his Seattle Fire Department jacket and grabbed his kit. When he turned, he blew out a breath. The coffee shop where Edward and Bella began their relationship was a pile of smoldering rubble. His heart was shattered. 

A part of their history had been erased. 

Along with the life of an innocent victim. 

God damn it. 

He saw Charlie, wearing his turn-out coat, standing on the sidewalk near the coffeeshop. He made his way toward his boss. “Chief,” he barked. “What happened? When did this happen?”

“I don’t know what happened until we can get inside,” Charlie sighed, his eyes haunted. “The call came through a couple of hours ago. They just struck it. There were some issues with the gas main shut off. They couldn’t get it to move and the gas obviously fueled the flames, resulting in this.”

All that remained of the once vibrant coffee shop was a pile of ash and a skeleton of steel beams. Steam radiated off the still-hot debris. The smell of burnt plastic, charred wood and ozone permeated through the air. There was also a hint of burnt flesh mixed in. It was a pungent, unpleasant scent. 

The scent of death. 

The scent of destruction. 

“You said there was a fatality?” Edward choked out. 

Memories of that horrific night flashed in Edward’s memory; the night where he lost Angela and she plummeted to her death. The heat from the flames licking his turn-out gear to the heavy pants of his breathing while he searched for survivors pierced his memories. His thoughts were cyclical until he got to the point where he lost his grip of Angela’s hand. Her screams as she fell would forever be seared into his brain. 

“Edward, look at me,” Charlie said calmly, stepping into Edward’s line of sight. “Deep breaths, son.” 

“I’m okay, Chief,” Edward muttered, shaking his head and clearing it of the nightmarish memories. 

“Are you sure, Edward? You look like you saw a ghost,” Charlie asked. 

He blinked slowly. In a way, I did, Chief. Taking another deep breath, he tried to give Charlie a reassuring smile. “Just a flashback,” Edward said. 

Charlie nodded, completely understanding why Edward’s mind went back to that night. The first thoughts he had were of his daughters, Bella because she lived so close to this location, and Angela because she died in a similar fire. His second thought was of the poor soul who died in the fire. “Same for me, son. I get it.”

“Has the medical examiner picked up the body?” Edward asked, shaking his head, trying to clear it. 

Charlie looked to the white coroner’s van. “They just loaded up the victim and they’ll perform an autopsy. The body was so burnt that it was unrecognizable. We couldn’t tell if they were male or female. Do you know the employees? I know that you and Bella frequent this coffee shop.”

“I know faces, but not names,” Edward shrugged. “Except for Eric. He’s the owner of this place. Bella knew one of his family members as a patient or something. He stepped in when we dealt with an overly flirtatious barista.”

Charlie nodded, his face pale and his mind reeling at the implications of this fire. He took a few deep breaths, clenching his hands into tight fists. 

  “Are you okay, Chief? You look spooked,” Edward asked. 

“I was working in the office when I heard the call over dispatch,” Charlie explained. “The address was so familiar and I panicked that it was Bella’s condo. But, obviously it’s not.”

“Do we want to start investigating?” Edward asked. “Where’s Rose?” 

“She was on a date with Emmett,” Charlie replied, shuddering. “I think I called when they were … getting it on.”

“Knowing my brother, probably,” Edward snorted, shaking his head. 

“To be honest, we’ll have to wait. They just finished putting out the hot spots,” Charlie said. “I just think that you and Rose were correct in suspecting someone is targeting me and my family.”

“Do you have anyone who could be considered an enemy?” Edward asked. 

“That’s the thing,” Charlie growled, taking off his helmet and running his hand through his sweaty hair. “I can’t think of anyone who would be …” He gestured to the destroyed coffee shop. He looked at Edward and Rose, who was walking toward them. “Sorry, Rose, for pulling you away from Emmett.”

“From the look of my partner in crime, I’m not the only one who had their evening disrupted,” Rose quipped, elbowing Edward. She rubbed her neck and Edward blushed. Bella had suctioned her mouth to his neck, leaving a large hickey on his skin. “Did you apologize for disrupting his evening?”

Charlie looked at Edward. “I’m sorry for pulling you away from Bella,” he sighed. “In retrospect, I should have waited to call you both in, to be honest. We can’t really do anything about this right now.”

“We can go back to the office and figure out why the gas main shut off wasn’t working properly,” Edward suggested. “We can also speak to management and get a list of employees to help in identifying the victim inside.”

“If the victim was an employee,” Rose said. 

“The victim was an employee. Why else would they be here so late?” Charlie shrugged. 

“It could be a robber, breaking and entering,” Rose suggested.

“We’ll see,” Edward sighed, scrubbing his hands through his hair. “Come on, Rose. Let’s check out the gas main. Chief, could you get in touch with management and get a list of the employees?”

“Sure thing, Boss,” Charlie quipped, giving Edward a wry smile. “I’ll see you guys back at the house. Let me know if you see any evidence of tampering.”

“We probably will,” Rose said, sliding on her turn-out coat. Edward scowled at her. “The firemen had to do some finagling to turn it off, right? There will be evidence that their tools caused some damage.”

“Then, we’ll need to find proof that it’s not their tools, Negative Nancy,” Edward chided, picking up his pack and camera. “You’re not the only one who had their evening interrupted, Rosalie.”

“Don’t kill each other,” Charlie snorted. “Call me on your way back.”

“Will do, Chief,” Edward nodded, walking to the rear of the building. 

“Sorry about being a raging bitch,” Rose sighed as she followed her partner. “It’s just that Emmett and I were … going to …”

“Get it on?” Edward smirked, opening the access to the gas main for the entire strip mall where the coffee shop was located. 

“Um, well, yeah,” Rose said. “We’d fooled around, but hadn’t pulled the trigger on having sex. Emmett said he wanted to woo me.”

“I never realized that my brother knew how to woo,” Edward chuckled. 

“The night of the benefit? Emmett and I started to go hot and heavy, but he put the stops on it. He wanted to get to know me, especially with how Peter acted toward me. So, we talked and I told him about my lackluster history with men. Your brother also had some shitty luck with women, too. So, we decided to slow things down and really get to know each other before we jumped into bed,” Rose explained. “Look at this … could this be from the firemen?” She crouched down near the valve. She held up her camera, taking several photos. 

Edward examined the damage to the pipes, measuring the gouges in the metal. “Maybe. We’ll need to check with the guys’ equipment, but can’t you see the red paint chips? Our equipment is yellow. Right?” 

“Good point,” Rose mused, her nose wrinkled. “We’d have to check.”

They spent nearly an hour, searching for clear indications that the valves had been tampered with. The only thing they found was evidence from the crew who’d struck the fire, but that was all supposition. The valve that controlled the coffee house was difficult to move, but it didn’t indicate that it was tampered with. If the valves were not worked on a regular basis, they would stick. The gas main could have been just stuck from lack of use, not necessarily due to tampering. 

“Let’s head back to the house,” Edward grumbled, picking up his tools. “My eyes are crossing and it’s late. We can load up the photos onto the computer, approaching this with fresh eyes tomorrow morning.”

“Are you going back to Bella’s?” Rose asked. 

“Charlie was freaking out and he wanted her with her mom, but Bella refused to go, wanting to sleep in her own bed. I’ll head back to my parents’ place.”

“I thought you were moving out,” Rose smirked. “That’s what Emmett said.”

“When would I have time? We’ve been working insane hours and my new relationship with Bella?” Edward snorted. “I did check to see if I had enough money in my account to put up a down payment, but I haven’t had a chance to actually look for a new place.”

“You could always move in with your girlfriend,” Rose sang, putting her pack into her car. 

Edward smiled softly, wanting to do that. However, it was way too soon. “Not yet, Rose. Eventually, we will, but for now? We’ll figure it out. I’ll see you back at the house.”

“Drive safe, Cullen,” she nodded. 

Once he got into his car, Edward took out his cell phone and dialed Bella. She picked up right away and he told her that he was stuck working. He also told her that the coffee shop they frequented had been destroyed by the flames. Bella was quiet and he could hear quiet sniffles. “Love?”

“I’m sorry,” she said. “It’s just a part of our history is gone.”

“I’m just as sad, but we can … I don’t know … we have our entire future, Bella,” he murmured. “Right?”

“You’re right. Every day is a gift and I’m happy that I get to share them with you, Edward,” Bella breathed. “I love you.”

“I love you more,” he whispered. “I’ll call you tomorrow?”

“I’m going out with my mom. We’re spending the day together, having a day of beauty,” Bella said. “Manis, pedis, massages …”

“Have fun with your mom, love,” Edward smiled. “Sleep well.”

“I’ll try. I’ve only slept well with you next to me,” she admitted. “Good night, baby.”

He replied in kind and ended the call. With another longing look at the coffee shop, he started his car and pulled away, driving to the firehouse. 

It was going to be a long night. 

~o~o~o~o~

Bella felt as if she could float on the clouds. Love was definitely a wondrous thing, she thought as she was driving through the city, and enjoying the sun. They were calling for a horrible storm later in the afternoon. Though, that was hard to believe with the cloudless sky and the hot sun beaming brightly. It wasn’t a typical day in Seattle, which was known for its overcast skies and drizzling rain. Taking advantage of the weather, she opened the sunroof to her car, allowing the warm breeze and sun whirl around her. This was the type of day she was thinking about when she purchased a car with a sunroof. When her father first saw the car he commented on how stupid it was to have a “sun” roof in Seattle. The sunroof didn’t seem stupid now. It was pretty perfect. 

As she drove down the street back to her parents’ home, sipping on the large cup of coffee, she thought about her conversation with Edward the night before. She was  when she told him that she slept better when he was beside her, curled around protectively. She spent most of the night twisting and turning, subconsciously trying to find his strong arms so they could wrap around her with their warmth and security. 

Was it too early to ask him to move in with her? 

Yes, but she could see them doing it sooner rather than later. Life was too short. She saw her future and it included Edward in every way.

Pulling into her parents’ driveway, she finished off her coffee, upset that it wasn’t from La Marzocco. Edward and her father would eventually figure out the cause of the fire, but it didn’t lessen her feeling of loss over their coffee shop. Stepping out of her car, she walked to the front door, but before she could turn the knob, her mother swung open the door.

“Bella,” she cooed, opening her arms and pulling her into a tight hug. 

“Mom, I was gone for twenty minutes,” Bella murmured into her mother’s hair, squeezing her tighter. 

“I know, but I just wanted to give you some love,” Renee breathed, pulling back and staring into Bella’s eyes. “You are so beautiful, Bella.” She embraced her again, cupping Bella’s head. 

This was what she missed when she closed herself off after Angela’s death. She did not realize how much she missed her mother’s touch, her affection. 

When they finally stepped back from the hug, both of them had unshed tears in their eyes. Renee looked deep into her daughter’s eyes and smiled tenderly. “I’m not sure if I said anything yesterday, but I am so happy you have found your other half. Edward is such a good man and loves you with every ounce of his being.”

“How do you know this, Mom?” Bella asked. “You’ve only seen us interact at the benefit.”

“Nonsense. I can see it in the way he looks at you. It’s the same way your father looks at me,” she answered, guiding Bella into the house. “It’s the same way I look at him. He’s my other half and I love him as much today as I did when we first met.”

“I never expected to find a love like that,” Bella said, sitting down at the kitchen table. “I mean …” 

“What?” Renee asked. 

“When Angela died, I turned off that part of my mind,” Bella shrugged. “The world seemed like a dark place and what was the point of loving anyone, if they were just going to go away. So, I just went through the motions, never really living.”

“What made you want to try with Edward?” Renee pressed. “I mean, he’s absolutely gorgeous …”

“He’s more than that, Mom,” Bella chided. “He’s beautiful, inside and out. He’s funny, kind, patient and perfect. I mean, no one is perfect, but Edward’s perfect for me.” Biting her lip, she looked at her mother. 

Renee squeezed her daughter’s hand. “Well, I’m looking forward to spending some time with my baby girl today. Let’s go out for breakfast and you can tell me all about Edward.” She looked at the coffee cup, arching a brow. “You know, we do have a coffee maker here, Bella.”

“You only have decaf, Mom. Sorry, but I need caffeine,” Bella chided. “It’s an addiction.”

“Just like your father,” Renee snickered, picking up her purse and phone. “Why don’t we take my car?”

“Really?” Bella beamed. She loved her mother’s car that she purchased when she completed her first large interior decorating job. It was a champagne-colored Lexus LF-1 Limitless SUV with white leather interior. It was one sexy car. “Can I drive?”

Renee looked at her with a dash of wild color spreading over her cheeks. “You know, your father has never driven it?”

“What? I thought for sure he would have done so, just to make sure that it was ‘safe’ enough for you to drive?” Bella snorted, giving her mother a wry look.

“Yeah, he tried that trick. Though, it didn’t work,” Renee chuckled, handing over the key fob to Bella. “Once you drive it, you will want to sell your car and get this one. It’s fabulous!”

Bella rushed over to the driver’s side, opening the door, and took the seat behind the wheel. This leather feels like butter. After several minutes of adjusting the seat to the right position, she pushed the power button and the engine roared to life. The purr of the engine … it even sounded sexy. Once Bella was sure that her mother was buckled in, she put in reverse and eased out of the driveway. 

“You might want to take it easy on the gas because it does have a kick,” Renee advised, her eyes sparkling mischievously. 

Bella shifted into drive, pressing the gas pedal she thought was lightly, nonetheless it was still too much. Her body was pushed back in the seat by the surge of power. “HOLY HELL!”

“I told you,” Renee sang, grabbing onto the ‘oh-shit handle’ above her head. She was certain there was some technical name for it, but she only remembered her father telling her that name. It stuck and forever would be known as the ‘oh-shit handle.’ 

It took Bella several more minutes to get used to the power of the engine and as soon as she did, they were on their way to the restaurant for breakfast. Every time Bella thought of the name she had to smile. Whomever had thought up the name, must have a glorious sense of humor. The Biscuit Bitch served southern style foods, with their signature ‘Bitchwich Biscuit’. She had never found another place that had such a variety of cheeses, meats, vegetables, and sauces that could be combined on the flaky buttermilk biscuit. The Biscuit Bitch was the ultimate in comfort food. 

“Your father called me last night after we went to sleep about the fire at the coffee shop near your condo. It was so sad someone died,” Renee sighed. “Do you have an idea who was there?”

“It is and I pray that whomever it was didn’t suffer too badly. I don’t know who it could have been,” Bella murmured, her thoughts going to Angela and the night of the fire and said a little prayer that she had not suffered.

“It’s all a little too close for home, in my opinion,” Renee said, as a shiver of fear zipped through her body. Angela’s death had left a void in her heart that would never go away. Anyone who lost a child felt that emptiness. She was happy to see Bella, with glimpses of her being the loving careful little girl that she once was, but morphing into an intelligent young woman..

Bella reached over and placed her hand on top of Renee’s. “Dad and Edward will figure it out.”

“They will,” Renee said, squeezing her daughter’s fingers.

Twenty minutes later, Bella parked in front of the restaurant. They got out and strolled into the small cafe. It didn’t look like much. Still, it had the best breakfast food in Seattle. After they placed their order of the speciality biscuit, they found a table near the window, enjoying the sunny morning. Once their food and drinks arrived, Renee looked up at Bella with anticipation. “So, tell me everything I don’t know about Edward,” she breathed, a secretive grin on her face.

Bella took a drink of her Ghirardelli White Chocolate Mocha infused with fresh orange zest. “Mom, when Angela and I were teenagers, we would talk about our dream boyfriends. Hers of course would be musical prodigy, while my dream guy would be a scientist. They would love us and no one else and would make us feel that we were the most precious thing in the world. Edward might not be a scientist, but he does make me feel special and loved.”

“Edward is a scientist. He works with forensics every day to determine the cause of the fires he’s investigating,” Renee said.

“You’re right. I did find my scientist,” Bella smiled. “When I was a teenager, I was thinking more of a doctor or researcher, but the adult me will gladly take a sexy, brilliant arson investigator.”

 “Oh baby! I’m overjoyed that you’ve found your other half. Edward compliments you in ways you don’t even realize,” Renee cried, wiping a lone tear that had escaped her eye. “Are you happy that you found your dream guy?”

“I am. For the first time since Angela’s death, I’m truly happy,” Bella declared, her eyes sparkling with the thoughts of Edward.

“I can see it. Love is written all over your face,” Renee smiled, cupping Bella’s chin affectionately. “Now, when can I plan your wedding?”

“Mom,” Bella groaned, tossing her napkin at her mother. 

“What? It’s a legitimate question, Isabella. You’re not getting any younger. I’d like grandkids,” she quipped. “So, when?”

“When we’re ready, Ma,” Bella deadpanned, shaking her head. 

They finished their breakfast. They walked back to the car and drove down the street to the White Lotus Salon. Renee called ahead and arranged for a complete spa treatment for the both of them including manicures, spa pedicure, brow shaping, and waxing. Walking into the shop, they were greeted by a lovely red-headed woman with an infectious smile. “Welcome to the White Lotus. I’m Amber. How can I help you today?” 

“We have an appointment under the name Swan,” Renee declared.

“Oh, Mrs. Swan, we were expecting you. This must be your daughter?” Amber gushed.

“Yes, this is Bella,” Renee replied, sliding her arm around Bella’s shoulders. .

“Come with me. Let’s get you pampered,” Amber said, directing them through the frosted double doors.

~o~o~o~o~

“I’m so fucking tired,” Rose groaned, scrubbing her eyes. “And smelling the coffee grounds mixed in with the rest of this shit? It’s making my stomach turn.”

“We need to figure out this fire, Rose,” Charlie snapped. “The preliminary autopsy results are inconclusive because the body was so badly burned. Where did this fire start?”

“It was obviously fanned by the gas main,” Edward said, reading his report from his tablet. He scrolled down, scanning the paperwork from the fire company who had arrived first on the scene. “They said that the fire appeared to be stronger in the front, but quickly spread because of the involvement of the gas.”

“Okay, Edward, you focus on the front of the shop. Take any pictures you can,” Charlie commanded. “Measurements … all that shit.”

“And me, Chief?” Rose asked. 

“We’re going to check in the back where the body was found,” Charlie said. “We need to see if there was a struggle. If that’s the case, we need to call in the police to begin their investigation. Collect any and all forensics.” 

Shouldering their packs, they walked into the destroyed coffeeshop. Edward’s heart lurched within his chest, seeing the skeleton of the once-vibrant La Marzocco. His memory filled in the blanks of the counter where Bella ran into him, spilling coffee all over his shirt. Turning slowly, he looked around the charred, black room. In his mind’s eye, he saw apparitions of the patrons. He heard the echoes of laughter, clinks of spoons mixing coffee and the din of conversations. Blinking, he stared at their booth – the booth where his relationship with Bella began, slowly burning into the love they had today. 

The booth was destroyed. Beyond the damage of a fire … it had been attacked. He walked slowly over to the booth, mindful of the debris littered on the floor. He examined the booth. There was evidence that the leather seats had been chopped into bits. Springs and material were poking up in a macabre twist combination of fire and anger. He took out his camera, taking several photos of the damage to the benches. The table also appeared to be hacked by a sharp object, like an axe or a knife. 

It was hard to look at this objectively. This place held such a personal connection to his Bella. 

Take pictures, focus on the job, Cullen. 

One thing that he knew for certain, this was the flash point of the fire. It had started here. He took pictures of the flame patterns on the walls and the floors, as they spread further away from the booth where his relationship began with Bella. There were indications that an accelerant was used. A trail of that accelerant disappeared behind the door where Rose and Charlie were working. 

Edward took pictures, meticulously measured fire patterns and gathered evidence. He worked in the front of the La Marzocco for well over two hours before he walked into the back of the shop. The damage wasn’t as bad in the kitchen, but as he moved further back toward the office, the damage grew infinitely worse. “What did you find?” he asked. 

“This is the starting point of the fire,” Rose said definitively. 

“I disagree,” Edward argued, looking around the room. 

“Why, Edward?” Charlie asked. “Look at this destruction …”

“Look at this trail of accelerants,” he said, pointing to the pattern near the feet, etched into the concrete floors. “The fire started at a booth in the front of the building, spreading through the building with this. Where you’re standing is where the victim was found. It was clear that they were doused in gasoline or oil. But, the fire wasn’t started here.”

“Show me,” Charlie said. 

Edward walked them back out front and showed them the damage to the booth. After his description, it was clear that Edward was correct with the supposition of where the fire started. Charlie blinked to Edward, the man who finally captured Bella’s heart, and he saw how pale he was. “What’s wrong, Edward?”

“Someone was following us, Chief,” Edward choked out. 

“Why would you say that?” Rose pressed. 

“This booth? This was our spot,” Edward explained. “Bella and I sat here. Every day. Every single day. It further goes to show that you’re the target, Charlie. Angela’s apartment, the rug shop that Renee uses for her clients, your barbershop, Bella’s coffee shop? And with the death, this firebug is escalating.”

“I think Edward is onto something,” Rose said. “Each of these locations are connected to you. I think we need to get the police involved and we need to recuse ourselves from these cases. We’re all too involved.”

“Who else can I trust? You are the best investigators in the department,” Charlie snapped. 

“Regardless of that situation, we still need to call the cops,” Edward grumbled. “We need to make sure that your wife and Bella are safe. Are they at your place?”

“No,” Charlie said lowly. “Renee said she was taking Bella out. It’s been so long since they spent time together. Bella just shut down after she lost her sister. We all did … Renee and I struggled, but with the help of grief counselors and your parents, Edward, did we survive that dark time after Angela’s death. Bella lost a part of her soul with the death of her sister. She flew back to New York, throwing herself into work. She avoided coming home … too many memories.”

“She said that she hated being a reminder of what you lost,” Edward explained. “A mirror image of the daughter that died …”

“Fuck,” Charlie said. “I should have known. I was so consumed with my loss that I never realized …” 

“Well, regardless of that, you need to get a hold of Bella and Renee, Chief,” Rose said. “As Edward said, this arsonist is escalating and the timeline? It’s getting shorter. The fire at Angela’s was five years ago. Ludwigs? Four months ago … Rudy’s Barbershop? A month ago, just before the benefit. They could strike at any time.”

“Call the cops, Charlie. I’ll get in touch with Bella,” Edward said. “Rose, get in touch with the fire commissioner and let them know about our findings. They need another team on these cases.”

They left the destroyed cafe and made their calls. Edward contacted Bella, but her phone went directly to voicemail. “Bella, love, I need you to call me as soon as you can. There’s a clear link that all of these fires are connected to your father. Please, baby … I love you and I can’t lose you. Call me. Soon.” He hung up the phone, looking at Rose. She gave him a sympathetic look, but he knew, knew, that something was going to happen. 

He prayed that he could stop it before anyone else got hurt. 

~o~o~o~o~

“This was a lot of fun, Mom,” Bella said, wriggling her fingers as the polish dried on her nails. “It’s been a while since I had a girl’s day with you.”

“I think the last time we did was just after you graduated from college and was admitted to medical school. You, Angela and I …” Renee trailed off. “I hadn’t realized it was that long.”

“Part of it was me, Mom,” Bella shrugged. “It hurt to be here, without Angela. I also figured seeing me would hurt you, too.”

“Oh, baby, no,” Renee said, taking Bella’s hand. “We … shit … obviously, we never dealt with our grief with losing Angela. Your father and I went to grief counseling, healing together, but selfishly, we never followed up with you. I’m so sorry, Bella.”

“Mom, it was me. I dealt with Angela’s death in my own way. I buried myself in work. But, recently, the wound was reopened,” she shrugged. “Did you know about Edward? His involvement?”

“Not at first, but eventually,” Renee answered. “After Angela’s death, we became close friends with Esme and Carlisle. Once Edward was well enough to travel, he put in his resignation and moved away. They struggled with his sudden decision to leave. But, it was Esme’s brother who helped him cope with Angela’s death.”

“Did he know Ang before that night?” Bella asked. 

“No, he didn’t. He ‘met’ her when she was trying to escape the fire,” Renee explained. “Her death really hit him hard.”

“Yeah, he told me,” Bella murmured. “He hasn’t stepped into an actual fire since that night.” She sighed, looking out the window of the spa. “I didn’t know he was the firefighter involved in her rescue … not until recently. Why didn’t you tell me?”

“It wasn’t my story to tell,” Renee breathed. “I still don’t know the whole thing. Charlie had nightmares since he was there at the fire. He wanted to spare me that torture. Bella … What happened with Edward?” 

“He told me and I just shut down. I took a week or two to think about what he told me. But, it was my boss, Victoria and Angela, in a dream, who told me to pull my head out of my ass. So, we met at the cemetery and we moved forward. He told me everything about that night and I told him about my insecurities,” Bella sighed. 

“What insecurities?” Renee asked. 

“That you must hate me because I’m a cruel reminder of what you lost,” Bella said. “I’m the identical twin to Angela.”

“Isabella Marie Swan, your father and I could never hate you,” Renee said forcefully. “We adore you and we’re so proud of what you’ve accomplished. Yes, you and your sister were identical twins, but you are not a reminder of what we lost. You’re a reminder of the future. Bella, Angela may have died, but she would not have wanted us to live in the past.”

“I know that. Now,” Bella replied. “I just needed to pull my shit together.”

“And is your shit together?” Renee asked. 

“For the most part,” she snorted. “Edward and I are very together and we love each other very much.” 

“Good,” Renee smirked, standing up and walking to the counter, paying for their services. “I think we need to go shopping for …” Her cell phone chirped. “Bella, can you grab that?”

Bella picked up her mother’s phone and saw a text. “It’s a message from A. Volt.”

“Open it up, sweetie,” Renee said, looking at the receipt to calculate the tip. 

Using the passcode, Bella opened up the message. “Mr. Volt said that he would like to see the samples you chose for his new condo and he gave you an address.”

“It’s about time. We’ve been playing phone tag for two weeks,” Renee grumbled, handing the receipt back to Amber. “Thank you for everything today.”

“We hope to see you soon, Mrs. Swan,” Amber chirped. 

Renee took her phone from Bella. “Do you mind if we swing by the office and drop off the samples to Mr. Volt?” she asked. Bella nodded and Renee sent a reply to her client saying that she would be happy to oblige.  “Then, we can go on a shopping spree. Perhaps we can pick up some new lingerie for Edward.”

“There’s a line, Mom, and you crossed it,” Bella deadpanned as they walked back out to the SUV. 

Bella drove them to Renee’s office. It was closed for the day, but the Volt samples were in the back office. Bella and Renee loaded them in the back of Renee’s Lexus. 

Renee took the wheel as they drove to a new building that was being constructed. It was near where Angela had lived. The Stockyards were high-end condos that were worth millions of dollars. Construction of the building was complete and there were basic layouts available. More prestigious clients wanted the opportunity to create something really special. Mr. Volt had reached out to Renee to do just that. 

“Do you want to see the building, Bella? It’s gorgeous. I was considering having you come here, but it wouldn’t have been ready in your timetable,” Renee said. 

“Sure,” Bella nodded. “This building is swanky.”

“And secure,” Renee added, parking in the front circle. They got out and were greeted by a security guard. “Yes, we were called by Mr. Volt. He asked us to drop off samples in his condo. I’m Renee Swan and this is my daughter, Dr. Isabella Swan.”

“He called down about ten minutes ago,” the security guard said. “He said to go right on up, Mrs. Swan.”

Bella and Renee walked to the elevators, pressing the button for the lift. “This place wasn’t always so swanky,” Renee explained. 

“What do you mean?” 

“This place used to be a burnt-out apartment complex. Your father worked on that fire. When was it? I think it was when you and Angela were just babies. This place completely burned down. There was one fatality, I think. Most everyone else got out in time. Minor injuries, smoke inhalation and stuff like that.” She tapped her finger when the elevator opened. “There was one fatality, and there was a victim who was horrifically burned. About seventy percent of third-degrees over their body. There was little hope that the victim would survive, but he did.”

“Oh, wow,” Bella breathed. She knew that burn victims were susceptible to so many infections and painful recoveries. “Do you know where the guy went?”

“After he was released from the hospital, he disappeared. I don’t know,” Renee said. The elevator doors opened. “Mr. Volt’s condo is down this way.”

They found the condo, but there was a note on the door. The writing was sloppy, but it said that Mr. Volt had to step out and would be back in a few minutes. It was important for him to talk to Renee. The door was open. Renee pushed through the door and smiled. “Isn’t this gorgeous? Look at the view overlooking Puget Sound?”

“It’s very barren, Mom,” Bella snorted, looking around the empty condo as she hovered by the door. 

“That’s why we have this, smart ass,” Renee snickered, putting the sample boards in what would be the kitchen. “Mr. Volt wanted to make sure that everything gelled together. So, Alice and I created a couple of options for him.” She looked at her daughter. “Come inside, Bella.”

“It feels weird walking into a condo that’s not mine,” Bella shuddered. 

“Mr. Volt will be here in a few minutes. He gave us permission, baby,” Renee argued. 

With a sigh, Bella stepped away from the door, but left it open. When she turned the corner to enter the kitchen, the door slammed shut making both women jump. Bella looked around before running back to the door. Fruitlessly, it wouldn’t budge. 

“You’re not going anywhere,” said a raspy, damaged voice. “You walked into this trap … like a moth to a flame …”

A/N: This chapter took a bit longer to crank out. Real life is so distracting … let us tell you. Clo has been pulling some crazy hours at her job and Josie is trying to reinvent how to teach choir over a computer. It’s been crazy.

We’re getting close to the climax. If you sat in on Josie’s Zoom meeting, we have about two, maybe three more chapters and an epilogue. We did some squishing of chapters in our master plan. So, we have it planned, but we just need to write it.

Anyhow, pictures from this chapter are on both of our blogs. You can also join us on Facebook: HeartForTwilight Productions, HeartForTwilight Book Group and Tufano79’s Twilight Fanfiction Appreciation. We’re also on twitter, too: tufano79 and HeartForTwiligh. Teasers and pictures will be posted on there.

We will find out about who was in the coffee shop and this crazy person who trapped Bella and Renee.

Leave us some loving!

Thank you for reading!

Lots of Love,

HeartForTwilight and Tufano79

Chapter eight ~ Trust and obey

Chapter Eight

After a satisfying round of dressing room sex, Bella hobbled to the counter to pay for her gowns. The sex was worth the pain she was in at the moment. Pulling out her wallet, she was about to take out her credit card when a black card appeared over her shoulder. 

“Edward, what are you doing?” Bella asked, looking at him over her shoulder.

“Paying for your gowns,” he answered matter of factly.

“I can pay for them,” Bella replied.

“I am aware,” Edward said.

Bella looked up at him. “These are my dresses and I am going to pay for them.”

“Isabella,” Edward said, his voice now with a stronger edge.

Bella’s mouth fell open. This wasn’t her boyfriend Edward, this was her Dominant Edward. Lowering her eyes, she nodded her head. Edward put his hand on the lower back and stepped forward to give the cashier his credit card. The cashier handed back his card and he signed the slip without batting an eye at the $12,000 total amount. 

“Mr. Cullen, please allow our runner to take your purchases to your car,” Linda offers as she comes up behind the cashier. When she was helping the young lady find a dress that would bring a billionaire to his knees, she had no clue it was Edward Cullen, until he walked into the area and she recognized him. 

“Thank you, Linda,” Edward said, giving the older woman a genuine smile. He would make sure that management knew what a gem of an employee she was. 

Turning his attention back to Bella, he knew he would have to remind her of their agreement. From the moment she signed the contract, he had taken over all her financial responsibilities. He didn’t care that she had millions in the bank from her suffering at the hands of that asshole, she was now under his care. However, this wasn’t the time nor the place. 

Bringing his hand up to the side of her face, he cupped it tenderly. “Was there something else you would like to look for while we are here?”

“Not really, Sir,” she whispered, sighing deeply.

“Well, I have a few things I would like to look at for you,” Edward announced. She had slipped into her submissive mindset and he needed to assure her he wasn’t upset at her. 

“What?” Bella asked.

Moving closer, so his lips were at her ear, he muttered. “Bella, I was thinking about some sexy lingerie for the bedroom.”

“Oh, I believe they have some nice things here,” Bella replied.

“Actually, I was thinking about La Perla.”

“La Perla?” Bella whispered, her heart racing over the thought of showing off each item Edward would pick out.

“Yes,” he smiled, taking her hand and walking out of the store. 

As they exited the store, a group of paparazzi met them shouting out question after question, all the while flashing the cameras. “Mr. Cullen, who is the young woman on your arm. Mr. Cullen, is this your girlfriend? Miss, Miss, what is your name?”

Edward was shocked the vultures had found him so soon. When they had arrived earlier, there wasn’t one in sight. Hell, he had even walked the two blocks to the jewelers and back, without running into anyone. Draping his arm protectively over Bella’s shoulder, he started pushing his way through the crowd. Damn it, why hadn’t he thought to bring his bodyguard with him. Because for once he wanted to be a normal guy out with his girlfriend, spoiling her with gifts.

“Mr. Cullen,” Sam called out, fighting his way towards his boss and Miss Swan. God, he hated these assholes. So many people have been hurt or killed over these bastards who did just about anything for a damn photo.

“Sam, protect her,” Edward yelled. He didn’t care about his own wellbeing, Bella was more important.

“Sir?” Sam questioned. Edward was his boss and he was hired to protect him. Despite that, the look on Edward’s face told him he was to protect Bella. Wrapping his arm around her shoulder on the other side, they pushed the rest of the way to the car. Edward opened the door, helping Bella inside and he slid in beside her and shut the door. 

“I am sorry about that,” Edward said, stroking Bella’s face. 

“Don’t be sorry. It is not your fault,” Bella muttered, her heart still racing from the attack. She had seen things like this on tv, though it was nothing like this.  And experiencing it first hand was terrifying, and nothing like it appeared.  

“I should have brought more security. Fuck, I am supposed to take care of you and the first time we go out, I failed,” Edward groaned, running his hand through his hair.

Bella saw how much pain and distress he was in, and she needed to ensure him that they were fine and safe. Taking her hand, she pushed him back and climbed on top of his lap. Placing her hands on either side of his face, she looked in her emerald green eyes, which were hypnotizing. She began kissing his face, starting with his forehead to his temple, over his eye, onto his cheek, and finally to his lips. “You have taken care of me. Please don’t let those assholes ruin our day. I really would like to see what you pick out for me at La Perla.”

“Fuck me,” Edward moaned, pushing his cock against her core. 

“Hmm, Edward,” Bella mewled. Once again she was turned on, wet and needy. He pushed harder against her pussy and when he did, she grimaced. 

He quickly pulled back, his brain overriding the desire from his growing cock. “As much as I would love to take you here and now, we both know that you are too sore.”

“It is not too bad,” Bella urged, even though she was hurting. 

“Don’t lie. I need to know the truth at all times if this is going to work between us,” Edward voiced. “Now climb back onto the seat, and park that cute little butt and put on your seatbelt. We are going to finish our shopping.”

Bella did as she was told, while Edward informed Sam where their next stop was. Thankfully, there were no paparazzi around when they arrived. Two hours later, after a mini fashion show with Bella trying on dozens of sexy bras, panties, garters, nightgowns, and bikinis, they were on the way back to the Cullen Compound.

When they pulled up in front of Edward’s home, Richard was waiting, along with Michael. Edward exited the car and assisted Bella out. “Take Miss Swan’s packages to her room, please” he instructed. 

Richard walked around to the back of the car and began removing the garment bags and other store bags, handing several to Michael. Looking in the trunk to ensure that all the packages were removed when he noticed two black jewelry boxes. Looking up, he was able to catch Edward’s attention, and he held up one box. 

Edward had forgotten about the boxes, which was kind of funny considering they contained over 250,000 dollars of diamonds. “Bella, why don’t you go see if Maggie can fix us a light lunch?”

“Okay,” she replied, reaching up and placing a kiss on his cheek, and headed into the house. Edward had introduced her to Maggie yesterday, and she made her feel so welcoming.

Once Bella was in the house, Edward walked over to the car where Richard handed him the two black boxes. “Thank you. I can’t believe I forgot about them.”

“Maybe because they are not as beautiful as the woman on your arm,” Richard proposed.

“You are right, and she is worth more to me than all the diamonds in the world,” Edward confessed.

“Should I tell Maggie to start planning the nursery?” Richard joked.

“Richard! We have only known each other a day and a half,” Edward gasped. 

“The heart knows before the mind can comprehend it,” Richard advised. “You are a  good man, Edward, and there is something special about Miss Bella. Don’t let your lifestyle choices impede a possibly different future.”

“Thank you, Richard. We are taking it slow, but I promise I will keep my mind open. She is the first woman I have ever wanted to try a normal relationship with and I worry I am going to fuck it up,” Edward disclosed. 

Richard broke out in laughter. “You will fuck it up, we all do, yet these wonderful women forgive our sorry asses.”

“I don’t think I have ever heard you cuss as much as you did in that one sentence,” Edward laughed, slapping his hand on Richard’s back. “I’ve got to get these to my office before Bella sees them.”

Edward took off for the house, where he could hear Bella laughing from the kitchen. Taking off to the stairs, two at a time, he was able to place both Isabella’s collar and Bella’s necklace in his office. Shutting his door, he headed towards the stairs, only to meet Bella as she reached the landing. “Hey, did you find Maggie?”

“Yes, she is fixing us lunch and said she would have it served on the deck,” Bella advised. 

“Great,” Edward said, grabbing her hand and heading down the stairs. They went out to the deck to find Maggie placing their grilled chicken salad in a taco shell bowl with homemade ranch dressing. 

“Maggie must love you. This is her signature salad,” Edward gushed, pulling out the chair for Bella. 

“Be careful or I will replace you as my favorite,” Maggie giggled, giving Bella a wink. “Richard is bringing your ice teas.”

Edward sat down beside Bella and they began eating their salads. The conversation never wavered. Questions were asked and answered, both finding out more about the other. Just as they were about to finish with their lunch, Emmett and Rose came out on the deck. As soon as Rose saw Bella, she rushed over. 

“OH MY GOD, Bella. Esme has the tent decorated so beautifully. I actually cried. Me, crying, and you know that shit doesn’t happen, ever,” Rose gushed, sitting down beside Bella. “There is the aisle leading up to the entrance of the tent with white columns and overhead are sheer fabric with strings of lights draped among them. Then once inside the tables will be covered in lace with purple and pink floral arrangements. There are white china plates with crystal wine goblets and purple cloth napkins with pink roses tucked into the ring.”

“It sounds beautiful,” Bella said, pulling her friend into a hug. 

“Has everyone who is staying in the compound arrived?” Edward asked. 

“Yes, and they’ve already settled into their rooms or cottages,” Emmett answered.

“Good. I am doubling the security at the gate and they will need the completed guest list for each and every event,” Edward pronounced. 

“Has there been a security threat?” Emmett inquired, worried for the safety of Rose and his family. 

“The paparazzi were outside the store today and they were very aggressive,” Edward divulged, placing his hand on Bella’s leg. He needed to touch her to make sure she was okay. She grounded his emotions like no one had before. “I made the mistake of not taking more security when we left today.”

“Wow,” Rose gasped

“I’ll make sure they get the lists,” Emmett promised. He felt sure some of the guests were going to buck at the extra security measures, but he didn’t care about their feelings. Rose’s safety was all that mattered.

“Alright, enough security talk. Have you two talked about the offer to introduce you to a Dominant/submissive relationship?” Edward asked.

“Well,” Emmett sputtered, rubbing the back of his neck. “Rose and I talked a little bit. And..”

“We would like to start with an introduction to the basics, however, neither of us want to see either of you two naked or having sex,” Rose revealed. After she had talked to Bella last night, she had gone back to Emmett and told him what they had discussed. He in turn said that Edward had also offered to explain in detail about their type of relationship. 

“I agree. Starting with the basics is the best way to get the correct information. We will be here to answer your questions and if afterwards you still want to learn more, I will take you to one of my clubs,” Edward offered.

“You have a club in Boston?” Rose asked.

“I currently have one open and one in the last stages of construction and design,” Edward answered.

“If we did go to the club, what would that be like?” Emmett quizzed. His mind was racing with thoughts of them walking into the club, and everyone was having sex for all to see. 

“The main floor of the club is just like any other club in the city. There are tables, chairs, benches, and a bar. I will take you on a night where non-members are welcome to get the feel of the community. No nudity will be allowed in the main area, only in the private rooms. On these nights, we set demonstrations up to perform certain activities in which Dominants/submissives might take part. You will get to see the handling and usage of toys and equipment, as well as the interaction and relationship between the Dominant and the submissive,” Edward said.

“What do you think?” Emmett questioned Rose. 

“I would like to know more, but what do you think?” 

“Me too,” Emmett replied. 

“Great. Let me go get a couple copies of a Dominant/submissive relationship handbook and copies of limits list for you both,” Edward said, standing to get them from his office. A few minutes later, he was back with the handbooks and limits list. Handing a copy to Emmett and Rose, Edward returned to his seat beside Bella. “There are hundreds of books on the subject, but this is the one that I recommend the most. In this book, you will take a personality test which helps to distinguish if you have a Dominant trait or a submissive trait. The other papers are limit lists which is a guideline for the Dominate and submissive to specify things you would like to explore during playtime. It is not everything, but it is a good start.”

“Do you have one of these?” Rose wondered, looking between Edward and Bella.

“Yes,” both of them answered together, then chuckled. 

“And they change over time,” Bella advised. “In the beginning, I couldn’t see myself ever liking specific things on the list. This was mainly from preconceived notions and fear. Now I can’t imagine not performing them. Experiences allow you to recognize things about yourself that you aren’t even aware of, this list is a tool to self-discovery.”

“What if you take the personality test and there is no obvious answer to where a person’s inclinations lean, either Dom or Sub?” Emmett asked.

“Can people have a desire to be both a Dominant and a submissive?” Rose quizzed. 

“There are people who don’t have a strong inclination towards either a Dominant mindset or submissive mindset. They are called Switches. I have only met two during my years as a Dominant. If a person is a Dominant, they may at times take on a submissive role. Before this happens there will be a discussion with their submissive concerning boundaries and training with the correct use of tools,” Edward explained.

“Tools?” Emmett inquired. 

“Whips, paddles, floggers, ropes,” Bella answered. “I have been on the receiving end of each of those tools, but I have never used one. A Dominant trains on the correct usage of tools, and interpreting the responses of the submissive, because if you don’t know exactly how to use them, you could hurt your submissive.”

“Wow, I didn’t know there was so much to learn to be in this type of lifestyle,” Rose admitted. She knew Bella was in the lifestyle, though she never took the time to find out more about it.  She had allowed movies and the internet to feed her knowledge on the subject. 

“Those who want to live the lifestyle put in the work because the end result is so rewarding.” As I have explained to Emmett, it is not a simple matter of sex. The idea is to provide a person who is a submissive a safe, secure environment where they can give over complete control of their mind and body to a Dominant who will not abuse the trust they place in them,” Edward instructed, then took Bella’s hand and brought it up for a kiss. “Sometimes someone will claim to be a Dominant and for a time, they are able to hide behind a facade they have built, but an amateur or fake Dominant’s true nature will eventually come out and unfortunately the submissive will suffer for it. I own BDSM clubs across the country, each one has stringent rules and regulations. If a Dominant or a submissive breaks one of the rules, he or she is brought to the Dominant manager of the club. If it is a minor infraction, they may be put on suspension for a period of time. However, some rules are never to be broken. The most grievous one being refusal to stop play if a submissive uses their safe word and they are injured. The Dominant will be brought in front of the ruling Dominant committee, which I am a member of in every club I own, and we will vote to remove them from the club.” 

Emmett and Rose looked at each other. As this conversation started, they had no clue just how much structure, oversight, and organization were involved in the community. Now they looked at Edward and Bella with newfound respect. They may never commit to the type of relationship Edward and Bella have, but they wanted to explore and investigate to discover what the community was about and what it had to offer them.  They were interested in seeing if there was any appeal to possibly participating.

~T&O~

Tonight on ET, the hottest ticket in Boston is the Rosalie King and Emmett Cullen Wedding Extravaganza. For the next two weeks, the Cullen Family is hosting a wide range of events to celebrate the joining of the two families. Tonight is a formal Welcome Party at the home of Carlisle and Esme Cullen on Plum Island, where the cream of society will be in attendance. Security will be extremely tight and somehow Edward Cullen has been able to implement a no-fly zone over the Cullen Compound.

The tv in the penthouse apartment blared, as the man sat on his Turin Power Sectional with a glass of whiskey. This place wasn’t as nice as his house in Seattle, but his parents insisted he move across the country. Fuck, he didn’t know Edward Fucking Cullen lived in Boston. Edward Cullen was the reason he was kicked out of the club, well between him and that bitch Bella. She fucking lied about not wanting to be cut. She fucking loved every minute as the knife sliced through her buttery skin. His parents paid her off and a month ago she disappeared. He had been watching her every move ever since she left him. She had been a good bitch and not signing with another Dominant. She was saving herself for him. He needed to find her. He needed her back in his dungeon. He needed to finish carving his name on her delicate, flawless flesh. 

Looking back up at the tv, his lips went up in a smirk.

Turning to Edward Cullen, he was spotted today outside of Neiman Marcus with a young dark-haired woman. No one seems to know who the beauty is, but Edward Cullen seems very protective of her. Could she be the one who will make Edward turn in his bachelor card? 

He had found her. 

Chapter Seven ~ Trust and obey

The next morning, Bella woke up with an arm draped over her and a large hand cupped around her breast. She couldn’t help but smile over the fact. Edward Cullen was most definitely a boob man and God, he knew how to handle them. She never climaxed with someone playing with her breasts or nipples before. However, she had orgasmed so hard last night that she saw stars. Even now, she was getting aroused just by having his long fingers wrapped around her throbbing full globes. 

“Fuck,” she moaned, shifting her legs to gain some friction.

Edward had been awake for a while. He was enjoying cuddling up against Bella’s hot, smooth body, his hand cupping her full breast. This was a first for him, a virgin, so to speak. None of his other submissives ever slept in his bed, and he never slept in theirs. The contract that he had with each of his submissives clearly stated that fact. Sleeping together was a very intimate act and up to this point, he had just had a part-time contractual Dominant/submissive relationship. He respected and cared for them, but he never felt the emotional connection he had for Bella. She started wiggling her ass, causing his morning wood to become even harder. Hell, he didn’t think that was even possible. Yet around her, he was always in a state of arousal. 

Taking the hand that was cupping her breast, he brought it up and with two fingers; he rolled and pinched her nipples, causing them to form stiff peaks.

“Yesss,” Bella groaned, shifting her ass once again against Edward’s cock. Fuck, she wanted him inside of her, filling up as no one else ever had. 

“Tell me, what do you want?” he whispered against her neck as he nibbled the soft skin there and on her shoulder.

“Your cock,” she mewled.

Edward rolled her over, spread her legs, and positioned himself at her hot, slick entrance. He needed to see her face as he entered her tight pussy. He guided himself slowly, inch by incredible inch, inside her, never once taking his eyes from her deep, soulful pools. His heart was bursting with emotions he could not comprehend. “You feel so fucking fantastic.”

“Please, Edward, I need you to move,” Bella muttered, relishing how he filled her so completely.

Pulling back at a painfully slow pace until he had almost completely withdrawn, he left the tip of his massive head just inside her quivering lips. Painstakingly slow, he moved forward until Bella arched her hips in unspeakable ecstasy, causing him to surge forward. The sensations were too much, and he knew he couldn’t go slow anymore. Taking his hand, he grasped underneath her knee, pulling it up, causing him to be able to sink even deeper. Her pussy wrapped so perfectly around his cock. “Play with your nipples,” he commanded, as he began pounding into her in a fierce paroxysm. 

As Bella did what was told to her, she pulled on her sensitive nubs, causing a wave of pleasure to flow right into her aching pussy. She could no longer hold back the sensations. She was on the cusp of her climax. “I am about to come,” she announced, her voice husky with want.

Edward was about to come as well. He slammed into her over and over again, until Bella’s orgasm exploded around his cock. As her muscles clenched around his dick, her pussy sent him over the edge, shattering his release. Stream after stream of hot cum spilled deep into her womb. 

“EDWARD!” Bella screamed, as the tidal wave of enormous power rocked through her body. She would never tire of this feeling, craving it like an addict to drugs, and Edward Cullen was her drug. 

As the last shudder of his release faded, he leaned down and captured her lips in an all-consuming kiss, pouring into it the overwhelming, yet foreign emotions. m. He only pulled back when his lungs demanded air. “Damn, I think you’re trying to kill this old man,” he said with a smirk.

Bella gave him a wicked grin. “Hmm, maybe, but what a fucking way to go.”

Breaking out into laughter, he pulled out of her and rolled to the side, holding tight on her body to him and bringing her on top of his chest. “I think I have found a new way to wake up every morning. I can throw the fucking clock out the window.”

“I would have to agree with you on that,” Bella chirped. 

“Did you sleep well?” Edward asked, running his finger up and down her spine. He loved the feel of her skin. 

“Oh my God, yes,” she admitted. This was the first night in a very long time that she hadn’t woken up because she was having a nightmare about that night. 

“Good,” Edward murmured, placing a feather-light kiss on her forehead. “As much as I would love to keep you in bed all day long, we have to eat.”

“Yeah, I guess so,” Bella agreed, lifting her head and looking into his alluring green eyes. Edward didn’t look like he was nearing thirty-eight years old. His body was muscular, and there were only a few small wrinkles on the sides of his eyes. “I also need to sign my contract.”

“You really want to be mine?” he asked, as the thrill of the acknowledgment coursed through his body. 

“I want nothing more than to be your submissive. I can’t wait to give you complete control over me,” Bella declared, raising her hand and stroking his face. 

“Do you also want to be my girlfriend? Fuck, that sounds like we are in high school and I sent you a note. Will you be my girlfriend? Check yes or no?” he remarked.

“No, it doesn’t and yes, I want to be your girlfriend.”

“You don’t know how happy this makes me. Now, let’s get up, take a shower to wash off the sex smell that we both have, and eat some breakfast,” he announced.

They got out of the bed and as soon as Bella took a step, she gasped from the pain from their lovemaking. He had been right when he told her she would feel him tomorrow. 

Edward saw her grimace. “Are you alright?”

“Yes, just feeling the sweet ache of overuse,” she giggled.

“Hmm, well, at least I know I am doing my job correctly,” Edward noted, his green eyes sparkling.

Deciding the temptation was too great for them to shower together, they went their separate ways to get ready for the day. Unlike last night, Edward finished getting ready before Bella. The Wedding Welcome Party wasn’t until seven o’clock tonight, so they had the entire day together. He hadn’t planned on leaving the compound except for the scheduled events. However, the submissive collar he usually had his submissives wear wasn’t good enough to be around Bella’s delicate neck. Their Dominant/submissive relationship was from Friday at 6 p.m. to Sunday at 3 p.m. All the other times, they were boyfriend/girlfriend, which Edward had no clue how to do, but he was excited to learn. Wanting something comfortable for today, he dressed in jeans, a white button-down shirt, and a pair of Italian leather boots. Splashing on some cologne, he opened up a drawer and eyed the different watches he had to select from. Today was unique, it was the first full day as a boyfriend. Pulling out his Patek Philippe 5004T, he strapped it onto his wrist and headed out of the room to find his girlfriend.

Walking out of his room, he turned towards The Pearl, finding the door to the room open. Edward couldn’t help but smile. His little submissive liked to be watched. Something that he would file away for later use. As he stepped into the room, he saw that the bed had been made and he could hear humming coming from the ensuite bathroom. Quietly moving towards the door, he looked in and found Bella standing in front of the mirror, pulling her long hair back into a low ponytail. 

Bella saw Edward at the door as she finished pulling back her hair. He looked so fucking sexy in jeans, and she wanted him again. However, she was still sore from last night and this morning. 

Because the Welcome Party wasn’t scheduled until later this evening, she didn’t know what was planned for today. After looking at all the events that Rose had planned for the next two weeks, she needed to do some shopping to find the appropriate attire for each of the events. Although the clothes she packed were okay, she wanted to look fantastic. She was Edward Cullen’s girlfriend and he deserved the very best. Wow, she was Edward Fucking Cullen’s girlfriend. While he was bathing her last night, he intended not to hide their boyfriend/girlfriend relationship from his family and friends. However, Edward was also one the most eligible bachelors in the country and everyone would be looking at her, wondering who she was and how she had snagged him. 

After much thought, she decided to dress in a pair of white linen pants, a sheer off-the-shoulder top, and Manolo Blahnik shoes. Attaching a clip to hold the ponytail, she turned towards Edward. “What are you looking at?”

Edward closed the distance between them and wrapped his arms around her. “Oh, my sexy girlfriend,” he replied, then placed a kiss on her bare shoulder. 

Bella turned in his arms and wrapped her arms around him. She wondered if he would be able to tell that she wasn’t wearing a bra. A strapless bra was the most uncomfortable contraption ever designed. Whenever she wore something which a regular bra couldn’t be worn, she would go without a bra and wore nipple petals instead. 

Edward loved the feel of Bella in his arms. Wanting to feel her perfect body against his, he placed his hand on her back to pull her closer. When he did, he realized that something was missing. Fuck, she wasn’t wearing a bra. Taking a step back, placing a finger under her chin and he raised it so he could look into her eyes. “Are you forgetting something?”

“No,” Bella said with a smile.

Bringing up his hand, he cupped her breast and gave it a squeeze. “It seems that you are missing a bra for these beauties.”

“I hate strapless bras,” Bella admitted. “I always wear petals, so my nipples don’t show.”

“Petals? Hmm, I need to see,” he insisted, grasping hold of the bottom of her blouse and pulling it up so he could see her perfectly full breast with her perky nipples covered by silicone petals. Leaning down, he placed a kiss on the top of each breast before covering them back up. As hard as it was not to strip her naked and sink his cock deep into her hot pussy, again, he knew she was sore and needed time to heal. Once she was covered back up, he placed a sweet kiss on her lips. “Fuck, do you know how hard it is going to be not to have you knowing those beauties are naked beneath your top?”

Bella reached down and rubbed her hand down his already semi-hard cock. “No, but you are getting there,” she giggled.

“Minx,” Edward growled, grabbing her hand. “We need to eat.”

“Okay,” she replied, then remembered the contract. “Wait a minute.” Going over to the nightstand, she picked up the contract and handed it to Edward.

Edward took the contract and smiled. “I am excited to start this relationship with you, Isabella.”

“I am as well, Sir,” Bella answered, making sure to use Sir and not Master. She would only be able to use that term of endearment once he placed his collar on her. 

“Let’s go place this in my office, and then we will go find Emmett and Rose. We need to see what their plans are for today,” Edward said.

After taking the contract to Edward’s office and locking it in a safe, they went to the first floor. When they arrived, they looked out the back and found Emmett and Rose sitting at a table on the deck, having their breakfast. Walking hand in hand, they walked out onto the deck. “Good morning,” Edward called out.

“Good morning,” Rose answered, smiling brightly at her friend. She was so excited to see how happy Bella was. Over the last two years, she had been so worried about her friend. The agreement bound Bella not to tell her everything that had happened. However, the little bits of information she had accidentally gathered, made her sick to her stomach. 

Edward pulled out the chair for Bella to sit down, being blessed with one of her beautiful smiles. Taking the seat next to her, he looked over to where Richard was standing. “We will have the same, please.”

“Certainly, Sir,” Richard replied. Ten minutes later, he carried two plates of pancakes, bacon, and fresh fruit, placing them in front of Bella and Edward. “What would you like to drink?”

“I’ll have coffee and water, please,” Bella answered.

“I’ll have the same,” Edward replied.

“Did you sleep well,” Emmett asked, wiggling his eyebrows.

“Why yes, we did,” Bella chirped.

“No midnight kinky times in the playroom?” Emmett quizzed, trying to push his brother’s buttons.

“Nope, just sleep,” Edward replied with a straight face. He knew what Emmett was trying to do.

Rose slapped Emmett’s arm. “Stop being an asshole,” she growled. 

They ate their breakfast, allowing Rose to go on and on about the party tonight; from the decorations, the food, to the music. The guest list was more extensive than Bella thought it would be. She thought this was a party just for the wedding party and family, but that wasn’t the case. Everyone who was anyone wanted to attend what was being called the party of the year. After hearing about who was coming, Bella knew she needed a better gown for this evening.

“Rose, everything sounds just lovely,” Bella said, giving her a reassuring smile, even though she was getting more nervous by the minute. She didn’t realize her foot was bouncing until she felt a hand on her knee.

As Rose continued talking about the party and who was coming, Edward noticed how fidgety Bella was and how her breathing changed significantly. Placing his hand on her knee, he leaned closer, giving her his strength. “It seems that everything is in order, and since it is, you wouldn’t mind if I took Isabella away. I have a few things I need to do in the city and I wanted to show her around.” 

“Oh, ah, sure,” Rose stammered.

Bella reached out and placed her hand on Rose’s and moved closer. “I don’t think the gown I brought will not work tonight and this way, I can find something different,” she whispered.

“Do you want me to come and help you pick it out?” Rose asked.

“You should relax as much as possible,” Bella said. “This is only the beginning of your wedding celebrations and the bride doesn’t need to wear herself out before the big day.”

Rose nodded and patted Bella’s hand. “I hope you find something that will knock his socks off.”

Bella leaned even closer and whispered. “I was hoping to knock his pants off.”

Rose burst out in laughter, which caused Bella to follow suit. The old Bella was coming back to life. For the last two years, Bella had been a shell of the person she once was. Rose had missed her friend, so full of life and joy. That bastard better hope that she never finds out his name, because she will track him down and cut off his dick. Looking up at Edward with unshed tears in her eyes, she mouthed, thank you. 

Edward hadn’t really spent a lot of time with Rose, though he could see how much she loved and cared about Bella. “Well, we better get going so we can get back and be available to help if needed.”

Twenty minutes later they were in the back of Edward’s Maybach Landaulet and on their way to Boston. “Do you know where you want to look for a dress?” Edward asked.

“Not really,” Bella answered, taking out her phone to begin researching dress shops in the area. She had only lived in Boston a few weeks and hadn’t had a chance to investigate the town. After a few minutes, she found several dresses she liked. “Neiman Marcus has several I would like to see.”

Pushing the button, he let his driver know they were going to Neiman Marcus. This worked out perfectly since his jeweler was just down the street. He already had a design in mind for what he wanted for her collar to represent their Dominant/submissive relationship. It was an eternity chain necklace with a two-carat diamond and special locking clasp. 

However, that wasn’t the only piece of jewelry he would be purchasing today. He also had in mind a 15-carat diamond necklace, which he hoped Bella would wear when they were in their boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. He wanted every fucker who looked at her to know that she was taken. She was his and his alone. He was lost in thoughts of ways to let the world know she belonged to him, just like he was hers. 

Bella was hoping she would find the perfect gown for tonight and maybe find a few more for the other planned events scheduled over the next two weeks. If the Welcome Party was going to be the event of the year, she couldn’t imagine the grandeur of the Engagement party. 

“Are you excited about tonight?” Edward asked, putting his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close.

“Big parties are really not my thing?” Bella admitted.

“Isabella,” Edward began.

“Why do you call me Isabella?” 

“I think it is a beautiful name for a beautiful woman,” he answered.

“I like to be called Bella. Isabella makes me feel like I have done something wrong,” she acknowledged.

“Hmm, I like it when you do something wrong. It gives me a reason to spank your little ass red,” Edward smirked, before placing a kiss behind her ear.

“Edward,” Bella moaned.

“Baby, you taste so good. I can’t get enough of you,” Edward stressed as he continued kissing and nibbling down her neck. He was about ten seconds away from stripping her naked and filling her with his hard, thick cock. However, the car pulled over and stopped. Looking up he saw they had arrived at the store. Placing one more kiss on her neck, he leaned back giving her a smile. “We are here.”

Bella’s heart was racing and she didn’t think her legs would work. His kisses turned her into jelly. “Damn.”

“I know,” he groaned, almost forgetting what they were discussing, then he remembered. He loved how her name rolled off his lips and if she was just his submissive he wouldn’t have even considered the subject. As he tried to explain to Emmett, a Dominant/submissive relationship wasn’t just about kinky sex. It was the control the submissive gave to their Dominant. As her Dominant, he would call her whatever he pleased, but as her boyfriend, he needed to take her feelings into account. “Actually, I think it would be better if I only used Isabella when we are in our Dominant/submissive relationship. When we are like this, we will be Edward and Bella.”

Bella threw her arms around his neck and kissed him with all the passion she had for him, ending the kiss, she looked into his eyes smiling. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

“I would do anything to make you happy,” Edward revealed. “You have a gown to purchase and I have a quick errand to run.”

“You do?” 

“Yes. I won’t be long,” Edward promised.

Edward rushed off down the sidewalk, while Bella walked in the store and towards the women’s fine apparel section. Once she arrived she looked around hoping to find the gown which would make Edward cream his pants. 

“Hello, my name is Linda. May I help you,” she asked.

“I am looking for a gown for a party,” Bella answered.

“Do you know the style or color you want?”

Bella didn’t know what to say. She hadn’t really thought about either the style or color. Looking around to make sure no one else was near, she looked at Linda. “I need a dress that would make a billionaire drop to his knees and worship my feet.”

“I think I have just what you need,” Linda said with a smirk.

Twenty minutes later Bella was standing in front of the mirror in the dress. It was blood red, body-hugging, with a court train. Edward won’t know what hit him when he sees her. 

“I think we have a winner,” Linda gushed.

“We do,” Bella beamed. “Help me out of it, before he finds me.”

Taking Bella’s hand, Linda led her to the dressing room to change and took the gown, placing it in a black gown bag. She placed several other gowns on the rack in the room for Bella to pick from for the Engagement party. 

Bella selected three more gowns, wanting to have choices after she heard the guestlist for the Engagement party. She was about to pick up her pants when the door to the dressing room opened. “I don’t need any more gowns, Linda.”

Edward pulled the door shut behind him and turned the lock. He picked up the necklace and collar, leaving them with his driver as he went to find Bella. A sweet grey-haired lady showed him to the dressing room and informed him she would make sure no one disturbs them. Moving closer just as she turned, he wrapped his hands around her hips and pulled her close. “Have you ever had sex in a dressing room?”

“No,” she whispered. “But I would love to have the experience.”

“Are you still sore?” Edward asked, concerned it would be too painful for her.

“A little, but not enough for me to pass up this opportunity,” she groaned. 

Chapter Six ~ Trust and Obey

“Damn it,” Edward growled. “We will continue this later once I put the oversized toddler to bed.”

Bella giggled over his comment because she often thought Emmett acted more like a five-year-old, instead of a twenty-three-year-old man. Then, unwrapping themselves from each other, they took a few steps away from each other. 

“BELLA!” Rose screamed, running across the deck and pulling Bella into a tight hug. “I am so glad you are here.”

“Can’t breathe, Rose,” Bella grunted.

Letting up her hold, Rose pulled away and inspected her friend, who was more like a sister. “Damn, girl, I love this dress,” she declared, then looked down to see that Bella was wearing her Louboutin Rosapetra jeweled sandals. Moving closer to Bella’s ear, she whispered. “We will talk about these shoes later.”

Damn it, damn it, damn it, Bella thought. Rose knew that when she purchased these shoes, she had told her that these shoes were made to wrap around a hunky guy’s waist as he thrust his thick cock in a woman. Packing them had been an impulse decision, as she had never worn them. “Rose, it is not what you think,” Bella muttered, hoping that her and Edward’s secret was not already out.

Emmett had walked over to Edward as Rose and Bella greeted each other. “So, have you been keeping little Bella happy?” Emmett asked, looking at the cozy table with the lanterns. He wasn’t as stupid as people thought. This cozy little setting screamed ROMANCE, and Edward didn’t do “normal” girlfriend shit. His tastes were in that room upstairs with all that equipment. Bella wasn’t his type. She was too demure for Edward, and he wasn’t going to allow his brother to break her heart.

“We just finished dinner and were enjoying a delightful conversation,” Edward answered, his voice calm. He could see that Emmett had picked up on the romantic table setting. Fuck, they were going to have to tell them sooner than later. 

Emmett walked closer to the table and looked down. “HOLY SHIT! Maggie made her carrot cake. Where is the rest?”

“I don’t know,” Edward replied. Then he saw Emmett pick up the wine bottle and he cringed. He had not told Bella how much the bottle cost. Emmett looked up at him with a poignant look. Fuck, so much for keeping it secret. “If you two are not too tired, we could start the fire pit and talk about the festivities ahead. Rose, you have a list of events I understand.”

“Yes,” she chirped. “Let me go get your printed itinerary.” 

“Emmett, why don’t you go see if Maggie left you a piece of carrot cake?” Edward urged, hoping to deflect the situation. 

Raising an eyebrow at his brother, he decided to let it drop for now because he really wanted a piece of cake. “Alright. Do you want me to bring another bottle of wine out?” Emmett asked, wanting to see if Edward would open another 14,000 dollar bottle. 

“That would be great,” Edward answered, his voice calm and cool, no hint of distress.

Once Rose and Emmett were out of hearing range, Bella let out a breath. “They are suspicious.”

“Yeah, but let’s wait until they show their hand before we reveal anything,” Edward advised, brushing his fingers against Bella’s bare arm, causing it to break out in goose pimples. “Are you cold?”

Licking her lips, she looked up at him. Her pupils dilated with need. “No, but I am wet and needy.”

Looking toward the house and not seeing Emmett or Rose, he took a step closer to Bella and dipped his hand under her dress, running his finger along her slick lips. “Watch for them,” he commanded.

How the fuck was she going to be able to keep her eyes open when he was stroking her? Damn, his fingers were magic, rubbing and pinching her swollen clit. “Yes,” she moaned, her eyes rolling back into her head.

“Keep your eyes open, or I will stop,” he growled, smacking her pussy, which caused her to yelp.

“Please, Edward,” Bella cried, her orgasm building to where it was going to explode.

“Do you want to come?” He asked, his lips turning up in a crooked smile. 

“Yes, please,” she moaned.

Looking over his shoulder to see if Rose and Emmett were anywhere near to coming and he didn’t see them, he pinched her clit hard, causing her to fall apart. She reached out for his arm and squeezed hard as her orgasm swept through her. He held up his hand in front of his lips and sucked, immersed in her sweet, tangy juices that had begun to become addictive. “So fucking yummy, and I will eat from the source all night long. When you move tomorrow, I want the pain you feel to remind you of me.”

“Fuck me,” Bella whimpered.

“Maybe later,” he chuckled. “Come, let’s get the fire pit started.”

Edward led her over to the seating area. It had a horseshoe seating area with tan cushions and sky blue accent pillows facing the ocean, with the stone fire pit in the middle. “Have a seat while I start the fire.”

Bella sat down, pulling her legs up and covering them with her dress. The crisp breeze blowing off the ocean was cooling her overheated skin. God, the things he made her feel. He was nothing like “him”. She wasn’t a fool to think that Edward was perfect, no one was perfect. However, he knew more about her body in one day, than “he” did in the three months they were together. There had been signs, and she had ignored them. “He” was quick to lose his temper, “he” continued not to listen to her safe words when she was at her limit, and “he” was extremely jealous. One time at the club “he” decked a fellow Dominant, because he looked at her. Well hell, she was totally naked other than a leather collar and they were in the middle of the club. 

After Edward had started the fire, he looked up to find Bella cuddled on one of the couches. The night air was getting cooler, and she was wearing only a short, thin dress. Opening the ottoman, he pulled out a couple of blankets. Laying one on the couch across the way from Bella, hoping that Rose and Emmett would take the hint. Bringing the other blanket over, he draped it over Bella’s legs. 

“Thank you,” she said, giving him a small smile, but it didn’t reach her eyes.

Sitting down beside her, he took her hand. “What is wrong? Did I push you too hard?” But before she could answer, Rose and Emmett came out. 

“Bella, I can’t wait until you see how beautiful these turned out,” Rose gushed, walking over to the sitting area, handing one of the beautifully decorated cards to Bella and to Edward. Once everyone had a copy, she sat down as Emmett came back out to the deck, carrying a bottle of wine and a tray with four glasses. Placing the tray on the side table, he sat down beside her and pulled her close. 

Rose couldn’t believe it was finally here. Her relationship with Emmett started in their sophomore year in college. Remembering that rainy afternoon, like it was just yesterday, she recalled their first meeting. She was running late for her Women’s Sexuality Physiology class. It was all the way across campus from her and Bella’s apartment. As soon as she reached the entrance of the building, she turned to close her umbrella, when suddenly she was knocked onto her ass and soaked. It made her angry and she looked up to give whoever had run into her, a piece of her mind. When she saw the gargantuan man with the guilty blue eyes and dimples, everything changed. She didn’t care that she was soaked or that mud now covered her new pink blouse. The only thing that mattered was getting to know the man she would one day marry. 

Rose had done an exceptional job on the itineraries. They were printed on a heavy, marbled mauve cardstock, trimmed in gold framing, and printed in an eye-catching violet. “Rose, they are lovely,” Bella cooed.

“Thank you,” Rose gushed.

Edward wanted to know why Bella looked sad before they were interrupted, but he didn’t want the others to hear. “Emmett, where is the carrot cake?”

Emmett’s cheeks turned a deep shade of pink. He had found a plate with a large piece of cake with his name on a card. It was impossible not to smile. Maggie loved him the most. After the wedding, he might be able to persuade her to be his and Rose’s cook. With his eyes fixed on the sugary, creamy cake covered in icing, he couldn’t resist devouring the entire piece without leaving a crumb. “I couldn’t find it,” he lied.

“Sure,” Edward laughed. 

“How was dinner?” Bella asked.

“Really nice. J is in town for a few weeks,” Emmett answered.

“Is he here for business or pleasure?” Edward questioned.

“Well, actually neither. His asshole step-brother is moving to Boston and his parents are commanding him to help,” Emmett explained. 

“That is horrible,” Bella said. “I hope they can get him settled and J can return back to his own life.”

“Me too. Alright, let’s crack open this bottle,” Emmett boomed, watching for any sign of discomfort on Edward’s face. However, he saw none. Fuck, his brother didn’t care that he had opened up 28,000 dollars of wine this evening. After opening the bottle, he poured four glasses and handed them to everyone. 

Edward stood and cleared his throat. “I would like to propose a toast; to my little brother and the woman who has stolen his heart. May you be as happy when you celebrate your 50th anniversary, as you are today.” 

“Thank you, Edward,” Rose said, with tears in her eyes.

Edward watched as Emmett placed a kiss on Rose’s lips and was hit by a wave of jealousy. Not that he cared for Rose. No, he was jealous that they were able to openly show their feelings for each other. Looking over at Bella, he noticed that she too, was looking at them longingly. Was she feeling the same way he was? Damn, he wanted to pull her into his arms and kiss the breath out of her. 

“Bella, do you like your room?” Rose asked.

“Oh my God, yes,” Bella gushed. “The Pearl is stunning with an awesome view of the ocean.”

“The Pearl?” Emmett growled, then looked Edward straight in the eye. “You put her in The Pearl?”

“Yes, I did,” Edward answered, not breaking his brother’s gaze.

“Edward, a word in private,” Emmett demanded, standing up. 

Bella looked between the brothers and knew that there was friction. Not understanding what had happened so quickly or why Emmett was upset over her staying in The Pearl. Suddenly, it hit her. Emmett knew Edward was a Dominant, but he didn’t know she was a submissive. She had sworn Rose to secrecy. Edward placed his glass on the table and stood up. Bella reached out and grasped his hand. When he glanced down at her, she gave him a smile. He couldn’t help but smile back and brought her hand up to his lips and kissed her knuckles. 

“WHAT THE FUCK, EDWARD?” Emmett roared, bawling his hands up into fists.

“Emmett,” Edward snarled. He would not have his brother raise his voice in front of Bella.

“Edward, let me explain,” Bella urged, squeezing his hand.

“Bella, you don’t know my brother’s taste in women,” Emmett stated.

“Oh, but I do,” she replied.

“Bella, he is not a bad guy. He just doesn’t believe in hearts and flowers. His tastes differ from anything you would ever want or need,” Emmett explained, hoping it wasn’t too late. He would hate for Bella to have a broken heart over Edward and pine away for him over the next two weeks. If Bella was upset, Rose would be too, and an upset Rose was someone you didn’t want to be around. 

“Oh, my. You mean he won’t tie me up on his whipping bench and spank my ass until it is red?” Bella teased, trying not to laugh.

“Whaat?” Emmett sputtered.

“Bella, are you saying that Edward is a Dominant?” Rose asked, shocked by the possibility. 

“Well, duh,” Bella answered. 

Emmett looked between Edward and Bella, back to Edward, then to Rose. “How the hell do you know about someone being a Dominant?”

“Because she is my friend and I am a submissive,” Bella declared.

“You are a submissive?” Emmett quizzed. 

“Yes, and have been for nearly five years,” Bella explained. 

“Bella are you saying that you and he are,” Roses asked, remembering their last conversation and how badly Bella’s previous Dominant had hurt her. 

“Rose, he is not like “him””, Bella declared.

“Who is “him” and what the fuck did he do to you?” Emmett questioned, his voice full of venom.  

Edward saw the distress on Bella’s face at the thought that she had to talk about the bastard. Fuck, he hadn’t kept up with what the fucker was up to since he had the asshole kicked to the curb. Wrapping his arm around her shoulder and pulling her close. “Are you okay?”

“I can’t talk about this right now,” she whispered, her body shaking as her thoughts went back to “him”.

“I’ll take care of it. Why don’t you show Rose your room, then soak in a hot bath,” Edward urged, then leaned closer to her ear and whispered. “After I set Emmett straight, I’ll come up and wash every inch of your body.”

Bella’s heart rate spiked and her breaths came in pants, thinking about his hand over her naked body. Turning her head to face him, their lips were a wisp apart. In the Dominant/submissive relationship, her Master would take the lead. However, this was their boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, and she could initiate the kiss. Not caring that Rose and Emmett were watching, she closed the distance between them and placed her lips against his. She felt his lips turn up in a sly smile as he kissed her gently, but she didn’t want it gently. Knotting her fists in his shirt, pulling him harder against her as her tongue moved into his mouth. At this moment, she was the Dominant. 

“My eyes, my eyes,” Emmett groaned, covering his eyes with his hands.

Bella pulled back, turning toward Emmett, and gave him a glare. “Good damn thing you love my best friend or I would have to hurt you.”

“And I would help,” Edward agreed with a wicked grin. “Alright, you girls go, while Emmett and I clean up.”

After Rose and Bella had left, he looked at his brother. “Alright, say what you want to say.”

“What the fuck was that?” Emmett said through gritted teeth. “She is Rose’s best friend. Is there a fucking shortage of women you can fuck?”

“No, Emmett. This is not about fucking,” Edward growled.

“Yeah, I saw that fucking room upstairs. You can’t get off unless you have all those kinky tools or dominate your will over a young, impressionable woman,” Emmett bellowed. 

Edward prided himself on controlling his temper, but Emmett was pushing his buttons. “How many fucking times do I have to tell you that is not how it is?”

“Why Bella? You just met her and you are already taking her to your dungeon and doing God knows what to her. She is sixteen years younger than you,” Emmett said. “And why the hell did I not know about this guy hurting her? I have known her for years and this is the first time I have heard about it.”

“Emmett, I promise you that Bella is not being abused by me. Yes, I am older and yes, we are considering entering a Dominant/submissive relationship. However, for the first time in my life, I want to have more than that type of relationship,” Edward explained. “Her last Dominant broke her trust. Look, being a Dominant or submissive isn’t something you can just shut off. For the last two years, she has been afraid to trust another Dominant and by some miracle, she has put her trust in me.”

Running a hand through his hair, Emmett sighed deeply. He knew his brother was a good and honorable man. Edward had always been the guy he looked up to and wanted to be just like him. “Sorry for jumping at you. I am just so confused about the whole situation.”

“I get that. If you truly want to understand, I can give you some reading material and take you to one of my clubs, letting you see firsthand,” Edward said.

“I’ll think about it.”

“Just let me know. Now let’s get this mess cleaned up or we both will be on Maggie’s bad side,” Edward joked.

“Damn. Does she have one of your paddles?” Emmett asked.

Edward smirked. “I’ll never tell.”

~T&O~

“Holy shit, Bella, this room is beautiful,” Rose exclaimed as she looked around the room. Her and Emmett’s room was pleasant also, but this room was stunning. 

“I know,” Bella smiled. 

“Alright, tell me everything,” Rose insisted.

Bella motioned to the chairs next to the one wall for them to sit. Sitting down, Bella moved toward her friend and gave her a dreamy smile. “I wasn’t expecting anything like this to happen. As soon as our hands touched, I felt my damaged heart repair. Rose, he is owner of the club in Seattle that I was a member of and he was the one who revolted “his” membership.”

“Wow,” Rose exclaimed.

“I know you don’t understand the dynamics of a Dominant/submissive relationship and why I need to be part of one,” Bella said.

Rose replied, “No, I don’t, but if you are willing, I would like to learn.”.

Bella smiled a wicked smile. “Oh, this is going to be so much fun.”

Chapter Fiive ~ Trust and Obey

Bella couldn’t believe what she had just done with Edward. However, it reawakened all the feelings she experienced before “him”. Despite telling Rose that she didn’t need a boyfriend but a Dominant, she never expected to meet someone like Edward. He was something that she never imagined that she needed—a partner outside of the playroom. 

He caught up with her in the hallway and slapped her on the ass. “Little minx,” he growled, grasping her hand. “Let’s go to my office so we can go over our limits. Maggie said that dinner should be ready by seven.”

“What time are Rose and Emmett getting back?” Bella asked. She loved Rose like a sister, but she wanted more time alone with Edward. There was so much they needed to talk about, and she was still physically aching from their encounter a few minutes ago.

“They were going to dinner, so I figured it would be late,” Edward answered, bringing her hand to his lips and placing a kiss. “I know you are unsure about them knowing about us, but let us sit down and discuss it.”

“Okay. I know it is going to be impossible for us to hide how we feel for the next two weeks,” Bella divulged.

“I know,” he answered as he opened the door to his office. He loved this room and frequently would get his best ideas here. Of course, he also had a large office on the sixty-second floor of his high-rise building in Boston. However, being the boss meant he could be anywhere he damn well pleased. He led Bella over to the oversized leather couch with the spectacular view of the water through the floor-to-ceiling window; which brightened the dark wood of the room.

“I love this room,” Bella admitted as she looked around. The room had a masculine feeling, and every inch screamed Edward.

“I do too. Have a seat while I get our limits list.”

It shocked Bella when he said that. How did he have a list of her limits? “You have a copy of my limits.”

Edward grabbed the folder from his desk and headed back to the couch. “Yes. You submitted it to the community in Seattle.”

“Can anyone just pull that information from the database?” Bella asked, nervous at just how many people were able to access information about her limits.

Edward sat the folder on the table in front of the couch and placed his hand on her knee. He could see and feel her trembling. “Isabella, look at me,” he said, his voice full of concern. Once she looked up at him, he explained. “No, not just anybody can access your limits list. Access is restricted only to the managing Dominant and, of course, the owner of the club.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot that,” she muttered as a bloom of color broke out across her cheeks. 

“I understand. We are still learning about each other,” he declared, then placed a kiss on her sweet lips. He loved the feel and taste of them, knowing he would never tire of them. It took all his self-control to pull away from them. “Alright, I have two copies of each of our lists so we can go over them together. I use the same concept as I do with your safe words. Green are limits, you have no problem performing. Yellow are limits you have no experience in, yet might be willing to try after going over your concerns. Red are limits you will never tolerate, no matter what.”

Bella’s other Dominants had presented checklists in this format before, it made perfect sense. Taking the list from Edward, she looked over it, remembering that it had been three years since she last updated hers. She had reviewed her limits right before signing a three-month contract with “him.” Instead of reviewing her green or yellow limits, she went straight to her red limits and saw that knife play was checked. She let out the breath she had been holding as a calming blanket engulfed her, knowing that she had checked it as a no-go activity.  It was the verification that she needed that “he” knew, and proceeded with the hard limit anyway.

Edward had been watching Bella’s face as she looked over her list. Her pupils were dilated and her hand shook. When she got to the section that she was looking for, she calmed down. He knew it was when she had indeed checked that knife play was marked as a hard limit. “Is there anything you would like to change?”

“No,” she muttered. 

“Maybe that will change after you look at my list,” he declared as he handed her his list. He had updated his list after his last submissive contract had finished.

Bella’s eyes grew large at the number of green items he had checked. “Wow, you have a lot of green checks.”

Placing his hand on her knee to get attention, he squeezed it. “I have been a Dominant fifteen years longer than you have. I have been able to experience more activities in and out of the playroom over the years.”

“But I have only a few green activities. How is this going to work?” Bella asked, concerned that she had gotten her hopes up for nothing.  

“Isabella, don’t look at my green list. Look at my red list,” Edward urged. He had already compared their lists. She was correct that he had more items checked under his green column. However, their red column was almost identical. Watching her intently, he knew the second she saw he had the same hard limit concerning knife play.

When Bella saw how compatible they were in terms of the red limits, she couldn’t help but smile. He had only one item on his list that was not on her hard limit, and that was canes. Although her first Dominant took her to a play party in which the submissive was caned, she had never felt the pain of a cane. There was an eerie sound as the wooden cane sliced across the air before coming into contact with the submissive’s ass. The submissive moaned out in pure pleasure, though Bella couldn’t get past the sound. “We disagree on canes,” she said, her eyes downcast.

Putting his finger under her chin, he raised it to look into her molten chocolate eyes. “I noticed. Would you mind telling me why you dislike canes so much? Is it because you don’t like the pain that it causes?”

Shaking her head. “I have never experienced being struck by a cane, but I don’t like the sound that it makes as it cuts through the air.”

“Yes, there is an unusual sound, yet when wielded by an experienced Dominant, a cane can bring you unbelievable pleasure,” Edward informed. “However, I will never use a cane on you unless you change your mind.”

“I don’t think I will,” Bella declared.

“Okay,” Edward replied, pulling out a copy of their Dominant/Submissive contract. “Here is the contract. Before you decide to enter this relationship, I would like you to read it several times.”

“Why wait? I can read this fast and if everything looks okay, I’ll sign,” Bella stated with conviction. 

“Because I want this to work. Not just in the playroom, but out there,” he said, pointing outside.

“I want that also,” she answered. “I’ve never had a boyfriend.”

“What?” Edward questioned, his voice raised by several octaves. “Didn’t you date in high school or college?”

“I went out on a few first dates, but there was no connection. It wasn’t until I went to an Open House at the club that I found what I had been looking for,” she answered.

“I understand. It wasn’t until I found the community that I felt whole,” Edward admitted. Fuck, he needed to be inside of her again. Just as he was about to reach out and pull her onto his lap, there was a knock on the door. “Yes.”

The door opened and Richard stepped in. “Mr. Cullen, dinner is ready to be served.”

“Thank you,” Edward said. “Let’s continue getting to know each other over dinner.”

“I would love that. Can I leave this here?” Bella asked, pointing to the paperwork.

“Yes. The only person who comes in the office is Mrs. Cope,” Edward declares. “I do not permit the rest of the housekeepers in here or the playroom, which is locked.” Standing up, he offered her a hand. 

Putting her delicate hand on his, she sighed at the electric current flowing between them. It was so warm and comforting. They walked out of the office and headed down the stairs. After reaching the ground floor, Edward escorted her towards the double doors leading to the back deck. Stepping out onto the massive deck, which ran the entire length of the house, Bella let out a gasp. Although she had seen thousands of sunsets, this one took her breath away as the daylight faded behind the clouds, the last rays of its brilliance fought against the impending darkness. The ocean resembled a mirror, reflecting the vivid oranges, auburn reds, and warm yellows. “This is unbelievably beautiful,” Bella whispered, enjoying the peaceful sound of the waves crashing onto the beach.

“Although I think you’re far more beautiful,” Edward said, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her close to his body. The last glimmer of the sun disappeared from below the horizon as they stood motionless, their chests beating in sync as they breathed in and out together. “Come, let’s find out what Mrs. Cope has fixed us for dinner and we can find out more about each other.”

Edward smiled at the table that was set up for them. The table was covered in a white linen tablecloth, china plates, and his best crystal glasses. Instead of candles, which would never stay lit in the breeze that came off the ocean, lanterns were lit with electric candles. Mrs. Cope had also set several other lanterns around the area, along with some freshly cut flowers. Richard and Maggie Cope always gave him flack about finding a good girl to settle down with and have cute babies to cuddle. 

As Bella sat down, she smiled at him. She didn’t want to compare Edward to her other Dominants, but in the short time she knew him, he stood out above them all. “Thank you.”

Leaning down, he placed a quick, sweet kiss on her full lips. “You are very welcome.” As soon as he was seated, Richard came over with a bottle of wine. 

“Following your request, Sir,” Richard began, holding up the black bottle of wine with a screaming eagle on the front. “This is Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon of Napa Valley.” Pouring a small amount in each of their glasses, he waited until they tasted the dark red liquid. 

Bella picked up her glass, swirled the deep garnet-purple-colored wine around before bringing it up to her nose to inhale the bright, exuberant blackberries and black currants. “Smells heavenly.” She and Rose had gone to several wine tastings when they lived in Seattle, and along the way, she had picked up the art of tasting.

“It is one of my favorites, though I only drink it on special occasions,” Edward advised, bringing the glass to lips and sipping the delicious liquid. “Richard, it is perfect as always.” Edward appreciated the expertise that Isabella displayed in her tasting. He wondered if she knew about the brand or the fact that the bottle they were drinking was $14,000.00.

“Wonderful, Sir,” Richard replied and filled their glasses. As soon as he stepped back, his lovely wife was coming out of the house carrying two fresh salads.

After placing the bowls in front of Edward and Bella, they went back inside to plate the main course. Casual conversation flowed between them during the meal. As they enjoyed the luscious piece of Mrs. Cope’s homemade carrot cake for dessert, Edward wanted to talk some more about their possible arrangement. He turned towards Richard, who was standing by the door to see to their needs. “Richard, please go and enjoy the rest of the evening with your lovely wife. Isabella and I will bring our plates and glasses in when we finish.”

“Certainly, Sir,” Richard answered, before heading back into the house with a smile. He had seen the interaction between the couple and hoped that this was the beginning of the happily ever after that Edward deserved.

When Edward was sure that they were alone, he began. “So, are you still sure that you want to sign the contract?”

Without hesitation, Bella answered. “Yes. Do you still want me to wait until tomorrow to sign?”

“Yes, I want you to wait. However, I wanted to talk to you about getting the information concerning your expenses, so I can arrange to pay them,” he advised. This was something that he did for all his submissives during the time they were in a Dominant/submissive contract.

“You don’t have to do that,” Bella muttered, lowering her eyes.

“If you are agreeing to be my submissive, then it is my pleasure and duty to take care of you,” Edward said, his voice coming out harder than he wanted. He knew immediately that it had affected Isabella because he saw her flinch. Placing his fork on the table, he reaches over and put his hand on her arm. “Isabella, I am sorry for my tone.”

“It is fine, Sir,” Bella whispered.

“Edward, please call me Edward when you are not collared,” he urged.

“Of course. Edward, you don’t need to pay my bills,” Bella insisted.

“Emmett said you just purchased a condo. I am sure that the mortgage payment is substantial and you haven’t started working yet.” Edward explained. 

She hated that she had paid for her condo with fucking blood money. The blood she lost during the attack and the scars as a reminder that she carried to this day. “I paid cash for the condo and other bills are set up to come out of an expense account. It is correct that I haven’t started working yet, even though I wouldn’t necessarily have to work.”

Edward was a little confused by her statement. She had just recently graduated from college. How could she not need to work? “I don’t understand.”

“I can’t talk about it, or I could be liable. Rose doesn’t even know the full extent of the arrangement,” Bella said, hoping that he wouldn’t push the issue any further. She hated to ruin their evening by talking about “him.”

“Isabella, I need to know. If our relationship is going to work, we have to be open and honest about everything, including that horrible arrangement that they pressured you into signing,” Edward expressed. “I figured they offered money for your silence.”

Sliding her chair back, she laid her napkin on the table and stood up. After stepping over the railing, she took a deep breath and tried to calm herself as tears formed in her eyes. Could she trust him not to tell anyone about the legal agreement? God, what will he think when he hears the amount they paid her to keep her mouth shut. She would have rather had the asshole thrown in prison, but mommy and daddy dearest had made sure that wouldn’t happen. So lost in her thoughts, she didn’t hear Edward come up beside her until she felt him place his arms around her and pull her back.

“Talk to me, baby,” he encouraged, hating that she was carrying this horrible burden around.

Taken in a deep breath, she slowly let it escape, taking the last bit of resistance. “Twenty-one,” she whispered, as her body shook from admitting the number.

“Twenty-one what?”

“He cut me twenty-one times.”

“Motherfucker,” Edward growled. This information was just one more thing that made him want to hunt the fucker down and kill him.

Turning in his arms, Bella looked up into his eyes. The candlelight from the lanterns reflected off his dark green irises. Her tears were falling down her face, and there was no way she could stop them. Then he reached up and swiped them away with his finger. An action that gave her courage to tell him the secret that she had carried. “I received a million dollars for each one of them.”

Edward gasped at her confession. This strong, loving woman had been not a victim once, but twice. Once by the fucker who attacked her and then by his family. They knew the amount would always remind her of the number of scars she carried from that night. God, he wished he could take away the pain. Brushing the last tears away, he then cupped her face, tilting it up so he could look into her eyes. “Thank you and I promise that this will go no further than the two of us.”

“I trust you,” Bella admitted, as she gave him a small smile.

“We are going to be so good together,” he hummed, lowering his mouth towards hers, just as their lips were about to touch, a voice echoed from inside.

“EDWARD, BELLA, we’re home,” Emmett boomed.

Chapter Four ~ Trust and Obey

Bella and Edward lay entangled in Edward’s playroom bed as time stood still. As a way of getting to know each other, they played a game of twenty questions. It surprised Edward at how many interests the two of them had in common. Damn, why didn’t they meet sooner? Yeah, they lived on the other side of the country from each other until recently. Then he had a thought that upset him. Had he already failed her?

The change in Edward’s face caused Bella to become concerned. “What’s wrong?” she asked, rubbing the frown lines that had to appear across his forehead.

Knowing that this relationship wouldn’t work without his complete honesty, he sighed deeply. “I should have sought you out when I came to Seattle to revoke his membership. You were also a member of my club, and I should have ensured that you were okay. I am so sorry.”

“Edward, what he did wasn’t your fault. The membership process was one of the most stringent in the area. Some clubs I checked into before coming to The Twilight Hours, didn’t even have a simple physical requirement. God knows what goes on in those establishments. You flew all the way across the country to give your vote in person. That means you take responsibility, as the owner, to ensure that they adhered to the rules that were set forth to by all the members.”

“But I should have personally sought you out to see if I could do anything for you,” he muttered.

Bella slowly began her feather-soft caresses over his face, storing to memory every inch. He wasn’t just good-looking on the outside, he was good on the inside. He was being truthful and had been trustworthy during their time in the playroom. She needed to be the same because she wanted this relationship to last. “I wouldn’t have seen you. By the time I got to the hospital, I had lost a significant amount of blood. Some cuts were deeper than the others, which is why some scars are so grotesque.”

“They are not grotesque,” Edward said, looking down at them. Yes, they were scars, but they didn’t take away from her beauty.

“We will agree to disagree on that issue,” she shrugged. “After the surgeons finished stitching me up and a blood transfusion, I was in my room trying to come to terms with what had happened when his parent’s attorney showed up. He advised me that the police would do nothing about the attack and that I needed to keep my mouth shut or certain pictures would be released to the media.”

“WHAT!” Edward growled, not believing what she had to endure after the vicious attack. “Where was your family?”

“My parents died when I was a senior in high school,” she choked out. “And I don’t have any other living relatives.”

“Oh, baby,” Edward cooed, pulling her closer to him. “Who took care of you after they passed?”

“I was eighteen and since I was legally an adult, I was able to remain in our home,” she explained. 

“But who was there to comfort you when they passed?” Edward asked.

“Rose and her family,” Bella answered with a smile. “They tried to get me to move in with them. However, I wanted to stay in my home. So when his attorney threatened me, I knew I couldn’t face people seeing pictures of me in the playroom. Not that I am ashamed of it, but because people would take them out of context.”

It is unfathomable that someone would do such a thing to you. “It was you who were injured,” he growled. His mind devised a plan to bring him and his family down. He knew who they were and they may think they are an elite echelon, yet they were nowhere near as rich or powerful as he was.  

“He comes from a very powerful family and prestige and reputation mean everything to them. I knew I didn’t have the resources to fight them, so when they offered the agreement, I accepted,” she shared, feeling lighter to have told him her secret.

“What was the agreement?” Edward inquired.

“If I kept my mouth shut, I would receive a large lump sum payment,” Bella murmured. “I know I can trust you not to repeat this conversation. Rose knows a small portion of it, but she doesn’t even know the extent of my injuries. She was on holiday with Emmett at the time of the attack. By the time she returned, I was already out of the hospital and the agreement had been signed.”

I did not shock Edward that they had used that tactic to shut her up. “So you were all by yourself in the hospital?”

“Yes, and his attorney was very aggressive,” she answered, moving even closer to him. She could feel his body shaking and his heart was beating faster. He was clearly upset. “Are you upset with me?”

Kissing the top of her head. “Of course not, but that motherfucker and his family are a completely different story.”

Bella couldn’t help but smile at his outburst. They had only known each other for a few short hours, yet she could see herself falling hard for him. She could feel his protectiveness for her each time he touched her. This was what Rose didn’t understand. The connection between a Dominant and submissive. This is what she had been missing all these years. Suddenly, her stomach growled loudly.

“Wow, I didn’t know I had a wild animal in my playroom,” Edward joked.

“Sorry about that. I was nervous about meeting everyone, so I skipped breakfast,” Bella confessed.

Pulling away so he could look at her face. “It is after five in the evening and you haven’t eaten all day?” 

“Yes,” Bella replied, lowering her eyes.

“Eyes up, little girl,” Edward commanded. Damn, he just put her through a strenuous scene, which entitled her to burn lots of calories. When she looked up, he could see she already knew her mistake. “I will not punish you because we have not formally gone over our limits and signed a contract. However, this will be your one and only warning. You are to consume three healthy meals per day. Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes,” she mumbled, tears threatening to escape her eyes.

“Yes, what?” 

“Yes, Sir.”

“Better. Now let’s get up and get out of here. We need to shower before Rose and Emmett get back because, baby, we smell like sex,” he chuckled. “Then you need food. Do you want to go out or stay in?”

Bella thought for a few moments. “Stay in, but can we eat on the deck?”

“That sounds like a wonderful idea. I will have Mrs. Cope prepare us something, and maybe we can go over some paperwork while we wait,” he said. He could hardly wait to get his collar around her gorgeous neck. He needed to call his jeweler and see if he had something that would be good enough for her. She deserved only the best. 

“And we need to talk about what we are going to tell Rose and Emmett, if anything,” she muttered. This was so new and she didn’t want to hear the third degree from Rose. 

Edward reached out and stroked her arm. “Hey. We are doing this together and if you want to keep it between the two of us, I will go along with that.”

“Fuck!” Bella groaned as her pussy quivered at the thoughts of how he could satisfy her. 

“Later, I promise,” he said, wiggling his eyebrows. We should leave before I decide to keep us here all night.”

Walking naked, hand in hand, they left the playroom. Edward knew if they showered together, it would lead to another round of sex and time was getting away from them. “As much as I would love to shower with you, I think we need a few minutes alone to center ourselves.”

“I think that is a great idea,” Bella confessed.

Edward leaned down and placed a soft kiss on her lips. “Damn, so fucking sweet. God, please go.” His resolve was melting by the second.

Bella gave him a wink before turning to walk toward her room, making sure she wiggled her hips. God, it felt so good finally to feel like her old self again. 

Edward had to grab a hold of the doorjamb to keep himself from following her down the hall. He felt like an addict, and she was his fix. When she had finally disappeared into her room, he finally was able to let go and head to the shower. God, he loved his shower and he couldn’t wait to share it with Isabella. It was large enough for three people, with frameless glass partitions and doors. Large slabs of marble were used all over the floors and walls, even the built-in benches. It had two wall shower heads and one rain shower head centered in the ceiling. Standing under the rain head he allowed the water to flow over his body. With one hand on the wall, he reflected on the fantastic afternoon he’d had with one of the best submissives he’d ever met.

Damn, it shocked him when she admitted she hadn’t had an orgasm since her last Dominant/Submissive relationship. After the attack, she had not been in a relationship with anyone, but she still adhered to the rules that were standard in her community. Isabella Swan was born to be a submissive. Then a thought hit him that made sense of the confusing feelings he had been feeling since the moment he touched her hand. They were destined for each other. The realization of this fact made him weak in the knees. He had already told her he wanted to try a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, and then it hit him. He didn’t just want to try; he wanted that type of relationship. In society’s eyes, their age difference would raise a few eyebrows. He was thirty-eight, almost thirty-nine next week. Something he hoped his family would forget about with all the pre-wedding activities. Bella, no, he couldn’t call her that; she was his Isabella, was twenty-two, a sixteen nearly seventeen-year difference. 

As a multi-billionaire, he had been named one of the city’s most eligible bachelors for five years running. Since he only had submissives, it was rare to see him with the same woman more than a few times. When he needed a date for an event, he would have his submissive go with him. The paparazzi would go crazy yelling out how long they had been dating, if they were going to get married and if they were living together. News coverage of the vultures was tame to what they were in real life.

Over the next two weeks, the paparazzi would be everywhere, except here on the Cullen Compound. Edward had the best security company in the world G4S. They were a UK-based ex-military security company that protected the wealthiest families globally, as well as providing other security needs. He had electronic and physical security guards stationed at the gate, at his parent’s home, at his home, and his office. Isabella had already said that she didn’t know if she wanted Rose to know about them. How long did she want that? He didn’t want to avoid her. Damn it. He wanted the fucking world to see that she was his and his alone. 

“Edward,” Bella called out. She had finished her shower, dried her hair, and dressed in a short white lace baby doll dress. When she slipped her feet into her favorite pair of Louboutin Rosapetra jeweled sandals, she felt sexy. She couldn’t wait to see Edward’s expression when he saw them—deciding on not wearing any makeup other than a thin application of mascara and lip gloss. Spraying herself with her favorite perfume, she headed out to find Edward. 

Walking next door to his bedroom, she sighed at the sight of his massive bed and the room’s overall decor. Unlike her room, which was light and airy, Edward’s was in a dark color palette. Deep shades of the blinds and wooden ceilings give it a mystical charm. Damn, it was so fucking sexy, just like the man who slept here every night. She couldn’t help it when her pelvic muscle clinched at the thought of him naked on the massive bed.

“Well, shit. I just ruined my panties,” she muttered. Wandering towards the sound of a shower, she walked into the gigantic bathroom. Her new condo had a fabulous master bath, yet this one made it look like a bathroom at a Motel 6. She loved everything about it, from the double marble top vanity, enormous sunken tub situated in front of a large window overlooking the water, and the shower. Oh my, what a shower. It was large enough for at least a half-dozen people, though it had just one right now. Edward. The man was a god, no, he was something better. He was a Dominant, a Dominant who could be trusted. This was what she had been looking for and hoping for, for such a long time. She knew Rose would question the quickness of what was happening between the two of them. However, Bella’s heart and soul knew that Edward would never harm her. He had told her he was a strict Dom, something that she needed and craved. 

Edward had been so lost in his thoughts, so much so that he didn’t hear Bella call out his name. Turning off the water, he turned to see her standing in the bathroom dressed in a short white lace dress. A thought hit him like a wrecking ball, Bella walking towards him dressed in a long, white lace dress carrying a bouquet of flowers. Her eyes glistening with unshed tears and a smile full of love. “HOLY FUCK!” he thought. Where did that come from? He had never wanted to be married. His life was full of work, family, and his lifestyle. There was no room for a wife. Shaking his head, he reached for the towel and began wrapping it around him, never taking his eyes off Bella. 

Bella gave him a mischievous smile as she raked her eyes over his entire body, spending more time on his thick, hard cock. Fuck food. She wanted to feel him inside of her again. She was so wet. She could feel it dripping down her legs.

He stepped in front of her, grasping her hips and pulling her up against his towel-covered cock. “Do you think it is polite to watch someone as they shower, little girl?”

“No, Sir,” Bella answered, biting her lip.

Damn, did she know what biting her lip did to him? Leaning down, he captured her mouth in an all-consuming kiss, his tongue delving deep into her hot mouth, mating with hers. She hiked her leg up over his hip, aligning her pussy to his dick. Breaking from her lips, he kissed and nibbled along her jaw to her ear. “If I rub my finger along your heat, will I find it wet for me?”

“Yes, so wet,” Bella moaned. 

“Hmm, I need to make sure,” he advised. As he continued to kiss, nibble, and suck the sensitive skin of her neck, he reached down and flipped up her dress. When he got to her lace-covered pussy, he found it was in fact wet. It was dripping. “Oh, little girl. Are you dripping your hot cum on my floor?”

“Sorry, Sir,” she groaned, as she clenched her pussy muscles.

Edward slipped his finger under the lace and stroked her swollen clit. He could feel the heat of her tight hole and his cock twitched at the thought of being buried balls deep. “Do you want to come?”

“Yes,” she cried, her orgasm on its apex, ready to explode to a million pieces.

“Whose orgasms are they?” he asked, his voice husky and hot against her skin.

“Yours, only yours. Please, Sir,” she begged.

Suddenly, his finger left her pussy and his lips left her neck. Taking a step back, he brought his fingers up to his mouth and licked them clean. “Yummy,” he said. “But I want you hot and needy when we go over our limits.”

“But,” she began, so aroused that she knew it would take just a pinch to send her over the edge.

Edward raised his eyebrow at her. “Do we have an issue?”

Bella lowered her eyes. She was hot and bothered, but he was right. Her orgasms were his to give. He was her Dominant and he had shown her in the short amount of time together that he wouldn’t take advantage of her. “Sorry, Sir.”

“Better,” he said, taking her hand. “Come watch me dress, and then we will work on our limits until dinner is ready.” They walked hand in hand into the bedroom and into his large walk-in closet. It was made from dark rich wood and had enough hangers, drawers, and shelves for every article of clothing. 

Directing her to a large cream ottoman, he helped her sit. As soon as her ass was on the plush stool, Edward took off his towel, giving Bella a full view of his enormous, erect cock. She couldn’t help but smile, knowing that he had been as affected as she had by that kiss. He turned and picked out a pair of grey slacks, slipping them on, scant any underwear. 

“Commando?” Bella explored.

Edward looked over his shoulder and gave her a crooked grin. “Well, you could lose those wet panties and we would be even.” After making that comment, he went back to getting dressed. When he had finished buttoning up his shirt and slipping on a pair of his favorite Italian loafers, he looked in the mirror and tried to tame his hair. He got his unruly locks from his grandfather. He once told him it was what made his grandmother fall in love with him. Chuckling over the memory, he ran the brush through his hair one last time before giving up. Turning back to where Bella was sitting, he found her standing with a naughty smile on her beautiful face. He watched as she closed the distance between her lace panties dangling from her right index finger.

.

“I would say we are even, Sir,” she said, then turned to walk out of the closet, leaving a stunned Edward.

Chapter Three – Trust and Obey

Chapter Three

“Seattle?” she asked in a shaky voice. 

“Yes. You know that there is a governing body over both Dominants and submissives included in the club membership. I am the head of that body and was there when we revoked his membership from the club,” he advised. “I read the report on what that monster did to you and I wish I could tie that fucker up and do worse to him.”

“You know, about the cuts?” she whispered as tears trickled down her face. 

“I do. Isabella, I know you are a submissive. I know that you have had your trust and body violated. I know that you have been terribly wronged.” Edward stated.

Bella examined his face, and instead of pity, she saw awe. “I am, and I did.”

“Have you even had a satisfying sexual experience since the attack?”

“No,” she answered as she dropped her eyes to her lap. “I haven’t been able to handle having a man close to me until today.”

“So, are you saying that I am the first man to have touched you in two years?” he questioned, brushing his hand over her cheek. 

“Two years, nine months and twenty-six days,” she stated, her heart pounding like a freight train going down the tracks. 

“I must inform you, Isabella, I am a strict Dominant. In my twenty years in the playroom, I have never had a sub use her safeword. I use the three safeword method and always adhere to the submissive’s checklist,” Edward explained. 

“Are you, are you asking, do you want me as a submissive?”

“Yes, Isabella, I do, but for the first time in my life, I would like to strive for something more,” he declared, rubbing his thumb across her bottom lip. “And I want to bite that lip.”

“Then do it,” she panted.

Holding her gaze, he grasped a hold of the sheet and he pulled it from her grasp. “I need to see your scars.”

“Why?” she asked, with a slight hint of panic in her voice.

“Because there can’t be any secrets between us. I need to know everything. I need to know your hopes and fears, your goals and your failures. I need to know it all, Isabella.” Edward declared. 

Bella was nervous that once he saw her horrible scars, once he heard about the ordeal from her perspective, he wouldn’t want to be with her. “I am afraid of your response.”

Leaning forward, Edward kissed her sweetly on the lips. Pulling back, he looked deeply into her eyes. “Watch me, don’t shut your eyes or turn away, watch me. I want you to see my face as I look at your scars.”

He pulled the sheet completely back, revealing her full breasts and chest. He saw the tiny scars peppering on the top, sides, and bottom of her right breast. Some small, only a half of an inch, while others were large. He was so mad that they had subjected her to such brutality. Bending forward, he began placing a kiss on each scar, and as he did, he raised his eyes to her. She was watching him, as instructed.

Tears fell down her face as she watched Edward tenderly kiss each of her scars. Not once did he look as if he was disgusted. When he kissed the last scar, she felt lighter. 

“Hush, sweetheart,” he murmured, kissing his way up her neck to her jawline. God, she tasted so good, and he couldn’t wait to taste every inch of her. 

“Edward, please,” she moaned.

Edward looked at the yearning in her face, knowing if they were going to do this, they had to do it right. Reaching for her hand, he pulled her from the bed and stood before her.  

Isabella could immediately see when the role of Dominate slipped over Edward like a new suit.

“Isabella, if we are to do this, let us do it correctly. Although we are not officially in a contractual relationship as Dom and Sub, I feel those parameters will help guide us in this situation. Do you agree?” Edward asked.

“Yes, Sir. I understand, and feel that the standards and expectations would help in this instance.”  

Reaching down, he picked her up, throwing her over his shoulder. Walking out of the room, he turned right and headed to the end of the hall. When he arrived at the door, he pushed the button to reveal the keypad. Punching in the security code, the door latch released and he opened the door. Placing Isabella on her feet, he allowed her to look around the room. “The door is locked from the outside, yet you can turn the handle to get out.”

Bella looked around the room. He had a vast assortment of equipment, much of which was on her checklist. She was still a little nervous about being back in a playroom and she wondered if she could give her trust to Edward.

“I know we haven’t talked about limits, but I know we are very similar in those.  While I am not officially your Dominant, I would like to see if you can be comfortable again in this environment. We will do a trial and see how you respond to returning to your submission. Are you agreeable, Isabella?”

“Yes, Sir,” Bella responded, before assuming the submissive pose.

Edward jerked his shirt over his head as he kicked off his shoes. Unbuttoning his pants, he pushed them down his legs and stepped out. Standing up, Bella got her first look at his cock, which was thick, long, and erect. Taking his hand, he wrapped it around his dick and pumped it several times. “See what you do to me. It has been hard since the moment I opened the door of the limo.”

Licking her dry lips, Bella raised up to her knees, showing Edward she was wearing a sexy thong that barely covered her hairless mound. Over the years, since the incident, she still kept up with the standard expectations that most Dominants required of their submissives. She ate well, exercised four days a week, did yoga twice a week, and kept her body hair-free. Placing her hands on his chest, she began running them up and down his muscular abs. He was almost forty, yet he had the body of a twenty-year-old. 

“May I suck your cock, Sir?” she begged, staring at him with hooded eyes. 

“Do you think you can take it all in that hot little mouth of yours?” He questioned. “To let you know, it is nine and a half inches long, with a girth of six and a half inches.”

“Yes, Sir, please.”

“Do you remember the three words you need to use, Isabella,” Edward queried.

“Yes, Sir; green, yellow, and red,” Bella responded.

“And what color are you, Isabella?”

“Green, Sir.”

“Then get to it,” he growled.

Bella moved closer to get a better look at the perfect cock. It was long, hard, and thick. Just looking at it made her incredibly wet, and she clenched her pussy. She quickly removed her thong and kneeled before him. Taking hold of his cock, she licked from the base to the tip, where a small bead of cum had seeped out. Fuck, the taste of him was delicious and she couldn’t wait to get more. Starting slowly, she took the tip in her mouth, using both her tongue and teeth to tease.

“Fuck, baby, that feels so damn good,” Edward groaned, placing his hands on her head. 

Hearing his enjoyment pushed her to continue. Relaxing her jaw and throat, she bobbed her head, taking him deeper and deeper, until she had his cock fully engulfed in her mouth and down her throat. She gagged a few times, but she relaxed her throat muscles even more. When she got to a good rhythm, she began applying more suction.

“HOLY FUCK!” Edward yelled. He had had his cock sucked thousands of times, yet no one had made him fight this hard and quickly to prevent coming.

Bella smiled around his cock, proud that she could get the response that she had. As she continued to take him completely in her mouth, she massaged his balls, feeling the quiver. Knowing he was close, she picked up speed and suction. Knowing she would need some lubrication for the next part, she reached down and collected the wetness from her pussy. Moving her hand back up, she reached behind his balls and gently began circling the entrance of his ass. The moans of pleasure spilling from his lips urged her on to press her finger into his ass and massage his prostate.

Edward was about to lose it. “I am coming and you better not spill one drop I give you.”

Bella felt his cock stiffen then long strings of cum filled her mouth. She swallowed hungrily, not allowing one drop to leave her mouth. When he finally finished releasing, she released him from her mouth, but not before she sat back on her heels and placed a kiss on the tip. She looked up at him through her lashes. 

Edward was trying to recover from the most astounding blow job in his entire life. Taking several deep breaths, he opened his eyes to find Isabella looking up at him. The look on her face was like a pussycat who had drunk all the cream. “I think a little vixen needs to be tied up, so I may have my snack now. I would like to tie your legs to the bed. I will not use any toys except for a bullet vibrator. Does that sound like something you can handle at this time?”

Taking one last look around the room, she turned to look at Edward. “Yes. Yes, I would like to try.”

“Great. You remember your three safewords. Green if you want me to continue, yellow to slow down and red to stop all play. Do you understand your safewords?” he asked.

“Yes, Sir,” she answered.

“I want you to be vocal and keep your eyes on me,” he commanded. “Do you think you can obey those commands?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Good. Let us begin.  Remember, I am aware of your past and understand that this may be difficult for you, so do not feel in any way that you cannot trust me. Now, over to the bed, lie on your back.”

Bella hesitated for just a moment and then gracefully walked over to the bed, climbed up on the red satin sheet, and laid down on her back. Closing her eyes, she began repeating the submissive prayer silently. It was something she had always done before she walked into a playroom. “Allow me the strength to answer questions I can’t fathom. Allow me the spirit to know His needs. Allow me the serenity to serve Him in peace. Allow me the love to show Him myself. Allow me the tenderness to comfort Him. Allow me the light to show us the way. Allow me the wisdom to be an asset to Him. Let me be able to show Him each day my love of service to Him. Let me open myself up to completely belong to Him. Let me accept my punishment with the grace of a woman. Let me learn to please Him, beyond myself. Grant me the power to give myself to Him completely. Give me the strength to please us both. Permit me to love myself, in loving Him. For it is my greatest wish, my highest power to make His life complete, as He makes mine.” She knew they were not in a contractual commitment, though the words put her in the mindset that she needed.

Edward had waited a few minutes before joining her at the bed. He had seen her hesitate for a second before making her way to the bed. Once she had laid down, then he kept his eyes on her face, looking for any distress. It was then he noticed her moving her mouth, yet not making a sound. Watching her lips, he could pick up on a few words, and then it hit him. She was saying the submissive’s prayer. It was something that some submissives utilized to enter into the proper mindset of giving over their control. 

When he saw her take a deep breath, he knew she was ready to begin. Stepping over to the Mahogany Bombé Chest, he opened one drawer and selected a bullet vibrator. Looking at the other toys in the drawer, his mind couldn’t help but imagine using all of them on her. Shutting the drawer, he took a moment to center himself. He knew that before he could win Isabella’s mind, body, spirit, soul, and love, he must first win her trust. He needed to show her kindness, warmth, and the discipline that she desires. He must always show her that his guidance and tutoring are knowledgeable and deserving of her attention, that he is the Dominant she can learn from and trust in his directions. Turning toward the bed, he couldn’t help smiling. She was a vision. Her alluring alabaster body glowed against his red satin sheets like a ray of moonlight. 

“Excellent, Isabella. What color are you?” Edward asked. He would be questioning her throughout the scene to ensure that he rebuilt the trust that was robbed from her. 

“Green, Sir,” she replied without hesitation. 

“Perfect,” he answered, placing the vibrator on the table next to the foot of the bed. “I want you to be as vocal as you want. Moan, groan, fucking scream out your pleasure,” he instructed. Picking up her leg, he gently pulled it toward the cuff and strapped it to her ankle. Doing so to the other leg, he stood back and took a lingering look at her, bound and spread open. Looking up, it elated him to see that her pussy was glistening with need. He never tired of looking at a hairless pussy shining with cum, knowing that he was the cause. Climbing up between her legs, Edward began placing open mouth kisses up her sensuous calf. Her unrestrained whimpers were spurring him on. Continuing up to her thigh, he shifted between kissing and nibbling, inching closer to her heated, wet mound. Glancing up at her face, he looked for any signs of distress. He didn’t see any, yet he needed to be sure. “What color are you, Isabella?”

“Green,” Bella assured, quivering from this touch.

Taking his hand, he smacked her pussy. “Green, what?” he demanded. Rules were rules and this one was a very basic one that was in every playroom scene. Until her neck was adorned with his collar and she was given the permission to call him Master, she was required to address him as Sir.

“Ahh,” she cried out from both the pleasure and pain. God, how she had missed this. Not just the sex, the control that a Dominant had over her, and the pleasurable pain that he could cause her. “Green, Sir.” 

“Much better. Please continue being vocal, but..” he started, then covered her slender body with his, so he could look down into her mesmerizing brown eyes. “You will not come until I give you permission.”

Her mouth fell open in surprise. It had been so long since she’d had an orgasm. It was another of her old rules as a submissive that she had kept. Orgasms were for her Master and he would grant her permission to have one. “Yes, Sir.”

Giving her a roguish smile, he began slowly moving down her body, deliberately brushing his chest against her turgid nipples, causing her to moan. Licking his lips, he continued rubbing his body down hers, ensuring his hard shaft skimmed over her delectable body, showing her just how much he wanted her. 

Returning to her hot, wet center, he picked up the vibrator and turned it on to the lowest settings. Rubbing slowly against her slick folds, her hips arching to get closer to the vibration. “I won’t tie your hands if you promise to keep them by your side.”

“I promise, Sir,” Bella mewled, as the vibrations pulsed through her body.

“Oh, my little pet enjoys having her kitty stroked, and look at this swollen clit. I believe it needs a little attention,” Edward declared. Turning the vibrator to its highest setting, he plunged it into her heat while he took her clit between his lips and suckled. Fuck, she tasted so good. He could feast every day for the rest of his life on her nectar.

Bella’s body was alive for the first time in over two years. The sensations of the vibrator and Edward’s mouth were pushing her orgasm closer to the top. She began reciting the state capitals in her mind. Yet the awareness of his touch was too strong. Shaking her head, she knew she was going to fail. 

“YELLOW!” Bella called out, tear prickling her eyes.

Edward pulled the vibrator out of her and released her clit. “What is wrong?” he asked, his voice full of concern.

“I was about to come and there was nothing I could do to stop it,” she advised, her voice quivering with sadness. Turning her head, she allowed the tears to flow.

Edward cupped her face and turned it back to him. The tears broke his heart and he swiped them away with his thumb. “Are you afraid of me?”

Her eyes grew large at his question. “No. I am afraid that I was going to let you down by coming.”

“My little pet, you will not let me down. I am so fucking proud that you used your safeword,” he praised. “Do you ever hold off your orgasm when you masturbate?”

“I don’t,” she whispered.

“You don’t resist coming?” Edward inquired.

“No, Sir, I don’t masturbate,” Bella divulged, a bright plum of embarrassment bloomed across her cheeks.

“WHAT?” 

“My orgasms are not mine to take,” she answered.

“FUCK! So you haven’t had an orgasm since your last Master?” he asked, not expecting an answer. “Calm yourself, take deep cleansing breaths, and when you are ready, I will begin again.”

Bella closed her eyes and began centering herself once again. Taking in a deep breath, she held it for ten seconds before exhaling slowly. When she thought she was ready to begin again, she opened her eyes and looked into Edwards’s alluring green orbs. “I’m ready, Sir.”

Leaning down, he captured her mouth in a deep, domineering kiss while he pushed one finger in, pumping it in and out. Continuing with the kiss, he added a second and then a third finger, plunging deeper into her tight heat. Damn, if he didn’t know any better, he would have sworn she was a virgin. Pulling back from her succulent lips, he placed kisses down her jaw, down the valley of her creamy tits. Wetting one lush rosy nipple between his lips, he sucked hard.

“Please, may I come, Sir,” Bella cried, her orgasm building to where it was going to explode.

Humming against her nipple, he enjoyed hearing her beg. Pulling his fingers from her heat, he rubbed her enlarged clit.

“Please, Sir, I can’t hold it any longer.”

Before pulling from her nipple, he bit down hard while pinching her clit. “COME FOR ME, NOW!” he commanded.

The tidal wave of enormous power ripped through her body in wave after wave. “YES! YES! YES!” Bella screamed. 

Edward had seen hundreds of orgasms over the years, but seeing Bella’s skin turn in a pinkish hue as her back arched with the shattering ecstasy was beyond gorgeous. He wanted to see it repeatedly. Sliding off her, he took the cuffs off her ankles and positioned himself between her legs. He needed to be deep inside of her, NOW!

“ON YOUR KNEES, NOW!” he ordered.

Bella scurried onto her hands and knees, her heart racing with anticipation of having his massive cock filling her pussy. 

“Lean on your arms and raise that sexy ass of yours,” Edward instructed. He was pleased that she followed his every command without hesitation. When her ass was in position, he ran his hand over her plump, round globe. “What color are you now?”

“Green, so very green, Sir,” Bella moaned, as she wiggled her ass. Suddenly, there was a hard smack to her ass. 

“Stop moving, or I will stop,” Edward growled.

“Yes, Sir,” she replied, the intensity level rising to a breaking point. The cum from her excitement flowed down her legs. 

Edward took his massive hard cock in this hand and began rubbing it between her soaking wet folds. “Fuck, you are so wet.”

“Only for you, Sir,” Bella groaned, pushing her ass back, hoping to get his cock inside of her. But instead, she received another smack, this one harder than the one before.

“YOU WILL NOT TOP ME!” Edward barked.

“Sorry, Sir.”

Leaning over her back, he takes her nipples between his fingers and tugs, elongating the tips. Her cries of pleasure almost caused him to climax. Letting go of her nipples, he once again grasps his cock and pushes the bulging tip into the opening of tender, moist flesh. “Are you ready, pet?” he muttered through clenched teeth.

“Yes, Sir,” Bella said, swallowing back the excessive saliva.

Edward couldn’t wait any longer and he pounded into her in a fierce paroxysm. Holy fuck, she was so fucking tight as her warmth wrapped around his shaft. Giving her a few seconds to adjust to him and for him to calm himself. Hell, his own orgasm was so fucking close. Grabbing hold of her hips, he drove himself deeper into her pussy until his balls smacked against her ass. She took all of him, a feat that only a few women had done. 

“Sir, please, I am so close,” Bella cried, as another orgasm neared.

Edward continued his deep, powerful thrust, he too was about to come. “Pinch your clit,” he ordered.

Bella reached back and pinched her clit, bringing herself to orgasm. “GOD, YESSS.”

Edward felt her orgasm clamp down on his cock, causing his orgasm, shooting long streams of cum deep into her womb. He had never had an experience this overpowering before and it left him weak. They collapsed onto the bed, both fighting for their breaths. Edward wrapped his hard muscular arms around her sweat-covered body and pulled her against his chest. “Are you okay?”

Bella sighed deeply, as tears streamed down her face. She had given control over to a man who had kept her trust. “I am soo good,” she stuttered in between sobs.

“Shh. I have you,” Edward soothed, running his hands up and down her back. He had figured she would experience subspace, since it had been so long since she had been in the playroom. He wouldn’t let go of her until her emotions calmed down.

She didn’t know how long they lay there in each other’s arms, but she knew it had to be getting late, then she remembered Rose would be back soon. Breaking from his embrace, she sat up. “We have to get out of here. Emmett and Rose should be back by now. What would happen if they found us?” she asked, motioned between them.

Opening his arms. “Come back here,” he urged. “They are out to dinner with a college friend who is in town.”

Cuddling back into his strong arms, placing her head on his chest. “Thank goodness. I didn’t want to explain why we are naked together.”

“Does she know about you being a submissive?” Edward asked.

“She does. However, she doesn’t get the relationship between a Dominant and submissive. Does Emmett know you are a Dominant?” 

“Yeah. The nosey bastard walked in here one day when I was having a new pulley system installed. I tried to explain to him what it meant to be in this type of relationship, though he still didn’t get it. Hell, even today, he brought it up,” Edward grumbled. 

Then a thought hit Bella. “What is this?  I mean, what are we doing?”

Bringing his hand up to her face, he stroked it tenderly. “I am hoping for the beginning of something beautiful.”

“You want me to become your sub?” Bella asked in shock.

“Yes, but I also would like to try more,” he confessed, his heart slamming. 

“More?” 

Placing a soft kiss on her sweet lips. “I have never wanted more than a regular Dominant/submissive relationship until I opened that limo door today. You captured my heart with your first touch of my hand. Then you put your trust in me that I would keep you safe. I complied not because I am a Dominant, but because I want to be your Dominant. Do you think you would like to try both relationships with me?” he asked.

“Yes,” she answered, placing her hands on his face and pulling him toward her. Their lips touched and the passion exploded. This new chapter in her life was simply about learning to Trust and Obey.