Chapter 2

Playlist selection: Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison

Edward POV
I stride out of the garage, tossing a half-assed salute to Charlie, and climb into the cab of my truck.  I can't help feeling a little dejected that Bella didn’t want to come with me to the sporting goods store.  We have our entire lives to run errands and have cutsie lunch dates together, but knowing how hectic the next few days were going to be has me feeling a tad bit needy.
I fire up the engine and rev it a few times - knowing it ruffles Charlie’s feathers - and back out of the driveway, narrowly missing their rickety mailbox, and forge ahead towards the shop.
Pulling up in front of the store windows, I notice Todd’s shitty clown car in the parking lot and smirk.  He’s worked at this store for several years and has become good friends with my parents, since we basically keep the store in business with all the camping we do. 
The door chimes alert him of my arrival, and I send Todd a quick wave and head towards the camping equipment section.  He finishes with his customer at the register and makes his way over to where I am browsing the lanterns.
“Hey, Edward!  Need a new lamp, huh?”
“Yup, a solar one if you’ve got it.”
He nods and points to the few they have in stock and carries my selection towards the check out, telling me that my father stopped in yesterday to pick up some supplies and informed him of our plans go to our cabin in the woods this coming week.  He asks me if the Swans are coming with us this time, but I shake my head ‘no’ and relay Bella and Renee's plans to interview florists for the wedding.  Smiling and rolling his eyes, he launches into a story about when he and his wife were getting married and all the planning and decision-making that was involved. 
About fifteen minutes into the saga, I glance at my watch and notice I am going to be late for my appointment with Marcus.  I thank Todd for his help with the lantern and trot out to my truck.  The engine roars to life and I peel out of the parking lot, speeding down the busy street toward Rise of the Phoenix tattoo shop.
I find a parking spot a few blocks away and pull up against the curb.  I dodge a couple of cars as I cross the street and hop over the storm drain and up onto the sidewalk.  As I reach the shop, my hand hesitates on the handle of the entry door and I suck in a ragged breath. 
Once I go through with this, there’s no turning back.  This is for life.
I exhale sharply and wrench open the door, and I'm immediately assaulted with a barrage of images plastered to the walls – colors, symbols, portraits, and cartoon characters - art that people have adorned on their bodies. 
A tall, burly man, with too many piercings in his face to count, asks me if he can help me.  I tell him I have an appointment with Marcus and he checks the schedule book by the register.  I confirm my name and he escorts me to a small room in the back, informing me that Marcus will be in shortly.
Somehow I feel like I’m at the doctor’s office, the draft of cold air from the A/C chilling me to the bone.  I sit nervously on a chair in a tiny room, waiting for the one person who will perform a little procedure to alter my body for the rest of my life.  My heart is pounding in my chest and my hands are beginning to sweat.  I rub them vigorously on my jeans just as the door swings open and a short man with two full sleeves of tattoos on his arms waltzes in and plops down on the rolling stool next to my chair.
“So you want a tattoo, huh, son?”
“Yes, sir,” I respond as my voice cracks and I nod my head fervently. 
He smirks at me and holds his hand out for the paper I have in my hand.  He pulls it from my shaky grip and reviews it briefly before asking where I want it placed.  I point to the inner area of my left wrist, and he raises his eyebrows at me in surprise.
“You know that’s a very sensitive spot, son.  Are you sure that’s where you want to put it?”
My traitorous voice squeaks as I reply with a stuttering "Y-yes," and I internally berate myself for acting like such a pussy. 
He tells me he will be right back and takes my image with him, closing the door behind him.  I release a long-held breath and try to reign in my nervousness.  I know this will hurt like a bitch, but it’s worth it – she’s worth it.  That’s enough encouragement to get a grip on my anxiety as Marcus comes back in with a smaller version of my image and tells me to sit back and relax.
Easier said than done, my friend.
I watch as he sets up the ink wells and opens a new needle for the gun.  He explains the entire procedure to me as he runs a razor over the tender flesh of my wrist to remove any hair and applies an antiseptic.
“What does this say, by the way?” He asks as he is positioning the transfer of elegant script to my skin.
I can’t tell him the truth about the translation or he would think I was queer or something. So I tell him it’s Latin for pimp daddy, automatically feeling guilty for lying to a man who could knock me into next week with one little sweep of his fist.  I swallow thickly as he looks up at me with wide eyes and scoffs. 
Changing the subject, he points to the image now transferred to my wrist and asks if the positioning is perfect.  I concur and he informs me that this will “hurt like a mother” and proceeds to pin down my forearm with his free hand as he fires up the tattoo gun and starts with the agonizing torture.
Thirty minutes later, I've been instructed on after-care and handed a goodie bag of lotion and coupons to come back for more "work".  I pay the cashier and practically skip out to my truck and call Peter to brag about my ink.  He tells me he’s on his way to the mall to pick up a graduation gift for his new girlfriend, Charlotte.  I warn him that if he runs into Angela and Bella to not mention my tatt, as this will be my present to Bella.  He doesn’t question that last statement, and for that I am grateful. 
I had just gotten home and was showing off my new tatt to my dad when I get a text from Bella saying that she and Angela are on their way back from the mall.  I tell her to have Ang drop her off at the park and I'd meet here there.  A few minutes later, I leave the house and walk the quarter mile through the neighborhood and wave to some of the guys on the basketball court as I pass through. Sitting nervously in the gazebo, I wait anxiously for my lovely bride-to-be to arrive and anticipate her potential freak out over my gift for her.  We've both discussed how stupid it is to get someone's name tattooed onto your body, but this is very special to me and reminds me of Bella, so I think she will appreciate it.  I hope.
I hear a car door slam shut in the distance and my heart starts doing somersaults in my chest.  All of a sudden I am so nervous about her reaction I feel I might puke.  I take deep breaths, trying to calm down, but every second that passes, my heart rate increases.  
Suddenly, she's standing at the opening of the gazebo and I freeze like a statue.  She looks at me with wide eyes and I pull her to me and kiss her to alleviate the anxiety for both her and me.  I sit her down on my lap and before I have a chance to break the news to her, she spies the bandage and freaks out.
"Oh my God, Edward. What happened?" she asked, her voice shaking in alarm.
"I'm fine, doodlebug.  It's half of your graduation-slash-wedding gift, remember?"
"Slicing your wrist is not a gift I want from you, Edward," she chides, knowing full well I would never do something like that.
"Take off the dressing and look for yourself."
She looks up at me quizzically as she gently holds my wrist in her lap.  Slowly, she removes the medical tape holding the bandage to my skin and pulls back the dressing.  Holding my arm up to the light of the street lamp in the distance, she squints to read the words inscribed on my body.
"Danaus plexippus?" She turns to face me with furrowed brows. "What the fuck does that mean?"
"It's the scientific name for the Monarch butterfly, Bella."  I smirk at her, knowing once that sinks in, she will probably cry...happy tears, of course.
She stares at my wrist for a few minutes, not saying a single word and then she looks back at me with tears in her eyes and hugs my neck something fierce. I know my girl or do I know my girl?!
"Edward, oh my God.  That is the most... the most... romantic...crazy...  I- I- I don't know what to say."  She twists her body so that she is straddling my lap and lavishes my face with sweet kisses as the tears continue their descent down her cheeks.  "I don't know how to tell you how much it means to me that you would mark your body with something that represents!"   
I put my hands on her ass and pull her pelvis closer to mine and smirk as she notices my erection pressing against her belly.
"Edward...," she reprimands, her breathy voice betraying her sentiment.
"Hmmm?" I murmur into her neck and plant a soft kiss below her left ear, nipping at it ever so slightly. 
I smile, knowing she's getting a little turned-on and I rock her hips harder into my crotch to help intensify the sensation. "I can think of something that will tell me just how much it means to you."
She pushes weakly against my shoulders and attempts to give me a stern look. "Edward." 
"Bella," I whisper against her lips as she tightens her arms around my neck.
She isn't trying to push me away; in fact, she's pulling my body closer to hers.  Her breasts press firmly against my chest and she releases a quiet hum against my mouth.  I tear my lips away from hers, only to travel them down the line of her jaw, across the tender flesh under her chin, and over to her other ear.  My teeth graze her earlobe gently as she tightens her fingers in my hair.  Her breaths become heavier and she tips her head back, exposing more of her vulnerable neck to me.   
"Oh, yes...," she breathes.  Oh, how I love to get her worked up. 
Of course, this only spurs me on.  I trail one hand up to her hair and use it to guide her head in the perfect position so that I can lavish her neck with more wet kisses.  She slowly grinds her pelvis against me, torturing me beyond sensibility.  I grip her hip tighter with my other hand and coax her into a steady rocking motion, allowing for better friction for both of us, but knowing I only want to please her right now.  I don't want to blow a load in my shorts, having to walk all the way back to my house in sticky clothes. 
"Oh my... God..."
I press my lips harder into her neck, applying a little suction but not enough to bruise her, and groan as I feel the moist heat from the center of her thin, cotton shorts rub against me.  Her breathing becomes more erratic and the sound of her muted moans wreaks havoc on my self control.  I am seconds away from bending her over the railing of this gazebo and fucking her senseless. 
Somehow, I reign in those primal urges even as her breathing gets heavier.  Her hips continue to rock with determination and I pull my hand from her waist down to the center of her body, pressing my thumb against her clit through her clothing.  A few more passes of her body over my erection and she's whimpering my name. 
"Edw..Edward...I'm...I'm gonna..."
"Yes, baby.  Let go," I whisper breathily, my mouth hovering next to ear.
I return my lips to her neck and firmly press my teeth against her flesh as her body tenses and shudders in my lap.  I hold her body against mine as she comes back to the here-and-now, and chuckle as she smacks my shoulder playfully when she realizes what we did and where we did it.
"I can't believe you got me off at the park.  I feel like such a perv."  She scrunches her nose at me, stifling a smile.
"You are a perv," I reply with mock disgust. 
She giggles and climbs off my lap, pulling my hand to help me stand.  "But you biting me at the end, yeah, that was hot!"
I wrap her in a monstrous bear hug, kissing the top of her head, and lead her out of the gazebo and through the soccer field. 
We are quiet for most of the walk to our homes.  Occasionally, I wonder what is running though her mind, but mostly I'm recalling the day I proposed to her.
It was three days before Bella's eighteenth birthday and Renee had taken her and Angela out for a Sunday brunch to celebrate.  My mom had one of those terrible, summertime colds that kept her in bed, swimming in a sea of used tissues, for several days.  I used her head-fog to my advantage and asked where my grandmother's engagement ring was hidden.  I had already snooped around in her jewelry box, but it wasn't in there.  Mom's eyes crossed as she struggled to raise her head off her pillow and pointed in the general direction of her closet. 
I flung open the closet door and flipped on the light, making a dash towards the corner shelf behind the Halloween costumes.  Ha!  I should have known it was hidden in the "safety deposit wok". 
My mom had gotten the quirky, electric appliance for a wedding gift and never used it.  For some reason, she had placed it in her closet and began putting sentimental items inside of it, hiding them under the large, dome lid - jewelry, my first straight-A report card, my first detention slip, a picture of me and Bella running through a water sprinkler in the backyard when we were little, and my grandmother's engagement ring.  My Nana had promised me, before she passed away, that she was leaving it for me to give to my future wife - Bella.
I reached into the wok and picked up the tiny satin pouch that held the diamond solitaire and walked out of the closet, through my parents' bedroom, and out the front door.
I wanted to do this the proper way and ask Charlie for Bella's hand, so with Nana's ring in my pocket, I scurried over to the Swans' house and found Charlie asleep in his leather recliner.  He was startled awake by the click of the front door as it closed and smiled, offering for me a seat with the wave of his hand.  
Reluctantly, and with quite a bit of silent contemplation, he gave me his blessing on one condition... that we wait until after we have graduated high school to get married.  I agreed to comply with his request and told him I wasn't planning on asking Bella yet, but that I wanted to get the formalities out of the way for when the time was right.  He smiled then, and gave me a pat on the shoulder as he led me to the front door, encouraging me to wait until far, far into the future.  I knew that what I had planned - in regards to when I was going to ask Bella to marry me- was going to piss him off royally.
Three days later, the morning of her birthday, Bella arrived at my house at her usual time, expecting to ride with me to school.  I told her we were skipping school and I drove her to IHOP.  What can I say?  My girl loves pancakes.  After breakfast, I took her to the park at the end of our street, knowing we wouldn't get caught by our parents at this hour.  They all had already left for work, including my mom who had recovered from her illness. I parked the truck by the basketball court and led her to the large willow tree by the lake.  As she relaxed her back against my chest, sitting between my legs, we overlooked the water in the cool shade under the tree's umbrella.  I hadn't prepared a long speech or any other grand gestures, so I pulled the small pouch from my pocket and held it up in front of Bella's face.  She took it and opened it, peering inside, and then looked up at me.
"What's this, Edward?"
"It's a ring, ladybug."
"I know that, jackass," she chided, rolling her eyes. "It looks expensive.  You didn't have to get me anything for my birthday."
"I didn't spend a dime and it's not specifically for your birthday.  It just happens to be your birthday when I wanted to give this to you."
She didn't say anything, just looked with confusion at my twisted explanation.  I didn't want to drag this out much longer.  I was a little impatient and wanted to do it right at that moment.  As I was mustering up the last of my courage, she settled herself against my chest again, facing away from me and staring intently at the diamond ring in the palm of her hand.  
"Will you marry me, Bella?" I whispered softly in her ear.
Her body stiffened and she gripped the ring tightly in her hand.  It seemed like eternity before she responded, but finally she released a deep breath and turned slowly to face me.  When her eyes met mine, a few tears escaped and traveled down her cheeks and she smiled and nodded.
I kissed her gently, not trying to get her worked up, but to let her know how much I loved her and needed her in my life forever.  Pulling her body tightly against mine, I slid my Nana's ring onto Bella's finger and kissed it like I had seen in old movies.
We sat under the tree, wrapped in each other's arms for a little while longer until she told me she wanted me to take her to my house.  I led my new fiancee to my truck and drove to our street.  Bella was very quiet during the three minute drive and when I parked in the driveway, she scooted over to exit from the driver's side door and grabbed my hand, pulling me toward the house. I unlocked the door and opened it for her to enter ahead of me, and she continued to pull me through the living room, up the stairs, and into my bedroom. 
I was internally giving myself a high five, assuming we were going to be making out, but to my surprise, Bella had a better idea. 
That was the day we lost our virginity... to each other.  It was a beautiful day. 
As we reach her driveway, she finally speaks, pulling me from my reverie.
"Thank you," she says sheepishly. "For both."  I can't see her beautiful blush creep across her cheeks due to the darkness outside, but I know it's there.
Answering my unasked question as to what "both" she was talking about, she reaches down to my bandaged wrist and pulls it up toward her lips.
"This," she says, placing a loving kiss over it. "And this..." She makes a pointed look down her body.
"You're welcome...for both."  I smile rather smugly.
As we reach the middle of her front yard, I swoop down to pick her up around her thighs and fling her over my shoulder.  With her head close to my ass, she laughs like a loon as I imitate farting noises with my mouth as I climb the stairs to her front door.  I barge through the entry, startling Renee and Charlie as they sit on the couch watching the news.
"Jesus Earl Christ, Edward... what are you doing to my daughter?"  Renee jokes as I haul Bella through the living room like a caveman.
"Edward!  Put me down or the wedding is off!"
Smirking, I ignore Bella's futile attempt to intimidate me as I flip her right-side up and drop her into the recliner in the corner.  Renee laughs, making her way to the kitchen as Charlie scowls, attempting to focus on the TV.
"Charlie, I brought your daughter back for a few more weeks.  Just keep in mind that she's on loan to you until July fourth... after that, she's all mine!"  I point at myself with both of my thumbs, grinning like a Cheshire cat and wagging my eyebrows.  He grumbles and sneers a few times before he gets up to join Renee in the kitchen.  Bella rolls her eyes at my jackassery and jumps up to give me a parting kiss and a promise to see me tomorrow after the "Great Wedding Dress Crusade".  I kiss her lips tenderly and whisper my love, reminding her that all my teasing of the evening was just that...teasing, and that I love her more than anything else in the world.  She smiles and grabs my arm, bringing it to her lips, kissing my tattoo again.
"I love you, Edward."
"Love you too, baby.  G'night."
I close their front door behind me as I leave and trek back down the block toward my parent's house. 
What the hell am I going to do today?  Mow the lawn?  Play some b-ball in the park?  Study for this week's final exams?  Pack for our camping trip?  I decide to do all of those things, in that order.  Cutting the grass in record time, I leave the weed-whacking and edging for my dad.  I hate doing that shit.  I don't bother to shower because Peter is meeting me at the park at noon to play some one-on-one.
At 12:20 pm, he shows up.
"Dude!  Where the fuck have you been?  You live a half block from the park.  Why are you late?"
"We got home from church late and I was talking to Charlotte," he snaps back defensively.
"Oh."  I can't blame the guy, I'm late half the time from talking to Bella.
We rough-house on the court for about forty-five minutes before Bella calls to tell me that they have stopped for lunch and plan to hit a few more wedding dress stores this afternoon.  I wish her luck and tell her she'll be gorgeous even if she shows up to the ceremony wearing a garbage bag.  She scoffs and tells me she will call me later.
Peter complains that he has chores to do at home and we end the game with me whipping his ass - as usual - and we head back to our houses.  Once back home, I shower, nuke some leftover pizza, and sit down and cram for the Biology exam tomorrow.  I fucking love Biology, especially when we are studying insects.
Around dinner time, Bella calls to say that after nine stores, they have found her perfect dress and are on their way back home.  I pack up my books and notes, satisfied that I have saturated my brain cells with scientific jargon and head to the garage to pack our camping supplies.
As I am stuffing the third sleeping bag into the back of my mom's minivan, I get a text from Bella. 
We're turning into the neighborhood. 
Are you home?
I quickly type a reply.
Yes.  Are you stopping by our house? 
I want to see your dress.
I receive her response as the headlights of Renee's car sweep across our lawn as she pulls into the driveway.
NO WAY!  Not until July 4th.  ;)
Not letting that deter me, I dart out to meet the car, waving hello to Renee and kissing my mother on her cheek as she climbs out of the passenger door.  Bella leans out the backseat window, shaking her head as my roaming eyes scan the back seat for a garment bag.
"We hid it in the trunk, Mr. Snoopy.  You know it's bad luck to see it before the wedding, Edward!"
I smile.  She knows me too well.  I lean into the car window and kiss her quickly, telling her that I will see her in the morning for our daily ride to school.  She nods and wishes me sweet dreams.  I watch as Renee backs the car out of our driveway and pulls into theirs, two houses down.
Refocusing on my previous task, I turn into the garage and notice my mom taking a quick inventory of the minivan, looking for any equipment I may have missed.  I try to break into casual conversation about her day and playfully ask about Bella's dress - whether it's strapless and if it shows a lot of cleavage.   She playfully smacks the back of my head and tells me to forget about the dress for now and to help her with making a list of the food for us to pick up before the trip.  First item on the list...Bella's potato chip cookies.


Post a Comment

Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight or it's character names - those belong to Stephenie Meyer. Bittersweet Irony and it's characterizations, backgrounds, and plot lines belong to SweetVenom69. No copying, translation, or reproduction is allowed without my written authorization.
© 2010 SweetVenom69.