“I thought I was a tough bitch that ran my life exactly how I wanted. I do what I want, when I want to, and nobody tells me I can't. When I decided it was you I wanted, I set about having you on my terms. When you got possessive, I thought ‘so what’? I can be possessive too. I can please you and still be myself. I pushed my feelings onto you, and I shouldn't have. So, it turns out I'm full of shit.” I feel like I’m rambling now, like I don’t even know what the fuck I’m talking about anymore. I have no experience with this.
“It doesn’t have to be this way,” he whispers. My heart aches at the sadness in his voice. Why am I pushing him away now that he’s claiming to… to what, care about me?
“Why not? We are fucked up individuals. I mean, I just beat the shit out of my boss because he’s an asshole and I knew I could take him. Who does that?”
Edward touches me, and it’s like a wave of nostalgia washes over me. Tears drip from my eyelashes like a floodgate has opened, and my armor is rusted and full of holes. He gathers me into his embrace, and I rest my head on his chest the way I’ve longed to do for a month, my arms at his waist. It’s comfort and acceptance and realizing that even I have to rest occasionally. I’m not a warrior that can’t close her eyes without fear of the enemy ambushing her. I’m a woman that needs love and comfort as much as I need to be strong and independent.
“Fuck,” I whimper into his shirt, clutching him closer.
“You beat the shit out of your boss because he sucker punched your best friend in the face. Any man that does that to a woman deserves what you gave him. You aren't a bad person, so you might as well stop being so hard on yourself.”
He tilts my chin up with his index finger, searching my eyes with his. I'm mesmerized by the tenderness I see.
“I don't know…” I trail off.
“It’s okay to not know.” His head tilts as he lowers it to mine, and I can only watch the progression as he moves in to kiss me. Warm and gentle, he takes my upper lip into his mouth, stroking his tongue along the soft underside. I take the comfort he offers me, allowing the heat to simmer instead of burning.
“I've missed everything about you, Bella.” Edward threads his hands into my hair and goes back for my mouth, kissing me slowly and gently.
My hands tighten on his shirt, and my knuckles protest as the skin pulls over the open sores. I cry out in pain against his mouth, and he pulls back instantly. Looking at the mess I've made of myself, Edward lifts my hands and presses his lips to the backs of them, next to the split skin. My knees want to buckle, but I lock them in place.
“Come home with me?”