18. Limbo

-x-o-x-Accidentally in Love-x-o-x-


It was hard to believe our trip was coming to an end. On the one hand, it felt like we’d hardly spent any time with my family at all, but it also seemed like an eternity since I slipped that ring on Bella’s finger in the parking structure at Sea-Tac.

It had been a rush to finalize some wedding details at OceanBleu. My pulse raced as we chose a date and booked the ballroom for our reception. According to both Alice and the on-site coordinator, we had plenty of time to determine if we wanted to hold the ceremony in that area as well. They had their own caterer, so we locked them in too, knowing we could make menu decisions farther down the road.

It was ridiculous to think that one decision like that, finding our location, took care of so many other things as well. All of a sudden it was real. We were planning a wedding. My wedding. To Bella. I grinned just thinking about it, and Emmett punched me in the gut.

“Knock it off, chucklehead. Concentrate.” He pointed his beer towards Carlisle and Riley down the beach.

“Concentrate? We’re playing Baggo, you jackass, and it’s not even my turn.”

“It’s cornhole, ya snob, and Riley and I are gonna wipe the floor with your ass.”

There were so many snide comments I could have made, but I bit my tongue. I rarely got to spend time with my brother, and if I allowed him to rile me up we would spend the rest of the afternoon fighting.

“You suck, dad! Get another beer!” Emmett yelled and laughed when my father’s fourth bean bag went way wide of the platform to end the inning.

“That ties us at nineteen,” Riley called out the score. “Come on, Emmett. We need two more, then Edward can go on a beer run after they lose!”

“Whatever. You fools can get me some beer after you lose!”

Dad shook his head laughing at us, but he was grinning from ear to ear. He probably missed having us all together as much as I had.

Emmett and I took turns, both throwing a couple of woodys on the platform and fouls off to the side that all cancelled each other out. Em threw again, and the bag fell right through the hole. I needed to match him with my last toss or the game was over.

Making a beer run wasn’t a big deal, but it was a hassle, and losing would allow Emmett and Riley bragging rights until I could get back to visit and challenge them again.

I took a deep breath, squinting one eye as I reached out to line up my arm.

“So, bro, I don’t want you to freak out…” Em started.

I should have known not to continue with my throw, but my arm had already begun to swing forward.

“But Rose and Al are already making plans to come out to Seattle to go dress shopping.”

The bag flew out of my hand, shanking way left. “Fuck. You’re an asshole for that.”

I took a deep breath and sighed, turning to him in disbelief. “Are you for real? Does Rose even want to come?”

I’d laid it out for Rose; Bella was my one. She was it for me, and Rose needed to accept it. She had to know I wouldn’t tolerate any more of her shenanigans as far as Bella was concerned.

“I’m pretty sure it was her idea,” he shrugged and complimented dad and Ry as they made our way towards us. “Good game you two!

“She said sometimes it can take months for those dresses to come in, so they needed to start looking. Especially since whatever they find out there, Alice will probably come home and order from someone she knows here. You know how she is.”

“What’s up?” Riley asked, sipping some water.

“Rosie and Alice are going to take over Seattle to find Bells a dress.”

“Bells?” I raised an eyebrow.

“What? You call her Swan.” He rolled his eyes. “Anyway, Ednerd is afraid Rose is going to misbehave.”

“Well, I certainly wouldn’t feed her after midnight,” Riley deadpanned.

“Did you make a Gremlin’s joke?” Em laughed and shook his head at me, “And I thought you were a dork.”

“That’s a classic movie,” Riley and I said at the same time. I laughed and couldn’t rein in my smile. I had really missed him. Us.

“Is someone going to the store?” Carlisle asked, as if he hadn’t known all along we planned on him driving one of us to the store after the game.

“You and the doctor.” Emmett raised his chin at me. “Losers buy beer, dad. This is a universal rule.”

“I thought the universal rule was that you boys never have your wallets when I drive you on beer runs.”

“What?” I laughed.

“One time. I forgot my wallet one time,” Ry defended himself.

“Apparently that’s mostly an Emmett rule then,” dad laughed, throwing his arm around my shoulder. “I think your mother had a list of things she needed. I’ll meet you at the car.”

I stopped to talk to Bella on the beach for a few minutes, making sure there was nothing she needed from the store. When I made it out to the driveway, I was surprised to see Riley waiting for me instead of my dad.


“Ho,” he gave me a crooked smile, much like my own.

It was an old joke, kind of like the ‘bird is the word’ joke I had with Garrett. Exactly like it actually. I’d never thought about that.

He twirled the car keys on his finger. “I haven’t been drinking, and I figure we’ve barely gotten to talk in the last few years. So I grabbed your mom’s list and offered to drive. Carlisle gave me some cash.”

I nodded and made my way to the passenger side. “Sounds good.”

We were barely out of the driveway when he glanced over at me and raised an eyebrow.


“Ask away,” he laughed. “We just shot the shit on the fourth, I know you have more questions.”

He was right about that, but I wasn’t sure where to start. I sighed and jumped in with the most urgent question.

“What the fuck happened to Maggie?”

He threw his head back, laughing. “She and Charlotte had surgery together, some mother-daughter bonding bullshit. The Denali’s came with the tan; I think it was a package deal.”

“Nice.” I rolled my eyes. “I wouldn’t pay for those bitches either.”

I missed joking with him. I was glad I’d started with something light, so we could move onto heavier topics.

We drove in silence for a few minutes, but eventually I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to ask.

“What are you going to do, Ry? You can’t live in this… limbo… forever.”

“Limbo. I like limbo, in Jamaica,” he tried to joke, but I couldn’t let it go.

“I’m serious.”

“I know.” He ran his hand through his hair, and I fought a smile; it was something we’d both picked up from my father. “I’m volunteering a lot at the shelter. Did you know that?”

I shook my head. I’d had no idea. I’d imagined him sitting around in his gigantic condo, wallowing in his own pity, and it made me want to kick his ass. And Charlotte’s. I was glad to hear he was getting out… Doing something worthwhile.

“I’ve been taking some graduate classes. Shocking, I know.” He chuckled at my raised brows. “I think I’m going to do some non-profit stuff. Maybe get involved with the foundation Charlotte’s brother Liam runs.”

“The music one?” Riley and I had been forced into lessons as kids. Piano for me. Cello for him. They’d been a pain in the ass when we got older, but we both had a strong appreciation for music because of them.

“Yeah, they help provide instruments to kids who can’t afford them and donate symphony tickets to schools.”

“You’d want to stay close with him, I mean Charlotte’s family?” I was assuming he would get divorced at some point, but I supposed that was a pretty big assumption.

“Liam? He’s a good guy. I think he’d rather be related to me then Char.” He shook his head and gave me a sad smile. “I have a plan. I mean, I’m sure no one realizes it, but I do.”

“You’re right. I had no idea. What’s the plan?”

He laughed again and gave me a quick glance before putting his eyes back on the road. “I just… I’m going to ride this out a bit, finish my Master’s and let her pay for it. Then I’ll find my own place and file.”

“You’re going to live like this for that much longer?”

“Eh,” he shrugged. “My boy-toy life isn’t so bad. Society parties, charity functions and a kick-ass condo.”

“You’re not going to date?”

He shrugged. “I haven’t met anyone worth risking my heart on again.”

I hated Charlotte. And her plastic daughter.

“This isn’t what you wanted,” I said quietly, looking out the side window. He was going to be a doctor. We were going to raise our kids together.

“No, not at all,” he huffed. “But I’ve made my peace with it, or at least I’ve come to accept it. I’m making the best of things, and I’ll move on from there.”

It turned my stomach to think of what might have been.

“Don’t, Edward. I can see you clenching your jaw and feeling sorry for me. I made my bed.” He pulled into a parking spot and put the car in park before turning to me with a wicked grin. “Now, let’s talk about your bed… In Seattle.”

“What?” I laughed, trying not to look nervous.

We’d talked about Bella a fair amount at his cookout, and if he wanted to know more we were getting into dangerous territory where I was hard pressed to know the details.

“Bella’s family is from Washington, right? I always thought you’d come back.”

“Oh!” I understood what he meant. “Originally, I was. Seattle was just supposed to be a stopping point, but I fell in love with it, not so much the rain, but the city for sure.”

“And Bell-la?” He teased, drawing out her name.

“Yeah.” I smiled. It was getting easier to think about being in love with her. I was past denying it. I didn’t actually know what the stages of love were, but I had butterflies just at the thought of our future together.

“So, you’re staying there?”

“I’ve only got a year left of my residency, and then we’ll see. I think if I get a job offer in Seattle we’ll stay. Bella just has her dad and her best friend, and she’s never lived more than a couple of hours away from them. I think this weekend helped her see that she could have family here, too.”

He was quiet for a minute, then he sighed. “Maybe I’ll come visit.”

“Yeah?” I asked as we stepped out of the car.

“Yeah,” he nodded. “I think I will.”

-x-o-x-Accidentally in Love-x-o-x-

It was late afternoon when we got home and everyone, except for Bella, was in either the kitchen or on the deck. Alice told me she’d gone upstairs to read. I started to help put away the groceries, but Riley waved me off and stepped in to help. I thanked him and made my way upstairs to find Bella.

Slowly, I opened the bedroom door, hoping it wouldn’t creak too loud. She was stretched out, asleep, on the bed in what looked like my boxers and a tank top. She didn’t stir as I closed the door and made my way across the room.

I stood beside the bed for a second just watching her. I thought about waking her up, but in the end, I moved her book to the nightstand and climbed in bed. Pulling a light blanket over us, I put my arm around her and tucked her against my side. I wasn’t tired, but I closed my eyes anyway, simply listening to the sound of her quiet breathing. It was so soothing, after only a few minutes I felt myself drifting off.

When I woke a little while later, she had rolled over so she was spooning against me. Her ass pressed against my groin, and I had to stifle a groan at how good it felt. She was soft and warm, and I wanted nothing more than to wake her up and let me do dirty things to her.

Just then, she sighed and moved back, wiggling and pressing against me. I didn’t know if she was sleeping or not, but she was driving me crazy. Since we had sex I wanted to do it again, pretty much all the time, and this was torture.

She sighed again, stretching a little. If she was awake, there was no way she could miss how turned on I was. As I pressed my face into her neck, breathing deep and trying to calm myself down, I felt her hand move on top of my own, linking our fingers together. She made a humming sound in her throat and squeezed my hand.


“Who else would it be?” I chuckled, kissing her shoulder and gently rocking my hips against her.

“I thought I might be dreaming,” she laughed, rolling over to face me.

“Nope,” I brushed some of her hair away from her face. “I’m really here.”

She closed her eyes and licked her lips. When she looked at me again, her eyes were dark. Her hand was on my hip and it slid down between us, rubbing my length through my shorts.

“Is that for me?” Her voice was breathy and sexy as hell.

“Always,” I whispered, although I wasn’t sure what I meant by it. I was always hard for her, or it was always for her. She could take it however she wanted as long as she let me take her.

She moaned and practically lunged forward to kiss me. The feel of her lips on mine, hard and frantic, seemed to flip a switch in both of us. In an instant, our hands and mouths were everywhere, desperately kissing and pulling at clothing. Shirts flew in either direction and Bella sat on her knees in front of me on the bed as she shimmied out of her bra.

She said something, but I had no idea what it was. Her naked breasts had my full attention, swaying as she stood to remove her shorts, which were, in fact, my boxers. I wanted her to keep them so I could find her wearing them over and over. It was hot.


“What?” I swallowed hard, but it was like my brain wouldn’t work.

She was back on the bed, pulling at the pants that I had only halfway off. “Please tell me you locked the door.”

“Oh, yeah. It’s locked.”

I’m not sure how I found my voice or strung two words together as she continued crawling up the bed. She didn’t stop until she was above me, her knees at my hips and her hands at my shoulders. Then she leaned over, dragging her breasts lightly across my chest as she flipped on the radio on the clock.

I raised an eyebrow and she shrugged before grinning and fusing her mouth to mine again. I groaned and pulled down against me before rolling us over. I reached between us, slipping two fingers into her. She was tight and wet, lifting her hips to meet my hand as her hands pressed hard against my ass.

She was beautiful as she moved beneath me. I wanted to watch her come, and I needed to bury myself in her. She bit my chin as her lips moved over my jaw, and I was done for. I grabbed a condom and rolled it on before lining myself up and sliding my cock through her wetness a couple times. She sat up, leaning on her elbows to be able to see what I was doing..

“Fuck.” Her watching us was almost as hot as what we were actually doing.

She shifted hips, and with my next thrust I was pushing inside her. Our past times together had been passionate but restrained. The sex you had when you were still getting to know your partner, but not this time. This was balls-out fucking. I thanked God she’d turned on the radio but wasn’t sure it was enough to cover the sounds we both made as I drove into her. Skin slapping, keening cries, muttered curses and gasps. I caught her knees with my arms, pressing them back to hit her even deeper.

“Oh my God! Holy shit.”

“You like that?” I knew she did. I didn’t need to wait for her answer before thrusting hard into her, again and again.

“Yeah… Ungh. Ah.”

I could tell she was close when she deteriorated from actual words to grunts and moans. Her body started to tighten around me and hands fisted in my hair. I couldn’t hold off much longer myself, so I started to circle my hips, rubbing her clit with every stroke. It wasn’t long before she tensed, throwing her head back against the pillow. I kissed her, swallowing what I could of her cries, as she pulsed around me. With just a couple more thrusts, I fell over the edge too, groaning into her ear as I molded my body to hers.

I moved to roll off her, and she stopped me, wrapping her arms and legs around me.

“Don’t. Not yet.”

So I stayed where I was, breathing into her neck, my heart pounding in my chest. She rubbed my back as she caught her breath.

“Let’s stay here and skip dinner,” I whispered, running my nose along her neck before nibbling her ear

“Mm. That’s a great idea,” she sighed as she put her hands on my cheeks, bringing my mouth to hers for a kiss. It was slow and lazy, the perfect contrast to our earlier fervor.

“Except I’m starving, and I have to pee,” she giggled.

-x-o-x-Accidentally in Love-x-o-x-

Our last day at the beach disappeared as we watched the sun sink down into the water. Bella and I sat on the deck after dinner with the rest of my family, including Riley, enjoying another pitcher of my mother’s cocktails. The air was still warm, but Emmett had started a fire anyway.

Everyone was spread out around the copper fire pit, talking and laughing. Riley and Emmett were arguing about baseball while my dad and Jasper discussed some article they’d read in the Wall Street Journal.

Bella sat between my legs on a lounger, talking with Alice and Esme about wedding favors. I tried to listen to what they were saying, knowing Bella would ask for my opinion later, but I couldn’t concentrate. She played idly with the hem of my shorts, occasionally tucking a finger under the fabric to brush my skin.

I began to feel overwhelmed and rubbed my hands along her arms. It wasn’t about the wedding; thinking about that was oddly comforting. Planning made me feel like this was all leading somewhere. No, what I worried about was the immediate future.

What would happen when we stepped off the plane in Seattle? How would things change between us? We’d been in a fairly isolated bubble for the weekend and, although we’d passed what was most likely our largest test, we were going to surprise friends and co-workers with the announcement that we were engaged. And Bella’s father. Christ. How was he going to react? She wanted to tell him in person, which I could totally understand, but I had to convince her to hold off long enough that I could go with her. That was the least I could do. I obviously hadn’t asked for his permission, but I felt strongly that I needed his approval.

“Babe, your heart is pounding,” Bella whispered, her hand reaching up behind my neck to snake her fingers into my hair.

I leaned into her hand and took a deep breath, but I struggled to find words for what I was feeling. She turned enough that I could see her face, and I felt a million times better.

“What is it?”

I squeezed my arms around her and kissed the side of her head. “I just… got caught up in my head.”

Her brows furrowed, and I couldn’t help but reach up and try to smooth it out.

“I was thinking about what happens next, when we get home.”

“What were you thinking?” She put her hand over my heart, which wasn’t helping me calm down at all. .

I wasn’t sure what to tell her. Yes, I was scared, but more than anything I was frightened of how hopeful I felt. I sighed and let my head fall back against the chair.

“I don’t want things to change.”

“Edward,” she scooted forward, then turned around, so she was facing me, her legs draped over each of mine. Her hands came up to my shoulders, and she leaned close to me. “It won’t change. We’ll see each other as often as we can. I’ve got another two months before school starts so I’ll be available whenever you have time off—whatever time that is.”

Fuck. I hadn’t even thought about my crazy schedule.

“You two are so cute,” my mother giggled. “Look at them, Carlisle. They’re so happy! Do you remember that time when you were still in med school…” Emmett groaned and, thankfully, her voice trailed off.

Bella’s eyes darted to my parents but came right back to me.

“We’re going to be fine.” Her voice was quiet but firm, full of conviction. It was exactly what I needed. She smirked, raising an eyebrow, and I wondered what she was thinking.

“We made it through this weekend, didn’t we? What can be harder than this?”

She had a point. We could worry about things until we were blue in the face, but we’d made it through the biggest hurdle of them all. The rest we could handle together with this victory under our belts.

-x-o-x-Accidentally in Love-x-o-x-


*Sigh* The trip is over… It’s time to head back to Seattle, real life and Charlie. Wonder how all of that is going to work out?

As usual, thanks so much for reading. I’m so glad you’re all here, still enjoying the story.

RECs –

Here’s what I’ve been reading… And, because FF is nutty and sometimes folks can’t find the stories I’ve mentioned here, I created a FFCommunity with all of the fics I’ve rec’d you in AiL. It’s called “What I’ve Been Reading Recs” – I know, not very original. Feel free to follow the community, and it’ll alert you if I add something to it.

Cursive by pheobe44 (WIP 18 ch – E’s nickname for B is swoony… and Fourteen? We’re having a love affair. JS. This story has all the feels. *sigh*) Summary: Bella has been running from her past for a year, living a nomadic lifestyle. Edward has fought his demons, but still needs to learn how to move on. They meet, they fall, and they try to help each other heal. The toughest obstacles they battle? Themselves. M, AH, subject matter may be sensitive to some readers.

Departures by TheFicChick(Amazing o/s. You should read her other o/s too. And then convince this author to write us full length fics. LOL) Summary: “Every day for the rest of my life, I will wonder how kissing a virtual stranger goodbye could have felt like a hello.”


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