A/N: Thank yous to NKubie, LizziePaige, and Honeymoon Edward, for pre-reading and Midnight Cougar for betaing. They’re all amazing, and I’m so grateful for their help. A special shoutout this week to fanfictionalcolic for giving my French an extra look. xx
Song inspiration for this chapter: “Knockin’ Boots,” Luke Bryan
“This truck needs a half tank
These wheels need a two lane
This radio needs three songs to play
To get me ‘cross town to you.”
(Playlist for this story can be found on my YouTube channel, if you search for “ghostreader24”)
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight. The NHL owns anything that sounds familiar. I’m here having fun.
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Scout sits impatiently in the passenger seat, and I shift in my own, checking the clock once again. He lets out a whine, but returns to panting and leaving smudges on the window. Shadow climbs onto my lap, also bored with waiting. She insists on my undivided attention. So, I scratch around her ears and under her chin before stroking along her body, but I keep an eye on my mirrors.
We’re parked next to the curb in front of Bella’s darkened townhouse, not so patiently waiting for her arrival. With the illuminated flash of every set of headlights cutting through the darkness, I get my hopes up that it’s her, only to be dashed when the vehicle drives past her home.
My sister texted me about fifteen minutes ago that she was leaving the office, letting me know it won’t be much longer until Bella will be on her way home. I know she works late on Tuesdays, but since it’s Wednesday, I’m expecting her to show up soon.
Earlier this week, I made plans with Bella to come over to my home on Friday, but I knew it would be impossible to stay away after flying home from Winnipeg last night. I wasn’t sure how Bella would feel about me waking her in the middle of the night, but my need to see her when we’re both in Dallas is all I can think about.
I sigh deeply as my thoughts drift to our current four-game losing streak. Two of those are Ben’s losses while the other two are mine. Unfortunately, we played our worst game of the season against Winnipeg last night with me in goal. Coach apologized after the game, praising some of the great saves I made, but according to him, we weren’t ready to play from the moment the puck dropped.
We’ll get a chance for redemption when Winnipeg travels here for tomorrow night’s game, but Coach is starting Ben in goal against them instead of me. It isn’t easy, but I try not to let the decisions about who starts get to me. Although this one is a little more difficult to let go since my career record against Winnipeg is better than Ben’s.
We had a brief skate today at noon, then I went home for my routine nap. After sleeping for about two and a half hours, I’m feeling a little better. But I think seeing Bella will help everything, so I’m surprising her with dinner and the opportunity to meet Scout and Shadow.
Another flash of light gets my attention, and I sit a little taller in my seat, recognizing Bella’s car as it passes us. She pulls into her driveway and waits for the garage door to rise. The excitement surging through me at having her in my arms soon is undeniable.
“She’s home,” I whisper under my breath, glancing at Scout who shares another faint impatient whine. “Me too, bud. You have no idea.”
With Shadow still sitting on my lap, I start up my truck, pulling into the driveway behind her once she’s parked inside the garage. Setting Shadow in the passenger seat with Scout, I shut off my truck and slide from the driver’s seat. There’s no keeping the grin from my face as Bella exits her car, walking toward me with a beautiful smile on her face. She’s wearing a long coat over her dress clothes, but I’m focused on the heels that bring her closer to my height.
“Well, this is a surprise. Do I have my days mixed up?”
“Oh, Doc.” I open my arms and wrap her in a tight hug, burying my nose in her hair and taking a deep breath. “No. We’re still on for Friday, but I couldn’t wait until then to see you.”
My lips find hers repeatedly until she’s the first to pull away. She gives me a hesitant smile and one more quick peck.
“I’m not sure I’ll be good company this evening. I’ve had a shitty day.”
I haven’t had the best week and a half without her, but hopefully, my being here will be what we both need.
“Maybe you’re just hungry. I brought dinner and a couple of new friends who would like to meet you.” I nod toward the passenger side of my truck where Shadow and Scout are watching us intently.
Bella’s eyes shift and her smile widens. “Oh my goodness! You brought them with you!”
“Is it okay?”
“Of course, it’s okay. Let’s all go inside. Do you need my help with anything?”
“I’ll get them, and how about you carry our dinner?”
“I can do that.”
I pass her the bag from behind my seat, then walk around my truck, opening the passenger side door. After clipping the leash to Scout’s collar, I move so he can jump out. I lift Shadow into my arms and shut the door, following Bella inside after she grabs her messenger bag from her car.
“Make yourselves at home,” she says, flipping on the lights and pulling off her heels.
I leave my shoes at the back door and walk toward the kitchen. Bella drops her shoes next to her bag on the floor, then sets the bag holding our dinner on the kitchen countertop. I’m a little disappointed to see those heels go, but she turns around, returning to where I’m standing and unbuttons her overcoat.
“Hopefully, you weren’t waiting for me long.” She drapes her coat over the back of a barstool, revealing her work clothes.
Her professional attire never fails to stir something inside of me, and this outfit is no different. It’s a sleeveless gray dress clinging to her body with a tie between her neck and shoulder. It’s nearly impossible to focus on not pulling it, and where that would lead hopefully, but I somehow do.
“No. Not long at all.”
Scout releases a subtle whine, as if he has a different story to tell. Bella reaches out, rubbing Shadow’s head lovingly.
“Hello, sweetie. This is Shadow, right?”
“Yeah.” I look down at my side where Scout remains until he’s comfortable with a new place and unclip his leash. “And this is Scout.”
She bends lower and scratches behind his ears. “Hello, handsome. Aren’t you adorable?”
Scout licks Bella’s face, causing her to erupt in giggles as she wipes away the leftover traces.
“I wasn’t ready for that.”
“I think he likes you.” I chuckle, setting Shadow on the floor.
She stretches before starting her exploration in the direction of the living room area with Scout trailing closely behind. I can see him jump on the couch while Shadow disappears from my view.
“Awww, I like him too. Do they need to eat or anything?” Bella asks.
“No. I fed them, and we went for a walk before we left. They should be set for a while.” I lean against the island.
“Oh good.” She walks to her freezer and grabs a handful of something, dropping them on the kitchen countertop. “Don’t judge, but it’s either this or a spoonful of Nutella. Want one?”
“No thanks.” I chuckle when I realize it’s mini, individually wrapped peanut butter cups.
“I put them in the freezer to slow me down, but it’s a handful kind of day.” She opens one, pops it into her mouth, and peers over the edge of the bag holding our dinner. “Did you bring any wine?”
I grin knowingly. “Do you really think I would bring you dinner without including wine? I brought you two bottles of Chardonnay. One for now and one for later.”
“Thank goodness. You’re a saint, but if you’re not drinking, I have a bottle open. I know you have a game tomorrow night.”
“I’ll be okay with one glass.”
“All right.” She nods, opens a kitchen cabinet, and removes two wine glasses. “You probably want yours with dinner, but I need a glass now. What are we eating?”
“Maggie’s salmon with lemon garlic pasta. There’s also a roasted vegetable mix and a spinach salad for us to share.”
“Maggie?” Bella asks after rummaging through a drawer for her wine bottle opener.
“Uh, yeah. Maggie’s sort of my private chef. Here, I’ll do it,” I offer.
She slides the opener into my hand with a smirk. “Sort of?”
“Okay, not sort of. She’s my private chef. For me, proper nutrition is impor—”
Bella interrupts, “Edward, I get it. You don’t have to explain or defend what you eat with me. I’ve seen your body in all its perfectly sculpted glory.” She wiggles her eyebrows. “You’ll get zero complaints from me.”
I steal a kiss at her compliment, my tongue lingering as she tastes of chocolate and peanut butter. “Good to know.”
She unwraps another peanut butter cup, popping it into her mouth and watching as I fill our glasses.
“I’m pretty sure even if I were to eat as you do, it wouldn’t make much difference in mine. So, forgive me, but I’m going to keep my stash of frozen peanut butter cups and jar of Nutella.”
“For the record, I have zero complaints about your body too.” I hand her a glass, then hold the other.
“What should we drink to?” she asks with a grin.
“Both of us being home.” Because, right now, I can only think of a few things better and we’re naked for all of those.
“I’ll drink to that.”
We clink our glasses together and take a sip.
“Mmmm. You always have the best wine. This one could be my new favorite.” She takes another sip, then returns to eating her peanut butter cups. “Did Rose keep Scout and Shadow while you were gone? She didn’t mention anything about them at the office. So, I wondered where they were staying. Or did they stay with your parents?”
“Uh, no. I hired . . .” I’m a little embarrassed because it probably sounds a little ridiculous to anyone else, but it was my best option.
“You hired what? A dog walker or something?”
I’m relieved her guess is close. “They’re actually called pet nannies. Tyler recommended the company he uses.”
“What?” She snorts incredulously. “Did you say pet nanny?”
I shrug. “It works out. This way they don’t need to be boarded. They can stay at the house, and someone comes by to check on them regularly when I’m not there. It was the best solution for when I’m traveling so often.”
Leaving my wine glass on the countertop, I take hers and set it next to mine, then move closer.
“Wow. Okay, I didn’t know that was an option.”
“We have all sorts of options, Bella.” I kiss her lips lightly.
Resting my hands on her hips, I lift her onto the counter, causing her dress to ride up slightly. I push it a little farther, parting her legs and standing between them. My hands roam over her thighs until I’m cupping her ass and pulling her closer to the edge. Bella sitting on the counter almost puts our mouths at the same height.
“Why do I suspect we’re no longer talking about pet nannies?”
After pulling on her hair tie and releasing her ponytail, I run my fingers through her long hair, loving when it’s down like this. She drags her hands upward along my arms and locks her fingers behind my neck, pulling me closer.
I grin, running my hands along the curve of her back and tracing the zipper of her dress. “What do you think we’re talking about?”
She smiles. “Shouldn’t we be fixing dinner?”
“I think it can wait.” I press my lips against hers, then trail kisses from her mouth to along her jaw.
“And you can’t,” she says, as if she can read my mind.
“Not for you. No. I can’t.”
Bella wraps her legs around my waist, pressing her body against mine. “Mmmmm. You feel incredible.”
“Tu m’as manqué.”
Her head falls backward in invitation, giving me greater access. I waste no time, leaving kisses and teasing licks everywhere I can reach. I pull on the tie at her neck, disappointed when it does nothing to reveal more of her. Locating the pull of the zipper of her dress at the back of her neck, I give it a tug, loosening the top portion as the zipper lowers.
“There’s a hook at the top of the zipper,” she offers with a soft gasp, and her eyes close at my touch. “Oh, my—”
“I missed you,” I translate belatedly. Finding the hook and opening it, I capture her lips fiercely as Bella’s fingers tangle in my hair.
Our tongues linger while my fingers dance along the newly exposed soft skin of her back and over her bra straps. I slide the material of her dress lower until she releases my hair and pulls her arms from the openings. I leave her dress resting below her bra eager to cup her gray lace-covered breasts. She moans with every squeeze until pulling her lips from mine to catch her breath.
“Oh, Edward.” She pants as her fingers brush through my hair before passing over my chest. “I missed you too, but I need more.”
Her fingers wander lower, finding the hem of my sweatshirt and tugging it higher.
“I need this off,” she insists between breaths. The sound of desperation in her voice rises to match the elevated levels of my own.
I abandon her chest, reach down to pull both my sweatshirt and T-shirt from my body, and drop them on the floor. Her hands roam my bare chest, tracing my tattoos. She pauses briefly, opening the button of my jeans and sliding the zipper lower. I groan when her fingers slip past the waistband of my underwear and her hand wraps around me.
“Bella, j’ai tellement envie de toi.” My eyes close briefly when she gives my cock a few slow strokes in the limited space. “I want you so much.”
“Here?” she asks through half-lidded eyes.
I’m stunned for a moment Bella would suggest having sex in the middle of her kitchen, as I didn’t think she would be the type of person to adventure far from the bedroom. There aren’t many places where I haven’t had sex, but if she’s willing, I’m certainly able and more than happy to comply with her wishes.
“Anywhere.” I gasp when her thumb shifts over the head of my cock, moving easily through the moisture leaking from the tip. “Fuck. This is happening here.”
She smiles, biting her lower lip and enjoying my reaction to her touch. Bella shifts from side to side, as I push the hem of her dress to around her hips and get a glimpse of her matching gray underwear.
“Dear God. Is that a G-string?”
Her grin widens as she pushes my open jeans and underwear lower, freeing my dick from all restraints. She hums, licking her lips, and returns her gaze to mine.
“No panty lines that way.”
“Oh, Doc.” I can’t keep the smile from my face, because it’s moments like this when I realize I’ve barely uncovered her carefully concealed mischievous side.
“Come on. Don’t make me wait,” she encourages.
At her request, I waste no time, hooking my finger in the damp material and pulling it to the side. “You don’t have to ask me twice.”
She guides me closer and pushes the head of my cock through her arousal. When I’m perched at her opening, I don’t hesitate, pressing my hips forward until our bodies are flush. We groan in unison at the feeling, and she wraps her arms and legs tightly around me.
I pause for a moment, relishing the feel of having her like this until I can’t wait any longer and start moving. Her soft moans with every swivel of my hips are addictive. As I set a steady pace, I know there’s no way I’m going to be able to hold off my release much longer. She feels entirely too good.
“Que veux-tu que je fasse?” I ask, moving one arm around her waist and securing her in place. I tug on the strap of her bra, lowering the lacy covering and exposing her breast. “What do you need from me?”
“Whatever you want, just don’t stop,” she pleads with every jostle from my hips. “Harder.”
“Je veux te faire jouir. J’y ai pensé toute la journée.” I whisper next to her ear, as my fingers toy with her hardened nipple, squeezing her breast in time with my movements. “I want to make you come. I’ve been thinking about this all day.”
I nuzzle my head lower into the crook of her neck, kissing a path and sucking on the skin lightly.
“Dear God, that feels so good. I’m going . . . oh, God. I’m going to come.” Her body tenses as she calls out my name. “Oh, Edward!”
She pulses around me, and I pick up my pace, driving myself into her over and over until I’m barreling through my own release with a final thrust of my hips.
“Bella.” I whimper her name through gritted teeth and relish my own relief. My breath fans along her neck, causing her giggles. “That’s right. You’re ticklish. Sorry.”
I leave a kiss on her bare shoulder before capturing her lips softly.
“Good news.” She sighs contentedly. “My Wednesday is no longer shitty. Happy hump day.”
“Mine is improving as well.” I wiggle my eyebrows, slipping from her body and tucking myself inside my underwear and jeans.
“I should go change. I’m going to need a new pair of underwear and my dress definitely needs a trip to the dry cleaners after that.”
“I really like that one, but maybe I can help.”
Reaching for a nearby towel, I wipe away the evidence of our shared pleasure from between her legs.
After tossing the towel to the side, I slide my hands behind her. Without delay, I unhook the back of her bra, pull it from her chest, and toss it carelessly behind me. “You’re not going to need that for the rest of the night.”
“Oh, really.” She raises a challenging eyebrow.
“I’m not sure about your brand of help.”
My fingertips linger, exploring along her collarbone and moving lower to tease her tantalizing nipples. Bella leans backward onto her elbows, while I scoot our wine glasses out of the way. The sight of her braless is irresistible, and there’s no keeping my mouth from those hardened peaks, begging for more of my attention.
“You’re distracting,” I say, leaning over her and sucking one into my mouth, switching to the other side.
“So, it’s my fault.” She chuckles, but it fades quickly and is replaced by a moan.
“Absolutely.” I grin, letting her breast fall from between my lips.
“Your mouth feels incredible, Edward.” She closes her eyes.
“En veux-tu encore?” I ask, kissing a path to her belly button. My tongue reaches out, causing her muscles to contract. I run my hand along her inner thigh, teasing her with a single finger through the increasing arousal between her legs. “Do you want another one?”