DISCLAIMER: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight. I’m here having fun.
Chapter 12: The Retreat – Camp Edward
With my disaster of a Thanksgiving behind me, I’m looking forward to Christmas.
Sue and Alice have orchestrated the most amazing array of decorations at the White House. The theme is a handmade Christmas with plenty of ornaments decorating the trees, which have been expertly painted, carved, or stitched by artists from every state in the Nation. Everything has a natural woodland feel. Tribute is paid to forest animals like bears and deer, while pinecones, mushrooms, and evergreens take places of honor. There isn’t any glitz or glamour this year. But that isn’t the reason for my shock and awe at the moment.
“Sue, this is incredible.” I look around the warehouse at the volunteers bustling between tables like Santa’s elves, who are focusing on keeping Americans warm and fed this holiday season.
“All of the credit goes to Alice. When I explained how Native Americans focus on the giving part of Christmas, not the decorations, everything snowballed from there.”
“I’ve never seen so many winter coats or blankets.”
“We have lots of hats and gloves too. Food donations are at an all-time high with soup kitchens not just here, but those around the Nation who are busy fighting the battle against hunger and the weather this season. Are you still planning to help us serve Christmas dinner at the shelter?”
“Absolutely, I wouldn’t miss it. I love everything about this, Sue.”
“In Native American tradition, we believe Christmas is every day. We are grounded in the idea of Roving Angels, who hold out their hands, helping the sick and the needy. They feed and clothe the poor. We share our abundance, and are thankful every day, not just on Christmas.”
“Oh, Sue. You’re such an angel and a blessing to so many.”
“We have a responsibility in our hearts to love everyone, Bella, and take care of those in need. Every day we practice the spirit of giving and walk what is known as the Red Road, which means making everything we do a spiritual act.”
“I think I may cry with all of this care and generosity. What’s going on over here?”
“We are creating care packages or blessing bags to hand out to those who are homeless or in need. They contain things like gloves, socks, Band-Aids, deodorant, lip balm, tissues, toothbrush, toothpaste, and wet wipes. The two most sought-after items are socks and pads for women. Can you imagine, Bella? Being a woman without money or access to feminine hygiene products every month.” Sue shakes her head. “We are also including edibles like beef jerky, breakfast bars, peanut butter crackers, dried fruit, snack cups, and bottles of water. We know some items will be traded for more important things needed, but at least it’s a small bag of hope.”
“Everything has been donated?”
“Yes, everything. We have been so blessed by the outpouring of support in the community. We have a lot of religious groups, who stepped up to help us with distribution at their local churches and synagogues, but we have some nonreligious groups too.”
“What if I do an article for the Post?”
“Bella, we aren’t interested in receiving any recognition for our efforts. This is about giving not receiving.”
“I understand that, but it could help spread the word about the need and reinforce your cause with supplies or money.”
Sue’s reluctant. “Okay, but—”
“I know what you’re going to say, and let me stop you right there. Photos are important. Americans need to see their First Lady in action and the causes that matter most to you. You’re here helping, not just dictating orders from an office in the White House. I tell you what, pick five women who are playing the biggest roles here, and I will feature them in the article. Plus, I want photos of you with them here working.”
She lights up at my offer. “Okay, I can do that.”
“Now, tell me about the Christmas Wishes Project.”
“Everyone who comes to the shelters during the entire month of December is given the opportunity to make a Christmas wish. The wish can be anything, and we have a team of volunteers ready to grant their wish. In order to receive their wish, they do have to return if we can’t fill it on the spot, usually a week later, and we will have whatever they requested.”
“What are some of the wishes?”
“Most are extremely practical items which we may have on hand that we can give them immediately, like: shoes, underwear, infant formula, diapers, a sleeping bag, or tarp. Other wishes are more difficult but still doable, like a post office box to receive mail or a night in a hotel room to sleep soundly, without worrying that someone will steal their stuff. Then there are those who wish for things like jobs or the opportunity to see a doctor.”
“And you’ve been able to deliver on those wishes?”
Sue nods and smiles widely. “Even the more difficult ones. We are reaching out to those struggling and offering a hand of support in whatever way it’s needed.”
“This is incredible. You’re creating Christmas miracles.”
“One at a time, but my hope is that we are able to continue this year-round too.”
High off my successful article about Sue’s projects and helping with Christmas dinner at the shelter, I’m bouncing with energy despite my exhaustion at standing on my feet for hours.
I’m antsy when I knock on his door, but when it opens, Edward takes my breath away. He looks like an outdoors catalogue model in his hiking boots, jeans, and plaid shirt. But it’s the scruff that nearly sends me over the edge.
“Hey.” I reach up and rub my hand along his jaw, standing on my tiptoes to give him a quick peck on the lips. “I like this.”
“Hello, beautiful. The start of a beard at your request.”
I’m dressed similarly, but he wins hands down, in my opinion. “I’m not sure I can outdo you on this one—you look like some type of rugged fantasy I never knew I had. All you need is an axe and a snow-covered cabin.”
“You want me to chop some wood for you?”
I grin. “I can definitely go for some chopping.”
“You’re in a good mood.”
“I’m excited to see you and spend an entire week together. Are you packed and ready?”
“I’ve already loaded up the Range Rover. I was just waiting for you and your bags. Let me lock up and we’ll get on the road.”
We take the elevator straight to the underground garage of Edward’s apartment building and store my items next to his in the back.
Once we’re on the road, I try to get a little more information from Edward, who has been very tight-lipped about our destination.
“So, we’re heading to—”
“The middle of nowhere.”
“Wi-Fi is unavailable and your electronic devices are unwelcome.”
“Lucky for you I didn’t bring my laptop. Is there at least electricity and running water?”
“Yes. We will be experiencing seclusion at its finest.”
“What if we’re snowed-in and we can’t return after a week. Will my cell phone at least work?”
“Hmmm, how long will we drive?”
“Less than a couple of hours.”
“Are we crossing any state lines?”
“We’re traveling northwest. Are we going near Catoctin Mountain Park?”
“My very own Camp David?” I grin.
“More like Camp Edward.”
“And what will we do at Camp Edward?”
“There’s a queen-sized bed and a fireplace.”
“You’re going to build me a fire?”
Edward grins. “There’s a full kitchen and a single bathroom with a clawfoot tub.”
“Oh, Mr. Masen. You aren’t playing fair at all. Anyone around?”
“Not for miles. You can be loud.” He winks.
“Did you bring any board games?”
“Board games are the last thing on my mind, Miss Swan.” He lifts my hand he’s holding, pressing a soft kiss against the back before returning it between us.
When we pull up to our destination, I’m excited to see the most quaint, snow-covered mountain cottage nestled among the trees, a mix of deciduous and evergreens. I notice a large stack of firewood, standing at the ready, next to the side of the cabin, and I’m anxious to get out and see the inside.
“Absolutely. Let’s grab our bags.”
Edward unlocks the door and moves to the side to allow me to enter first. It’s dark with the fading light outside as the sunset gives way to evening, but the wood scent overwhelms my senses.
“Let’s see if this works.” Edward tries the light switch by the front door, which turns on a dim light outside. “Maybe there’s another somewhere.”
Setting down our bags, we move farther inside, the wooden floor creaks with every step, and I locate a lamp near the front window. Turning the switch immediately bathes the room in a warm light, revealing its furnishings. A comfy-looking couch sits on a shaggy rug opposite the fireplace. I note a small table with four wooden chairs sits off to the side, as my eyes travel toward the shadows of the dark kitchen. I locate another light switch for the overhead light above the small kitchen island that illuminates the room, and I take in the gently used appliances and rustic décor.
“What do you think?”
“Let’s check out the bedroom and bath.” Edward reaches out, grabbing my hand and leading me to the only other rooms.
The queen-sized bed looks inviting with layers of white linens, and a small closet and dresser complete the room. The bathroom contains all the necessities—sink with rustic wooden countertop, toilet, and a single stall shower.
My heart soars at the antique clawfoot tub Edward mentioned earlier, which takes up a good portion of the room. Jars of dried lavender and other herbs sit to the side, while candles waiting to be lit cover every ledge and surface. It’s a romantic setting I can easily picture the two of us enjoying every night we’re here.
“This is perfect.” I let my finger trace along the edge of the tub and look up to meet Edward’s knowing grin.
“Are you hungry? I requested the kitchen be filled with a few things to hopefully make meals easier. I have no plans to leave.”
“I could eat. Let me take a look at our options.”
“I’ll go build you a fire.”
“Finally,” I tease. “You don’t want me to freeze up here in the mountains, do you?”
“We can always snuggle naked under the covers. You know, body heat and everything.”
“Have you been watching Bear Grylls again?”
“It’s called research, Bella. You should know that.”
“Maybe later.” I wink.
I head to the kitchen and check out the contents of the cabinets, refrigerator, and freezer. There are ingredients for soup or chili and plenty of breakfast foods like eggs, potatoes, bacon, and sausage. I find everything I need if I want to make chocolate chip cookies or brownies, which I’m sure Edward will love. The freezer has a few frozen pizzas, as well as steaks and chicken. I decide on an easy dinner of spaghetti with garlic bread and fill a large pot with water, placing it over high heat for cooking the pasta. In the process of locating everything, I need for dinner, I stumble upon the alcohol stash.
“Eureka! Do you want something to drink? A glass of wine? There are plenty of other options, including beer, whiskey, and tequila.”
“Wine sounds good,” Edward answers, while busy crumpling and jamming newspaper in the bottom under the grate that holds the logs.
I open a bottle of red and pour us each a glass. “How’s it going over there?”
“We should have a roaring fire soon,” he reassures, but he doesn’t sound as confident as he should.
“I can’t wait. I love the smell of wood burning in a fireplace.” I hand him his wine and we clink glasses. “To Camp Edward.”
“You’re funny. What’s for dinner?”
“Spaghetti and garlic bread. Something simple.”
“Oh, look.” I move to a half-wall I missed earlier and look over the large collection of vinyl records. “Do you want to listen to something?”
“Sure. I’m up for anything.” Edward only gives me a brief glance.
“There’s a little bit of everything here. How about some Frank? Songs for Swingin’ Lovers looks fantastic.” I wiggle my eyebrows.
Edward shrugs, which gives me the green light. I turn on the record player and load up my first selection, carefully setting the needle at the edge of the spinning disk.
Frank’s voice fills the space as he serenades us with the classics. I turn up the volume and return to the kitchen, keeping an eye on our dinner. Sipping my wine and swaying my hips to the up-tempo tunes, I focus on doctoring a jar of spaghetti sauce with all of the tricks in my cooking arsenal. I sauté a mix of onions, peppers, carrots, and garlic, then add some extra thyme, oregano, basil, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. I pour in a little wine from our bottle to deglaze the pan then add in the jar of sauce. As I’m adding a spoonful of sugar, I jump at the feel of Edward’s hands on my hips.
“What are you doing? You nearly scared me to death.” I stir the sauce and lower the heat, letting it simmer.
He moves my hair away from my neck and leaves a trail of kisses up to my ear. “Giving in to temptation.”
“I’m only making dinner.” I hold onto the handle of the oven as his lips make me shiver.
“But you’re so good at it.” His hands wrap around my waist while he starts to nibble on my ear.
“How’s the fire coming along?” I wonder.
“I’m looking for a lighter or some matches.”
“They aren’t on the mantle?”
“I don’t know.” He spins me around to face him, takes me in his arms, and leads us in a slow waltz around the kitchen, holding me close.
I stumble a couple of times and apologize. “I’m not the best dancer.”
Edward grins. “You’ll do. It’s all in the leading anyway.”
We glide around the cabin to the music, until he decides to spin and dip me, leaving us both chuckling at having so much fun together. He hums in time with Frank to Love Is Here to Stay, as we move back toward the kitchen where he returns me to in front of the stove, as Franks continues with the next song.
“Thank you for the dance, Miss Swan.”
He leaves me swooning, sufficiently stoking the embers between us, as he searches for something to light the actual fireplace.
Snapping out of my Edward-induced haze, I add the spaghetti to the boiling water then focus on the sauce, adding a bit of cream cheese and finishing it with a few tablespoons of butter. With the sauce ready, I lower the heat and prepare the garlic bread, then toast it under the broiler.
I glance over to see Edward has the fire started, but smoke is starting to fill the room.
“Did you open the damper? If no one has been here for a while, I bet the owners close it when no one is here.”
“I’ll check.” He grabs one of the fireplace tools and pushes on the damper handle, causing it to change position. The amount of smoke dissipates almost immediately. “I think you’re right. I’m going to open the windows to help get rid of the smoke before an alarm goes off.”
“Fan the front door once you do. It should help.”
I finish fixing our dinner and refill our wine glasses while Edward clears the air. We take our seats at the table and dig into our food.
“So, what should we do while we’re here?”
“Easy. Relax and unwind.”
“Did you have anything specific in mind?”
Edward shrugs. “Depending on the weather, we can hike or catch the sunrises and sunsets. Maybe check out the stars one night. Make a snowman, if we get more snow.”
“Those ideas sound cold.”
“We can stay indoors if you would like. There’s a bookshelf full of jigsaw puzzles, board games, and books. The vinyl collection looks promising too.”
“Are you saying you’re up for some dirty word Scrabble, Mr. Masen?”
“I can be. Let’s hope you bring your ‘A’ game, because I’m not one to lose.”
“That sounds like quite a challenge.”
“I’m confident I can rise to any challenge you throw at me, Miss Swan.”
“Always so cocky.”
He pulls me from my chair and encourages me to straddle his lap. “You like it.”
I brace my hands on his shoulders and tilt my hips, moving them back and forth. “Maybe a little.”
Edward holds my hips and moves me across his lap a little more roughly. “Or maybe a lot. I also plan to have my cock buried deep inside you every chance I get.”
“Mmmm.” I gasp at the feeling of him hard between my legs.
His fingers reach up rapidly unbuttoning my shirt. “In the morning.”
Edward’s tongue traces the subtle curves of my bra-covered chest. “During the day.”
Lowering the cups with his fingers, his mouth latches on and sucks on my nipples, puckering them instantly. “In the evening.”
A moan escapes my mouth at his attention to my chest.
He pulls my shirt from my body, letting it fall to the floor, then unhooks my bra, tossing it to the ground as well. “During the middle of the night.”
His thumbs toy with my nipples. “On your back here on this table.”
Edward stands, and I wrap my legs around his waist, locking my hands around his neck. “Bent over the back of the couch.”
He carries me toward the fireplace and leans down, setting me on the rug. “On all fours in front of the fireplace.”
Unbuttoning my jeans, he tugs them and my underwear from my body, leaving me completely nude. “On every surface, Bella.”
“I’m going to need a nap or two.” I pant while my hand moves between my legs.
I watch as he unbuttons his jeans and frees his cock from his underwear, shoving them down, not taking the time to remove them completely, but giving his cock a couple of strokes while watching my own hand.
“Turn over. On your hands and knees,” Edward instructs, kneeling on the rug.
I roll over onto my stomach, but he doesn’t wait long and pulls my hips upright until my ass is in the air, moaning when his fingers find me wet and ready.
I push myself into the requested position as he lines up his cock, thrusting inside me in one smooth motion.
“Oh, God, Bella.” He grits out, starting a slow pace of pushing and pulling my body to his.
“Faster, Edward.” I gasp, as he hits the right spot. “I need you to fuck me.”
He speeds up at my prompting, and soon I no longer have the strength to stay upright with his powerful thrusts.
When my knees give out, Edward’s cock follows me to the floor, continuing his relentless pace.
With his body pressed on top of mine, his hand moves underneath us, finding its way between my legs, rubbing me until I’m on the brink of my orgasm.
“Come on, Bella. I’m not going to last much longer.”
“Edward, I’m right there. Keep going. Don’t stop!” The muscles in my body tighten and a warm wave of pleasure courses everywhere, causing my toes to curl, plunging me over the edge and into complete bliss.
“That’s it.” Edward speeds up, thrusting until I feel him pulse inside of me. “Oh, Bella!” He growls out, slamming his hips flush against me, lowering his body until he’s covering me everywhere.
He pulls away to kiss my shoulder, moving my hair to one side. “You’re so damn sexy here in this firelight. We should sleep here.”
“Mmmm, the warmth feels good too.”
His hips tilt forward one last time before he pulls out completely.
I look over my shoulder and watch him through half-lidded eyes unbutton his shirt, toss it to the side, then pull off his jeans, underwear, and socks.
“You look comfy.” He grabs a blanket and a couple of throw pillows from the couch, setting them on the floor.
“This rug is so soft.” I wiggle my hips a little, trying to entice him to join me.
Edward steps over my body, grabbing another log, adding it to the fire, then lies down next to me.
After adjusting the pillows behind his head, he opens his arms. “Come here, sweetheart.”
I scoot closer until my head is on his chest, curling against his side.
He pulls my outer leg across his body and leaves a kiss on my forehead. “Are you cold?”
He spreads the blanket over us from the waist down, then his fingertips start stroking up and down my back. “We can move to the bed if you get too cold, but I just want to hold you like this now.”
“It’s heavenly.” I snuggle a little closer.
“We have a full week ahead of us, Bella.”
“Then let’s add a bath to our daily plans and put this day on repeat.”
Edward chuckles. “Whatever you want.”
“Camp Edward is the best,” I whisper, tightening my arms around him as I drift off to sleep.
A/N: Huge thank yous to LizziePaige, Honeymoon Edward, purpleC305, and Midnight Cougar for their help with this story. xx
Who is ready to sign up for Camp Edward? Definitely me! Lol Midnight Cougar is right. I do need to write a Ruggedward at some point. In case some readers aren’t familiar with Camp David, it is a wooded country retreat for the President and First Lady in Catoctin Mountain Park northwest of D.C. Edward rented a cabin not far from there. I hope you are enjoying these lemony Edward-filled chapters, there will come a time when we will all be longing for them.