DISCLAIMER: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight. I’m here having fun.
Chapter 18: The Moving On
After exiting the airport terminal, I glance along the curb, looking for my driver. Alistair said a woman with short blonde hair, named Hilda, would be here to pick me up after my flight, but no one matching that description is in sight.
I’m about to send him another text when a sleek sports car races near my location, screeching to a halt. The driver opens the door and scans the people waiting. I notice her hair immediately, thinking my ride is finally here. She smiles when her eyes land on me.
“Bella!” She waves.
“Hilda?” I ask the tall, slender woman.
“It’s nice to meet you.”
She grins and opens the front cargo hold. “Let’s put your luggage in the trunk.”
“How did you know it was me?”
“I saw your picture on Post vebsite. You’re very beautiful.”
“Thanks.” I stow my bag.
She closes the cargo hold, then swiftly moves toward the driver’s side. “You’re velcome.” She smiles.
I walk around to the passenger side door as my eyes sweep over her car. “What kind of car is this?”
We slide into our seats that fit like a glove.
“Audi R8. Do you know Tony Stark?”
“Ironman?” I wonder, adjusting the seat belt straps.
“Ja. This is his car. I von in a bet.”
“Ja. I like to drive fast, buckle up.”
A squeak escapes my lips as my hands grab onto the seat and door when she peels away from the airport, squealing the tires. I can’t stop the giggles, which erupt as she races through the streets, creating a nonstop blur out my window.
Her grin never leaves her face as she smoothly maneuvers the car through light traffic. “Do you like to dance?”
“I’m not much of a dancer,” I hedge, hoping they don’t have a how-to-embarrass-Bella plan in place.
“Tonight, ve vill go to the club. You can dance—drink. Get to know everyone. But first ve vill go to the office.”
“Ja. You vill meet Halistair.”
“I can’t wait. We’ve only spoken on the phone. His accent is divine, but I’m really enjoying yours too. Your English is great.”
“Danke schön. Halistair is extremely zexy.”
“Is he married or dating?” Please let him be taken; I don’t need a distraction at work.
“Nein. He is zingle.”
“Are you and he…?” I suggest, hoping to figure out the relationships without overstepping any boundaries.
“Nein. Ve are not dating. You?”
“No. I’m single too.” It feels weird to think of myself this way, but I’m determined not to focus on the break up and move forward with my life and career.
“Good. The club vill be fun.”
“Where am I staying?” I wonder.
“Vith me at my apartment. Ve are roommates vith Rozalie.”
“She’s an American too from New York. She takes photographs. Rozalie likes to drink and dance. She’s fun. You’ll like her.”
Maybe some drinking and dancing are in order for me—I can’t remember the last time I let loose. I don’t want to give everyone the wrong first impression of me, but I also don’t want to insult anyone by not accepting their offered hospitality.
We arrive at the offices of the Post, a very unimpressive, unkempt building, and I follow Hilda inside. I’m a little surprised when she heads down the stairs to a location below street level. I’ve never worked underground. It feels a little edgy and mysterious, but I wonder if it’s for safety reasons or maybe it’s simple economics and the space is cheaper.
There isn’t anything distinctive about the first heavy metal door she opens, bearing the number 1078, or the second door either. With only the click of our heeled shoes echoing in the corridor, we walk along a dark hallway, which opens to a space filled with dim lighting and desks scattered about the room.
There are maps taped on walls, papers bursting from filing cabinets, and books stacked everywhere. No one seems to notice our arrival as they continue pecking away on their computers.
“Everyone! Bella is here.” Hilda grins and steps to the side, putting me in full view.
I give a small wave. “It’s me.”
Before Hilda can make introductions, a hearty woman with shoulder-length, bronze hair and blue eyes walks over from her desk to greet me, offering her hand. “Nice to meet yer. I’m Siobhan.”
“Hello. I’m Isabella Swan, but my friends call me, Bella.” I smile and give her hand a polite squeeze. “You don’t sound German. I’m sorry that was probably rude and I’m stating the obvious.”
“Naw. I would think not. I’m Irish. This is me lassy, Maggie.”
“Hi, Bella. That’s my mom if you couldn’t understand her,” Maggie explains.
I notice her bouncy curls move when she speaks. Her hair is a darker red, but she has blue eyes exactly like her mother.
Siobhan shakes her head. “Naw need to translate. I’m speaking Sasanach.”
“Sasanach?” I wonder.
“English. You’ll meet my father, tonight. His accent is worse.” Maggie laughs. “We’re a hodgepodge of nationalities here at the Post. I’m positive you will fit in with everyone.”
“Where’s mah new reporter?” A good-looking man heads our way after ending a call.
“Alistair?” I question, thinking, if this is him, then I’ve hit the sexy boss jackpot.
“Och aye, that’s me.” He grins from ear to ear. Alistair is quite the sight with his darker blond hair and blue eyes with a light bit of facial scruff, making him look ruggedly handsome. He looks even better than the few photos I was able to find of him on the internet. “Hullo, Bella. Ye come highly recommended. Carlisle has been singing yer praises. Emmett too.”
His Scottish accent leaves me hanging on his every word, but I blush wondering what Carlisle or Emmett has said about me. “Let’s hope I can live up to those.”
Another gorgeous blonde steps forward, and I’m noticing a distinct blonde trend here with me being the only brunette in addition to the two red-heads. “Hi, Bella. I’m Rosalie.”
“Nice to meet you. I hear we’re to be roommates.”
“It should be fun.” She looks at my driver with a twinkle in her eye, then gives me a warning. “Watch out for Hilda; she’ll get you in trouble, but sometimes that’s exactly what we need.”
A glance at Hilda’s smirk tells me I should take Rosalie’s advice, but there’s something about Hilda that makes me feel comfortable and more at ease than I’ve felt in a long time. I’m more than happy to embrace her friendship in whatever form that may take.
A younger man with longer, wavy blond hair steps forward, taking my offered hand and kissing the back. “I’m George. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Bella.”
“Likewise.” I offer a small smile at his British accent.
Rosalie rolls her eyes. “Really, George? Ignore him, Bella. He’s a player.”
“Rose, I am always a gentleman.” George winks.
“He didn’t deny it, did he?” she whispers.
“Binyamin is out on assignment. Ye will meet him when he gets back in the next couple of days. Aw right, let’s gather round and share with Bella what we’re working on right now,” Alistair suggests.
With voices full of passion and excitement, I’m immediately immersed in the current issues facing Germany and all of Europe, which leaves me excited and wondering exactly how I will fit in with my new location and multinational colleagues. But from what I can tell so far, this will be one adventure I will never forget.
“You know they say the best way to get over someone is to get under someone,” Rosalie tells me, as we lean against the bar, looking out over the dance floor.
I’m startled by her quick assessment, but shake my head, knowing I’m carrying the break up like an albatross around my neck for all to see. “I’ve heard that. He—”
“It’s always a ‘he’ isn’t it? Let’s forget about him, get wild, and have fun. I bet you’re long overdue.” She clinks her shot glass with mine, and we down them quickly. “Come dance with me.”
Rosalie doesn’t wait for my response and pulls me onto the dance floor to sweat away our problems and forget our worries for the evening with plans to stay until the early morning hours.
We came straight from work after I changed in the bathroom into one of the few dresses I brought with me, a simple spaghetti-strapped black dress with cutouts across the midriff. While the top of the dress looks more like a bra, it makes me feel sexy, revealing a bit of cleavage. Rosalie tsked when she saw the skirt length as it goes to above my knees, claiming next time out she will find something much shorter for me.
We’re at Feuer und Eis, which translated means Fire and Ice—a bar owned by Siobhan’s husband, William. The main room is lined with a flickering inferno of massive computer screens and lights, casting dark shadows on dancers from the red and orange flames. The place is packed and the dance floor is a hot, steamy mass of swaying bodies.
The ice bar is the complete opposite and enclosed in another room blanketed in blues and grays. Massive blocks of ice are used for seating and the room is kept at 10 degrees below zero. They have fur coats and gloves available for keeping you warm, but we’ve been hitting the Jägermeister ever since we arrived, which has us feeling no pain.
William has been talking with Alistair ever since we got here. Apparently, they are close friends, but I don’t miss when Alistair’s eyes follow me as we move about the dance floor.
Maybe I’m overthinking his interest and he’s just looking out for me. I know I need to stop being so cautious and start taking some chances when it comes to my life. I’ve been playing it safe for too long by not taking risks or speaking up, and look where it got me with Edward—another failed relationship.
I glance at Alistair again, wondering if I should ask him to dance. He’s extremely easy on the eyes, but before I can make a decision, I notice another woman pulling him from his seat and onto the dance floor.
Shaking off my indecision, I dance with Rosalie, Hilda, and Maggie. George is busy working the room, but he finds us too. We alternate between rooms, and it seems my time between shots is getting shorter and shorter before returning to the dance floor and losing myself in the music.
“I can be him, if it helps.” George holds onto my hips, moving in sync with me as he speaks directly in my ear over the loud booming beat.
I turn around and lock my hands behind his neck, giving him a questioning look, as his never leave my waist. I thought I was doing better at keeping Edward far from my thoughts, but maybe I’m not doing as good of a job as I thought.
“Him?” I try to play dumb, but George can see right through me.
He pulls me tightly against his body, his lips next to my ear. “Whoever fucked with your head—you’re clearly hung up on somebody. You need to let go.” He leans back slightly and nods in her direction, clarifying his offer. “Hilda will even join us, if you prefer.”
I’m shocked at his suggestion. “I don’t think—I mean, I’ve never—”
“Whenever you’re ready. The offer stands. Not just tonight. We’re all here for each other. We work and play together.”
My bleary eyes find Hilda’s as she sends me a wink, and I return a small smile, considering a whole new world of options.
George continues after taking my hand and pulling me from the dance floor. “Look, Bella. You’re smart and sexy as hell. He was a fool. You deserve better and should be living in the moment—not the past.”
I shake my head. “Maybe you’re right. This is a new beginning for me and I don’t want to repeat my previous mistakes. I made too many.”
He leans closer, kissing my cheek. “I’m certain he did too. Let’s get another round, my treat.” George guides me toward the bar, slipping a fur coat over my shoulders before we step through the door.
The bartender fills shot glasses with ice cold Jäger, then I’m prompted to take another one from the tray. This one goes down easy as I sway to the beat, letting the warmth take over my body. Our entire group gathers in a corner of the bar, which is dark but cast in deep, gray-blue shadows. While the cold air is a wonderful reprieve from the heat, it chills my skin and nipples, heightening the desire that’s been building between my legs from the not-so-subtle touches while dancing with my new co-workers all night.
I slide my arms into the heavy fur coat, but its large size causes it to fall from one of my shoulders. The fur brushes softly against the bare skin of my legs, back, and arms until I feel a shoulder strap from my dress being replaced with warm lips. An arm slides inside my coat and around my waist, pulling me closer. My eyes close as I enjoy the exploring touches of curious lips, trailing lower until a finger nudges away the material of my dress and a hot mouth wraps around my bare, pert nipple. I’m leaning against the cloth-covered wall when my head falls backward, and a moan escapes my lips lost among the pounding bass.
A hand squeezes and teases my breast while another hand slides lower, then higher, moving past the hem and pushing aside the dainty material of my damp panties as a cold fingertip glides easily through the warm, wet heat of my arousal. A gentle finger becomes two, dipping in and out of my body as I readjust my stance, opening my legs wider, silently begging for more. A tongue circles my nipple, lapping and sucking the hardened peak before finding my mouth. I break away as my chest heaves, gasping for breath when I hear words whispered in a language not familiar to my mind, but one my body knows all too well. I’m helpless but to surrender, falling over the edge of oblivion at the prompting of a relentless mouth and masterful fingers.
It feels like a dream with darkness all around, but I’m floating on a cloud of bliss, numb in some areas, tingling in others. My dress lost somewhere between the door and bed. My back is cushioned by layers of fur and silk, cocooning me in a nest of warmth. My eyes no longer attempt to open as my body responds to the pushes and pulls of sweet caresses then more adamant twists and tilts. Mouths and hands worship curves of soft, smooth skin. Tongues tangle and probe areas full of need and want. Soft nibbles and delicate licks give way to a more fevered pace of desperation, as cries, pleading for more echo throughout the room. The fire inside me builds over and over, reaching the highest highs, diving into great depths of pleasure until I drift off deeper into dreamland unable to move and thoroughly sated.
Soft light of an early morning bathes the room in a gentle glow when I wake gradually noticing my surroundings. I’m naked in a bed full of soft covers, but I’m not alone. I wonder where I am as nothing about this room looks familiar. I glance to the body next to me and push back the wild blonde hair, revealing the face of my companion for the night. The arm wrapped around my waist tightens slightly as a soft moan escapes her lips. Hilda.
Bits and pieces of our evening together take shape as I try to recall the previous night and early morning hours. My nipples pucker and my arousal increases at recollections of her loving touch and reverent care to meet my instinctive needs. Gently, I stroke her hair, then my fingers move lower. They drift along the soft skin of her back, following the path of her spine, up and down as she wakes slowly.
“Mmmmm, Bella.” Hilda brushes her lips over my shoulder, then her sleepy blue eyes find mine. “Good morning.”
She’s on her stomach and reaches up for a quick peck of my lips, but I hold her head in place, returning her kiss with a little more heat than she’s expecting and groaning when she pulls away.
“You’re happy?” She grins. “More?”
“Mmmmm. Good morning. Yes, I’m happy, but…” I’m a little embarrassed by my next admission and look away from her concerned expression, insecurity seeping into my voice. While this may be some sort of normal for Hilda, nothing about this situation is normal for me. “I-I’ve never… I’ve never been with a woman before. Dear God, did I even know what to do? Was it…?”
Her finger tilts my chin until our eyes meet. “I did not know. You are a natural lover. Man or voman, it does not matter. I’m honored to be your first.”
I let out a gasp of relief. “This isn’t going to be weird, is it? With us working together?”
“Vy vould it? I don’t care who knows. Do you?”
I pause, thinking about my answer for a moment, and smiling at Hilda when I realize that, for the first time in forever, I don’t care who knows. “No, I don’t, but I probably should have told you I ended a relationship not long ago.”
“Oh, okay. It sounds like I told you.” A new wave of embarrassment warms me from head to toe.
Apparently, new me has no secrets, which is probably an improvement over old me.
“You zaid last night you vanted to forget him and have fun.”
“What if I can’t? Forget about him, I mean.”
“He broke your heart. I vill fix it. If you take him pack, it vill be stronger next time.”
“I don’t see that happening any time soon. If ever. I’ve had my fill of being dicked around.”
“Lucky me. I vill not dick you, promize.” She eases away the sheet covering my naked form, then settles between my legs, kissing and licking until I’m gasping with need and begging for more. “I vill make you feel good, Bella. Then I vill make you breakfast. My special hangover cure—it’s exactly what you need.”
As Hilda makes my toes curl and back arch, I realize she knows me better than I know myself. While my memories from last night are hazy, I find I’m more than happy to bring her to dizzying new heights. And this time around, I don’t miss her in the throes of ecstasy when she calls out my name and begs me for more. It’s something special I’ll never forget.
A/N: Huge thank yous to LizziePaige, Honeymoon Edward, purpleC305, and Midnight Cougar for their help with this story. xx
When the shock wears off, I’m sure those readers who aren’t busy sharpening their pitchforks will have questions after this chapter. I’ll share a bit of my thinking regarding Hilda. When I knew Bella was moving to Berlin, I checked to see if SM had any German vampires and she did—Hilda. From what little I could learn about Hilda, I found that she had sired a handful of women who became members of her coven. She protected them fiercely until their unfortunate demise at the hands of the Volturi. We are most familiar with Heidi who willingly joined the Volturi due to Chelsea’s influence on relationships and Victoria who escaped the Volturi due to her ability to evade and survive. With a lot of room to explore Hilda’s character, I ran with the thought of Bella having a relationship of complete transparency and a nurturing love she so desperately needs.
While every story I write has its own set of challenges, this one pushes me outside of my comfort zone in many, many ways. I never thought I would write slash and do not believe one relationship makes a story slash fic. Bella’s sexuality isn’t something she’s questioned. Ever. She’s currently finding great comfort in her relationship with Hilda and as the story continues, I hope you will see her growth in all areas of her life. If this twist is more than you care to read, I understand and appreciate you going this far in Bella’s journey.
For those needing some reassurance through these next chapters, Bella states a year later in the one shot that there is no one else at Edward’s questioning. I believe it’s unrealistic to think that neither would attempt to have a relationship of any measure during that length of time. The one shot is also unclear when Edward finally reaches out to Bella. Her POV will shed some light on that timeline. Keep in mind that even though it isn’t spelled out directly, there is some unaccounted time from when Edward talks with Jasper to when he seeks Charlie and Emmett’s advice.