A/N: I am so grateful to purpleC305 for pre-reading and Midnight Cougar for beta-ing. You are both better than room service with Edward. Thank you. xx
DISCLAIMER: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight. I’m just here having fun.
“They say that when good Americans die they go to Paris.” –Oscar Wilde
How do I even start this conversation? I wonder.
I refill my own champagne glass and grab a chocolate-filled pastry, pulling off small bites that never make it to my mouth.
“Edward?” I return what’s left of the pastry to a plate and fret over where to start.
“Hmmm?” He hums after taking another bite of his burger.
“You know, we haven’t really discussed our, ah, dating history.” My courage wavers, and I avoid making eye contact while my fingers fidget with the belt of my robe. “You know our histories before we met each other, and well, you seem quite, what’s the word I’m looking for?”
“Charming?” He offers with a smile.
“Uh, yes you are that.” I briefly glance at his face, my nerves taking over. “I was thinking more along the lines of… experienced.”
I let my word hang in the air and shove a large bite in my mouth.
“Dating histories?” He looks puzzled, then grabs a couple of fries.
I finish chewing and clear my throat. “Yes. Mine isn’t really that extensive, and the number of partners I’ve had could fit on one hand.”
I look up to check his reaction, which seems indifferent at the moment.
I try to keep my voice from shaking. “I’ve always used condoms in the past, and you are the first guy with whom I haven’t.” I take a deep breath and give him a brief smile. “I know you said you’ve been tested and are clean, but I’m wondering if there’s a reason you test so often.”
“Bella, what exactly do you want to know? Ask me anything.” He wipes his mouth with a napkin, then downs the rest of his champagne.
After a long pause, I know I need to stop stalling and jump into this discussion.
“Am I your only partner at this time?” I rush out and await his response.
Edward refills his glass and makes eye contact. “Yes.”
“Um, okay. That’s good. Have you had other partners before me?” I already know the answer, but I hope this will open the door for my other questions.
“Yes.” He watches me carefully.
No real shocker there. I knew it was coming. However, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know his number. So, I skip over those details.
“Did you use condoms with them?” An uneasy feeling settles in my stomach.
“Yes, I always did. However, you should know they aren’t 100% effective. They sometimes fail or break.” Edward goes back to eating.
I wonder what exactly that means, while keeping my face as neutral as possible. Is he saying he’s had one fail or break in the past? Possibly.
I nod, trying to process his answer. “I understand that. So, why don’t you want to use them with me?” I rush ahead with my next question. “Aren’t you concerned about getting me pregnant?”
I shove another huge bite of pastry in my mouth and wait while an awkward silence fills the room.
He doesn’t leave me in suspense for long. “I don’t use them with you because I don’t want to. It feels incredible when we are together, and I want us to have that experience every time. As for why I test so often, I want to make sure I’m healthy for my own peace of mind. I have been with other women. Please try not to freak out, but yes, I’ve had my own scare with a condom breaking. So, I’m vigilant about testing and don’t want to risk passing anything unknowingly on to you.”
The tension in my shoulders starts to ease. “So, we’re both clean. What about pregnancy? Should I go on birth control?” I stutter. “I-I mean, I don’t think I’m ready to be a mother and doubt you are ready to be a father. We’ve been lucky so far. I just haven’t ever been in a relationship that’s lasted this long even to consider it.”
Edward sighs. “Look, Bella, if you want to go on birth control it’s up to you. Pick whichever one makes you feel most comfortable. However, don’t feel like you have to do it for me. I’m not pressuring you into anything. If you want me to use condoms, I will, but I would prefer not.”
I hope my face isn’t as stunned as I feel. My brain quickly processes his words and tries to read between the lines. He’s okay with becoming a father? He what… He wants to get me pregnant? I’ve heard of guys with that kink. Is he one of those?
Even though he’s always used condoms in the past, I have to wonder if he’s tried to get other women pregnant. Maybe he has kids out there. Probably not, as I would think his family wouldn’t be able to keep that from getting out, and Esme would be the type of grandmother who would have pictures of any grandchildren plastered throughout their home.
There’s also the possibility he can’t get me pregnant. What if he has no intention of our relationship lasting that long and he doesn’t want to discuss something so personal?
I ponder all of the possibilities and take another shaky breath with a sip of champagne.
My brain feels overloaded with even more questions, and my head is starting to spin or maybe it’s the champagne. I can’t remember which glass I’m drinking. Is it number three or four?
My stomach churns, but I continue because I need more answers.
“Um, I have another question. You know when you asked me about taking photos or video?” I glance over at his face.
Edward nods, and I watch him finish both halves of the burger and fries, while I’ve barely touched a thing.
I take another deep breath. “Well, is that something you’ve done in the past with other women? Do you have photos and videos saved on your phone or computer? I don’t know, as trophies or something?” This thought makes me cringe and I look away.
Please say no. Please say no.
He clears his throat and speaks once my eyes lock with his. “No, I haven’t done that in the past, but your responses in the moment told me it may be a turn on for you, so I suggested it. I’m not going to lie, I would love photos of you or us in private situations, but I wouldn’t ever misuse them or break your trust.”
I sigh in relief and look over the plates of food. “I’m not going to lie, Edward. Photos or videos are completely out of my comfort zone. It scares the shit out of me.”
“Bella, you can trust me. I’m serious about this relationship, and more than anything I want to spend time with you. I’m thrilled we are on this trip together and looking forward to making more memories with you in any way, shape, or form.”
Edward stands and throws his napkin back on the tray.
“Now, I’m going to go grab a shower.” He leans over and gives me a kiss on the lips. “Then I’ll be back here to join you in the naked party of two.”
My eyes follow him as he heads to the bathroom, then shuts the door. I hear the shower start and decide to dig into the remaining food. I need to do a little catch up on my bubbly versus food ratios because I feel quite out of balance.
I barely have a chance to make a dent in our food when Edward emerges from the shower wet and wearing only a towel low on his waist.
It’s then I know our plan for the rest of the day will involve the bed, my tongue, and those amazing tattoos.
While Edward uses another towel to dry his hair, my eyes rake over him from top to bottom and back again.
I know I’m staring, but it’s really hard to stop. He is the perfect blend of smooth, lean muscles and mesmerizing swirls of ink.
My eyes finally land on his face, finding him staring at me with that crooked grin I can’t resist.
I blush in embarrassment at being caught, but try to recover. “Hey, how was your shower?”
“Hot and wet. Just how I like them.” Edward winks.
I clear my throat and try to focus on his face. “I didn’t have any plans for us today. I thought we would stay in and nap to help us adjust to the local time.”
“That’s a good idea. I feel like I’m still running on Seattle time.” He finishes with his hair and tosses the towel toward the bathroom.
“Did you let your family know we arrived in Paris?” I ask.
“Yes, I texted them while you were in the shower earlier.”
I look around the room and my eyes land on our room’s main attraction. “Did you want to go check out that huge bed? Maybe we can sleep for a while.”
He grins. “Now that sounds like a wonderful idea.”
Edward reaches down, grabs my hand to help me stand, then leads me over to the bed. He wraps his arms around me from behind, leans down to kiss my neck, then moves around me to help pull back the covers.
“After you, mademoiselle.” Edward points in the direction of the huge cloud of pillowy softness.
I go to climb on my side, but he grabs my hips before I can get in bed.
“Wait.” His hands reach around and untie my robe. “You won’t be needing this.” Edward slides the robe from my body, leaving me naked before him.
“Am I acceptable now?” I ask, looking over my shoulder at him.
His eyes scan me up and down. “More than acceptable, ma chérie.” Edward’s voice is a little husky. He leans in leaving a peck on my lips.
“Listen to you. You’re turning into my French lover.” I smirk and slide between the cool, silky sheets.
He pulls the covers over my breasts and smiles. “I can be that and so much more.”
After leaving a kiss on my nose, Edward walks around to the other side of the bed and pulls back the bedding, letting his towel drop to the floor just before he climbs in with me.
He moves to the middle of the bed, pulling me into his side. I snuggle into him, feeling his arms wrap around me while his hand reaches up and strokes my hair.
“This feels incredible.” I sigh and let my eyes close.
“It does.” He kisses the top of my head.
We’re quiet for a while when Edward finally breaks the silence.
“Maybe they won’t find our luggage and we can just stay like this for the entire trip?”
I chuckle. “Not a chance, mister. We are going out to explore Paris while we’re here.”
I lean up and he meets me halfway for a quick peck on the lips.
When we break apart, I ask, “Have you always had a beard?” I rub it gently with my fingers.
“No. This is probably the longest I’ve had it. Why? Do you think I should trim it down or shave it off? I thought you liked it.”
“I do like it. I was just wondering since I’ve never seen you without one.” I marvel at its softness.
“Oh. Well, I’m sure if you ask Mom, she would be more than happy to share plenty of beardless photos with you.”
My eyes move from his beard to his chest where my fingers explore. “What about your tattoos?”
Edward tucks his arm behind his head to help prop up his head. “What about them?”
“Is it too personal to ask?” My curiosity is piqued while my eyes follow my fingertips.
“Not at all.” He sighs and looks up at the ceiling. “Uh, let’s see. I guess we need to start with my first year at the Pratt Fine Arts Center where I was fully immersed in their classes to learn the art of working with glass. I took all of the basic classes from beadmaking to glassblowing. You name it, I did it. My instructors were all impressed by my abilities and it didn’t take long for me to move to the Master classes.
“One day I was working on a huge project with a couple of classmates and it was heavy and hot. We were all exhausted and sweaty, and just ready to be done. Unfortunately, no one was wearing the appropriate safety gear or clothing. We had all pulled off our shirts due to the heat, which was normal and didn’t think twice about it.
“The project was almost finished, and moving the piece to cool was the final step, when one of the guys slipped causing us to lose our balance and our hold on the piece. Everything shattered sending shards flying in every direction—and they were still hot and very sharp. I ended up with most of the cuts and burns out of the accident, which left plenty of scars on my arms and chest.”
“Edward.” I gasp and look him over more closely.
“When you work with glass, cuts and burns are going to happen. It just comes with the territory. However, dropping that particular piece left me with more than my fair share all at once. After my recovery, I decided a few tattoos would help cover up the largest scars and have added to them over the years.”
“Wow.” I look down, letting my fingers trace over his chest and arms, noticing the skin differences in some areas. “You can’t tell at all.”
“Not visually, but if you know where to look, you can feel the differences. I have a few scars on my face my beard hides, too. So, I’ll probably always have a beard of some length, even if it’s just scruff.”
I lean up and kiss him. “I’m so sorry that happened, but glad you weren’t hurt any worse than superficially.”
Edward shrugs. “It’s just the hazards of the job. Any job has them.”
“So, which one was first?” My eyes move from his arms to his chest, trying to guess where he started.
He points to his shoulder. “The compass. So I would never be lost.”
I giggle. “Like our bags.”
“Now, they aren’t lost, just delayed. I had a period of time where I wasn’t sure if I wanted to take over the family business and the responsibility. It’s a dying art, but it’s what I do, and I love my job.”
I nod and let my fingers linger over his shoulder.
Edward smiles and points to his bicep. “Then the clock to remind me time is precious and never to waste it.”
I clear my throat. “It is. I never would have imagined my dad not being here. Some days the loneliness becomes too much. I have days when I wish I could pick up the phone and he would be on the other end.”
Edward kisses my forehead. “I know, sweetheart, but now you have me.”
My fingers move back to the swirls of ink, which look to be a tribal type of tattoo, and I trace their paths across his body.
“I always liked the tribal ones, so I had them added later. They don’t have any particular meaning. Some days I just feel like a warrior.” He grins and points to another section. “The flowers are for my grandmother. She always loved working in the garden.”
“They are really beautiful. What about the words?”
“In Omina Paratus means ‘ready for anything.’ My grandfather was a sergeant in the Army’s 18th Infantry Regiment, and it was their motto. He received a medal of honor for single-handedly attacking and defeating German forces while stationed there during World War II.”
“Are your grandparents still alive?” I wonder.
Edward shakes his head. “No, but I have great memories with them. My grandfather always told me, ‘Be ready for anything.’ It was how he lived and this way I will always carry his words with me.”
I look up into his sparkling eyes, hoping I didn’t ask too much about his grandparents. “And this part, Sine metu?”
“Without fear. It’s difficult, especially with my fear of flying, but how I try to live.” Edward lets his head fall back into the pillows. His eyes close at my touch.
“Have you thought of getting any piercings?” I wonder, as my fingertips trace his nipples and watch them pucker.
“Mmmm.” He stills my fingers and brings them to his lips for a kiss. “No. But I love yours. Have you thought about getting any others? Your nipples or clit? I think you may like the effect of those.” His eyebrows wiggle.
“Not really. When I turned eighteen, I decided to do something wild.” I laugh and roll my eyes. “Not really wild, I guess. But my dad wasn’t pleased. I guess that’s why I never got any tattoos. He wasn’t a fan. So, neither was I.”
I lean close and let my tongue trace a few tribal swirls. “However, they are starting to grow on me.” I look up at Edward, who is watching my every move.
He sighs. “I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but you should probably stop.”
He grabs my hand and places it over the covers of the area around his crotch where I can feel him hard and erect again.
I rub the area a few times and he reaches back down to still my hand.
“Bella,” he warns. “Be careful. You’re playing with fire here, and discussing your belly piercing or others are all the spark necessary.”
I giggle and move my hand under the covers, coming in contact with the smooth skin of his cock and continue stroking him.
“Okay, that’s all I can take,” Edward declares with a frustrated groan, and pulls back the bedding as I roll flat on my back. He crawls on top of me, settling between my legs, nudging them open a little wider. Without warning, he’s inside of me in one, swift thrust.
I let out a squeak, which morphs into a groan of pleasure at the sudden intrusion.
“Bella.” Edward moans and starts to thrust his hips. “You’re so wet and ready for me.”
This looks to be a good way to spend an afternoon, too.
When I wake a while later, the room is dark and Edward’s side of the bed is cold. I give my eyes a chance to adjust and wonder where he could be.
The sound of the toilet flushing means he must be using the bathroom.
I burrow back under the warm covers and wait for his return, but feel my eyes close again heavy with sleep.
When more time passes without Edward’s return, I start worry and wonder what time it could be? It’s clearly evening with the light fading outside the windows.
Maybe our luggage is in Paris by now. I sit up and look around our room, but don’t see our bags anywhere, so they must still be in transit.
Shouldn’t Edward be out of the bathroom by now?
I hear the toilet flushing again and look around for my robe.
Oh, no. What if he’s sick?
I scramble out of bed and find my robe on the floor. After securing the belt, I make my way to the bathroom.
My ear is pressed against the door as I listen for a few moments. The only sounds I hear are of Edward groaning followed by the toilet flushing again.
This doesn’t sound good. Should I knock? Or leave him alone?
All of a sudden, I hear the sound of knocking, but it doesn’t come from me.
I move to our door and look out the peephole to find Jacques standing outside our door.
I undo the locks and open it a crack to find him with our luggage.
“Yes.” I give Jacques a small smile.
“I have your bags. May I bring them in?”
I pull the door open being careful to stand behind it. “Sure.”
Jacques leaves our luggage next to the sofa just as I hear the toilet flush again.
“Everything all right?” he asks, pointing to the bathroom.
“I think Edward may be sick. His stomach?”
“Ah, I will be right back.” Jacques steps back through the doorway and disappears down the hallway.
I close the door behind him, and go back to the bathroom door, but this time I knock.
“Edward?” I pause. “Are you okay?”
I hear another groan.
“Do you need something? Medicine?”
I wait and hear nothing.
“Can I come in?”
With no reply again, I decide to crack open the door and find Edward sitting completely naked on the floor in front of the toilet.
I walk over and crouch down next to him, then put my hand on his forehead to check him for fever.
I run my fingers through his hair, pushing it away from his face. “I know. Is it your stomach?”
He nods. “I think it’s all out now. However, every time I think I’m done, I get sick again.”
There’s a knock on our door and I leave Edward to answer it. “I’ll be right back. I think it’s Jacques. He brought our luggage earlier.”
I look through the peephole to see I’m right and open the door.
He hands me a bag. “Everything you need should be in there. If you can think of something else that may help, just ring the front desk.”
“Au revoir.” With a quick nod of his head, he turns and heads back down the hallway.
Closing the door, I make my way back to the bathroom, set the bag on the counter, and start going through its contents, sorting out things that may help.
It’s a basic traveler’s first aid kit, but I’m lucky enough to find some medicine I’m sure will settle Edward’s stomach once he feels as though he can stand up. There’s also some sparkling water and a small package of crackers to get him back on track. I put aside a sports drink, which will also help to rehydrate him later.
I crouch down next to his naked body. “How are you feeling? Think you could stand up?”
“Yeah. Let me just rinse my mouth.” He pulls himself up using the countertop only staggering a bit when he tries to let go.
Edward is a lot bigger than I am. While I can’t lift him, I can at least help to keep him steady as we attempt to get him back in bed.
“Jacques brought me a first aid bag with some supplies I think will help.” He moves slowly in the right direction until I finally get him tucked back under the covers.
Edward looks pale and exhausted but manages a slow nod.
“I’ll go grab the medicine and some water.” I return moments later and sit on the edge of the bed. “Can you sit up and take these?”
He leans up on an elbow and holds the water bottle while I carefully put the two pills in his open mouth. After a few swigs of water, he’s back to lying down. I set his water on his nightstand, move to the other side of the bed, then crawl in next to him.
“Is there anything I can do?” My hand caresses his chest.
Edward shakes his head and glances at me. “No. I’m not sure what got me, maybe the burger and fries. I usually don’t eat a lot of fatty or fried foods. My stomach did not like that at all.”
“Let’s take it easy this evening and let you recover. I would guess it’s around six, as the sun has already set.”
“Okay, I should be back to normal by morning,” Edward reassures. “My bounce back is better than average.”
“Maybe you just can’t hold your champagne?” I tease.
“Are you calling me a lightweight?” He chuckles. “This from the girl who lives on sugar and alcohol.”
“Hey, that’s not quite true. I occasionally eat pizza or Chinese.” I laugh. “I used to cook more when I was living with my dad, but I hardly ever cook just for me, so I’ve gotten lazy with my skills.”
“Do you have a headache or anything?” Edward asks. “You know, from the champagne?”
“No. Why? Do you?” I let my cool hand rest over his forehead checking for any fever.
“That feels good, but maybe I am a lightweight because my head is splitting.” He tightly closes his eyes and rubs his forehead.
I throw off the blankets, jump out of bed, and head back to the bathroom. “I think there’s something in here for a headache.” I dig around in the bag to find a bottle of pain relievers.
Back at Edward’s side, I place two in his mouth. “Here.” I hand him his bottle of water.
“Thanks.” He falls onto his pillow with a thud.
I set his water on the nightstand. “Anything else?”
“No, just come back to bed.” Edward moves the covers back on my side to make room for me to crawl under.
“I can do that.” I walk around the bed and put a knee up on the edge when Edward stops me.
“No robe.” He requests and gives me a brief smile.
“Oh really, Mr. Cullen?” I make a big show of untying the front and letting it fall from my body in a mini striptease.
He never stops watching my movements, but finally pats the open spot next to him. “Enough. My system needs time to recover. You are depleting all of my fluids, and I have no control over my body when you’re taunting and teasing me like that.” He smirks.
I slide between the sheets and curl up next to him. “I thought all men have some type of nurse fantasy.”
“Oh, I do. Are you willing to be my Nurse Goodbody?” He looks down at me, letting his hand drift up and down my curves.
“Does that involve some type of skimpy nurse outfit that barely contains my tits and ass?”
“Absolutely.” His grin widens.
“What about garters and fishnet stockings?” I smile, thinking it may be a weakness of his.
He groans. “Yes, with high heels.”
“What about one of those little hats?”
“Not necessary, but a nice touch.” Edward seems eager to play along.
“Will I accidentally drop things? Then need to bend over and pick them up?”
I fish for more details about his nurse fantasy. “Will you need a thorough examination?”
“Yes, one that only you can do. I’m sure you will need a sperm sample, maybe more than one.” He winks.
I can’t help my giggle. “Hmmm, that’s a pretty specific fantasy. Have you ever role-played before?”
“No. Have you?”
I lean up on my elbow and look into his eyes. “Edward, I have basically zero experience when we compare our histories.”
“I wouldn’t say that. I had the best blowjob in my life today thanks to you.”
I get a silly grin on my face. “Really?”
“Yes, really.” He nods, then his eyelids drift close.
We are both quiet for a while, and I start to think Edward may have fallen asleep when he speaks.
I look up toward his face. “Yes?”
“I can’t wait for the next time I’m sick.”
I chuckle. “Me either, Edward. Me either.” I close my eyes and drift off again to sleep.