Magic Mac LXXXV

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A/N: Grab your reflux pills, because the early bird special at Tall Timbers is hot and throbbing as unfiltered Bella catches up with our favorite gang much, much later in life. It’s not too late to turn back, but if your curiosity has gotten the better of you, here is my Twilight Bothered Contest entry. This isn’t your grandmother’s kind of story. But now that I think of it, if she’s the rowdy and rebellious type, then it just might be. This story is for all the readers who can’t imagine anyone over forty having a sexual thought, let alone actually doing the nasty.

Thank you to purpleC305 and Midnight Cougar for going against their better judgement and helping me with this one. Congratulations to all the writers for accepting this unusual challenge and to the contest team for their enthusiasm in creating such a memorable contest. Thank you to everyone who read and reviewed the contest entries. I may have given a few of you a glimpse at your ultimate retirement plans.


Summary: TBH Bella never imagined her twilight years to be so on fleek—from her new ride or die crew to the tall glass of water who has her hot box steaming. She’s quenching her thirst and living large with no regerts. *My one shot contest entry for the 2019 Twilight Bothered Contest. AH

Twilight – Rated: M – English – Romance/Humor – Chapters: 1 – Words: 10,605 – Published: Sep 24, 2019 – Bella, Edward – Complete

Disclaimer: All things Twilight is the sole property of Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended.


“The older one grows, the more one likes indecency.” — Virginia Woolf

I’d never given much thought as to how I would die; that isn’t something young people consider. No, dying is for the old, and at eighty-five—I’m outliving my doctors, my husband, and now my son, Phillip.

He was a good kid, a momma’s boy, but his death at sixty years means change for me. According to my lawyer, Phillip’s death transfers my elderly guardianship to my daughter, Charlotte, who doesn’t live in sunny Florida, where I’ve spent nearly my entire life. No, she lives in a tiny, remote town in the Pacific Northwest, which is where I’m headed.

I watch the terrain outside my window change colors until only a lush green prevails and raindrops stream along my view. I shut my eyes, bracing myself as our airplane approaches Seattle, and think back on decades of bright sunshine and warm, sandy shores.

I’ll miss everything about Florida, but especially living on my own in our quaint beach town where my bungalow is a short walk to the tranquil, blue waters and gulf breezes I love. My favorite grocery store is just down the street, where a kind smile and a generous offer to help an old lady reach something on the top shelf is not the exception but the rule.

My neighbors know me on a first-name basis, as I’ve watched their families grow and change through the years. I bought their Girl Scout cookies and was happy to fetch a stray ball when it found its way into my backyard. From my chair at the front window, I worry about those who I don’t see for days until my curiosity gets the best of me and I pay them a visit, knowing not everyone has someone to watch over them as I do—or did. While I mourn the loss of my son, I know this is an opportunity to reconnect with my daughter and her family.

Charlotte is a busy woman without space or time to accommodate my care. Even though I haven’t lost my wits about me, it’s my physical limitations, which are proving to be most challenging now. After two unfortunate falls and unexpectedly long recoveries, I’m more than aware I’m not the young, lively woman I was at sixty or even seventy.

I don’t wish to be anyone’s burden, which is why I’m moving into the Tall Timbers Senior Living Community near Charlotte’s home in rural Washington. I’ve protested against living in one of these places for decades and my sweet Phillip spared me the injustice, but now I face no other choice.

I’m not looking forward to this change. I will miss my friends and community, but mostly I will miss my freedom.


The bus driver, James, chatters nonstop since meeting at the airport. I give him a nod every once in a while when he looks up to check his mirror. He’s probably waiting for me to respond to something he said, but I turned off my hearing aids an hour ago for a bit of peace.

James pulls into the circle drive and comes to a stop under the overhang outside of the front doors where a group of people gathers around. I recognize my daughter immediately as she moves toward the bus.

After flicking on my hearing aids, I use the handrail, taking my time getting down the steps and accept James’s offered hand when I get to the bottom. I reach up tucking a few wayward silver strands behind my ear that have escaped my messy bun.

Charlotte rushes over, embracing me in a tight hug and nearly knocking off my glasses.

“It’s great to see you, Mom. We’re glad to have you close by and everyone will come for a visit soon. Your paperwork is finished and they have your room ready, but maybe you would like a tour first. Your nurse is available to meet with us.”

Charlotte steps back, and a woman much younger than my sixty-two-year-old daughter moves forward to introduce herself. “Hello, Ms. Isabella. My name is Shelly and I’ll be your day nurse while you stay with us.”

I huff, looking around at their expectant faces. They are the only ones excited about my new residence, but I know I need to make an effort or I’ll end up drugged and drooling all over myself, if I can’t play nice.

“Bella is fine. Call me Bella,” I repeat, for what feels like the millionth time in my life.

“As you wish. I’ll make a note in your file. There’s a group getting ready to leave for a walk around the gardens since the rain stopped. Would like to join them before we get you settled in your room?”

Charlotte doesn’t miss a beat, offering her own encouraging words. “After that long ride, a walk to stretch your legs would be good for you, Mom. You can meet some of your new neighbors before lunch.”

“Or cell mates,” I mumble mostly to myself.


“Do I have a roommate?”

“Yes, her name is Angela.”

“Ms. Bella, do you have a cane or walker?” Shelly wonders, watching as James removes my bags from the bus.

“No.” I shake my head, happy to have my mobility back unassisted.

“Let me introduce you to one of our assistants.” She waves over a nerdy-looking young man. “Eric, this is Ms. Bella, she will be joining your group this morning.”

“Wonderful, and welcome to your new home.”

“Peachy,” I grumble under my breath.

A grouchy, impatient male voice from the other side of the group interrupts, “Are we going to walk or are we going to keep flapping our jaws?”

“Yeah, what’s the hold up?” Another irritated voice complains.

“Keep your pants on, Ms. Jessica.”

The woman lifts her blouse, revealing saggy boobs, hanging over the high waistband of her pants. “No chance of them falling off today, Eric. I pinned them to my bra.”

“I see that. Put your shirt back down; we’re adding a new member to our group. This is Ms. Bella.”

Jessica glances my way. “Hey, bitch. Let’s roll.” She turns away, clutching a walker and pushing it along the sidewalk.

I’m about to throw my own shade at the salty twat, but Eric interrupts.

“All right everyone, let’s move along and follow Ms. Jessica.”

Charlotte blocks my path, preventing my escape with the others. “I’ll be here when you get back, Mom.”

I exhale a deep sigh. “Char, this isn’t summer camp. You go do what you need to do. I won’t be a bother to you any longer. These people will help me get settled. Leave my bags in my room.”

“Are you sure?”

“How hard can it be?”

“That’s what she said!” a booming voice yells from behind us, joining our group.

My eyes feast over a mountain of a man full of taught muscles and unmistakable youth. His snarky comment tells me I may have just found a comrade-in-arms.

At his appearance, I stand a little taller, but there’s a slight tremble when I offer my hand, introducing myself. “Bella Dwyer.”

“Emmett McCarty. Would you like to accompany me on a walk this morning?”

“Hell, yeah.” I grin, sliding my hand into the bend of Emmett’s offered elbow. “See you later, Char. Tell Angela not to wait up for me.”


“What? I’m old, not dead, and this hunk of a man probably wouldn’t mind me gumming his green bean.” I lower my voice, but it takes two attempts to clear my throat of phlegm before I can speak. “If you’re not into a little bite, I can take out my teeth. We have options.”

“I love an older woman, and you should always eat your vegetables.” He winks, patting my hand.

We shuffle along the sidewalk as I ignore Charlotte’s fading protests from behind us.

“Char tells me that eight-five is the new sixty, but I believe you’re only as old as you feel. Are you over eighteen?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Good. At least you aren’t jailbait. The last thing I need is somebody giving me hell for robbing the cradle. What’s with the ma’am talk? Are you military or from the South?”

“Tennessee. I came to Washington to play football, but my plans changed, and now I’m focused on getting my degree in gerontology.”

“Hmmm, so you’re into old birds?”

“They are my specialty.”

“Lucky me. I can Netflix and chill with the best of them.”

“I’m sure you can. Are you widowed?”

“I am, but I lost my husband, such a long time ago. I never remarried.”

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s been a good life, but I’m always ready for a little fun.” Shrugging off his concern, I know I’d rather focus on what time I have left than dwell on the past. “All right, Big Mac, it’s time to spill the tea.”

“Spill the tea?”

“You know, give me the deets. I have grandkids and great-grandkids, thanks to Charlotte. The fam keeps me current on all the latest lingo. Did you think we were sisters? Lord knows she nags me as if she’s my mother.”

“You could pass for sisters.” The sweet grin on his face has my lady garden throbbing and I hope the drought will be over finally.

“I bet you’re a heartbreaker. You sure know how to make an old lady feel moist… uh, I mean young.” I reach up blotting my forehead like a whore in church, but can’t find a drop of sweat.

“I can tell you’re going to be one of my favorites.”

“The feeling is mutual.” I wave my hand toward the others as we trail behind. “Tell me, who’s willing to take a trip to tuna town?”

“Are you sure you want to know?”

“Is a frog’s ass watertight?”

“Okay, but remember, you asked for this.” He pauses for a moment. “There’s Ol’ Newton up ahead.”

“The asshat?”

“Your word, but I don’t disagree.” Emmett grins. “He needs some assistance, taking a little blue pill every evening before he bumps uglies with Ms. Jessica and Ms. Lauren. They share more than just a room together.”

“Oh, snap.” Picturing the three of them, I know I want no part of their hide the bone game. I throw up a little in my mouth at the image, but that could be because I haven’t had my acid reflux pill yet. “I’m not into douchebags or walking STDs. Next.”

“You may enjoy visiting with Pastor Ben. He’s a good listener and dotes on your roommate.”

“I’ve never been a good kneeler. No receiving his holy communion for me. I’ll let Angela keep that peen to herself.”

Emmett chuckles, pointing toward the front of our group. “There’s the Major.”

“Now, we’re talking—military man? I love those uniforms.” I spot him as the only other man aside from the grumpy swinger and notice the hobble in his step.

“Yes, Jasper Whitlock, but he keeps cleaning his rifle to himself. He’s fond of one of your neighbors, Ms. Alice. I call her Tinkerbell, as she’s small and mischievous like a pixie.”

“Sounds like my kind of trouble. Who’s her roommate?”

“She has her own room, as does Ms. Rose. You may see Ms. Rose at lunch, but she doesn’t speak much to anyone. There’s also Ol’ Doc Cullen. He used to work at the hospital across town until he retired. When his wife died, he took up residence here, and now he’s our oldest resident at one hundred and two.”

“I’m not into older men, but maybe I’ll chat him up, if I see him.”

“He would like that, I’m sure.”

“So, that’s my choices? Limp Dick Newton, Pastor Ben, Major Hobble, and the Ol’ Doc? You’re looking better by the minute.”

“There’s also Mr. Edward.”

“What’s wrong with him?”

“Nothing really. He’s very soft-spoken, a former music teacher, and a lifelong bachelor.”

“Sounds like a recipe for virginity. He’s not a virgin, is he? I can’t imagine breaking in one of those at my age. My back isn’t what it used to be, but never say never. I’d make an exception for you, but you’re definitely not the virgin type.”

Emmett grins at my deduction. “I don’t believe he is, but you’ll normally find him at the piano off the main activities room.”

“A loner?” I ponder, wondering if Edward could be my future bae or at least friends with benefits.

“He’s quiet, keeps to himself, and likes to read, but his failing eyesight has him hooked on audiobooks. He listens to those in his room with the door shut.”


“Nope,” Emmett tells me, popping the “p.”

“Sounds promising. Can I count on your help with my shower later?”

“I wouldn’t miss it.”


After our walk, Emmett escorts me to my new room where I’m left to freshen up before lunch. Charlotte is nowhere to be found, but her handiwork is everywhere as she unpacked all of my belongings while I was gone, leaving me with a scavenger hunt I would rather not play. Emmett introduces my roommate, Angela, and promises to check on me later.

Angela is a sweet lady who used to be a photographer, traveling the world until she was ready to settle down and start a family. Her side of the room is covered in pictures of a life well-spent, and I enjoy listening to her stories until it is time for lunch.

We sit with Jessica and Lauren who are well on their way to being shit-faced. They can’t stop gushing about everything from today’s meal—mystery meatloaf—to our fellow residents sitting at other tables.

I lean in closer to Angela and ask, “Where did they get the booze?”

“It’s an option.”

“I’m not surprised my daughter didn’t choose it. Char has such a stick up her ass sometimes. There’s nothing wrong with a little lubrication.”

“You can get wine and beer with your meals, but everyone has a box of the hard stuff—nips.”


“Those little bottles of liquor on airplanes?”

“They’re called nips? I thought nips meant nipples.”

“Yeah, I’ll show you mine later.”

“Your nipples?” I wasn’t into women, but I’m no prude either. If Angela wants to show them, I’ll take a look.

“No my box. Everyone keeps a box of snacks on a shelf in their rooms—booze hidden as snacks right out in the open—all part of the eternal happy hour here.”

“That’s brilliant.”

“Angela, are you talking about my squeeze box?” Jessica asks loudly.

Lauren snorts, spraying mashed potatoes across the table. “There’s not much squeeze left in your box, Jess.”

“Mike’s baloney pony begs to differ, and it’s better than that furburger you’re sporting. You need to make an appointment at the salon and have your cooter waxed.”

“Don’t think I didn’t hear him slurping on your snatch the other night. It sounded like a bowl of soup. Did you squirt him in the face again?”

Jessica and Lauren are grinning from ear to ear until suddenly they pause hurling their insults. I’m confused by the abrupt end to their loose, bitchy banter as they stare at their plates.

Movement off to the side gets my attention, and I notice another man walk at the speed of a turtle into the dining room using a cane to assist his progress. My eyes move from his neatly styled, wavy gray hair to his kind face worn and full of wrinkles like the rest of us, but his most defining trait is his stooped posture. Wire-framed glasses sit perched on his nose, and from here, I can make out a hearing aid in at least one ear.

“Who is that?” I ask while my eyes follow his every movement.

Jessica looks over her shoulder, glancing back to me quickly. “That’s Edward. Edward Masen.”

As if he hears his name, his gaze searches our group until finally landing on mine as he pauses, examining my face for any recognition, then looks away, tugging on a chair at an empty table.

“He’s so bougie—always sitting alone, unless Jeopardy is on, then he’s in the middle of the crowd around the television, yelling out the answers.”

“You mean the questions,” I correct.

“Yeah, whatever. He acts like he’s the goat.” Jessica rolls her eyes, but it looks more like a seizure.

I consider yelling for someone to help her, but she goes back to pushing her peas around her plate and making trails through the gravy of her mashed potatoes before taking another bite.

A nursing assistant grabs my attention, bringing Edward a plate full of food with a tall glass of milk. He smiles kindly, thanking her and focusing on his meal. His head never turns toward our direction, and I realize that simply won’t do.

Over the years, I’ve accepted there isn’t anything special about my mousy, girl-next-door looks and I’m neither coy nor flirtatious. I’m an all-natural woman with extra curves that droop a little more every day. I’ll never be like Jessica—the pathetic lip biter and her puffy, dick sucking lips. If I tried something like that, my teeth would probably fall out.

My softy, spongy body is no match for Lauren’s melon-sized breasts in an extra small blouse with too many buttons undone, revealing her crepe-textured skin from decades of worshiping the sun. Why she looks up at everyone from underneath her heavy, fake lashes like an empty-headed, doe-eyed deer is beyond me.

While those traits may appeal to Limp Dick or other men, they haven’t snagged the attention of Edward Masen or else he wouldn’t be sitting alone. As if there is a magnet drawing me to him, I know I can’t stay away.

Angela reaches out, holding my arm and preventing me from leaving the table. “Bella, what are you doing?”


Jessica huffs. “Bella, you are so extra.”

“And you’re a thirsty whore,” Lauren counters in my defense. “Go, Bella. I totes ship that.”

I ignore Jessica’s comment, pushing away from the table while using the edge to help me stand, and after steadying myself, walk toward the reigning Jeopardy champ.

“Excuse me…” I wait for his eyes to find mine and proceed when I have his attention. “Do you know how much a polar bear weighs?”

He sets down his fork full of potatoes, looking up at me and considering my question. When he doesn’t come up with an answer, I let him off the hook.

“Enough to break the ice. Hello, I’m Bella Dwyer.” I hold out my shaking hand, waiting for him to accept, but he only stares, repeating my name.

“Bella. Dwyer.” He frowns as his gray, straggly brows furrow in confusion.

“Yes, may I join you?” I grasp the chair back, keeping my balance when I realize he has no plans to return my greeting, and wait for his response.

He lifts his napkin from his lap, wipes his mouth, and attempts to clear his throat. “I believe an adult male averages about a thousand pounds, but the largest was over double that number. Females are normally half as much as their male counterparts.”

“Edward?” I interrupt, but it doesn’t stop him, as he’s taken my light-hearted opening as a serious question.

“And with the declining availability of polar ice due to climate change, we can expect to see polar bears struggling to find food, which will probably diminish those averages.”

“Edward!” I raise my voice, finally getting not only his attention, but also the attention of those around us.


“Is this seat taken?”

His eyes shift from mine to the other residents no doubt interested in his answer. “No, it is not.”

“Would you mind if I joined you for lunch?”

“You are free to sit wherever you wish.” His indifference is off-putting, but I don’t let his dismissal discourage me.

“True, but I’m the new kid here, and I was hoping to get to know you as I already know too much about my current lunch companions.” I wave toward my previous table and find all three hanging on our every word.

“Oh. I’m not much of a talker.” Edward attempts to stand, with the intention of helping me into the seat next to him.

“That can’t be true, and please, don’t get up. At our age, we don’t need to make any unnecessary movements.” I chuckle, settling into my seat.

“I was taught to always be respectful.”

“I have no doubt. You’re well-versed on the plight of the polar bear.”

He shrugs. “I know a lot of useless information.”

“Me, too. It’s nice to hear I’m not alone. Companionship can be a good thing. Sometimes all we need is a little nudge.”

“Ms. Bella, would you like for me to bring your plate and drink over to Mr. Edward’s table.”

“Yes, that would be great, Eric. Thank you.” I sit back as Eric retrieves my meal, setting it down, then moving on to help someone else.

“There’s nothing like meat and potatoes. It’s a hearty meal, which leaves me full and satisfied. Don’t you agree, Edward?” I lift my fork, waiting to see if he’s caught onto my vaguely disguised innuendo, as I hope to figure out if he swings my way. His lifelong bachelorhood has me questioning if I’m barking up the wrong tree trunk.

Without an immediate response, his shocked expression leads me to conclude I’ve flustered him unintentionally. I’m ready to ask about a safer subject like his love of the piano, but before I can, bow-tied and button-downed Edward surprises me with a twinkle in his emerald green eyes.

“They’re serving tacos this evening. I believe my preference is for those. Maybe you’ll join me for dinner?”

I notice his long, slender fingers as they wrap around his glass and imagine them tickling more than the ivories later. My own pink taco is curious to their arthritic abilities, as I clench my squishy thighs together, hoping I don’t leave a wet spot on the chair, and return a smile at his offer.

“It’s a date,” I agree. Realizing, if I’m going to be around Edward for any length of time, I won’t be able to conceal my seeping interest, and plan to request more dependable undergarments from Shelly.


After lunch, Edward takes a seat in front of the piano, playing a variety of lovely songs while I listen from one of the comfy couches in the main gathering area. Most of the residents leave for their rooms, taking an afternoon nap, but some linger, working crossword puzzles or playing board games with others. The large television broadcasts afternoon soap operas, but I can’t focus on the latest happenings in Salem or Genoa City when I’m more interested in the piano player, sharing some of the sweetest notes I’ve ever heard.

I don’t know how much time passes as my eyes drift close at the soothing serenade, but the next time they open, someone sitting beside me is poking my arm.

“Hey, sleeping beauty. I heard you were finally here.”

I blink my eyes, wondering where I am, recalling I’m no longer in my Florida living room, but in my new home on the other side of the country.

The piano ballads have ceased, and a glance in that direction confirms the seat’s vacancy. I’m staring at the woman next to me as she shares her plans for the two of us.

“How do you feel about going on an extra adventure on Saturday after our trip to the salon?”

“Something extra?”

“I’ve got a plan for preventing our immediate return and keeping our bus driver busy.”

“What would we do?”

“The real question is: what wouldn’t we do?” She shares a devious grin.

“Is there a chance we’ll get in trouble?”

“Most definitely.”

“Okay, I’m game.”

“Good. Make sure you get on the list for the trip. Tell Eric and have him sign you up for the works at the salon. It will buy us more time away.”

“Will do,” I agree, watching the tiny, frail woman stand, preparing to leave. “Hey, what’s your name?”

“Alice, and I know we’re going to be best friends.” She smiles, but is distracted momentarily by something outside the nearby window. “Oh, come look, the gardeners are here.”

My old bones creak and snap as I stand, following Alice to the window where a shirtless crew of four young men labor over every hedge, bush, flower, and weed. My eyes dance with delight as they linger along expanses of sweaty, tanned skin and pants hanging low, revealing lickable, chiseled abs with a well-defined “V” below the waist, urging my eyes toward their bulging cocks.

“Dear, God.” I gasp as my mouth waters. “How can anyone sleep through this? I’m going to need a chair.”

“I keep telling Eric we need a bench outside. I don’t think an up-close view would hurt. Do you?”

“A bench would be a great idea. Do they show up when it rains, too?”

“Rain or shine, they’re here twice a week—Mondays and Thursdays. There’s nothing like it when they’re all wet.” Alice licks her lips.

“I can imagine.” My nose smudges the glass and my breath fogs the view.

“They’re almost finished here. Let’s move to another window.”

“Shouldn’t we offer them a glass of lemonade or some cookies? Maybe the kitchen has something that would get us an up-close view.”

“The big one could be my cookie muncher any day.” Alice giggles, fanning herself. “Look at those muscles, flexing with every twist and turn. Do you think they go commando?”

I tap the window accidentally, drawing their attention to our hidden perch and outing our watchful eyes. “Whoops.” I snicker as one man waves.

“I bet they do. I hear we’re getting construction workers soon. I’m always partial to a plumber who’s an expert at laying pipe.” Alice’s breath hitches as one of the men bends over, giving her the perfect view of his butt crack.

I’m mesmerized. “We’ve hit the sausage jackpot. If Char had told me I would be given a front row seat to such an array of beefcake, I would have been here years ago. Look at the hard salami on that one. There’s no way I could get my fingers wrapped around that.”

“This is nothing. Wait until you see where I’m taking you and the others on Saturday night. Bring plenty of ones.”


The room is crowded with very few spots remaining, and I’m saving the one next to me for my dinner companion, but I’m concerned when I don’t see Edward anywhere.

Wheel of Fortune is a great warm-up. It gets the juices flowing.” Doc shifts in his wheelchair, getting settled as the theme music plays, announcing the beginning of the show. “One day, I’ll beat Masen.”

“I hate those damn ‘Before and After’ puzzles,” Limp Dick grumps, until Jessica’s hand sneaks under the blanket covering his lap and legs.

“Have you seen Edward?” I ask, looking around the group for his familiar face.

“Shhhhh! It’s starting.” Pastor Ben hushes the crowd as the first puzzle appears on the screen.

Major Hobble nods in my direction. “The nurses were in his room when I passed by.”

My concern grows; Edward was excited for this evening’s shows, and I can’t imagine what’s keeping him. “He was fine at dinner and ate three fish tacos with extra guac.” I shift in my own seat while recalling the way Edward’s tongue unknowingly taunted me with lingering licks of sour cream and guacamole until I had to excuse myself from the table.

A hasty trip to my bathroom suite for a lightning-fast round of flick the bean had me back on track and able to return to finish dinner. But now, with Edward’s unexpected absence, I’m unable to focus on the puzzles, preparing to leave my spot when Angela halts my progress.

“I’m sure he’s okay, Bella. There aren’t any emergency workers or flashing lights. Don’t worry. He won’t miss Jeopardy for anything—even if they have to push his bed in here.”

“Okay,” I agree. But an uneasy feeling sits firmly in my gut while Doc beats everyone at solving this evening’s puzzles.

I’m completely off my game and can’t figure out the last puzzle with only a handful of letters revealed.

“Suck It Dork!” Jessica yells, and at first, I think she’s talking to Lauren.

Doc chimes in, thinking he has it. “Sick At Work!”

“There’s no S,” Major Hobble reminds everyone.

“Lick It Dork!” Lauren laughs, but her excitement starts a coughing fit, making it impossible to hear the contestant’s guesses.

“There’s no L.” Major Hobble stands, vacating his chair, having reached his limit for the evening. “Good night, everyone.”

“How about—Fuck At Work?” Limp Dick offers with a shrug. “At least I’m guessing.”

“Back At Work.” A gravelly familiar voice from behind me blurts out the answer, getting my attention instantly.

With time expiring and the answer revealed, the host consoles the contestant who didn’t win the final prize. I turn in my spot and catch the winning smirk on Edward’s face as Emmett helps him into a chair behind everyone else. Once he’s settled, Emmett leans down, whispering something in his ear, and Edward nods.

I’m excited at his return and warmth seeps through my body, lighting my passion pit on fire in record time, even though he never looks in my direction.

Angela taps my arm lightly. “See? I told you he would be here.”

“You were right.”

“Now, let’s kick some Jeopardy ass. It’s the Teen Tournament, so maybe we all finally have a chance.”

After the familiar theme music plays, the announcer draws our attention.

Let’s meet today’s contestants…”

It turns out I’m not the only one who knows today’s easier version of corresponding questions as responses are yelled out randomly around me. I listen intently as the host announces the categories for the next round—Double Jeopardy.

I’ll take Snakes for 800, Alex.”

Found in South America, this semiaquatic snake is one of the largest snakes in the world.”

What is an anaconda?”


It’s hard not to notice how Jessica’s hand moves back and forth under the blanket. “This feels like an anaconda. Did you take your pill already, Mike?”

At his nod, there’s a scramble to depart their spots as No-Longer Limp Dick and Jessica abandon the show, leaving for the privacy of his room, but the commotion they create ruffles a few feathers.

“Can’t you be quiet? I can’t hear what they’re saying,” Pastor Ben complains.

“Maybe some new batteries in your hearing aids,” Angela suggests, but Pastor Ben ignores her.

I’ll take U.S. Customs and Border Protection for 600.”

A person may be asked to squat and cough in this type of search.”

What is a body cavity search?”

Correct. Select again.”

My mind drifts as I recall the customs officer I used to see years ago. His cavity searches were some of my favorites with his long fingers and even longer manhood. He had a nightstick that just wouldn’t quit and left my girly bits sore for days. Angela elbows my side accidentally, bringing me back to the show.

“Sorry,” she whispers.

SpongeBob for 400.”

This fictional fast-food restaurant was founded by owner, Eugene H. Krabs.”

What is the Krusty Krab?”

“I’ve never heard of this SpongeBob character. How is this supposed to be fair?” Pastor Ben complains.

I shake my head, lowering my voice. “Thank goodness I’ve never had crabs.”

Angela gives me a small smile. “Count yourself lucky. Jessica and Lauren had them not long ago. It caused a stir when they figured out Mike brought them back after a trip to Port Angeles. He paid extra for a fifty-year-old hooker to get the deluxe treatment.”

“Oh, heavens.”

“They all took a break until they were cleared by the nurses and their rooms completely sterilized, but now they are back at it, knocking boots any chance they get.”

“So, are you and Pastor Ben…or should I ask: will you be hanging a sock on the door later?”

Angela leans in close. “You never know; he seems crankier tonight. Maybe I can persuade him to give into the wickedness, satisfying my need for our uncomely parts to be joined. Lord knows I’ve listened to plenty of his sermons. It won’t take long, if he can find the right room.”

“Is that a problem?”

“Not normally, but we used to have a roamer who would try to crawl in bed with me or any of the other women, but that’s as far as it went. I mean really, Bella. What good is a man if he can’t remember what to do? I kicked him out when I figured out he only wanted to sleep.”

Angela and I return our attention to the show, as we wait for the host to announce the final category.

Today’s Final Jeopardy category is—Bestsellers. Our contestants will make their wagers and we’ll reveal the clue in a moment.”

Lauren shakes her head while the commercials play. “I can’t remember the last book I read.”

“They didn’t say recent bestsellers. Maybe it’s a classic.” Angela considers the possibilities.

“The Bible. It has to be the Bible. It’s the best-selling book of all time.” Pastor Ben is adamant he’s onto something.

“What about that wizard book?” Doc suggests.

Harry Potter?” I offer.

Doc nods. “Yeah, I think they sold a few copies of that. It’s a kids’ book anyway and the perfect question these teens will get.”

“It’s not a children’s book,” Angela corrects.

“Have you read it?” Doc asks.

Pastor Ben waves his hands, getting our attention. “Shhhhh! It’s on again.”

Welcome back. Here’s the clue: In the beginning, this 2005 novel was simply titled ‘Forks.’ You have thirty seconds. Good luck.”

Doc taps his temple while shaking his head in disbelief. “Somebody wrote a book about forks? What is that—a manners book? These kids don’t know manners. They can’t even write in cursive or read an analog clock. They will never get it.”

“But they can probably fix the clock on your VCR when the power goes out,” I remind him.

“I used to put a sticky note over that damn blinking twelve o’clock to solve the problem.” Lauren’s raspy laugh crackles. “My grandkids gave me this pad thing. I can’t do much with it, but there’s an addictive candy game I can’t stop myself from playing all the time. No wonder I haven’t read a book in ages.”

Angela shrugs. “I think you can read books on those pad things—or at least that’s what I’ve heard.”

“It’s definitely not the Bible.” Pastor Ben slouches in his seat.

“What was the name of that Miss Manner’s lady?” Doc wonders.

“Dear Abby?” Angela suggests.

Doc shakes his head. “No, that’s the advice lady.”

Her name finally pops into my head. “Judith Martin?”

“Yeah, I think that’s her. What’s the name of her latest book?”

Angela returns her attention to the television. “Here we go. The show’s back.”

“…struggled all day, but there was no catching our leader. Let’s reveal your response. You wrote… What is Twilight?…which is correct, and what did you wager…?”

Doc looks around at the surprise on our faces. “Twilight? Do they mean the twilight years? I wonder if it’s a book about aging. I have a few in my room, but I’m not familiar with that one.”

“It’s a vampire book, like Frankenstein.” Lauren shakes her head. “My granddaughters read it years ago and couldn’t stop talking about it when they made the movies.”

“Do you mean Dracula?” he asks.

Angela grunts, pushing up from her chair. “Yeah, monsters, Doc. You know, like werewolves and shapeshifters.”

“Science fiction?”

“Not really, it’s a love story.” Angela waves at me. “I’m going to get ready for bed. Take your time. There’s no rush. I’ll probably be asleep when you show up.”

“Okay, good night.” I nod, watching her follow Pastor Ben down the hall and into our room.

Doc’s brows scrunch together in confusion. “A bestselling love story about vampires?”

“And a human,” Lauren clarifies, taking her leave to join another table of residents who are starting a card game. “Have a good evening, you two.”

Doc takes out a small notebook from his pocket and a pencil, jotting down the word twilight. “I should ask Shelly if we have a copy here.”

I shrug. “If not, we can put in a request from the local public library. They may have one.”

“Sounds good. It was nice to meet you, Bella. I’ll see you tomorrow for a rematch.” Doc reaches down, struggling to release the brakes of his wheelchair.

Eric swoops in from out of nowhere, fixing Doc’s wheelchair and gently waking others. “Do you need help getting up, Ms. Bella?”

“No, I think I can do it.” I struggle to stand, but manage on my own; I’m interested in checking on Edward who is napping in his chair.

When I finally reach his spot, I sink down into the chair beside him, patting his knee. “Edward?”

His eyes crack open, stirring at my touch. “Time for bed?”

“Do you want me to get Emmett?”

“No, he said he would come back for me later.”

“It’s probably later. Are you okay?”

“Never better.”

“You were missing after dinner. I saved you a spot.”

“I’m sorry I missed out on sitting with you—maybe tomorrow. While I was in my room earlier, my feet got tangled, and I took a tumble. I have new bruises on my legs and arms, but they don’t think I broke anything or hit my head.”

I notice several purplish spots darkening under the thin skin of his hands and imagine he has matching ones concealed by his clothing. “That’s good. Do you remember my name?”

He pauses for a moment, studying my face. “Bella, the new kid.”

“Who are you calling, kid? I bet I’m older than you,” I tease.

“A tiger, my favorite.”

“Don’t you mean cougar?”


“And I’m not that much older,” I counter, then we sit in comfortable silence until he speaks again.

“How was your first day?”

I nod repeatedly before giving my approval. “It was good.”

“I’m glad. Make every day count.” Edward groans as he tries to get comfortable.

Our conversation is interrupted by the sweetest dimple-faced man, who I imagine, no woman in her right mind can resist.

“Hey, Pops, you ready for bed?”

“That would be great. Thanks, Em.” Edward looks for his cane, but it’s fallen to the floor.

Emmett reaches down retrieving the cane and helping Edward to stand. “Let me get Mr. Edward settled, then I’ll come by and help with your shower, Ms. Bella.”

“Okay.” I reach out, touching Edward’s arm lightly to get his attention. “Good night, Edward.”

His crooked grin turns my vajayjay into a raging waterfall.

“Good night, Bella. Pleasant dreams. Would you like to have breakfast with me?”

I press my knees together, trying not to leave a puddle and knowing a lifetime of Kegels would be no match for Edward’s panty-dropping smile.

“Sounds like a perfect way to start the day. I’ll see you in the morning.”


After that first day, I easily embrace the routine of Tall Timbers. I have more freedom than I ever expected, and when I don’t, Alice or Angela always has a solution for staying off the nurses’ radar.

Edward and I enjoy nearly every meal together, not necessarily alone either. Some days, Doc joins us, while others, like Pastor Ben and Angela, round out our group. Emmett shares privately that since my arrival, Edward is more engaged with the other residents, and I’m beaming with pride to be the reason for that extra pep in his step.

We spar over game show answers and the occasional board game, like chess or Scrabble. I always look forward to afternoons listening as he plays the most melodic piano ballads, lulling me into a peaceful nap.

Alice and I bond over our love of the male body in all forms, and we make sure not to miss visits of the gardeners or construction workers, doing our own inspections under the guise of a perfectly timed walk.

The first week in my new home is better than I could have ever imagined, but I’m looking forward to getting away for Saturday’s field trip—women only except for our driver. We are headed to a salon in Port Angeles for the afternoon followed by dinner at an Italian place Alice says has the best mushroom ravioli. Little does our driver realize, but we have plans to see a show, too.

“Are you sure this will work?” I look around as we wait for James to join our group for dinner after he parks our bus nearby.

Alice dumps a tiny plastic bag filled with Epsom salt into his water glass, at the only remaining seat at the table, stirring until the salt is dissolved. “Trust me, James only drinks water. It’s a small dose and he will be glued to the toilet for hours. My mama swore by it for when you gotta go, but your ass says no. Even if he alerts someone, it will take them over an hour to get here and find us.”

Jessica finishes gnawing on her breadstick. “I’m going to get my first tattoo. There has to be a shop nearby. Right, Alice? I remember seeing one when we were here last time.”

“Yes, I think there are a couple, and one close to where we’re going. We can drop you off. Can you join us at the club when you’re done?”

“It shouldn’t be a problem, just make sure I have my walker. Lauren’s going to go with me.”

“You got it. Are you okay with driving, Bella?”

“I don’t have a license, but it’s like riding a bike, right? It will come back to me, I’m sure.”


“What about keys?” I wonder. “Do we know where James keeps them?”

Alice holds up a set from her purse. “No need. I grabbed the extra set from the nurses’ station before we left.”

“You think of everything.”

“I try, but this time, experience is on our side. Not our first, second, or even third rodeo.” She looks around the table reminding everyone, “Don’t forget to eat at least half your meal—we’re getting drinks by the yard later.”

“By the yard?”

“Oh, Bella, we’re going to have so much fun. It’s three feet of the best slushy sauce you will ever have sliding down your throat.”

I doubt that, as I can swallow a load with the best of them, but I can’t wait to try something new.

“Hey, everyone. Sorry, I took so long. I couldn’t find a good spot in the parking lot and waited for a couple to come open that would fit the bus, but ended up parking just outside the front door on the street. I don’t think anyone will have trouble with the ramp later. Have we ordered?” James slides into the remaining seat and grabs the water glass, finishing it in one gulp and looking around for someone to offer a refill. “Phew, I’m thirsty. Maybe they can leave the pitcher.”

Alice snickers. “We selected a steak for you. They said our food will be ready soon.”

“Sounds delicious.” James grins. “I’m starving, too.”

When the servers deliver our meals, our table holds a feast that would make any Italian woman proud. We dig into our food with gusto, enjoying plates of pasta covered in the richest sauces while devouring every breadstick they offer. We bond over snarky conversation and mouth-watering bites, but no one mentions a word about the plan we’ve put in motion.

James groans, slumping against the back in his chair. “That was the best steak I’ve ever had, and those potatoes were perfect. Send me another breadstick, Alice. I may have room for one more.”

We watch Alice pass the basket his way, wondering when his salty water will kick into effect. She glances at our curious faces, nodding her head, as if she can read our minds.

“Not much longer.”

“What’s not much longer?” James asks, looking at Alice expectantly.

She gives him a sweet smile. “Until we’re back home, of course.”

“Right. It is getting late. Have you all enjoyed your time away?”

Angela brushes her salt and pepper strands from her face. “I always love our salon trips.”

“Me, too. Your new cut looks terrific and I love the color on my nails.” Alice holds out her hands so we can all see. “It’s called Jizz.”

“Is it a regular visit?” I wonder, looking over Alice’s cream-colored nails.

She nods and explains. “Every two or three weeks, we get to make the trip because of all the extra services they offer.”

Lauren reaches down rubbing between her legs. “I don’t care how long I live, I’ll never get used to them ripping the pubes from my cooch.”

“Well, if you wouldn’t wait for it to grow into a beaver pelt, it wouldn’t be so difficult each visit.” Jessica shares, then practices deep-throating a breadstick. “Did you see how far I went that time?”

“TMI, ladies.” James holds his hands up in protest before lowering one to his protruding belly. “Oh.”

We watch with thinly veiled concern as he clutches his abdomen.

“Oh. That’s—maybe I should slow down.” He abandons his half-eaten breadstick.

“How about more water?” Angela suggests.

“Good idea.” James finishes his glass and looks around the table.

Sitting next to him, even with my poor eyesight, I can see beads of sweat forming on his forehead and upper lip.

“Is it hot in here?” He uses his napkin to wipe his face while fanning the collar of his shirt.

“It feels fine to me.” Rose smirks, playing along and sharing the first words I’ve heard from her since my arrival.

“Oh, maybe it’s just me. I think I’m going to make a trip to the restroom before we leave. Everyone stay put. I won’t be long.”

When James is out of earshot, I lower my voice and ask, “Do we need to wait for the check?”

Angela shakes her head. “No, since we’re always considered a large group, they keep a credit card on file when we make a reservation and bill Tall Timbers’ card directly.”

Alice smiles victoriously. “Time to get krunk, bitches!”

We aren’t the fastest crew, but for six ladies with two canes and a walker we exit the restaurant using every available ramp and handrail, locating our bus before anyone can think to stop us.

Alice hands me the keys once I plop into the driver’s seat. “Start it up, Bella! The peckers are waiting. Let’s go to The Bone Yard! This is going to be epic!”


Everyone is excited except for Jessica, who keeps complaining about her “trump stamp,” and Lauren, who is having trouble staying awake after finishing over half of her drink too quickly.

“It’s a tramp stamp,” Lauren slurs once more. “I think I’m lit.”

“Either way, that bitch has me moaning and not in a good way.” Jessica moves to the edge of her seat so her lower back isn’t touching anything.

“Oh, stop complaining. Once it heals, you’ll be flat on your back in no time. She hates doggie-style,” Lauren adds, rolling her eyes.

“My knees can’t take it and Mike doesn’t always hit the right hole. My vag and ass aren’t as loose as Lauren’s. I swear her slit farts trigger alarms at the nurses’ station.”

“What did you get?” I wonder as the room darkens.

“I’ll show you later,” Jessica shouts, and our attention is directed toward the stage.

Our corner of the room is the perfect vantage point as our eyes widen with delight over glistening muscles while the spotlights tease us with what’s waiting in the shadows. The thump of the bass is in time with pistoning hips while my heart nearly beats out of my chest. Even my blood pressure pill is no match for the surging onslaught of testosterone from every angle.

I’m not sure if we’ve passed through the pearly gates of heaven or are lounging around Satan’s bedroom, but either way my pounding heart wants more of everything I see. If the reaper were to take me now, I would die a happy old lady.

The strippers move from one song to the next as colored lights dance playfully around the room, revealing every version of man you could ever want, in eventually not much more than their birthday suit complete with barely-covered, engorged nether regions.

I’m partial to the firefighter, who I think could have also been the soldier, but it’s when the dancers leave the stage, moving through the packed crowd for private dances, that my heart almost beats out of my chest. When the firefighter heads in our direction, I sober instantly from my bone-shaped, almost empty yard of margarita, and realize our night is about to be over.

I tug on Alice’s arm, trying to get her attention, as he gets closer to where we’re sitting, but she’s busy, slipping ones under another G-string.

“Alice!” I yell.

She can’t hear me over the music, but I doubt much could snap her out of her current trance on the man’s love muscle as he straddles her lap.

I’m about to nudge Angela when I realize my time is up and I’m face to dick with a gyrating, barely covered third leg. I avoid eye contact, admiring the tent he’s pitching until Rose reaches over, smacking his bare ass. When his eyes search for the instigator, I know immediately we’re in trouble as I watch his face change from confusion to recognition.

“What are you doing here?” he shouts over the music, scanning our group.

“Adding to your college fund?” I offer, as my eyes never stray too far from his package.

“You’re not supposed to be—what did you do to your driver?”

I wave off his concern, wondering if he’s a grower or a shower. “Alice says he will be fine.”

Big Mac shakes his head, leaning down to yell in my ear. “Come with me.”


“Your innocent act won’t work here. Save it for Mr. Edward, but I suspect he’s on to you, too.”

Grasping my hand, he helps me from my chair, leading me up the steps slowly and onto the stage where a chair is waiting.

“Sit. I don’t need you breaking anything.”

“What are you doing?”

“Making sure you get your money’s worth, then I want answers.”

“I’m just an old lady out with my new friends.”

“Mmmhmm.” He’s skeptical, but winks. “Don’t keep your hands to yourself.”

Over the next two songs, Big Mac teases and taunts me as I’ve never experienced, and I’m tucking every sweaty bill I have stashed in my bra under his G-string. My hands glide across his well-defined back, over those broad shoulders, and pass his perfectly sculpted abs, until he moves them to his taut, bubble ass. For every flex and thrust toward my face, I squeeze until I go lower, exploring the strong contours of his thighs. I move my hands higher, curious if the spunk spot I spy from his weeping cock is part of getting my money’s worth.

Before I can get my fingers any closer to his swollen knob, the music fades, and the crowd goes wild. I grin, clapping my approval for my private dancer. If I were thirty years younger, I wouldn’t mind climbing him like a tree, since we’re past the point of getting my panties hot and bothered. Right now, I’m drenched and barely clenched.

“Thank you for the dance, Ms. Bella. Let me help you back to your seat, then I’ll see you after the show.”

“Is that a promise?” I could always move backstage and help him out with milking the dog.

“I need to find out how much damage you’ve done with this stunt. Let’s hope the cops aren’t looking for you and your friends.”

I huff, but take his offered elbow while he delivers me as promised, then he returns for the last dance of the show.

After the dancers take their final bows, the lights brighten, and I look on as everyone escapes to the lobby, knowing our time of reckoning is upon us.

“I’m shook AF!” Angela shouts, even though there’s no reason without the music blasting. “Cray-cray. It. Was. Absolutely. Cray. Cray. Worth. Every. Dollar. Bill.”

“You sound like Lauren.” I shake my head. “Emmett is pissed. He wants us to wait here.”

“Come on, Bella. You’re killing my buzz,” Jessica huffs, downing what’s left in Lauren’s drink like a fraternity brother at a kegger.

Alice rolls her eyes. “Oh, please. He can be mad all he wants. What are they going to do to us? We didn’t commit any crimes?”

I give Alice a look that says otherwise.

“James will be fine, and we simply borrowed the bus when he wasn’t available,” she defends.

“What about me driving without a license?” I prompt. “I’m not interested in starring in my own series—Gray Is the New Black.”

“It will all work out. Have a little faith, Bella.” Her eyes move just past my shoulder. “Uh-oh. Here he comes. You’re right. He looks pissed.”

A casually dressed Big Mac bounds over to our group, ending his call and pocketing his phone. “As I thought, James is looking for all of you, but apparently, his dinner didn’t agree with him and his mind has been on other things for the past two hours.”

“Did he call the cops?” I wonder.

“No, you’re all lucky. I sent one of the guys to pick him up from the restaurant. He’s still there, nursing a ginger ale at the bar.”

“The bus—”

He holds up his hand, cutting me off. “—is out in the parking lot, I know. You don’t have to tell me who drove, but I’m sure she passed your little initiation, Tinker.” Big Mac’s eyes dart between Alice’s and mine, before returning the rest of the group. “Ms. Jessica, wake up Ms. Lauren. It’s time to go.”

Jessica slaps Lauren on the cheek a couple of times then grabs her walker. “Hey, bitch! Wake up. It’s time to haul ass.”

Lauren looks around dazed and confused. “What? Oh, is the show over already?”

Big Mac holds out his hand in my direction. “Who has the extra set of keys?”


We arrive at Tall Timbers with little fanfare. Before James can help us off the bus, the night nurse on duty, Victoria, steps on board.

We’re all wondering how much everyone knows about our adventure. I don’t think Emmett spilled the beans, but I would imagine we’re in for a brief lecture warning us of the dangers lurking around Port Angeles without our trusted chaperone this evening.

“Ladies, glad to have you back safe, and I apologize for you arriving home so late this evening. I understand your driver was under the weather and I appreciate your understanding for the delay. Let’s get you inside.”

My eyes lock onto Alice who is nodding innocently at Victoria, but when she meets my gaze, a small smirk threatens to take over her face before she stands, knowing we got away with this one.

I fall in line behind Angela as we shuffle toward the front exit door.

Angela clutches the handrail tightly, getting down the three steps and breathing a sigh of relief once she makes it. “Take care, James.”

“Thanks, Ms. Angela.”

I’m careful, too, navigating the stairs easier than the others. “I’m sure you will feel better tomorrow, James. Get a good night’s sleep.”

“Thank you for your concern, Ms. Bella.” He nods, releasing my hand.

“I’ll take it from here,” Victoria offers, guiding me through the entrance doors.

Once we’re inside, I notice someone in a chair next to the nurses’ station, facing toward the entrance.

When I realize who it is, worry fills my thoughts. “Is he okay?”

“He’s fine, but was very concerned earlier when your bus didn’t return on time. He asked to wait there. I should wake him now that you’re back and help him to his room.”

“No, let me.”

“Okay, but if you need any help, I’ll be close by. I’ll be in with your medications once you’re settled for the night.”

“Thanks, Victoria.”

“My pleasure, and just between us, I’ve been to The Bone Yard a few times—worth every penny—better than The Cock Pit out by the airport.” She winks.

I chuckle, moving toward the chair and tapping his knee lightly. “Edward.”

He jostles, but doesn’t wake immediately.

“Edward,” I try a little louder.

His eyes open slightly.

“Hey, we’re back, and it’s way past your bedtime.”

“Bella?” He stares up at me.

“Yes, I’m here.”

“I was only resting my eyes for a minute. What time is it?”

“After eleven.”

He sits up, grabbing his cane hanging off the arm of his chair. “Can I… can I walk you to your door?”

“Only if you promise to sit with me at breakfast in the morning.”

“You drive a hard bargain, but it’s a deal.” He stands, waving at the nurses. “Did you have a good evening?”

“Yes.” I smile as we walk down the hall toward my room.

“I heard you enjoy dancing.”

Edward’s unexpected comment has my See-You-Next-Tuesday on alert as I recall the tantalizing images of our evening playing repeatedly in my head until I concede.

“Mostly watching.”

We pass our usual breakfast table, far from the nurses’ station view, and I imagine him finally giving into the undeniable attraction between us. I shiver in anticipation of fantasy Edward’s wrinkly, liver-spotted hands bending me over, pushing my polyester dress to my waist, and ripping off my soaked, disposable undergarments. He gives me a knowing smile as he braces his hand against a chair and nudges my orthopedic walking shoes wider with his cane while my honeypot dribbles down the insides of my dimpled legs. His hand shakes as he tugs his baggy, white briefs lower, revealing his cream-filled Long John, and I wet my lips wishing for a taste of that custardy goodness. Without hesitation, his glazed wonder stick pushes past my gooey, oval-shaped ring, and I’m no longer thinking of sweet breakfast pastries. With his every, painstakingly slow thrust, I cling tightly to the edge of the table as it jars with his erratic movements… it’s Edward’s sweet voice that pulls me from my fantasy before he can bust a nut.


“Yes?” I ask, wondering what I’ve missed.

“I said when I was younger, I had quite the quickstep, but I haven’t danced in years since having my knees replaced.”

“Maybe you’ve been waiting for the right partner.” Who is standing in front of you, willing to gobble your cock at a moment’s notice—just say the word.

“Maybe, so.” He reaches out, clutching my hand. “I’m glad you’re home safe and sound.”

I squeeze his hand gently, wishing he would invite me back to his room. “Me, too.”

Edward brings my hand to his lips, leaving a light kiss on the back of it. “Good night, Bella.”

“Good night, Edward.” I whisper his name on a sigh as he turns and shuffles in the opposite direction, knowing I’ll be rubbing the nub tonight with the same hand he kissed.