On the Counter

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Bella was exhausted from the flight and drive. The familiar streets felt more like home than the five-star hotel she'd left behind. She spared her new burner phone, one she'd toss after a few calls, a glance and realized it was too late to stop by to see Esme and Carlisle.

Her mind didn't want to wander toward their son, but yeah, her heart told her head to go fuck itself. She rolled her eyes at the way her mind worked. "No wonder he calls you crazy."

She took a moment to look in the rearview mirror and saw the new her staring back at her. It was a look she had for weeks and had gotten used to it. She liked this version of herself and now that everything was officially over, she was free to live that new life. It had to start somewhere, and as she pulled into her driveway and took in the changes, she knew she found her new home.

~oOo~

Bella woke up feeling better and ready to start her day. She showered and dressed in a robe, and realized she needed to do laundry badly. She turned on her stereo on the way to the kitchen, determined to make some breakfast. A quick tour of her house indicated that construction had continued since she left. Did that mean Jacob or Edward? Whom did she prefer?

It mattered little, since she wanted to kick both their asses. She popped a hip and swirled around as the music lent a beat for her to move. "We can't stop, we won't stop." Ignoring the tickle of guilt she felt for leaving as she did, she started to raid her fridge. She hummed along to the almost hypnotic beat of a pop song and pulled out a few pans.

Lost in the task and the music, she didn't hear someone call out for her, nor had she realized someone was watching her until she felt the hair rise along the back of her neck. She ignored that, too, hoping it didn't show that she knew he was there.

During the few weeks he worked for her, she often felt he was watching. Sometimes she'd catch a glimpse of him out of the corner of her eye, and the second she'd start to turn, he'd disappear. The asshole had done enough running and it needed to stop. She felt some anger directed at her, and knew she'd have to explain herself.

Didn't mean she'd make it easy for him.

She pulled the pan of fluffy scrambled eggs off the heat and plated them, licking her finger when she accidently caught the edge of the pan. Just as she turned off the flame, a pair of rough hands grabbed her around the waist, and as she spun around, she found herself suddenly on the countertop.

Her hair tumbled over her eyes and she tried to blow it away, since her hands were on his biceps. His angry hunter eyes were positively on fire. She knew right then how much trouble she was in, and instantly, her anger rose. After one last squeeze at the muscles that twitched under her fingers, she moved them slowly over his shoulder and down his chest. Meeting his glare head on, she pushed him hard.

He stumbled back a step, but instantly returned in front of her. His breath was ragged as he tried to hold back his anger. "Where have you been?"

She folded her arms across her chest, trying her best not to squirm. It was hard to do when his entire frame held her captive. Strong, able hands rested on each side of her hips on the counter. Her knees pressed on his warm stomach, against the very hard ridges of muscles.

"Why do you care?"

He glowered and shook his head. His beard was longer; a sign he hadn't trimmed it since he disappeared. Even his hair was a mess, but the bruised skin under his eyes concerned her the most-the kind that meant he had plenty of sleepless nights under his belt.

"I'm not having that argument with you right now." His hands moved closer and she gasped as he spread them over her bare thighs. Without thought of the consequences, he spread her knees apart and stepped within the inviting shape of them. She shivered as his breath fanned over her face. "Where were you?"

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