Out of prison and in the care of Cullen Halfway House, Bella will do anything to survive.
Rating: MA/NC-17 Genre: Drama/Angst Word count: Pairing: Bella/Edward
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight.
Nothing For Free
The Cullen Halfway House looked like a plantation house out of Gone with the Wind, more than a setup for ex-convicts and recovering addicts. All I'd heard since my release was how caring and wonderful the Cullen family was, how their sole purpose was to help people like me, a "reformed" druggie hooker, make a fresh start. The three-story building would be my home for the next nine months. If I didn't fuck it up.
I walked up the steps and onto the wrap-around porch. It was like a fairytale, a place I'd only ever seen in magazines and my dreams. As I moved to the red-painted door, I pulled the strap of my backpack higher on my shoulder. It wasn't much, but it was all I had: a pair of pants, a faded white tee, an extra bra, and one pair of panties. I thought about the small sewed pocket on the inside that I normally used to carry a stash of meth that now held five dollars in ones.
The itch to use was there, but the memory of detox was still fresh in my mind. I also didn't want to relive prison ever again.
My knuckles made a weak rat tat on the wood before the door flew open. An older woman with greying hair and a bright smile stood right in front of me.
"Hello, you must be Bella." She put her hand out, and I flinched at the swift movement. Her brow creased with a frown as she looked at her outstretched palm.
I immediately felt guilty and slipped my hand in hers. I couldn't fuck this up when I hadn't even made it through the front door yet.
Swallowing my nervousness, I stuck my hand in hers. "Yes, um, I'm Bella."
The woman beamed with happiness, and I felt myself relax at the warm squeeze of her fingers. "It's nice to meet you, Bella. I'm Esme Cullen."
She led me inside after that, and I looked on in wonder as she gave me a tour of the house.
"You're the only one here right now, but we're expecting one more girl tomorrow. We usually have a full house. Breakfast is at seven, lunch at eleven-thirty, and dinner at six. You'll be given chores, and my daughter, Alice, will help you with job placement."
I blinked in disbelief at the back of her head as she led me up the stairs.
Three meals a day and they'd help me find a place to work?
The rush of suspicion fluttered in my belly, an ingrained reaction I was sure I'd never outgrow.
Esme, oblivious to my inner turmoil, led me up the next flight of steps and to a closed door. She turned the handle slowly and cracked open the door, the old wood creaking with age. As she revealed the room, I felt my heart hammer in my chest. The bed was covered in a dark eggplant-colored comforter, a mound of pillows piled against the ornate headboard. There was a dresser with a small mirror above it, and the floor was covered in plush cream carpet.
"This is your room. There's an adjoining bathroom and a closet. Do you like it?"
My mouth went dry as I surveyed the immaculate room. "Mine?"
I could see Esme nod out of the corner of my eye. "Yep, all yours. I'll let you get settled, and then in an hour you can meet everyone downstairs."
I nodded, barely registering when she left me on my own. When I finally moved into the room, I closed the door behind me and tossed my backpack on the bed before flopping onto my back on the soft mattress. A sigh left my lips as I closed my eyes and let it all sink in.
I was free.
Free from Jacob.
Free from meth.
Free from prison.
Before I knew it, I drifted off into a light sleep. Footsteps and the heavy voice of a man woke me up, my heart racing. I got up from the bed and darted toward the bathroom, my mind still hazy from sleep as I looked for a place to hide. Memories of Jacob's house, the men who came into the bedroom, flooded my mind. My heart hammered against my ribs, and my skin broke out into a cold sweat. I tried to calm myself, but the idea of a man right outside my door had me paralyzed. As the haze of sleep wore off, my body began to relax when a knock came at the door.
"Bella! Mom sent me up here to get you. Says you need to meet the crew!"
I crept out of the bathroom and grabbed the bedroom door handle, turning it slowly before opening it to a large, burly man. His smile stretched across his face, but my eyes zeroed in on his thick arms. He looked like he could bench two of me. I eyed him warily, but he paid no attention as he stuck out his hand.
"Name's Emmett. I'm hungry, so can we go downstairs?"
He didn't even wait for me to shake his hand before he turned around and started down the stairs.
I followed slowly behind him and into the kitchen where a petite woman with dark hair and a tall man with copper-colored hair stood side-by-side. The small woman had grey eyes that twinkled, and she radiated excitement that put me on edge. Her clothes were immaculate and clearly expensive. I self-consciously looked down at my own outfit, my faded jeans and black tank top no match for her stylish ensemble. I hadn't had a chance to shower or anything since I fell asleep. My eyes darted nervously to the man next to her, his tall, lean frame relaxed as he leaned against the island. With his arms cross over his chest, he looked down at me, his jade eyes burning a hole through me. He was handsome, his jaw dusted with stubble and his hair a mess of wayward strands.
I definitely didn't belong in the same room as these people. The urge to bolt made my palms itch and my toes wiggle in my ratty Chucks.
"This is my daughter, Alice, and my sons, Edward and Emmett."
I turned at the sound of Esme's voice, and she smiled warmly.
"I'm sorry I fell asleep. I… I didn't get a chance to clean up."
A soft snort came from behind me, and I turned around to see Alice glaring at Edward.
Alice's eyes darted to me, and her face softened. I shrugged, letting her know I was used to people judging me. What people thought of me wasn't too high on the totem pole of survival.
"Well, how about we get started?" Esme asked as she pulled out a stool and sat down at the island.
I tried to ignore Edward's unwavering stare as Esme gave me the house rules. I was going to be responsible for doing the laundry, a chore I got quite good at in prison. Alice and Emmett chimed in every once in a while, but Edward remained eerily silent. I could feel his eyes on me, and instead of the disgust I would normally feel at a man's attention, I found myself growing curious about the quiet man.
When I finally got the courage to look over at Edward, I was met with a hateful glare that made me flinch in fear. Edward frowned before his expression softened slightly. The emotions that radiated off of him were making my head spin.
Once Esme was through with the rules, she dismissed her children to the dining room for dinner, leaving the two of us alone.
"Esme, I um… I really appreciate you taking me in, but… but maybe I'm not a right fit. I don't think Edward likes me very much, and I don't want to cause any trouble."
Esme made a clucking sound with her tongue. "Nonsense. Edward's just moody. You'll fit right in."
She patted my hand and scooted back from the island before joining her family for dinner. I took a moment to calm my nerves before taking my seat at the table.
That was the first night I had dinner at the table, much like I pictured a real family would.
Over the next two weeks, I got acclimated in my new home. Emmett and Alice were very helpful, teaching me the ropes and helping me go through want ads. Even Esme's husband, Carlisle, was welcoming. It seemed the only Cullen who went out of his way to not speak to me was Edward. I didn't mind that he was quiet. It was the glares and unnerving looks he gave as I walked past his office or while he was out cleaning the pool. I wasn't sure what I'd done, but the fear that just his dislike of me could cause me to be out on my ass or back in prison scared me shitless.
One Saturday afternoon, as I passed by Edward in the hallway, I tripped on a loose shoestring, which sent me tumbling forward. I immediately felt a strong arm wrap around my waist, my body suspended above the floor. The awkward way in which he caught me left Edward's hand right over my breast, cupping me through my shirt. When I looked up, I found him staring down at me, his eyes burning with disgust. I stood, my whole body tingling from the warm touch of his hand. My ass brushed against his cock, hard beneath the rough denim of his jeans. Edward groaned as I gasped at the contact, my whole body set on fire at the feel of him. His hand slid down to my waist and pulled me back, his hips thrusting against me in an urgent stroke.
"Edward," I sighed, breaking whatever spell he'd fallen into. The moment his name left my lips, he jumped back as if I'd burned him and took off down the hall.
Tears welled in my eyes, and I began to panic. What if he told Esme I came on to him? What if he lied and said I propositioned him? The Cullens would surely kick me out if they thought I was trying to turn tricks under their roof. Not wanting to burst into tears in the middle of the hall, I ran back to my room and shut the door. Curled up on my new bed I cried, praying Edward wouldn't turn this into something it wasn't. I tripped and he caught me. It wasn't my fault he got a hard-on from touching my boob. But who would believe an ex-druggie hooker over the Cullen son?
Not a damn soul.
Knowing I'd have to wait it out, I eventually fell asleep. When I woke up it was dark outside, and I quietly ventured out of my room and found the office door wide open. Timidly I knocked on the frame, and he looked up at me from his place behind the large oak desk on the far side of the room.
"Yes?" he asked his voice gravely.
I shifted into the room. The light of the desk lamp cast Edward's face in a shadow that made it hard to see him clearly.
"I… I wanted to talk to you about earlier." I stuck the tip of my thumb in my mouth, gnawing on the nail in nervousness.
Edward leaned forward. His shirt sleeves were rolled up, exposing his forearms as he laid them across the desktop."What about it?"
I knew there were two things I could do: ask him flat out what he intended to do about the situation or offer myself up first, show him that I was willing to play ball if it kept a roof over my head and my ass out of jail.
Not sure if he'd be truthful with me after the way he ran out, I decided to give it my best shot. Disgust rolled in my gut as I dropped my hip and brushed my hair over my shoulder, using every tactic I'd learned. With a sway in my step, I moved closer to Edward's desk. His eyes widened as the nervous kitten in me melted away right before him.
"I know you're probably used to nicer girls, you know, cleaner, prettier. But… I'm willing to do whatever it takes to keep my place here. I know what happened earlier was an accident, but I know how men think. I know what I'm good at."
Edward's laugh stopped me short. It was a dark and deep sound that made me shudder. For a moment I even felt a twinge of fear.
"Are you propositioning me?"
My heart hammered in my chest as he leaned back in his chair.
"Maybe I misinterpreted what you were trying to say, but it sounded like you're willing to let me do whatever I want to you in exchange for a place to live." The way he talked, harsh and a hint of disgust coloring his words, made my stomach drop. "Is that right, Bella?"
I stepped back and opened my mouth to speak, but stopped when Edward pushed away from his desk and stood up.
"Your offer could have you thrown out on your ass right now. Did you even think about that?"
I nodded my head, adrenaline seeping into my veins. His fiery stare kept me in my spot even as my body wanted to run.
"So you thought you could offer me your body because I got a little hard after touching your tit?" He gave a chuckle and my stomach sank.
Shame welled inside of me. Of course he wouldn't want me. I was nothing but a dirty whore.
Tears pooled in my eyes, but Edward paid no attention as he walked around the desk and stood in front of me. With one finger he traced my bottom lip. The soft pad glided over my skin, and I fought the urge to run my tongue across the tip. I didn't like the way my body responded to him, but I wasn't sure I could stop it.
"I'll admit I've wondered what your mouth would feel like on my cock. Would you be able to take all of me? Whores should be able to deep throat right? Did you charge extra to swallow?" His mocking tone made my lip tremble, but I managed to keep the tears at bay.
Edward roughly grabbed my chin, and I gasped at the rough jerk. "I asked you a question."
I shook my head, barely able to move with the tight grip he kept on me. "Jacob didn't charge extra."
I didn't have any control over how much I charged for something. Jacob set the prices. From blowjobs to anal.
"Don't say that fucker's name!" Edward barked, and I flinched.
For a brief moment I saw a flicker of worry in his eyes before it was gone.
"Ok! Ok I won't. I'm sorry," I babbled, hoping he wouldn't get violent or anything.
I didn't want to have to explain bruises to Esme.
Edward let go of my chin and took a step back before lowering his zipper. I kept my eyes on his face as he pulled out his cock.
"Look at it." His tone left no room for argument, so I did as I was told.
He was long and thick, the tip dark pink as he worked his hand in slow strokes up and down.
For the first time in a long time, I felt the flood of arousal between my legs. I hadn't actually wanted to suck cock in years. I swallowed back a sob as I tried to fight my body's reaction. Edward was handsome and sexy, but he only wanted to use me like every other man, only this time, I was doing it of my own free will.
"You want this?" he taunted, and I nodded my head.
"Then get over here and suck it."
I took one quick stride and sank to my knees on the hardwood floor. Memories of damp concrete and musty motel rooms threatened to spill behind my eyes, but I pushed them away in favor of a pleasant fantasy. I imagined Edward as my boyfriend, alone in our apartment after he came home from work. The harsh grip he had on my hair turned into light caresses, loving and sensual.
I pulled him deeper into my mouth, and Edward gave a low "fuck" as the tip of his cock hit the back of my throat.
Just as I started to get into it, my imagination creating such a beautiful place, Edward pulled out of my mouth and pulled me to my feet.
"I can't… I can't do this."
Wrenched from my fantasy, the tears finally spilled over.
"I'm sorry. Is there something else you want? I'll do better. I promise. Please, don't kick me out!" My hands gripped his shirt as I begged him.
Edward's face was full of horror. A sob finally tore from my throat. I felt myself start to panic, my throat constricting with each breath.
"Please, please I'll do whatever you want. I don't want to go back to Jacob. I want to be good. I can be good for you." The words tumbled out of my mouth, and I couldn't stop them.
When Edward's arms wrapped around me, my knees gave out.
"Fuck! I'm sorry, Bella. It was wrong of me to do this with you. I knew… fuck… I… you make me crazy. I didn't want to want you. I didn't want this."
I fought his hold, but he held me tightly against his chest.
If he didn't want me, then I didn't have anything to offer. He would tell Esme, and then I'd be out of there.
"Please… please this is my only chance. I won't talk. You can do whatever you want to me. I won't scream or cry. I'll take it. I just… please, I don't have anything else to give you. I've got five dollars in my backpack. You can take it. Just don't kick me out. Do… do you have friends? I can… I don't mind…"
A rough growl sounded in Edward's throat, and he started to shake me, gripping my upper arms so hard. "Don't talk like that. Shut up, Bella. I don't… you don't need to do this, okay? I promise I won't kick you out. Jesus fuck what have I done?"
I was hysterical by the time he let me go, and I slumped to the floor. I was confused. If he didn't want me for that, then why did he let me suck him?
"Bella, I… don't know what to do. I shouldn't have done this, but I thought… I thought if I could just get you out of my system, that you wouldn't even care. I was mad that you made me feel this way. But you don't deserve to be anyone's whore. I'm sorry I treated you that way."
I looked up at him from my spot on the floor, disbelief welling inside of me.
I was a whore. I wasn't good for anything other than a hard fuck. Of course I deserved it.
"Don't look at me like that, Bella. I did this all wrong. I'm sorry."
When he kneeled down in front of me, his face mere inches from mine, tears continued to stream down my cheeks. His hands cupped my face, his thumbs brushing under my eyes as he looked down at me.
"Please don't cry."
It was the soft touch of his lips against my forehead that calmed me, my sobs stopping instantly. I hadn't felt something so tender in years. I could almost feel the tickle of my father's mustache on my skin. But Edward wasn't my father. He was a man I tried to have sex with in order to not end up on the street. I felt a surge of shame cover me, guilt that rolled in my gut. I didn't have time to dwell on those horrible feelings because Edward tilted my head back, those same lips gently over my own. The warmth of his breath ghosted into my open mouth, and I closed my lips, wanting the flavor of him on my tongue.
"I'm sorry, Bella. So very sorry." His words were feather-light, and I sighed as his hands cupped my cheeks, cradling my face in his hands like I was made of porcelain.
I nodded, unsure if I was acceptng his apology or just ready for his lips to be on mine again. I didn't have to wait long, his mouth pressing a needy but gentle kiss, his tongue swiping hot and wet. As if by instinct, I opened my mouth, taking his tongue into mine. It rolled fluid across my tongue, tasting and teasing, and I moaned into his mouth.
Edward broke away with a soft laugh. "That's a nice sound."
I giggled, and his mouth went right back to where it had been, kissing me with deep strokes of his tongue.
When he pushed against me, forcing me onto my back, I momentarily panicked. The thought of having a man over me… in me… scared me. I pulled my mouth from his, turning my head away.
Edward gently grabbed my shoulders, his knees between my open legs. "No. Come back."
With teary eyes I looked up at him, his faced etched with worry.
"Do you want to stop?"
Five words had never made me feel so safe. Never had any of the Johns Jacob brought into the house or forced me to meet on the street had ever reassured me that way. This was different.
Edward was different.
I shook my head. He eyed me carefully, as if he didn't believe me. I wasn't sure how far I could go, but I wanted to feel good again. I wanted someone to touch me for me, not just for the pleasure my body could bring them.
Wanting to reassure him, I pushed up onto my forearms and pressed my lips to his in a quick kiss. "I want to know what it's like to feel good again."
Edward searched my face and must have found what he was looking for because when his mouth met mine again it was needy and rough. I moaned when his hands slipped into my hair, cradling the back of my head as I slid back down to the floor. One hand left my hair and trailed over my shoulder and down to my breast. Edward palmed me with a firm hand, not too rough, but with enough pressure that I shuddered at his touch. I could feel my nipple pebble beneath his palm and the denim between my legs grow damp.
I couldn't remember the last time I'd gotten wet from a man's touch.
When Edward's knee pressed between my legs, I moaned embarrassingly loud. Instead of laughing or stopping what he was doing, Edward broke our kiss and pressed harder between my legs, moving the tip of his knee until he rubbed over my clit, the seam of my jeans hitting me in just the right spot.
"Please!" I gasped as my hands gripped his back, pulling him closer.
Edward rested his forehead against my neck, his hot breaths ghosting over my collarbone. He lowered himself between my legs, my thighs cradling his hips. When his cock pressed against my center I bucked my hips, wanting the friction he could give me.
His moist lips trailed along my throat as he rocked into me, giving me just enough until I started to whine softly.
"Are you begging me?" Edward asked, amusement coloring his tone.
I nodded, unable to find the words as he pushed up onto his forearm and moved his right hand down my body and to the button on my jeans. With an expert touch he popped the button and lowered the zipper, my heart racing and my body trembling.
I wanted him. I needed him to make me feel good even if it was wrong.
Edward worked his hand into my pants and under the waistband of my underwear. His fingers trailed through my short curls and twisted until his palm was face up, gently tickling my folds. When he worked one finger into me, thrusting so gently, I clenched my eyes and gritted my teeth. I'd never had anything inside me that actually felt good. I was waiting for the searing pain that normally followed penetration, but it never came.
"Help me get your pants down. Want to see my fingers inside you," Edward grunted, his eyes trained on the open fly of my jeans.
I lifted my hips and swiftly pulled the denmim down to my upper thighs, giving him room enough to work with. A second finger slipped inside me, and Edward thrust harder, filling me with his digits in swift strokes.
"Does that feel good?" he asked.
I nodded, unable to form coherent words.
It felt better than good.
The tightening in my belly was foreign, like chasing a beautiful dream on the edge of consciousness.
His finger brushed over my clit, and I screamed. Edward's hand immediately clamped over my mouth, smothering my cry. I felt a gush of wetness between my legs.
"Oh, fuck, you like that?" Edward sounded as surprised as I felt.
Was it wrong that him holding me down, silencing my cries, turned me on?
Did that make me a freak? A whore?
"That's fucking hot."
My body heated with arousal. No one had ever said I was hot before. I wanted Edward to want me. To want me as much as I wanted him.
I reached between our bodies and gripped him through his jeans, but Edward moved my hand out of the way. "If you touch me now I won't last long enough to get inside you."
The thought of Eward filling me, thrusting his cock inside me, coupled with the steady thrust of his fingers threw me over the edge, and I came with a cry against his warm palm. Tears of relief and pleasure trailed down my cheeks.
Edward's eyes were full of lust as I blinked up at him, my vision clouded with my tears.
"Did you… did you?"
I nodded, my arms going around his neck. My lips brushed against his Adam's apple as I whispered a soft "thank you."
My breasts pressed into Edward's chest, and he groaned.
"I want more," I said as I lifted my hips, trying my best to rub against his covered cock.
Edward didn't waste any time, sitting up to kneel between my legs and digging his wallet out of his back pocket. When he produced a small foil packet, he looked down at me, his face a mix of apology and want.
I shook my head at him and gave a small smile. "It's okay."
He nodded, and I reached for his waist, opening his pants and lowering his zipper. His cock was hard as it pressed against his boxers, tenting the soft cotton. I throbbed between my legs, my body wanting him even more. Edward tore open the wrapper as I pushed his boxer briefs down his hips, freeing his cock. It bobbed between us, thick and long. I watched in fascination as he gripped the base and rolled the thin latex over the tip and down the shaft. I managed to get my jeans farther down, and then one leg out of them to give him room to settle back between my legs. I slid onto my back, ready to feel him inside me. Edward pressed the tip to my entrance and I tensed.
"It's okay, baby. Let me make you feel good."
My body relaxed at his words, and Edward pressed forward, filling me, stretching me. Instead of the dry pain I normally felt, the slight ache was welcome as my body invited him in. When his hips sat flush against mine there was a moment, as his eyes roamed over my face, that I relished in the tenderness in his expression before it was replaced with a fiery hunger. He pulled his hips back, pulling his cock almost all the way out of me before slamming back in, my body scooting against the wood floor beneath us.
"Oh!" I gasped, unsuspecting of the white hot pleasure that filled me from head to toe.
"Fuck that's good. You feel so good." Edward rambled as he set a hard pace.
Each thrust grounded me and set me soaring. It was pure agony and ecstasy all in one.
Instead of shutting his eyes or glaring down at me with disgust, Edward kept his eyes open, taking in every gasp and moan.
I felt so beautiful, so desirable as he filled me over and over. I didn't want it to end. The tightening in my belly was back and it was exciting, but sad at the same time. What would happen when it was over? Would he tell me to leave now that he'd used me? I felt my pleasure wane as thoughts filled my head, but suddenly Edward's fingers gripped my chin, forcing my eyes on him.
"I'm right here. Right here with you. Feel me. Feel how hard I am. How much I want you."
A sob ripped through me. I hadn't realized how much I needed to here that. No matter what happened, Edward wanted me right now, in this moment. It was at that realization that pleasure crashed over me, my cries smothered by Edward's mouth. His tongue invaded my mouth the way his cock filled my body.
When his thrusts became erratic, I knew he was close. My hands found his ass, gripping and pulling him closer as he stilled, emptying into the condom. His cock twitched as he came inside me. All the feelings that normally accompanied a man's pleasure nowhere in sight.
It was the kisses Edward peppered along my throat that kept the ugly thoughts away. I didnt even mind the grunt he gave when he reluctantly pulled out of me. I didn't shy away when he helped me pull my jeans and underwear back up my legs.
"Are you okay?" Edward asked as he pulled off the condom.
I nodded shyly, unsure of what was supposed to happen next.
"You sure?" He eyed me carefully out of the corner of his eye.
Was I sure?
Edward looked at the trash in his hand, and a soft pink colored his cheeks, a boyish look creeping onto his handsome face.
"Yeah, I'm getting there."