*^*A Taste of Honey*^* ~ SoapyMayhem
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Chapter 1: Meetings
At promptly five a.m., I rolled groggily out of bed and slid on a pair of athletic shorts. I was thankful that I'd set the timer on the coffeepot when I smelled the heavenly scent of my favorite Columbian roast already brewed and waiting for me.
I had a quick cup, a few eggs, some bacon, and toast before I headed downstairs to my gym in the basement. I ended up doing a mile on the treadmill and a few strength training reps. Afterward, I resisted the tempting urge to take my cock in hand again in the shower - no time for that nonsense this morning.
As with most public appearances, I dressed impeccably - a navy blue suit with my favorite grey silk tie, the cufflinks Carlisle bought me for my birthday three years ago, and the standard American Flag pin that a politician dare not leave home without - lest they be accused of being unpatriotic.
I had quite a drive ahead to Port Angeles which required an early departure, so at promptly seven a.m., I stepped out into my garage, just as Conner was arriving along with my hired driver for the day. Honestly, I could have driven myself, but with any public event like this, there are always risks involved, and a driver standing by could mean the difference between my safety or being mobbed by a group of sex-crazed schoolmarms wanting a chance to grope their ex-Senator. I shuddered at the thought.
Using my iPad2, I read through today's New York Times, checked out a few blogs, and sent a couple emails, including one to Emmett letting him know that I planned to visit Onyx Saturday night, and to ask him if he knew of any good subs looking for a Dom. When he replied, it was apparent that he was surprised I'd waited this long to get back into the lifestyle, and frankly, I was as well. I wasn't quite sure if it was due to the anxiety that came with being out of practice and out of loop, or if there was some unknown force holding me back. For a while now, I'd been having this nagging feeling that something was missing, like I should be waiting for something - or someone.
Well, my cock was sick and fucking tired of waiting. I was going to Onyx this weekend, and I intended to play.
As we entered the city of Port Angeles, I put away the tablet, straightened my tie and silenced my Blackberry. I'd had too many embarrassing moments in my career where my phone rang during a press conference or interview - so many that it was now part of my routine to adjust the ringer now.
The entrance to Saint Mary of the Sacred Heart Catholic Academy was gated and at the end of a winding road. The grounds were well-maintained, and the school itself appeared to be an enormous cathedral - stained glass and a large gold cross atop the steeple. Even compared to the prestigious boarding academies I'd attended as a teenager, this looked like a nice private school. I wondered how Isabella Swan's family managed to afford the tuition in a place like this if she couldn't afford to pay for college.
She must be here on some kind of scholarship as well.
As the car pulled to a side entrance near the back of the school's auditorium, we were greeted by a diminutive nun with a youthful face that was drawn with a look of disdain.
"I'm gonna take a hunch and say that one didn't vote for me last election," I whispered conspiratorially toward Conner. He chuckled a bit before clearing his face of the amused expression my comment elicited.
"I'm Edward Cullen, and this is my assistant, Conner. Sister Volturi, I presume?" I spoke politely with my hand held out in greeting. Her reluctance to accept the gesture irritated me and only confirmed my assumption that I was not someone she cared to entertain. Luckily, it wasn't up to her, so when she finally did take accept it, I grasped her tightly and for longer than was appropriate, all while smiling gleefully like the evil bastard that I was. Was it sick that I enjoyed her discomfort?
After I relinquished her hand, Sister Volturi scurried ahead to lead us down a dimly lit hallway that looked more like a dungeon than a private school for girls.
I checked my watch - it was a quarter till eleven, and the ceremony would begin soon.
A few minutes later, our small group came to the auditorium entrance. Conner stayed behind as the aggravated nun guided me to a group of chairs on the stage of the auditorium near several Board of Education members, as well as a few people I recognized from some of the many meetings and conferences I'd attended for education and budget concerns.
I made small talk with some, though I wasn't approached nearly as heavily as I would have were I still working for the government.
When I was in the Senate, many of these people would pretend to be my 'best friend' - eager to take me to baseball games, dinner at the best restaurants, and golf on the weekends. They always wanted something in return. After announcing that I had no intention of running for office ever again, I lost a lot of 'best friends.' Frankly, I was glad to be rid of that bullshit.
Once the doors to the auditorium closed, a pale, middle-aged priest with dark hair stood from one of the chairs before making his way to the podium. Father Aro Volturi, who I presumed must have been Sister Volturi's brother or uncle, introduced himself as the headmaster of the school to those who weren't already aware.
He spoke of the graduating class and of venturing out into the world and its temptations - yes, I knew of such temptations. The gift of a beautiful woman's submission had been my drug of choice in the past, and I was eager to possess one who might reignite that addiction.
Father Volturi spoke a while longer, seemingly unable to stop himself from giving a sermon when the opportunity struck. Once finished, the valedictorian approached the podium to give her speech, followed by a young woman who spoke solemnly about another student - meant to graduate - who had died tragically earlier that year. Human frailty and mortality were the last things I wanted on my mind at the moment, so I tried not to dwell too much on the feelings those thoughts evoked.
Sister Volturi approached the podium to announce that some students had received honors and awards, and they were to be acknowledged for their achievements.
I waited until it was my turn, clutching the thick paper certificate bearing both the name of my mother and Isabella Swan. Once introduced, I stood and made my way to the podium. There was a loud applause followed by a few catcalls from the student section and from a small group of what appeared to be single moms near the front row. I waited politely until they finished before I began my speech.
"Thank you. As many of you know, I am Edward Cullen, and I'm here today to present an award that is very near and dear to my heart. Elizabeth Masen Cullen was a painter, a philanthropist, a friend to those in need, and quite simply an amazing and generous human being. She was all these things to many, but to me, she was my mother."
"Fifteen years ago, the world lost Elizabeth to breast cancer, and since that time, she has been greatly missed. She strived for excellence in all things, whether it was her art, her charity and kindness, or her job as a wife and mother. It is in her honor that I present the Elizabeth Masen Cullen Scholarship for Excellence in Art to a student who has shown perseverance where many would struggle, who has also strived for excellence in not only the pursuit of her art, but as well in her education and personal life. Congratulations, Miss Isabella Swan."
As the crowd broke out into applause, I searched the student section for Isabella - coming up short. Realizing that, alphabetically, she would have been seated near the back section, I turned my gaze. A bit of movement finally caught my eye, and what I saw caused my cock to stir a bit.
She was tall - not overly so, though it was hard to judge at my current distance. I assumed she was 5'7" or 5'8", but quite petite, as she was practically swallowed whole by her robes. What caught my eye and stiffened my cock was her demeanor.
She was shy, no doubt - the way her head bowed forward caused her thick mahogany locks to create a curtain around her face as she slowly approached the stage.
I struggled to get my cock under control - silently thanking God that the podium hid the massive tent in my slacks that only seemed to worsen as the girl came closer and closer.
With, trepidation, she walked up the steps - the angle finally giving me a glimpse of her face. Thick dark lashes fanned against her cheeks as her eyes stayed locked on the ground, while her bottom lip, held firmly between her teeth, was causing some serious lust to rage in my body. Fuck.
I picked up on her embarrassment right away at the sight of her blushing cherry cheeks- she looked so shy.
She was finally in front of me when I was assaulted by her scent, and Jesus Christ, did she smell fucking innocent and sweet. She was honey, warm peaches, and all-girl - heaven and fucking hell. I stifled a groan and pressed my cock against the podium to relieve a little of the tension.
In an effort to not reach out and touch, I her gripped the edge of the wooden stand with the hand that wasn't holding her certificate. This was neither the time nor the place, and the last thing I wanted to do was frighten this poor girl with my insatiable needs, much less in front of an audience that no doubt contained her family.
I handed her the certificate before prying my hand from the podium to offer it to her in congratulations.
"Fine work, Miss Swan. It truly is an honor," I spoke firmly, happy that I was successful in hiding the lust in my voice.
Her small hand slid into mine. It felt so soft, warm, and just fucking perfect.
"Thank you, sir," she whispered before looking up at me from under her lashes.
Oh Fuck… I'm dead.
My gaze landed on her beautiful brown doe eyes, eerily familiar to the ones I'd imagined while fucking my hand the night before. So fucking lovely and perfect, and exactly the kind of eyes I wanted to look into while I got my cock sucked.
Jesus Christ, the lust is getting a little ridiculous.
My hand tightened on hers as our eyes locked. Keeping my face neutral while I studied her, I noticed that there was something there - an unidentifiable emotion. Much to my frustration, I couldn't quite get a read on what she was thinking.
A bead of sweat dripped down my temple, while I fought to let her out of my grasp. A moment before the length our handshake became inappropriate, I relinquished my hold on Isabella. Her eyes dropped back to the floor while her blush blossomed again - even deeper than before.
She turned slowly and began to walk away, leaving me at the podium with a painful hard on and nothing to cover it up with.
Why I had I let go of that certificate? I could have used it as a shield or something. Maybe I could unbutton my jacket quickly enough without drawing too much attention. Would anyone even be checking out my crotch? My panicked thoughts flickered to the memory of the cougar section - yes, they would most definitely be looking.
I had never felt so out of control in my life as I stood there trying not to panic, debating how I could possibly escape with my prominent tent unnoticed. Before I could even begin to make that decision, Isabella stumbled on the stage, making a loud sound that drew the crowd's eyes. I wanted to run to her to help, but she righted herself on Sister Volturi's chair. Quickly, I rushed to my own chair as she provided a much needed distraction, though I truly felt bad for her embarrassment as she muttered a quiet apology to the annoyed-looking bitch of nun.
Isabella retreated from the stage. Her hair acted as a curtain again, shielding her from those who rudely continued to gawk at her - myself included - though I was quite certain I was gawking for a much more lecherous reason.
The ceremony seemed to drag on and on, and I couldn't help but steal a few sly glances toward Isabella's seat. She had her head down almost every time I looked until I caught her staring at me - our eyes locked for another brief moment before she turned her gaze back to the floor. I swore I could see her blushing from where I sat. Goddamn, that blush would be the death of me.
Finally, Isabella was standing in line to accept her diploma. As she drew nearer and nearer, I stared at her, willing her to give me a glimpse of that lovely face again. It wasn't until she stood before Father Volturi to accept her diploma that her eyes flickered to mine. I gave her a warm smile and felt my cock harden further as her full pink lips turned upward in a small grin before she once again looked back at the floor. She crossed the expanse of the stage more carefully than the previous time, descending the steps without incident.
It was a quarter till one when everyone was dismissed to the dining hall for refreshments. Quickly, I motioned for Conner, who was at my side in a flash.
"I need you to keep an eye on Miss Swan for me while I make a phone call. Do not hesitate to contact me if you think she is going to leave. I need to speak to her and her father as well," I spoke hurriedly, eager to have him following her.
"Yes, sir," Conner replied before rushing off in Isabella's direction.
I slipped into the dark corridor behind the stage and pulled out my Blackberry.
"Alice, I need a favor."
"… and what do I get in return for that favor, dear brother?" she responded slyly.
"Don't you want to know what the favor is first?" She always pulled shit like that. Jasper might be a lovesick fool, but I wasn't stupid enough to fall for her manipulative bullshit.
"Fine, tell me," she sighed.
"I intend to have a young woman staying at the estate all summer, and I doubt very much that her father will allow her to be alone with me. So, I must have someone there to make her feel more comfortable, and set his mind at ease," I explained, unable to mask the hope in my voice that she would agree.
"What the hell are you going on about, Edward?"
"The girl who received Mom's scholarship this year is a fabulous painter, and I want her to do a large mural in my office or maybe the library - I haven't decided yet. Honestly, I don't know how long it takes or if she is even going to be willing to do it, but I want everything in order before I approach her, which will be here in a few minutes, so I need an answer now."
"I don't know, Edward…" Alice said skeptically.
"Jasper won't be moving here for another four months, and Irina is going to Paris this summer. What else are you going to do?" I knew I'd have her if I played on the fact that she was going to be lonely this summer without her fiancé and best friend. If she agreed, I'd have the added bonus of knowing that Isabella and I would be alone in the house together when Alice had to be at work to open her boutique every other day. Alice only had one manager, Maria, and she and Alice alternated days opening the store. Most days, Alice would be gone from 9a.m. to 7p.m., not to mention the hour or two every night she spent having webcam sex with Jasper before going to sleep.
"Fine. I'll do it, but I want the suite with the garden tub," she simpered.
"I was going to give that suite to Isabella, but if that's all you want in return, then I must meet your demands," I sighed indifferently, though on the inside my mind was stirring with all the nasty things I hoped to do with young Isabella in my own tub.
"Fuck that, Edward. You are going to have to come up with something more than a damn bathtub for this babysitting shit," she complained.
"She isn't a baby, Alice. She's eighteen years old, for fuck's sake… What else do you want?"
"Hmm… what could I possibly want from you, dear brother?" I could practically hear the wheels turning in her head. Fuck, she was going for the kill with this one. I could feel it.
"Get Jasper and me into Le Crépusculo," she blurted triumphantly.
"I'm not sure I know what you are referring to." I played dumb, but inwardly my mind was reeling.
"Cut the bullshit, Edward. I know you like to tie up women and spank them, and I know about your dirty little fuck club in Italy," she snapped.
"Fuck, Alice, how the hell do you know about that place?" I asked angrily. Why would she even want to go there? I couldn't see bratty Alice as a submissive. Now Jasper was as docile as a kitten - shit - I did not want to imagine my sister and her fiancé in a BDSM club, much less my sister dominating anyone.
"Jasper tells me everything, and Emmett tells everyone everything. You should know that by now, Edward," she admonished, reminding me that I'd offered to help my cousin and his girlfriend/sub gain membership to the exclusive club last fall. I knew Emmett had a big mouth, but I never expected him to tell Jasper about my lifestyle, much less about the secret sex club I'd joined. I was pissed, but too worried about getting Alice to agree to give it much more thought.
"You could go to Onyx in Seattle instead and save the cost of the trip to Italy. I mean, why do you even want to go there? You know what? Never mind - whatever you want," I replied abruptly with a bit of a growl.
"Thank you, Edward. When should I move my things to your place?" she asked excitedly.
"I haven't even asked the girl yet. I'll get back to you as soon as I know."
I ended the call with my sister, and briefly closed my eyes for a moment trying to dispel the unwanted thoughts that came with our strange conversation. My plan for Isabella was the most positive thing I could focus on at the moment.
Isabella Swan had beguiled me with what I already knew of her talent, intelligence, and charity, and I was even more drawn to her now that I knew of her beauty and the shy, submissive way she carried herself. The desire to be closer to her, to make her mine, was all-consuming.
From reading the bio Kate sent, I knew she was from Forks, a tiny podunk town over three and a half hours away from my estate in Bellevue. Though she would be nearby in Seattle for classes in the fall, I wanted to pursue her now, and not under the scrutiny of her father - who was no doubt closer to my age than I was to his daughter's.
Fucking eighteen. Jesus Christ. I knew I should feel like a dirty old man because of the things I imagined doing to Miss Swan, but she was legal, so I couldn't find it in myself to feel guilty.