Destination Date @tufano79
Chapter 11

So, this short story is dedicated to Carey Anne and the ladies who were in on my Zoom call, Clo, Aileen, Emma, Consuelo, Alyscia, Trina, Brier Lynn and Krida. It will be a drabblish story, with shorter chapters. Shorter chapters mean quicker updates! :-)

This is not mine. I don’t own Twilight, but I wish I did. Sigh …

Up next will be some more Brazilian exploration and spending time with our favorite couple. I’m thinking an excursion in and around the resort on horseback with a picnic, with some news about their return. Will they be heading home early or be stranded in São Paulo?

Also, I’m going to change the update schedule for this story … I’m honestly too tired to update during the week. I can’t schedule updates like I do blog posts or questions of the day in my FB group. So, teasers will be on Thursdays with updates on Sundays. I hate to change the update schedule, but I’m just exhausted when I get home from work.

Thanks for sticking with me!

Chapter Eleven

March 14th, 2020

“Bella, I want to talk to you about something,” Edward said as he sipped his coffee over breakfast in their villa.

“Is everything okay?” Bella asked.

“With us? Yes. But, Tia tried to …” he trailed off. “She made it very clear that she wanted me to fuck her.”

“Over my rotting corpse,” Bella sneered. “Where does she get off? Hell, she watched us fuck in that back hallway. Without any sort of protection, mind you. Well, I’m protected, but …”

“Hey, breathe,” Edward said softly, rubbing her arms. “We trust each other, right? I know you, baby.”

“She … she better watch out,” Bella growled. “She’s married.”

“Anyway, I wanted to let you know,” Edward said, pulling Bella into his arms. “I don’t know if they’re leaving. A number of guests are booking it out of dodge because of the pandemic. Osvaldo told me that board of tourism has issued a warning.”

“What should we do?” Bella asked.

“I’ll give it another day, but we may have to cut our trip short,” Edward frowned. “I looked online to see if there were any flights available, but everything’s booked. We may have to wait it out.”

“It’s a good thing that we can telecommute, hmmm?” Bella quipped. “I can read my manuscripts in this paradise.”

“I can handle some things from a distance …” Edward said. “I’m going to call Emmett, but it’s too early now. We may need to restructure our gyms …” A cloud of uncertainty passed over his face. “But, we’ll deal with it later. For now, we have a date with a pair of horses.”

“Let me finish packing my backpack,” Bella said. “Do you want some sparkly sunscreen?”

“Yeah, no,” Edward laughed. “Regular sunscreen will be perfect. Actually, I’m wearing a long-sleeved shirt since I’m feeling the burn from when we went snorkeling.”

“Are we going to spend the night under the stars? The excursion is an all-day thing,” Bella asked.

“I think so,” Edward answered. “We’re picking up a meal before we go.” He checked his watch. “Come on. We have a brief lesson on how to handle the horses.”

“Have you ever ridden?”

“I took lessons and I’m pretty good with horses,” he said. “What about you?”

“I know the basics, but I do need a refresher,” Bella said, pulling her bag onto her shoulders. She swiped her water bottle and tossed her sunglasses into her hair, atop her messy bun. She was wearing a pair of jeans with some hiking boots. Her tanned skin contrasted against the white tank top she wore underneath her purple light-weight hoodie. “You ready, Sparkle?”

“Always, Glitter.”

Walking to the main building, Osvaldo was waiting for them. “Are you both ready for this excursion? It’s a beautiful, perfect day for it,” he said. “I packed enough food for both lunch and dinner. Along the path, there’s a campsite on the beach. It has hammocks, a tent, and an ocean view. You can stay there for the night.”

“Where are the horses?” Bella asked.

“This way,” Osvaldo grinned, guiding them to the stables. “We have a variety of horses. However, I think I have the perfect two for you.” He ducked into one of the stalls. He returned with a beautiful appaloosa horse with brown spots and a white mane. “This guy is Santos. He’s very sweet and strong. For you, Miss Isabella. He’s beautiful, no?”

“He’s gorgeous,” Bella smiled, rubbing Santos’ nose. The horse nuzzled her and bumped his nose against her hand. “And very friendly.”

“He likes a pretty girl,” Osvaldo chuckled. “Here, hold his reins while I get the horse for Senhor Cullen.” He darted back to the stable, returning with a black horse. “This is Bruno.” He handed the reins to Edward. “Perfect for you, Senhor Cullen.”

They spent an hour reviewing how to handle the horses. Edward was a stronger rider. Bella struggled, at first, but found her stride. Osvaldo gave them the map of the trail, along with a walkie-talkie if there were any troubles while they were on the ride. The food was loaded into the saddle bags along with blankets, water and first aid supplies, if needed.

The ride started slow and leisurely, traveling through the lush foliage of the forest surrounding the resort. As they crossed a small creek, Edward shifted on his saddle. “What should we do about the rest of this trip, Bella?” he asked.

“Edward, I’m fine with whatever you decide. I know you said that flights are booked,” Bella said. She rubbed her horse’s neck. “Am I concerned? Yes … but I learned that I can’t live my life in fear.”

“I’m not afraid,” Edward murmured. “I just … I don’t know. I think we should try to leave. When we get back from this excursion, I’ll see if we can trade in our tickets for an earlier flight.” He looked at Bella, smiling at her gently. “For now, I just want to enjoy this moment, this time with you.”

“Okay, Devil’s advocate …” Bella said, shooting him a wry grin. “What happens if we can’t trade in our tickets? OR, if we can’t fly out when we’re scheduled to leave due to the borders being closed? Do we stay here?”

“If we can’t trade the tickets, we stay here. However, based off what I’ve heard, the states hasn’t closed its borders to international travel,” Edward sighed. “But, if by the off chance we can’t leave, I’ve already spoken to Osvaldo. He’s letting the guests here stay for a discounted price. The excursions wouldn’t be going, so he wanted to provide a safe harbor for people who are unable to go home.”

“Osvaldo is pretty freaking awesome,” Bella beamed. “And, I’m not talking about that like a blogger or a vlogger. I’m talking about him as a human. He’s a good human, with a good heart and gentle soul. At least, we’ll have a place to stay.”

“That’s true,” Edward nodded in agreement. “Oh, wow … look at that!”

Bella stopped her horse next to Edward, whistling low. “That’s absolutely gorgeous,” she breathed, taking several photos. “Come on. Let’s go for a swim!” She put the camera into the saddle bag, hopping off Santos.

“If I remember correctly, Osvaldo said that there are snakes in the water. As much as I would love to get naked and have some fun in the water, I do not want my family jewels to be attacked by a snake,” Edward grumbled, arching a brow at the water.

Bella crouched down, putting her hand in the water, and shuddered. “It’s also cold as balls,” she said. “Like ice cold.”

Edward opened up the book Osvaldo handed him. “This river comes directly from the mountains. It’s got to be run off from the snow.” He took out his cell phone, taking a picture of Bella next to Santos, looking at the beautiful waterfall. She tucked her hair back, smiling gently as she looked at the idyllic location. She was everything he’d ever wanted in a partner. His heart twisted when she grinned at him before she easily got back onto Santos.

He loved her.

This was more than just a casual relationship. What Edward had with Bella was what he’d lived with his parents. It was a love … a forever type of love. A relationship that complimented each other, but had enough in common to make them compatible.

“Edward, babe, you’re staring at me,” Bella said, dropping her sunglasses down her nose. “I know I’m gorgeous …”

“Beyond gorgeous,” Edward replied, grinning broadly at her. “You ready to keep going?”

“Lead the way, Sparkle,” she nodded, pushing her glasses back up.

“I’m never going to live that down, am I?” Edward laughed.

“Nope. You shall always be known as Sparkleward. Hell, if we ever get married, it would be Glitterella and Sparkleward would cordially like to invite you to their nuptials. It will be sparkly great time!” she snickered.

“Would you wear a sparkly dress? All bedazzled and shit?” Edward teased.

“Only if you wear a sequined vest and bow tie,” Bella retorted.

“Done!” Edward nodded. “Come on. On the map, there’s a beautiful meadow overlooking the bay where we can eat our lunch. According to this, it’s the halfway point to the campsite.”

Bella smiled, following Edward on his horse. Their ride was quiet, save for the stomping of the horse’s hooves, the rustle of the wind through the trees and various bird calls. Breaking through the edge of the rainforest, they found the stunning meadow. “Oh, wow,” Bella breathed. “This has got to be the closest thing to heaven on earth that I’ve ever seen.”

“It is very idyllic,” Edward murmured. “There’s a place in the shade. We can spread out and relax for an hour. I don’t know about you, but my ass hurts.”

“Why do you think I wanted to take a dip in that waterfall?” Bella quipped. “I was hoping that the cold water would make my ass feel better, but sitting on a blanket in the sand might be the best option.”

“We can also frolic in the water. I know I packed a pair of swim trunks. Do you have a swimsuit?”

“I’m wearing a bikini under my clothes. I also have a spare outfit in my bag,” Bella said. “Lunch, swim and then continue to the campsite.”

She encouraged Santos to a trot and made her way to the small, shaded grove. Edward followed her, sliding off his horse. He loosely tied him off and Bruno began munching on the grass at his feet. Bella did the same, pulling out the blanket from her saddle bag and spreading it on the sand. Edward grabbed the picnic basket. He sat down with Bella, grimacing as his butt settled on the blanket. “Yeah, I’ll be feeling this for a while.”

“Probably for the rest of the trip,” Bella groaned, trying to get comfortable. “I wonder if we can get those inflatable ‘donuts’ to sit on while we fly home?”

“Tempting,” Edward chuckled, pulling out the food from the insulated basket. “I’m shocked at how cold everything still is. This all looks delicious. What do you want?”

“I’m not that hungry. Probably some snacky things,” Bella answered.

“There’s some antipasto, a pasta salad and fruit salad,” Edward said, pulling out the three containers.

“A little bit of each,” she smiled. “We can share, hmmm?”

They tucked into their meal, talking about their contingency plans if they were unable to change their flight or if their return flight was canceled. After talking through their plans, both of them felt more at ease. The only thing that was stressing Bella out was the possibility of living with Edward for more than just a week. Other than her father, Bella had never lived with another person. Even in college, Bella was graced with a single room. Granted, that single room was in a suite, with four other girls, but she rarely interacted with her roommates.

“What’s with the worry wrinkle?” Edward asked, smoothing his thumb between her brows.

“It’s nothing,” Bella lied smoothly.

“Yeah, sure. I believe that,” Edward deadpanned. “And, I’m the tooth fairy.”

“Where are your wings?” Bella laughed, poking at his back. “Wand? Fairy dust? Never ending funds to give those kiddos who lost their teeth?”

“Well, I am Sparkleward,” Edward snickered. “But, seriously, Bella, you have this look on your face. You’re panicking. Why are you panicking?”

“I’m a thinker and I’m thinking,” Bella argued. “Let me do some thinking, Edward. I may be relaxed when it comes to travel and shit, but when it comes to this,” she pressed to her heart, “I need to think things through.”

“It’s that trust thing, isn’t it?” he asked.

“Yeah,” Bella nodded. “Let me ruminate and obsess over the stupid things in my head.”

“Okay, Glitter,” Edward agreed, kissing her forehead. “I’m here when you’re ready.”

They finished eating their lunch, packing things back into the insulated container that Osvaldo provided them. They relaxed on the beach before playing in the surf, cooling off from the warmth of the afternoon. A couple hours after they stopped for lunch, they got back onto their horses and continued to the campsite. Their ride was quiet. Bella was inside her head while Edward was trying to give Bella the mental space to ‘ruminate an obsess over stupid things in her head.’

Arriving at an exquisite campsite with hammocks, a fire pit, and a beautiful, spacious yurt with a large cot. “This is honestly perfect,” Bella murmured. “We can sleep outside or in the yurt.”

“Have you ever slept in a yurt?” Edward asked, tying off the horse.

“A couple of times,” Bella responded. “In Mongolia and again on safari in South Africa. The yurt in Mongolia was far more rustic than this. In South Africa, it was much more elegant and set up for a couple.”

Edward arched his brow. “A couple?”

“I got a great deal on the safari since a couple, who was supposed to be on their honeymoon, had cancelled their reservation. The arrangements had already been made, but the wife got food poisoning and was in the hospital,” Bella snickered. “It was advantageous for me. I was in the right place at the right time. The safari was fucking amazing!”

Hopping off her horse and leading him to a small pen with fresh hay, Bella inhaled deeply. Edward followed her lead, tugging off the insulated container with the rest of the food. “I’m going to light the fire. It’s getting late and the sun is beginning to set,” Edward explained. He slid his arm around Bella’s waist, kissing her temple. She snuggled against him. He dipped his head, brushing his lips over hers.

She watched as he began setting up the logs in the fire pit. She grabbed her backpack, placing it in the yurt. It was elegantly appointed with a couple of lanterns, a low-set cot piled with pillows and another door at the rear of the yurt. Bella walked over to the door and opened it. “Oh, wow!” she exclaimed.

“Bella?” he called. He crossed through the yurt and found Bella in an outdoor bathroom, complete with a shower overlooking the bay and a water closet. “You’re right … wow. This is an unexpected bonus.”

“At least, we don’t have to go to the bathroom in the woods,” Bella snickered.

“And, we can wash off the salt from our frolic in the waves,” he chuckled. “Come on. I’ve got the fire started.”

“I’m going to change out of these clothes. It’s warmer than I anticipated,” she said, pulling out a pair of shorts and a tank top from her backpack. “I’ll be right out.”

“Are you going to shower?” Edward asked, his eyes sweeping over Bella’s body.

“Just a quick one, to wash off the sand and dust from ride,” she explained. “Care to join me?”

“I’m not going to say no to that,” he laughed.

After a much needed and an unexpected, but welcome shower, they made dinner and settled on one of the hammocks once the sun set. Edward gently swung them with his long legs, while Bella was curled against his side. “I’m freaking out about staying here longer than we anticipated,” Bella said.

“Why?” Edward asked gently.

“Because … I’m terrified that you’re going realize that I’m just one huge mistake and you’ll walk away,” Bella responded bitterly. “Everyone who has ever cared for me …” She trailed off, uncertain if she should continue.

“You can talk to me, Bella.”

“I’m trying,” she grumbled. “My mom really fucked me over. On top of her bullshit, I just struggle with letting people in. It’s why I travel. Short relationships are less likely to break me, Edward.”

“You’re stronger than you give yourself credit for, Bella,” Edward said, kissing her hair. “You’re not a mistake. You never could be.” He tightened his arms around her body. “I’m in this for the long haul, both on this trip and when we fly back.”

“I’m sorry about being such a mess,” Bella muttered. “I really like you. You’re quickly becoming an important part of my life and if something happens between us …”

“It won’t,” Edward argued, gently cupping her chin, and guiding her gaze to his. “Have faith in us, in me.”

She searched his eyes, trying to find any indication that he was not being sincere. She saw nothing but tenderness, caring and love. Did he love her? Could she love him? She caressed his scruffy jaw, gently pressing her lips to his. She’d sheltered her heart long enough. Edward had wriggled his way into her heart. They kissed gently until the low rumble of thunder broke them apart. “We should go inside the yurt. What about the horses?”

“They should be fine in their pen,” Edward said, dousing the fire. “I really wanted to make love to you under the stars …”

“We can still make love, but in the safety of our yurt,” she cajoled. She sashayed to the yurt, tossing her tank top off with a giggle.

xx Destination Date xx

March 15th, 2020

The ride back to the resort was messy, thanks to the torrential downpour they’d had the night before. It was also pretty damned cold. When they got back to the resort, Nahuel was waiting for them to untack the horses. “My father said that he needs to speak with you,” Nahuel explained.

“Is everything okay?” Bella asked.

“There have been some changes and updates about international travel,” Nahuel grimaced. “He’s at the front desk.”

Edward took Bella’s hand, walking into the main building of the resort. Inside, they saw Osvaldo with his wife, Huilen. Osvaldo was typing on the computer, the phone pressed to his ear. He prattled something in Portuguese, quickly hanging up the phone. “How was your trail ride?” he asked.

“It was great, and we were so happy to have the yurt,” Edward said. “With the storm last night, we would have been waterlogged without it.”

“With the change in the seasons, we’re going to get more rain,” Osvaldo sighed, scrubbing his hands through his hair. “Come with me. Huilen, can you mind the desk?” She nodded with a smile. Osvaldo gestured to a small, private dining room. “Let me get you something to eat. Any preferences?”

“Whatever is available,” Bella said. “Coffee is a must!”

“Caffeine is definitely needed,” Edward chuckled, sitting next to Bella, and kissing her neck. She melted against him. “You okay, Glitter?”

“I’m hungry, my ass hurts, and I want to take a nap, Sparkle,” she snorted humorlessly. “After a long soak in the tub … the shower was nice, but not having shampoo or soap …”

“I get it,” Edward snickered. He pressed a kiss to her lips. The sweet kissed morphed into something more, languid passes of mouths and teasing tongues. It wasn’t until Osvaldo cleared his throat that they broke apart. “Oops.”

“I didn’t mean to interrupt, but it’s nice to see a couple in love,” Osvaldo grinned, putting down the plates. “Scrambled eggs, bacon, and some French toast. The coffee is on the way. We needed to brew a fresh pot.” He sat down, pushing glasses of orange juice to Bella and Edward. “Look, I heard from the board of tourism.”

“We’re planning on moving up our departure. I was going to do that once we got back to our villa,” Edward explained.

“It’s too late,” Osvaldo sighed. “The tourism board has cancelled all international travel, effective March 16th. We’re all supposed to shelter-in-place.”

“For how long?” Bella asked.

“Until the metrics go down. This virus is not that bad, right now, in Brazil. But, it’s getting really bad in the states,” Osvaldo said. “Each state is doing its own thing, or at least, that’s what I’ve read on the internet.”

Edward sighed, knowing that things would not really improve. Bella caught his gaze, grimacing at what Osvaldo said. She asked, “You said we could stay, correct?”

“Yes, for as long as the travel ban is in place,” Osvaldo agreed. “It’s not like we’re going have any new guests.” He gave us a smile. “At least, you’ll be stuck in paradise, hmmm?”

“Right,” Bella nodded. “Thank you for being so accommodating. Now, after we finish this breakfast, we’re going to head back to our villa and make some phone calls. We need to get in touch with our families to let them know about our unexpected extension of our vacation.”

“I do have a question before you leave … what if we get exposed to the virus?” Edward asked.

“I’ll have to get more information from our government. We do have a doctor on call for minor injuries, but I heard that there’s a special test for the Covid, which we don’t have,” Osvaldo explained. “Enjoy your meal. Leave the plates when you’re done.” He turned on his heel, leaving the private dining room.

Bella pushed her plate away, drawing her legs up. “An international travel ban,” she whispered.

“I should have worked harder to get us home. I’m sorry,” Edward said, frowning.

“It’s not your fault that there’s a global pandemic, Edward,” she murmured. “I can’t believe that things got so bad so quickly.”

“Me, neither,” he grumbled. “But, let’s try to make the most out of this unprecedented situation.”

“At least, we’re together and in paradise,” Bella grinned. “Like Osvaldo said …”

“Exactly,” Edward agreed, kissing Bella’s lips.

A/N: Up next will be conversations with Miss Alice, Emmett, and Edward’s parents about their changes to their vacation plans, along with a jump ahead in time. How long will they be in São Paulo?

Also, I wanted to let you all know that I’m aware of the politicized nature of COVID-19. I’m not here to start a debate or to say who’s right or wrong or about how it was handled (though if you know me, you’re aware of my thoughts about what happened). This is a light-hearted trip with Bella and Edward. The drama that will happen is not COVID-related, it’ll be relationship-related. You know? Again, it will be based on Bella’s trust issues.

Anyhow, pictures are for this chapter are on my blog. You can find a link for that on my profile. I’m also on FB: Tufano79’s Twilight Fanfiction Appreciation. Twitter, too: tufano79.

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