A Pound of Flesh by Jaxon22
To pay a debt she owes her father, Isabella Swan starts a new job as a prison tutor. Edward Cullen, with his own debts, is the Punk Ass inmate in her class. Can they fight the odds and their dangerous attaction to learn from each other? A/H, Lemons, OOC Rated: Fiction M
Review by: TypoKween
To Jaxon22, thanks for being one of the reasons I even started writing twific.
Wow. Where does one start when they’re about to review a fic like this? I’m too intimidated to even touch this fic in terms of an opinion, let alone a review. So let’s hope I do this justice, or just hope I survive it before I fangirl myself to death.
Me right now:
WARNING: Me and Punkassward have the continuous use of the “f-word” in common. You have been warned.
First of all, I must admit that as someone who has worked in Corrections for the past six years, I had to force myself to remember that a.) this is a work of fiction; b.) it’s not California; and c.) I am not Peaches and Cullen is not real so I cannot kidnap him and take him home with me. So once I looked past certain contradictions from my real life experiences inside several different institutions and what I read in this fic, I was a hooked fish and have not let go since.
Let’s start with a simple synopsis of “A Pound of Flesh” by Jaxon22. Bella Swan is a woman who has seen her share of tragedy—specifically her childhood where she was witness to her father’s brutal death. A promise made between father and daughter moments before his demise, is what starts the course for Bella’s future in helping those less fortunate, and for Bella, that through teaching. Fast forward several years later and you have Bella about to embark on bringing truth to her words. It is at Arthur Kill, a Correctional Facility in Staten Island, where Bella will start her new job as an English Literature tutor and come face to face with her biggest and most life changing challenge yet—Edward Cullen. Who, aside from dealing with his own dark demons, ends up sharing something with Bella much deeper than an instant connection, attraction, or kinship. They also share a past.
Right off the bat, when Cullen comes into the story he is portrayed as a giant punk and a major ass. But underneath you know he’s misunderstood and hot tempered, but come on, what hot as fuck Edward isn’t these things? His character comes alive with sharp imagery and excellent dialogue that stays true to his character. He is consistent in his behavior—something that most stories seem to lack nowadays—and it stays this way throughout, even when Bella is brought into the picture. Her natural innocence with a slight edge of defiance and stubbornness is the perfect setup for Cullen to finally meet his match.
Here is an excerpt of Cullen’s first impression of Bella:
…finding the delectable Miss Swan, arms crossed over her chest, eying him in a way that made his hackles immediately rise and his fists clench. She, like every other fucker not in blue overalls, thought she was better than him. He didn't have to be a mind reader to know it. And she may have hid it well behind her sexy blouse and heels but she was just like them. They were all the same.
And here is an excerpt of Bella’s first impression of Cullen:
She had seen the way that he had taken in the other students in her class and she didn't like it. He was obviously an arrogant jerk who saw himself above everyone in her class – including her and she was immediately irritated by it. This was her classroom – not his. Her hostility surprised her but the adrenaline was still pumping through her body after the almost fight and the last thing she needed was a cocky fucker like Cullen adding to it. No matter how good looking he was...
Let the fuck-hawt banter begin. Suffice to say, I was beyond excited that this was not a “love at first sight” fic. There is no love lost between these two and in fact it takes one epic blow up before the two of them finally come to a compromise. One that leads to the revelation that Bella is the same girl from his past who he’s been unable to forget. It is at this point where Bella is from then on more or less referred to as “Peaches” to Cullen, because their pasts connect them in the most intimate way. If you’ve read this fic, you know what it is, if you haven’t—well what are you waiting for? Go read and find out!
Edward keeps his prior acquaintance of Bella to himself at first, and a bond eventually forms between the two of them as they work together as student and teacher. All the way until Edward finally makes early parole. Then comes the good parts, the friendship that leads to an attraction that burns right off the pages—or, uh, screen. Parts like:
"I know I shouldn't…and I don't usually kiss…but fuck, I want to." He trailed his thumb slowly across her mouth. "I want to find out what your top lip tastes like." He licked his own, "And then compare it to the bottom." He exhaled heavily as his cock twitched in his jeans. "I'm desperate to know if your tongue tastes of peaches."
Isabella's eyes fluttered at his words. "We…I…please," she murmured. "Don't." The word slipped from her softly but it made her stomach clench all the same. She was amazed she had the energy to utter the one syllable at all.
With his eyes still trained on the shit hot bee sting mouth before him Cullen asked, "Would it be so bad?"
He leaned in closer, his breath washing over Isabella's face like a lusty fog.
Everything in Isabella's body was surging towards the gorgeous man in front of her. Her pussy purred, her pupils dilated and her heart was beating so fast she was glad they weren't far from the ER. But she knew that they were about to cross a line: A huge fuck-off line that had her career written all over it. This was bad. This was very, very bad.
But why do I feel so good?
"Cullen," she whispered again, in one last ditch attempt to stop what she knew in her heart was inevitable. She had to at least try and fight it, right? "We can't do this."
"I know," he answered, cupping the side of her face while tilting his head. "But I'm tired of trying to stay away from you, Peaches."
He moved closer. "Just one taste," he whispered, "Just one. That's all I want."
And then it happened.
Isabella's eyes closed as his lips touched hers. Oh. My. God.
She remained frozen as their mouths connected. She could feel his palm on her cheek and his nose against hers. The breath that was coming down it was long and steady as though he was in a trance, which wasn't far from the truth.
Cullen couldn't believe how soft she felt. Her mouth was fucking perfect and tasted even better. More like whipped cream than peaches. He smiled inwardly. What a perfect combination. After a moment he opened his own mouth to see if she would respond. Fucking Christ, he wanted her to. She did. Oh so slightly, but he could feel her breath push into him. He couldn't help the sigh that came from him as her sweetness swilled around his mouth.
Their lips moved together, so slowly, gently, and tentatively. But Cullen wanted more.
He cupped the other side of her face - denim jacket forgotten on the floor - and pressed his lips harder to hers. His hips moved forward of their own volition and he hissed as his cock found her soft stomach through his jeans. His mouth opened wider as it twitched in pleasure and he groaned. He'd never been so fucking hard. My God, it almost hurt. He wanted to feel more of her. He wanted her to touch him.
Are you still with me? Fuck, I don’t even know if I’m with me—and it’s just a kiss! One simple kiss and already you think to yourself, Jesus what will it be like when these finally bang? Yes, I said bang—because when you fuck Cullen the term “go out with a bang” has never held more truth. Everything about these two is hot and sweaty and oh-so-damn-good.
I started this review with the intention of focusing on the writing style—which is just amazing. Let me tell you, the descriptions are vivid in a way that doesn’t just put you in the setting, but it feels like a scene in a movie. As if you have the director and cast and crew all working together to bring you that one very intense scene on a giant theater screen. But as I continued on, looking for my favorite parts of the fic, I realized that the intense fucking attraction between Cullen and Bella burns my motherfucking retinas.
I feel the need to include in this review that every time I look into the fic to find excerpts to paste into this review I keep getting caught up in the damn fic. What the fucking fuck? I don’t even want to write this anymore, I want to keep reading stuff like this:
He ground his hips into her again as they both moved down to the floor and placed a soft kiss on her shoulder. Her response was to lean her head back onto his shoulder and curl her arms upwards and behind his neck.
Yes, baby. I want it too. So fucking much.
Cullen growled into her neck as she pulled on his hair. They were moving from side to side, Peaches' ass perfectly placed in his crotch as he moved his hands up and down the sides of her body. When his palms reached the edge of her dress on her thighs, he was bold enough to let his fingertips dance across her soft skin. She gripped his hair tighter and moaned.
Fuck's sake, he needed her naked. He needed her wet and open and crying out his name.
"I want you," he murmured into her ear, before placing another kiss under her lobe. "Goddamn it, Bella, I want you so fucking much."
She moved her face further around so that they were nose to nose, looking him straight in the eye and smiled like a fucking vixen. "I want you too," she whispered.
Taxi for two motherfuckers.
Cullen spun Peaches around, grasping her small hand in his and pulled her fast and hard towards a dark corner of the club. He eyeballed the asshole that was standing near where he wanted at in such a way, that the dude shifted as though his ass were on fire.
Cullen pulled Peaches to his side and pushed her against the wall, nose to nose, his hands against the wall at either side of her head.
"Say it again," he demanded as he watched her lick her lips.
"What?" she asked; her eyes wide and glazed from whatever she had been drinking.
"Tell me that you want me," he ordered. His heart was racing and his cock was throbbing with every beat of the music. "I need to hear that shit, Bella. You have no fucking idea."
"I want you," she replied in a firm, determined voice that sent shivers up Cullen's spine.
This brings me to a very important point that I believe Jaxon22 should be forced to post at the beginning of this fic, hella at the beginning of every chapter for that matter. It should read: WARNING! May cause spontaneous combustion of your panties—your mother’s panties—and even your great grandmother’s.
The detail is skin tingling, the imagery and dialogue makes your girls bits buzz deliciously. Don’t even lie to me, you love when that happens. Need more convincing? How about this scene (which is one of my fav everrrr):
"I want you."
"I love you."
Isabella screamed out in sublime pleasure, as Cullen slammed into her so hard that her entire body shifted across the bed. He held her, motionless, breathing heavily. It was deep. Oh, fuck, he was so deep and he filled every inch and more of her. She clung onto the bed sheets, tearing them from the edges of the mattress, as he pulled back and began to pound her, grunting with each drive of his hips. Their flesh slapped together, and each sharp clap became punctuated with cries of more from deep within her.
Never had Isabella felt so out of control, so wanton, and insane with lust and love for the man that was fucking her.
She wanted him like that forever, solid and firm as he was. She hated that their time together was ending. She hated that they couldn't stay at the beach house forever and make love everyday without the fear of being interrupted or discovered. In almost twenty-four hours, they would be together again, in the library, trying to behave as though the weekend hadn't happened. Isabella's heart fractured. She would find it impossible. She needed to be near him, touching him, kissing him, and holding him.
Now that he knew what she felt for him, seeing him again as her 'student' would be virtually impossible. She wanted more.
"More!" she pleaded.
"Yes, Bella," he groaned in reply, holding her so securely that her hips began to ache deliciously. "You feel so good." He pulled her closer, as his hips surged forward. "Dammit, I can't get close enough, baby.Fuck!"
He was hitting parts of her that had never been touched before, parts that burned and screamed for release. The pleasure she was feeling teetered on discomfort, but Isabella was too far gone to tell Cullen to ease off. She didn't want him to. She wanted to feel how much he wanted her. She meant it when she had told him that his touch - and not his words - was all she needed. His body was his tell.
His body told her what he desired and craved. Her. His hands touched her reverently when they shared the quiet, but held her so close, as though he feared she would disappear, when they made love. Those moments told her more than his words ever could. His eyes would look at her as though she was precious, breakable, but would then spark with crazed lust when she was bare before him.
Whether he did love her was inconsequential because the feel of him inside of her, the sounds and movement of his body with hers, was more than enough. Along with the prized journal that he had shown her, she knew that he was in as deep as she was.
He tilted his hips suddenly, and ground into her. His voice came in stuttered gasps and clipped groans.
"I'm...fuck, I'm nearly there, Bella." He moved his hand back to her clit and rubbed frantically. "Get there. Please. Get there with me."
Fucking shit—I’M there with you! Seriously, does this girl write amazing lemons or what? There is no or what, that was a trick question. Cullen’s possessiveness and passion is enough to set even the reader on fire. There is a sense of realism between these two that makes the reader feel what they are feeling. Bella is quite possibly one of the most understanding women I have ever known, because she handles Cullen in a way that most probably wouldn’t be able to. His temper, his lack of trust, his inability to talk about himself or express himself in deeply emotional ways.
That is not to say that Cullen is completely closed off, because he loves Bella more than he’s ever loved anyone and more than he even thinks he is capable of. I love this fic because the character growth is natural and never forced or rushed. Cullen starts out closed off and gradually begins to open up because he finally meets someone who understands him and has all the patience in the world. There is no way you can read this fic and not see that these two crazy kids really DO complete each other.
She was so small and fragile lying next to him and yet, she was the strongest, most determined, and infallible of the two of them. Cullen had never considered himself weak before. After all the shit that he had been through in his life; the places, people, and things that he had seen, it was a fucking miracle that he was normal or had any strength of character at all.
Yet, with Bella, he felt helpless and exposed.
Because, the fact was, the tiny, spectacular woman at his side had the potential to cause him more pain than anyone else he had ever known. Although he was infuriatingly incapable of expressing his feelings for her into words he knew, without any shred of doubt, she had his heart, unequivocally and unconditionally, in the palms of her hands.
She always had.
This fic has so much more going on than just Edward and Bella, or Cullen and his Peaches, but I just feel that the heart of the story is the love between these two. It’s obvious that they’re practically destined to be together. It’s really amazing how well Jaxon22 is able to fit all these wonderful pieces together.
With beautiful words, brilliant descriptions, careful and witty dialogue, “A Pound of Flesh” is one of those rare gems that I feel represents the raw and true talent that fanfiction can bring forward. Filled with strong supporting characters, great plot twists, fascinating story structure, and hot as fuck lemons… This fic will just all around blow your fucking mind.
Me after four long hours:
Review of APoF by TypoKween
You're a mf trooper, girlfriend. Excellent review of one of my all time favorites, ILY- love, cuppycakes.
And here are the FABULOUS FIVE THIS WEEK!!
Last Tango in Forks by Awesomesauce76
Bella Swan has spent a lifetime putting everyone else's needs before her own. Could a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger begin to change all of that? AU/AH Rated: Fiction M
The Dominant by TaraSueMe
Because every story has two sides - The Submissive from EPOV. Rated M for Adult Themes and D/s. Will make more sense if you read The Submissive first. Rated: Fiction M
Tropic of Virgo by In.a.blue.bathrobe
He's a young but jaded musician writing lyrics for his band, and she's a naive, frustrated poet looking to break out of her shell; their words collide online. What happens when they meet in high school, unaware of their literary connection? Rated: Fiction M
High Anxiety by EdwardsBloodType
Cute, trendy Bella returns home to escape the heartache of her past. She immediately befriends neighbors Jasper and Edward, bonding with them in the treehouse out back. Bella and Edward discover they have more in common than they ever dreamed of. AH A/U Rated: Fiction M
For the Summer by Camoozle
Every year Bella waits for the 'Pay Checks' to roll into her sleepy river town and every year Edward's hers, just for the summer. AH, AU, OOC, B/E Rated: Fiction M