Author: crimsonmarie PM
Successful musician Edward Cullen could have any woman he wants. But there's only one he can't stop thinking about and she seems oblivious to his feelings. Could a Christmas wish change everything for both of them?Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Drama - Bella & Edward - Words: 8,854 - Reviews: 117 - Favs: 334 - Follows: 74 - Published: 12-31-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5626546
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
So... this was supposed to be another entry for the Broken Record Holiday Contest (go read and vote! Link in my favorite authors!) but I didn't quite get it there in time. Which really shouldn't surprise much of anyone.
Anyway, here is a little one shot for you and yes, I realize that it's not Christmas anymore and we're almost at New Year's, but it's still considered the holidays so it works! Right?! I'm tired, rambling and trying to rationalize all at the same time... how am I doing so far?
Don't answer that.
Thanks to my girls; Angie, Meg, Shelley and Shae. I love all of you beyond words and thank you for putting up with me at all hours of the night/day and not kicking me to the curb like you rightly should've ages ago.
Warning: NSFW or school or any of that.
Enjoy and thanks for reading!
I sighed as I put my guitar in its case, looking up as the door to the studio opened and Bella walked in. She looked professional, as always, with her dark brown hair up in its usual bun and her pinstriped business suit hiding all the curves I'd been dreaming about since she'd become my manager six months ago. She held a clipboard in her hands, her shoulder bag bouncing off her hip as she walked towards me with a confused smile on her face.
"What are you doing here?" she asked, tilting her head to the side as she set her bag down on the black leather couch next to me. "Shouldn't you be at home with your family?"
I clipped the sides of the guitar case and stood up, stretching my arms over my head and breathing out a sigh.
"My family is thankfully three thousand miles away," she quipped, pointing at me with the pen she'd obviously been hiding in her hand. "Yours isn't."
"Mine is…" I sighed heavily and dropped my arms, smirking at her and shrugging. "Broken."
"Sorry to hear that."
I shrugged again, watching as she walked by me and over to her desk in the corner, setting her clipboard and pen down before plopping into the expensive leather chair that matched the couch. While the entire building had more than enough room for a separate office for her, she'd insisted on making the extra space in the extremely large studio into her own little office. She said that she liked hearing her clients' voices while she was working and that it somehow relaxed her.
I didn't understand it, but I didn't really care, either. I liked that she was there when I was recording. The studio execs and other people that normally needed to be around when I was in here were nice and all, but having my manager sitting comfortably in the corner and offering me encouragement that somehow managed to mean more to me than the others' opinions helped more than it had when Aro had been my manager.
"Did you get some more tracks recorded?" she asked absently, reaching across the desk and sorting through a stack of papers.
"A few. Nothing too spectacular."
"Ah, you're always putting yourself down." She clucked her tongue at me, finally finding the papers she'd apparently been looking for and resting them in front of her. "You're an amazing musician, Edward. You need to remember that if you're going to keep moving up in this business."
"All right. I will." I shook my head sharply once, sucking in a deep breath. She always made me tongue-tied and frazzled. "Thanks."
She nodded, humming as she grabbed her pen again and began clicking it as she stared down at the papers.
"So you're not doing anything for the holiday?" I asked, slowly walking over to her desk and standing behind the lone chair placed in front of it.
"I've never been very big on the holiday." She shrugged again, looking up at me quickly before back down at the papers. "It's never been a big deal when I was growing up."
"My father's a drunk and my mother's been known as the town whore for most of my life." She waved the pen around before placing it against the paper and scribbling her name. "Christmas was never a very happy day for me."
"Wow. No siblings?"
"I was the only child and my parents made a big show of telling me how that ruined their lives. My mother wanted to be a professional dancer and my father wanted to be part of the S.W.A.T team. When they had me, it ruined everything." She looked up at me, an extremely false smile plastered on her face. "They told me about it often and when I visit, they still do. I make sure to keep my distance as much as possible."
"I'm… sorry," I stated, trying to think of anything else to say.
I had always been confident and sure of myself when talking to other women. Being a musician in a small town like Forks, Washington had helped a lot – the girls there, I'd known for a long ass time and it was easy to talk to them. It was even easier to talk them into bed after I'd finished a gig. I'd never had to want for companionship because it always found me easily. They were more than willing and I wasn't going to be an idiot and pass it up.
Being discovered and thrown into the whirlwind of having a professional music career had been amazing. The girls still came in droves after a performance and I still didn't turn them away – there hadn't been any logical reason for me to do so.
Until my former manager, Aro, had informed me that he was retiring and that Isabella Swan would be taking his place. She'd walked in the room and it was like my fucking world twisted upside down. I'd always laughed at anyone who said that – that someone could just walk in and their life could change. It had never happened to me before and I was certain it never would.
Proves how much I know, doesn't it?
"Don't be." She smiled – really smiled – and shook her head. "Why don't you go on home, Edward? I'm sure you've worked hard today. Relax."
"What are you gonna do?"
"Some paperwork or something." She tilted her head. "I'll find something."
"Come get some coffee with me," I blurted out, sucking in a deep breath and smiling nervously at her.
"You can't go out in public anymore," she laughed, shaking her head at me. "Not without a few bodyguards, at least, and they're all at home by now."
I rocked back and forth on my heels, staring at the framed gold record behind her head that had my name on it.
She hadn't exactly said no…
"I'll be back," I said, turning quickly and walking towards the door.
"Just… you stay," I said, turning around long enough to hold my hands up in front of me.
I kept walking, though, and only ended up tripping over my guitar case. I screamed like a little fucking girl and then groaned when my back hit the hard floor underneath me.
Smooth, Cullen. Real fucking smooth.
"Shit! Are you all right?"
I heard her hasty footsteps on the floor and groaned, crossing my arms over my eyes and nodding.
"Are you sure?"
I felt her next to me and really wished that I'd knocked myself out or something. This shit wasn't supposed to happen to me.
She grabbed my elbow and I groaned again, letting her help me up and lead me to the couch. I plopped next to her shoulder bag and sighed heavily, damn near pouting at the bottom of the sound booth we were in front of.
"Stay here, all right? Don't move."
I looked up at her to find that she was holding back laughter, I was sure of it. Her lips were pressed in a tight line and her eyes were dancing with amusement. I would've been happy that she was laughing and seemed to be having a good time if it hadn't been at my expense.
This is what I get for trying to woo someone that didn't seem to have any interest in wanting to be wooed.
"Sure," I grumbled, crossing my arms over my chest and listening to her footsteps as she walked to the door and then out of the room.
This was a disaster. Could I really be that much more of an idiot around her? Why the hell did it matter so much, anyway? She'd never shown any interest in me beyond professional and just because I couldn't stop staring at her boobs whenever she wore one of her rare low-cut shirts didn't mean a damn thing. At least, it shouldn't mean a damn thing. She was my boss and I respected her. Sleeping with her and then having the amazing advantage of going to a different town the next night wasn't an option. If something happened between us and I fucked it up, my career was still in her hands. She'd have the power to destroy me if she so felt the need.
I looked up when she walked back in, two mugs of steaming coffee in her hands.
"Stay there. I'm not done."
I raised an eyebrow at her, dropping my arms to my lap as I watched her walk to her desk. She set the mugs on the corner of it and bent down – standing up for me was no longer an option – to pull open one of the bottom drawers. I watched as she pulled out a bottle of Bailey's, my mouth dropping open as she twisted off the top and started to pour a little in our coffee. She looked over at me and laughed, shaking her head before turning her attention back to the alcohol.
"Don't look so shocked, Edward. Sometimes even I need to loosen up a little."
"I just… you've never… you don't seem like the type to have alcohol in your desk."
"What type do I seem like then?"
"Uhm…" I laughed nervously and reached up to scratch the back of my neck. "Very… uhm… well…"
Go. Home. Now.
"Cat got your tongue?" she asked innocently, twisted the top back on the bottle and placing it in her desk drawer again.
"Are you always so nervous?" she laughed, grabbing the mugs and walking over to me.
She toed off her shoes and slid her knees onto the couch next to me, handing me one of the mugs before settling in comfortably at my side.
"Only around you," I grumbled, sighing and cupping the mug in my hands as I stared down at her shoes.
Practical black heels, shoes that I'd seen on at least a thousand other girls. Why in the fuck did these turn me on even more? I quickly leaned forward a little, resting my elbows on my knees and staring down into the coffee.
"I don't know," I laughed nervously, shaking my head.
"You're telling me that super famous musician Edward Cullen is nervous around me?"
"Yeah," I mumbled.
"Huh." I looked over at her and raised an eyebrow, watching as she lifted the cup to her curved lips. "Why do you think that is? I'm not anyone to be nervous around."
"I'm attracted to you."
"You're attracted to a lot of girls, Edward." My eyes widened and she laughed. "You think I don't see you with the girls at your shows? Come on now."
"It's not… no, Bella, it's not like that."
"So you don't sleep with all of them?"
"Not… all of them," I grumbled, looking back down at my coffee.
"You are different," I said pointedly to the mug in my hands. "I… you're more than that."
"Yes, I am."
"I don't know how to act around you."
"I'm no different than any of the people you talk to here."
"You're a hell of a lot prettier, that's for sure."
She laughed loudly and I looked over at her to find that her head was thrown back, her neck exposed and practically begging me to lean in and…
"Well, considering that we work with mostly old men, I guess I can take that as a compliment," she said, still laughing a little as she pulled her head up.
"You know I didn't mean it that way."
"I know," she said softly, smiling and nodding as she lifted the mug to her lips again. "It was just amusing to me."
"Are you seeing anyone?" I asked, figuring that I didn't have much else to lose at this point.
I'd fallen on my ass, almost awkwardly insulted her in some way, and had confessed my attraction to her. Asking about her relationship status was nothing at this point.
"Would I be here now if I was with someone?"
"Maybe? You're very dedicated to your work."
"Why do you think that is?"
"It's a tough business?"
"It is," she agreed, nodding. "But you're the only one I'm managing at the moment. My work load isn't nearly as hectic as it could be."
"Okay," I said slowly. "So… you work hard to make a name for yourself when you do get more clients?"
"I'm not taking anymore clients on right at the moment."
I stared at her, blinking slowly and trying to figure out what the hell she might've been trying to tell me. There was something there, obviously, and it was right underneath whatever the fuck she was saying but I wasn't understanding any of it. Maybe she'd put more Bailey's in this than I thought and the few sips I'd already taken were really starting to fuck with my head.
"I'm fucking confused," I admitted, shaking my head.
"It'll come to you." She turned and slid her legs out from underneath her, stretching them out in front of her and leaning back into the couch. "What's your Christmas wish?"
"My grandmother always made me make a wish on Christmas Eve. She said that it would come true at the last stroke of midnight."
"No." She laughed again and sipped from her cup. "It never did but I can't find it in me to stop making that wish."
"What was yours?"
"You make one first." She dropped her head to the back of the couch and looked over at me. "Then we can discuss."
"A discussion comes with the wish?"
"Only if you want to." She shrugged innocently. "We don't have to."
"All right," I mumbled, leaning back into the couch and placing my arms in my lap. "Anything?"
"Anything you want. The world is your oyster."
I laughed and leaned my head back against the couch as well, sucking in a deep breath and closing my eyes.
My dreams had already come true. I was a successful musician and I'd made a nice life for myself after years of struggling and fighting and searching. Everything I'd wanted when I came into this was mine for the taking.
Everything but the girl at my side. She was pretty much off limits if I had to be honest with myself, but it didn't stop me from wishing for her.
"All right," I sighed, opening my eyes and turning my head to look at her. "Done."
"Would you like to share?"
"Ah, but I can't do that unless you tell me yours."
"That's just no fair."
She laughed and shrugged, her pointer finger circling the rim of her coffee mug.
"So then I guess we just won't tell each other what we wished for."
"Do you ever think that maybe they didn't come true because you told your grandmother what you wished for?"
"It was part of the tradition. She made a wish and told me about it, so I did the same with her. It was our thing."
"You were close to her."
"Do you still see her?"
"She died a few years ago." I watched her eyes flash before she was back to being the calm, confident manager I thought I'd known. "I visit her grave whenever I'm home."
"It still sucks."
She nodded once and turned her head to look up at the ceiling.
"That's life," she said again quietly.
"Your mother's mother?"
"She raised you?"
I was grasping at straws, I realized this, but in the six months that she'd been my manager, we'd never really touched on any topics quite like these. We had professional conversations and we joked around a little bit, but we'd never had a full on bare-your-soul conversation with each other like we seemed to be having right now.
I never wanted it to fucking end.
"She was my rock." She sucked in a deep breath and sat up straight, looking over at me. "I moved out here as soon as the funeral was over with the money she left me. She put me through college and she did everything for me that my parents were supposed to do. I followed my dreams because of her."
"She was a good woman."
"She was the best." She lifted the coffee mug to her lips and stared at the rolling chair sitting in front of the soundboard. "I miss her."
"My dog died when I was sixteen."
She slowly looked over at me, one of her eyebrows raised.
Great idea, Cullen. Compare a dead relative to your fucking dog.
"My parents are all kinds of fucked up," I laughed nervously, sitting up and looking down into my coffee mug again. "The only thing they really did for me was get me that dog when I was little. They were too busy making a life or something and arguing with each other when they were home, so Digby became my best friend. He died when I was sixteen."
"I'm sorry to hear that."
"I can't bring myself to get another dog. That's pathetic, I know but…"
"It's not." I looked up at her and saw that she was shaking her head, a small smile on her face. "I can't bring myself to get another grandmother, either."
I watched her, not entirely sure if she'd lost her mind and relaxed when she grinned at me. She reached over with one hand and placed it on my knee, squeezing slightly before gripping her mug again. I swallowed hard, my heart beating fast with just that little gesture as I forced my body to get itself under control.
This was insane. I'd never had this kind of a reaction to anyone before. Well, at least, not without more than a small touch on my knee, anyway.
"Relax, Edward," she chuckled.
"You make me nervous."
"So I hear."
I growled at her and she laughed, deep and throatily and sending every single one of my nerve-endings on end. Fuck, this woman was going to end up killing me at some point.
"Ten minutes to midnight," she stated, leaning back on the couch and crossing her legs.
"Why the fuck are we still here? How the hell did we end up here, of all damn places, on Christmas Eve?" I asked, waving my mug around.
"Well, I was avoiding having to think about my parents. I don't know why the hell you're here," she laughed.
"I was… well, I was avoiding too."
"Well then." She turned, tucking one leg underneath her as she faced me and held up her mug. "Merry Christmas, Ebenezer."
"Happy Holidays, Grinch."
We tapped our mugs together and sipped from them, our eyes locked on each other's as I grinned through the mouthful of pure alcohol I swallowed.
"Do you want some more?"
"I think one is enough for me. How much Bailey's did you put in this?"
"Enough," she grinned, standing up and stretching.
My mouth watered at the little sliver of skin I saw as her shirt pulled up. This was definitely not normal.
"What are your plans for tomorrow, Edward?" she asked as she walked back to her desk and set the mug on the corner.
"Uhm." I cleared my throat and set my empty coffee mug on the floor by my feet. "I don't know. Maybe write a little."
"You're not gonna make yourself a dinner or anything?"
She plopped into her desk chair and pulled out the top drawer, searching through it before closing it and opening the drawer to her left.
"It's just me. Making an entire turkey for myself might be a little pointless."
"Did you ever think of inviting me over?" she asked, grinning over at me before tilting in her chair and opening the desk drawer to her right.
"You want to spend Christmas with me?"
"It's either you or this office."
She slammed another drawer and I pouted a little.
"Thanks," I drawled.
"Oh, I didn't mean it that way. A-ha!" she exclaimed, holding one of her hands up in the air as she gripped a small box wrapped in green and silver paper.
"What in hell are you doing?"
"I have something for you."
She slammed the drawer shut and stood up, walking back over to me and holding out the small box in front of me.
"I didn't get you anything," I said weakly, staring at her hand.
"I didn't expect you to." She thrust the box at me and I quickly took it from her, looking up as she sat back down and nodded at me. "Open it."
"I feel… wrong."
"I should've thought to get you something."
"I never expected you to." She bounced a little in her spot, wringing her hands and biting on her bottom lip. "Open it!"
"Fine," I sighed heavily, turning the box over in my hand and pulling open the wrapping paper slowly.
"Oh for the love of God," she sighed, crossing her legs underneath her and staring at me. "Don't be neat, Edward. Christmas is not meant for neat unwrapping!"
"You're kind of a pain in the ass about shit, you know."
"I'm your manager; I'm supposed to be. Rip it!" she laughed, pointing at it.
I grumbled and narrowed my eyes playfully at her before dramatically tearing the paper and throwing it at her. She laughed and batted it away from her.
It was a tiny black ring box and I raised an eyebrow.
"Gee, Bella, I'm not so sure about this. It's awfully sudden."
"Oh, shut up!" she laughed, reaching over and pushing on my shoulder. "Open it!"
"You gonna sit on my shoulder?"
"I will not hesitate to attack you if you don't open it!" she laughed, grabbing my shoulder and shaking me.
I snorted and finally opened the top, blinking down at the guitar picks that were monogrammed with my initials. In fucking gold.
My mouth dropped open, I carefully picked one out, staring down at it, and watching as the lights glinted off the letters.
"Look at the back."
I looked over at her and she nodded, smiling at me. I flipped the pick over and swallowed hard at the engraved Love, Bella written there.
"You better not throw those out to audience members, you hear me?" she laughed quietly.
"Definitely not," I breathed, shaking my head quickly.
"You like them?"
"I love them."
I set the pick back inside the box, snapping it shut and holding it tightly in my hand before turning to her and pulling her into my arms. I buried my face in her neck, breathing in the scent of raspberries and vanilla as I hugged her tightly.
"Thank you," I whispered.
She wrapped her arms around my neck and hugged me back.
"You're welcome, Edward."
I squeezed her once more before letting her go, confused when she held tightly onto my neck.
"Wait," she whispered.
"I'm not a patient man, Bella."
"Learn how to be."
I became entirely too aware of how close she was to me; her nose was brushing against mine and she was practically sitting in my lap from when I'd tried to pull back from her. I licked my lips as my eyes traveled down to hers for a brief second before reconnecting with her eyes.
I heard the distant chime of a clock that was hidden somewhere in the building, trying to remember where I'd seen it before when I saw her lips curve up.
"You wanna know my wish?" she whispered, her breath fanning across my face.
The clock chimed again and I nodded.
"I wished for you to kiss me."
I blinked at her as the clock chimed for a third time.
"The reason I'm not taking on any more clients, Edward, is because I'm focused on you. I tried working with someone else when I first got this job and only ended up almost ruining his career because I was too busy thinking of ways to get you to notice me."
"But you're so…"
"I'm professional because I have to be. You are, first and foremost, my client and my livelihood since you're the only one I'm working with. Secondly, you are the guy I can't stop thinking about."
"I… you…" The clock chimed again and I closed my eyes tightly, shaking my head in disbelief. "That's kind of stalker like, Bella."
"Tell me you feel nothing for me and we won't speak of this again," she said simply, and I opened my eyes to find her shrugging.
"You're awfully calm about that."
"This won't be the first time I'm rejected, Edward." She smiled briefly before moving her arms from my neck and sliding to the other end of the couch. "I'm a big girl. I can take it."
"I don't quite…"
The clock chimed again and I watched as she lowered her feet to the floor, sliding her shoes back on and keeping a small smile on her face as she looked at me.
"If you'd feel comfortable with a new manager, I can have that arranged for you first thing the day after Christmas. Well, tomorrow, I guess." She laughed lightly and stood up, brushing her hands off on her pants. "Give me the word and it's done."
"You're not giving me much time to think things through, Bella."
"If you have to think, then I have my answer." She nodded at me, that smile still on her face. "Would you like Kate to be your new manager? She's really good and a newlywed. No threat there."
"I don't want…"
"Kate it is." She clapped her hands together and walked over to her desk. "I have a few things to get done before I go home tonight." She scribbled something on a piece of paper before turning to me and nodding again. "Merry Christmas, Edward."
I blinked at her, watching as she rounded her desk and sat down in her chair, that fucking smile still on her face as she tapped papers together and picked up her pen once more. I shook my head and stood up, at a loss for words and completely fucking confused as I turned the box around in my hand and reached down to get my guitar case.
"Merry Christmas, Bella," I mumbled, shaking my head and turning my back to start towards the door.
I shoved the box into my pocket and reached for the door handle, pulling the door open and staring out at the wall. I heard a quiet, shaky exhale and a small, nearly silent sniffle before the clock chimed once more.
I continued to stare at the wall, realizing that the clock was down the hall and in the break room before I heard another little sniffle that was slightly louder than the last one. I shook my head and walked out of the room, starting towards the double doors at the other end of the hallway.
Wait a fucking minute.
She wanted me to kiss her.
No, wait, she wished for me to kiss her. Meaning that she'd wanted me to do it for quite some time if she did something like staking a Christmas wish on it.
And fuck knows that I wanted to kiss her – and then some – so where in the fucking hell did I think I was going?
I quickly turned on my heel and started back towards the studio, shaking my head at myself and grumbling that I was a pretty big fucking idiot.
She gave me the chance to do what I'd wanted to do since I'd seen her six months ago and I had to go and get tongue-tied, nervous and make her think that I didn't feel the same for her? What the fuck had there been to think about?
If something came out of whatever the fuck happened tonight, I was gonna have to learn to get my shit together.
I made it back into the studio and my eyes immediately landed on Bella. Her elbows were resting on the desk, her head in her hands and her hair out of the bun she had it in a few seconds ago as she stared down at the blotter I knew was there. The light glinted off a tear as it fell from her eye and I flinched. I closed the door behind me and set my guitar case back on the floor. I watched as she covered her face with her hands as her shoulders began to shake and I swallowed hard, watching as she leaned back in her chair and pulled her knees up to her chest.
"Bella?" I asked softly, slowly taking a few steps towards her.
She jumped and unfolded herself, turning her face from me as she wiped the tears from her cheeks. She placed her hands on the desk in front of her, her face still turned from me as she linked her fingers together and licked her lips.
"Go home," she said quietly, her voice shaking.
"Why are you…? What's wrong?"
I watched her press her lips together before she looked down at her hands and shook her head.
"We were talking about my grandmother. I miss her a lot. That's all."
"I don't believe you."
She was quiet and I watched as she shook her head again, looking up at me but avoiding my eyes.
"Go home, Edward."
"Talk to me."
"Bella, it's not that…"
"No excuses." She breathed out a laugh. "I've had enough of excuses for my entire life. You're not interested and that's fine."
"I never said that I…"
"It's fine. I'm fine."
"You will have a new manager within twenty-four hours…"
"I don't want a new manager."
"Then leave your current one alone." Her eyes met mine finally and I clenched my jaw at the tears I saw there. "We'll never speak of this again."
"What if I want to?"
"Rejection and humiliation go hand-in-hand, Edward. There's only so much one person can take in a day and I seemed to have reached my limit. Please go."
"Do you want to know what I wished?"
"I wished for you."
She blinked at me and shook her head, holding her hands up at her sides and standing up.
"You don't need to do this just because I said that."
"I'm not! Bella, I wished for you!"
"Please leave, Edward."
I squared my shoulders and planted my feet firmly on the floor, crossing my arms over my chest as I shook my head stubbornly.
"I will be fine tomorrow and we can act as though none of this ever happened if you just leave now," she said quietly, pointing to the door. "I got an answer from you and I'll be taking on another client as soon as one is available. I'll only be around when absolutely necessary."
"So you're running away and hiding from me."
"I've earned that right, I think. I made a fool of myself." She nodded once, dropping her arm to her side and jutting her chin out at me. "I need time to get over it."
"I'm trying to tell you that you haven't! Bella…"
"I will not be pitied." She crossed her arms over her chest and stared at me. "This is only one thing in a long list of disappointment, humiliation and regret. You need to go."
I stared hard at her, narrowing my eyes and shaking my head.
"Fine!" she exclaimed, dropping her arms and walking around her desk. "Then I will!"
I grabbed her arm as she tried walking by me and pulled her against my side, staring down at the top of her head as she stood still, her chest heaving with each breath she took.
"Let me go," she said, her voice shaking. "I want to leave."
"You're embarrassed, I get that. You want to get away from the situation and I get that, too. But you're not listening to me, Bella."
"I hear you just fine."
"I wished for you," I whispered, leaning down so that my mouth was right by her ear. "Bella, I wished that I could have you for my own."
"I'm not a piece of property."
"Now you're just being difficult."
"It was a stupid wish. I told you that they never came true."
"You wanted this one to come true."
"I want them all to come true and they never do. Just…" She tried getting her arm away from me and I only held on tighter. She huffed and stilled. "Why did you come back?"
"I realized that I was an idiot for passing your offer up. And I didn't technically pass it up. I was nervous."
"You really need to get over that."
"With you around, it's kind of hard to do that." I closed my eyes and leaned my forehead against the side of her head. "I already told you that I was attracted to you, Bella. Why would you think that changed?"
"You were so…"
"Nervous," I whispered, tilting my head and dragging my nose along her temple. "You know you're different from everyone else just as well as I do. You took me by surprise and then pushed me out."
She sniffled and I loosened my hold on her arm, swallowing hard and slowly moving in front of her. She stayed where she was, her head still down as I stood in front of her and debated on where to put my hands. My heart was hammering against my chest and it felt like I was going to fall apart, which really only served to piss me off a little bit.
Why in the fuck did this one woman have this kind of power over me? I was fucking Edward Cullen; multi-platinum recording artist with any woman at my fingertips if I just cocked an eyebrow and nodded towards a deserted room.
But Bella… she merely says hello to me and I'm a bumbling fool around her. It was equal parts fucking annoying and god damned exciting because I'd never had that kind of a reaction to anyone else before. Before tonight, I had no idea that she was even remotely interested in me the way that she was and while it had given me a little more confidence around her, I still felt like a fifteen-year old boy getting ready to lose his fucking virginity.
"Look at me," I whispered, finally settling my hands on her shoulders.
"I've made a bigger fool out of myself than I thought," she said quietly, shaking her head. "Please just go."
"Not a chance." I leaned forward and pressed my lips to the top of her head. "Look at me."
"Please," she begged in a whisper. "I just need a day…"
"I'm not giving you any time to figure a way out of this. You said it, it's out there; I heard it and I want to hear it again."
"If you're just feeling sorry for me…"
"I'm feeling rather frustrated right at the moment." I trailed one hand down her arm, stopping at her hand and slowly linking our fingers together. "I'm also feeling like I really want to kiss you now."
I grabbed her chin with my other hand and jerked her face up, placing my lips on hers before she could finish her sentence. I tasted the tears on her lips, felt them shaking underneath my own, and pulled our joined hands to rest on my hip.
"Kiss me," I whispered against her lips, sliding my thumb down her jaw and wrapping my hand around her neck.
"Please tell me you're doing this because you want to."
"I've wanted to for six months," I breathed out a chuckle and swallowed hard. "Kiss me."
She stepped up a little, her lips firm against mine as she stepped into me and wrapped her free arm around my neck. I grunted and untangled my hand from hers to wrap it around her waist and pull her completely against me. She gasped and I plunged my tongue into her mouth, twisting mine around hers and reveling in the taste of coffee and Bailey's that assaulted me once more.
"If we do this," she stated, pushing away from me and placing her hands on my chest to keep me at a distance, "you commit to me, Edward."
"I'm a relationship person and I don't go around kissing people or fucking them just for the hell of it. If you kiss me again, I'm taking it that you want a relationship with me, too. If you're not sure, walk away now. I mean it."
I could be a one-woman guy. It would take a lot to get used to it, but it was possible. For Bella, I could be that person.
I grabbed her wrists and pulled her back to me, my lips immediately on hers as her chest crashed into mine. I slowly let go of her wrists, dragging my hands up her arms and finally threading my fingers through her hair as I opened my mouth against hers. Her hands gripped onto the sides of my shirt, her mouth moving fluidly against mine and her tongue sliding against mine easily.
"Mm, hang on a sec," I mumbled, pulling back from her.
I saw the panic in her eyes and could practically watch her pull back from me, ready to flee from the room as she'd wanted to do before.
"Who said anything about fucking?" I asked quickly.
I watched her relax and did the same when I realized that my hands had tensed in her hair. I watched as she pressed her lips together for a quick moment before she stepped up on her toes and placed her lips right against my ear.
"Do you even want to know how many times I thought of us on that couch?" she whispered. "Or on my desk? Or in my desk chair?"
I forced back a moan and jerked her mouth back to mine.
"All right then," I mumbled, wrapping my arms around her before starting to walk backwards.
She grunted against my mouth and I laughed, stopping when I hit the couch with the back of my legs.
"Are you flexible?"
"I can be."
There was no holding back the moan that time and I kissed her more forcefully before holding onto her tightly and falling back to the couch. She screeched, her hands immediately reaching up to my chest and leaning against me as she fell on top of me.
"That could've been disastrous," she mumbled, her hands already sliding down my chest as she straddled my lap.
"Whole fucking day could've been disastrous," I mumbled back, quickly unbuttoning the three round buttons of her suit jacket.
I arched into her when I felt her hands on my skin, sliding my hands underneath her jacket once the buttons were out of the way and pulling up on the lacey white undershirt that seemed glued to her skin. She leaned forward and started kissing my neck, her hands still trailing up my chest and the material of my shirt gathering around her wrists.
"How many times?" I breathed, abandoning trying to get her shirt out of the way for now and sliding my palms over her breasts.
"Did you think of this?"
She moved her lips to my ear and my eyes rolled back in my head as she nipped at it.
"Every fucking day," she whispered.
I groaned and grabbed her hips, shifting us so that she was underneath me. She pulled her hands from my shirt and grabbed the hem, pulling it over my head and throwing it to the side. She sat up a little, wiggling out of her jacket and then pulling the skin-tight lacey thing over her head as well. I breathed out a moan when I saw the white lacey bra – apparently, she had a thing for lace – covering her chest. She grabbed the back of my head and pulled my mouth back to hers, wrapping one of her legs around one of mine. She moved her hands from my head, moving them in between us and quickly unbuttoning my jeans as I trailed my mouth down her neck and onto her chest.
"Do you wear these things to taunt me?" I growled against her skin, pulling at the pocket of her pants.
"Does it work?" she breathed, pulling the zipper down before gripping the waistband and yanking.
"You have no idea."
"Minx," I mumbled before sliding my tongue over the top of her breast.
"Well, it worked, didn't it?"
I grunted and sat up, quickly getting her pants unbuttoned and unzipped before I pulled them down. The matching white lace panties that were underneath had me damn near panting at the sight of them and I sat back on my feet, my eyes roaming over her. She squirmed a little, kicked her shoes and pants off and reached for me. I leaned over her again, anchoring my hands on either side of her as I gently touched my lips to hers. She grabbed the waistband of my pants and tugged, arching her chest into mine and moaning quietly. She pushed my jeans down and I kicked them off, sliding my hands underneath her. She sat up, latching her mouth onto my neck as I easily flicked the clasp of her bra. She pulled it off, wrapping her hands around my neck as she fell back into the couch and pulled me with her. She kissed me again, trailing her hands from my neck and down my chest. Her fingertips danced along my skin and I shivered, kissing her harder as she reached the band of my boxers. I hooked a fingertip into the side of her panties and yanked them down, moving from her lips to kiss down her chest as she kicked them off.
"You're sure?" I whispered into her ear, brushing my thumb over her nipple.
I smirked when I heard her small gasp, quickly moving down to suck the other into my mouth. Her hands tangled into my hair, her back once again arching off the couch and into me.
"Yes," she breathed. "God, yes."
I slid back up her body, burying my face in her neck and letting her push my boxers down to my knees. They were on the floor with the rest of our clothes soon enough and I rested comfortably between her legs, moving up enough to look down at her.
"Don't… don't use me, okay?" she asked softly, a small, worried smile flitting across her face as she shook her head. "I know that I'm not anything like the rest of them but I just… I couldn't handle that from you."
I stared down at her and licked my lips before leaning down and kissing her softly. I rested on my elbows and cupped her head in my hands, sucking her top lip into my mouth.
"I thought we already went over this?" I whispered as I pulled back from her. "You're different and you're so much more than that."
She kissed me again, her hands still in my hair as she slowly tipped her hips up against mine. I moaned softly, moving my hands from behind her head and propping myself up again as I started slowly pushing into her. Her mouth opened underneath mine in a quiet whimper and I squeezed my eyes tightly shut, digging my fingertips into the material of the couch.
I could only focus on the way she felt as I slid the rest of the way into her, my body straining and aching in a way that I'd never felt before during sex. I stilled on top of her, dropping my forehead to her chest as her hands trailed from my hair and down my back.
"Jesus," she breathed and I heard her swallow hard.
"That I am not."
"You're joking now?"
"If we can't joke while I'm inside you," I started, moving my head and pulling the bottom of her ear into my mouth, "then when can we?"
I pulled back slightly and then slammed back into her, smirking to myself when she squeaked and dug her nails into my skin.
"Later. More. Now."
I grunted and moved my mouth from her ear, placing my open lips against her neck as I started rocking against her. She continued to cling to me, her nails digging deeper into my skin each time our hips met.
"You are fucking Heaven," I moaned before turning my head and beginning to suck on her shoulder.
She moaned in response, her head tilting back into the cushions as she trailed her hands down my back and dragged her nails up to my shoulders. The sensations that rippled through me at that had me biting down on her skin, my entire body shivering as I started thrusting faster into her.
I loved the way she felt against me. I loved the way she sounded and the way she scraped her nails up and down my back, quickly seeming to figure out that it only fucking turned me on a little more. I loved the way she was strictly business when she had to be, but had turned into someone a little softer around the edges when we were alone tonight.
"Faster," she breathed, her nails digging in harder. "Harder."
I did as she requested, feeling my eyes roll back in my head as she met me each time, clamping down around me on purpose when we met. I listened to her breath shudder out of her lungs, her hands moving from my back to run up and down my chest.
"More," she whimpered, her nails scraping against my nipples.
I sat up on my knees and grabbed her hips, angling her up and throwing my head back as she screamed, really fucking liking the way everything was just… more. This wasn't just a pointless fuck in a dingy room in the back of a club after a show. No, this was everything I'd been avoiding for I don't know what fucking reason now that I had it and I'd be damned if I was going to let it go anytime soon.
I tilted my head up when her hips twisted slightly to find that she'd fisted her hands into the leather of the couch. Her mouth had dropped open and her chest was pushed up off the cushion, her fingers curling and uncurling with each thrust.
"Are you close?" I asked through my teeth, watching as her body moved with mine.
"Yes!" she screamed.
I managed a short-lived smirk before I leaned back a little more, my breath labored as I continued to drive into her at the same pace we'd set before. She slapped one hand on my stomach and I grabbed it with one of mine, threading our fingers together and holding on tightly to her.
I felt her clamp down around me right before she screamed my name. I clenched my teeth together, watching as her body shivered and her hips moved automatically against mine, her eyes closed tightly and the sexiest fucking moans and screams I'd ever heard pouring out of her mouth. She relaxed after a few minutes and I leaned over her again, forcefully pressing my mouth to hers as I kept up my pace. She wrapped her legs around my waist, her mouth urgent and hot against mine.
I fisted my hands into the cushions behind her head, pulling back from her to rest my forehead against hers. I moaned loudly, feeling it building up in my stomach, my hips moving on their own against her.
"Look at me," she whispered, her hands on my cheeks.
I lifted my eyes to hers, my heart beating double-time before I let go, my entire body stilling and my mouth dropping open as I stared down at her. She kept moving her hips against mine, her thumbs rubbing my cheeks and her bottom lip in between her teeth.
My heart was in my fucking throat.
I fell on top of her, my arms giving out as I buried my face in her neck. She wrapped her arms around my shoulders, her fingertips trailing softly up and down my spine as I fought to catch my breath and get my stupid fucking emotions under control. I closed my eyes as she began pressing small, feather-light kisses against my neck and cheek, one of her hands winding into my hair.
"Merry Christmas," she whispered.
I laughed breathlessly, shaking my head and slowly moving my head from her shoulder to look down at her.
"Happy New Year."
She grinned and I touched my lips to hers, pulling out of her. She turned on her side and I fell in between her and the back of the couch, wrapping my arms around her waist and pulling her against me.
"Our wishes came true," she said softly, one of her hands pressed against my chest as she rested her head on the cushion of the couch.
"First year for you, huh?"
She nodded, smirking and shrugging.
"If any of your future wishes ever involve me," I mumbled, interrupting her with my lips once again on hers. Hell, it was like I couldn't stop myself. Six months is a long fucking time to hope for something I was sure I'd never get. "Know that they'll all come true."
"Think so huh?"
"I know so."
"What do you say we put my desk to good use?" she asked quietly, one of her eyebrows quirking up at me.
I laughed and rested my forehead on hers, trailing my fingertips in circles on her back.
"Give me ten minutes at least, okay?"
"That long, huh?"
My mouth dropped open and she threw her head back, laughing loudly before she wrapped her arms around my neck and buried her face in my chest.
"Merry fucking Christmas to you too!"
That only made her laugh harder and I gave up, chuckling and shaking my head as I rested my chin on the top of her head.
I was definitely making this Christmas wish thing a part of every damn Christmas from here on out. If it ended up like this every year – with Bella in my arms and the real world light years away – then I could definitely get used to it.