Disclaimer - I do not own Twilight or any recognizable characters. This is written for fun and not commercial gain. No copyright infringement is intended.
A/N - Thanks for checking out my story. Just so you know, this one is probably going to weigh in around 60 chapters. I have 27 chapters already written (that's about 90000 words in old money) and a clear vision of how the rest will pan out. RL permitting, I hope to stick to a weekly posting schedule.
This fic was inspired by a post by Rita01TX on the RobAttack Blog, which featured manips of Rob on motorcycles. (Be sure to check the blog out- fic recs and lots of lovely RobPorn - yum.) With thanks and cyber hugs to the lovely EeWee and Bevey99 who asked me to fic it. I hope you ladies like what I came up with. It may not be light and fluffy, or a quick romance fix, but I hope you'll love it all the same. So, with that in mind, sit back and buckle up because this is going to be a bumpy ride. (No pun intended.)
Special thanks go out to my girls, Rita01TX for her editing skills and willingness to discuss everything from sex to murder in gchats whenever I get blocked. Keye for her speedy and supportive prereading, and Claudia for her magical ability to interpret my banner requests and convert them into works of art.
WARNING - This fic will contain references to physical assault. I know this can be a trigger for some people and with that in mind, I will add a warning in the A/N ahead of any such chapters.
I heard him long before I saw him. The low, throaty rumble of the powerful machine that throbbed between his thighs as he flew along the slick, wet asphalt before turning into the school parking lot was unmistakable. The sound was primal, sexual and raw, vibrating through my hips and making me shiver.
Part of the thrill was the chance to see him make the sharp, right hand turn through the gates before opening up the throttle to make the bike roar as he pulled it up the steep incline, the smooth, black enamel and polished chrome reflecting brightly even in the dull light as he coasted past the other, more sensible vehicles, the high mileage cars and battered trucks, before commanding the silver and black beast to a halt.
This morning, the air was dank, grey, and misty with drizzle. It coated me, plastering my limp hair flat against my head. I shouldn't even be there, lurking against the brickwork of the gymnasium like a stalker. I should've been inside for roll call but the draw to sneak a peek at him was far too strong. My coat snagged on the rough brickwork as I pressed myself against the wall, trying to squeeze into the particles of mortar to make myself invisible. Butterflies danced in my belly as I clutched the thick textbook a little tighter to my chest and concentrated on trying to regulate my breathing.
It had always been the same, the way he affected me. Without even trying, he gave me sweaty palms and a beet red face. If he ever actually looked directly at me and said hello, I would probably keel over at his feet in a dead faint.
Who was I kidding? As if anyone as effortlessly gorgeous as Edward Cullen would ever notice me. He was more popular, smarter, and funnier than me and he was a sophisticated senior while I was just a shy, clumsy, sophomore loner.
The roar of the bike grew louder and I held my breath, the rumbling sound giving me tingles from my toes all the way up my spine with the anticipation of seeing him. I had just enough time to suck my bottom lip between my teeth before he went gliding past.
He looked so good straddling the machine; totally in control, lean thighs flexing under tightly stretched, black cotton, matt leather boots angled against rubber footrests. His ancient, distressed jacket looked soft as it molded to his broad chest and tapered in at his narrow waist. I'd lost count of the number of nights I'd lain in bed, lulling myself to sleep with thoughts of being able to run my palms over him, feeling the supple, yielding leather. I was sure it would feel smooth and warm from the heat of the body it protected.
After a final growl, the shining monster stilled under his instruction and he back-heeled the kickstand before resting the bike. The drizzle was still falling, soaking me through. I wiped the back of my sleeve over my face and tried not to let my jaw hang open as Edward dismounted his machine. His visor was mirrored and peppered with tiny water droplets that concealed his eyes and it was thrilling to think he could be watching me. His clear green eyes might actually be touching my body at this very moment, following every curve and line, licking his lips in anticipation of curling his fingers into the flesh of my hip as he pulled me roughly towards him, claiming my lips with an urgent kiss.
Holy cow! I'd been watching way too many chick flicks, lately. A twinge of embarrassment for being such a shameless voyeur shivered through me but still, I couldn't tear my eyes away.
He flicked the chinstrap open and dragged the helmet away from his head and I finally got to see the full perfection that was Edward Cullen. Sharp jawbone, high cheekbones and full lips so often pulled into a ready-to-kiss pout. He ran the fingers of one hand through his flattened hair, restoring the bronze colored strands to their usual chaotic state as he stowed the helmet away in its specially mounted box until the end of the school day.
I don't think I blinked even once, too afraid to miss a second of his glorious preening.
He slung his backpack over his shoulder and started walking towards me, peeling the black gloves from his hands as he moved. Dayum! Even the way he strode across the yard was mesmerizing to watch; all lean and sinuous, practically bouncing on the balls of his feet as he passed. He should really have his own theme song; something with a sexy, powerful beat. That old song, Connection, by Elastica, would be perfect. I tried not to grin as I let the music play in my head and realized I was right. Although I was already flattened against the wall, I tried to press farther back, merging myself a little more and, for once, I was actually grateful for being so plain and unremarkable. If he had the faintest idea how much I yearned for him, I would curl up and die from mortification.
As if to chastise me for my lustful thoughts, the rain began falling heavier, the light drizzle giving way to larger, heavier drops. A trickle of cold moisture made its way inside my collar and ran down my spine, causing me to wriggle in discomfort. In a moment, he would be gone and I could scuttle inside and normal service would resume.
The damp air carried the scent of leather and citrus aftershave to my nostrils, a fragrance I would forever associate with him.
"Hey," he murmured softly as he passed, flicking his head back and my heart skipped a beat.
Edward Freakin' Cullen said 'hey'...to me! My stomach twisted and I felt lightheaded. I didn't exactly collapse at his feet, the proximity of the wall certainly saving me from sliding on my ass. As it was, my tongue was dumbstruck and refused to work, delivering a sort of grunt-squawk when I meant to say hey back. Apparently, the vessels controlling the flow of blood to my face were all working perfectly, though, painting my cheeks the same vivid shade of red as a sun ripened tomato.
Maybe he wouldn't notice.
No such luck…of course! His mouth pulled into a lopsided smirk and he snorted softly before shaking his head as he left me behind in the pouring rain.
Edward Cullen knew I existed! The rest of the morning sped by in a goofy-grinned, walking-on-air kind of blur. I don't think I paid much attention to any of the mundane words spoken by the teachers or my friends, all so uninspiring and dull, colorless droning that paled into insignificance against the blazing glory that was Edward Cullen's smile.
At lunchtime, I snuck into the library, hoping to make this a Golden Ticket day by getting the chance to see him again. I knew he sometimes spent time there, maybe studying for a test or working on a particular project.
Giddy with excitement, I grabbed a dog-eared, hardback copy of Wuthering Heights from the shelves. Its plastic dust cover was yellowed with age, the torn, inner pages bearing the results of dozens of students before me who had marked their spot by bending down the corners. I propped it up on its splayed edge and pretended to be absorbed by the boring words it contained. Maybe having a classic on the table would give me an air of sophistication should he happen to wander in and glance in my direction. It wasn't long before I realized there was an added bonus in having the book at this angle. It meant I could scan the room like a sniper without having to raise my head and draw anyone's attention.
I congratulated myself on my sneaky skills and did a quick double-check to make sure the book was right side up. It would be just my luck for him to catch me reading it upside down.
My mind was rambling away nicely, imagining him sidling over and complimenting me on my choice. I would smile and shrug, trying not to grin widely and fist pump as he pulled out the chair beside me. I could almost feel his knee rubbing against mine as he leaned forward, running his fingers through his thick mess of hair, licking his lips before he opened his mouth to discuss the finer points of classical literature.
Crap! It felt like I'd been doused with ice water as I realized I'd have no chance holding up my end of the conversation if he did.
Maybe I'd have been better off with a copy of something more girly; a book he definitely wouldn't have read, like one of those vamp novels or something about angels. I started to twist out of my seat when the door flew open and I froze like a deer in the headlights. Edward and his friend, Jasper, I think his name was, had just come barreling through the door in a flurry of hair and teeth and swinging backpacks.
Shaking myself out of my stupor, I slid back into my seat as carefully as possible. They didn't seem to notice me; then again, why should they? Most of the population of Forks High regarded me with little more interest than something nasty they stepped in.
I stared at the pages before me, the words blurring into one incoherent blob of ink as I willed my eyes not to stare at the flex of Edward's ass as they strolled past to settle at the next table over.
The guys were busy unpacking books from their bags when a squeal pierced the calm of the library.
"Baby!" a piercing squeal erupted from the door as Alice Brandon, from the year above me, came rushing over and pretty much launched herself onto Jasper's lap.
Edward huffed in irritation, his fingers buried deep in the strands of his hair. "So much for a trig study hall," he muttered harshly under his breath.
"Heeey, Alice," Jasper crooned, rubbing his nose against her neck like a pony Jonesing for a sugar lump. His hand slid under the edge of her sweater and began creeping its way up her back, making her giggle and squirm.
Edward slumped against the hard plastic chair and roughly slammed open a text book.
"What flew up his ass?"
Alice rolled her eyes, knowing full well she was the source of Edward's irritation.
"We...well, I'm trying to study for a trig test so, if you wouldn't mind keeping the face sucking to a minimum..."
Alice shrugged, turning away from Edward's death glare.
"Just 'cause no one loves you, Cullen, there's no need to be bitter about it."
I almost leaped to my feet and declared myself on the spot. In fact, I probably would have if I hadn't been so shocked that Alice didn't seem to see his divine awesomeness. She rubbed her nose against Jasper's before sinking into a slurpy, sloppy kiss that made Edward cringe and me feel a little queasy.
Edward shook his head and turned away, his eyes landing on me. I stared back, my chest too tight to breathe. One side of his lips twitched and I was suddenly aware of my dry mouth and slack jaw.
"Hey, um..." his nose scrunched adorably as he raked through his memory to come up with a name, "Ella?"
Ella...Bella, what was one letter between friends? It was close enough; almost like a pet name. I was so elated he kind of knew who I was, I didn't try to correct him.
His eyes danced between my face and the book on the desk in front of me.
"You enjoying that?"
I shrugged, desperate to avoid a conversation about a book I was only pretending to read. Edwards's eyes narrowed and his mouth puckered into a bemused pout as he tilted his head.
"Don't say much, do you?"
I bit my bottom lip and tried not to grin as I slowly shook my head. This was freaking amazing! I was actually talking...well, maybe not talking, but definitely getting attention from the hottest guy in Forks.
Edward hesitated for a second, glancing back at his friend, who had Alice coiled around him tighter than ivy on a tree stump, before looking back at me.
"Would you mind if I sat over there with you? There's too much to distract me here."
"No," I said, my dry throat making the word a high pitched squeak.
While he gathered his belongings, I glanced around making a mental note whether anyone else was actually here to witness the momentous event where Edward Cullen decided to spend his lunch break sitting next to Bella Swan. Bingo! Gossip hound, Jessica Stanley, was at the counter retuning a book. With any luck, rumors of us being an item would be circulating by the end of next period.
It might not be strictly true but it would be nice to pretend, to have the chance to deny and look coy and, besides, it couldn't hurt to have everyone think I might be interesting enough to snag someone as cool as Edward. I blushed a little in shame at my selfishness when his knee innocently touched mine under the table and left my skin tingling.
I wasn't totally surprised but still felt a prickle of disappointment when Edward actually started to study. It stung the little bit of me buried deep down, the part that hoped he might be able to see beyond the mud brown eyes and dull, scraped-back hair to the girl inside; the one who would be perfect for him. He pulled the cap off his pen with his perfect, white teeth and rolled it between them while he made notes on a scrap of paper. His eyebrows slid together as he concentrated, causing a little pucker to form between them. My father had the same furrow when he was thinking but, on Edward, it was cute and I had an impulse to lick it. I reined myself in knowing if I were to actually do something as creepy and impulsive as that in the library, the whole school would certainly be talking about me tomorrow and not in a, Wow, Bella Swan must be cool and we missed it, kind of way but in more of a, she did whaaaattt? To whooo? I puffed out a big breath and immediately regretted it when Edward looked up, pen cap still in his mouth. His lips had closed around it, leaving them poised in a kissing pucker. Damned if I wouldn't mind being that Sharpie right about now.
"You're really not enjoying that, are you?"
My eyes were drawn to the way his plush lips moved around the hard plastic and I really had to concentrate to hear his words.
Great! Not only will he think I'm dull and uninteresting, I'm obviously inarticulate, too. He pulled the cap from his lips and put it on the table. I tried not to stare as it rolled, glistening with his saliva.
"Wuthering Heights...I said, you're not enjoying it?"
Was it so obvious? I knew he wasn't being patronizing and he had no reason to know I was only using the book as a decoy but, for some reason, I felt the need to defend my choice.
"It's okay…a little slow, but it's getting there."
He nodded and I was mentally patting myself on the back for sounding like I had read more than one line, when he added.
"It wasn't one of my favorites. Which part are you reading right now?"
My eyes scrambled over the words on the page, desperately hoping for some clue as to what was happening on page 97, but none of it made any sense. Edward was watching me; I could feel his stare on my shoulder as he waited for an answer. There was nowhere to hide; he had me cornered. In defeat, I closed the book and took a deep breath before confessing.
"I have no idea what's happening. I've tried to read it," well, one or two lines, anyway, "but it's not grabbing me at all."
I steeled myself for the ridicule I was sure would follow as the truth of my ignorance became apparent.
"Nah; I know what you mean. I've seen girls reading it and almost swooning so I thought I'd try it. I managed to get to the end but it was heavy going. I much preferred The Hunger Games."
Relief flooded my desiccated system. He wasn't going to rat me out or make fun of me. Although I didn't think it possible, he ascended a higher level still on the pedestal upon which I'd placed him in my heart. Edward smiled warmly before returning to his studies, his green eyes crinkling, and I couldn't help but grin back.
That was the moment my feelings changed from infatuation to love. I might not have been old enough to have any real experience with boys and God knows I didn't have a great example at home with my divorced parents, but I knew. I was in love with Edward Cullen. He was handsome, clever, sweet and kind. What more could I...or any girl, for that matter, wish for? The ice was broken between us and, although he might only view me as a friend, it was a start; something I could build on while I tried to wheedle my way into his heart. I was desperate to keep him talking, wanting to ask him about anything…his bike, his family, even his trig test would do, but I was thwarted when the bell sounded to end our lunch break.
Alice and Jasper finally pulled apart, their faces pink and shiny, and I tried not to look disgusted. It was only what I wanted to do to Edward. Knowing I was channeling my jealousy into disapproval, I forced myself to look away.
"Well, Ella, thanks for letting me share the table. I'll see you around."
He slung his bag over his shoulder before yelling at Jasper to put Alice down and get his butt into gear before they were late for next class.
I managed a weak smile. Somehow, his words sounded final, like he was saying goodbye. My guts churned and I wanted to ask if he would be here again tomorrow but I was too late; he was already out the door, arguing over whether Jasper's truck could beat his bike in a race and leaving me alone with Emily Bronte.
"You like him, huh?"
Alice's whisper in my left ear was too loud and made me jump.
"Eddie…you like him."
My eyes swiveled to catch her grinning at me. My mind whirled, wondering how to reply. She was his best friend's girl, someone who could put a good word in for me or, just as easily, destroy my chances. I panicked, wondering what would be the right thing to say.
I went with the fail-safe, if in doubt, deny everything.
"I don't know what you mean."
It didn't sound convincing, even to me. She shook her head.
"Whatever. I saw the look in your eyes. You. Like. Him."
Shit! How could she have seen anything? She spent the entire time trying to engulf Jasper's head with her lips and I was sure she must have had her eyes closed. I didn't know what to say so I rolled my own and focused on gathering my stuff together.
"Okay, deny it all you want but it's obvious."
She started to walk away before turning back.
"You know, he's a nice guy...most of the time. You could do worse."
Then she was gone.
Still reeling from the aftereffects of the most exciting lunch break ever, I scrambled out of the library and made it over to my gym class. I wasn't very sporty and, as a result, I was always the last one picked for a team. Then, invariably, I was given a position which ensured minimal involvement in the game.
Today, this was a blessing because it meant I had plenty of time to rerun the library conversation I'd had with Edward and pick through my feelings. However, much as I thought about it, one thing kept niggling at me; the way he'd said "see you around." It was almost like he wasn't going to be…around, that is.
It bothered me and, had I known the chain of events that were about to unfold, I would have moved Mount Everest to make him to stay home that night.
A/N You all know the drill by now, LOL. Like it, loathe it, got some thoughts about what happens next? Put something in the box below and we'll talk :)
See you next week.