~WRONG NUMBER 6~
His MOTHER? Holy shit!
Bella gasped and choked, coughing into her hand until her eyes teared up.
"You okay?" His hand curled around the back of her neck while her breathing evened out.
"Yeah," she croaked, "thanks."
"Good, because we're here. Ready?"
When did the car stop? Plastering on a brave smile, she shifted to face the driver. Damn, were his eyes that green this morning?
He truly was a gentleman, she observed as he opened her door and helped her out. She wasn't sure she trusted her voice right now, but better to go all froggy on Edward than have his mom think she was some kind of reptile-relative.
"Glad to know the rumors about you being chivalrous are true."
He gave her a little harrumph. "Would you please pass that along? My dad is kind of a tough act to follow."
Carlisle Cullen, pediatric oncology rock star and proud papa, from what Bella had seen.
"I suppose I could put in a good word for you with your folks."
"My poor dad just flew in this morning, probably hasn't even showered or slept. He's still feeling miserable that he was in Switzerland presenting a paper when all this happened."
"Wow, your mom sure is lucky you happened to be in town."
"Yeah, I can't even . . ." Edward shook his head. Poor guy.
Bella hung back a respectable distance once they entered the lobby of the Cardiovascular Care and Prevention Center. While Edward checked in at the desk and got directions to his mother's room, Bella watched the receptionist do her best to act normal, but the second he turned around, the girl started fanning her face. Who could blame her?
"Fifth floor," he announced, reaching for the elevator button, not quite masking the quake in his hand. No matter who you are, seeing your mom laid out on a hospital bed was scary business. Bella suddenly felt like a hooker in the communion line.
"Edward, are you sure this is appropriate? I really don't mind waiting here. Take as long as you like."
His lips curled down at the edges. "You don't want to come up with me?"
"I wouldn't want to intrude. Maybe you should just be with your family."
His beautiful, slender fingers flew to his forehead and tugged at the short hairs framing his face. He stared into Bella's eyes, looking for something she couldn't have named. Bella waited while he decided her fate, utterly captivated to watch up close what she'd seen him do so many times in interviews. God, he was so deep and lovely.
With a determined set of his jaw, Edward reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone. "Can I show you something?"
"Of course," she answered.
With a slide, tap-tap-tap, pause, and a deep sigh, he turned to Bella. "Call me."
It only took her a few seconds to catch on, reach into her handbag, find his recent call in her log, and hit "dial." Edward's phone lit up, and heads turned as the "Super Freak" guitar intro blared from its speakers. She's a very kinky girl . . .
"Shit! QUIET!" He fumbled for the volume button, nearly dropping the phone before toning it down so only the two of them could hear. The kind you won't take home to mothuh . . .
Bella brought her phone to her mouth in an effort to mask the giggle, but his awkward moment was just too much fun. "That's what you wanted to show me? You've got me listed as 'Super Freak'?"
"No! That was supposed to be a joke. Here . . . look!"
He straightened his arm like a traffic cop and held out his phone. Her eyes slammed into the screen and nearly popped out of her head. Above their hugging photo from the shoot—How the hell did he get that already?—was his contact name for her:
Bringingthis One Hometomama
As she stared slack-jawed and speechless, Edward peeked cautiously around the screen, his whole face one gorgeous, tortured question mark. "So . . ." he tried, ending with an apologetic shake of his head.
"I . . . don't quite know what to say."
Edward's arm dropped to his side, and his fingers found his hair again, tugging for all they were worth. "Too soon?"
God, he was irresistible. She wanted to jump into his arms and kiss him all the way to tomorrow. Seeing as they were in the lobby of a very somber medical facility and had already attracted far more attention than either of them wanted, Bella settled for stepping forward and taking his phone-hand into hers. "Not too soon. Thanks for sharing."
His eyebrows lifted, and the beginning of a smile pulled at his mouth. "You're not running?"
"Who's the CNJ now? I've been waiting most of my adult life for this and never even imagined actually having the chance to meet you, let alone . . . this."
"Psshh, this. Such a dream date." Another shy shake of his head. "You'll come upstairs with me?"
Edward smiled his all-the-way smile, the one that always seemed his most genuine. "Thank you, Bella." He pushed the up button once more as they and their phones stood joined together.
"Don't you mean 'B.O.H.'?"
Edward rolled his eyes and pulled her into the empty elevator. "Hey, I showed you mine . . ." he started, tapping her phone and making his eyebrows dance.
"Hey! I never—oh, fine." Really, what was the harm in it, especially after he'd fessed up? Raising her opposite hand to her cheek in a "call me" gesture, Bella gave up and gave in.
"I thought you'd never ask," Edward replied with a grin, lifting their joined hands and sending the call before she changed her mind.
In the arms of an angel . . . fly away with me . . .
Shoot me now. How uncool can I get? Sarah MacLachlan, Bella. Really?
"Oh my god! Where did you get this picture of me? It's like twenty years old!"
Hmm, not focusing on the fact that I named him—
"Holy shit, Bella!" Loud peals of laughter bounced off the steel walls of the elevator car. "Three OMG's and look at all those adorable exclamation points!"
"Saved by the bell!" Bella's foot was through the doors before they'd fully opened.
Relishing her narrow escape, Bella didn't notice the hand around her waist until he yanked her back against his body, calling out, "Not so fast!"
Her heart banged against her ribs as the elevator doors closed, capturing them inside again—alone and together. Edward spun her around, trapping her against the wall, chest-to-chest and knees-to-knees, with a pleasant gnashing of parts in between.
Sure she'd find ridicule in his expression, Bella struggled to find a different landing spot for her gaze, but he had her locked in tight with nowhere else to look but straight into those damn moss-colored pools of splendor.
That isn't ridicule, she realized as Edward grabbed the back of her head and crushed her with a searing kiss.
Bella's knees buckled just as her heart stopped, and she was pretty sure she was dying, but then, what were those warm lips and hot tongue doing still moving inside her? And what were those hands running up and down her back and squeezing her ass? And what was that throbbing between her legs?
Dizzying, mind-numbing, nerve-jangling, erogenous-zone-electrifying . . . this was definitely the exact opposite of death. If not for his arms around her, Bella would've slid to the floor or possibly vaporized into the air vent above them. She was zero think and all feel, and Edward Cullen was certainly giving her plenty to feel! God, she wanted more! More wet kisses, more of his hungry tongue, more of those hot, grabby hands, more of his hard want pressing into her.
She thought of the tiny thong she'd purchased months ago especially for this outfit, thought about how completely useless it was right this moment, and how she'd love for him to yank it down, shove the dress up over her hips, and claim her right here and now.
Super freak! Super freak! The kind you won't take home to mothuh . . .
Good god, look at me!
With a mighty burst of self-restraint, Bella unsuctioned her lips from the man she wanted more than life itself—but not like this. Rattled and dazed, they broke apart, staring at each other and sucking down the hot, stale air as if they'd both just run the hundred-meter dash.
Edward was first to move. Tipping his chin to the ceiling, he slapped his palm to his forehead and moaned. "I can't believe I just mauled you like that. God, I'm mortified."
"Um, I didn't see anyone discouraging you."
Taking a guarded peek at her, Edward dropped his hand from his face. "I'm sorry, Bella. I'd do anything to take that back."
"Hey, don't ruin our first kiss."
He caught the glint in her eye and gave her a hopeful little smile. "Really?"
"Damn, Edward! That was . . . damn!"
Scooping her away from the wall and into his arms, Edward placed a soft kiss in her hair. "Yeah, it was, but boy, am I glad you slowed things down. I want to take my time with you. You're a vintage bottle of tawny port, not a six-pack of Rolling Rock!"
His words sent tingles to places even deeper than their crazed kiss had touched, but time was exactly what they didn't have. "Aren't you going back to New York tomorrow?"
"Oh, I don't know. I might just have a story or two to write in San Francisco."
His sexy grin was doing things to her—like raising her hopes. "Oh yeah? Like what?"
"Hmm, I was thinking about this story I might call 'Wrong Number.' Guy dials wrong, turns out to be the best mistake he ever made."
Bella had to bite the inside of her cheek so her smile didn't crack her face in two. "Hey, wait a second! You write science fiction!"
"Sci-fi-rom-com," he corrected.
"Okay, fine. Where's the sci-fi?"
Edward's eyes took a quick dip to her chest, and he answered with a grin, "I'm giving you three boobs."
"What? You're horrible! I don't want three boobs!"
"You'll have to appeal to the author, but I can promise you, it'll be a tough sell."
"Hmph! Seems like the rags got one thing right about you!"
"Guilty." With the admission, he bought himself a good, long look.
Bella rolled her eyes, but it was more so he didn't focus on her blush than true irritation. "Fine. I'm a three-boobed mistake."
"You are anything but a mistake, Bella." He lifted her face with his warm palm on her cheek and beamed those come-hither eyes right at hers. "I haven't quite decided what you are, but I know I'm going to have one delightfully long time figuring it out."
His sweet kiss told her she was going to enjoy the ride, too.
"If we don't get out of this elevator soon, I'm gonna pass out." Bella reached for the button to open the doors.
"Hang on," he said, grabbing her hand mid-air. "I don't even know your last name."
"Swan. Bella Swan . . . sweet."
"May I push the button now, Edward?"
"Sure, Bella Swan," he answered. "Hey, don't swans mate for life?"
The doors opened onto a giant rotunda with a nursing station at the center. Bella hooked her hand around Edward's elbow. "Did you just propose on our first date, Edward Cullen?"
He chuckled as they moved toward his mother's room. "Not yet. Just doing a little background research for my story."
"I see. Ask away."
"I take it your favorite color is blue?"
"No. That would be your favorite color."
He paused, gave her a slow once-over, and chuckled again. "You really have to stop believing everything you read."
If Emmett had said something like that to her, she probably would've socked him in the arm, but this guy . . . she rested her cheek against his arm and sighed.
"Oh, Bella, there is so much I don't know about you. Brothers?"
"Only child? Hmmm, wait until Alice gets a hold of you!"
"Should I be scared?"
"A little. So . . . what else do I need to know about you? Hmm, what do you do for work?"
"Oh." Beautiful. "I, um . . ." Jock straps and bowling balls and glow-in-the-dark paint and hot, writhing, gorgeous boys.
Edward stopped short. "Bella, why are you blushing?"
She lifted a hand to her hot cheek and tried very hard to look away from his amused grin, but he was doing one of those bob-and-weave moves, always ending up right in front of her. "I know you're not a hooker; you'd be way better at walking in heels."
"Uh!" That deserved a whack, and she balled up a fist and gave it to him right in the arm.
"Ouch! Sorry!" He rubbed his arm, waffling between surprise and contrition and not quite deciding which one worked. "Come on, how am I gonna write my three-boobed heroine if you don't give up the goods?"
"Okay. You asked for it!" Bella took a deep yoga-breath, tangled her fingers into a nervous ball in front of her stomach, and fixed her stare on Edward. If she was doing this, he was going to be stuck right here with her. "I am the production manager for Gifted Boys. Do you know what that is?"
The smirk was gone, but he wasn't running either. His head went side-to-side. "No, but production manager is cool."
Here goes. "We produce promotional videos; our lead client is James Hunter Designs, sexy underwear for well-endowed men."
"Oh." Edward wasn't moving, wasn't smiling, wasn't joking around, wasn't touching her. "So, these guys you work with, the . . . actors?"
"Models," she offered.
"The models . . . the well-endowed models . . . umm . . . do you date these guys?"
She bit her lip to hold in the snort and the "I wish."
"No, Edward. They're all gay. Extremely and blissfully gay."
"Oh." Relief. More pondering. A question. "But you've seen pretty much everything . . . they have to offer?"
Ohhhh. They were talking about Edward's penis again, weren't they?
"Yep." Bella raised her eyebrows and waited while Edward chewed on his words. "Edward, you're not feeling . . ."
His hands met his hips as he finished her question. "Insecure?"
Gulp. Keep your eyes on his face. Do NOT look down.
Edward's serious face cracked a wide smile as he reached his hands around her back and pulled her against his body—his very hard, very erect body. Tracing the curve of her ear with his fingertip, he leaned down and cleared away the hair between his lips and her ear. "Can I let you in on a not-so-little secret, Bella Swan?"
His warm breath on her neck tickled her all the way to her toes, stopping for a lovely detour about halfway down.
"Mmhmm," she answered without moving a single muscle.
"The rumors about my manhood are not . . . exaggerated."
Bella sucked in a sharp breath, answered by a soft chuckle in her ear. "So," he murmured low and sexy, "ready to meet my mom?"
Author's Note: Yeah I put myself right into this story. Hey, a pumpkin's gotta have a little fun once in a while! Hope you enjoyed this little fantasy of mine. Huge shout-out to Ladyeire, who not only perfected this banner for me but also story stormed until the plot worked itself out. Don't you all steal her now, but she is an amazing plot coach! And my sweet, sweet Sue, thank you for always telling me when I have spinach between my teeth and just how to get it out! On top of that, you are one hell of a writing partner not to mention being an amazing friend. MWAH.
I want to thank Tarbecca for rec'ing this story over at ADF for me and bringing me a bunch of great new readers! Welcome to my crazy world and thank you for coming to say hello!
For all of you lovelies who sweetly "complained" that this story is too short, I just checked my word count here on fanfic, and I have archived 879,000+ words, NOT COUNTING all of my racier stories over on my blog, easily over a million more. SO...if it's my words you want, I say HAVE AT IT! And thank you for the lovely compliment of wanting more, but this story is told. Sometimes, the beginning of the love story is all we need. I'm sure you guys can take it from here! MWAH!
Hope you all had a chance to donate to the cause and read all the other fine stories from the Fandom Gives for Disaster Relief compilation. Special thanks to Mina, Ana, and Ysar for organizing the event and asking me to help. XOXOXO