A/N: Merry Christmas! I thought I'd give you a little Christmas-themed interaction with our favorite DH couple as a holiday treat. This was just supposed to be a short, funny retelling of Bella's Christmas Eve 2007 drunken blackout from EPOV, but Edward got a little wordy. I hope you're all having a wonderful holiday with family and friends!
Bella Swan was perfect. Oh, I knew she wasn't ready to let me in, but I'd seen a glimpse of what could be last night, and now she couldn't get rid of me if she tried. I was lying in her bed, which was strange in and of itself. I hadn't slept with her, and I wasn't sure if I'd ever stayed the night in a girl's bed without sealing the deal.
Right now, I was squinting against the sun streaming into the room. Her blinds were wide open and, unfortunately, her window faced east. I wanted to lean over and close them, but I didn't want to wake her. She was sleeping peacefully, and I knew that she'd be unhappy and probably sick when she woke up. So, I watched her for now, reclining on the pillow closet to the widow, with my right hand bent towards my face, so I was slightly facing her.
Her face scrunched adorably as she pressed her left cheek into her pillow. She seemed to be an active sleeper, even thought she was lying still. The creases on her face were deeper than they should be for just contacting her pillowcase. Everything, even gravity, was too serious with her, it seemed. She let out a snuffle and a snort, just as she had been doing all night. I wanted to chuckle, but I held it in. She'd be awake soon enough, and I was fairly sure she'd be somewhat chagrinned to find me here.
I took a moment to sear this memory on my brain. Her beautiful brown hair was spread out on the pillow behind her, and her finely shaped brow lay untroubled in sleep as her face relaxed. That was quite a contrast to the nervousness she carried while awake. This girl was all but consumed with "her plan." I was definitely a wrinkle, but I had to convince her that a new plan would fit me in right nicely.
I missed seeing her bright brown eyes with her lids closed. That's actually what I'd noticed first about her. They were snapping with anger when I approached her at the party. I knew it couldn't be for me since I'd never seen her before, but she was definitely annoyed with someone. Her irritation was like a fire, and I was a moth to the flame. She was the most beautiful girl by a long shot in the yard.
The guys by the keg had all commented about her. Sam had been brave enough to approach her, and although she allowed him to pump her a beer, it was obvious that she wasn't going to give him the time of day. She looked a bit older than a Rice girl, and I decided to try and learn her story. I'll admit it was a bit of a competition when I left the keg, but I forgot about that as soon as she spoke to me.
She was smart. I figured that out immediately. She scoffed at me as a college student, and I wasn't surprised to learn that she was a medical student. I would never tell her that she did seem years older than everyone else at this party, but in a good way. I was eager for her to figure out that I was an old soul, too. At least, that's what my mom had always told me. I was going to be a real adult soon; I had no doubt I'd be taken early in the 2008 MLB draft.
I talked to her for a minute and quickly realized that she was the girl Cindy Brandon had complained about. Cindy was an annoying, jealous bitch. I couldn't stand her, but she was hooking up intermittently with my roommate Paul, and she'd convinced her roommates to tear down the backyard fence. This allowed us to throw the best parties, so it wasn't in my best interest to grumble about her.
She was dating a guy at UH who was going for an MBA. He'd brought his friend over one day, and Cindy's bitch and his friend wandered into the backyard while I was lounging out there as well. We recognized each other right away.
"Edward Masen? Is that you?" he called. I was already getting up, abandoning my music theory textbook next to the folding chair.
"Jasper Whitlock, what are you doing in my yard?" I called back. We met each other halfway and clapped each other on the back. Jasper had been a senior when I was a freshman on the Varsity baseball team at Bellaire High School. His brother, Pete, had been my year. Pete was off playing ball at UT now. I hadn't seen Jasper in years, but he was cool.
"Is this your yard?" Jasper asked curiously. I glanced around. Cindy's boyfriend, I thought his name was Al, was still standing by the kitchen steps watching us with a wide, but confused smile. I'd always thought he was nice enough, too nice for that bitch. I gestured toward my house.
"Well, I live here with some guys from the team," I explained. "And one of my buddies convinced the girls over there," I gestured at Cindy's house, "to knock down the fence. Instant party spot!" Jasper grinned. I'd glossed over a bunch of the details. I didn't want to be the one to spill the beans that Paul was sticking it to Cindy on the regular with her guy right here within listening distance.
"Cool, Man," Jasper responded, nodding. "Al's been telling me about a post-finals/Christmas party y'all are hosting. I was going to bow out, but maybe I'll reconsider," he told me. Then, he leaned in conspiratorially. "Plus, I met Cindy's sister last week, and that girl is f-i-n-e." I laughed at his spelling.
I'd met Alice on a few occasions, too. She dropped by to chat with Cindy and had no boundaries. I'd been forced into conversations with her more than once, but it wasn't as annoying as it sounded. Cindy, however, was a mystery to me. She had a cool guy who cared about her in Al, but she hooked up with Paul, who could give a shit on the down low.
I remembered clearly when she'd complained about Bella, although I didn't know her name at the time. She'd been in our living room practically sitting on Paul's lap, while I got ready to school him in Halo. She was talking nonstop even though no one was really listening to her.
"…do NOT understand why my sister is even friends with her. She's so boring. All she cares about is studying. I mean, she was a first year at Baylor when I was a freshman, and she wouldn't even buy me beer. Not even just a little bit. Doesn't that seem a bit harsh?" Paul murmured something noncommittal like guys do when they aren't listening but want credit for doing so.
But my ears perked up when I realized she was talking about a medical student. My dad was a burn surgeon so I cared about the field a little bit, and I couldn't imagine a reason that Cindy would have interaction with anyone that far above her. So, I broke my rule and spoke to her.
"Who are you bitching about now, Cindy?" I interrupted her tirade. She scowled at me because, apparently, she'd been looking for Paul's sympathy.
"No one, Edward. And why do you even care?" she spat. I made a face at her.
"You shouldn't talk to a medical student, Cindy. If you stand next to one, you'll look even dumber than you are already," I informed her. She rolled her eyes and huffed.
"Fine, you dick," she responded. "I'm just pissed that my sister is making me invite her loser friend to our Christmas party. I can't stand her, but my sister won't come unless she's invited, too. And I promised Al that I'd make sure my sister was here. His friend is really into her," she explained.
"And, of course, you're devoted to Al," I finished for her, cocking an eyebrow at her position on Paul's lap. Paul leered at me, showing no shame at the position he was in. The whole thing made me feel sick. So, I stood and excused myself to bed. I'd been down with the whole hooking up scene since I started on the baseball team two years ago. But it was wearing thin now. My parents had raised me better than this, and I was looking for something more.
Bella started to stir. Her lips moved like bird's wings, muttering something unintelligible. Her brow creased, and she yawned slightly. She rolled away from me. I tensed waiting for her to wake up, but she sighed and relaxed again.
I thought back to that first conversation with Bella. I'd made a fool of myself then, so maybe now we were even after last night. I'd come off as a complete dickhead, going all, "Don't you know who I am?" And to my great surprise and delight, she hadn't.
Things had gotten very intense for me lately. Bimbos on campus, reporters, scouts, my coaches, and even my parents: everyone wanted a piece of me. And although this girl could talk baseball (which was really hot), she didn't think it defined me. In fact, she didn't want anything to do with me.
I know I should have left her alone and taken her at her word, but I recognized something of myself in her. She was consumed by her "life plan" just like I was. And there was sadness in her eyes; it made me curious. Someone so beautiful shouldn't be so sad. I was sure her bristly exterior was an act. Bella Swan had layers. I'm not ashamed to admit that I forced her to let me walk her home and not just to be chivalrous.
I knew she wouldn't let me in her apartment, but I did convince her take me to the door. Just to make sure she was safe, I told her, but I had ulterior motives. I watched her closely as she punched in the gate code. I'd be back for her, that I promised myself. I wouldn't give up until she agreed to get to know me. And then, I'd find out if there were flaws to be found, or if she really was perfect like I suspected.
So, I stewed and considered for a few days. I wanted to see Bella Swan again, but I couldn't decide how to make that happen. Obviously, we wouldn't run into each other again unless I forced the reunion.
I had dinner with my parents on Sunday night before the evening service at church since my dad had worked all weekend. It was a special Christmas concert event, and my mom was going to play a medley of carols with the volunteer orchestra. She'd played first chair cello for the Houston symphony for a few years before she met my dad and then I came along.
They were reminiscing about holidays past when my ears perked up. My mom was laughing about the time I'd gotten separated from them at the Kemah Boat Parade when I was like nine or ten. I tuned out the story and stood stock still for my Eureka moment. That was perfect! I could take Bella down to Kemah on Christmas Eve. We'd watch the parade and then have dinner. It'd be a little chilly, so she'd have to stand close to me. I pictured the Christmas lights sparkling in her eyes as she stared up at me in gratitude.
My mom had stopped laughing and was looking at me with consternation. My dad had his eyebrows raised in amusement. They'd obviously said something that I hadn't heard. I shook my head at them.
"Sorry. I just realized that Jared's parents are leaving tomorrow for a cruise to the Cayman Islands. His sister lives in Nacogdoches, and she has too many kids for him to spend the night, so he's gonna drive up there on Christmas morning. I offered to spend the night with him at the house," I stretched the truth a little. My mom curled her lip.
"All right, Edward. You're a grown up. You can stay where you want, but please be here by 10 am for presents and brunch. We don't want to wait around for you all day," my mom said. My dad nodded curtly in agreement and turned his attention back to his food. I smiled at her genuinely and agreed. My plan was coming together.
So far, everything was going according plan. I'd driven over to Bella's complex and punched in the code on the entry box. The gate opened smoothly, and I drove in unmolested. I grinned as I pulled into a space not far from the stairs that led to her apartment. I was running a little late because Jared had delayed me, giving me shit about going on a date. I hadn't dated much in the past, and he was pestering me for details about the "special lady." I kept mum, since he'd have given me worse shit if he'd known the real deal.
I'd spiffed up as much as possible, wearing a dress shirt and nice pants. I thought about real shoes but decided I should act myself, so flip-flops it was. I started to get a little nervous as I climbed the stairs and stood outside her door. I wiped my hands on my pants in preparation for knocking on the door and panicked a bit. I should have brought flowers. Oh well, it was too late now. I gave myself a pep talk; I needed to convey confidence. If I acted nervous, this girl would eat me alive. So, I plastered a smile on my face and knocked on the door. I could hear her moving around inside after a few seconds, but she didn't open the door. I bet she was just scowling at me through the peephole.
"Bella, I can hear you in there. Plus, you admitted you had no plans for the holiday. I'm here to take you to dinner," I called to her. I heard the dead bolt turn, and the door opened a crack. Yes!
"Edward, what are you doing here? How'd you get through the gate?" She snapped at me without a greeting as her face peeked through the small opening. She was beautiful. I couldn't help but allow my smile to widen.
"Well, I'm pretty sure you just heard what I said, and you should have been more careful about punching in your code in front of a stranger the other night. I'm taking you to dinner," I told her. She opened the door a little wider; it was working! She was dressed in scrubs, which seemed to double as her pajamas, but she could change.
"Edward, I'm hardly presentable. I've been studying all afternoon. I'm not going out tonight," she said stubbornly with an adorable shake of her head. "Where do your parents think you are, anyway? Don't they expect you home on Christmas Eve?"
"I told them I was staying at my house. I promised I'd be back home by 10:00 tomorrow morning for presents and brunch. They didn't ask too many questions; I'm an adult, after all," I told her, reminding her that our age difference wasn't all that great.
"Hardly," she scoffed. Well, I'd just have to try harder to convince her. "What's the deal, anyway? The other night you were all offended that I'd never heard of Edward Masen." She was trying to insult me into leaving, but I was on to her.
"No, I wasn't offended, just interested. And that's the deal," I told her, adding some intensity to my gaze. "I'm interested. Are you going to make me keep standing out here?" I did a fist pump in my head, as she stepped back to let me pass. I'd gotten to her with my honest statement. I sat down on a bar stool just inside the door.
"You should get changed so we can go," I told her. We didn't have that much time left to get down to Kemah, thanks to Jared.
"I'm not going anywhere with you. You are not an appropriate person for me to date," she snipped condescendingly. I shook my head and smiled indulgently. She was protesting too much. She was going to give in.
"And why not? I'm not married, if that's what you're worried about," I teased, pretty proud of that little comeback. She continued her exaggerated protest by collapsing dramatically on the couch and refusing to look at me. I got up and crossed the room to her, pulling her hands away from her face.
"You can't be alone on Christmas Eve, Bella. Give me a chance," I pleaded.
"OK," she finally whispered. I jumped to my feet and rubbed my hands together with glee. She scowled at me from the couch.
"Get changed," I told her. "We're going to Kemah for the boat parade, so we need to leave pretty soon." I checked my watch. "Can you do twenty minutes?" I asked her. I was pretty sure she wasn't one of those primping girls that took forever to get ready.
"You were pretty sure it wouldn't take much to convince me," she said snidely.
"I hoped," I admitted. She was being pretty rude, but I knew it was act. I'd break down those walls eventually.
"Edward, this is not a date. We can only be friends," she warned. I just smiled at her.
"I'll take what I can get," I told her, unable to tone down my smile. She was so fun to rile up.
"I love Kemah Boardwalk," she finally said in a halfway appreciative tone.
"Then, hurry," I insisted, clapping my hands together again.
I was right, and Bella took less than twenty minutes to get ready. I led her down to the parking lot to my mom's old Volvo and opened her door for her. The ride was only about half an hour, and we chatted easily. She warmed up pretty quickly, and I was feeling very optimistic about the evening. I mostly asked her questions about medical school, and she answered them. I could tell she was really dedicated to her studies, and I admired that about her.
It took me longer than I'd hoped to find a parking spot, and we rushed to find a place on the boardwalk to watch the show. Bella had never been to see it before, so I explained how it worked and about the prizes. She seemed enthralled and after a few minutes even started to lean against me.
As it ended, she seemed to realize what she was doing and looked up at me. I'd been watching her enjoy the boats instead of actually watching the parade, and she caught me staring. She took a step away from me. Her face didn't reflect the gratitude I'd seen in my daydream. Instead, she looked conflicted. I didn't like that.
The next hurdle of the evening began then when she announced that she needed a drink. I told her about our dinner reservations, and we started to argue about payment. She was still insisting that this wasn't a date, and she insulted me by essentially calling me a moocher. I countered, since I wasn't going to let her treat me like a doormat, plus I figured that her parents paid her bills, too. She wasn't being fair, and I despaired I wouldn't be able to get through to her.
I finally convinced her to follow me to the restaurant and managed to talk the hostess into seating us early. Once we were seated, and she had her glass of Chardonnay, she started to relax. I started to feel a little better about the situation. I entertained her with funny stories about the baseball team and my roommates, and even a few about Cindy Brandon, who I confirmed that she detested. I stopped short of telling her about the cheating, but she practically howled when I told her about the time Cindy passed out in the yard with her pants around her ankles. She'd been so drunk that she got lost on her way out of the bathroom.
She was smiling and laughing so much, and I was so pleased with myself that I almost missed the fact that she'd had more than a few drinks. Her eyes were getting a little glassy, and when she tried to order another glass of wine, I convinced her we could have a few beers back at her place. She happily agreed to that plan.
I watched her worriedly in the car, but she seemed to be holding her alcohol well. Her conversation continued to be sharp and intelligent, but she seemed far too comfortable with me. I wondered why she felt the need to drink so much. I knew by her dedication to school that this couldn't be a regular occurrence for her. Did I make her nervous? Was my company that awful? Was she just upset about her family, and it had nothing to do with me at all? My confidence faltered, and I considered that I'd made a mistake here.
She insisted that we stop at Albertson's and buy some beer. I left her in the car because even though she seemed sober, she was not acting like herself. She invited me in with a flirty smile when we arrived back at her apartment. That settled it for me since it was so out of character for the girl I was getting to know. This evening would end with no more than a kiss on the cheek. My only mission for the rest of the evening would be to get her phone number.
We settled on the couch in front of her TV and turned on bowl game. We cracked open a couple of beers, even though I debated encouraging her just to have water. I didn't want to piss her off right now though, so I didn't say anything.
We hadn't been sitting long when she got up and disappeared into her bedroom without a word. I fiddled with the label on my Shiner and continued sip nervously. I could hear her banging around in there, but I didn't think I should follow her. I stared at the TV, barely watching the game. After five full minutes had passed, I started to get worried. I stood up and cautiously made my way to her bedroom door and peeked inside.
I almost bumped into her as she exited the room. She had taken her shoes off; they lay abandoned on the floor in the middle of her bedroom. Her toenails were painted red, and her bare toes were adorable. She had a knowing smile on her face when I looked back up at her. She nodded towards my own bare feet. I was very confused. She lunged at me then.
I staggered back in surprise, but she managed to hook her arms around my neck. Her feet dragged along the ground, as I blundered back toward the couch. Her eyes were hooded and locked on my mouth.
"Kiss me, Edward," she purred huskily. I hesitated only for a second, mostly because her lips were only inches from my own, and it was practically impossible to resist. I lowered my face to hers and pressed my mouth to hers. Electricity passed between our skin, and she opened her mouth with a gasp. Caught up in the moment, I plunged my tongue into her mouth and rubbed it against hers. I pulled her flush against my body, and I was instantly hard. She was so responsive, and she pressed her lower body against my cock. I thought I'd pass out with pleasure.
"You're so hot," she mumbled against my lips, and I felt my mouth curve up into a grin as I continued to kiss her.
And suddenly, she was gone. She pulled away and disappeared back into her bedroom. I was left a panting mess in the middle of the living room. I reached down to adjust myself and looked around in confusion. What just happened? Whatever it was, it was unbelievably hot. There was passion in that girl after all. She was definitely not a cold fish by any stretch; I'd been right. There was something between us.
But what should I do now? She was still drunk. I couldn't let this go any further tonight. And where was she? She didn't ask me to follow her. I stood waiting awkwardly for several minutes, and I could hear her banging around in her bedroom again. Finally, I decided to look in on her again.
Her back was to me, but it was bare. She was in the process of lifting her shirt over her head. I could see the clasp of her black bra. The sight caused my waning hard-on to spring to life again. I'd never pictured a girl this uptight wearing such sexy underwear. And I hadn't even seen the front yet! She must have heard me behind her because as she peeled the shirt off the rest of the way, she turned to face me.
I gulped as I took in her perfect breasts, and the way they spilled slightly over the top of the lacy cups. I dragged my unwilling eyes away from her chest to look at her face. She was staring at me with a sexy smirk and crooked the index finger of her right hand toward me as she threw her shirt away with her left. It landed on top of her desktop computer.
I was frozen on the spot, my inner good guy and inner man whore warring with each other. I guess she got impatient because her hands moved to the button on her jeans, and she slowly popped it and dragged her zipper down. She kept her eyes on me as she slid the jeans down her legs and stepped out of them. I squeezed my eyes shut tightly but not before I saw the matching lacy black panties. Oh God, why did she wear that kind of lingerie under her clothes if she really didn't want to go out with me?
Finally, I cracked open an eye and saw that she'd moved to the bed and was lounging sexily propped up on one arm. She was watching me, and it took everything I had not to run across the room and pounce on her.
"Bella," I tried to say, but it came out as a strangled croak. I cleared my throat, and she let out an evil giggle. "Bella, I've got to head out now." I was actually worried about my ability to drive. My erection was now painfully hard, and I wasn't sure I had enough blood left in my brain to do it safely. She pouted.
"Edward, don't leave me," she begged in a breathy voice, completely unlike any I'd heard her use. I wavered in the doorway, the war inside me raging on. Then, her eyes closed, and she let out a sigh. Her elbow collapsed underneath her weight, and she face-planted into her pillow. She started muttering unintelligibly.
My heart sank. She was really wasted. Why had she felt the need to do this tonight? I really couldn't leave her now; I was worried she'd choke on vomit. I slowly approached the bed and tried hard to keep my eyes above her neck. I sat gingerly on the edge of the bed and brushed her hair out of her face. She smiled with her eyes closed. She looked so relaxed and beautiful right now.
"Bella, I think you're going to want something to sleep in. Where do you keep your pajamas?" I asked her softly. She wrinkled her nose and rolled away from me.
"No!" she proclaimed crankily. I laughed softly. She was adorable.
"Bella," I tried again and was answered only with a soft snore. OK, lacy underwear, it was. I lifted her (she hardly weighed anything) off the bed and pulled the comforter and sheets down. She didn't stir. She was out cold now. Once I had her inside the sheets, I pulled the top sheet and comforter back up over her. I stood awkwardly next to the bed and looked around the room.
Next, I gathered her discarded shirt, jeans, and shoes and stacked them neatly next to her dresser. She could put them away in the morning, but I didn't want to leave her room a disaster. She was already probably going to be freaked out when she woke up in her underwear. I was pretty sure she'd remember tonight though. That kiss had been hot. My dick wouldn't forget that if he were dead.
Speaking of my dick, it needed attention. If I was going to sleep in bed next to Bella, passed out or not, something had to happen. I leaned close to her again, and it didn't seem like she'd wake up anytime soon. So, I hastily made my way to her bathroom and closed myself in. I turned the shower on and stripped down. I knew she probably wouldn't like idea of me using her shower without her permission, but it had to be done. She'd never find out. I folded my clothes on the vanity and climbed in once the water was warm.
Luckily, she had unscented Dove soap in her shower, so I wouldn't smell like a chick. I wasted no time soaping up and let my hand drift down to grip myself firmly. I thought about that kiss and Bella in her black bra and panties, and before I knew it, I was bracing myself against the shower wall with my right hand and coming harder than I could remember while pumping with my left hand. I barely made a sound, it happened so fast. I made sure all evidence washed safely down the drain.
I felt a million times more relaxed and ready to tackle the problem at hand when I got out of the shower. I used her towel and only put back on my boxer briefs. No way was I sleeping in my clothes. It was already a little too hot for my taste inside this apartment. I left the rest of my clothes folded on the vanity and set the alarm on my phone so I wouldn't miss brunch. I figured I'd easily be up in time to make it. It was early so Bella would probably sleep it off and wake up early, too.
As I slid under the sheets next to her, I wondered what the morning would bring. Would she be sorry that she kissed me? I could imagine that she'd be embarrassed that she was so forward (I didn't think that was like her), but that kiss was so perfect that I was sure she'd come 'round to my way of thinking pretty easily after that.
I listened to her soft, snuffling breaths in the darkness as I drifted off. I wanted to pull her back into my body, to cuddle with her, but I didn't want to take advantage of her or scare her. But Bella Swan was making it very difficult for me to imagine moving on without her.
I continued to mull over every detail of our Christmas Eve together as I waited for her to wake up. I couldn't wait to wish her a Merry Christmas. I needed to get her number, that was first and foremost, but maybe I could even convince her to come over to my parents' house later. That was probably a long shot, but a guy could dream.
Suddenly, I heard a very unladylike groan, and Bella rolled back toward me. She flung out one hand, and it hit me right in the chest. She froze when she met resistance. I held in a chuckle and waited to see what she would do. She scrunched her face, and one eye cracked open. She stared at me in disbelief, but I didn't miss how her hand flattened over my chest, and her eyes raked down my naked torso. She liked what she saw. But how would she react to our predicament? I held my breath as I waited for her to speak.
Well, this will likely be the last of this silly pair. I've got to move on and write some new stuff! See you all in 2015…