TwiFic Wonkyward Contest

Title: The Fourth Floor

Pen name:

Pairing: Edward and Bella

Genre: Romance / Humor

Summary: Twenty-five-year-oldBella gets far more than she bargained for after a visit to the fourth floor of her company's office. Can Edward show her that appearances can be deceiving?

Word count: (not including header) 12,109

.

"Ha! In your face, Swan!" Alice yells. Damnit, I drew the short straw… or short pencil, as it were.

"Don't make me go up there, Alice," I whine.

"Rules are rules," she replies with a smirk.

"I hate you," I grumble, picking up the stack of contracts. With all of the anticipation of a condemned man walking toward the electric chair, I make my way to the elevator bank, pressing the UP button. When the doors open, I step inside and force my reluctant fingers to press the button for the fourth floor.

Once the doors have opened again, I step out into the hallway and the atmosphere just feels… different. It's like my cool factor has dropped by ten notches just by being here. I head toward Rosalie's cubicle, wondering how in the heck she can stand to work up here in Geek Central.

"Hey, Rose," I call.

My stunning blonde friend smiles as she looks up from her computer. "Hi, Bella, what can I do for you?"

"I need two officers to sign these so they can go out in today's mail," I reply, waving the stack of contracts.

"Sure, let me see who's available." She turns back to her PC, probably checking everyone's Lync statuses. Her fingers fly over the keyboard and moments later, I hear the ping of a response. "Jasper will be over in a minute."

I nod, smirking a little bit to myself. Alice hates coming up here as much as I do, except when she catches a glimpse of Jasper Whitlock. Just wait until I tell her.

As I stand by Rose's cube, I see two guys whom I don't recognize step off the elevator and walk in our direction. They both try to appear like they're not looking, but they're so staring at my legs in my black pencil skirt. It ends just above the knee — not even that revealing. I imagine neither one has ever had a girlfriend — this is probably the most skin they've even seen. I shake my head as they disappear into a row of cubicles.

"Hello, ladies," Jasper calls, a grin on his face as he steps out of his office. Even though he's one of… them, he seems more domesticated or something. Human.

"These each need a couple of signatures," I inform him, thrusting the stack into his hands. Jasper nods, his floppy blond curls bouncing, then scribbles his name and title six times.

"Should I take them to Alec for the second signature, Bella?"

"Oh, um, yeah, that'd be great."

"Be right back," he winks, walking away.

"Sorry," Rose apologizes. "I forgot you said they needed two. I know you don't like being up here any longer than necessary." I smirk in response; she knows me well.

"R-rose?" a voice calls softly. I look up at the tall, thin man walking toward us, unable to keep from staring. His pants are normal enough — tan khakis — but his white short-sleeved shirt, which is buttoned-up to the very top button, is covered in orange and tan flowers. Worse, his reddish brown hair looks like it was cut by someone who put a bowl over his head and trimmed around it. He stares at me through eyes that are hidden behind thick, black-framed glasses.

"Yes, Edward?"

He jumps, tearing his eyes away from me to focus on Rosalie. "C-could you make a dozen copies for our three o'clock meeting?" He hands her a thick stack of papers. "Please," he adds softly.

"Sure," she replies, thumbing through the pages. "Color?"

"Yes, please." He swallows thickly, staring at me again, then gazes at his feet when he realizes I'm watching him. My brow wrinkles as I take in the odd way his legs seem to be turned. Does he have, like, some kind of deformity?

"I'll bring them to you when they're ready, Edward."

He looks up as if startled. "Oh, right, yeah." He turns and lopes back to his cubicle, not the slightest bit gracefully. I frown, watching as he turns to look toward me one more time before disappearing behind the cubicle wall.

"Here you go, Bella," Jasper says, walking up to us and handing me the signed contracts.

I thank him, wave to Rose, and hurry back to the elevators. I press the DOWN arrow, dancing around like a little kid who needs to use the bathroom, until the doors finally open.

"You owe me big time," I growl at Alice, sitting down at my own desk. I begin stuffing the contracts into the legal-sized envelopes I'd already prepared.

"Shut it, Swan. It was a fair contest." I flip her the bird over the cubicle wall.

.

I'm just getting ready to leave for the day when my Lync pings with an incoming message. I click to open it, then stare at the box in shock.

Edward Cullen: Will you go out with me tomorrow night?

"Alice, who's Edward Cullen?" I call.

"Beats me. Why?"

Not really wanting to tell her, I bring up our company's intranet site and type the name into the People Search. When the photo pops up, I immediately recognize him as Wonky Legs from the fourth floor.

"Oh my God," I snort.

"What is it?" Alice asks, standing up and trying to peer over the short cubicle wall at my screen.

This is so great, I have to tell someone. "One of the guys from the fourth floor," I explain. "He asked Rose to make some copies when I was standing by her desk earlier. He just IM'd me to ask me out," I chuckle.

Alice quickly darts around the wall, looking over my shoulder at Edward's photo. "Oh my God, who cuts his hair?"

"No kidding," I snicker.

"He's kinda cute though."

I whip my head around, staring at her. "You're kidding," I deadpan.

"Where's your imagination, Bella? Picture him without those nerdy glasses. His eyes look like they might be green."

I look closer at the screen, and while Alice may be right about his eye color, I'm having a hard time picturing him without the glasses. I immediately type out an IM to Rose, waiting on pins and needles until she replies that she'll be down in five minutes.

"You should answer him, Bella," Alice says. "He can see your status is green; he knows you're at your desk and ignoring him." I flip her the bird again.

I tap my fingers on my desk until Alice finally reaches out to still them. When Rose rounds the corner, I breathe a sigh of relief.

"What is it?" she asks, setting her purse on my desk.

"Look." I point to the IM box on the screen.

Rose's eyes widen as she reads the message. "Edward asked you out? Wow… I can't believe he had the balls to do that."

"What should I do, Rose? I don't want to hurt his feelings, but…"

"Go out with him," she replies with a shrug.

"You've got to be joking."

"He's a nice guy, Bella," Rose insists. "I swear, the guys up there aren't nearly as bad as the two of you have made them out to be in your heads."

I look at her skeptically.

"I'm serious! I—" Rose stops, looking around before lowering her voice. "Do you guys know Emmett McCarty?" Both Alice and I shake our heads and she motions toward my screen. I quickly type his name into the People Search, examining the photo of the smiling man with huge dimples and curly dark hair.

"Emmett and I have been, you know, sort of seeing each other on the sly for the last three months," Rose confesses. "He may have a near genius-level IQ, but he's also hung like a horse."

"Damn," Alice gasps, staring at his picture.

"Emmett sits in the cubicle next to Edward. The two of them are best friends, so I've spent a little bit of time with Edward over the past few months. He's really sweet… and sensitive. If he actually put himself on the line to send you that message, you will crush him if you say no, Bella," Rose implores.

Sighing, I stare down at my lap. I'm not a bitch, really I'm not. I remember being the new girl my junior year in high school, feeling like an outcast. I remember what it was like having a crush on our school's star baseball player, only to find that his taste ran more toward the blonde and slutty.

"It'll just be a few hours out of my life, right?" I try to joke. I click back on the message box then type out my reply.

Yes.

.

Edward responded within seconds, and we quickly made arrangements for the oh-so-traditional dinner and a movie. I offered to meet him at the restaurant, but he insisted that the gentlemanly thing would be to pick me up at my apartment.

I stand staring into my closet after work, trying to figure out what to wear for my… date. I suppose I could just leave my work outfit on, since it was Casual Friday, but normally I'd dress up at least a little bit for a date.

I finally choose my cute khaki miniskirt and a dressy tank. Remembering that we're supposed to be going to a movie after dinner, I also grab my cropped denim jacket, anticipating that the temperature in the theater will be somewhere between Arctic and Subarctic.

Edward said he'd pick me up at 6:30, and at exactly 6:29pm, my doorbell rings. I take a deep breath and smooth my skirt before walking to the door to answer it.

I throw the door open and am nearly crushed when Edward, who must have been leaning against the door, basically falls into my apartment, barely catching himself before completely face planting.

"Uh… hi," he mutters, standing to his full height and running his hand through his hair.

I stare up at him, unable to believe I actually agreed to this. And then my eyes trail up and down his body.

He's wearing low-slung jeans and a plaid button-down shirt… with at least the top three or four buttons undone. Is that… is that chest hair I see peeking out?

"Did you, uh, forget a few buttons?"

"What?" He looks down. "Oh… um, Emmett said I should try to look sexier."

I snort in laughter. "Well, it's not the 1970s, and you're not John Travolta." He cocks his head to the side, looking at me strangely. Shaking my head, I take two steps closer then put my hands on his chest.

Oh. Oh dear… his chest is actually… hard and toned. I hastily do up two of the buttons and yank my hands away before I do something stupid… like running my hands all over his pecs.

"Thank you," Edward whispers, staring at his feet.

I grab my purse and keys then lightly place my hand on his arm, turning him toward the door.

Once I've locked up, I follow Edward down the stairs toward the parking lot. I'm shocked when he stops beside the passenger side of a silver Volvo, hitting the button on the keyfob then holding the door open for me.

I smile tentatively at him as he shuts the door, then buckle my seatbelt as I wait for him to walk around to the driver's side. He sits on the shiny black leather, somehow folding his very long legs underneath the dash before turning the key.

"Um, I thought we'd go downtown… is the Old Spaghetti Factory all right?" he asks as he backs out of the parking space.

"Sure," I nod. "I love Italian food." He looks over at me and I smile at him. Maybe this evening won't turn out that badly.

"Um, you can turn the radio on to whatever you want." He waves toward the radio and I notice his fingers for the first time … his very, very long fingers. Damn, what those fingers could do.

Good God, Bella.

"I listen to almost exclusively hip-hop."

I whip my head around, staring at Edward in shock. I mean, he's pretty much the whitest boy I know.

"I'm kidding," he giggles. Shaking my head, I turn the radio to my favorite station, leaving the volume low enough so that we'll be able to talk, though I have no idea what exactly we'll talk about. I doubt we have anything in common beyond working for the same company.

Given that he drives one of the safest cars on the market, I half expected Edward to drive like an old man in a hat, but surprisingly he has a bit of a lead foot. In no time at all, we're parking near the restaurant.

I open the door and climb out, then cringe when I see the disappointed look on Edward's face; I guess he wanted to open my door for me. I mouth 'sorry' to him as we walk into the restaurant.

"Uh, a table for two, please." He pushes his glasses up his nose as he speaks.

The hostess looks at Edward, then at me standing beside him, and quirks an eyebrow. "Right this way." I know, honey, I don't know what I'm doing here either.

"You look beautiful, Bella," he says softly after we're seated in what looks to be an old railroad car. "I, um, should've said that earlier."

I smile back at him, knowing I'm blushing; you'd think I've never been complimented by my date before.

Picking up the menu, I try to decide what I want for dinner, finally settling on the lasagna as our waitress arrives.

"Hi, I'm Bree, and I'll be taking care of you tonight. What can I get you?" I place my order then look toward Edward.

"Um, I'll have the spaghetti with Mizithra cheese and browned butter. But, um, hold the cheese."

"Hold the cheese?" Bree asks, one eyebrow raised.

"Yes," he nods. "And, uh, the house dressing is fine on the salad."

"Ok," she shrugs. "I'll have your salads right out to you."

After she's walked away, I look over at Edward, narrowing my eyes. "Why 'hold the cheese'?" I ask curiously.

"I don't like cheese."

"Any kind of cheese?" I ask in shock. I mean, cheese is one of the foods that makes life worth living!

"Yes," he nods. "I don't like any type of cheese." Blasphemy!

I stare at him in bewilderment. "Why not just order the marinara or meat sauce then?"

"Um, I'm allergic to garlic," he replies, taking a sip of his water.

I can't help myself; I burst out laughing. "What are you, a vampire?"

"Um, no," he replies softly, frowning. Shit, I didn't mean to insult him.

"Why did you choose this restaurant then?"

"I knew you liked Italian food," he replies. "I've seen you, Rose and your other friend… the short one—"

"Alice," I supply.

"Alice," he nods. "I've seen the three of you come back from lunch with boxes of leftovers from various Italian places." Say what? Is he saying he'd noticed me prior to yesterday afternoon?

"And, um, the last time I was here, they had meatloaf that I could order… but it's not on the menu anymore."

"So what do you like to eat then, if you don't eat garlic or cheese?" I ask curiously.

"Meat and potatoes, mostly," he shrugs.

Bree drops off our salads, and I dig in, finding that I'm actually starving.

"Tell me about yourself, Edward," I suggest. I know nothing about him other than the fact that he works on the fourth floor. "Are you from Seattle originally?"

He looks up from his salad, staring at me as if he can't believe I've asked him anything. "Um, no, I'm from Chicago. I attended the University of Illinois and graduated in 2007."

"How did you end up in Seattle?"

"Oh, um, the company came to a career fair on campus. I was… ready for a change," he answers quietly. "Are-are you a native?"

"No," I shake my head. "Well, sort of. I was born in Forks, which is about four hours from here. But I grew up mostly in Phoenix with my mom. I finished high school in Forks, then went to U-Dub."

"What did you study?" he asks.

"English Literature. I know, not exactly the type of major that leads to a real career," I add before he can comment. I've heard that piece of "advice" numerous times. "I work in Legal, drafting contracts… but you probably knew that already."

Edward smiles sheepishly at me. "Why are you still single?" he blurts out.

"What?"

"You're just… perfect. You're smart, and so beautiful."

And… I feel myself blushing again. "I'm not smart like all of you guys on the fourth floor," I disagree. "And I'm not nearly as pretty as someone like Rose. Most people think I'm plain — boring brown hair and brown eyes."

"You are so far from plain," he replies quietly, shaking his head.

After Bree has dropped off our meals, I think about Edward's question. I never did give him an answer.

"I'm single because I'm a magnet for jerks," I tell him.

He stares up at me, frowning slightly. "Well, then it's time someone treated you right."

.

Is he freakin' kidding? The new Transformers movie? Really? For a guy who was so concerned about picking a restaurant that I would like, to his own detriment, he really thinks I want to see this testosterone fest?

At least Marky Mark is in it. Oh, wait — he doesn't like to be called that anymore.

After purchasing a large popcorn and two large Cokes, Edward leads me toward two seats in the middle of the packed theater. He sets the popcorn on his leg, easily within my reach… unlike some dates I've had.

During the previews, I notice Edward pull out a handful of popcorn, then tilt his head back and toss them into his mouth, one at a time. The couple sitting on his other side are staring and I want to crawl under a rock. The last piece falls onto his shirt and he grins crookedly at me when he sees me watching him.

It's about a half hour into the movie when I reach into the bucket of popcorn at the same time as Edward. Our fingers touch and I feel this weird jolt, like static electricity but not. I quickly jerk my hand back. That was freakin' weird.

At some point, we've both had our fill of popcorn, so he sets the bucket on the floor. I half expect him to make one of those patented guy moves where he yawns then lays his arm on the back of my seat… but he doesn't.

Instead, he wipes his hands on a napkin then absently picks at a loose thread on the left front pocket of his jeans. My eyes are drawn to watching his fingers instead of the movie. Again, a normal guy would take advantage of the way my short skirt has ridden up and try to place his hand on my bare thigh, but he doesn't.

I almost wonder if he's trying to stop himself from doing that.

I must miss at least 20 minutes of the movie watching the movement of his fingers. They're just so damn… mesmerizing. Finally I reach out and grab his hand, holding it in mine. Edward stares over at me in shock before a soft smile forms on his lips. I hold his hand for the rest of the very, very long movie, and it feels good. Right — like it belongs there.

As we walk out of the theater, Edward keeps his hand on the small of my back, leading me through the crowd of people to the door. He again opens the car door for me, making sure I'm safely inside before closing it.

The entire way back to my apartment, he chatters on excitedly about the movie. I try to add appropriate comments when I can get a word in, but honestly, I didn't really pay much attention to anything but the feel of his large, warm hand in mine.

When we arrive at my apartment complex, Edward pulls into an open spot, shutting off the engine. "Um, I should walk you to your door. It's late," he says softly.

This time I wait for him to come around and open my door for me. He takes my hand in his, helping me up, then walks with his hand on my back as we climb the stairs to the second floor.

I fish my keys out of the side of my purse and turn the key in the lock. Placing my hand on the doorknob, I turn around to look up at where Edward is standing, so close to me that I can feel the heat radiating off of his body. I'm about to ask him if he wants to come in, when he opens his mouth, closes it again without speaking, then opens it again.

"I have heavy saliva."

I blink my eyes furiously, trying to figure out the context of the four words Edward just blurted out.

Nope… nothin'.

"What?"

"I… have extraordinarily heavy saliva. Like… when I spit, it doesn't… travel." Gross.

"And you're telling me this, why, exactly?" I raise an eyebrow.

"Because… because I want to kiss you. And… I figured… you'd need to know that. First, I mean." He stares down at his feet, then takes a step backwards. "Sorry," he whispers. "I'll just be going."

"Wait—" He stops walking away and I reach out, grasping the back of his neck and pulling his lips toward mine. I've been kissed before, obviously, but I'm not at all prepared for the way his lips feel against mine. They're soft, so freakin' soft. I pull back then take his bottom lip between mine, sucking gently and he moans.

Before I know it, my back is flat against the door and Edward's body is touching mine… everywhere.

Holy fuck, the boy can kiss. His arms find their way around my waist, pulling me even closer, and I can feel his erection against my hip. He rubs it against me, and good God, is every man on the fourth floor hung like a horse?

And then suddenly he jumps back like he's been burned, one hand coming up to cover his mouth. "Oh God," he mumbles. "Oh God, oh God… I'm so sorry."

He dashes away and down the stairs before I can even process what's happening. I hope he didn't come in his pants.

.

I've barely sat down at my desk on Monday morning when I see a huge bouquet of flowers walking toward me.

And then they speak to me.

"Um, Bella?"

The flowers are lowered a little bit and Edward peeks over the top. I quickly shove a few folders aside on my desk, making room for him to set the vase down before he drops it.

He sighs loudly once it's out of his hands, then straightens up to his full height, looking over at me tentatively. "Um, Emmett said I should've brought you flowers Friday night," he mumbles.

"They're beautiful, Edward. Thank you," I tell him sincerely, standing up so that I'm not staring directly at the crotch of his rolled-up brown pants… with bright orange socks. Yikes.

The smile on his face is blinding. And then he bites his lip, staring at me.

"Um… I'm sorry for the way I left after I drove you home." He stares down at his feet, his cheeks turning pink.

I reach out one finger to lift his chin, forcing him to look me in the eye. "Did you leave because… you were embarrassed?"

"Yes," he whispers, his eyes downcast.

"You don't have to be embarrassed, Edward. It's a completely natural response."

He opens and closes his mouth a few times, reminding me of one of the fish my dad would always catch.

"Will you go out with me again this Friday?" he asks in one breath.

I look into his eyes — Alice was right, they are green — and now he kind of reminds me of an abused puppy waiting to kicked. Though he has some… quirks, it's not like I had a bad time with him, exactly. And for a few precious seconds, we had the best goodnight kiss of my dating life.

"On two conditions…"

"Anything, Bella," he breathes.

"I pick the movie this time. And you pick a restaurant where you like the food."

"Deal," he agrees, bobbing his head up and down. He kinda reminds me of a Bobblehead doll. "Um," he starts, taking a step backwards, "I'll see you later."

He takes a few more steps backwards, nearly tripping as he spins around to head toward the elevators. Once he's out of sight, I shake my head, pulling out my chair to sit down again.

"He's adorkable."

I turn to look at where Alice is standing in her own cubicle, grinning at me. "How long have you been standing there?"

"Long enough," she sing-songs. "I think someone's got a crush. Or maybe two someones," she giggles.

"Fuck off, Brandon."

.

I have nothing to wear.

Edward chose a steakhouse for our date tonight — a nice steakhouse, not Outback or something like that. A cute skirt isn't going to cut it tonight. I have a couple of nice suits, of course, but we're going to a movie afterward and I really don't want to end up having to get it dry cleaned when I spill a piece of butter-soaked popcorn on myself.

And I will.

I look at my watch. Shit, Edward will be here in five minutes; I just need to pick something already. Flipping through my few dresses, I find a nice wrap dress, black with white and pink polka dots. That could work.

I'm just sliding my feet into my nicest pair of heels when the doorbell rings. Why can't he be late like every other man I've dated?

"Coming," I yell, hoping Edward can hear me.

This time when I open the door, I open it very slowly, just in case he's leaning against it like he did last week. When I see that he's not, I open it further and my jaw drops open as my date is revealed.

Wow. Just… wow. He's wearing dark gray suit pants, a white button-down shirt and a stylish striped tie. I idly wonder if his mom picked it out for him.

I smile up at Edward, noticing that one hand is behind his back. Suddenly he pulls out a bouquet of a dozen red roses, handing them to me with a small smile. "I remembered this time," he says softly.

"Thank you," I smile back, taking the roses from Edward and motioning for him to step inside. "Let me just put these in water." I quickly take care of that in the kitchen, then grab my purse and step back into the entryway, where Edward is waiting for me… staring down at my feet.

He swallows thickly when I walk up to him, his cheeks tinted pink as he looks up toward my face. "You look… unbelievable," he whispers. "Those shoes…" He shakes his head as if trying to clear cobwebs.

"Thank you," I reply, feeling my own face heat up. "Are you ready to go?" Edward nods, following me outside.

As we drive to the restaurant, Edward and I swap stories about our families. I'm not surprised to learn that he's an only child, son of a doctor and stay-at-home mom. If he had siblings, maybe he wouldn't be so socially awkward.

Edward and I have reservations at The Capital Grille, where we're shown to a private table for two.

"Would you like to get a bottle of wine?" Edward asks when the waiter arrives.

"I, um, don't know much about wine," I admit. "I know you're supposed to drink red wine with steak, but I'm not really a fan of red wine."

We order a rosé wine that the waiter suggests — though he clearly disapproves — and I watch fascinated as he pours a small sip for Edward, who swirls the wine in the glass and sniffs it before tasting. He nods and the waiter fills both his glass and mine about half full before leaving the bottle on ice and stepping away.

I have to admit, I'm… impressed. That is, until Edward giggles… the most adorable sound ever. "I saw that on TV," he says with a conspiratorial wink. "I have no idea what I'm supposed to be looking for."

I laugh, then ask him about his job, since I really know very little about what goes on up on the fourth floor, beyond the fact that it's the heart and soul of the company. Rose is an Executive Assistant up there, but primarily she handles travel arrangements, expense reports and ordering lunch for meetings. She always says that the guys can't organize their thoughts well enough to give her something to type up for them.

Edward is in the middle of telling me what he does on a daily basis when suddenly, a wild animal is let loose in the restaurant!

No — I think it's just his stomach growling.

"Shut up!" He rubs at his stomach, blushing a lovely shade of pink. "Sorry," he whispers.

Trying to alleviate his embarrassment, I push the basket of bread in his direction. He smiles gratefully, tearing off a piece.

"I worked through lunch," he admits sheepishly.

"Busy on a project?"

"No, I just… wanted to get home in time to take a shower and get dressed for our date. And buy the flowers." Wow, he really put a lot of thought into this. It's kind of flattering.

"So what do you like to do for fun, Edward?" I ask as we eat our delicious steaks. "Do you have any hobbies?"

"Well, right now I like to play with Legos."

"Legos? Like the kids' toys?" Somehow I had expected him to tell me he plays video games or Dungeons and Dragons or something. Do nerds still play that?

"Yes," he nods. "Emmett dragged me to see The Lego Movie earlier this year, since his namesake is one of the lead characters. And I really enjoyed it. I think it's been my favorite movie so far this year. Anyway, it got me remembering that I loved Legos as a kid, so I called my mom and asked her to get my old Legos out of the attic and send them to me."

Well, Legos are better than Dungeons and Dragons, I suppose, but it's becoming clear to me that Edward and I have nothing in common. Besides our opposite tastes in movies, he doesn't seem to share my love for reading and classic literature. Of course, I'm not sure I've ever met a guy, let alone dated one, who reads anything more advanced than comic books.

When we've finished eating, we eye the dessert menu, but decide to skip dessert so that we can have popcorn at the movie.

Ah yes, the movie… Given what Edward made me watch last week, I've chosen to make him see the ultimate 2014 chick flick — The Fault in Our Stars. I sobbed like a baby when I read the book.

Alice taught me that a guy's reaction to seeing a chick flick is a great indicator of exactly what type of man he is. If he cries, he's sensitive. If he laughs at you crying, he's a jerk. Pretty simple.

When I tell Edward my choice, to his credit, he doesn't even cringe. Of course, he also may have never heard of the movie.

As we carry our popcorn and drinks to our seats, I notice the overwhelming female presence in the theater… along with a number of pained-looking men. Not surprising, given that it's a Friday night — date night — after all.

"What is this movie about?" Edward asks as we make ourselves comfortable in our seats.

I knew it.

"It's about two teenagers who meet at a cancer support group and fall in love."

"Oh," he frowns. "Their parents have cancer?"

"No, they do."

"Oh," he replies, frowning again.

It's not long into the movie before I shed my first tear. And my second. When Edward hears me sniffle, he tentatively reaches out and takes my hand, squeezing it softly.

And that's how we sit until my tears turn into ugly crying. Edward reaches into his pocket, pulling out a handkerchief which he hands to me. I dry my eyes then blow my nose, trying to stop crying, but I can't.

I spend the last half hour of the movie with my head on Edward's shoulder, and his arm around me, drawing comforting circles on my back.

And he never laughs once.

Once the movie is over, he keeps his arm around me as he leads me out of the theater. I excuse myself to the ladies room, where I'm almost frightened by the way I look in the mirror. I quickly splash cold water on my face and try to fix my smudged mascara.

When I come out, I find Edward waiting for me just outside the door. He pulls me into a tight hug, and being encased in his strong arms feels so much better than I had expected. I don't pull away until he kisses the top of my head. I look up into his eyes and notice they're red-rimmed as well behind his glasses.

"Are you ok?" he whispers, touching my face gently.

"I'll be fine," I assure him.

He takes my hand and we walk out of the theater together. As always, Edward opens the car door for me and closes it after me. He really is a gentleman; a girl could get used to this.

The ride back to my house is quiet. I'm actively trying not to think about the movie, so I don't start crying again. Edward just seems to sense that I want to be alone with my thoughts. When he pulls into a parking spot at my apartment, he puts the car in Park, then looks over at me.

"Can I walk you up?" he asks quietly.

"Yeah, of course," I reply, feeling embarrassed up as I remember what happened last week at my door. Nodding, he shuts off the engine then climbs out of the car.

This time, I unlock and open my apartment door before looking back at Edward. "Um, would you like to come in?"

His eyes widen, and he stares at me for so long that I wonder if he's trying to figure out how to nicely tell me he's not interested.

"I'd like that," he finally answers, surprising the crap out of me.

Inside, I sigh heavily, setting my purse down on the counter. "Would you like some tea or coffee or anything?"

"Hot chocolate?" he suggests. "You go sit down and I'll make some."

"There should be a box in the pantry," I nod.

While Edward is busy, I step into my bedroom to take off my shoes and my earrings. I wash off all of my make-up then take a seat on the couch while I wait. I feel like I've been through an emotional wringer, and even though it's July, a hot drink sounds wonderful.

I don't know what I would've done without Edward by my side tonight. He passed Alice's test with flying colors. Maybe it doesn't matter that we have little in common, if we can be what each other needs in other ways.

"Here you go," Edward says, handing me a mug of hot chocolate. He sits next to me, but not too close, with his own mug, and I take a small sip of the steaming liquid. Setting his mug down on the coffee table in front of us, he loosens his tie then pulls it over his head, tossing it to the table. He unbuttons the top two buttons on his dress shirt and I'm almost disappointed when he stops there.

"Did… did you like the movie?" he begins tentatively, picking up his drink again.

"I did," I assure him. "I cried when I read the book, too."

He gives me a small smile, sipping his hot chocolate for a few moments, then sets it down again. With one hand, he removes his glasses, rubbing at one of his eyes with the other.

"I don't usually cry at movies," he admits. "But then I usually see action movies or comedies."

He's about to put his glasses back on when I find myself reaching out for his wrist. He looks at me questioningly as I gently take his glasses from his hand, setting them on the coffee table.

"Can you see without them?" I ask.

"I can see you, but I can't see across the room. Why?"

I stare into his eyes, which are a gorgeous, unusual shade of jade green. He really does look different without his glasses. Reaching out, I tuck his long hair behind his ears, trying to imagine him with a more normal haircut.

Alice was right; Edward is cute, I realize with a shock.

"Bella?"

And then my lips are on his. He seems to be frozen in surprise for a moment, but his soft lips soon begin moving under mine. When I feel the tip of his tongue peek out and run along my lips, I get up on my knees and scoot closer, wrapping my arms around his neck.

Edward's large, warm hands settle on my waist, pulling me even closer. I place my left knee over his legs so that I'm straddling him as he makes a little, "Oof!" of surprise. We kiss until he breaks away, panting. He begins placing soft kisses along my jaw back toward my ear as I run my fingers through his silky hair.

Moaning, he kisses me again, harder than before. Without my permission, my body begins moving above him. I'm shocked when I feel his erection, hard and large, right where I want to feel it. He bucks his hips up into me and it feels so good, but I need more, more, more. Gently, I lift Edward's right hand from my waist, placing it on my breast.

He breaks away from my lips, staring at me as he breathes heavily. "It's ok," I assure him, "You can touch me."

He squeezes my breast gently, looking for all the world like a teenager who's never touched boobies before. Very slowly, he slides his fingers under the front of my wrap dress, under the cup of my bra, until he's holding my breast in his hand. He brushes a finger over my nipple, making it harden instantly, and I can't stand to not be kissing him for a moment longer.

I kiss him hungrily, pulling on his hair with one hand while the other does what I've wanted to do for the last week: feel that hard chest. I continue to slide back and forth over his hardness, realizing I haven't dry-humped since I was a teenager.

And I don't want to stop.

I pull away from his mouth long enough to breathe and he moans my name, his eyes squeezed tightly closed. I grind down on him and he gasps, mumbling curses under his breath. Burying my face in his neck, I realize just how good he smells as I begin moving faster.

I can't remember the last orgasm I had that wasn't courtesy of my trusty rabbit, but I can feel myself getting closer. With one hand I reach down, tugging my dress up just a little more, removing one of the layers separating me from what is making me feel so good. I circle my hips over and over, shamelessly writhing against him.

"Bella… Bella, I—" He growls — fucking growls — as he comes, biting down on my neck. It's just enough to push me over the edge along with him. I squeeze him tightly, slowing the movement of my hips.

When Edward pulls his hand out of my bra, I start coming back to reality. Good lord, the mess I've made of his hair; it's the very definition of sex hair. Add a little product and he could actually be fucking hot.

Finally, I scoot back a little bit, looking down at the dark, wet spot on his pants. He'll have a lot of fun explaining that to his drycleaner.

He looks up at me, again with that abused puppy look, as if he thinks I'll be angry with him or something. Hell, I'm the one who started it.

And even though I should feel a little bit easy, given that I just dry-humped a guy on our second date, I don't regret one single second.

"I need to get up," he mumbles. Oh! Of course, he's probably got quite an uncomfortable mess in his pants.

I hurriedly move back to sitting beside Edward on the couch, but almost immediately he reaches for his glasses, then picks up his tie and stands up. He stares back at me for a moment, opening and closing his mouth before biting his lip.

I can see it in his eyes the exact moment he decides to bolt. I reach out to stop him, but he moves too quickly, nearly tripping over his own feet in his haste to leave. As he holds my front door open, he looks back at me again. I stand by the couch watching as he stares at the floor, then mumbles a quiet, "Sorry," as he steps out into the hallway.

I exhale in a gust as I stand alone in my apartment. Good job, Bella… scaring off the first non-jerk you've dated in years.

.

It's a busy week at work filled with many hours of overtime. As I meet Alice and Rose for lunch on Friday, it occurs to me that I haven't heard from Edward all week. He hasn't called, hasn't sent me any IMs asking me out tonight.

"Has Edward been in the office this week, Rose?"

"Yeah, why?" she asks, munching on her salad.

I shrug. "It's just… I haven't heard from him since our date last Friday."

Rose's eyebrows shoot up as she looks at me in shock, before smiling a huge grin. "Well, well, I didn't know you went on a second date with him."

"He's… nice. But he hasn't asked me out again," I frown.

"It's 2014, Bella," Alice pipes up. "Why don't you ask him out?"

"I… he had no trouble asking me before," I remind them. "Maybe he's not interested in another date."

"I don't know why he wouldn't be," Alice says. "When he brought you the flowers last week, he looked at you like you hung the moon and stars."

"I might have come on too strong," I whisper, feeling my face heat up.

"Say what?" Rose exclaims.

"We… might have dry-humped on my couch," I mumble.

"You and Edward?"

"Is it so shocking, Rose? You're the one who said he was a great guy and I should give him a chance!"

"He is a great guy, and you should give him a chance. But Bella… I'm not actually sure he's ever been with a woman, if you catch my drift."

My eyes widen as I stare at her. Edward is 28 years old; he couldn't still be a virgin… could he?

"I've not heard one word about him having a girlfriend since he moved to Seattle," she continues. "You might need to dial it back a little."

"What if I've scared him away for good?" I ask meekly.

"Only one way to find out," Alice says, patting my hand.

.

I'm too chicken to try to talk to Edward when we get back from lunch. Maybe he's just been as busy as I have all week. I'm sure that's it.

And then another week passes without a peep from him.

Despite my initial impression of Edward and despite the fact that we went on just two dates, I can't stop the feeling of rejection from settling in my heart. I'm not even good enough for a geek.

No, that's not fair. When Edward is dressed like a typical man in his 20s, if I look past the hair and glasses, he's just a normal guy… who probably got a perfect score on his SATs and graduated at the top of his class. But normal, nonetheless.

"This is ridiculous," I mutter, standing up from my desk around 3pm on Friday afternoon. I stretch, then march determinedly to the elevators. When the doors open, I press the button for the fourth floor with a flourish.

As I start toward Edward's cubicle, Rosalie looks up at the sound of my footsteps. "Oh, hey, Bella," she calls… totally spoiling my stealthy arrival.

I wave to Rose, then walk over to his cube, knocking lightly on the fabric-paneled wall. And he completely ignores me, continuing to type away at whatever spreadsheet he's working on.

I start to get really pissed at the brush-off until I notice the headphones he's wearing. He doesn't know I'm here, after all. I take a couple of steps closer, then poke his shoulder twice.

"Shit!" Edward spins around in his chair, staring at me. After a moment, he takes his headphones off, setting them on his desk before turning back to me. I watch him carefully, noticing the holey gray Stoli Vodka t-shirt he's wearing under a short-sleeved plaid shirt that's completely unbuttoned.

I clear my throat. "Can I talk to you?" I ask… much less confidently than I was going for. "Alone?"

He nods, standing up. "In the break room?" he suggests and I nod, following him past the elevators. I try not to notice the way his ass looks in his jeans.

"You haven't contacted me in two weeks," I accuse once we're alone.

"You haven't contacted me, either," he replies, raising one eyebrow. Touché.

"Do you… regret what we did?" I ask quietly. "Or are you… embarrassed?"

Edward stares down at his feet, running his hand through his hair roughly, but he doesn't speak.

"Help me understand, Edward."

He looks up, anger flashing in his eyes for a moment. "What's your game, Bella? What is it you want?"

"What?" I ask in confusion.

"Why did you agree to go out with me?" he asks, teeth clenched.

"Because Rose said you were a nice guy! What's going on, Edward? What exactly are you accusing me of?"

"I know what you think of me," he replies quietly. "Of all of us up here."

My brows furrow in confusion. "I don't know what you're talking about."

He sighs, staring into my eyes. "Your friend Alice came upstairs to get something from Rose," he begins. "The Monday after our second date. I heard the things she was saying about us all probably living in our parents' basements and never having girlfriends. She made it very clear that you felt the same way."

"Oh," I whisper, staring at my feet.

"So what kind of game were you playing? Make me fall for you and then humiliate me somehow?" he cries.

"What?! No! No, Edward, I would never ever do something like that. I went out with you the first time because I didn't want to hurt your feelings. But… I had a nice time, so I said yes to a second date. I can't… I can't believe you could think I'd really do something like that."

Tears prick at my eyes, and I turn around, not wanting Edward to see them. "I can't believe you'd think that of me," I whisper. My feet carry me out of the room before he can see how hurt I am.

I can't wait for the elevator, because Edward will have to walk past them to get back to his desk. Instead, I head in the opposite direction, until I reach the stairwell. I open the door, my heels clacking as I walk down the two flights of stairs.

My traitorous tears are streaming down my face by the time I reach the second floor. I stop for a minute, wiping them away before opening the door and heading straight for the ladies room.

.

The minute the little clock in the corner of my screen changes to 5:00, I start packing up, more than ready for the weekend.

Though I was able to clean up my face before I got back to my cube, Alice could tell something was wrong. I refused to discuss it with her. I'm pissed off at her for saying those things where Edward could overhear… where any of the guys could overhear. Rationally, I know that she probably wasn't aware of how close Edward's cubicle is to Rose.

And I know I really did say and think all of those awful things, before I got to know one of the guys from the fourth floor.

Walking out of the building, I head for the parking garage. Just as I near my car, I feel a tap on my shoulder. I scream loud enough to wake the dead, my hand immediately reaching for the pepper spray on my keychain — thanks, Dad.

I spin around, ready to spray my assailant, and see Edward with his hands up. "Wait, wait, it's just me! Don't shoot," he adds with a crooked grin.

"Jesus, Edward, you scared me half to death! You don't sneak up on a woman in a dark garage!" I put the pepper spray down before I accidentally hurt him.

"Sorry, sorry," he mutters, tearing at his hair. "I didn't mean to scare you. I just wanted to talk to you… to apologize. I should've just asked you about what I'd heard, instead of letting my imagination run wild. I'm sorry for believing the worst."

"Have you met people like that before? Who'd use you as a pawn in some kind of game?"

He nods, the abused puppy look never more clear on his face.

"You're right," I begin slowly, "That Alice and I thought the worst of you guys. We stereotyped you without knowing anything about you. But as I got to know you, I realized how wrong we were, how wrong I was. I liked you, Edward. Genuinely liked you."

"Liked?" he repeats, his face falling. "Past tense?"

"No," I sigh. "Not past tense. I still like you. You're a nice guy, Edward. I've never dated someone who's behaved like such a gentleman. That's why it hurt that you'd think I could be so cruel."

"I'm sorry," he whispers, taking a step closer.

"I'm sorry too."

Very carefully, Edward takes my face in hands, cradling it like I'm some kind of precious doll. He leans in slowly, giving me plenty of time to tell him I don't want this, then touches his soft lips to mine — the first time he's initiated a kiss. I kiss him back enthusiastically, but he pulls away before things can get too heated.

"Can I take you out again?" he asks quietly.

Yes! A million times, yes!

"I have a better idea. Why don't I make you dinner? You can come over to my apartment in an hour or so, ok? I promise to work around your food issues."

A slow grin spreads on his face before he nods. Ever the gentleman, Edward opens my car door for me, kissing me chastely before helping me inside and closing the door.

.

An hour later, I've got two stuffed chicken breasts in the oven. Normally I'd stuff them with cheese, of course, but for Edward, I stuff them with a spinach and bacon mixture instead. I pull out one of the two baked potatoes, adding shredded cheese, bacon and chives before putting it back in the oven. Edward just asked for lots of butter on his baked potato at The Capital Grille, so I don't even add the bacon and chives to his.

I think about going to change before my date gets here, but it's just a casual night at home. My capri pants and tank top are fine.

Right on time, the doorbell rings and I rush to answer it. "Hi," Edward greets me, holding out a bouquet of yellow flowers and a bottle of wine. I notice that he's also wearing the same outfit he wore to work today, complete with that godawful holey t-shirt.

"Thank you," I tell him, taking the items from him. "You know, you really don't need to bring me flowers for every date."

"I want to," he shrugs. "You deserve them." I turn toward the kitchen, setting the chilled wine in a bucket of ice and the flowers in a vase of water. "Something smells good."

"I hope you like chicken."

"I do," he assures me with a smile.

"They should be done in a few minutes; you can just take a seat here." I pull out one of my kitchen chairs for him.

I quickly set the table, just waiting for the oven timer to beep. I bring the hot plates to the table, along with a tub of butter and sour cream for my baked potato. I have to fish around in a drawer, but I eventually find a corkscrew so that Edward can open the wine and pour two glasses. He smiles as he motions for me to serve myself first.

"This is really good," he says as he eats. "You're a much better cook than I am."

"Thanks," I reply. "My mom wasn't the best cook when I was growing up, so it was either learn to cook, eat her horrible cooking, or starve," I joke.

He takes a sip of his wine and I'm mesmerized by his long fingers wrapped around the stem of the glass. I've just never seen fingers that long before. I have to tear my eyes away before I start fantasizing about them.

After we've finished eating, I tell Edward to go pick out a movie from my DVD collection while I rinse the dishes. I put them in the dishwasher as quickly as I can so that I can join him.

"What did you pick?" I ask, noticing that he's lost his plaid shirt as I come to stand beside him. He holds up my copy of A Knight's Tale.

"Good choice," I nod, taking the case from him. "Have you seen this before?"

"No," he replies, shaking his head. "It looked like less of a chick flick than most of your movies, though."

"It is," I confirm with a smile. "I got it because I totally had a thing for Heath Ledger as a teenager." Rest in peace, Heath.

I put the DVD in the player then grab the remote control and sit on the couch next to Edward, a respectable distance away. He smiles at me, his fingers beckoning me until I scoot closer… close enough that he can put his arm around my shoulders. I snuggle into his side, sighing at his warmth as we watch the movie.

At some point, I move my right hand from my own lap to Edward's thigh. I draw mindless circles on the worn denim until he takes my hand in his, threading our fingers together.

When the credits roll, he stretches, removing his arm from my shoulder, and I feel the loss immediately, even though my entire left side is pressed up against his warm body.

"Do you want something to drink?" I ask, sliding away from him and bringing one leg up onto the couch. Edward shakes his head. "Do you want dessert? I probably have some ice cream in the freezer."

"No, thank you."

"Do you want to go home?" I ask tentatively.

"No." I'm about to ask him what he does want to do, when he speaks again. "I want you."

My eyes widen. I couldn't have heard him right. Since when is Edward ever that bold? He did ask you out via IM, you idiot.

When I don't respond, his face falls. "No!" I shout. "I… I want you, too." He looks at me skeptically and I hurriedly climb onto his lap, my hands on his waist.

His hands trail up my arms achingly slowly, goosebumps following his light touch. I shiver as he moves from my shoulders to my neck then pulls me closer. The first brush of his lips is soft, tentative, before he pulls back, staring into my eyes.

I kiss him eagerly, sliding my tongue between his lips. My hands move to his hair, feeling the silky strands slip through my fingers. He pulls me closer until our chests are pressed up against each other, kissing me like he'll never get enough of me.

I'm startled when I feel the touch of his warm hands on my bare skin, at first just above my waist, but then making their way up my sides. He pulls away from my lips, panting. "Take this off?" he asks and I lift my tank up and over my head with no hesitation. He gapes at my pink satin bra like it's the first one he's ever seen.

"Fair is fair," I tell him, moving my hands to the bottom of his t-shirt. He takes a deep breath, then nods, letting me remove his shirt. I set it on the arm of the couch, but I'd actually like to throw it in the trash — I mean, it has holes in it.

I turn back to Edward, and oh. My. God.

I'm not going to exaggerate and say that Edward is ripped. He's not, though he obviously works out. No, it's the smattering of curly brown hair on his chest that gets me… chest hair is my weakness. Not so much that he could be mistaken for a gorilla, but enough to show that he's a man, not a boy.

Bringing my hands up to his chest, I kiss him again, our lips moving together like we've been doing this for years. His hands are all over me — my arms, my waist, my back — except where I really want to feel them.

I'm just about to put his hands on my breasts when I feel Edward fumbling with my bra. Yes! He's trying to take it off but obviously struggling. I wonder if I should help him, but then I feel it give way and he slowly begins sliding the straps down my arms.

And then he stares, swallowing thickly. He brings both of his hands up until they're cupping my breasts, his thumbs lightly teasing my nipples until they form hard little peaks.

"I wish I could experience just one day as a woman, so I could have tits." I laugh out loud at his lack of filter.

He bends forward, taking my left nipple into his mouth and sucking gently, and his ridiculousness is completely forgotten as I let out an embarrassingly loud moan. I tilt my head back, closing my eyes while I enjoy what his mouth and tongue are doing to me.

"Maybe… maybe we should take this into my bedroom," I suggest, feeling the wetness pool between my thighs.

And he stops what he's doing, looking up at me with unbridled panic. Shit, maybe Rose was right about Edward being a virgin.

"If-if you don't want to… if you think it's too soon…"

He takes a deep breath, letting it out slowly. "Oh, I want to," he confirms. "I really, really want to. But…"

"Are you a virgin?" I blurt out, cursing myself internally the moment the words are out of my mouth.

"You think I'm a virgin?" he asks in shock.

"I… well, Rose said she didn't think you'd had a girlfriend since you moved to Seattle."

"I haven't," he says softly. "But I'm not a virgin, not since I was 17."

My eyes widen; hell, even I didn't lose my virginity until I was 19 and a sophomore in college.

"I wasn't exactly Mr. Popularity in high school," he begins quietly. "My best friend since kindergarten was a girl named Kate who was just as unpopular. She was going off to Dartmouth for college and didn't want to be the only virgin in her class, so she suggested we lose it together.

"When we were both back in Chicago each summer, we continued to… have sex," he finishes in a whisper. "It's not like either one of us could get a date in college any more than we could in high school. Neither of us ever had any romantic feelings for the other — that just would've been too weird since we'd been friends for so long. But we became more like friends with benefits, I suppose."

I continue to stare at him as I try to process what he's saying. On the one hand, I'm surprised to find out that Edward would ever have had a relationship like that. But I'm also realizing that he's not as inexperienced with sex as I'd thought. Even if he's saying that it's been a while for him, he should know how to please a woman.

And that excites me, more than I'd like to admit.

"B-Bella?" And… the abused puppy look is back, as if he's afraid that I'm going to reject him after what I've just learned.

I stand up from his lap, holding my hand out to him. "The condoms are in my bedroom."

He licks his lips, a slow grin spreading across his face while he fist pumps, then takes my hand as he stands. "Lead the way," he says in a sexier voice than I thought he'd be capable of.

Once we reach my bedroom, I turn on the bedside lamp and throw the covers off my bed. Though I'm on the pill and this is Edward, my mother's habitual 'Be safe' echoes in my brain, and so I pull the nearly full box of condoms out of the drawer and set it on the table.

I turn to face Edward, holding eye contact as I open the fly of my pants, shimmying them down my legs until I stand before him in just my panties. Shit, they don't match my bra today.

When he remains immobile, I reach for the button fly of his jeans, my knuckles brushing his erection as I open them. His jeans are loose enough that I can easily push them down over his narrow hips, and he steps out of them.

"Oh my god!" I snort once I get a good look at his boxers… his Angry Birds boxers. Complete with a 3-D yellow beak thanks to his hard-on.

I swear, every inch of Edward turns as red as his boxers. "Uh… clearly I never expected this to happen tonight?"

Laughing, I take his hand, pulling him toward the bed. I take off his glasses, setting them carefully on the bedside table, then lie back. He climbs on top of me, leaning down to capture my lips again, and we make out like teenagers, his cock digging into my hip. Just when I need to take a breath, he pulls away, kissing his way down to my breasts. His mouth moves from one to the other, kissing, licking, teasing.

And then he lifts his head, staring up at me as his fingers trail down to the waistband of my panties. I nod and he slides them down my legs, tossing them to the floor.

"Oh my God!" He's staring right between my legs, like he's never seen a real live pussy before, but surely he has if he's had sex with something other than a blow-up doll.

"What is it?"

"You're bare!"

"Yeah, I got waxed last weekend… Most guys prefer that," I shrug.

"You're fucking perfect," he growls, coming back to my mouth and kissing me hard. I nearly buck off the bed when I feel one of his fingers brushing where I'm already wet for him.

He teases my clit, circling it over and over, before pushing one of those amazingly long fingers into me. I moan like a porn star when a second finger joins the first. He moves them slowly at first, pushing them in as deep as they can go before pulling them all the way out. His thumb puts pressure on my clit as he continues to fuck me with his fingers, his tongue moving in and out of my mouth in sync with his movements down below.

I shatter around him with a loud cry, shaking and shuddering. As he removes his fingers, they touch my sensitive clit and I cry out again. Edward just smiles evilly, sucking them into his mouth. He reaches for the box of condoms, pulling a foil packet from the box and opening it with his teeth.

"Here goes nothin'," he mumbles, pushing his boxers down.

I watch with rapt attention as his cock is revealed… and it doesn't disappoint.

I lick my lips as he rolls the condom down his impressive length, then climbs back on top of me. He braces himself on one of his forearms near my head, using his other hand to guide himself to my entrance.

"Please don't let me come right away, please don't let me come right away," he chants under his breath.

As he slowly inches inside, my eyes roll back in my head. What did Rose say, that Emmett was hung like a horse? I'd compare Edward to a pony… a large pony. When he fills me completely, he brings his other arm up to cage me in, then leans down to kiss me gently.

"You can move," I tell him, lifting my hips off the bed.

"Not if I don't want to be a two-pump chump."

He kisses me again, moving his right hand down to squeeze my breast, then pulls out as slowly as he'd entered me.

"Oh God," he moans as he fills me again. He works up to a slow rhythm, and his cock feels absolutely amazing. It's like we were meant to fit together like this. I wrap my legs around his waist, urging him to move faster, deeper.

"Feels so good…" he mumbles, sucking on my collarbone. "Ugh… you're so tight."

Suddenly he curls his arms around my shoulders, lifting me until my back arches off the bed. His lips trail over my breasts as he pumps harder and faster. He's going to come soon, and I'll be left disappointed… as always. I'm pretty good at faking it though.

"Bella… Bella, oh… " He reaches down with one hand to touch me furiously and I feel myself coming just as he grunts loudly. If it wasn't for my own intense pleasure, I'd have an irrational need to laugh at how much he sounds like one of those tennis matches I watched a couple of weeks ago.

Edward collapses on top of me breathing heavily, then rolls to his side. Holy shit, I can't believe I actually had an orgasm during sex. He's like a miracle worker or something; his cock should be bronzed.

"Bella?" he asks softly. "Where can I—" He points down to his now soft cock, unable to finish, and I can't help grinning at his shyness after what we just did.

"The bathroom is across the hall." He climbs out of bed and I stare at his naked ass as he walks to the door. As soon as he's out of the room, I stand up, feeling deliciously sore for the first time in ages. I pick up my panties from the floor then walk over to my dresser and grab a t-shirt out of the drawer, pulling it over my head.

When Edward returns and sees me dressed, he steps into his boxers, frowning down at them. I resist the urge to laugh again. I can't even believe someone makes those in a size to fit a grown man.

Walking over to him, I pull his face down to mine for a kiss. "I'm ready for some dessert now," I tell him. He follows me to the kitchen and I motion for him to sit at the table while I dig through my freezer, looking for ice cream.

"OK, so I have s'mores and cheesecake flavors," I announce, holding the containers up for Edward to see. He remains silent, raising one eyebrow, until it hits me. "Seriously?! You don't even like cheesecake? It's not even cheese."

"Close enough," he shrugs. "It's made with cream cheese, right?"

I shake my head as I put the cheesecake ice cream back in the freezer. "You do not know what you're missing."

I scoop the ice cream into two bowls, then sit down at the table and dig in to the sweet, creamy goodness.

After a couple of minutes, I look up at the still-shirtless Edward and chuckle at the chocolate ice cream dripping down his chin. I start to reach out my finger to wipe it off, but then I get a better idea.

I move over to Edward's lap, placing one hand on his chest. Holding his face still with the other hand, I lick the ice cream off of his chin, feeling his five o'clock shadow tickle my tongue. "Yummy." I lick my lips and see his eyes darken in arousal.

"Fuck," he whispers.

I smile sweetly then take another spoonful from my own bowl. "You're the devil," he mutters, shaking his head.

When both of our bowls are empty, I rinse them in the sink and grab two bottles of water out of the fridge, handing one to Edward. I sit in my own chair, twist the top off and take a long sip, then notice the way he's watching me. "What?"

"I just… can't believe this has all happened. I've had a crush on you for three years," he admits. "Ever since you started at the company and your boss brought you around to meet everyone."

"Really?" He nods shyly. "What made you finally decide to ask me out?"

Edward stares at me like a deer in headlights. I raise an eyebrow, looking at him questioningly.

"Uh… I didn't," he whispers.

"What?" I ask in confusion.

"I didn't ask you," he confesses. "That day at Rose's desk was the closest I'd ever been to you. And I guess I wouldn't shut up about you the rest of the afternoon. Emmett got tired of hearing it, so… when I got up to grab something off the printer and didn't lock my computer, he sent you the instant message — as me."

I stare at Edward, watching the way he squirms. "Please say something," he begs.

"That was really sweet of Emmett to try and help you out."

"Sweet?" he scoffs. "I wanted to kill him. I was sure you'd say no and that would be the end of my fantasy."

"Yes, sweet," I insist, moving back to his lap so that I can kiss him.

"You're sweet," he whispers, before deepening the kiss. I could keep kissing Edward for hours and never get tired of it.

"Will you be my girlfriend?" he blurts out when he pulls away.

"I would be honored, Edward." I kiss him again, running one hand through his chest hair until I'm more than ready to take this back to the bedroom.

"It's getting late," he says when I finally stop kissing him. "Do you want me to leave?"

"Is there another option?" I ask, a little — ok, a lot — disappointed.

"We could go back to bed," he replies suggestively. "And I could find out if your pussy is as sweet as the rest of you."

Almost the second the words are out of his mouth, he turns bright red, his eyes downcast. "Uh… I mean…"

"Edward."

"I'm sorry," he whispers.

"Edward," I repeat more sharply.

He looks up at me, swallowing thickly. He never did put his glasses back on after we made love, and his eyes have never been more green. A giant part of me wants to tease him, but I don't think his heart can take that right now.

"I'd like that," I tell him simply.

"Yeah?" His entire face lights up in a grin. I swear, he looks like he just won the lottery — and not me.

"Come on, Hot Stuff," I tell him as I stand up, offering him my hand. I turn and head back toward my bedroom, Edward hot on my heels. "Maybe you can even convince me to reciprocate."

THUD!