Disclaimer: The author does not own any of the publicly recognizable entities herein. No copyright infringement is intended.
A/N: This was my entry for the Bandward Contest. I didn't win, but if these crazy kids manage to make you smile, that's good enough for me. :)
I close my eyes as I let my hand drift lazily over the guitar resting on my lap—the guitar she gave me on our first anniversary.
Its black exterior looks a bit faded now after six years, but the music that comes out of it still sounds sweeter to me than any other expensive instrument I have used. Because, to me, it represents her—my Bella—the only girl I have ever loved.
I can feel the anxiety and fear of rejection creep up on me as I sit in the dimly lit green room. Tonight is the night. I have been working toward this night for the last seven years of my life ... of our lives together.
A slap on my shoulder makes me open my eyes and look up to see my older brother, Emmett, standing before me. "Hey, man, you're not chickening out, are you?" he asks with a goofy grin, showing me that he is joking.
I scoff and move my shoulder, making his hand slide off. "Talk about yourself, Em. You're the chicken in the family. I know it, you know it, Mom and Dad know it. Hell, I bet Rose knows it too."
His smile does not falter a bit as he shrugs. "Yeah. But you are the mopey one among us."
I narrow my eyes at him and say, "I am not mopey."
He gives me a dimpled smile and shoots back, "Oh yeah? How about when you kissed Bella and she puked on your shoes? I remember you moping around for a week then."
I grimace at the memory and reply, "I was a teenager then, Em. At seventeen, you'd be sad too, if your girlfriend puked on your shoes after your first public kiss."
"Aha!" he says triumphantly. "But that didn't happen to me. Not one of my girlfriends ever puked after kissing me. So, there you go, on kissing skills, Em-100 and Eddie-0."
I shake my head at him and say dryly, "Are you sure you're a father now?"
He puffs out his chest and replies proudly, "Yep. And my kid just turned three last month."
"I know, Em. I was there. And being his uncle, I do know how old Damien is," I say in a matter-of-fact tone.
Before we can continue on with our ridiculous and completely pointless discussion, there is a knock on the door, followed by Jasper, our keyboardist, peeking through a small gap on the door.
"Dudes!" he calls out in his usual greeting, "What's up? Why the long faces?"
Emmett once again claps me on the back and says, "Eddie here is being a chicken ... again."
I start to open my mouth, ready to chew his head off for calling me Eddie and chicken when Jasper walks up to sit beside me and looks at me with sympathy.
"Are you really worried about this, dude?" he asks, sounding concerned.
I grimace and shrug. "I don't ... what if she hates it?"
Jasper gives me a half-smile and says, "You really think Bella will ever hate your music? Dude, you guys have been together forever! She knows you. She won't hate it. Just calm yourself down and give it your best shot."
I nod, knowing that Bella would never tell me she hates anything I composed.
When he thinks I am over my self-doubt, Jasper reminds us that the show is going to start within twenty minutes and then leaves the room, no doubt hoping to squeeze in a phone call with Alice, his girlfriend and Bella's sister, beforehand.
"It's gonna be okay, man. I just know it will." The serious tone of voice coming from my usually goofy brother makes me look up from the guitar on my lap.
In a slightly hopeful voice I ask, "You think so?"
His expression is all sage-like as he nods. "Of course. If she can love you despite that scarecrow hairdo you have going on, she's bound to love the raucous shit you're about to play," he finishes with a grin.
"Fuck you, Em!" I snap at him, making him shake his head in mock-exasperation.
"Now, now, little brother," he says, waggling a finger in my face, "that would be considered incest now, wouldn't it?"
I put my guitar down and scramble up to my feet, ready to pummel him to the ground, disregarding the fact that he is about twice my size. But before I can take another step toward him, he winks at me and rushes out of the room.
When I am alone once again, I realize what my stupid brother had been up to. He distracted me from the hopeless frustration I was letting take hold of me ... for a little while.
I hear sound checks happening on the stage and the voices of hundreds, maybe even thousands of people screaming and chanting our band's name.
Taking a deep breath, I think back to the day I found my true muse in the form of my Bella.
I was sitting in my room and going over the sheets of music I had been working on for the past few months. It was my present to Bella for our first anniversary.
Shit! I hope I get a chance to sneak her into the music room tomorrow, I thought, because the only guitar I had access to was the one in the school music room and music happened to be the only class Bella did not have with me.
I get so lost in my music that it wasn't until my phone chimed with an incoming text that I realized it was already past midnight.
Hey there, Mr. Cullen, care to come over for a few minutes so that your girl can wish you a happy anniversary? ~Bella~
I felt a wide smile stretching on my lips as I typed out my reply, already getting up from my bed to head over to her.
What my girl wants, my girl gets. On my way, baby. ~Edward~
Five minutes later, I had jogged across our backyard and was knocking on Bella's window. Her beautiful face appeared from a gap between the curtains before she opened the window, allowing me to crawl through.
I wrapped my arms around her waist and brought her close to my chest, and then I asked, "You're not feeling queasy, are you, baby?"
She slapped my chest for my teasing and said with a cute pout on her lips, "I told you already. Rosalie slipped me bourbon from her dad's cellar. I was bound to throw up."
I chuckled as I tilted her chin with my thumb and forefinger and brought her lips to mine for a sweet kiss. "And I told you already," I said softly after separating our mouths, "I love teasing you."
She pushed me away playfully and said with her hands perched on either side of her hips, "Fine. Then you're not getting your present. I might just throw it away ..."
Because I was a horny eighteen-year-old, I grabbed her hands and brought her flush to my body. "I think I quite like my present. So no thanks. You won't need to throw it away."
She slipped her fingers into my hair and giggled. "You're such a horn-ball. I didn't mean me as your present. I really got you something."
I looked around her room expectantly and then my eyes landed on the large package lying on her bed. Putting an innocent smile on my face, I gave her my best crooked smile—the smile that made her melt every single time. "If I promise to be a good boy, can I get my present then?" I asked hopefully.
She kissed the tip of my nose and then taking my hand in hers led me toward the bed. She gestured to the package and said shyly, "I know you wanted to buy one, but I really wanted to be the one to get you your first."
I cheekily wanted to say something ridiculous like, "You really were my first, baby," but since I promised to be good, I didn't do that. Instead, I sat on the bed and took the carefully wrapped package in my hand before starting to open it.
Once the wrapping fell away, I stared slack-jawed at the instrument sitting before me. When I could locate my vocal cords, I stammered, "Baby, what ..."
She bit her lip and then approached me. Taking a seat on my lap, she wrapped an arm around my neck and said, "I love your music, Edward, and I know it in my heart that one day, you're gonna do something amazing with your music. Like I said, I just wanted to be the one to get you your first guitar."
Shaking my head at my girl, I kissed her hard and then whispered, "Do you know how perfect you are, Bella? How much I loveyou?"
She placed a kiss on my chin and said with a wink, "I think I might have an inkling. Now, how about you play something for me? I want to be there when you break in the guitar."
I rearranged her on my lap so that we were both facing the front and then picked up the guitar to lay it on her lap. Mindful of her parents sleeping two doors down, I softly strummed my fingers across the strings. I placed a kiss on the side of her neck and then asked, "Can I give you my present now?"
Her eyebrows scrunched up, but she nodded. Smiling at her, I kissed her neck once more before letting my fingers dance on the strings, creating the music I wrote just for her.
When I was halfway through the song, I felt her shoulders shake and stopped playing. Turning my head to the side, I peeked at her only to see that she had tear tracks running down her cheeks.
With a sniffle she said, "Why did you stop? Please go on. I'm sorry for crying. It's just ... it's so beautiful, Edward."
"Beautiful music for my beautiful girl," I said, kissing her forehead, and then I went back to playing. When I was finished, she allowed me to put the guitar down on her bed before attacking me with her lips.
"I love you, Edward. You're my Guitar Hero," she said in a breathless whisper after a while.
I simply grinned at the new nickname she had given me and then brought her head down to mine, kissing the ever-loving shit out of her.
"Ed, dude, get your ass in gear. We're live in ten," I hear Jasper's voice through the door, snapping me back to the present.
I allow my hand to run over the guitar and then stand up. I have a live concert to play, and my girl sitting before the TV set is gonna get the surprise of her life.
I can do this.
The crowd is wild with excitement as the show gets to the end. It has been a good show. The people in San Francisco make a really good audience. As the lead singer of the band, I go ahead and announce the last song we are going to play.
"Hey there, San Francisco!" I shout out to the audience. "Since you've been such a great audience tonight, I want to ask for your help for something that's pretty important to me. What do you say? Are you gonna help me?"
The resounding chorus of affirmatives is deafening.
I chance a look at my band mates. Jazz salutes me from his keyboard, Em holds up his drumsticks in a thumbs-up sign, and Ben, our bassist, gives me an encouraging nod.
I turn back to the crowd and say, "So, if you've been following the band from the beginning, or have seen any of my interviews, you probably know that I have a very beautiful girl waiting for me in Seattle right now."
I hear them scream Bella's name as an answer. Smiling at that, I continue, "Yes. Bella Swan. She is my muse and the woman I'm madly in love with, have been in love with for quite some time now ..."
Looking at the TV cameras in front of the stage, I speak directly to my girl this time. "Bella, baby, I miss you and I love you. Andwhat I am about to do is probably going to make you gasp and cry at my idiocy, but I cannot keep myself from saying it anymore. This song is for you, love." I say the last words in a shout before stepping back and nodding at my band mates, telling them to hit it.
Instead of our usual fast-track rhythm, the music starts in a slow tempo, first with just my guitar solo and then slowly joined in by the others. The bright lights surrounding me make the faces of all those present fade away from my sight, until all my mind's eye can see is Bella.
Letting my fingers do their practiced dance on the guitar strings, I let the words pour out of my mouth—words that describe our journey from friendship to love in the past seven years—and all I hope is that it tells her everything I want it to say.
When the last cord of the music fades away, the crowd goes crazy, begging for an encore, and in normal circumstances, Iwould've loved nothing more than to play an encore for them.
But not tonight.
Tonight is just for my Bella.
So, instead of granting their requests, I put my guitar down and then, slowly, drop down to one knee.
A few loud gasps come from the assembled audience and then there's radio-silence.
In a soft but sure voice, I say the words that have been on the tip of my tongue for the last several weeks. "Isabella Swan, you are the best thing to have ever happened to me. I thank my lucky stars everyday that Mr. Banner made you my partner in Biology that day. And now that I have been on the road for a month, I never want to be away from you for this long. So please say yes, to being my partner, my love, my wife for as long as we live. I love you, my Bella. Say that you will marry me."
After a few moments of silence, a loud whoop comes from my brother and then there's screaming and cheering from everywhere around me.
I smile at the cheering crowd and start to turn around to take the final bow with our band when suddenly I hear it.
The squeaking feedback of a microphone being switched on.
And then ...
"That's not very nice of you, Guitar Hero, proposing to a girl without even a ring." The words ... spoken in her voice make me turn around and face the crowd once again.
I start looking left and right, trying desperately to find my girl. That is when I feel a soft hand on my shoulder.
Holding my breath and praying like hell that this is not a dream, I turn my head to the side ... only to come face-to-face with the girl who has stolen my heart.
"Bella." Her name falls from my lips in a soft whisper and I find her beautiful brown eyes looking right into my eyes.
She offers me a shy smile before leaning down and putting the microphone in her hand down on the dais. Once she has straightened up, she holds her left hand out to me and asks with an arched eyebrow, "Are you going to just ogle me all night or are you going to put a ring on me, Guitar Hero?"
"But ... h-how ..." I stammer, and she smiles and looks at the other end of the stage where my brother is standing with a huge-ass grin on his face.
I frown. "Em told you what I was planning beforehand? I wanted to surprise you," I say a little sadly.
She shakes her head and replies, "Nah-uh. He didn't tell me anything. Apparently, I had turned into a 'sulking queen' in your absence, according to Rosalie. So she packed my bags and sent my ass to you, not that I complained. I missed you. When Em got wind of it, he arranged for a car to have me brought here so that I could see your performance live."
I can only stand and grin as her words register in my brain and that's exactly what I do. After a few beats, though, Bella taps the tip of my nose with her finger and asks me, "So ... my ring?"
I cannot stop the huge grin that spreads on my face as I ask her back, "Are you saying yes?"
She laughs and nods. Then she rises on her tip-toes and kisses me, wrapping her arms around my neck. "Yes, Edward Cullen. Because I love having my personal Guitar Hero, I will marry you," she says, loud enough for the front row of the audiences to catch her words.
Murmurs of "She said yes," "They just got engaged," and "He's officially off the market," circulate around us.
Without giving those voices another thought, I drop down on my knee—for the second time that evening—and pat my jacket pocket before taking out the velvet box I have been carrying with me for three weeks.
Taking her hand in mine, I place the ring in its rightful place and then bring her knuckles to my lips in a tender kiss.
The sound of a sob makes me look up, and I find my girl smiling brightly, as tear tracks run down her blushing cheeks.
I stand up and cup her face in both of my hands and then I kiss her—my Bella, my fiancée.
As soon as I close the hotel room door behind me, I feel her body against my back with her hot breath tickling the hair on the nape of my neck.
She snakes a hand around my torso, slipping it underneath my shirt and then running it along my abs. A tortured groan leaves my mouth and I feel her lips curve upwards in a smile. When I cannot stand not seeing her face anymore, I grab her wandering hand and turn, bringing her to my chest in the process.
And then I dive in for the kiss I have been yearning for. She melts against my body as I take her lip in between mine and suck it into my mouth. Tasting her after almost a month makes me almost crazy to be inside her and I let my hands brush along her sides before resting them on her ass.
In a move we have perfected over the years, she wraps her legs around my hips, bringing us impossibly closer. My mind goes completely blank of any thought that does not center on my Bella.
A shiver runs through her body as I kiss along her neck, heading for the small bit of creamy flesh visible over the neckline of her T-shirt. "Shit! Edward, if you don't take me to bed right fucking now, I am not gonna be held responsible for tackling you to the ground," she says, panting.
Chuckling at her impatience, I securely hold her body to mine with one arm while moving the other one upwards to cup her breast in my hand. She curses out once again and I cannot hold on anymore.
Without separating our mouths, I walk us toward the very warm and inviting king sized bed and lay her down on it. I don't waste anymore time before removing both of our clothes and then joining her on the bed.
As I look down at her deliciously flushed face while hovering over her, I ask her, "Have I told you that I love you today?"
She pretends to think and then with a giggle, places kisses along my jaw. "Only about a hundred times," she says.
Grinning at her, I lower my head and capture her lips with mine once again while letting my hips rest in between her thighs. She runs her hands down my chest and stops on the tattoo I had gotten after we had moved in together.
Pulling her head away from mine, she looks down at the ink that had permanently etched her name on me. She pushes againstmy chest, telling me to roll over before straddling me when I do. She lets her lips trace the ink and then asks softly, "Are you going to get this changed?"
Not realizing what she means, I frown and ask back, "Why would I do that? I thought you love seeing your name on me."
A sexy smile comes over her lips as she kisses the tattoo once more before replying me. "You're right. I love seeing my name on you. But since I plan on becoming Isabella Cullen soon …"
I don't let her finish her words. I weave my fingers in her soft tumbling mess of hair and bring her lips to mine in a breathlesskiss.
"I knew there was a reason I fell in love with you," I say, making her giggle against my throat.
"I love you too, Guitar Hero," she says before sinking down on me, stopping the cheeky remark I was about to make.
Yeah, I did it. I proposed to my girl and, fuck yeah, she said yes to me. The Guitar Hero's still got it.
A/N: So ... thoughts? Good? Bad? Just plain meh?
Hit me with them and leave a review, please?
Thank you for reading.