The first part of this story was my donation piece for Fandom Gives Back for Christy. Gobs of love to my splendiferous beta, DayDreamDreamer, and my fic-awesome pre-readers, Oldenuf2knobeta and my sis Amy.


* DISCLAIMER: There is no abuse or excessive violence. Other than that, I make no promises! BUT, as always, I will give as many spoilers as you'd like via PM. *


Part One is complete. I'll post every other day. Here we go!


—- SHM -—

"Come on!" I urge, stuffing a Louis Vuitton bag in my already crammed trunk. "We need to hit the road."

Rosalie Hale breezes out of her apartment and hands me yet another monogrammed piece of luggage. "Okay, ready."

"Oh, hells to the no," I protest, pushing it back at her. "I've loaded up enough of your crap already. You find a place for it."

She wrinkles her nose and peeks inside my trusty Honda Accord. "I can't believe I'll be spending the next two months riding in this disaster."

"Yeah, well, next time Daddy Warbucks buys you a car for graduation, don't ask for a two-seater."

"Hmph," she grumbles and shoves the bag in the narrow space between the full backseat and the rear windshield. "You're driving first, right? I was up all night saying goodbye to Jared, and I'm exhausted."

"Fine." I agree without complaint. I've learned over our four years of rooming together in college that it's often easier to give in than to listen to her whine incessantly. "I thought you two broke up."

"Yeah, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't say goodbye."

Rosalie and I share a giggle. I know exactly what occurred during that night-long parting.

It's a near miracle, but we manage to reach Route I-90 before 8 a.m. Rosalie pulls a sleep mask over her eyes, leans against a silk-covered pillow, and is dead to the world within twenty minutes.

Perfect.

Knowing she can sleep through nuclear Armageddon, I push in the tape cassette adapter hooked to my iPhone and hit "Play." Yes, my used 2005 car has a cassette player in it. Not all of us get brand new BMW convertibles as gifts.

The throaty sex tones of E. Anthony Cullen take over my being, and immediately, I'm in my happy place. No singer on earth can simultaneously soothe, excite, and move me like he can. And it's so much more than the rich, deep voice that makes my stomach clench. The music and lyrics are what bring the true magic. The melodies are simple and classic—but underneath the straightforward lines are harmonies, counterpoint, and chord progressions so complex and layered that I often listen to the instrumental versions just to appreciate the composition.

And don't get me started on the lyrics. Seriously, don't. My senior thesis combining my double major of English and music (a moneymaking combo if ever there was one!) discussed the poetry in contemporary alternative rock and how the themes reflect the social values of its listeners. I used a number of lyrics from Hidden Summit's songs to support my conclusions, and I can speak at length about any of their numerous original works. E. Cullen is a fucking genius.

For some reason, he prefers to go by his middle name and always uses the initial for his first. I don't understand why. It's a bit of an older-style name, but it sounds strong and sexy to me—not that his physical appearance needs any help in those departments.

Anthony Cullen is the total package: looks, voice, body, talent, and soul. As the lead singer for Hidden Summit, he makes females all over the globe swoon at the mention of his name—me and Rosalie, included. We are diehard fans to the core, and as graduation presents for the two of us (well, it was one of her many), Rosalie's dad bought us tickets for seats somewhere in the first three rows, to every one of his concerts, for the next six weeks. That's right, all twenty-four of them.

It is an unusually light tour for the band, but Jasper Whitlock, the bass guitarist, has a newborn baby along for the trip, and he's determined to spend as much time playing dad as possible. I don't have any strong resentment against kids, in general, but I'm sorta pissed that this one, in particular, is messing with the schedule of my all-time favorite band. There are even rumors that Jasper is planning to quit the group for the domestic life after the summer session is over.

That's not the only piece of scary gossip. Word on the 'net is that the drummer, Jacob Black, has fallen nuts over nipples for some unknown bartender chick. While that gives hope to the rest of us nobodies that we might land a celebrity, there's talk that this girl isn't keen on band life and wants Jake out.

I can't imagine how crazy I'll be if Hidden Summit breaks up. There's a very real possibility I'll go into shock and suffer PTSD as a result. I swear I'm not a psycho, cardboard-cutout-sex-having stalker fanatic, but I might be closer to that line than I'm comfortable admitting.

Anthony and his bandmates keep me company for several hours as I coast down the Interstate. The traffic out of Boston hadn't been bad, but I'm not looking forward to New York City. I may take the Tappan Zee Bridge and bypass it—the road surface on I-95 through the city is absolute shit.

A few hours before that's even an issue, I have to make a stop for the bathroom. Rosalie wakes up as the engine downshifts.

"Tell me we're there," she groans, not bothering to lift the mask over her eyes.

"Hardly," I snort. "Like I'd let you sleep the whole way. I'm going to run inside to pee. Want anything?"

"Is it too early for tequila?"

"Sorry, dear. You'll have to wait until later."

"Fine. Goodnight." She begins to breathe deeply and is probably asleep again by the time I get out of the car.

Ah, Rose. She's a complete bitch, but we've had some amazing times together.

Hyped up on a large iced coffee with a double shot of espresso, I'm good until all that liquid forces another potty break. This time I pull over in New Jersey—I did take Tappan Zee, by the way—and have the attendant fill me up on the state's cheaper gas.

"Hey, Princess. Wake up." I stand beside the open passenger door and poke Rosalie on the shoulder. "Your turn."

"Don't wanna," she mumbles, covering her face with the pillow.

"Okay, but this car isn't moving from here unless you're driving it." I cross my arms and lean against the door frame. I don't need to get comfortable because she knows I'm not joking. It took the entire first month of our freshman year for her to figure out just how far she could push me, but since learning the limits to my patience, she has rarely tested them.

I think I'm rather even-tempered, but I don't put up with stupid shit.

"Where the hell is Bristow, anyway? And what kind of dumbass name is 'Jiffy Lube Live Amphitheater'?" she complains while pulling out of the gas station.

"I hear ya. I mean, it was bad enough when every freaking venue in the U.S. started selling out their names, but 'Jiffy Lube'? That's just…the worst."

"Nah, it could have been the 'Trojan Bareskin' Theater or 'Bob's Dildos' Arena or something," she points out.

"Truth," I agree, nodding my head at her sagacity.

She squints at my phone, which is navigating us via Google Maps. "Four and half hours, huh? I bet I can make it in four."

"Not a chance. We'll hit traffic in Baltimore and D.C. And give Angie a break. She's not as young as she used to be."

"I can't believe you gave your car a girl name. You should be riding a guy."

"You know I don't discriminate like that," I shrug. I'm all about cock, but I had experimented with girls before. It was pretty hot, actually. "Come on, Angie the Accord has a nice ring to it."

"You're so fucking weird, Bella."

"Yup, and you love me anyway."

"Maybe," she allows, "but don't start thinking I'll be going down on you any time soon. This mind-blowing tongue is for men only." She sticks out said part of her anatomy and wiggles it suggestively.

"My life will never be complete."

"You know it, whore." Rosalie pauses for a moment with her head cocked to the side and then squeals. "It's my song!" She cranks up the volume so that the haunting melody of "Poison Rose" fills our ears. As Anthony sings about forbidden desire and destructive love, our souls vibrate in synchrony with the passionate words. Every note he produces is like an emotion all in itself.

By the time the song is over, both Rose and I are breathing heavily—as if we just ran a marathon or finished a good cry or experienced an amazing orgasm. We share a look and sigh. In a handful of hours, we will be seeing the makers of this incredible music up close and in person.

—- SHM -—


Well? I'd love to hear what you think so far about this Bella! All my Bellas have pretty much been "good girls" up to this point, and I wanted to branch out a bit this time. :)


This chapter was a short one just get the ball rolling. The rest will be longer. See ya Friday! xoxo