Thank you all so much for reading, and for those who take the time to share your thoughts with me, I'd buy you all Chipotle if I could!
Many, many thanks to Tracy Jones, Sheviking, Twilly, Sophia Corgi, and Mich Ellis for their invaluable feedback and help!
SM owns all things Twilight. Everything else is mine, including any mistakes.
Chapter 14 - Houston, We Have a Problem
"It doesn't count!" I yell as I burst into his bedroom.
"Like hell it doesn't," Edward shoots back.
It's clear he was expecting me by the utter lack of surprise on his face and the way he's standing, facing the door with one hand over his junk and a burrito bowl from Chipotle in the other.
The food makes me falter for a second because hello, lover. But then I shake my head and get myself back on track. "I was shit-faced!"
"Yeah. And aren't you always the one who says people are the most honest when they're drunk?"
"I…" My mouth opens and closes a few times. "No."
"You," he says, pointing a finger at my face, "have always been a terrible liar."
After Edward left this morning, I was struck dumb for a minute before I decided to screw waiting until I got home. As soon as I snapped out of it, I unlocked my phone and found my videos. Opening the last one, I stared and bit the corner of my thumbnail as my stomach churned with nerves and vodka and whatever-the-fuck else.
As soon as the video started, I had to fumble for the volume control because holy shit, my friends are some loud-asses.
It looked to be the end of our Drunken Twister game, and I'd been crowned the victor. Someone had even placed a sparkly tiara on my head, and I scowled at it because I'd never be caught dead in a tiara.
Just caught drunk in one, apparently.
Dropping my face into my palm, I peeked at the screen again as my friends chanted, "Speech! Speech! Speech! Speech!"
"Okay, okay, okay!" I said on the video, swaying and almost toppling over until Edward steadied me. "I just want to thank my parents for giving me those fuckin'ssstupid gymnastics and ballet lessons back in the day, even though I haaaaated them. Woo! Bendy!"
"Hot," Em said, loud and clear because he was holding the phone.
I rolled my eyes.
"Aaaand who else?" I tapped my chin on the video. "I prolly shouldn't thank sweet baby Jesus since I'm drunk off my aaaaass." I followed this with a loud cackle, and Edward let out an amused snort. "Oh, this guy!" I pointed at him. "Isn't he pretty? Gah."
"Oh, God," I said, watching myself smoosh Edward's cheeks together between my palms.
Everyone around us hooted and whistled at us as I planted a big ol' sloppy kiss on him right there, plain as freaking day.
I wanted to slap drunk me. I hate PDA.
I whispered something to Edward, and he had a goofy smile on his face as he looked down at me. Then he curled his hands around the back of my neck and pulled me in for another kiss, this one far less sloppy, and Brady yelled, "What'd she say?"
"Care to share with the class?" Edward asked, gesturing to our inebriated friends.
Instead of speaking, I brought my fist up to my mouth like I was holding an invisible mic, made a loud drum-beat noise, and then belted out, "And Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-ee-iiiiiii will always love yooouuuuuuu." Extending my arm straight out and leaning away, I pointed at Edward. "Iiiiiiii will allllllways love-uh youuuuuu."
"Oh. Holy. Hell. No," I said, watching on in horror as, instead of intervening and stopping me from making a total ass of myself, my friends and other people around us flicked on their lighters and swayed while I continued "singing," sounding exactly how I suspect a dying cat would sound. "This did not happen," I muttered to myself. "Nope. I reject this."
I hit the lock button on my phone and dropped it onto the bed, but the sound didn't cut out until after I'd heard myself yell, "I LOVE YOU, EDDIE PEE-PAAAAAANTS."
"I am a great liar, thank you very much." I step forward and snatch the burrito-bowl peace offering out of his hand.
He relaxes his stance after I move away from him again. "Not something to be proud of there, B. And no. You're not."
"Fuck you. Why did you do that to me?" I ask, holding up my phone to indicate the video.
"I didn't do anything," Edward says, holding his hands up.
"Like hell you didn't, Mr. Care-to-Share. Instead of stopping me, you just egged me right on. You know how much I hate being the center of attention."
His lips quirk to the side. "I'm thinking you don't hate it at all, actually. I'm thinking you like it. A lot."
"I. Do. Not. And where the hell was Jas? Wasn't he supposed to keep us from doing anything stupid while we were wasted?"
Edward scratches his eyebrow. "Well… remember that chick, Alice, who went to Lincoln?"
I nod, recalling a short girl with dark hair hanging out with us once or twice during the school year.
"I think they had a thing, but then she ghosted him. And I guess she called him and asked for another chance or some shit. Not sure about all the details, but I saw him go off with her last night right after the game started."
"Ugh." After setting the bowl on his nightstand, I rub at my temples. "I'm never drinking again."
Edward steps into my space, enveloping me in his strong arms. "Is it really that big of a deal?" he asks, a rare vulnerability in his voice. "I mean, unless you didn't mean it…"
I glance up at him, but his gaze is focused above my head, either not wanting to see the uncertainty in my eyes or giving me an out.
Did I mean it? I can't remember, but I should know the answer, here and now.
His arms go slack and drop away as I choke on my confusion.
"Listen," he says, stepping away from me and pacing toward his desk.
Fuck, he's going to break up with me because I can't just say it.
Sure, drunk me can belt it out in song, so why can't sober me just get the fucking words out? What is wrong with me? This amazing, sweet, intelligent, hot piece of ass loves me, and I don't know why saying it out loud scares me so damn much. He's my person, the one closest to me in the whole world, and I'm just standing here, hurting him and ruining everything.
Sheer panic rises up in me at the prospect of losing him, and it spurs me into action.
"Wait, don't. Don't break up with me. Please."
"Hey, hey, hey," he says as I rush at him and throw my arms around his waist. He smooths a hand down my hair. "That's not happening, okay? I'm not going anywhere. I'm just… taking the pressure off, yeah?" I nod with my cheek pressed to his chest, and he gives me a little squeeze. "Before you started uh… singing? If you can call it that." I poke his side, and he snorts. "Anyway, when you first whispered it to me… that was a pretty surreal moment, y'know? I didn't know how wasted you were until after that. Tipsy? Sure. I mean, the tiara and the fact you were even giving a speech… But then you went off the deep end there, and while it was fucking hilarious, it sorta burst that bubble for me." He lets out a frustrated sigh. "Which is stupid because we've really only been together for about two minutes." We laugh together, and it eases the knot of tension in my chest even more than his reassurances have. "So yeah." He shrugs, but I know he's not as unaffected as he's trying to make me believe. "It's cool if you're not ready or if you're not sure yet. No worries, okay?"
My knee-jerk reaction is to argue that I am ready. I am sure. And that's when it all crashes down on me—all the love that's been building up my entire life for this boy without my even realizing it.
He's always been there for me, always made me laugh the hardest, always challenged me, never made me feel weird for being a tomboy, always stood up for me when I needed it.
Turning my face to his chest, I breathe him in—that clean scent of dryer sheets and his soap—and I know I want to breathe him in forever. This right here, in his arms, is where I always want to be.
"Okay," he echoes, rubbing my upper arms. He starts to let go, but I don't let him.
"Wait. I mean… okay. Just…" Taking a couple of deep breaths, I shift my feet on the carpet and hold on to him for dear life. "I love you." It's muffled by his shirt, but he tightens his hold on me before gliding both hands up my back and into my hair.
Edward tilts my face up to him. "What was that?" He smirks. "I didn't catch it."
I can't hold my glare for long before my lips stretch into a smile, that sense of peace washing over me again as I gaze up at his beautiful face. "Ugh, this sucks. My face isn't listening to me now. I didn't tell it to smile like a fucking loon." I scowl but then smile again instantly. "Dammit."
Edward tilts his head back and wheezes out a laugh.
"Shut up," I grumble, backing away a step.
He puts up a preemptive shield against some kind of physical attack from me, but I'm still fucking smiling.
"I don't think I'm allowed to punch you anymore, now that we're… y'know."
My snort makes him chuckle. "Yeah, that."
"You're still smiling," he points out.
"So are you," I tell him.
"Well, yeah." He widens his stance and hooks his hands around my waist. "My girl loves me. I couldn't stop smiling if I tried."
I launch myself at him because yeah, he said that. Edward gives a little grunt of surprise as he catches me just before we topple onto his bed.
While I kiss the ever-loving shit out of him, I rub myself all over his hard body and pull at his clothes, frantic to be closer, though there's no space between us.
He's breathless and ruddy-cheeked when I pull back to look at him after he utters my name.
So fucking gorgeous.
"Slow down, baby." He chuckles at my pout. "I'm not exactly complaining, but my mom and Emily are home."
"Fuck," I whisper, resting my forehead on his shoulder. "I knew that. Sorry."
"Don't be sorry. You can attack me any time. But to be honest, if you were going for a home run, I'd need fair warning anyway, so I could jack off at least three times beforehand."
"Three?" I gape at him.
"At least," he says.
"Yeah, well. I'd like to be in you for more than 2.5 seconds before I blow my load."
"Yeah, that'd probably be good."
He snorts, gliding his hands down my sides to rest on my hips. And since not much turns me on more than his hands, I circle those hips right over his erection, smirking at his moan.
"Shhh," I tease him.
He responds by bucking up into me and then lets out a triumphant "Ha!" at my moan, damn him.
"Fuck you," I laugh.
"Later," he replies with a sexy lift of his eyebrows, green eyes full of promise.
I return his heated look, and he licks his lips.
He then gives me a pointed look, and I ask, "What?"
"Since all that's cleared up, are you going to apologize now for being such a pain in the ass and getting mad at me for shit that wasn't even my fault?"
My cheeks flush with heat, recalling how he acted this morning and when I showed up here. "You knew I was going to do that."
Edward nods, kiss-swollen lips pursed.
I have my hands on either side of his head, and I tilt my own head as I look down at him. "You sure you want my crazy ass as your girlfriend?"
He nods again, one side of his lips curving upward. "Yep. I told you. You're never getting rid of me now."
"Like a cockroach?"
He snorts a laugh. "Yes, exactly like a cockroach." Turning his head, he gives my forearm a kiss, and I shiver. "Anyway, yeah. I knew you'd pull that fuckery because you were embarrassed. It's not exactly in your nature to talk about feelings and shit."
"Right," I mutter, letting my arms fall and dropping my face to his chest. "Especially to everyone and their brother." Sighing, I peek up at him. "So fucking embarrassing," I say, shaking my head, remembering how stupid I sounded. "But I shouldn't have taken it out on you, and I'm sorry."
"Well… at least you didn't punch me in the balls."
I laugh. "There is that."
He gives me a tilted smile, eyes shining with love at me.
"And…" Swallowing, I trace a circle on his chest with my finger. "I was still figuring things out, but… it sucks that that's how I did it, y'know? Told you, I mean."
"I don't care about that." He smirks. "I actually kind of love that you said it in front of everyone. And I have video proof."
I pinch his side, and he squirms beneath me, laughing.
I can't help but laugh with him. And there it is again. This time, there's nothing I can do to keep it from bursting past my lips.
"I love you," I tell him, this time looking right into his pretty sage greens.
Emotion swims in those eyes, and he releases a slow breath through his nose, a serene smile blooming on his face. "I love you too."
Our gazes stay locked for a moment until I shake my head. "Okay, that's enough of that. I need to go kill something. Call of Duty at Jas's? I need deets on this Alice situation."
"Tonight. He texted me earlier, and he's still with her, so I'm guessing things went well." He slaps his hands down on my ass, and I let out a startled yet aroused gasp. "And anyway, you've got a burrito bowl to eat."
"Holy shit." I push off of him and pick my baby up off the nightstand. "How could I forget about you?" I coo to it before turning my gaze back to Edward. "Love really does fuck you up, doesn't it?"
He lets out a contented laugh that makes me grin, gets up, and pulls his shirt down, broad shoulders bunching up as he re-buttons his jeans... which I hadn't realized I'd pulled open. Whoops. "Yeah," he agrees with one last little chuckle. "It really does."
So a lot of you guessed what was on the video, but I hope it exceeded your expectations, lol. Thank you for reading! xo