There are moments in your life that you don't even realize are the moments that shape you. They're quick and usually seem inconsequential, but then, years later, you look back and realize.

It was then.

It was then that I knew what I wanted to do with my life.

It was then that I knew he wasn't the guy.

It was then that I knew things would be okay.

It was then that I knew I could never really say goodbye to those I lost.

It was then that I knew I thought about things entirely wrong.

It was then.

It was then.

It was then.

But, there's no "one moment" when you know you're in love. Because it's every moment . . . And then it hits you all at once, and you wonder, "when did this happen?"

Chapter 1

"He's nice."

I roll my eyes, pulling a red dress from my overstuffed closet. "Nice? Really, Alice?"

"He's handsome."

"Handsome is a relative term, you know. I mean, what's handsome to you could be ugly to me."

She huffs, pulling on a pair of my ridiculous high heels I never wear. Well, once . . . They got me laid. "Trust me. He's not ugly. A lesbian would change teams for this man. A guy would go gay for him. Do these make me look like I'm trying too hard to look tall?"

"Yes, they do." I throw the dress on the bed and pull my shirt over my head. "And this guy sounds like an asshole. I mean, you can't be— Ah, fuck. I think I messed up my hair."

She moves a bobby pin, putting it back in place. "All better."

"Anyway, you can't be that good looking and not be an asshole. It's impossible." I pull the dress over my body, smoothing the clingy material out over my hips. "Zip, please."

"He's really nice, Bella. I promise." She pulls up the zipper and gives my ass a firm squeeze because she can. "He's the kind of guy you'd write about and make all the teenage girls squee, cry, and pass out. Maybe even buy a vibrator for."

I roll my eyes again — as dramatically as I can. "I write fairy tales in the form of young adult romance. Those guys don't exist. They don't exist because they can only exist in books. Which is why books are better than real life and why I prefer to spend my time alone, reading and writing in my bed with the most publicly unacceptable sweatpants covering my ass. I mean, my favorite pair says Juicy. Those haven't been in style in years."

"And that's why I'm making you go out with him."

She throws me a pair of my fuck me heels to prove her point. Well, at least the chances of ending my dry spell are good.

Once I'm ready, I kick her out of my apartment and head downstairs to grab a cab. She was fully aware I could dress myself — as I had been for many years — so I could only assume her reasoning for coming over before this stupid blind date is to make sure I'd actually go.

Because, to be honest, I thought about standing the supposedly turns-straight-men-gay handsome man up. It'd been, putting it bluntly, an extremely long time since I'd dated. After my dad died, I just stopped doing . . . everything, basically. Well, except writing. But lately it was pretty tragic, awful stuff that my editor would kill me for writing.

I believed "rut" was the correct term, though other words could work, too.

Alice thought she was taking care of me by dealing me some tough love. She attempted to burn the lovely Juicy sweatpants. Bitch. But, she was a bitch who loved me more than I could truly understand — because I loved her the same amount and didn't even understand it. She'd loved me so much that she thought setting me up on a blind date was a good idea. I mean, the guy could be a murderer, but that was a chance she was willing to take, apparently.

And I loved her enough to take that chance, too.

Even though my bed sounded much better.

. . . . .

It was a Tuesday night, so the restaurant was fairly empty. As the hostess led me to the table of one Edward Cullen, I found my hands sweating from nerves. Or maybe I was dying — I was reading too much WebMD. All I knew for sure was that maybe I should have sacrificed the lovely sweatpants to Alice instead of coming out.

I could probably find another pair.

"Here you are, Ma'am," the hostess said, smiling.

That was when the bronze-haired man looked up from the menu at me. Well. Alice and I had pretty similar definitions of handsome, apparently. He stood up in, what I could only describe as, a beautiful fluid motion. Jesus. Even his movements were handsome. He held his hand out to me, and though I tried to say something — anything, really — I could not.

"It's lovely to meet you, Bella."

Voice was handsome too, in case you were wondering.

I'd like to say that I said, "You too, Edward," but I did not. I think it came out as "aisjsk blahfbo." Or maybe I said, "Hi," and just thought, "aisjsk blahfbo." I don't know. Either way, he pulled a chair out for me and I sat down quietly, waiting until he returned to his seat.

He smiled and took a deep breath, exhaling slowly. "I hope having a date on a Tuesday evening wasn't a problem for you. My schedule is a little hectic."

"No, my schedule is wide open, so it's fine."

Wow. Pretty sure I wasn't supposed to admit that.

"Right. Alice said you're a writer, yes?"

I nodded. "Yeah." I was extremely proud of my extensive vocabulary. "Um . . . What is it that you do?"

"I'm a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon. Well, I'm completing my fellowship as of right now, but I'll be an attending in a few months."

Holy fuck, he fixed kids' hearts.


Still proud of my vocabulary.

He chuckled. "Yes, so, like I said, hectic schedule. I'm completely off tonight, though. I promise I won't rush out and leave you with the bill or anything."

I laughed softly. "Well, thank you for that. I'll make sure to order the most expensive thing, then."

"I said fellow, not attending." He smirked.

Huh. So far not an asshole.

After ordering the not-most-expensive thing on the menu, we resumed talking. Well, mostly he did because tongues don't always work when they're supposed to. But that was okay because his voice was handsome and so was his mouth. Like, really handsome — if voices and mouths could be handsome.

They could in my mind.

"So, how do you and Alice know each other?"

Open and close mouth while moving lips and tongue to form words.

"We've been friends since we were in diapers. Literally. Our moms were friends. It's completely insane and utterly unheard of, but it's true. I think we even wore the same kind of diapers. Friends since same diapers."

"Diapers?" He laughed.

"I keep using that word, don't I?"

Dear God, it's me, Bella. Go ahead and send that lightning strike, k?

"Moving past diapers . . . I think that's incredible. So you're from New York?"

"Oh, no. Forks, Washington, actually."

His brow creased — handsome, by the way. "Forks? A town is actually named Forks?"

"Yep," I laughed. "We even had a diner called Spoons. What about you?"

"Chicago. We have baseball, pizza, and a mafia — so I've been told."

"A dangerous mafia or like those TV mafias where they're actually good guys under that tough, gambling, murdering exterior?"

"I've been told quite dangerous. Like, real dangerous. But then again, I grew up in a suburb and was only in the city after dark like, five times."

"So not a risk taker?"

He shook his head. "Afraid not. It probably goes against first date rules, but I feel I should inform you that I'm actually quite boring."

"So you golf?"

"Not that boring," he chuckled. "Most of my time is spent working."

"Fixing kids' hearts."

"Fixing kids' hearts." He nodded. "But, when Alice told me about you, I just had to agree. I'm not normally the type to go on blind dates. She assured me you weren't a murderer, so I decided I couldn't pass up the chance to meet you."

"Yay for not being murderers!" I laughed. "You aren't, right?"


I smiled, lifting the glass of wine to my lips. He continued to talk, telling me how he and Alice knew each other. It was through her sometimes-boyfriend-sometimes-not, Jasper. He was a social worker at the hospital Edward worked at. When our entrees came, they were all but untouched as the conversation turned to me.

"So, you just write?"

"Well . . ." I wanted to say I had other, extremely interesting hobbies — like skydiving or rock climbing or hell, even leaving my house every day — but that would be a lie. "Actually, yeah . . . pretty much. If you think you're boring, intensify that by a thousand and you'll find how boring I am."

"I take it you're good," he said. "I mean, you make a living off of it?"

I shrugged. "Yeah, but I freelance for a few newspapers and magazines too. I wouldn't say I'm good, but . . . I've published a few times."

His handsome lips curled into a smile. "Anything I've read?"

I literally snorted. If he'd read the books I'd published, he'd have to be a teenage girl in a pretty good disguise or the weirdest, most likely pedophile, man I'd ever met. "I'm certain you haven't. Besides, I have a pen name. Alice is the only person who knows my secret identity."

"Oh, secret identity, huh? Is it odd that I'm curious whether you're wearing a clingy body suit under that dress?" He eyed me up and down, paying a little extra attention to my breasts. If it were anyone else, a drink would be thrown. But, I liked that he stared at my boobs. I liked that he stared at any part of my body because, amazingly, I liked him.

So far, at least.

"I guess you'll have to find out."

As his brow lifted, I realized what word vomit came from my lips this time. That was an invitation. I didn't consciously mean for it to be, but let's face it, it was.

"Well, who knows what'll happen." He smirked, lifting his glass of wine.

The conversation continued until the food that we barely touched was cold and disgusting. No one interrupted us, though. The waiter would come by, look at us, maybe refill our drinks, and then keep walking.

My word vomit, nervousness had eased and I was actually having a good time. He was funny, making me laugh harder than I should have. And he was sweet, letting it slip quite a few times that I looked beautiful. He was also interesting. He brought up stories about work, apologized for bringing it up, and then continued once I told him to keep going.

My phone buzzed around ten-thirty, and I took a quick look at the text from Alice.

Are you hiding in the bathroom?

"Something urgent?" Edward asked, checking his watch. "Oh."

"No, um, just Alice."

I sent her the code word — apples — for "leave me the fuck alone, I might get laid." I couldn't remember how we came up with that, but it'd been in our faithful book of codes for years. Apples was good, oranges was, "please call and get me the hell out of here."

"It is getting late, though, I suppose."

I couldn't help but frown a little. The amazing night of talking and looking at the handsome man would be over soon, and I didn't want it to be. For the first time in almost a year, I was having a good time with someone that wasn't Alice.

An amazing time.

A ridiculously spectacular, "this is going in my diary if I have one — you'll never find out," good time.

And I never, ever wanted it to end.

Once Edward paid the check, we walked out front and he hailed a cab for me. "I had an amazing evening, Bella," he said, standing in front of me — dwarfing me by a good ten inches. His height was handsome, too.

Fuck, I liked tall men.

"I did, too," I said. "It was . . . not at all what I expected. It was wonderful."

He smiled and lifted his hand, letting his fingertips graze my cheek. My mind filled with completely inappropriate thoughts about what else he could do with those fingers. Which only made me sadder.

But also gave me balls.

"Come home with me."

. . . . .

It happened so fast that my head was swimming. He said yes. We got in the cab. I gave my address. And then, his lips were against mine and they only left for the time it took to throw money at the driver and get upstairs.

My apartment door closed and then I was against it, holding his face to mine as I kicked off my heels. How we managed to get through the apartment without one of us dying in some freak accident was beyond me. Clothes fell to the floor in our path until we got into my room and I fell back against the bed, watching as he stripped out of his boxers.

I chewed on my lip, taking in every inch of his ridiculously sexy body. Even though I wouldn't go into a gym for a million dollars, I could appreciate those who did. And fuck me, he did. I got up on my knees as he leaned down to me, pressing his lips to mine again . . . and then against my neck, back to my lips, back to my neck and so on and so on as he got my bra off. He pushed me back gently and stretched out over my body, supporting himself on one elbow.

"You're so damn beautiful," he whispered as his lips traced my jaw.

His hand was on a much better place. My leg. Working its way back up.

"Not so bad yourself," I giggled lightly as he pulled back, smirking.

I looked down as he did, just as his fingers spread me apart and slipped inside. I head fell back against the pillow as he started off slowly. My god, he had lovely fingers. Lovely magical fingers. Lovely magical fingers that my vibrator could not even almost compete with — then again, it had been a faithful vibrator, so I probably shouldn't put it down too much.

As his fingers curled inside of me, I cried out, gasping at the spectacular feeling. "You like that, baby?"

"Yes," I hissed as he did it again and again, sending my back off of the bed to get him deeper. Because I needed more. I needed so much more.

His lips moved down my chest, sucking and kissing and doing just wonderful things. The man knew what he was doing, and Jesus Christ, he did it well. His lips kept moving, though, and then when I opened my eyes, I found him above me. His fingers left my body, but not for long. I watched as he spread my legs apart farther and settled between them.

Holy mother of god.

His eyes flickered to mine, but I couldn't say a damn word, so I just nodded. And then, there he was. His mouth was on my clit as his lovely magical fingers went back to doing what they did best.

Fucking me. Fucking me so much better than I realized fingers could.

It wasn't long before I screamed louder than I should've and had. The. Best. Fucking. Orgasm. In my life. I never had to wonder what earth shattering meant again. Because it was him. It was Edward Cullen.

And he wasn't even done.

No. The fingers were lovely and magical and all, but the cock? The cock was better. He took me fast and hard. His hands gripped my sides as my face pressed deeper and deeper into the pillow. The bed shook. My body ached. I probably cried — I did. Probably is a lie, but they were the best tears. And then he flipped me over and took me again.

"Jesus Christ, beautiful girl," he grunted as I held onto him.

I panted, trying to catch my breath as his motion shook the bed. "Don't stop. Please. Don't fucking stop."

We were on our sides, wrapped up in one another. I'd never felt better. I didn't even realize it was possible to feel this good. He kissed my lips as he slowed his thrusts and each one felt better than the last.

"You're fucking perfect," he whispered.

Far from it, but there was no way in hell I'd correct him now. I snaked my hand between us, knowing that this would end soon and I wanted one more before it did. Before the best night of my life ended.

My fingers touched the glorious cock — it needed a name, okay? — as he pushed into me and pulled out. After the hard and fast and wonderful, the slow and soft and beautiful felt just as amazing. Maybe even better. His hand joined mine and he laid his fingers against my clit, rubbing it so perfectly as I moved mine over his cock. Our lips were back together as it happened. I came, crying his name as he kissed me.

And then, within moments, he came and for a brief second through the pure bliss I felt, I began to wonder if this was all that would ever happen. And that, for some unknown, probably ridiculous reason, made tears form in my eyes that were not the best kind.

Obviously I don't own Twilight. However, I do own a unicorn onesie. It's pretty friggin' sweet.