DISCLAIMER: All recognizable characters belong to Stephanie Meyer. No copyright infringement intended.
Knew he was a killer, first time that I saw him. Wondered how many girls he had loved and left haunted. But if he's a ghost then I can be a phantom, holding him for ransom. Some boys are trying too hard, he don't try at all though. Younger than my exes, but he act like such a man, so I see nothing better. I keep him forever, like a vendetta. ~ Taylor Swift, …Ready For It?
"I don't want to do this," I grumbled to myself. Edward and I had only been in Italy for a week or two before Heidi called. She wanted me to come back for a few days to attend the Grammys at the beginning of February. I told her no.
Our compromise has become me in a hotel suite in Paris, surrounded by a film crew, watching the show live. If I win, they'll broadcast me live from Paris.
I would've rather just send one of my collaborators in my place in case we win anything, but Heidi insisted. She let me run away with Edward, so this is me paying her back I guess.
The worst part was that Edward couldn't be here. We were trying to keep our travels and relationship as hush hush as possible for right now. Mostly because we don't want paparazzi following us around the world.
I didn't trust the crew surrounding me to not spill to some tabloid about the man with me, so Edward was in our actual suite on the top floor. Probably blissfully asleep while I was surrounded by people that kept giving me side glances at three in the morning. Time zones suck.
To make matters worse, I had a check-up with my doctor this afternoon. I knew my side was feeling a million times better. I could move without pain now, which made me unbelievably happy. My shoulder would act up from time to time, but I never needed the sling anymore. The doctor said I still had to keep up with my physical therapy for my arm, but my abdomen was healed. It also meant I could resume all regular physical activities.
Which meant that tonight should have been spent with Edward making me scream his name, not surrounded by cameras and prying eyes.
On the plus side, I had already won Best New Artist and Song Written for Visual Media. I lost Pop Vocal and Pop Solo Performance, but I never thought I would win them. I'm a mediocre vocalist at best, and I know it.
Song Written for Visual Media was the only one I wanted. I had never felt like I deserved any of these fancy awards, but I can't say that about this one. This whole process was about making music that transformed into visual art. We submitted every song off of Badlands for this, and Control made the cut.
Now, I had to sit through the rest of the show for Album of the Year. It was the 'highest honor' of the night, and they always saved it for last. So, I spent the next hour sitting in an uncomfortable chair in a scratchy dress watching the show with people I didn't know. Lovely.
"And now, the nominees for Album of the Year," the presenter said.
You're not going to win, but it'll be okay. You're not going to win, but it'll be okay.
I repeated my mantra over and over as they listed all of the amazing albums also nominated. I did get to leave after this was over, so that's the silver lining I was looking forward to.
"And the Grammy goes to… Badlands by Isabella Swan!"
Fuck. Shit. Damnit.
The man across from me gave me a thumbs up, telling me that the camera was live. "Oh, wow. I definitely wasn't expecting this. Um, there are so many people that made this whole process possible. Peter, you signed me to your label without a second thought, I hope I made it worth it. You and Alison helped me find my musical side, there would be no album without the two of you.
"All of the talented producers and musicians I got to work with to put this album together, you guys made everything come to life. And, of course, thank you to the Recording Academy and everyone who voted. This is unbelievable, thank you."
God, I hated speeches. I always fumbled over my words and never knew what to say. But, shit, I won album of the fucking year.
The camera went dead and I relaxed slightly. "Are we good?" I asked the man in charge of this whole thing. I didn't remember his name.
"Yes, Ms. Swan. Thank you, and congratulations," he told me, a kind smile on his face.
I was able to sneak out of the room while everyone else cleaned up the equipment. It was nearing five in the morning, so I didn't have to worry about bumping into anyone in the halls as I made my way back to my suite with Edward.
Not two seconds after I opened the door were strong arms lifting me off of the ground and swinging me around.
"Fuck, I'm proud of you!" Edward mumbled against my neck.
"I'm surprised you're still awake," I laughed. Edward finally set me down on my own feet, but his hands never left my body. He pulled me into him, his lips immediately seeking mine.
"Of course, I'm awake. I had to see my girl win album of the fucking year at the Grammys." Edward's smiles seemed bigger than mine. Pure joy was radiating from him, and it was infectious.
"And best new artist and song written for visual media," I added, because I was pretty fucking proud now. Edward had the energy I needed to get excited about these wins.
He pulled me into the small living room of our suite and there was a tray of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries waiting for us.
"Congratulations, baby," Edward said as he popped the champagne and poured us both flutes full.
"I wish you could've been down there with me," I said. The moment they said my name each time would have been much more exciting with Edward there with me.
"I do, too. Next time," Edward said confidently. Ha, sure.
As I looked at him standing in the dark room, his chest bare and his legs only covered by a pair of silk boxers, I had a very good idea of how I wanted to celebrate.
"I met with the doctor today, remember?" I asked him. I knew he remembered, he flew the doctor in for crying out loud. I knew he just didn't want to push me into anything.
We still fought sometimes, about the shooting and how we both handled it, but the fights weren't anything serious. We knew they would end, and neither of us would ever leave the other.
"And?" Edward asked, his face trying to hide his hopefulness that he might get laid sometime in the near future.
Aside from the morning I caught him in the shower in Chicago, we hadn't done anything other than a few heavy make out sessions. We both knew that if we let ourselves do much more we would get carried away and, until now, we couldn't let ourselves get carried away. Now, though…
I quickly chugged my flute of champagne and smiled at Edward. I started to make my way toward our bedroom before I replied. "I'm cleared to resume all regular physical activities."
"That's, uh, that's great." Edward coughed out, his eyes followed my every movement, while mine landed on the tent that started to form in his boxers.
I shifted my arm and pulled the zipper of the sparkly grey dress down on my side. Game on, Cullen.
"Fuck," Edward muttered under his breath. He downed his own glass before crossing the distance over to me in just a few long strides.
His body crashed into mine, and we stumbled backward until my back hit the wall next to the entrance to our room. Our lips met in a frantic kiss, tongues and teeth colliding with force.
Edward pulled his lips from mine, but my own never left him. I nibbled down his jaw and spent some time adoring his ear lobe. I knew what the sound of my moans did to him, so I gave him a contented sigh in his ear before trailing my kisses down the column of his neck to his shoulder.
"Are you sure you want to –"
I let the hand that I stuck down his boxers be his answer.
"Fucking vixen," Edward grumbled. He pulled my hand away from him and lifted me in his arms easily. My legs wrapped around his waist as he carried me to the bedroom, but only for a few moments. As soon as we reached the bed he loosened my legs from around his hips and gently tossed me onto the fluffy mattress.
Edward covered my body with his quickly, and pulled my dress down so it bunched around my stomach.
I tried to not think about the giant scar on my shoulder that was on display for Edward, but it started to cloud my thoughts. I had been very careful around him, he never really saw the scars I was left with after the shooting. Until now.
Edward gently traced his fingers along my neck and down to my right shoulder. Then, he bent his head down to pepper soft kisses along every inch of the scar. His kisses made their way back up my neck to my lips.
He carefully pulled out the pins that were holding my hair up in an intricate braided contraption. I didn't want people knowing my hair was shorter, it was just a little way I thought I could stay more inconspicuous.
It fell just above my shoulders now. Edward loved running his fingers through it.
"I love you," Edward whispered against my lips.
I kiss him gently for a moment. "I love you, too." I replied. After another second of gentle kisses I ground my hips up into his, letting him know I was ready for more.
More kisses were trailed along my neck and collarbone. When Edward made it down to my breasts, he palmed both of them in his hands, his lips and tongue giving each one equal attention.
Edward leaned back and slid my dress down my legs, and I felt a twinge of embarrassment at the larger scar on my side. His lips covered it in soft kisses, just like they did with my shoulder. He spent more time here, kissing and licking the skin right above where I wanted him the most.
There was no preamble before Edward gripped both of my thighs and spread them as far apart as they could go. There were no gentle, teasing strokes before he sucked my clit roughly into his mouth, his tongue teasing it mercilessly.
"Shit!" I shouted when two fingers entered me, immediately curving to find the spot Edward knew drove me crazy. His fingers pounded into me quickly and his tongue continued to work over my clit, driving me into a frenzy.
Both of my hands gripped Edward's hair, holding him in place as I started to feel my stomach tightening.
"Come for me, baby girl," Edward mumbled against my skin.
A loud moan escaped my lips while my entire body convulsed. Edward's movements never slowed, and I swore I could feel that cocky smile on his lips between my legs.
Before I had time to recover, or even just catch my breath, Edward had my legs over his shoulders and his cock buried completely inside of me. There was nothing gentle or calm about his movements as he pounded into me.
"Our trip is about to get a lot more interesting, Bella," Edward grunted out. He leaned down and grabbed both of my breasts in his hands and gave them a satisfying squeeze.
"Just think of all of the places I can fuck you," Edward continued, his hips still keeping up his hard and fast thrusts and his hands still attached to my breasts. "Think of all of the ways I can make you come."
I let out an odd, strangled, gasp. It made Edward's hips move that much faster. My legs started to go numb from being bent at such and odd angle for so long, but I didn't care.
Edward's cock hit that sensitive spot inside me during three perfect thrusts and I felt my muscles clench around every perfect inch of his cock. He never stopped moving.
Edward threw my legs off of his shoulders and he gripped my hips, lifting the lower half of my body off of the bed. I threw my head back at the force of his thrusts at this new angle.
Sweat dripped down my body and I could see tiny beads of it dripping down Edward's chest. God, he's beautiful. His face scrunched in concentration and his eyes focused where his cock was pounding into me. Nothing was hotter than Edward when he's focused, especially when that focus is directed on us.
Our hips made sloppy sounds as our skin slapped together. Edward's breath began to come in harsh pants, and all of my breath left me in loud moans.
"Again," Edward demanded, and two harsh thrusts later I had no choice but to come around his cock, his name falling from my lips in a scream.
Edward stilled, his cock still buried inside of me. I could see the muscles in his stomach contracting as his cock pulsed his release inside of me.
One of his hands traced along my stomach, across my breasts, and eventually landed at my neck.
"Fuck, you're beautiful," he muttered. Edward leaned down to kiss me, his hand on my neck lightly massaging the skin there.
Edward collapsed on the bed next to me, and it took us both a solid ten minutes before we could say or do anything else.
Edward looked over at me and smiled when he saw I was looking at him. "I'm really fucking proud of you." He pulled me into him, his arms snaking around me.
"It is pretty cool, isn't it? Three Grammys…" I hadn't really thought too much about them. All day had been about getting through the telecast and then by the time that was over all I wanted to do was jump Edward. But I had won three Grammys. Three.
"Yeah, pretty damn cool."
When I woke up the sun was peeking through the window at an odd angle. I strained my neck to see the clock and saw that it was nearing two in the afternoon, but Edward was still fast asleep next to me.
I gently extracted myself from his heavy arms and pulled on one of his discarded button-down shirts that was lying around. I tiptoed out of the room, and gently closed the bedroom door behind me.
I needed to be alone for what I was about to do.
Academy Award nominations were today. It was early morning in the states, and I knew the nominations were going to be announced in about an hour.
I had never actually watched them, though. When I got nominated the first time, I was out of the country and asleep during the nomination announcement. I had about three hundred texts and calls when I woke up about it.
I had been nominated once since then, but I was working when the announcement happened. I lost that time, obviously, but I didn't care. I had one Academy Award and that was more than I could have ever hoped for.
Not now, though. Winning those Grammys set a fire under me. My competitive side was flaring and I wanted to win.
Heidi had been emailing me since we left town and she's let me know what award's I've won already.
I won two Golden Globes, Best Actress in a Motion Picture (musical or comedy) and Best Original Song. Surprisingly, Hurricane won the globe for original song. It was odd that Control would get the Grammy nom for it and Hurricane the Globe. Oh well, I'll take whatever I can get.
I also managed to snag a Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role. Gotta love those little naked statues.
Typically, if you win the SAG you get the Oscar nom, and usually the win. It was just how it worked. But that doesn't mean it was a complete science. I could still get screwed over because I hadn't done any promotion in the months leading up to the nominations.
I grabbed my laptop and flipped it open. There was supposed to be a live telecast of the nominations online. It would be easier to watch that as opposed to trying to find the right channel over here.
I got the page pulled up with two minutes to spare before the live stream started. Jesus, there was a reason I never watched this before. Too fucking stressful.
The bedroom door swung open and made me jump. Edward stood there, clad in a new pair of boxers, and stared at me.
"You weren't going to wake me up?" he asked, a frown on covering his face.
I just shrugged. I didn't want him here if I was just going to be disappointed after.
Edward walked over and set my laptop on the coffee table in front of us. He pulled a blanket off the back of the sofa and draped it over our laps as he sat next to me, his arm falling around my shoulders and pulling me into his side.
The screen changed and some fancy music started to play.
"Shit," I mumbled.
Edward laughed a little at me, but grabbed my hand and gave it a comforting squeeze.
The president of the Academy made a short speech, before a comedian, I didn't catch her name, came on to start announcing the nominees.
They started out with categories like Production Design and Sound Mixing, none of which I thought I would be nominated for. My legs started to bounce and I began picking at my freshly manicured nails. Damn, this is nerve-wracking.
They kept up with the announcements, going through categories like Animated Short and Visual Effects.
"How long does it take to get to the actual acting awards?" I grumbled.
Edward placed a gentle kiss on the side of my head. I looked over at him and saw he actually looked a little nervous, too. Damn, he's adorable.
"You didn't think you'd get any of these?" Edward asked.
"No, we didn't have the budget to go all out on wardrobe, or to get too fancy with the editing."
Edward nodded, his eyes focused on the screen.
Supporting Actress was being announced and my nerves doubled. We didn't have anyone expected in the category, but we were getting closer.
After a few other categories such as Best Foreign Film and Documentary Short, we got to Original Song. I squeezed my eyes shut and buried my head in Edward's neck. I was squeezing his hand so tight I was surprised he hadn't complained. But he was squeezing mine nearly as tight.
"… Control from Welcome to the Badlands." That's me!
"Fuck, yes!" Edward shouted. His arms wrapped around me and my eyes shot to the screen.
"Oh, my God," I mumbled. Seeing my name on that list was unbelievable.
They went through a few other categories, but I just stared at the screen with my mouth hanging open. I think Edward kissed my cheek, but I'm not completely sure.
I'm nominated for an Academy Award.
They moved on to Leading Actor and I held my breath as they went through the list. "Austin Greggory in Welcome to the Badlands."
"Yes!" I shouted, or more like squeaked. Austin played the 'Jacob' of the movie, and he was Alison's younger brother. Alison was my best friend in the business, and her brother had taken an interest in acting while he was in college.
I had needed an actor who wouldn't draw too much attention to the project, because we wanted to keep the whole thing quiet while we shot, and someone who would do it for a pretty small amount of money. I funded the whole project, after all.
I was pretty proud of how much Austin grew as an actor on that set, and I was unbelievably proud that he was nominated.
"And now, the nominees for Leading Actress."
My eyes were glued to the screen this time. My heart was pounding and I think my ears were ringing. This is it.
"… Isabella Swan in Welcome to the Badlands."
Every late night I spent worrying about how I was going to pull this movie off. Every day I spent in a recording studio meticulously going over lyrics and beats. Everything Jacob put me through that inspired that whole thing.
It was all worth it.
Edward's arms picked me up off of the couch and he swung me around in that cliché way guys do in every romantic comedy. I kind of loved it, though.
"I can't believe it," I mumbled to myself.
Shit, this is unreal.
Being nominated for an Oscar is every actor's dream. Whether they're just starting out and were doing car commercials, or if they were a little more established and working on some high-profile projects, they all wanted it. No matter what they say when they're asked.
I have been nominated twice in my short career, two times in about five years is unbelievable enough. When I won three years ago I never had any expectations that I would win another, or ever be nominated again.
To have a project I conceived completely on my own receive this kind of attention is mind boggling.
"This is… amazing, Bella," Edward said once he put me back on my feet. He gave me a quick but passionate kiss on my lips, and I couldn't stop the giant smile that took over my face.
"And now, the nine finalists for Best Picture."
I flopped back down on the couch and let my head fall back against the back cushions and my eyes close. All of that stress was exhausting. I had no expectations for a Best Picture nomination, so I could finally relax.
I could feel Edward on the couch next to me, and I peeked at him. He was sitting with his arms propped on his knees, and his head in his hands. He had a look of complete concentration on his face as he stared at the screen as movies popped up.
God, I love him.
I sat up on my knees and started to place kisses along his shoulder and up his neck.
"Welcome to the Badlands."
My lips froze on Edward's shoulder and my eyes flew to the screen. No fucking way.
"Oh, my God," I mumbled. I sat up and pulled the laptop into my lap. That couldn't be right. "Oh, my God," They showed a list of the films nominated for Best Picture and there it was. "Oh, my God."
I looked up and Edward was standing there with a flute full of champagne, and a gorgeous smile on his face.
"Congratulations," he told me. I took the glass from his hand and downed it quickly because, shit, Best Picture.
"I just – I can't believe it," I told him. I stood up because I was starting to feel jittery, like every nerve in my body was bouncing around underneath my skin.
"I mean, I hoped for Original Song and maybe Lead Actress. Once the Academy decides they like you, you've kind of got an in, you know? So, I thought they might throw a nom or two my way," I said as I paced around the living room in circles around Edward.
"But Best Picture? I mean, that's… that's Forrest Gump and Silence of the Lambs and..."
Edward's hands gripped my arms and stopped my pacing. I looked up at him and reveled in the look of pride and wonder in his eyes. I put that there.
"And you're Isabella Swan. You are, without a doubt, the most talented woman I have ever met. Most of those people are good at one thing: acting. But you, you've also got three Grammys under your belt now. Don't ever think that you don't deserve a place amongst them."
I took a deep breath to calm down, and then looked up at Edward. I stared at him for a few moments. Seeing the excitement in his own eyes made my stomach fill with butterflies.
"I've got three Academy Award nominations," I whispered and a smile crept up on my face.
"That's pretty impressive," Edward whispered back. His arms wrapped around my waist and played with the hem of his shirt I was wearing.
I stood on my tip toes so I could reach his neck and give him light kisses along the column of his throat. "Thanks for watching with me."
"Shit, I don't know if I've ever been that nervous." Edward admitted. He bent down to trail kisses on my neck now.
"Nothing compares to sitting in the theater surrounded by the best actors in the world waiting to see who won. That's stressful." My arms traced up Edward's, enjoying the feel of his muscles under my hands. My right hand found a bumpy patch of skin. "What's this?"
Edward looked down at his arm and shrugged. "I got grazed by a bullet about a year ago."
I sighed and leaned over to give his arm a light kiss.
"Do you want to call anyone?" Edward asked, but started to walk me back toward the bedroom at the same time.
"Not really, I think we need to properly celebrate first."
Unfortunately, I'm forced to face reality the next morning. My phone had vibrated on the nightstand all night long. Eventually it got overloaded and turned itself off. Now it was time to finally go through the thousands of emails, phone calls, and texts I knew were on it.
Edward went to the little office in our suite to work a bit. He didn't work nearly as often as he usually did, but I knew he still had to keep an eye on his business. I think he was also playing around with the stock market.
I curled up on a chaise lounge with my phone and laptop. I pulled up my text messages on my laptop and spent a good two hours replying to all of them. I sent a simple 'thank you!' to most of them. But some of my closest friends sent paragraphs about how excited they were for me, so I took the time to truly thank them. Those were few and far between.
I sent Austin and his family a group text.
So, so excited for Austin's nom! I'm out of the country now, but I'd love to have you all over for dinner a few days before the ceremony if you're free and in town. Let me know!
Alison and Austin's parents were amazing. They sacrificed everything so their kids' dreams could come true. They were always so nice to me whenever I was around them, they started to feel like my surrogate parents, too.
I knew Edward and I were going to end up in Los Angeles for at least a week for the ceremony. It was the one thing I promised Heidi before I left, that we would come back for the Oscars if we got nominated.
I dreaded it at the time, but now I was pretty excited about it. The thought of going on the red carpet made me want to vomit, but the actual show should be fine. Exciting, even.
I wanted to win. There was no denying that. I'm not a competitive person in my day to day life. But when it comes to my job, I wanted to be the best. I wanted to break records and accomplish things no one before me has. And I wanted to add another golden statue or two to my collection.
I found a voicemail from my dad and decided to call him back.
"Bells! How's it feel?" he asked, his voice booming.
"Hey, dad. Still pretty unreal."
"Best Picture! You'll get at least one more, I know it." Charlie's voice got farther away from the speaker as he called for my mother to come join him. Perfect.
"Bella! Congratulations, darling. We're so proud of you," Renee said. To my surprise, she actually sounded like she was proud. I must have caught her in a good mood.
"You're coming back from that odd vacation for the ceremony, aren't you?" Renee asked me.
I called them from Chicago before Edward and I left and told them I was going to be gone for a while. I couldn't have the conversation in person because I couldn't handle Renee's judgy looks. It was just easier to deal with her over the phone.
Charlie didn't mind, of course. He just told me to be careful.
"I'll be in Los Angeles for about a week, I think, for the ceremony. Then I'm going back out."
I can practically feel the disappointment radiating off of her over the phone.
"Well, we're real proud of you Bells. You let us know if you need anything from us, okay?" Charlie said.
"I will. Thanks, dad." I hung up after that.
A few minutes later I was finally done replying to texts and moved on to emails. I had about twenty from Heidi, all from within the last twenty-four hours.
Heidi is a phenomenal manager, one of the best in the business. But Oscar nominations are enough to send even the best managers into a panic.
Most of Heidi's emails were about interview requests. The month before the Academy Awards, if you were nominated, was filled with interviews. Twelve hours a day were spent talking about yourself and your project. It was exhausting.
Her emails got more frantic as she told me that, because Control was up for Original Song, it was customary for me to perform it. Shit.
I knew that was how things worked, it just completely slipped my mind. I had never performed on live television. I didn't really have time for award shows and such during Badlands' release. Now my first award show performance of it was going to be at the fucking Oscars.
I typed out a quick response to the most pressing issues Heidi brought up.
I'm not doing any interviews before the ceremony. I'll do a few on the red carpet. If we win I'll do the press room, appropriate shows the next day, etc.
We're not milking the shooting for sympathy votes. Have Claire put out a simple thank you statement from me.
Tell me more about the performance and what I can do with it. Can you even say 'goddamn' on television?
I started to go through the look-book of designer dresses that were attached to one of Heidi's emails next. It consisted of dresses by designers I typically wore. I was scrolling through the images when Edward emerged from the office.
"How's it going?" He asked me. He came over and leaned down on the floor next to my lounge.
"I'm already exhausted. I want to go to the show, but I also don't want to leave our little bubble here." I slid my laptop off of me and pulled Edward into the chair. I let him sit where I was and then situated myself in his lap.
"How long do you think we need to be in Los Angeles? A week or two?" He asked.
"Probably closer to two if I've got to rehearse a performance. At least."
"That's not too bad. Two weeks there, followed by you winning a few Academy Awards, and then we can go to… London? Ireland? Wherever you want."
I thought about it for a moment. "Somewhere with a beach. Just for you and me."
I smiled at him and gave him a quick kiss. "Thanks for putting up with all of this."
"Bella, there's nothing to put up with. I'm so fucking proud of you, and I can't wait to see you in your element there."
I guess I was pretty excited about it too. I was ready to win.
A/N: Here we go – a little peak into what they've been up to! If you hadn't already guessed, this story is based off of reputation by Taylor Swift. I know Taylor is someone most people either love or hate, but just like HK you don't have to like/listen to the music in order to enjoy the story.
Let me know what you all thought of this one?