Author's Notes: This story takes place between Twilight and New Moon. Many, many, many thanks to shabbyapplefor being my fantastic beta - she is amazing!
Chapter 1 Song: Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy - Queen
We all know how much Edward loves 70's music wink, so I thought this song appropriate for Chapter 1.
Always remember: Stephenie Meyer created these characters. I'm just using them to tell you a story from my imagination!
The school year had finally ended and the much anticipated, much coveted summer was beginning. I had spent partial summers here with Charlie before, but this would be my first whole summer in Forks, and my first summer with Edward. Thankfully for me, I didn't really need to buy a new summer wardrobe since the warmest summer days in Forks were about the same as the coolest winter days in Phoenix. Alice, on the other hand, was itching to get me to go the mall with her in Seattle. An experience I tried to remain steadfastly against, but knew in the end, I would cave. She was my best friend, after all. I would just have to make sure she didn't go overboard.
Edward and I had settled into a comfortable routine once I had fully recovered from my injuries. I still struggled with nightmares about that day in the ballet studio. Edward though, was always there when I woke in a cold sweat. His marble arms tightly around my waist, whispering in my ear that 'everything is fine, I'll never let anything happen to you, my Bella.' On the days that I worked at the Newton's Outfitting Store, he would come over as soon as I was home. On the days that I didn't work, we were together all day – either spending the day at my house, or goofing around at his. We enjoyed spending time mostly with Emmett and Alice. Unfortunately, Rosalie and Jasper were a little more awkward to be around. Rosalie only talked to me when absolutely necessary. She was still quite adamant about me being a liability for the family. Jasper and I got along just fine. However, with him being the newest to join the family coven, it was sometimes just too much for him to be around me, the human.
Tonight, we happened to be at Edward's house. We were in his bedroom on the black leather sofa, listening to some of his CD's. The music was really a cover so that weren't overheard quite so easily. I had my hands intertwined with his untamed hair, and my legs across his lap, which was much more comfortable now that my cast had been removed. We were discussing what he had against music in the 70's, when he abruptly sat up.
"Let's go out on a date," he announced. I looked at him curiously.
"A date?" I asked, wondering what he had up his sleeve.
"Yes, Bella, a date. Boy likes girl, girl likes boy. Boy takes girl on date," he said simply.
"Why do we need to go on a date?" I asked, still curious.
"Well, we've been together for several months now. Although we spend the majority of our time together, we haven't really gone on many dates. Isn't that the common practice of couples? Although the method is different now, I don't think the basic premise of dating has changed over the last several decades." He looked at me, smiling. I wasn't sure I liked where this topic was taking us.
"We've been on dates," I insisted.
"Bella, don't be absurd. Port Angeles doesn't count since I didn't ask you to go with me...I followed you there. And I would hope that you, almost being assaulted, isn't a common occurrence in your dating history. Although given your luck, I guess it wouldn't surprise me," he said with a chuckle.
"Not funny," I retorted. "You did take me to the PROM though, remember?"
"Ah yes…well…that didn't work out quite so well either. You didn't even realize where we were going until the very last possible moment," he reminded me. I certainly did not need to be reminded of our so-called date to the prom. Between Alice treating me like a dress-up doll, my lack of dancing abilities, and Jacob interrupting us with his warning from Billy, it was a night I'd really rather forget.
"Fine. Let's go on a date, Edward." I mussed with his hair. Maybe we could actually go on a proper date and have some fun. I guess it couldn't hurt, as long as high heels and dressing up weren't involved.
"Wonderful!" he said with a smirk. "I know just the place."
"Now you're scaring me," I said, rolling my eyes. I was starting to wonder how much of this he had already planned out. Why was he always able to catch me off guard like this?
"Bella, love," he said, taking my face in his marble hands. "Please allow me to court you properly." He bent down within inches of kissing me and breathed lightly on my lips. His warm, sweet breath had caught my own and my mind was lost in the thought of Edward kissing me.
"Mmm…..sure," I said weakly. Darn him!
He laughed and released my face. I took his hand in mine and drew circles on the back. I looked up at him from under my lashes and smiled.
"I do have a few conditions, though," I told him. I wasn't sure exactly what his thoughts were, but I wanted to stop it before it got way out of hand.
"Conditions?" he asked me, his eyebrows drawn together with concern.
"Yes. You are not allowed to spend any money on our dates and I need to approve all plans before we do anything," I said, smugly.
His face slowly relaxed into a grin. "You cannot be serious," he said, incredulously.
"You bet I am," I answered, quickly, jumping to my feet. After the whole prom incident, I was not going to let something like that happen again.
"How about I'm allowed to spend some money on a few dates and I let Alice approve the dating plans?" he suggested.
I thought the idea over for a minute, pacing in front of the sofa. I still did not like the idea of him spending money on me, but then again, I didn't really see what was wrong with just being together at home every night either. However, I knew this kind of thing meant a lot to Edward and I didn't want to take this experience away from him. Besides, if I didn't let him spend any money, we'd probably spend our dates looking at model homes or waiting for some heinous crime to occur so we could watch the trial at the county courthouse. I definitely wanted to remember this first summer with Edward. I am curious what Edward has in mind.
"Alright, you win. You may spend some money on a few of our dates. However, you do not get to plan them all. I get to plan some too." I deliberated again, before speaking. "Alice may approve your date plans, but I'm not sure I can trust Alice to keep you under control. I will need to have a chat with her to make sure she understands what is and is not acceptable." I looked at him with my eyebrows raised and my hands on my hips.
"Agreed," he said with a smile. He stood up, took my hands and lifted them to his lips. He kissed the back of each hand, and then put them around his waist. I could feel my heart begin to beat faster. He leaned down and traced my jaw with his nose. When he got to my ear, he said quietly "I bet I can plan the best date."
I immediately tried to pull back from him, but his marble arms would not allow it.
"What did you say?"
"I said that I bet I can plan the best date." He grinned hugely at me.
"Oh yeah? You're on, buster. What do you want to bet?"
"How about if you win, you let me buy you a new car?"
"If I win, you're going to buy me a new car? I don't think so. That wouldn't be any different than you winning." I debated with myself for a moment, then looked at him with a shy smile.
"How about, if I win, you change me," I said in a small voice.
Edward looked at me and audibly gasped. "Bella, this isn't the Nobel Peace Prize we're talking about...it's a dating contest. I don't think spending the rest of your existence as a vampire really qualifies as proper compensation."
"Well, how is that different from buying me a new car?" I asked.
He sighed and said, "How about if we both think on a little less grand scale?"
"I'm willing to compromise. If I win, you have to kiss me every time Alice has a vision. And if I'm not there when it happens, she will have to keep track and tell me how many kisses I'm owed." He thought that over.
"That doesn't really seem like I come out on the losing side of things," he mused.
"Except that you aren't always willing to kiss me as much as I want you to. This way I get to be in control and have a few extra, amazing kisses," I told him.
"And if I win?" he asked, smiling again.
"If you win..." I began.
"If I win," he interrupted, "you must let me buy you something special."
"Something special, but not too expensive, right?" I asked.
"Fine, Bella. Nothing too expensive," he agreed.
"OK, then. It's a deal," I said spitting on my palm before holding it out to him.
He looked at me confused. "Did you just spit in your palm?" he asked.
"Yeah, now you spit in yours and..." I trailed off. "Um, I guess that won't work, will it?" I said, sheepishly. I could feel the blush furiously creeping into my cheeks. I hurried to wipe my hand off on my pants.
"What kind of human ritual is that?" he wondered aloud.
"Well, when I was younger, my mom and I would bet on little things all the time. We would always spit in our palms before we shook on the deal. It was an automatic reaction. Sorry." I hadn't even thought about it - I just did it. It didn't occur to me that he didn't have saliva. Could vampires spit venom?
He interrupted my thoughts by taking my hand, shaking it, then began kissing each finger. "I guess," he began, kissing the next finger, "for someone", another kiss, "who ate dirt on a dare," one more finger, "I shouldn't be surprised," he grinned at me. He finished by kissing my pinkie, then trailing his tongue down to my wrist. He then grabbed me into a hug so quickly, my heart began to race. He began kissing me again. First on the neck, then he worked his way up to my jaw. As he neared that special spot just below my ear, I stopped breathing. He whispered in a husky tone, "Breathe, Bella."
"Oops. Sorry. I tend to forget that once you start kissing me," I said, trying to maintain my sanity, while he traced his tongue along the outside of my ear.
"OK, that's enough," I said, as I started pulling away from him. I knew I was about to lose control and I didn't want him to reprimand me for that. He lightly laughed and let go of me with one last chaste kiss on the lips.
"Bella, my love, you did very well," he remarked with a smile. He looked at the clock and said "I need to take you home anyway. I need to stay on Charlie's good side if we're going to be dating on a regular basis," he smirked, obviously very proud of himself for what had taken place here tonight.
Oh boy. What had I gotten myself into?