Disclaimer: do not own, unfortunately!
Upthedownslide, my juicy brisket, thanks for helping make this possible!
Loud screams erupted around me as the band began to pick up the pace again and launched into another wild song. I laughed loudly as I turned to my right to see Alice jumping up and down to the beat with wide eyes as she took in the lead singer's every move.
"Cute, isn't he?" I yelled into her ear which earned me a wide grin and a vigorous nod.
I laughed again and began to dance along with Alice and Rosalie, who was on my other side bobbing in place with hands flying over her head. They had griped and moaned when I mentioned I wanted to see my favorite band, The Black Keys. But, despite their desperate attempts of trying to get out of this, they owed me. With all the shopping we've been doing lately I deserved a "Bella" night. Plus, we hadn't had a decent girl's night in a long time. With me off being a trusty editor to a substantial magazine and Alice with her sporadic schedule thanks to her clothing line and Rose with her car management company, our time together is usually something to be desired.
The dimly lit bar broke into screams and applause as the band finished their last song of the night, then recorded music began to pipe through the speakers. I wasn't paying much attention to the sound, though it sounded something along the lines of punk. I grabbed both Rose and Alice's hands and led them over to the bar to order a fresh round of drinks, then led them towards an empty table.
Rosalie's face was flushed with excitement as she took a sip from her beer. "God, I haven't had that much fun in such a long time!"
I smiled and nudged her with my shoulder lightly. "See, not so painful! I have alright taste in music. This is better then Justin Timberlake, anyway." I added under my breath with a slight smile. Alice sputtered into her beer than sent daggers my way.
"He's an artist, Bella."
"Yeah, okay." Rose and I said together laughing at her reaction.
I looked around me at all the people walking by and took in their smiling faces and the bar surrounding them. Despite the very distinct smell of stale beer that was causing my nostrils to crinkle, I felt very at home in the tiny blues bar. The bar itself was small with brick walls surrounding the perimeter and was covered in pictures of bands that had previously played there with their signatures scattered across them. The light was mainly coming from the stage lights and the pool tables that were sprinkled towards the back. Ryan would love this.
As if on cue, my phone began to vibrate violently flashing Ryan's face on the display screen. I smiled and picked up my phone quickly before Rose and Alice saw, but I wasn't quick enough. I saw them snickering into their beers.
"I don't see why you two don't date already." Rosalie said nonchalantly as she took a sip of her beer.
"We're just friends." I muttered under my breath and began to head outside so I could hear him clearly.
It was the truth, we were just friends. Just really good ones. Ryan was the coeditor to my editor, the Bonnie to my Clyde. Ryan and I had met three years ago during my Junior year at NYU with a connection that was instantaneous. I was walking with my nose buried in my favorite magazine, Fangoria, and in true Bella style, bumped into a lanky spikey haired glasses welding creature that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. The impact caused us both to trip and fall into each other, limbs tangled together and our books to fly in every direction across the hall. As soon as my blush had died down to a faint pink, I finally looked up to be met by a pair of dancing crystal blue eyes. As soon as he saw my magazine, a smile spread across his full lips and we were friends from that second on.
We soon discovered that we were both Journalism majors and shared a passion for Fangoria, a very popular nationwide horror magazine. We were now both working at said magazine in New York City for the past year. Ryan had pushed me to the brink of insanity to become the writer I am now by making me bust ass in all my classes, but it helped me achieve the chief position as head editor and he was right under me as the coeditor. Nothing had really changed between besides that Ryan wasn't as lanky as he was more bulky now and well shaped. He took the liberty of dragging my ass to workout every other day with him, so I wasn't entirely upset over that fact. We were still just as close as we had been back in school.
I finally pressed talk when I was outside in the frigid night air.
"Oh, God what is that sound?" I asked playfully as a scream answered the phone.
"Well, if you must know, the movie you so lovingly shoved into my lap tonight so you could go see our favorite band with your girlfriends." He answered back mockingly, but the smile in his voice was evident and infectious. I felt my own grin begin to spread.
"Aw, you poor thing. Hey! It's not too late, come have a beer with Rosalie, Alice, and I? The band is done but you know you can't resist a Killian's on me." I asked hoping he'd give in like he usually would.
"As much as I would love to, I'm busy saving your ass. You owe me big for this, Bella. I can't believe you're making me review this shit. " Ryan answered, his tone colored in disgust. I smiled knowingly.
"Oh, come on. It can't be that bad!"
"Bella, the only decent thing in this movie so far is the gore. Which, is saying a lot because the effects suck."
I laughed and shook my head. "I promise to pay you back with a 12 pack of Newcastle and a feature of Susperia, sound good?"
"You better." He sighed. " Alright, I need to get back to this craptastic movie if I want to finish it before midnight. Call me when you get home, please."
"Yes, Dad." I answered with a chuckle. It was so cute that Ryan was so protective. He was like the big brother I'd never had. Or the sex I'd like to have according to Rose. I closed my phone with a roll of my eyes and headed back into the bar only to be greeted by three shots of Wild Turkey.
This should end lovely..
I felt something tickling my ear lightly. I swatted it away and turned my head, settling it back into my arms. Again, the intruding object tickled the nape of my neck which caused me to jerk up suddenly. The pounding in my head began to shake my entire body.
"Good morning," Ryan chuckled as he took in my perturbed face. It softened as he plopped down a cup of coffee and then sat back into the chair across from my desk. He reached down and pulled out a bagel and pushed it towards me.
"Rough night?" He asked softly. I tilted my head up slightly and took in his bemused expression. His clear blue eyes were sparkling slightly and his full lips were pulled up into a smirk.
"You have no idea," I answered hoarsely, reaching for my coffee gingerly and taking a slow sip. I felt my body relax as the caffeine began to course through my body.
Ryan reached into his leather messenger bag and pulled out the DVD I had thrown at his head and a printed out review of the movie.
"I love you," I said in my best fangirl voice battering my eyelashes furiously at him.
"Mhm." He answered roughly, but his eyes were twinkling. " I did my best to make it sound alright, but the fans aren't stupid. I'll run it over to Angela in a few."
"I'm sure it's fine, Ry." I took the paper and began to skim it's contents.
"Oh, I heard Edward is supposed to be at the convention this weekend." Ryan said lightly before taking a sip from his own coffee.
"mm?" I asked distractedly as I reached for my red pen and began tidying some sentences.
"Edward Cullen," Ryan repeated. He played with the lid of his coffee nervously as he waited for his words to register into my clouded brain.
My face fell once I finally realized who he was speaking of. "That, that, prick?" I spat out the words feeling a slimy texture coat the inside of my mouth. I grabbed the trash can by my desk and put it near me. I wasn't sure if it was because of the 5 beers I had plus 3 shots that made me suddenly queasy, or the named that just tumbled from Ryan's lips.
My previous interactions with Edward Cullen two years ago were not pleasant ones. I had a class with him in college, and to say he was self absorbed was putting it lightly. He was the guy that majored in Journalism because he didn't know what else to do with his time and didn't take it seriously. The guy that had all the attention and was treated like a Greek God because of his looks. The guy I had a crush on freshman year and up, but who brutally shot me down.
Well, not shot down, but never gave me the slightest glance.
He was a prick. And I still had slight shocks of pleasure when I heard his name. I cursed Ryan for bringing it up.
I felt my vision haze slightly as I focused in on my last interaction with that egocentric god.
"SHIT!" I heard myself scream loudly before I could bite back the offending word. I jumped up quickly and watched in horror as the latte I had previously been sipping on coat a very important term paper that was due in the next five minutes.
"No, no, no, no…" I began to moan as my arms began to awake from the shooting dread filling my system. I began shaking the drenched papers quickly, somehow thinking that the wild flapping motion I had taken up would help the brown splotches disappear.
I heard a low chuckle from behind me then a voice as smooth as velvet, causing me to freeze my ridiculous shaking actions.
I turned around slowly to see an Angel standing to the side of me, coffee clutched in one hand and napkins clutched in the other. He smiled at me expectantly. I sighed heavily.
"You always seem to show up at the most opportune times, you really do." I said attempting to compose myself as I turned to face the voice taunting me.
"What can I say, I happen to have good timing." He quipped back and flashed his crooked smile. My heart immediately melted along with every bone in my body, but I ignored it's reaction and turned back to my current crisis.
"Run along and play in the street now." I flung over my shoulder as I began to daintily dab at my now soaking papers. I heard him chuckle and plop down into the seat next to my messenger bag. I closed my eyes as a mixture of annoyance and excitement filled my body.
"Oh no, please, you're not intruding. Do sit. I insist."
"Aw, Bella. I had no idea you could be so kind hearted, thank you. Really." Edward answered as he sat his cup down and took in the destruction of my poor, poor term paper. A low whistle escaped his lips."-You never do anything half way, do you?"
I really wasn't in the mood for our game right now. Normally, I was all about our witty war since it was the only attention I ever seemed to get out of the guy, but seeing as my entire future had the distinct smell of a honey latte, I wasn't in my usual jovial mood.
I combed my hands through my hair and checked my watch. Three more minutes to run this over-
"I really hate to break up this pleasant chat we've been sharing, but I really need to get going. So if you don't mind," I got up and began gathering my bag and papers together, when I suddenly felt a warm hand stroke my hair back from my face. I involuntarily leaned into his touch, basking in the sudden warmness that seemed to engulf my body.
"Your hair has flecks of red in it.." Edward stated lightly. I finally looked up into a pair of blazing emerald eyes and I lost of sense of time. All I could see, all I could smell, all I could feel was Edward. I felt a sparkle of electricity dance between us as his thumb began rubbing tantalizing circles against my cheek and spread through out my body warming me completely in the process.
But just as soon as the moment began, it ended. He dropped his hand quickly and I fought back the urge to groan in protest.
"See you around, Swan," Was the last thing I ever heard from him.
Ryan's voice cut into my memories and I was pulled back to the present.
"-riding with us, also." he said evenly, his piercing eyes never leaving mine.
"Wait. What?" I shook my head, trying to clear it of the fuzziness still clinging from the hangover I woke up with.
"He's riding with us?"
Ryan gave me an apologetic smile but no explanation.