Okay. Um, my "Epilogue" was a summary of all of this at 3000 words. I am not sure exactly what happened here, but this was totally a peer pressure situation and I got really carried away. You wanted Rose, Alice and Mike again, so I hope you all enjoy the final CHAPTER of Beauty and the Geek. It is all Bella fluff and details of the resolutions I had originally summarized.
I left Edward's apartment at ten o'clock on Sunday night. Despite the fact that we'd spent all weekend together, he'd still asked me to stay again. Reluctantly, I said I couldn't. Wearing his clothes around his apartment was one thing; showing up to class on Monday in a white button down and boxer shorts would have been over the line. We'd parted ways after several attempts and promised to text and call tomorrow. I'd headed home partially flying on cloud nine, and partially dreading the wrath that was surely waiting. The wrath of the pixie.
I was so consumed with Edward, I'd only sent her a couple of texts informing her of critical information. When she'd blown up my phone with questions that I wasn't going to answer in front of him, I finally turned it off. She was going to be pissed and I wasn't looking forward to entering into a question and answer situation with her. So, I drove the long street heading for the campus feeling annoyed already…
But I was also still so happy. My cloud hadn't really dissipated much. And I didn't want to worry about answering for my rudeness just yet if I could help it… I allowed myself the remaining drive to get in my final joyful remembrances of everything we'd done and said over the weekend. I just couldn't stop feeling lucky. Guys like Edward were rare. He was kind, considerate, and thoughtful. We'd talked about everything that had transpired between us. He'd been open, honest, and understanding. We'd learned so much about each other.
I'd discovered that Edward was an only child and had always been private and shy. Braces and awkward high school experiences hadn't helped that much, and it made him feel good to know that I'd definitely understood. He was close to his parents and his mother's successful business ventures had left him with plenty of opportunities to pursue what he loved in life. He was getting his degree in The Classics.
I also learned that although Edward didn't do the same things that other people did – he had a full life. He was a deep thinker, a reader, and an intellectual. We talked about literature for hours and he read me my favorite Byron poem in the worst excuse for a British accent I'd ever heard. We'd shared our horror stories of life. I told him things I had never tell Alice.
We'd laughed quite a bit, too. He had a dry sense of humor just like me, which explained why sometimes we'd been the only students laughing in class. He loved to compete. Earlier this afternoon, I'd beat him at Tetris, and then he'd destroyed me in chess and we'd both agreed for a rematch next weekend. Neither of us needed to say anything about what we'd experienced when it was time for me to go. As I'd kissed him goodbye, again, it was clear to both of us that we'd found what we'd been looking for. He was wonderful and amazing. Just like our weekend together...
Even my stealthy little roommate and her expectations for justifications and apologies couldn't dampen my mood. I could deal with Alice. I was too happy to care, anyway. Besides, I did feel really bad about not even calling her about that first night. I'd just fallen asleep without letting her know I was okay, or anything else. She'd driven to his apartment at 2am just to check on me. She was a good friend, so I would definitely apologize for that, and for ignoring her... even if she'd deserved it.
I sighed as I pulled up to my parking space and groaned when I saw Rose's fancy car across the lot. Wonderful. Double the consequences and questions…
I didn't procrastinate to head inside, though. Compulsion was driving me forward. I just wanted to get the questions and apologies over with so I could retreat to my room and stew over all of my recent memories. It was pathetic, but I didn't care. My brain was still functioning in a state of Edward sensory overload. Edward. I missed him already. Feeling freshly disgruntled that I couldn't go to my room directly, I pressed on through the parking lot and headed straight through to our door. I entered in my best nonchalant manner, but I wasn't sure why. I knew they were waiting.
Still, I took my time with putting my stuff on the table by the door. I could hear them giggling around the wall, but I didn't say anything.
"Well, well...well...look who it is?" Alice barely managed through giggles and laughter from the living room.
I heard Rose laugh, too. I rounded the corner to eye them. Rose and Alice both looked a little tipsy, but equally radiant. Rose was in white, which was an unusual selection for a late Sunday night, but it was Rose. Alice, dramatic as always, had on a black tracksuit and her best frown. Her full glass of red wine was sloshing around dangerously.
It was girl's night and I'd totally forgotten. The bottle they'd shared was nearly empty. It was usually the three of us drinking that much. I sighed again, knowing something ridiculous was going to come out of this.
"Alice. Rose." I greeted politely and headed straight to my room. It was pathetic, but it might have worked.
"Have a seat, Bella." Alice said with a slightly exaggerated "don't-you-even-try-it" look.
I looked at her, annoyed all over again, but I took a seat in the armchair across from them anyway. Immediately, I regretted it. I could have sat next to them instead of across...
I suddenly felt like I was under the prying eye of an inquisition. Also, I was looking right at the couch. Our couch. Me and Edward's couch. Images from Saturday morning and earlier this afternoon filled my mind, but I shook them off to concentrate.
"Bella Swan…" Rose began with a slur and a narrowed eye. "You look like the cat that swallowed the canary...but then again I'm sure that's not all you've swallowed..." she snickered from behind her glass, clearly amused by the annoyance in my expression.
"Gross, Rose!" I whined and covered my face. I felt my blush ignite not just because of her question, but also from the realization that I'd not done anything like that to Edward. Yet. The thought of the response I'd surely get from him, if I did, sent a shiver through me. I enjoyed the idea way too much.
"No way, Bella...don't act like a prude now," I looked through my hand at her and she waved her finger. "You've spent all weekend locked up in your lover's apartment, it doesn't take a stretch of the imagination...now spill!"
My face grew hotter and I frowned. They'd seen my reaction to these types of discussions before, so they just waited, brows raised, unflinchingly patient. Well, partially patient. Only a few seconds passed, but before I could speak, Alice pounced.
"Why didn't you text me back?" She challenged. "I was dying of curiosity all weekend and you couldn't even take five minutes to answer me!"
Rose was laughing again and I could see her perfect face forming a terrible grin. She definitely wasn't driving home. I narrowed my eyes at Alice, readying my defense.
"You forfeited the right to a response when you started asking me disgusting questions about Edward's anatomy. He was reading me an obscure Whitman poem, from some artifact of a book, one that I've never even heard before, and out of nowhere, I get a text from you asking if his tongue is long..." I narrowed my eyes at Alice and she narrowed them back. Rose was on the verge of laughter.
"I just wanted to know if he was as great as you'd hoped he would be!" she defended.
"Alice! Like I would answer that question via text!" I yelled back. She huffed and waved her hand at me. That red wine was going to hit the carpet.
"Watch your glass," I scolded. She narrowed her eyes again.
"I'm not drunk, Bella," she scowled.
"Yeah, right…" I snapped back. She smiled and I rolled my eyes again. It took everything I had not to grin back.
"Hey! It doesn't matter. The point is that we aren't talking via text now, Bella...so, spill it." Rose demanded with a swagger that made argument impossible. I huffed and groaned. Why hadn't I prepared at all for this conversation? Oh yes. I had still been thinking about Edward. It was worth it…
"Please?" Alice begged.
"Do you promise to behave when you meet him?" Alice had a motor mouth and when she got excited, it was even worse. I could just see her slipping with some detail I'd shared. That would humiliate us both.
"Of course!" she cried, clearly offended.
I eyed her skeptically, still. She really wasn't a very good secret keeper and I didn't feel comfortable talking about my...or, our…sex life. Even if they were the reason that we had one in the first place. I was going to try to get out of it somehow, but, as soon as I started thinking about Edward again, I couldn't help but smile and swoon to myself once more. I sunk into the chair a little further and sighed in resignation.
"Everything about him is perfect. I love him and he loves me. We spent so much time together, learning and talking and laughing. He asked me to be his girlfriend and I said 'yes'…"
Rose shooed me away with her free hand, "We knew all that was going happen, we're not blind...I mean...how was he?"
"Wonderful," I crooned.
"Define wonderful," Rose prodded.
I sighed again. I knew what they wanted to hear. They wanted to hear that Edward and I had made love six times since Friday. They wanted to know that he'd given me six orgasms. They wanted to know if he'd been a good kisser and if he'd worked well with his hands. They wanted to know if he looked great naked and knew how to please me...and all of those things were true and wonderful. And yet, I just didn't feel like those narrow confirmations summarized the enormity of our romantic experience. Everything we'd shared was just cheapened by an attempt at classification.
Besides, Rose could probably find a guy that could give her six orgasms over the course of a weekend, anyway - if she hadn't already.
Edward wasn't like any other guy. He wasn't like anyone else I'd ever known for so many reasons. How could I articulate that without going into too much detail? How could I explain the way he'd touched me or the way he'd responded the simplest kiss? How could I justify my desire to see him again already without explaining that he'd completed a part of me I'd somehow known was missing? The physical part of our relationship just felt like it was more expression than gratification. I thought about it for a moment while they waited, determined and curious. My memories were all clouded with equal happiness and I couldn't seem to narrow down a safe one to share with them.
Suddenly, I remembered one detail that stuck out from them all. "We made love during the second movement of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony… we'd gotten into a discussion about dreams… and we'd made it to his room so that he could share his, too..." I admitted dreamily. Instantly, I remembered the slow, passionate music filling his room, the exquisite way he'd touched me and kissed me and the exact way the final crescendo had made us both feel. There had been just as much emotion between us as there had been in that incredible music. A chill ran through me again at the reminder. I came from my momentary dream state to see their blank expressions.
"What?" I asked, confused by their looks.
Rose startled from her stoicism, "Bella..." she began with awe. "that is the most romantic thing I've ever heard. That is beautiful."
I smiled stupidly. It was beautiful and romantic...
Alice curled her little body into the couch with a half-drunk/half-dreamy expression. "Gosh, that is so sweet and hot at the same time, Bella," she sighed.
"Now do you see why I didn't want to answer gross questions while he was sitting right next to me? We had an amazing time. I'm sorry that I didn't call you back on Friday, but everything just happened so wonderfully fast. We fit together impossibly well. I don't want to be with anyone else. Ever." I said with finality.
Rose frowned and Alice raised her brows, but neither of them said anything. I got the sinking suspicion that they'd been caught off guard and that realization delighted me all over again. I did have something rare, something special, and something no one else could identify with. That was okay with me. They were satisfied by the only answer I'd intended to give.
"Aw. I want an Edward..." Alice crooned.
"Nope, he's mine..." I said with fond memories still clouding my brain.
She rolled her drooping eyes. "Not your Edward...I want my own." I eyed their bottle curiously again. They had to have had more than one. Alice was a little hammered and Rosalie was in a close second.
"Alice, what about that Jasper guy?" Rose asked, more excited than usual.
Alice immediately straightened up and shot me a furtive look, "He's so hot..." she said with serious conviction as if I were going to argue with her.
"Well, you little liar...now it's your turn to take Rose's advice," I said. I was going to take advantage of her. Some of those text messages were really gross.
Exaggerated by the effects of the wine, her eyes grew wide and mischievous. "Do you think that would work?"
Rose huffed. "Of course it will work. If you can pull it off. You should share some pointers with her, Bella." I caught a wink from Rose, as Alice's eyes grew even more excited.
"Will you Bella?" Alice asked, delighted by the prospect. I agreed as if I'd had a choice.
I shared my pointers and explained in detail Edward's shyness and how I'd figured it out. Those were the only tips I'd had on reading men. I'd also tried to explain how I'd followed Rose's rules and the rationale behind the "rejection" factor because I knew for sure that Rose had been right about that. Still tipsy, Alice had absorbed everything I'd said.
About an hour later, Rose had thankfully stopped drinking, but Alice continued to indulge. Two glasses of wine and a pep talk later, she'd sent the Jasper guy an invitation for a date on Facebook. As soon as she'd left the room, Rose winked at me and informed me that Jasper had had a crush on Alice for ages. We laughed together. It was nice to have good friends. Even if one was a pushy sprite and the other was a diabolical pervert.
Once Alice returned from her drunken Facebook-dailing and right before Rose decided she was going to prepare her bed for the night, I consulted her about Mike Newton.
"Rose, I need your help again."
She smiled a wicked grin, "Oh. My advice is like a new facial product, Bella. Use at your own risk."
I rolled my eyes, "I'm serious. I have a...situation that I know you can help me with."
Alice settled in unstably with her glass. Rose nodded for me to continue.
"Well, you know how I told you about that foul Mike Newton and how he was always hitting on me? He'd asked me out a few times and then did whatever he could to try to always touch me?"
"Yeah, I remember. My fuck-buddy even told me that Mike had mentioned that he'd hoped to get you into bed...he kind of does have the hots for you, I guess..."
"What? Why didn't you tell me that? Fuckbuddy? Gross!" I cried. Who uses that word? Apparently, Rose does.
"What?" she shrugged. "I'd forgotten until now. Mike is a perv, this is not breaking news. He wants to get in everyone's pants - you're just shy and innocent and all virginal, so you're more of a challenge. For the record, Emmett McCarty is a great lay. Don't knock it until you try it. Carry on," she waved her imperious hand for me to continue. I tried to get the image of linebacker Emmett and vixen Rose out of my head.
"Okay...Mike and Edward are both in my Wednesday/Friday class. Edward was Mike's resident assistant last year and he really dislikes him because he's a jerk. Mike was rude to Edward in front of me last Friday as well. He even called me "Bella baby". In short, he's disgusting and rude and I want revenge," I admitted simply.
"Nice." Alice said in appreciation.
"Oh, I like this new Bella," Rose added with a sassy look. I groaned.
"So, what did you have in mind?" she asked.
"Well, ideally, I want to show him that Edward and I are together to make him jealous. But, I also have to be sensitive to Edward. This will have to happen in class and I don't want to be all over him and embarrass him. Remember, he's very shy."
Rose looked thoughtful, "Hmm. He is shy, but he is also a man...don't baby him."
I frowned at her implication. I wasn't trying to baby him. Before I could argue, Rose hopped up from the sofa and started pacing. She looked shockingly sober all of the sudden. Her manicured fingers formed a steeple at her mouth as she began to plot.
"Well, first. I have the perfect idea. But, it will take courage, Bella," she warned. "If you can do this, you can do anything. If I'm right - it will be the nail in the coffin for your shyness."
She looked certain and this time, I didn't grumble or whine. I listened right along with Alice. Without her, I would have never had the courage to talk to Edward.
"First, I need to know some critical details," she began seriously.
"Such as?" I asked.
"Well, I know your class is stadium seating, so where does Mike sit in relation to you and Edward?"
"I'm sure Edward and I will sit together now. But, usually, Mike sits with his football friends just a few rows in front of Edward and like two behind me, why?"
"When is the next class?" she asked casually, not answering my questions.
"Well, it's simple. Men like Mike objectify women so that they don't have to get too close. Don't make me go into the psychology of it; it's quite simple, but also sort of complicated. Basically, you have the innocent, virginal thing going for you, which is ultimately the trump card."
"I wasn't a virgin, you know that."
"Yes, but Mike doesn't," she reminded me with a slowly forming evil grin. She didn't miss a beat of her pacing.
"You look virginal, Bella." Alice agreed with a drunken hiccup. I rolled my eyes again at her and she grinned. I consoled myself with the realization that there were worse things to 'look like'.
"So," Rose went on, ignoring us both. "you will use that to your advantage without coming off like a total tramp and without humiliating Edward. It will take a lot of nerve, but like I said - if you can do this…you can do anything."
"Okay..." Admittedly, I was intrigued.
Rose looked deep in thought as she continued to pace and talk.
"First, you need to make sure that you and Edward get into class about two or three minutes late. Make sure you both look a little flustered. It might do good to mess up your hair, maybe have your shirt buttoned the wrong way...a little pinch to your cheeks. Then, since you've both arrived late to class, hand-in-hand, of course, it would be rude to traverse the stairs noisily, so lead Edward by the hand to the row right in front of Mike and his friends. Edward will get embarrassed, but no one will see his face. If you do what I tell you to do, Mike Newton will die of horny envy."
I smiled and she smiled with me. I felt empowered by my success this weekend and Rose knew it. I got the feeling she just liked teaching people her dirty tricks. She'd earned them, I guessed.
"First, remember the 'show him' rule because that's the angle you're working. Second, it has to be timed, or you will look like you're really trying to hard - you will have to watch the clock...and you'll have just a few opportunities in the class...not too much, and yet enough. Third, you're a horrible actress, so you are going to have to really make this convincing, which means no acknowledgement of Mike whatsoever. It will be so tempting to look at his face, but you can't. The whole situation should appear to him as if you just can't keep your hands...or mouth...off Edward. The glory of first sex," she sighed dramatically and then lowered her voice, eyes, and finger at me. "Oh, and Mike is such a dirt bag, this is going to be great."
She chuckled at her own scheming, undoubtedly playing the image in her own head. Alice giggled too and took another sip.
"Bella, you can't tell Edward though," Rose turned to me as if it was impossible to do. I shot her the disbelieving look.
"Why can't I tell Edward?" I asked.
"Because, he's shy. It's worse when he knows what is going to happen. You will just have to reassure him somehow. Trust me."
I could definitely reassure him, but it still felt wrong. I did want revenge and I was sure that Edward did, too. Even if it was petty. I was ready to draw boundaries if I needed to. I would never do anything that would really embarrass Edward. I could just hope her plan wasn't over the top so that he could go along.
"Okay...I have to know where you are going with this," I said.
"Seriously," Alice added in awe.
Rose laughed at us both. "Don't act like I've just solved the mystery of creation, this is my specialty ladies. Alice you have fashion, Bella you have English literature..."
"Great," I grumbled.
"I have the perfect outfit for this," Alice whispered to herself, apparently trying to see through the red wine to the bottom of her glass. I gave her a disbelieving look. Rose was plotting my revenge on one of the biggest jerks on campus and Alice was still concerned about fashion.
Rose ignored her. "Focus, Bella...here is what you need to do..."
Wednesday couldn't come fast enough. When we'd finally studied on Monday night, it took all of my energy not to reveal my plan to Edward. It felt dishonest even then, but I was sure he would forgive me once I could explain. Besides, he'd probably thought I'd forgotten all about his innocent request to kiss me in front of Newton.
I was really nervous on Tuesday night when Edward came over for dinner to meet Alice and Rose. Alice had been bursting at the seams to ask him questions, but I'd kept it short to dinner only. Getting her charged up would have been a big mistake. She had an overexcited mouth and could have revealed my plan. Even with the short dinner, the moment he'd excused himself to the bathroom, she'd recited her list of questions for him for the next encounter.
Still, dinner was really nice. I couldn't help but admire him stupidly from across the table. He'd laughed and joked with them both so naturally. Even after one weekend with me, he'd seemed like he was coming out of his shell just a little. Throughout our meal, he'd handled them both really well. He didn't really get shy until Alice had blurted out something about how nice the color green looked on him. She'd proceeded to critique his style with slight admiration, asking him pointedly if he was trying to channel "the yacht look", or "casual preppy". That was when I'd cut in. He'd silently expressed thanks for stopping that conversation. Other than that, everyone seemed to enjoy one another's company.
He didn't even check Rose out once. Not that I was worried…
After he'd left, I was so happy I'd thought I might burst. The moment the door closed, I'd received their wholehearted seals of approval. Rose had thought he was very charming and Alice had said he was darling, which meant about the same thing. They'd recited with me, in great detail, all of the interactions from the entire evening and their according assessments. The conclusion was that Edward and I were perfect for one another. Rose was admittedly envious of our genuine connection, and Alice was hoping she could find the same thing. Edward and his sincerity had us all swooning that night. I'd even told him so as we'd talked until midnight. He'd sounded as if that detail had meant something to him. I was pretty sure that it did.
Before I went to bed, I'd made it a point to thank Alice for not being too over the top. She'd agreed that she'd tried very hard to be on her best behavior, but didn't make promises for the future. Somehow, she had caught his scent and couldn't wait to find out what kind of soap he used.
Wednesday was finally here. I woke up, feeling the high that only comes from beginning a day full of possibilities. I'd gotten a text message from Edward informing me that he would meet me right outside the classroom.
My heart was existing in its own realm of joy, even though I should have been really nervous. I even sang in the shower and danced a little around my room as I dressed in Alice's perfect ensemble. For this special day of revenge, she'd picked out a very virginal cotton shirt with no sleeves and my low cut lucky jeans. Lucky only because I'd worn them when I'd finally talked to Edward.
As I left our dorm, I felt like the world was at my feet. I was in love. I was ready for battle with my boyfriend's arch nemesis. Well, it wasn't that dramatic, but Alice and Rose were rubbing off on me.
Edward met me right outside of class, just as he'd promised. The moment our eyes connected, the urge to touch him became overwhelming. I skipped a little towards him and he smiled at me with his huge grin, equally delighted to see me. Then he laughed for some reason as I got closer and I mused that I was really beginning to love that smile.
As I came to a stop in front of him, recovered from my initial stun, I noticed why he was laughing. We were matching. He looked so handsome in his white polo and dark jeans. This was going to be perfect.
"I've missed you," he breathed into my hair as I threw myself into his arms and latched onto his neck immediately. He hugged me close to him and my heart skipped a beat as I reached onto my toes to kiss his lips. He tasted so good and I had really missed him. Seventeen hours was too long. He worked his way into my mouth urgently, as if he'd agreed with my silent thought. I moaned as soon as I tasted him. Before I knew it, his hands had wrapped around my waist and I was lifted next to him. I tangled my hands into his hair and won a groan in return. Then suddenly, he broke our kiss.
"I've missed you, too," I blurted against his lips before he could speak.
"No one makes me smile like you do," he chuckled before he kissed my nose. I just stared at his nice green eyes and sighed in contentment. He was so handsome and sweet. I was the luckiest girl in the world...
In fact, I was so absorbed by him, that I'd nearly forgotten that we were standing close to the entrance of class, making out in the open. It was as if nothing else existed but him. And he felt the very same way. But, our lecture would commence soon and I needed for us both to really prepare in relative privacy. So, I flashed my grin at Edward and he grinned back.
"What?" he asked, amused by my sudden cheer. I wiggled and he set me down, but I didn't move away. I pulled his neck down so I could whisper into his ear very familiar words. "Edward, there is something I want to do. Will you come with me?"
"Of course," he replied, slightly curious. I liked curious. Curious was good. I giggled at the images my mind was already contriving. Particularly of Mike's face contorted in envy. This was going to be so good.
I dragged curious Edward by the hand to the back of the classroom and immediately pinned him against the brick wall. There was no one around in the back of the building and I shamelessly attacked his mouth.
He was overwhelmed at first, but hit his stride as he clutched me closer. I hitched my leg up to his hip and he held it as he fisted my hair to deepen our kiss. I pulled his with both hands, too, and won another groan. Before I knew it again, a hand was on my lower back and I was pressed against him completely. I could feel all of him already through our clothes, but I stayed focused. I had a job to do.
My hands wound around his hair again, mussing it up as much as possible. He whispered my name as he moved his mouth to my neck, trailing his kisses to my ear. I closed my eyes and just enjoyed the feeling of his lips on my skin for a moment. But, as soon as he slipped his hand underneath the back of my shirt encouraging a shiver, I knew I had to stop. We wouldn't be going to class at all if he began touch me that way.
I pulled away, albeit a little reluctantly and checked my watch. Two minutes late, already.
I glanced up at him and couldn't help but sigh at his adorable face once more. He looked liked he'd just rolled out of his bed with his sex hair and lidded eyes. Our impromptu make out session left him a little dazed and flustered. I kissed him once before I set to work again. Quickly, and before he could ask too many questions, I unbuttoned the top two buttons of his Polo shirt, untucking mine before I messed up my hair.
He was immediately confused. "What are...you…" he started.
I put my finger to his lips and he nibbled it. I kissed him again. "Trust me, okay?"
He grinned at me and responded uncertainly. "Okay..." he agreed. Still curious.
With that, I led him around the corner, towards the entrance of the class. Even though I was with Edward now, my heart was racing again and my hands were a little shaken by the prospect of what I was about to do. I was nervous now and little butterflies danced with slight apprehension. But, I held firm and took a deep breath before I quietly opened the door. I did my best to look sheepish, just as Rose had advised.
Immediately, I couldn't believe my fortune. We were watching a movie on the film screen. It was a war documentary about D-Day. I was the luckiest girl in the world.
Professor Norris frowned at our tardiness and I shot him an apologetic look. I heard whispers and snickers over the voice from the film, but I couldn't be sure where they were coming from. To the outside observer, Edward and I had definitely just had sex.
I kept my eyes on the aisle, desperate not to look at Mike and desperate not to trip. I could feel Edward's tension already, but I just gripped his hand tighter and led the way as he kept pace.
As we climbed the stairs a little higher, I saw Mike's group from the corner of my eye and I breathed a thankful sigh that he was sitting where he normally did. I wasn't sure I could stand not looking at his stupid face if I'd had to search for him. So, we hurried forward and headed straight for them.
The moment I turned into the row in front of Mike and his friends, Edward clenched my hand. He didn't like me this close to Newton and hadn't expected the turn. As soon as we sat, I could hear them whispering and snickering behind us. I really wanted to look at Newton's face then, but I didn't. I just wanted to reassure Edward.
We settled in our seats and I shot him a sideways glance, hoping he would look at me. He didn't meet my eyes, but I could see that he was frowning hard. He looked angry. I could see even in the dark that his face was already red and his jaw was tight. I grimaced. He had no idea what I was doing, and he really disliked like Mike Newton…
I felt a twinge of regret hit me for not saying anything to him when it was the right thing to do. Rose didn't understand our relationship. I'd said nothing to even give him a clue. I'd just asked him to trust me and he had agreed. I said a silent prayer that he would understand once I started...in 10 minutes.
It was a long ten minutes. Edward didn't relax one bit. His jaw was tight and hands were fisted around his pen and his blank notes. The movie wasn't that loud, so I could hear his breathing. He was on edge, waiting for Newton to say something. I began to get really nervous as the clock counted down. I was scared that I'd gone too far.
My heart began to race with regret and reluctance.
Two minutes…I told myself.
My mind began to really scramble as I debated with myself quickly, one last time, if this was a great idea after all. If Mike said something to me in response to my actions, Edward would want to defend me. I'd put him in an awkward position by seating us so close. That explained his tension. He really didn't like Mike. Now, I couldn't believe that I hadn't seen that. I was nearly at a loss as to what to do.
But, right as the thirty seconds passed, I decided that I would have a sufficient explanation for Edward if he was angry. I would tell him the truth. I would tell him that I believed that Mike Newton deserved to be jealous of Edward for more reasons than I could ever count. If I was one of those reasons, then why not subtly rub it in his face? I was doing this for him. He would understand. I snuck one more sideways glance at Edward's red hot face before I decided to go for it. It would be over soon enough.
I patiently waited for the movie to transition the soft classical music over the footage. Two agonizing minutes later, scenes of troops on beaches flashed and the voiceover stopped. I quietly sucked in a deep breath and allowed the images of Mike Newton and his many disgusting advances on me to fill my mind. I took on a singular focus as I leaned into Edward's ear and whispered just loud enough for Mike to hear.
"You are turning me into such a naughty girl. I can't concentrate on anything," I nibbled on his earlobe and felt him shiver and exhale. "I can't wait do it again." I whispered before turning back to the screen, pretending as if we'd just shared a private moment.
I heard a strangled cough, which was definitely from Mike.
The moment I disengaged and looked forward, adrenaline coursed through me, sending my nerves into as spiral and lighting my face on fire. I couldn't believe I'd just said that…and yet I could! Simultaneously.
I felt exulted.
Somewhere, Old Bella was clinging on for dear life...
But, what about Edward? I'd had tunnel vision at the time and I really needed to see his face now.
I turned my head just slightly to try to gauge his response. I could see from the corner of my eye that his face was still bright red. His eyes were wide and his breathing was stable, but heavy as he watched the movie without seeing it. He looked a little shocked or maybe even confused. What was he thinking? I waited a minute until I couldn't stand it anymore.
Rose had advised that I keep my flirting to three instances, but she'd also said my priority was reassuring Edward. So, I turned to kiss him on the cheek and immediately processed his new expression. Clearly, he was doing his very best not to laugh now and his suppressed grin was beyond adorable. Relief washed over me and I tried to act casual as I met my lips to his cheek, but my victory was still exhilarating. It made me feel better that he was in on it now, or at least, as much as he could be.
Mike was surely watching everything.
Edward didn't move a muscle for a long time. Somehow, he seemed to know that I wasn't done yet and I had feeling he was bracing himself for more spontaneous bursts of affection. So, I watched the clock intently and twenty minutes later, I slipped into strike two. When the film flashed the quiet footage again, I began to giggle softly. Edward fell right in line by looking at me curiously, seemingly wondering what I was doing. I sighed and leaned into his ear again.
"Oh no. I think I left my panties in your car. I just realized I'm not wearing any..." I snickered as if it were a private joke. Subtly, I leaned in to inhale his scent by running my nose along his jaw to kiss his ear. He shuddered in response and I placed one last chaste kiss on his cheek.
I heard an exhale from behind me as something dropped to the floor. That was definitely from Mike's group. If not from Mike himself.
Oh, I wanted to know so badly, but I didn't turn. Not just because I was dead-set on not turning because of the principle of the situation. I didn't turn because I was sure that my own expression was as devious as Rose's best grin.
We were getting under Mike's skin. It really was working. I forced myself to look forward and prepare for the final strike.
I was on my best behavior. All I did was trail my nails up the skin of Edward's neck and play with his hair seductively. Even though he was smiling, Edward's face didn't drop from its bright red color for the remaining time. I couldn't help but feel relieved as I realized again that he'd not been angry. He knew that I did it just for him.
Exactly eight minutes before the class closed, I posed to make my grand finale.
Right as the classical accompaniment began for the soldiers in battle, I leaned into Edward's ear once more, still trailing little patterns with my nails. I giggled lightly and took his earlobe between my teeth before I pulled away coyly. I caught his sideways glance when I leaned in to his ear again as if I just couldn't stay away.
"I'm so glad I picked you...no one else could make me feel this way," I breathed heavily.
I heard Mike mutter something that sounded like a curse word. Edward exhaled shaky and quiet. He looked at me with wide-eyed glance and a surprised, adoring smile. I smiled back. He knew that I meant every word, but it was probably still nice to hear it. Then quickly, I turned back to the screen for just a second before I bounced back over to him for one final little playful kiss on the cheek.
That was Rose's suggestion: 'keep it as virginal as possible, Bella'…
Edward never said a word and I matched his silence.
Of course, I sat for the rest of those eight minutes completely absorbed in the fact that somehow, on some level, and in some way, I'd possibly taught Mike Newton a lesson. I felt accomplished and maybe a little smug by the very idea. And not in the least bit shy about those words I'd spoken.
Mike was thick, but I had my own assurances that he'd get my message. I hoped that with that double digit IQ, Mike could somehow see the reality of the situation. Girls like me don't like overbearing jerks, they like sweethearts like Edward. Even better, between his overactive hormones and desire for seducing girls, I was pretty sure that my little show would translate into envy to some degree. Envy for Edward. Envy for Edward The Good Guy. At least that was the most I could expect from Newton. He wasn't exactly insightful.
The moment the class was dismissed, Edward grabbed my bag for me and practically ran down the aisle with me in tow. I giggled playfully on purpose just for the effect, but I kept my eyes trained on Edward. I wasn't really acting anymore and I wasn't quite sure exactly what kind of affect all of my teasing had had on him. At least he wasn't angry.
As we nearly cleared the door, I cheated. I darted my eyes to Mike's group and instantly gaped at the sight before me. His friends were quiet and somber as they headed down the aisle looking awkward for some reason. But, Mike was still seated. His eyes met mine for just a second and then grew even wider. I couldn't read his expression, but that was fine by me. I'd gotten under his skin and that's all that mattered. "Mike, let's go." One of the guys called, but he still didn't move.
That's when I lost sight of him, though. The few seconds I'd had to focus on anything as we cleared the classroom were dedicated to processing Mike's expression and my new sense of victory. I'd been wholly unprepared for Edward. He immediately pulled me to the back of the building and attacked my mouth as I hit the wall. His lips were urgent and firm and I kissed him back as he pressed his body against mine. I moaned when I felt him against me again. I'd definitely had an effect on him and that was alright with me.
"Isabella...you're a wonderful woman…I can't believe what you've done…you're beyond words…absolutely incredible…indescribably beautiful...and I really... really want you right now…" he whispered energetically through kisses.
"You can have me anytime you want," I whispered as I nibbled his lip playfully. He growled and shifted his hips softly against mine. That action woke me instantly from my silly, delighted mood. He knew I liked that. He was instigating me on purpose. My desire and need for him surged, too.
"I want you, too. Let's go to my room," I whispered seriously.
"I'll go anywhere you want to," he whispered back before he kissed me once more.
He spun us around and led the way towards my dorm. I'd barely realized that the entire class had probably filed out. Someone had probably walked past and taken stock of our intense make out session, but I didn't care. Neither did Edward. We had sought the only privacy available, after all. The situation had been urgent.
As we headed down the path to my dorm, I turned one more time and caught sight of Mike and his friends as they walked slowly towards the parking lot. I couldn't take in too many details, but I did see that Mike had his book strategically placed over his lap. I might be virginal, but I knew what that meant. I grinned to myself and then focused back to Edward.
Mission accomplished. Rose would be pleased.
We ran the short block to my room in a near sprint. My mood was so high and I couldn't think of anything other than that look on Newton's face. It was shock, surprise, and disappointment all rolled up into one red expression. I wished Edward had seen it, but he hadn't even asked for an explanation. I didn't have to explain it with words, he just knew.
He was eager now.
"Edward... slow down," I laughed, hoping he wouldn't.
"That's not fair. I've been waiting an entire class period," he said in a rightfully justified voice. That was true for both of us so, I didn't argue. But, when we came up to my dorm door, I stopped short. There were three large, nicely wrapped pink boxes sitting outside of the entryway. That was strange. No one ever sent us anything. Especially anything pink.
"That's weird, we never get deliveries," I said as I bent to make sure they were ours. I picked up the fancy little tags and saw that they were addressed to Alice, Rose and myself.
"Maybe it's a surprise," Edward offered, too quickly and too casually.
I turned to look at his face. He was grinning again. I narrowed my eyes suspiciously.
"A surprise for…" I bent down to read the boxes. "Alice Brandon, Rosalie Hale, and Isabella Swan? Did you get us presents?" I asked. Why would he do that? I didn't want to start that kind of tradition. He didn't need to buy them anything. Or me, for that matter.
"Just a surprise. No presents."
"Presents that are unexpected constitute a surprise," I clarified.
His eyes grew sad and that vulnerable expression came back. He shrugged a little, "If you don't want it, then you don't have to keep it."
"No," I amended sweetly, feeling guilty. He'd obviously gone out of his way. "I want it. But, Rose and Alice?" How did he know that they would want something? They were kind of…snobby. I couldn't imagine him getting anything that they would want. It was a strange situation on all counts. If they didn't like what he'd gotten, it would be awkward.
He pulled me close to him before I could ask any other questions.
"I have a lot to thank you and your friends for, Bella. My life has changed in the happiest way. I have the girl of my dreams in my arms, with me, and in love. No one has more than I do right now. It would only be right to thank them for the support they've given you. Without their encouragement, I might not have gotten you. I can't imagine that now. So it was the least I could do," he said quietly before kissing my lips softly.
That was the nicest thing I'd ever heard. His eyes were so genuine and kind. He was thoughtful. I reached up to cup his cheek with my palm and smiled at him.
"Thank you, Edward." I said with sincerity of my own.
"No, thank you," he said, before kissing me again. He never seemed to stop kissing me and I liked it. I hugged him for that realization and he chuckled into my hair.
"We should get these boxes inside, Bella. They're expensive. I'm a little surprised the delivery company left them here."
Expensive? I shot back from my embrace with a solid frown. "Expensive? Why did you get expensive things for us?"
He laughed and cleared a strand of hair from my eyes. "Well," he began with a tone reserved for explanations. "When I excused myself to your restroom on Tuesday night, I couldn't help but notice that your roommate is very fond of my mother's products."
"Yes, I told you that my mother has a business that she operates overseas, but I didn't tell you what she does. My mother is Esme Cullen, she is the founder and creator of Esme products. They're primarily marketed in Europe, particularly in France. They design and market fine perfumes, soaps, hair products, et cetera. Anyway, I called her and explained the situation. She was happy to send over their complete catalogue for the year. And, something special just for you," he concluded simply before he hugged me tight.
"Esme?" I confirmed with wide eyes. "As in, French, pink, foreign Esme products?"
"Yes. Her products aren't really French, but they are manufactured there…and they're pink," he chuckled again, pointing to the pink boxes. I didn't really know a lot about her products, but I knew Alice and Rose swore by them. It was "Esme" hair product that had contributed to my imitation "sex hair". They owned a lot of Esme stuff. This would make their year. The boxes were huge.
"They're going to love it," I smiled. He smiled back slightly and ran his thumb along my cheek.
"But will you like it?" he asked, that vulnerable expression was back on his face.
I sighed. I wanted him to know I was appreciative, but I also didn't want to start a very bad habit. I could see him spoiling me and there would be no way I could reciprocate.
"I hate presents, Edward…" I informed him, softening my face, "but, since you got this for me, I'm sure I'll love it. But, if it's expensive, you can't buy me anything else." I warned.
He rolled his eyes and squeezed me to him. I immediately wrapped my arms around his waist, burying my face into his chest. He smelled so good. I breathed him in like a rabid she-wolf.
"I will never agree to that," he whispered loudly in my ear.
"Will you at least tell me what it is before I open it? That's intimidating," I complained into his collar, but he cut me off.
"No. You have to open it for yourself. For now, let us get this into the house, Bella. We can talk about your aversion to gifts later," I looked up at his green eyes and knew I was lost.
"Fine." I sighed as I headed into the house.
Still, this wasn't over. I was going to set a quick rule about that after…well…later.
Alice wasn't due home for several hours, so Edward agreed to just move the boxes inside for now and forgo setting up a presentation in her room just yet. I laughed at his enthusiasm as I dragged him by his shirt back to my bedroom. He knew where we were heading the moment we'd entered my hallway. Even though we were new at this, a switch had developed between us. It was wordless confirmation that a realm of desire and need was about to be entered. A switch for two lovers. We had that, or something like it.
Right now, I was going to seduce him again. After that symphony stunt from Sunday, he deserved to get a nice dose of my imagination.
I was on top of him and on my bed in just a few seconds. He clutched my hips automatically and I leaned down to kiss him. I did just once and when he tried to keep my lips with his, I moved back again. It was really fun to tease him and he didn't mind. He grinned at me and tried again, but I snapped my head back and laughed once more.
I wanted to admire him for just a second before we got lost in our passion.
His face was lit up with an expresson meant just for me. He loved me. I could see it again, clear and present in his eyes. I knew he could see it in mine, too. I adored him openly as I mused over his perfection. He was wonderful and amazing all at the same time and I couldn't imagine being with anyone else. He was mine and I was his. After a moment, his gaze grew serious, too, and I knew that he was thinking the same thing about me. Words weren't necessary all the time.
As I kissed him once more before slipping off his shirt, I couldn't help but feel lucky and thankful. I didn't have to dream anymore. I had the Real Edward. All to myself.
Gosh. That was long. Peer pressure, I say! Just in case, I just want to clarify that Bella's gift was lots of Edward's special soap. I tied everyone in for the hell of it.
Well, that is all of quiet, nerdy Edward and his little Bella soul mate. I hoped you all enjoyed the final chapter of The Beauty and the Geek. This was a really fun story. All of you are wonderful.
Thank you to all of you that inquired about Edward's Breaking Dawn and Eclipse. It takes much longer to write for those stories because they must be canon. Thanks for your patience. Your enthusiasm is very inspiring. :)