Chapter Eighteen: Chess and Muffins

BPOV

"God, I hate long plane rides," I moaned into Edward's shoulder. We were on our way to North Carolina to play the Panthers. It was the fourth game of the season and I was ready to kick some butt again.

You know, if I ever get off this plane.

"It's not that bad, love. We'll be there in another few hours," Edward said in an attempt to consol me. I just groaned again and buried my face deeper into Edward's chest. He laughed lightly and rubbed my back comfortingly.

"I'm just so bored," I complained.

"Wanna see if I've gotten any better at chess, Coach?" Jake asked from the seat in front of us.

"Sure, but do you have a chess set on you?" I asked, trying not to get too excited. Jake always wanted to beat me at chess and I always won anyway. It never sat well with him because of his competitive nature.

"I never go anywhere without one, dear," he joked as he turned to rummage in his bag. He turned around with a travel-sized chess board. "So, how are we going to do this?" he said, meaning the draw-back that we were on different rows. I thought about this before coming to a solution.

"I'll sit on Edward's lap and you can take the aisle seat," I compromised. Without over thinking anything, I climbed into Edward's lap and leaned against the wall of the plane. Edward had the window seat and Jake was getting settled into the one next to me.

It felt right to be sitting with or, more accurately, on Edward. He wrapped his arm around me instinctively so I didn't slip off onto the floor. He kissed my cheek sweetly and I could've swooned at his sweetness. I would have collapsed, but I knew I'd be mocked mercilessly by Jake and the rest of the team. I pulled my mind away from Edward and focused it on the chess board set up in front of Jake.

"You ready to lose, Jakey-poo?" I taunted. Jake's eyes narrowed.

"About as ready as you were when I threw you into the pool while you were fully clothed and you nearly drowned because you were chocking on water." This time, I was the one sending a glare.

"I've never forgiven you for that, Jacob Black."

"Didn't expect you to, Coach," he teased unnecessarily.

"If you don't start playing now, I may kill you before we even start the game." My threat was not an idle one. Without another snappy remark, Jake began the game.

Really, Jake had no hope of winning. I never told him this, but his weakness was that he always kept his pieces lumped together. He never took the chance and spread them across the board. It was a big mistake. If you spread the pieces out and move them forward, you have a better chance of surrounding your opponent. This was something Jake never grasped. It only took me ten minutes to have him corned.

"Check mate," I said with a smirk.

"That's not fair! I thought I was getting better," Jake argued pointlessly. He'd lost and he knew it. "I demand a rematch."

"Bring it."

And so the game went on. Jake tried a different opening move, but that wasn't his problem. A couple minutes into it and I had both his bishops, three pawns, and a rook. I tried not to mock Jake's chess playing skills too much out loud, because he was actually quite good when playing others. But I'd played with him for years and knew his playing style better than he did.

"You're amazingly smart and strategic, love," Edward whispered in my ear. I started a little. I'd almost forgotten Edward was there, which is pretty sad because I was sitting on him.

"Thanks," I said. I turned enough to kiss his cheek quickly before returning my eyes to the chess board. I made my move quickly while Jake took his time studying the board. I studied the board too, don't get me wrong. I just…took in everything a lot quicker than Jake did.

My breathing caught as Edward tightened his hold on my waist. I felt him lean forward before I felt his breath on my neck. At first I thought he was going to whisper something in my ear again, but instead he kissed the back of my neck softly. It was light, but still captured all of my attention. His nose skimmed along my exposed skin as he brought his head up so he could kiss the sensitive hollow behind my ear. I shivered involuntarily and gripped the armrest tightly. I felt Edward smile against my neck before kissing the same spot, which elicited the same response.

"Bella, it's your turn," Jake said. His voice made my eyes fly open and my mind remember my surroundings. Anger flared up in me and I turned around to slap Edward's shoulder.

"You wanted to distract me so Jake could win!" I accused loudly. Jake looked thoroughly confused and Edward, to my great annoyance, starting laughing. He wasn't even going to pretend to be sorry. "Well, it's not going to work," I huffed before turning my back to Edward and studying the board.

I tried my hardest to focus and quickly found Jake's last move. Wow, it was stupid. Did he now see my knight right- Oh. The sly dog! He wanted me to think it was a stupid move so that I'd move my knight to capture his queen, which would put him in checkmate. He was betting on me not seeing his bishop, which was on the complete opposite side of the board. I smirked and moved my rook instead of my knight. I saw Jake's face fall and my smile grew more pronounced. I wasn't happy about beating Jake, but about my own triumph. I hadn't been as distracted as Edward had planned.

Maybe I was finally growing a backbone where Edward was concerned.

"I'm sorry. He's trying so hard to win, but I realize it was wrong to take advantage of you the way I did," he apologized sincerely. He put his hand under my chin and turned my face so that I had no choice but to look at him. He kissed my forehead chastely and I felt my resolve waver. "Will you forgive me?" he whispered softly, begging with his eyes and his voice.

"Of course, but we're having a talk when we get to the hotel." I said the last part sternly, trying to retain some pride. I don't know why I was so bothered by what he'd done. I loved being close to him, but…I was still pretty upset over something. I'd have to think about it at the hotel. Right now, I had a game of chess to win.

I won that chess game and the five rematches that followed.

EPOV

I walked into the hotel suite that I would be sharing with Bella and dropped my bag by the bed farthest from the door. Billy decided that, if we were living together, he might as well let us share a hotel room. I turned around and took Bella's bags out of her hands before carefully setting them by the empty bed.

Bella, without uttering a word, catapulted onto the bed and buried her face in the soft pillows. Finally, she spoke.

"My favorite part of hotels, hands down, is the beds. Seriously, why wasn't the bed I grew up in this soft and fluffy?" Her voice was muffled by the pillows and I grinned at her antics.

"I don't know," I said, playing along. I sat cross-legged at the end of the bed and just looked at her. After a few moments of peaceful silence, she sat up and adjusted herself so that she could lean up against the pillows and look at me. When she didn't speak, I said, "So, you wanted to talk to me in the hotel?"

"Let me think about what exactly I want to say, and I'll get back to you tomorrow," she smirked playfully and I let it go. I knew we had to go to sleep early because of the game tomorrow, so I decided it would be best to stay in the hotel room for the rest of the night.

"OK. I don't know about you, but I'm beat. Do you want first or second shower?" I asked, giving her the choice.

"I'll go first, if you don't mind. I hate when showers are wet before I get in." Well, we all have our quirks. She grabbed her PJs and walked into the bathroom, leaving me to stare at the ceiling. I had nearly dozed off when my phone rang.

"Hello?" I answered in a groggy voice.

"Edward! How are you? How was the flight?" Mom asked quickly and in her signature excited manner.

"I'm fine, Mom. The flight was long but I had fun watching Jacob and Bella play chess." Speaking of Bella, she stepped out of the bathroom, a gust of steam coming out behind her. She began towel drying her hair while simultaneously pulling on a pair of socks. I nearly laughed out loud as Bella stumbled and blushed adorably.

"Who won?"

"Who do you think? Bella kicked his ass." Mom's laughter floated through the speaker and Bella looked up curiously.

"Of course she did. I actually called to talk to Bella, if you don't mind. Is she available?" she asked politely.

"She's right here," I said, passing the phone to Bella as she plopped herself next to me on the bed. She situated herself between the pillows and my arm before speaking into the phone.

"Hey Esme. What's up? That sounds great. How about…the day after Edward and I get back? I haven't gone on a double date since my freshman year of college. Of course I'll get him to come, don't worry. See you then, Esme. Goodnight." She hung up and put the phone on the bedside table. I wrapped my arm around her waist and she buried her face into the crook of my neck.

"What was that about?"

"We're going on a double date with Carlisle and Esme to see the Seattle Orchestra when we get back home. I think it'll be fun," Bella said.

"Sure, but a double date with my parents?"

"Edward, it'll be fun." She kissed my neck quickly but it captured all of my attention.

"Fine, but I still think it'll be awkward," I said, giving in. What can I say? I'm a push over.

"You're being over dramatic. I think it'll be fun. Your parents are really cool and you should be glad we're not going on a double date with my parents. That would be awkward." Ooh. She's right.

The only thing worse than going on a double date with my parents would be going with Bella's.

BPOV

"Edward, get up," I whispered, shaking him.

"What?" he murmured before turning over and crushing me underneath him. He instinctively buried his face in my hair.

"Edward, I have to go to the lobby now and you have to be there in ten minutes. Get up!" I yelled the last part into his ear, but all he did was pull me closer. I shivered but forced myself to focus.

"Good mornin'! Good mornin'! It's time to start the day-" I sang at the top of my lungs before Edward's lips managed to stop all sound. I let him kiss me for a second before pushing him back a couple of inches.

"Really, we have to go," I almost screamed at him in an attempt to wake him up with my loud voice. Finally, he rolled off of me and stretched dramatically.

"I'm only getting up because I'm awake enough to remember that Billy will kick my ass if I'm late," he muttered as he dug blindly through his suitcase.

"Meet me in the lobby in five minutes." I hurried out of the room and into the elevator. The elevator music was actually not cheesy jazz, but calming classical music. I hopped out at the bottom floor and didn't have to search very long to find the group of six foot tall men huddled by the breakfast buffet.

"Coach! I saved you two chocolate chip muffins!" Emmett yelled from across the lobby. My face burned a bright red as I hurried over to the table where Jasper, Emmett, Jake, and Embry. Emmett moved his legs off of the chair that he'd obviously been saving for me and shoved two muffins on a napkin towards me.

"Are you about to ask for money, Emmett? Thanks and all, but what's up?" I asked cautiously. Emmett was acting strangely and that scared me, to be perfectly honest.

"Is it a crime to be nice to someone?" he said, appearing to be outraged. His eyes twinkled mischievously.

"No, but considering it's you we're talking about, it is a cause of some concern." He just smiled pleasantly. I sighed and decided to take my chances with the muffins. I picked it up carefully, treating it as gingerly as I would a bomb. I brought it toward my mouth slowly and, when I looked up, I noticed the four pairs of eyes staring at me intently. I winked and nibbled on the side of the muffin.

Nothing.

Nothing exploded, nothing horrible happened, he hadn't slipped jalapeños in the breakfast food, and I didn't see any white Anthrax powder peaking out from the middle of a chocolate chip. I took a bigger bite, however, and noticed something tasted a little off. I took another bite before I lost it. I started laughing so hard that my abs started to ache.

"Emmett, did you slip salt in my muffin?" Emmett shrugged, still staring at me. Obviously, this wasn't the reaction he had wanted. "That's funny and just…harmless! I thought you were trying to poison me with some kind of chemical warfare substance, but instead I got a little bit of salt in my food!"

"I thought you said she would start yelling! I thought I was going to get a good laugh out of this, but instead Bella is the one laughing. King of pranks my left buttock," Jake said, shaking his head in a disappointed manner.

"How was I supposed to know that she would be in an abnormally good mood this morning?" Emmett said defensively.

"Sorry I ruined your rep Emmett, but I have a feeling that today is the day we really make ourselves known and kick some ass." I had stopped laughing enough to stand up on my chair. I looked around and saw about sixty Seahawk players and a smattering of families eating at the surrounding tables.

"Who's ready to beat some Panthers?" I yelled, letting my voice reach the corners of the hotel lobby.

"We are, Coach!" the team yelled back in a military style.

"I hate cats!" Embry screamed with extra vigor. I turned to stare at him. "I'm allergic," he said, looking down at the table.

Ah, of course. That would explain his hatred of giant, black, foreign, jungle cats.


AN: This chapter is just some fluff, but I promise a game and a little action in the next one. And...I know. I'm late. Epically. I've had band, and history day, and a whole bunch of crap. That's the only way I can describe it: crap. I hope that everyone is still enjoying the updates...when they come (hides her face sheepishly)

FUNFACT: I'm doing the Church of England for my History Day project and...I'M ACTUALLY SUPER EXCITED! Ok, nerd moment over, but this year, I think I can actually enjoy history day.

Thanks to my wonderful Beta, Music ADD, for being patient with me, even though she hasn't been editing a lot because I've been trying to post these chapter as soon as I can. Thanks for reading and I love reveiws, Emma