A/N: I am re-writing the entire story. Filtering it with new random bits and pieces I have written. It's by no means a masterpiece but I hope it is at least interesting to new and old readers.
Chapter 1. "Match Box."
The air smelt like smoke, the club was dark and the music pulsed from giant speakers under my feet. I tugged on the "dress" Alice had forced me into. Despite the cut of the neck line, I felt it ended far too high up my thigh; a height Rose had said made me look more our age and less like a fifty year old woman that I apparently "always dressed like." My hair kept tickling my shoulders and I wanted nothing more than to pull it up in a sloppy side pony tail. But Alice had insisted I let it hang out. Tonight I was her doll. I was yet to understand how her stupid puppy dog pout had hypnotized me into agreeing that she dress me tonight. Then again no one was brave enough to stand up to that look, not even my father.
The music was foreign and I clenched my jaw wishing I occasionally listened to the radio so at least I would know the chorus. I didn't care that it was only the into music proceeding the band, it still meant Alice was dancing around me, to a rhythm she recognized. Her fluid movements fuelling the pit of fear in me. Quite simply, I couldn't dance. I knew this, Alice knew this. Yet she had insisted I join her on the dance floor. She had insisted I dance in public, with people watching. Shit. I knew my cheeks were colouring just thinking about the people laughing at me, a default I'd inherited from a long forgotten mother. My arms hung limply against my body as I stealthily tried to copy the moves of the people around me. Angela and I had made a game of copying once, but that was before Ben entered the picture. Now she rarely had time to see me. Tonight however, the game clearly didn't work and I was left swinging my arms like a floundering fish. I noticed some girls from school hurrying to distance themselves from me. Rose was off somewhere, her where abouts lost to crowd, with the lead singer of the band that was playing this evening. He had put our name's on "The List" and she had pretty much begged me to come. He was this month's love candy though according to Rose, he was going to be sticking around for longer than the usual ones. Tonight was the grand meet, the best friends and the boyfriend. I had only come because Rose had promised to sweeten my deal and throw in a free car tune up as incentive. Secretly I would have come anyway, I felt it was a best friend's duty to show up and meet him. Alice of course, loved nothing more than a night out had jumped at the chance especially when a 'List' was involved.
This brought me back to this god for saken seedy club. On a Thursday night when I knew I had an assignment due in Lit the next day. It led to me being out on a school night with my fake ID burning a hole in my pocket and causing my police father's face, to pop up every time I walked away from the bar, glasses clinking in my hands. The song ended, Alice stilled next to me and suddenly the crowd began to chant and swell in a single fluid movement, clearly the band was coming onto the stage. I felt Alice grab onto my hand.
"Oh my god, Bella…look at Rose." I glanced up in the direction Alice gestured and my jaw dropped. Rose was standing on the side of the stage. Her tongue was stuck down the throat of what we presumed to be the lead singer of the band. His guitar was thrown casually over his back. Alice and I couldn't see his face but the white shirt and jeans revealed as expected with Rose's boys; a nice body. The lights on the stage flashed around his head, causing his increasingly dishevelled hair to become even more scruffier. Rose seemed to be trying to mould herself to the singer. His hands gliding effortlessly along her hips. Someone obviously gestured to him that the crowd was waiting because his head suddenly snapped towards us.
My eyes connected with his face in that instant and I felt the room shudder. I struggled to swallow. My heart painfully thumped in my chest. I was utterly captivated. I had never seen anything like him in my entire life. His hair was sex hair. His eyes were a piercing green. He was tall, I could tell how tall exactly but I knew Rose was wearing heels and he still seemed to tower over her so I assumed at least six foot. He looked strong, I was vaguely aware another one of the guys was hugely muscular but my eyes only focused on the lead. His shirt was offset with a thin black tie. Cliche indie band style, I bet it was management's idea. My sight went strangely blurry though he was my only focal point. The noise of the club disappeared. All I could hear was my heart thumping and all I could see was this guy's face. I felt like I was in a horribly cliché love movie so I shook my head to the side, like I was emptying water from my ears and within a few moments sight and sound had returned tenfold. I heard Alice mutter wow but I was too shocked to reply. My heart continued to thump. Fans screamed around us as the lead held up his hands, calling for silence and as much as they could, the room full of people quieted.
"Hello, I'm Edward and we're The Cullen's. Enjoy."
He skulled a glass of beer before the beginning rifts of his guitar belt out. I focused on the tendons in his neck. My knees buckled slightly at the sound of his voice but Alice held me up, her face displaying numerous questions; I gestured to the shoes she had forced me into. Alice knew I was lying, there was no way she would be missing how my eyes were obsessively trailing this Edward. His voice was like gravel. It caused the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up. It was sexy. I felt sick. Rose had all the luck.
My eyes flicked to her for the briefest of moments; she was casually leaning against the wall watching Edward perform. A group of scantily dressed girls stood around her, they were swaying to the guitar beats Edward had started to play. The song sounded professionally made. It was beautiful. By the end of it the two of us were so caught up in the music, caught up in the sound of Edwards voice that I didn't even notice the few guys who were trying to dance with us. Alice shot them a dirty look and they backed off her. I, however, never had the courage too and they realised, edging themselves closer to me as though my lack of response was encouragement. One of them leant close to my ear; he stood behind me, his arms loosely gripping my hips. I tried to wiggle away but again, he took it for encouragement. All I could smell was stale beer, his body pressed closer to mine in an attempt to dance. He muttered his name was Mike and compared to the smooth voice of Edward, Mike sounded like a squeaky, immature boy. The song ended and without meaning too, I was shouting and cheering for the band. It was a reflex when I was near good music. I heard Mike mutter "Cullen groupie," before he walked away. Alice shot me a look just as the next song started, her message was unclear.
I was hypnotised by Edward. His presence on stage made it hard to focus on anyone else in the group. But by the third song I was forcing myself to focus on the other band mates; there was a bassist who had straight blonde hair, he looked a little older than Edward but not by much. He was wearing a shirt with a giant C on it, I wasn't sure if the letter was a nod to the band or to his own name. I glanced at the drummer and realised I had been right earlier. While Edward was muscular, this drummer was huge. His body clearly on display as he performed shirtless, intimidating even the drum set he thumped away on. Despite my initial attraction to Edward, I could still appreciate how hot this band was. They were, as Alice would later scream whisper, 'the most attractive band that ever existed.' Of course this declaration would happen at 2am as we scoffed down seedy cold chips on my couch while my father slept upstairs. The main attraction was not how they looked, it was that for a band our age, they were actually talented. This argument was easily backed by the majority of the male crowd giving their music some cred. And the crowd egged their performance on. The louder the crowd was, the more Edward seemed to become energised by it, hyping himself and the rest of the band, making their performance continuously better.
By the end of the night, I was dumbstruck. Despite the numerous bands I had seen play live, the Cullen's were something different. Something outside the realm of local pub bands, these boys were going to make it. Outside in the cold street, waiting for a taxi and Rose, everyone was abuzz with exclamations of the gig. The crowd easily spilled out in all directions around the venue. Alice gripped my hand tightly.
"Wow." I repeated her words earlier. She smirked at me.
"I agree. Wow…that was amazing, did you see the body that the drummer had?"
"Yes, mind you it was difficult to drag my eyes away from the lead…" Alice's tinker bell laughed bounced back at me.
"I could tell."
I sighed. My face flushing its familiar red, "Oh, how embarrassing. I hope Rose didn't notice."
"You hoped I didn't notice what?" I half turned to face her. She must have shot out of the stage door. I figured a backhanded comment at her very public display of affection was appropriate I mean she had practically abandoned us for the entire evening.
"How I was totally ogling the guy you sexed up on stage." Alice laughed, her hand flying to her mouth cutting her off mid-laugh. I expected it was because of Rose's face so I laughed loudly on my own. Alice elbowed me though, which only made me laugh harder. "Geez Rose, it's not my fault he epitomises sex."
"Ummm Bella?" I spun around. My nightmare began. Right next to Rose was Edward. I pretty much came face to face with him. I felt my heart splatter.
Edward didn't say anything. He didn't really need too. He sort of smirked while my face became redder and redder.
Rose eager to put the attention back onto her, smiled at me. "See Bella here, blushes at the drop of the hat, don't you think it would be amusing to see Emmett make her blush?"
Edward's face clouded for a moment before he started chuckling. "Yes Emmett would love Bella."
"Whose Emmett?" my voice came out fairly squeaky and awkward. I wanted to run and hide.
Edward answered me; he seemed confused by what he was saying. "Oh, he is the drummer of the band…. And my cousin really…"
"Oh. I saw…stage… He was…umm… shirtless."
"Jesus, Bells, you're attempting a career with a lit major and that's all you can say?"
"What would you prefer Alice?" I snapped. My comment creating an awkward silence. I was permanently red now though it was followed by feelings of nausea as I watched Edward wrap his arm around Rose.
"Rose, we had better go pack everything up…it was nice meeting you both." I felt like Alice and I had been judged by Edward and because of me, we had failed. I swallowed hoping to not make anymore embarrassing scenes in front of Edward. A small crowd of people had gathered around him, he smiled at them. Rose muttered something about not waiting for her.
Alice and I stood there for a second longer before she waved her arms up and down, hailing a cab. I was captured though, by Edwards's eyes. I was blatantly starring but I didn't really care. I couldn't help it. I was trapped in a moment. I felt my heart thump loudly again. Al shoved me into the taxi. Her voice calling out another final goodbye, the cab slowly pulled away from the curb and I turned my head as it moved, trying to maintain the connection. I wasn't being crazy, Edward had pretty much walked alongside the taxi as we drove off. Finally, after what seemed like a thousand seconds, and a corner, our connection was broken. My head flickered back and I gazed at the back of the driver's seat. Lost in thought. Had Edward felt the same creepy emotion that connected us? Had he been unable to look away as well or was he just being polite? Oh god, I bet I was a crazy stalker fan. Shit. Why did my heart actually hurt, was I having a heart attack?
"Umm Bella, what was that?"
"What was what Alice?" she glanced at the cab drivers tab counter before glaring at me.
"Bella, I saw the way you two were looking at each other."
"What ever Alice. I think you're seeing things."
"I always do." Yes, you're psychic Alice and I am the Mad Hatter.
"Ah ha." My phone buzzed in my pocket. It was from Rose. I gulped as I read it. The taxi beneath me gave way and I clenched my jaw shut to prevent the bile rising. The six words she had sent me, caused chills to appear up my arms. It caused the strangest emotions to filter through my body, in that moment I actually hated Rose, hated my best friend. Her six words haunted me and they had only just been written. Alice noticed the drastic change in my mood; she elbowed me, mouthing what? I shook my head, preying tears didn't form. Fuck. I was in trouble. I glanced down at my phone; swallowing again I hoped I had read the message wrong. Nope. No such luck.
"Bella, Need to talk. I think I love Emmett Cullen."