"Vodka cranberry" I said to the bartender as he passed. I wasn't a big drinker but I was alone, on my birthday. My boyfriend Danny promised to take me out, then ditched me for his friends in typical Danny fashion. He knew birthdays were hard for me. It was my 18th birthday that had started all the trouble between me and Edward. Edward. I guess you could say he was my high school sweetheart, except he was a vampire, which complicated things quite a bit.
I took a sip from my drink.
When Edward left, it hit me really hard. I went through a rough patch for a few months, before I met Jacob. He was my very own sunshine in the dark world I was living in. He was my best friend. He had always hoped he would be more than that, but it just never worked out for us. I eventually got out of my rut that I had fallen into, but I had never gotten over Edward, even now. It hurts to think about him.
I went to college after high school, majored in literature. Sure it was something I was interested in, but it didn't get me anywhere. I moved to Seattle shortly after graduating from college and got a job at a small bookstore a few minutes away from my apartment. That's where I met Danny. Of course, he wasn't in looking for a book, just a bathroom. You wouldn't catch Danny reading anything, except for maybe Sports Illustrated or the Sunday comics. But I stayed with him because I didn't want to be alone. I hated being alone. Jacob got married two years after I left, and we stayed in touch, but his life was back in Forks. His wife, Mary Ann, was expecting their first baby any day now.
My dad, Charlie, visits a lot. He keeps begging me to come home, but I can't stay there. There were too many memories, good and bad and I felt like I needed a fresh start. My mom has been up here once, to help me move in. She lived in Florida with her husband Phil and said that the weather up here made her aura dark gray whatever that means. Apparently it's not so good.
I was brought back to reality when I looked down at my drink and noticed it was completely gone. A guy sat next to me, looking a little more than buzzed, and smiled in my direction. Great, I thought, just what I need right now.
"Hey there," he said arrogantly, "Can I buy you a drink?"
I turned away from him and pretended to be pre-occupied, twirling a piece of my long brown hair in my fingers.
"Hey," he said again.
Wow, he is not going away, I thought, starting to get uncomfortable. Now I turned my whole body completely the other way.
"I'm not finished talking to you yet," I heard him say as he grabbed onto my shoulders and spun me back around.
"Hey what's your prob-," I started. I froze when I felt a cold hand on my lower back.
"Sorry I'm late sweetheart," a voice from behind me said. I froze. No,no no, I thought. I must be hallucinating…or maybe it's the alcohol. I've only had one.
I stared straight ahead, terrified to turn and see who my savior was. A cold pair of lips pressed against my cheek.
"Hello," he said to my annoyingly pushy admirer. "Thanks for looking after my girl for me until I got here, I wouldn't want to have to get unpleasant with anyone," he said. I heard the strong emphasis on the word unpleasant. I still couldn't will my body to turn. I closed my eyes, blinking hard several times hoping the cold sensation on the small of my back would go away, that I was imagining it.
The man sitting across from me looked absolutely terrified. He quickly got up, grabbed his drink and bolted. I thought I heard him stutter "No problem" as he ran away. Now there was no one else here, just me and my "boyfriend." I stared straight ahead as he stepped ahead and turned to face me.
"I'll need a shot of tequila," I said to the bartender.
"Hello Bella," Edward said as he sat down.
I downed the shot as soon as it was placed in front of me, but I still couldn't speak. I just stared, unblinking at the person sitting in front of me. How can this be happening? What is he doing in Seattle, let alone at this very bar? What are the chances? This is absolutely impossible I can't believe this is happening to me! This is just….
"Excuse me?" Edward said, looking very confused.
Oh man. I just said that out loud. Crap.
"Another," I called to the bartender.
As I took the other shot, I kept my eyes on the warm butterscotch eyes staring intently at me from the other barstool. The eyes I used to get lost in. The eyes that could make my body melt. I could feel it now, though I was pretty sure it was the alcohol, or maybe a mixture of both.
"Are you going to say anything else besides "complete bullshit"?" Edward asked.
"I don't know yet," I said slowly.
He laughed. One of his beautiful laughs that echoed in the room. I turned to the bartender again fully intent on asking him for another shot of tequila. He must have read my mind, or the absolute shock in my eyes because instead of pouring me a shot he just pushed the whole bottle towards me with his pointer finger. I smiled tentatively at him, thanking him for the gesture. I took the tequila bottle in my hands and held it in my lap before turning my eyes back to him.
"Wh-…" I began. "What are you doing here Edward?" I asked when I could finally pull my brain together, or what was left of it at this point.
"Umm, well we actually moved back to Forks…I heard that you left, went to college or something."
"Ummm…yeah," I said.
"We're here celebrating Alice and Jasper's wedding. They're getting married…again."
"You're all here?" I said, my eyes widening.
He gestured behind me to a small table way in the back. I turned to see all of them- Jasper, Alice, Rose, and Emmett- staring at me tentatively. Well, until Emmett's face lit up in a goofy grin as he waved enthusiastically at me.
"Eh," I said as I slowly raised my hand, slowly bring my fingers down to meet my palm. It was all I could muster of a wave right now.
"You really should be more careful Bella, going to bars by yourself, you're lucky I came in when I did," he noted nodding to the guy, who was now talking quickly to a group of his friends. He was noticeably terrified; I knew Edward could have that effect on people. When the guy and his group saw Edward glance their way they quickly dropped their heads as if his gaze would turn them to stone. I wanted to giggle, but my face felt permanently fixed in a state of disbelief. I took a sip of tequila, straight from the bottle.
"You should watch yourself with that stuff," Edward said with a laugh. "It can really catch up with you."
Why the hell does he care? I thought angrily to myself. He left me, he told me he didn't want me, why would it matter to him what happened to me now?
I must have had the oddest look on my face while I was ranting to myself because he grabbed my arm. I felt the electric shock, just as strong as it had been all those years ago. I looked down at my arm then back up at his face. He felt it too, but tried to hide his face with a smile.
"Are you okay? You don't look very well," he asked looking very concerned.
My head was spinning and my entire face felt numb. Actually my whole body felt numb. I'd never drank this much alcohol in my entire life. Not even when Danny dragged me to a kegger him and his friends were having.
"I'm….fine," I said adamantly as I began to stand up. Apparently my body wasn't so sure. My left foot caught on the bar stool and twisted my ankle around as I plummeted towards the ground. Any other time I would have face planted in front of the whole bar, but he caught me of course, pulling me back up on my feet and holding me stable.
"I think I should take you home," he said as he moved his hands down to my waist.
Watch it Mr. Grabby hands, I thought to myself as my eyes glanced down at his arms, now wrapped in a gridiron around my waist. His eyes followed mine and he immediately brought them back up to my shoulders, obviously embarrassed.
We stumbled out of the bar, my arm draped over his shoulder and his arm tentatively wrapping around my back with his hand gripping the back of my head. He hailed a cab right away.
"Thank you Seattle!" I screamed to the passerby's granting strange looks from all of them. "Good night everyone!" I slurred as Edward pushed me gently into the backseat.
"14th street please," he said politely to the driver.
I tuned to face him again.
"How…do you know where I live?" I asked.
He simply held up his hand where my driver's license was resting between his 2nd and 3rd finger.
"Pshhh," I garbled, looking back at the road. Of course he found my driver's license, he's Edward freaking Cullen.
We were back at my place in no time and he helped me out of the cab.
"Ha" I laughed looking up, way way up, towards my balcony on the fifth floor. A five-floor walk up seemed like a good idea then. Now, not so much.
Before I knew it, Edward scooped me up in his arms, just like he used to and carried me up my stairs. It took all of ten seconds, where it would have taken me about 5 minutes, and that would have been completely sober. I was pounding on his chest the whole time and demanding that he let me down. I knew I wasn't hurting him, but for some reason, probably named tequila, I just kept on going. He laughed at my drunken display. The last thing I remember was being placed on my bed, in between my cool sheets, before drifting off to sleep.
When I woke up it was still dark out. I rolled over to glance at my alarm clock. Ugh, 4:36 AM. I suddenly realized I wasn't alone as I noticed a figure sitting in the chair in the corner of my bedroom.
"Gah!" I said as I jolted up.
"Relax Bella, it's just me," Edward said without moving an inch.
Crap, I was hoping it was a dream…or that I was delusional…or just really drunk. Suddenly I didn't feel so great. I tried to untangle myself from the sheets, almost falling out of bed in the process. I barely made it to the bathroom in time before I came face to face with my night's alcoholic conquests. Out of the blue I felt a pair of cool hands brushing across my neck, gathering all my hair and pulling it back. One hand traced down from my neck and was now rubbing my back in a comforting way. He was comforting me. Why was he doing all this? I had no clue what was going on, but I was glad he was here.
"Thank you," I whispered quietly before descending back into the darkness.