A/N: Thanks to my beta Jenn! This short fic is inspired by the Neil Young song of the same name which I liked to on my profile-- definitely listen to it! Longer a/n after.
Chapter 1: The air was magic when we played
I wanted to see him in a bow tie. A polka-dot bow tie would be especially perfect with the typical white oxford shirt and charcoal suit he always wore. I dreamed about this bow tie—blue with white polka dots, standing out even against his searching green eyes.
Because that's what Edward Cullen was always doing—searching. I wasn't even sure for what or maybe even for whom but every time I let myself steal even a quick glimpse of him, his eyes were sad. Sad and searching.
I'd seen him every single Friday for the past five weeks. Hunched over a piano, at the very back left corner, as if he could disappear off the stage when she started to sing. His fingers moved without thought—at least that's how it appeared to me—and if he bothered to look up it was with the same sad expression, looking for something or longing to be somewhere else.
She being Rosalie Hale. The Rosalie Hale who graced the covers of magazines for years as a super model and who was now slumming it in a tiny club as a jazz singer. She was perfect. Seriously. She had long blonde hair and a red dress that fit like a second skin. I was sure there had to be something between her and Edward—they were too beautiful to be with anyone else. But if he felt anything for her besides indifference, he didn't show it. He was so transfixed by every key that he often closed his eyes as her voice lilted with the melody.
She, however, appeared anything but indifferent to Edward. She would turn her head over her shoulder every time a new song tarted and sometimes, when she was singing something particularly heart wrenching he would turn and perch on the piano as if she were singing only to him. I hated her.
Maybe hate was too strong a word. I . . . envied her. To be that close to him. Just being in the same room as him every friday night, even if it was a tiny bar and he had no clue of my existence, was enough to give my heart palpitations. I felt like I was addicted.
I hadn't even told any of my friends about my now weekly ritual. That Friday nights I would rush home from work, throwing my clothes off and trying to find something sexy that still looked like I wasn't trying before hailing a cab so I could catch the first set--and then, inevitably--I always stayed for the second set. Tonight was also the second Friday on which Alice had begged me to go over to her and Jasper's for dinner. It was getting harder to lie to her--to tell her that I really just wanted to stay home and that I would see them Saturday or Sunday. I could sense she didn't believe me but maybe the reverence in my voice told her not to question it. Sometimes it was just difficult to be around her and Jasper--they were married but even more than that it was just so obvious that they were meant to be together. Soul mates and all of that. I was happy for my best friend...truly, I was but sometimes being around her and Jasper made me realise just what I was missing.
It was just too raw--too open-- this obsession I had developed for me to share it with anyone yet--even with Alice who was closer to me than my own mother.
Rosalie started singing 'Round Midnight--one of my favourite songs--and my head jerked up, as if trying to clear my thoughts. I was back in the moment, back to watching Edward's hands move seamlessly over the keys while Rosalie sang her heart out. Even though I was compulsively jealous of her, I couldn't deny that she could sing.
And then something crazy happened, upon playing the last keys of the song, Edward looked up and he was staring directly at me. I couldn't move--couldn't blink because I was afraid I was mistaken. I wanted to turn around--to see if he was actually looking at someone else but I was transfixed and I wanted to believe he was looking only at me. The song ended and he bowed his head again, his eyes closed, his lips open as if in prayer.
My heart was beating out of my chest and I placed my hand over it, willing myself to get a grip. Had he really just looked at me?
Rosalie's voice brought me back to reality as she thanked the small crowd--all of us apparently moved by the last song because the applause was almost deafening. Then she thanked Edward, her gaze penetrating him as she walked over to him to tousle his hair. In all the weeks I'd seen them perform together, I'd never witnessed such an act of intimacy between them. I had to be wrong about two things: 1) Edward certainly couldn't be indifferent to her; and 2) there was no way he had been looking at me before. He must have had something in his eye or some other logical explanation.
I mean, who was I kidding? I only knew his name because of the small sign the club put out on nights when Rosalie sang. It was a gorgeous headshot of hers and then in tiny letters underneath . . . "Accompanied by Edward Cullen on piano." Did I really think he had seen me sitting in a tiny, dark club and just looked right past Rosalie to stare at me? I was definitely losing it. I didn't even know him and already I was calling him by his first name, trying to figure out the meanings behind every little thing he did and he didn't even know I was alive.
For a minute, I contemplated not staying for the second set. I really didn't need to torture myself anymore. Edward and Rosalie were sufficiently ensconced off the stage now, taking their break between the sets and whispering to each other. I was dead wrong in thinking Edward was indifferent to her. I couldn't stop staring at them, as if I would suddenly be able to make out what they were saying to each other. Rosalie was gesticulating wildly and Edward looked as calm as ever. And then . . . he did it again. He was staring at me. Our eyes locked and Rosalie was waving a hand in front of his eyes to get his attention because apparently he wasn't responding to her.
I couldn't be imagining this again--this intense look he was giving me. It was like he could see my soul. I didn't know what to do-- should I go over to him? Should I leave?
And then, just like that, the stare was broken as he returned to his conversation with Rosalie. And I knew I wasn't going to leave before the second set. I couldn't even if I wanted to. He had captivated me once again.
. . .
The second set seemed to fly by. More people had streamed into the club as the time grew later and it was well past midnight now. Edward hadn't looked at me again, but not for lack of trying on my part. I hadn't been able to take my eyes off of him through the entire set. I had tried to look at him without changing seats despite the fact that some tall, way too muscled man with short dark, curly hair had taken a seat right in front of me. He looked a bit familiar which I chalked up to probably seeing him at another show. He definitely liked what he saw in Rosalie, even whistling and giving a few cat calls after some of her songs. It seemed highly inappropriate given we were at a jazz show but Rosalie hadn't seemed to mind and certainly hadn't given him any looks that were disapproving as I had seen her do before when other men approached her at the club.
I angled my head so I could stare at Edward over the man's muscled shoulders and then I realised that the muscular man was wearing some sort of uniform. I tried to make out what the patch on his left should read and although i couldn't quite read it without moving closer to him, I could tell that it bore a caduceus, the medical symbol. I guessed he must be a paramedic . . . based on his dark blue uniform and the patch. I should be familiar with the caduceus, given my rare and inexplicable ability to gravitate toward any and every accident. I was beyond clumsy, falling or tripping often and I had made countless trips to the hospital because of my proclivity. Maybe that was why he looked familiar? On second thought, I must have seen him at the club because even though I was a frequent visitor to the hospital, I had luckily never needed the assistance of an ambulance.
Maybe he could sense me staring at his uniform, my face scrunched up as I was wont to do when I was thinking because the tall, muscular paramedic turned around and smiled at me.
"Can I help you with something?" He asked.
"What? I . . um . . . no, no . . . sorry." I stumbled, surprised that he was talking to me.
He continued looking at me questioningly and I felt obliged to keep rambling.
"I, uh . . . was just trying to figure out your uniform. Are you a paramedic?"
"Yes, I'm an EMT . . . helping people one ambulance ride at a time." He reached his hand out to shake mine.
"My name's Emmett. And you are?"
"Bella," I answer unsteadily, shaking his hand.
He laughed at my hesitation.
"Do you come here often?"
I knew I was blushing. "I, uh . . . I guess I come every Friday night. What about you?"
"The same . . . I . . . " He started, and he said something else but I couldn't hear because I made the mistake of looking over at Edward who was literally staring daggers at Emmett.
His look was pure murder and I couldn't tell why.
"Sorry . . .Emmett, right? What did you say?" I asked him to repeat himself although I didn't look at him, my eyes still boring into Edward's and the look on his face that I had never seen before. What happened to his sadness? His indifference? This look was pure passion.
He turned around to see what I was looking at and was evidently taken aback by Edward's gaze.
"Is that your boyfriend?" He asked me.
I giggled nervously. I wish.
"No . . . I don't know him . . . I've never even met him."
"Then why is he looking at me as if he wants to kill me just for talking to you? He is defining the term "if looks could kill" right now."
I shook my head; there had to be another explanation.
"I'm sure you're mistaken . . . he's probably just really getting into the song." I realised that Emmett and I should lower our voices or cease the conversation because by now, we were being rude to the performance. Sure enough, I glanced at Rosalie and was seriously giving me a look that could kill.
I lowered my voice. "Maybe we should talk after the song." I said.
He turned around and quickly noticed the look on Rosalie's face. He suddenly looked sheepish and I noticed his cheeks tinge pink. "Oh shit. You're right." He said, turning around without another word.
Rosalie and Edward relaxed as soon as Emmett and I stopped talking . . . and I couldn't help but think that was weird.
Emmett and I didn't talk again as the second set came to a close--I hardly noticed since I was entranced by the music. I got into a zone where I also wasn't paying attention to any line Rosalie sang; instead, focusing on every note Edward played. If I hadn't already loved jazz, he would have made me love it.
I strained around Emmett's massive shoulders so I could stare at Edward's fingers gliding over the keys and daydreaming about those fingers running up and down my body, as if I could will it to happen the more intently I gaped at his fingers.
And then the set and, in turn, the night was over.
Emmett turned around and before I could say anything, he spoke: "He's staring at you again. What are you going to do about it?"
A/N: So I anticipate this being about five chapters, most of which is already written so hopefully I wont torture you with lack of updates. I know it seems a bit different but let me know what you think. Also if you PM me or review, I'll give you a link to download the song that inspired this fic--if you listen to it, I think you'll really get the sense of things. And finally, my beta dictums (AMAZING!) just wrote an awesome one-shot that takes place after Eclipse. It's called Piano Lessons and my First Trip to the Zoo and you should read it! xo