The Epic T-Rated Contest :)

Created by Bronzehairedgirl620 and (in memory of) Daddy's Little Cannibal

The rules are simple:

1. No lemons. Must be rated 'T.'

2. Has to have a line or reference to a cannibal.

3. Has to have a line or reference to a fireman.

4. All canon pairings.

5. Has to be a one-shot, but is allowed to be continued once the contest is finished.

6. Must copy/paste these rules to the top of your submission. Two entries per person. Collaborations acceptable.

7. Must PM Bronzehairedgirl620 to alert them of your entry so we can add your story to the C2 if it fits the requirements.

Author's Note: This story made it to the second round of voting but not the final round. Thanks to everyone who voted!

Stephenie Meyer created the characters. Eric Clapton wrote and performed the beautiful, classic song that supplied the title and the inspiration for this story. I did the rest (with some helpful input from Juliejuliejulie, as usual; thanks, Julie!).

"What do you think?"

Bella stood in the doorway, modeling an unusually low-cut top with her jeans and Converse All-Stars. "Very nice," I assured her. She always looked the same— incandescently beautiful— and she always looked different. Every expression that flickered across her face and every emotion that gleamed in her eyes was a new treasure. I'd never get enough of her infinite variety. She makes hungry where most she satisfies.

"You don't think it's too revealing?"

I gave the matter careful consideration before pronouncing my verdict. "I think it's just revealing enough."

She giggled, but quickly returned to fretting over her outfit. "I don't know. I'd rather wear the other one, but Alice got me this for tonight."

"You should wear whatever you want. Please yourself, not my sister."

"What about my boyfriend?" she teased, grinning at me. "Should I consider his preferences?"

"Don't worry about him. He's easy to please."

She raised one eyebrow. "Is that so?"

I pulled her into my arms so suddenly that she gasped with the shock. I kissed her, and hot, blissful spikes of excitement shot through me. "Yes," I murmured into her ear. "This is all that matters. I don't care if you wear a toga or a sari or a burlap sack."

"Mmmm." She relaxed against me and sighed happily. "I wish we could just stay in."

"What kind of attitude is that? The party will be fun. It's a classic human experience for you. And Alice is counting on us to be there."

"The sooner we get there, the sooner we can leave, right?" She wriggled out of my arms and picked up the hairbrush from her dresser. I sat down on the bed to enjoy the hypnotic sight of the brush moving along the soft strands that I loved to run my hands through. The strokes smoothed out the uneven sections and brought out the shine. And the motion sent the heavenly fragrance of lavender and freesia swirling through the air. I took a deep breath. In fact, I was nearly impossible to please. Only one thing in the world could ever make me happy: Bella. But as long as I had her, I was completely fulfilled. She set down the brush and turned to face me. "Do I look all right?"

"Yes," I said emphatically. Her beauty made me smile, and I was gratified to see her face light up in response. "You look wonderful."

I could hear loud music, excited voices and many thoughts well before we arrived. The entire senior class, most of the juniors, and even some younger students were crowded into the Newtons' house and spilling into their yard. I parked the car and turned to get out and open Bella's door, but she grabbed my arm.


She didn't reply. She moved her hand to the back of my neck and tugged me towards her. Her eyes were already closed as she anticipated the kiss, but I didn't close the gap. Instead I breathed on her. She inhaled and smiled automatically, even as her eyes flew open and she glared at me.

"Kiss me!"

I laughed as she scrambled closer, but the laughter stopped the instant I felt her lips. Her mouth on mine had the power to catapult me to another dimension of delicious warmth and thrilling sensation. "I can't get/Any rest/People say/I'm obsessed." The Fine Young Cannibals song blasting from the house was older than some of the kids here, but it still sounded fresh to me. "She drives me crazy/Like no one else/She drives me crazy/And I can't help myself." I slid my hand to her neck. Her blood was racing, her pulse was throbbing just under my fingers. Her heart pounded in time with the beat. My throat was burning, but every other part of me glowed with pleasure.

That's Cullen's car. Bella's here! My name caught my attention. Was he on the lookout for her? I pulled away and opened my door before she could protest. "Mike's on his way out to greet you," I informed her. She slumped back in her seat and waited for me to come around to her side of the car.

"Hi, Bella!" Newton was jumping down the porch steps as we approached. What a knockout! That blouse! I clenched my teeth. If he kept looking at her that way, and her beauty didn't knock him out, as it should, I'd be happy to assist.

"Hi, Mike."

"I'm glad you came. Come on in; let me get you something to drink." He held the door for her. "Cullen," he nodded to me as I followed her into the house. What does he have that I don't? Besides money. And good grades. As for looks… he is so pale! He looks sickly! But the girls always go for him. I maintained a neutral expression. Normally this sort of thing might annoy me, but tonight I was just amused. I really couldn't blame him or any of the other Forks High students for their incessant envy. Everything about us was designed to lure and dominate our prey. No mortal could compete.

Some of our classmates were clustered in the kitchen. "Wow, Bella you look great!" Jessica exclaimed. That blouse is so cute. Where did she get it?

"Thanks. Alice lent me this. You don't think it's a little much?" Bella spoke quietly. She didn't like being under scrutiny, even from her female friends.

"It's adorable," Jessica assured her. Probably expensive. I bet I'd look amazing in designer clothes.

"You look really nice," Bella returned the compliment. "I like your earrings."

"So, Bella, Cullen let you out for the night?" Tyler commented. She hardly talks to anyone else, even at school.

Bella glanced at me. "Well, sure. He doesn't…. I mean, we both wanted to come to the party."

"You do keep to yourselves a lot," Jessica pointed out. Can't say I blame her. Between Edward and this crowd, I know who I'd pick!

"I guess I'm kind of a homebody, that's all," Bella said apologetically.

"We'll show you a good time," promised Mike. "Then you'll change your ways. Here you go." He reached into a cooler and held out two beers.

Bella shook her head immediately. "I can't. My father..."

"How about you, Edward?" They all looked at me. Bella's expression was slightly anxious. Newton was appraising me. He's such a straight arrow. No fun. I bet he won't. What's his excuse going to be?

The alcohol was in cans. It would be easy to fake it. "Thanks." I snapped open the container and pretended to drink. Bella watched me closely and relaxed. She knew what I was doing.

Bella! My sister's high spirits were evident even in her thoughts. I was surprised she'd waited this long to approach us. We'd been here for six entire minutes. Alice was lost in the crowd; Bella couldn't see her yet. Suddenly she appeared, having slid gracefully between two big sophomores. "You're here!" she cried joyfully, grabbing Bella's hands. Bella was startled but pleased. "Oh, Bella," Alice continued in a tone of dismay, shaking her head sadly. I guess she did the best she could on her own, but she really needs me.

"What? What's wrong?" Bella was confused.

"Nothing is wrong, love," I declared. "You look perfect."

Alice turned and glared at me. Your opinion on this matter means nothing. "You should have put your hair up," she announced. "Come on, let me fix it." She began tugging on Bella's hand.

"You don't have to," I said, but Bella was letting herself be led away. She smiled and gave me a helpless shrug. I knew from long experience that it was easier to just go along with Alice. She'll be back soon. Don't worry! Alice assured me blithely.

Too quickly for anyone to follow, I dumped some of the contents of my can into the sink. The guys were discussing our upcoming final exams. I mimed taking another swig of beer. Should I pretend to be under the influence of alcohol? No, it wasn't necessary. Only Bella had ever paid enough attention to notice that we didn't eat or drink.

"I can't believe we are only a few weeks from graduation and a few short months from being out of here," said Mike gleefully.

"Next stop, California?" Ben asked.

"Uh, well, I haven't heard about that yet," Mike confessed. The wait list, ugh. You can come here if our first choices fall through. Better change the subject. "How about you?"

"University of Washington. You know, Angela wants to stay near her brothers," Ben explained. "What about you, Edward? You're going to the same school as Bella, right?"


"Cullen, man, you shouldn't tie yourself down so young. You should play the field," Eric urged. You'd have so many girls after you, you'd have to beat them off with a stick.

"You owe it to yourself to sow your wild oats," Mike advised solemnly.

I chuckled. "I don't think I have any of those left." What is he talking about? He didn't date at all until Bella moved here. Was he a player at his old school in Alaska? "I mean," I clarified, "I met the right girl, so why fight it?"

Bella is smoking hot. But I bet in college there will be older girls with all kinds of tricks… I looked over at Ben, trying to tune into his mind and ignore Mike's. I feel the same way. I'll never meet anyone prettier or nicer than Angela. I couldn't help smiling at him, and he smiled back.

"Ta da!" Alice burst back into our midst, dragging Bella along behind her. Sure enough, she'd styled Bella's hair and applied makeup. Bella looked up cautiously, waiting for my reaction.

"Beautiful," I said, putting my arm around her and holding her against me. "But you don't need makeup."

Alice rolled her eyes. "Who said anything about need?"

"Alice, would you like something to drink?" Mike was a conscientious host.

"No, thank you," she replied cheerfully. "I'm so small. I have zero tolerance."

Jessica spoke up. "Mike, dance with me?"

"Sure." She looks very cute tonight.

"Alice?" I had to admire Tyler's pluck. "Would you like to dance?"

"Thank you! I'd love to!" Parties are so much fun! We should have one. Elaborate plans were already forming in her head as she flitted after her partner.

I glanced at Bella. "No way," she said immediately. I pulled her into an embrace and rested my forehead against hers. "Are you trying to dazzle me?" Her tone blended teasing and suspicion.

"Why do you ask? Is it not working?"

She giggled. "You do smell good."

"Resistance is futile," I warned her.

"From the first moment I saw you," she murmured. Her words and the love in her warm brown eyes thrilled me. I slid my hands up to hold her face and engross myself in her adoring gaze. She swayed slightly. She was starting to lose her balance. "You win! One dance, okay?"

"Really?" I said with delight.

"A slow song," she specified.

"That would be my preference," I agreed. "Not right now, though. I want to look forward to it." I was flooded with happiness. The decades I'd pushed through before Bella had seemed long at the time, but if I'd known what perfect joy was in store for me, I'd wait ten thousand years. And the most amazing part was that, no matter how hard I tried to show it, she just didn't realize how much I loved her.

The Newtons had a pool table in the basement. Bella didn't want to play, but we hung out there as various friends and acquaintances tried their luck. A younger girl, Whitney Chase, was shooting very poorly and laughing uproariously with each misaimed stroke. Suddenly she staggered backwards and nearly fell into us. "I think I'm going to be sick," she whispered.

"Here," said Bella, reaching out to support her. "Let me take you to the bathroom." But Whitney was unsteady on her feet, threatening to topple them both over. I moved to assist them, but Bella shook her head and Alice dashed over to help. Nothing personal, she assured me, as they escorted Whitney to the bathroom. It's a girl thing. I nodded at them and leaned against the wall, concentrating on picking up their conversation through the babble surrounding me.

After Whitney threw up, she curled into a ball on the floor and dissolved into sobs. "I feel awful. I'm so stupid."

"No, you're not. It's okay," Bella said soothingly.

"Why did I drink so much? I wish I hadn't come here," Whitney continued as if she hadn't heard.

"Did something happen?"

"It was Kyle,"' she said, taking a deep breath. "We went out a few times. And I thought he really liked me! I should have known he'd be here tonight."

"Was he mean to you?" Bella looked upset. My love cared about everyone around her. She had such a good heart. I marveled again that her precious spirit had been entrusted to me.

"Yes," Whitney said in a tremulous voice. "He asked who I was going to throw myself at next, and he said he'd told all his teammates to steer clear of me. I didn't throw myself at him. He started talking to me! He sat next to me in the cafeteria! I'm not interested in any of his stupid teammates anyway!"

"He sounds like a jerk," Bella said sympathetically.

"Definitely," Alice chimed in.

"So then I started drinking, because I thought it would help me forget and have a good time." Whitney looked miserable.

"Do you feel any better now?"

"A little bit," she sighed. I checked Whitney's mind. Gratitude towards Alice and Bella filled her thoughts. "You're so lucky. Edward seems like such a nice guy. He's always very polite."

I saw Bella's smile through Whitney's eyes. "I am lucky," Bella agreed. "He's wonderful." Whitney sighed. She looks so happy. Her face is all lit up. I want a guy who makes me feel that way.

"Are you ready to go back out there?" Alice asked.

"I just want to go home," Whitney said. "But I came with Christine and Shayla. They won't want to leave yet."

"Edward and I can drive you home," Bella offered.

"No," Whitney protested. "I don't want to make you leave."

"I'll drive you!" Alice cried enthusiastically. "I came by myself. I don't mind at all."

"Are you sure?" They're both so sweet. I would like to get out of here. I guess it would be okay.

"Yes," Alice said firmly. "Come on. Let's go."

Alice helped the younger girl to her feet and held her hand as they walked towards the stairs. "I'm taking Whitney home," she told me, for the benefit of those around us. "I'll see you two later."

Bella turned to me. "Maybe we should head out too?" she said hopefully.

"You promised me a dance," I reminded her.

We followed Alice and Whitney upstairs. I led Bella into the press of bodies and put my arms around her. She rested her head against my chest. There wasn't much room to move, but I didn't mind. The high volume torrent of thoughts was getting to me. I leaned even closer to immerse myself in her scent. When my head was full of her, everything else was crowded out. I must have seemed a little bit desperate, because she looked up at me, frowning slightly. "Do you feel all right?"

"I feel wonderful," I assured her quietly. Holding her in my arms, I was perfectly contented. I spoke into her ear. "Bella, I've spent so many years in high school, and I just endured it. I never imagined I could be so happy at one of the silly parties I always heard the kids talking about and thinking about. I told you I didn't want you to miss any human experiences, but I wasn't telling the whole truth. I wanted to have them with you."

She reached up to stroke my cheek, leaving a trail of tingling warmth. "You could go anywhere and do anything, and your dream is a high school party?"

"With you," I whispered. Everything was special with her by my side. Sharing her fleeting human moments was a priceless gift. The song ended, and I brought her hands to my lips. "Thank you, love. Do you mind if we leave now? It is very noisy here."

She nodded. "Why don't you go wait outside?" she suggested. "I'll say goodbye to a few people and be out in a minute." I smiled gratefully, and she squeezed my hand before letting go and heading into the next room.

I felt wrung out from the party. When the kids were drunk their thoughts were very loud and incoherent and harder to ignore. I could have tried to track her progress through the crowd, but everyone was all keyed up. They weren't paying attention to anyone around them. Instead, I leaned against the car and looked up at the full moon. A lovely night for hunting, but I wasn't thirsty. Not for blood anyway. I craved Bella's smile, the soothing sound of her heartbeat, her steady breathing and spoken thoughts while she slept. More music from the 80's was filling the air. Hey little girl is your daddy home/Did he go away and leave you all alone/I got a bad desire/I'm on fire. Every song of longing and desire resonated with me. Bella caused thirst to blaze up in my throat and passion to rage through my body. No fireman could douse those flames. The feelings she provoked were painful for me sometimes and they could be risky for her, but they were everything I wanted. Each satisfying touch fueled the yearning for the next. Only you can cool my desire/I'm on fire. I saw Bella emerge from the house and went to meet her. It was dark; I didn't want her to trip. She stopped in front of the passenger door, ready for me to assist her.

"Would you drive us home, please?" I asked.

"You want me to drive your car?" she said in surprise.

"I had that beer."

She rolled her eyes. "Oh, you did not," she scoffed.

"Okay, I didn't," I admitted. "But they think I did. We should keep up appearances. Besides, I felt great when I was dancing with you, but a party is a bit of a strain." I dropped the keys into her hand.

"Sure!" she said. I escorted her around the car to open the door for her. I watched from the passenger seat as she adjusted the seat, fastened her seatbelt and surveyed the controls. My love was a very responsible driver. I relaxed as the thoughts and raucous sounds emanating from the house dropped away. It was marvelously peaceful and restful being just with Bella.

Alice was waiting on the porch when we got to the house. "Whitney wanted me to thank you again," she reported.

"It was nothing," Bella said.

"I want to thank you too," she continued.

"Why?" Bella was perplexed.

"We've never been invited to a party before. It's because of you. I had a lovely time." My sister was thrilled with the experience.

"Well, I never went to that kind of party before either. I guess we need each other." I squeezed Bella's hand.

"Jasper and I are going for a run. Everything looks beautiful in the moonlight." Alice skipped over to hug Bella and then raced off into the night.

While Bella changed and brushed her teeth, I sat on the couch reliving the evening. Her voice interrupted my memories. "How do you feel now?"

"Great," I smiled at her. "It's quiet here, and we're alone. I couldn't be better. Are you tired?"

She shook her head. "Not really. What do you want to do? Talk? Listen to music?"

"Music," I decided. "You should try to go to sleep."

She pouted. "If you want anything in particular, you'd better do it. I can't find anything in your collection." She climbed under the covers and watched as I selected a CD.

Bach's Suites for Unaccompanied Cello began playing as I turned out the light and lay down next to her. I stroked her hair and pressed my lips to her forehead. "Darling, you were wonderful tonight."

Author's Note: Please let me know if you enjoyed my story!

If you are not familiar with Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight," you can listen to it or read the lyrics and you'll see why the story unfolds the way it does. The other songs referenced are "She Drives Me Crazy" (Fine Young Cannibals, 1989) and "I'm on Fire" (Bruce Springsteen, 1985).

Edward quotes Shakespeare's Anthony and Cleopatra (Act II, scene ii): "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale/Her infinite variety; other women cloy/The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry/Where most she satisfies…" If you find the Shakespearean language a bit baffling, here is my interpretation: These lines describe a very special woman. She doesn't lose her looks as she gets older, being around her doesn't make you tired of her because she's always different; you can get sick of other women, bored and no longer interested in them once you've been with them, but if she is with you, you just want more of her.

I was so sorry to hear that Daddy's Little Cannibal was killed in a car crash. Like the Forks High seniors in this story, she was only a few weeks from high school graduation. My heart goes out to her friends and family and especially her twin sister. I have twin daughters in high school and nothing could be worse than something happening to one of them or my younger daughter. But nobody knows when the end is coming. All we can do is live and love as much as possible in the limited time we have. (Breaking Dawn, p. 573)