I woke up with a sigh. I looked at the clock and noticed it was only 3:30 in the morning. I wasn't surprised, though. Ever since I moved into this place, a lack of sleep had become a common occurrence. My life in general had begun to feel like a series of common occurrences. I sighed again as I readied myself and headed for work.

When I look back at things, it isn't hard for me to see how things ended up this way for me. I was 25 years old and really hadn't lived at all. Ever since I was 17 and had moved to Forks, Washington to live with my dad, Charlie. I had shut myself out from the world. I had become more of a casual observer than an active participant. I knew this was because I didn't want to get hurt. I had felt so rejected by my mother when she remarried and spent less and less time with me. I had hoped my dad would be different, but he was just distant in a different way.

And now, I lived in New York City, blending in everyday with the crowds of nameless faces. Even my job was faceless. I was an editor's assistant, reading and re-reading the works of faceless people.

Something had to give.

I was on my way back home when I decided maybe I would take a different way. It was a small step, but I was willing to start somewhere. As I walked down an unfamiliar block a sign on one of the store fronts caught my attention. It said "The Shop." I thought about how strange that was, and was compelled to take a closer look. Upon inspection I realized it was a tattoo parlor. This is totally not my scene. I started to walk away when I was startled by a voice of someone standing outside smoking a cigarette.

"Do you need help with something?" I was startled as I jerked my head sideways to see who was talking to me.

He was very handsome, in an almost unreal sort of way. He was tall, lean and muscular. He was wearing blue jeans and a snug fitting black t-shirt. As he took a drag of his cigarette I noticed what amazing green eyes he had. His hair was rust colored, and unruly. I realized I was staring and blushed terribly as I said, "No, thank you. I was just looking."

I was going to walk away when I heard him say, "Come on inside. I'm Edward, by the way."

I didn't know why, but I turned and followed him in. Why was I doing this? Why would I follow a complete stranger into a tattoo shop? His velvety voice, however, seemed to will me to follow him like I was attached to him by an invisible string. He went behind the counter and indicated I should sit on the sofa.

The store was currently empty aside from us. I figured that was normal for a Monday night. He seemed to be watching me, as if he was waiting for me to speak.

"So, is this your shop?" I was making small talk. I felt so nervous and I wasn't sure why. He gave me the most beautiful crooked smile and nodded his head.

"Yeah, I've been here a couple of years now." He stepped away from the counter and started over towards me. I wasn't sure why but my heart was beating a mile a minute. Why was he making me so nervous? His head cocked slightly to the side as he spoke. "What brings you out here this evening…..." He sat on the couch across from me. I could tell he was fishing for my name.

"Bella. I'm Bella. I, uh, was just trying a different way home. I, I just noticed your sign and I wondered what kind of shop it was."

"Yeah, I suppose I wasn't very creative with the naming of the place, but it just seemed to fit."

We looked at each other for what seemed like forever. I felt the strangest things were I was near him. It was like I was being drawn to him. I had never seen him before in my life, but for some strange reason I wanted nothing more than to go over and touch him all over his perfect body. What the hell was wrong with me?

He stood up and came over to sit by me. My face turned deep red as he lowered himself down next to me. I hoped he didn't notice my sudden flush, but that crooked smile he gave me told me that he had.

"You want to look through some of my previous work?"

I wasn't sure why but I nodded and took the photo album he was showing me. What the hell is wrong with me? I didn't want a tattoo!

I slowly flipped through the pictures of his work. They were amazing. I couldn't believe it; he made people look like living art. I did take notice that a vast majority of his clients had obviously been women. That wasn't surprising. I mean, look at him! He looked like a Greek god! As I continued to look through his pictures I wondered if he had any tattoos, and where they were if he did. My mind wondered as I pictured asking him. In my mind, I would ask him and he would stand and slowly pull his shirt off. He would show me what would undoubtedly be the most beautiful artwork over his perfectly sculpted upper body.

"Are you ok?" He asked. I was ripped from my daydream, flushing brilliantly as I realized his hand was on my knee as he spoke.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Your work is amazing, really."

He smiled and thanked me. "Are you interested in getting some work done, Bella?"

"Oh, um, I don't know. I don't think I could ever. I wouldn't know what to get. It would hurt…" I was babbling on and on. Why couldn't I just shut up, already? Why did the sound of him saying my name make me react this way?

"Why don't you go over to the counter and I will get some things to give you some ideas."

Why was I still here? Was I really going to let this strange, but beautiful, man talk me into getting a tattoo? I walked over to the counter as he headed to the back of the store. When he returned he stopped for a moment, appraising me in a strange way that made me feel warm all over. He walked over to me and stood behind my. His arms reached around both sides of me to show me a pad of paper and a pencil that he was carrying.

"Let me show you what might be nice."

As he said this I felt his hot breath on my neck and goose bumps erupted all over my body. I shivered and he chuckled a little under his breath. His hand began to draw; it was like magic watching him work. Out of what seemed like a serious of random markings began to form the most perfect lily I had ever seen. He was standing so close behind me that I wondered if he too was noticing the intense heat between our bodies.

When the drawing was finished he pulled away. I turned to face him and realized he was just inches away from my.

"With your fair skin, and deep chocolate eyes and hair, I think this would be lovely on you done with bright, bold colors."

"Where would I put it?"

What!? Was I crazy? What the hell did I think I was doing? Was I really going to allow this to happen? When he let his hand touch my abdomen and trail down to my panty line and stop, I knew the answer was yes. I absolutely was.

"Here." He said as his fingers had stopped.


Before I knew what was happening I was sitting in the tattoo chair. My heart was racing as I watched him prepare the stencil and the equipment.

"Lower you pants for me, Bella."

As I complied I was thankful that there were curtains shielding us from the view of passerby's. He rolled his chair closer and hooked his fingers in the waist of my pants. I gasped as he pulled them a little lower. He smiled at me and I flushed scarlet once again. He finished applying the stencil and got the tattoo gun ready to go.

"This will hurt a bit, so try not to move, ok?"

I nodded.

As Edward started the outline, I bit my lower lip. It did hurt. I wanted to say something, but I couldn't take my eyes off of him as he worked. His hands seemed to move effortlessly, and I felt my whole body heat up as his fingers occasionally grazed my panty line. The strangest things were happening. I should be feeling the pain and wanting it to stop but I didn't. I found myself enjoying the pain. My panties began to get soaked with moisture from my core. My breathing became heavier.

I looked down as Edward worked, and I noticed his breathing seemed heavy too. I felt like electricity was shooting through me at every point that he touched me. The experience of getting this tattoo was the best hour and a half I had ever had. He sprayed a soapy smelly liquid on my and cleaned the area.

"Do you mind if I take a picture?" He asked.

As he looked at me his eyes were smoldering.

"Um, no. Go ahead."

He took the picture and started to bandage the area. We both reached for my pants to pull them back up at the same time. When our hands met I felt that same electricity shot through me again. I allowed him to adjust my pants.

He took my hand in his. "How do you feel?"

"I feel good. Sore, but good."

He helped my out of the chair and we stood facing each other. We were so close I felt the heat of his perfect body and could smell the sweetness of his breath. Before I knew what was happened he closed the distance between of. He put his hand behind my neck and pulled my lips to his. Acting on instinct alone I opened my mouth, inviting him in. Hi tongue shot in like it was where he wanted to be all along. Our tongues danced together as my hands snakes around him. I grabbed at his hair and put my other hand on his lower back to pull him closer. We stumbled back a few step and he was laying me on the tattoo chair. His body pressed against mine, he was groaning and allowing his body to move against mine. His hand reached for my left breast, slowly caressing it and drawing circles around the nipple.

I had no idea what was happening to me, but I knew I didn't want it to stop. His hand slowly started moving down my abdomen. I gasped as his hand found my core and began rhythmically rubbing it. Our breathing was heavy and fast as I moaned in response to his touch.

"Oh..god…" It was all I could manage to say. My hands began doing a little exploring of their own. I grabbed at his shirt and pulled it from his pants. He lifted his arms so I could remove it and toss it to the floor.

My hands went lower and I began to rub at the stiffness coming from his pant.

"Bella…" He moaned as he began kissing and licking my neckline.

Just as I felt his hands starting to undo the snap of my pants, I heard to door open in the front of the store. We both froze.

"Hello?" A man's voice said as we were scrambling to get ourselves composed.

When we were both as descent as we were going to get, Edward moved to the curtain and threw it open. "Hi. I was just finishing off a client back here. Can I help you?"

Just finishing someone off, huh? Cute. As he spoke to the man about a drawing, I gathered myself and started to leave. What the hell had just happened? So many thought raced through my mind. Did he feel the same level of intensity I did? Did he do this with a lot of female customers? I swallowed hard at the thought.

"Thank you very much." I said as I set money down on the counter. It was an hourly rate posted on a sign; I paid for two plus a large tip.

He looked like he wanted to say something, but I just walked out. As I headed for home I heard the door to the shop open, and he ran up to me.

"Wait, Bella. Where are you going in such a hurry?"

"I have to get home." I was flustered, confused, and really turned on all at the same time. It was just about too much for me.

"Give me your phone." He said.

I handed it to him without thinking. He entered his name and number. He handed it back.

"You'll hear from me." He gave me that crooked smile and walked back to his shop. I was left reeling from the whole experience.

Edward Cullen. I smiled at my phone and headed home.