Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.
A/N: This story is not intended to be a long multi-chapter deal. Back in April 2009 I took part in the Support Stacie Author Auction. I never thought a bid would go over $20 for me. Let's face it, I'm not a popular author and I only have one "major" story under my belt. I ended up being sold to Mythic Victory/Melanie for $125 for a 2,500 word story. This chapter is over 2,500 words and there will be at least one more chapter. All the money from the auction goes towards Stacie's medical bills because she has breast and ovarian cancer and no medical insurance. Cancer has touched my family deeply so I decided to put myself up for auction to raise any money I could to help a person I've never even met. The next auction is in September 2009. Please consider joining as an author or a bidder. I plan on offering my graphic services in September.
While I loved Mel's original idea for me, I knew I wasn't capable of following through on what she wanted. The day before Easter I made a trip down to NYC with my mother and her friend to see the Blueman Group. While waiting at Secaucus Junction for our train, I checked my email from my phone and read her idea. While it didn't click with me, that night inspired me and planted a story in my head. This is the result. For more info on what inspired this story, please see the end A/N.
Rating: M (mostly for language)
CHAPTER 1: SUN CHIP GAYDAR
"Ya gotta go to Good Fellas. It's on Staten Island off Hylan Boulevard. Make sure you go to Hylan Boulevard, it's the best one. Here, take a look at this. I bought a few slices to take to my mother." The man opened the small pizza box and, indeed, there were three slices of pizza with vegetables laid upon it that looked quite delicious. "It beats anything you got in that bag from Zaro's."
"I'll remember that," I said, turning my head away from him. It wasn't bad enough that I had to go into work on a Saturday. The 6:07 train from Penn Station left five minutes later than it was scheduled to, which made me miss my connection at Secaucus Junction. Rather than wait for over three hours in Secaucus with absolutely nothing to do, a limited food selection, and hard wooden benches, I headed back to the city.
Originally, I should have been home and taking a relaxing warm bath by 8:30. It was now well past 8:30, and I was sitting across from a man who wouldn't shut up. Every time I thought he was finished talking to me, his head would turn back in my direction and he'd start yapping on about something. Even when I closed my eyes, he didn't seem to get the hint.
I was tired, my feet hurt, and I wanted to be left alone. I was cranky, PMSing, and my ankles felt swollen from balancing on a pair of five-inch high heels all day.
When the stranger announced that his stop was next, I wanted to get down on my knees and thank whatever higher power above that made it possible, and I hadn't been inside of a church in years. The train was slowing down to make the stop at Glen Rock. I had dealt with him for twenty minutes.
Finally! Peace and quiet. I had my sanity back.
I did for five minutes at least.
Hey, yo, you up there, SCREW YOU!
A young kid sat down across from me and was compelled to tell me at least half his life story. Although I didn't know his name or social security number, I soon found out that he was twenty-two, had a fourteen month old daughter who lived in Queens with her mother, why he wasn't with the mother of his child, where he worked, what street he lived on, that Applebee's employees must wear lavender shirts on Easter, names of his sisters, that he had an uncle who moved to North Carolina because one of his cousins was killed in a car accident two years ago, and that he was attempting to get his CDL license.
Oh, he's trying for his CDL class A license. There's a difference? I didn't know what it was, but there seemed to be. He was very adamant that he was going for his CDL class A license. I wanted to tell him that I didn't honestly give a fuck what class license he was trying to obtain.
There was more. Trust me, there was even more information he passed onto me. I just… zoned out for a while. It was weird that he never got the hint to shut the hell up. I was always too nice for my own good. I should have told these people that I wanted to be left alone. I wasn't going to get home until after 11:30, and I was simply exhausted.
I'm going to stab myself in both ears and remove my ear drums.
I was tempted to do cart wheels when the train stopped in Ramsey and he said goodbye. Sixty-two minutes until I could disembark, walk to my car, and go home. I set the alarm on my phone for 11:09—ten minutes before my scheduled stop. Leaning back, I closed my eyes and nearly thirty seconds later felt a movement to my right.
First of all, I had to stop swearing to myself so much. It was bad. I was going to go to hell. Secondly, people needed to learn how to leave me the hell alone. I was sitting at the end of the car which had two seats facing each other. The two men that had talked my ear off earlier had sat across from me. However, I knew this time was different. I felt a presence very close to me. At least it was a human presence.
I was by the window and someone had sat down on the seat opposite me but at the end. Daring to open my eyes, my jaw almost fell to the floor at the sight near me. Even though he was sitting, I could tell that the man was tall. His head was back against the seat and his reddish-brown hair, which needed to be cut, was in major disarray. He had a strong jaw line that I wanted to reach out to and trail kisses along.
See? This is what I'm talking about! If you're going to have someone sit with me, let them be the silent and handsome type.
I was staring, practically drooling over the specimen, when his eye closest to me popped open and caught me staring at him. His head rolled in my direction, his other eye opened, and he smiled at me. He had he most beautiful green eyes that I had ever seen.
"I'm tired. It looked like you were tired. I thought it'd be good if we both slept together," he explained, flustered. "Wait, that didn't come out quite right."
"You figured that if we were both sitting here half asleep that no one would bother us?" I asked.
"That's what I meant," he nodded. "No matter how tired I am, I can't fall asleep on the train. I'm always paranoid that I'm going to miss my stop."
"Yeah, me too." I stifled a yawn. "I don't need to end up at the end of the line and have to figure out how to get back to my stop."
"If you don't mind me asking, which stop is yours?"
"Campball Hall, you?"
"Same here," he replied with a grin. "Name?"
"I've got one."
He chuckled. "Edward."
"You get a little punchy when you're tired, huh?"
"You'll have to excuse my behavior," I said. "I'm tired, hungry, and my feet hurt."
"What's with the Zaro's bag?" he asked. "Garbage?"
"Stupidest thing, are you ready for a story?"
Edward leaned back against the seat and crossed his arms across his chest. "All ready for story time."
"So, I should've been on the 6:07 train but it left late and I missed the connection in Secaucus." He had a slight smile on his lips as I spoke. "There is nothing to do in Secaucus, so I decided to go back to the city for three hours until the next train. I went to K-Mart, Borders, and then stopped at Zaro's. I wanted to make sure that I got back to Secaucus in time, and I rushed out of Zaro's and forgot to get mayo. I love their sandwiches, but they are too dry without anything on them. I'd settle for mustard if I had it."
"Your kingdom for some mustard!"
"So, here I sit starving with a sandwich I can't eat for some weird psychological food-related reason."
"Oh, dare I ask what type of sandwich did you purchase?"
"Oven roasted turkey with cranberry relish."
Edward leaned forward between his feet and picked up his brief case. He opened it up while balancing it on his lap. "So, Me Bella."
I giggled. "Bella."
"I have a story of my own to tell," he said. "That is, if you don't mind." I nodded, silently urging him to continue.
"I also missed the 6:07 train and should have been home by now," he informed me. "I can't believe we missed the connection by five minutes! Five minutes! Anyway, you fared much better than I did. I stayed in Secaucus and I ended up being tortured by five bored but sugar-high circus-attending children. Don't get me wrong, I like kids, but their mother clearly saw that her children were annoying me and didn't say one word."
"You poor man," I said. "I remember seeing those…things."
"Yes, those creatures tried repeatedly to put their pointy-shaped hats on me and kept waving some kind of wand in my face. None of their spells worked and I'm not really a toad, am I?" he asked seriously.
"You don't look like any type of toad that I've ever seen." I was no princess, but I'd gladly kiss him if he thought he was a toad and wanted me to break the spell.
"That's a relief," he sighed. "Anyway, back to my point. By the time I thought of getting something to eat, that little newsstand place was closed. I don't know about you, but the peanut M&M's that I got out of the machine aren't exactly my idea of a healthy meal."
"What does any of this have to do with the fact that I've got a condiment-less sandwich?"
"I had lunch with a friend at Bryant Park today."
"I am totally lost," I admitted. "You're all over the place."
"My point, sweetie, is that we needed condiments, I had my briefcase, there were extras and, for some reason, I shoved them into a pocket in here." Edward dug into a compartment in his briefcase before he extracted both of his hands with a flourish, each holding one packet of mayo and one packet of mustard. "You've got the sandwich and I've got the condiments. We're both about to pass out from starvation. Let's help each other out, shall we?"
"I have one stipulation."
Edward raised an eyebrow at me. "Oh, and that would be?"
"I get the mayo," I said firmly. "I'm not fond of mustard on sandwiches."
He winked at me. "So much for settling for mustard."
"In this case I have a choice and a bargaining chip."
Edward dangled the packet of mayo in front of him. "You drive a hard bargain, but it's a deal."
Slowly I opened the paper bag bearing the Zaro's name and brought out the neatly wrapped sandwich. Unwrapping it, I placed half of the sandwich on a napkin and held it out to Edward. "The mayo, kind sir?" I asked with an outstretched hand.
Edward leaned over and placed the packet of mayo in my hand. His fingertips lightly grazed my palm, and I held my breath at the contact between us.
You freakin' moron, he's a stranger and you're getting your panties all in a twist over him.
"Enjoy your sandwich," I said, the words struggling to leave my lips.
Edward placed his sandwich on his now closed brief case. "Oh, I will," he said, clearing his throat. "Thank you very much for taking pity on a complete stranger."
"Maybe we won't be complete strangers by the end of the trip." The words escaped my mouth before I could stop them. I took a bite of my sandwich to shut myself up.
Edward smiled at me. "It wouldn't be the worst thing that happened to me on a train ride home."
When I dug into the paper Zaro's bag, Edward took notice of the final piece of what would be our meal. "Oooooh, Sun Chips," he said.
"Are you straight?" I asked, immediately regretting it and wincing at the words. I sprinkled some of the Sun Chips out on the paper wrapper with my sandwich and passed the rest of the bag over to Edward.
"What does my affection for Sun Chips have to do with my sexuality?"
"I've never met a straight man who showed that much enthusiasm for Sun Chips."
Edward raised a chip in the air and studied it quietly for a moment, placed it into his mouth, and munched on it. "I didn't know I showed that much enthusiasm for Sun Chips," he said. "I think they taste good and they're a healthier alternative to potato chips."
"I will have to report that my Sun Chip gaydar was royally off in this case."
"Oh, please do clear my innocence and straight name in the name of Sun Chip gaydar." He was laughing and shaking his head. "You sound like my sister."
"Really?" I took another bite of my sandwich. "Do tell."
"There's not much to tell." He reached for an unopened plastic bottle of water in his lap. He motioned it toward me, and I pointed to my own water on the seat next to me. Edward opened the bottle and took a long drink from it. "Other than my sister has a similar weird wacked out theory about Sun Chips and sexuality. She teases me all the time."
"Want me to beat her up for you?" I asked with a laugh. "I'm not much of a fighter though. I might only succeed in scratching her and making her bleed."
"Oh, I don't know, I seem like you could be a scrapper under the right circumstances."
"Me?" Now finished with my sandwich and chips, I gathered my garbage into the paper bag. "I've never even pulled another girl's hair in a bathroom fight."
"Would you fight for love?"
His question threw me for a loop. "What?"
"Would you fight for love?" he repeated.
"I…" I trailed off because I had no idea of how to continue. I had never been in a relationship that was worth fighting for. "When the only person who has supposedly loved you cheated on you with one of your best friends, is love really worth fighting for?"
"Omph, sorry to hear that," he winced, and I embarrassingly glanced out the window. "Given the right circumstances, you seem like the type who would fight for what she wanted. Be it for a family member, for a loved one, or for the right for nice, straight men to enjoy Sun Chips."
My shoulders shook with laughter as I turned back in Edwards's direction. "You have a way with words, do you know that?"
"Mom always told me I should have been an English professor."
"If you don't mind me asking, what do you do for a living?" I asked curiously.
"I stalk beautiful women on trains and talk them out of their food," he said with a sly smile. "You were my latest prey."
I laughed again at his silliness. It had been a while since I had laughed this much. "No, really, what do you do for a living?"
"I work at a law firm."
"Yes you are."
"Ha ha, funny."
"You are. You took pity on this poor Sun Chip-loving straight man. What do you do for a living?" I hesitated, and he knew it. "Come on, spill it."
"I work at ESPN," I said reluctantly.
"I love you."
"What?" I thought Edward was normal and here he is professing his love for me because of where I work.
"Sorry, too soon?"
"Oh, just a wee bit."
"Do you like sports?" he asked. "Or are you just behind the scenes?"
"I'm behind the scenes," I explained. "I can put up with baseball, but that's about it. The biggest name in whatever sport could walk through the door and I wouldn't know who they were."
Edward pretended to clutch his chest. "Oooh, you're breaking my heart here, sweetie."
"You told me you loved me a minute ago and now I'm already breaking your heart?"
"Our relationship is moving at break neck speed as you can see."
"Considering that our relationship is coming to an end in about twenty-five minutes, it might be normally paced." His eyes were trained on me, but he was silent. For the first time since our meeting, things were slightly uncomfortable between us. I put my feet up on the seat across from me and stretched out.
"If you want to close your eyes I'll make sure you make your stop," he offered.
"I'm pretty awake now," I explained. "My feet are killing me. I hate heels."
His hands moved toward my achy feet, glided gently over them, and then he paused. "Do you mind?"
"Not unless you have some kind of weird foot fetish."
"No fetish," he said as he took one of my heel-battered feet lightly into his hands. His warm fingertips gently massaged my foot. I was extremely ticklish and held back breaking out in laughter several times. The pleasure I felt far outweighed the urge to laugh. His hands moved over to my other foot, slowly massaging it in the same manner. It felt so damn good.
"Oh my God, you're going to make me orgasm." I slapped both my hands over my mouth, and Edward stared at me with a horrified expression. "Did I just say that out loud?"
"Uh huh," he eked out with a shake of his head.
"Can I watch?" A loud intoxicated sounding male voice came from a few seats behind us, and I heard a shuffle of feet along with female laughter.
Edward squinted and looked in the direction of the voice. "This ain't no peep show, sit down!"
The man grumbled and must've sat down because Edward relaxed back into his seat. "I'm sorry, that was really stupid of me," I apologized.
"You were just telling me how I made you feel," he said with one hand resting on my ankle while his thumb was drawing invisible patterns.
At that moment, I was so torn. A half an hour ago I couldn't wait until I reached my stop and was able to go home. I needed to get off that train and away from Edward. His very presence was making me more intoxicated and stupid than the drunken man a few seats behind us. And yet, at the same time, I wanted to stay on the train and miss my stop, to be near him because of how he made me feel. I wanted to feel drunk and lusty and gushy and all weird because of Edward. It felt good. No, not just good… there were more o's in the way I was feeling. More like goooooooood.
Hence the almost orgasm in a train. Wasn't that illegal?
"Maybe you should have become a massage therapist."
"If this law thing doesn't work out, yeah, you know, massage therapist is totally my back up plan."
"Is giving a woman an orgasm from a foot massage in public a punishable crime?" I asked with a smile.
"I don't believe it is," he said. "As long as I stick with your feet."
I turned my right foot towards him and tapped his hand. "Then, please do continue your ministrations."
For the next fifteen minutes I enjoyed the foot massage. I enjoyed his company and conversation. I savored every minute of it, aware that it was soon going to be over.
Next stop, Salisbury Mills
The recorded voice said in what I now considered a very condescending tone. I glanced at my watch.
Damn it, we were running on time. Two more minutes until we reached Salisbury Mills. Eleven minutes after that, we'd reach the Campball Hall station. In eleven minutes I might never lay my eyes on Edward ever again.
I felt the train come to a stop, and it waited for anyone getting off at the stop. I closed my eyes and pushed my head back into the seat. Edward sat quietly across from me, his hand now on my calf, gently gliding over it
Eleven minutes until I would never feel Edward's touch again.
Opening my eyes, I caught Edward staring intensely at me. Instead of turning my head, I kept my gaze transfixed with his. He never looked away from me, not for a moment. I worked on memorizing his face. My fingers yearned to touch it and learn every contour, curve, dip, flaw, and perfection.
It was at times like these that a decent camera on my cell phone would really come in handy. But no, I had a crappy cell phone camera which needed excellent outdoor lighting to take a halfway decent picture. So I continued to stare and so did Edward.
Next stop, Campball Hall
Fake female computer voice, I hate you. You mock me.
I was being stupid and irrational. I didn't want to leave a man I had met just sixty minutes before. But I didn't. I didn't want to leave him. I wanted to stay with him. I wanted him to make me laugh. I wanted to go and get a cup of coffee with him. I wanted… GUH. I wanted to get to know him more. Hell, I wanted to find out if he was good at massaging any other body parts.
Exhaling, I sat up and slowly moved my feet to the floor and into my shoes. Edward straightened up and gathered his belongings, and I did the same. I grabbed the Zaro's bag with our garbage in it and stood up. Together, we stood in the seat face to face as the train came to a stop, and it lulled our bodies in a sort of slow swaying dance.
This stop is Campball Hall
I wanted to choke that bitch of a computer voice. Edward turned and moved out of the seat and motioned for me to go, so I slid out and walked toward the exit. Upon exiting I could feel Edward close behind me. Spotting a trash can on the platform, I headed toward it and threw out our garbage. I turned and Edward was still there.
"Can I walk you to your car?"
I clutched the strap of my messenger bag. "Um, sure."
Now that we were alone together, I felt awkward. The train slowly chugged along the tracks onto its next destination. I hardly knew Edward, but I was alone with him in a dimly lit, unsecured parking lot. Two minutes ago I was downright depressed that I'd never see him again. Now, I was paranoid that I was alone with him.
I felt his hand on my lower back, guiding me as we walked. "Bella, thanks for keeping me company and for feeding me," he said as I dug my keys out of my bag. "If everyone I met on the train was as nice as you, I wouldn't mind the commute so much."
I stopped in front of my car and clutched my keys in my right hand. "Thanks for the foot massage."
"What are you doing tomorrow?" He quickly changed the subject.
"A new friend of mine invited me to Easter dinner," I replied.
"Oh, you don't have family here?"
"It's not that," I explained. "I actually live with my father. He's not big on most holidays. I think Thanksgiving is his favorite because of the food and the football."
"Ahh, a man after my own heart." He smiled crookedly at me. "Some flag football with the boys, turkey, and dessert later on is the perfect holiday for me."
Edward placed his briefcase on roof of my car and popped it open. In the movies this is where the rapist would bring out a can of mace to immobilize their victim. Instead, Edward grabbed a pen and wrote on a piece of paper. He handed it to me, but I couldn't read it very well in the dark.
"It's my number and email address," he said shyly. "It sounds like you may have been hurt recently, so I'll leave it up to you. I'd like to see you again. If you only want to be friends, that's fine too." His head dipped at the word "friend."
I wanted to jump into his arms and tell him that I wanted to see him again too. But I didn't. I played it safe. "Thanks." I tried reading the words but couldn't. "I can't read this out here, so I hope you wrote everything so I can read it."
"I have very good penmanship, thank you." He extended his hand towards me. "I hope to hear from you or see you soon."
I tucked the paper with his information on it into my bag and then I took his hand in mine and squeezed it. "Thank you for being such a gentleman."
"My momma didn't raise no fool."
"I'd like to meet your momma one day to thank her."
"That can be arranged." I loosened my grip on his hand, and he let me go. "Have a good night, sleep well, Bella."
I opened my car door and slid inside. My car had been closed up all day, so I rolled the window down to get some fresh air inside. "Goodnight, Edward," I said through the cracked window.
He waited as I started the engine, and then Edward walked over to his car. As he was opening the door, the lights from my car shined on his figure. He turned and waved at me, and I waved back.
For the entire ride I could barely contain my excitement. I bounced in my seat, and I knew I had a smile as wide as a city bus plastered on my face.
"I got a guy's number, I got a guy's number!" I sang to myself. Once I pulled into the driveway of the house, I shut up but did a weird dance up the front steps of the porch.
It was an embarrassing dance full of horrible moves and clumsiness, but it was my happy dance. And no one was going to take that away from me.
A/N: The day before Easter my mother, her friend, and I went to NYC to see the Blueman Group. On the way back home we missed our connecting train at Secaucus Junction. The next train that would take us home wouldn't be in for over three hours. There were kids running around because they had gone to Ringling Brother's Circus at Madison Square Garden and they missed the train too. We went back to Manhattan to waste time and looked around K-Mart. We got sandwiches at the Zaro's in Penn Station. I bought an oven roasted turkey sandwich with cranberry relish. We were all tired but a guy across from the aisle from us insisted on talking to us about Goodfella's on Hylan Boulevard on Staten Island. After he left a young 22-year old male took his seat and told us everything but his name and social security number. The town names I mentioned are real. However, I did not meet my own version of Edward on the train.
A girl can dream, right? I do think I'll be finding Goodfella's this summer to see if the pizza is as good as the guy said. I checked their website and they've won an award for like, best pizza in the world or something.