Watching the crowd gyrating to the music, I couldn't help but wish to be on the dance floor. Then again with these death trap heels, I'd probably wind up kissing the beer-encrusted floor. Sighing, I turned my attention back to Alice, who was jiving in her seat, still looking towards where the twins had disappeared. Maybe now was a good time to ask her, with everyone busy…
"Alice!" I yelled, trying to catch her attention. When she didn't even blink, I shifted forward in my seat, the bass thumping in my ears. Leaning right next to her ear, I shouted "Alice!". Whipping her head around, Alice sent me a sheepish smile before leaning towards my ear.
"What?" she shouted back. I briefly wondered how deaf I would be in the morning from the music, and if I'd even be able to talk if this was how all conversations would be held. Leaning in conspiratorially close, I shouted back.
"I wanted to ask you what you thought of …" An arm reached from behind me to plunk a pint bottle in front of me. Startled I looked up into vibrant green eyes, before Jasper smirked and went to deposit the other drinks. Briefly wondering if he had heard anything, I stared in blank confusion at the drink before tilting the bottle to look at the label. Bulmers Irish Cider.
"I think you'll find that to your liking," a voice yelled from me, causing me to whirl around to look at Edward. "It's not too strong, kinda sweet!" he went on. Nodding my head, I yelled back a "Thank you!" before turning to find Jasper sitting across from me. "Thanks!" I yelled at him too, hoping he could at least read lips, cause I doubted he would be able to hear me.
Staring hesitantly at the bottle, I brought it to my lips and took a slow, shallow sip. Letting the liquid slide down my throat, I found Alice and Edward staring at me.
Blinking at the taste, I immediately took another swallow, smiling happily that I had found at least one Irish drink to my liking. Giving Edward's thumbs up, Alice started laughing as Edward returned the gesture, taking a long swallow out of his glass.
"Want a taste of mine?" Alice asked, offering me her glass. Staring suspiciously at the dark brown liquid, I took a small swallow, before immediately choking and gagging at the taste.
"What the hell is that?" I sputtered out, taking a long draw from my own bottle to wash out the taste.
"Guinness!" Alice replied cheerfully, carefully taking another sip. Wrinkling her nose, she mock whispered near my ear. "It tastes like shit, but you can't go to Ireland and not try it. I'll have to find something else though, cause there's no way I'm drinking this every night!" Taking another sip of my new wonderful obsession called Bulmer's, I handed the bottle to Alice.
"Try some!" I urged her. Setting aside that terrible Guinness, Alice took a long swallow. Smacking her lips thoughtfully, Alice quickly grinned before turning around and tilting the bottle back for another long drink. "Hey!" I yelled, laughing as I attempted to wrestle the bottle away from her. "That's my booze!"
Shrieking with laughter, Alice vainly tried to fight me off, while Edward, Emm, and Rose began laughing at the impromptu battle over my new drink of choice. Jasper merely snorted, but his eyes held a lilting light that made them a twinkling emerald. Finally succumbing due to the fact that I had basically all but sat on her to get my drink back, Alice gravely handed over the bottle before bursting out laughing once again.
"Remind me to never get between you and your booze of choice Bells!" she chortled, causing me to blush bright red before taking an angry but delightful sip of my drink. Slumping down slightly in my chair, I looked around for a second before realizing that three of our number had disappeared.
"What happened to Jessica and Tanya?" I asked, knowing that Mike wouldn't be too far from them. Scowling, Rose took a sip of her drink before replying. "They went off – somewhere. They better be able to take care of themselves, because with how hard Mike pounded that, he won't be worth shit." Shaking her head dismissively, Rose quickly flicked a strand of her hair behind her shoulder. "Oh well, so not our problem. I refuse to let them ruin our night. Anyway, what are ya'll majoring in?" Rose quickly switched the subject, causing the six of to slowly start to get to know one another as we nursed our drinks.
More often than not, Edward answered for both himself and his brother, though Jasper would occasionally offer his two cents in, causing some interesting and lively discussions between the twins. Laughing, Alice regaled them all with tales of her fashion exploits, which sent me into a fit of nerves because I would most likely become her next fashion project for the duration of our trip. Meaning more deathlike shoes, tiny skirts, and massive amounts of makeup. Yippee. Yet watching her enthusiasm, I knew I would give in with little trouble. Alice was just Alice.
Smiling, I drained the last of my drink in tandem with Alice, who cheerfully whooped and gave me a high five. "Oh yeah girl!" Smiling back at her, I saw a wicked gleam enter Alice's eye as she gave Jasper an assessing look. "You know, that outfit looks like it came right out of…" Quickly tuning her out, I couldn't bear to listen to another of Alice's fashion lectures. Looking once more longingly at the dance floor, I started in surprise when a hand reached into my view.
Looking up at Edward, he smiled before pulling me out of my chair. Panic stricken, I tired to pull away realizing he was leading me to the dance floor, but he just grinned and kept right on pulling. Stumbling along, Edward quickly reached down to steady me as we hit the dance floor and the mass of bodies.
"Don't worry!" he yelled, pulling me closer to him. "I won't let you trip!" Glaring at him, he finally pulled a sheepish smile. "Fine, I won't let you wind up on the floor or in the emergency room, ok?" Twisting my ankle as I attempted to take a step, he quickly grabbed me and spun me around before pulling me back to him. "I'd say take off your shoes, but then you'd catch some kind of disease, fungus, and STD… one of them has to live and mutate on these floors. So instead, how about this?"
Lifting me off the floor, Edward replaced me with my feet firmly planted on his toes, my heels overhanging the fronts. Blushing in embarrassment at being seen dancing like a four year old, Edward swayed us both to music, twirling us around. "Don't worry about what you look like. Nobody knows us here, and most of the people here are so plastered they'll be lucky to find their way home, let alone remember anything from tonight. So just have fun!" Punctuating his "have fun" statement, Edward dipped me so low my head nearly touched the ground before pulling me back as he spun around.
Completely dizzy, I couldn't help but laugh as Edward twirled and boogied us around the dance floor, saving me from breaking an ankle while letting me dance and have a good time. "Thank you," I told him seriously during a break in the music. "You are more than welcome Bells," Edward replied cheerfully. Smiling I glanced back to our table where Jasper and Alice sat talking, and Emm and Rose were… having fun.
Blushing once again, I tried to push the image of my brother-figure making out with his girlfriend from my mind – it's just not something siblings want to envision of each other. Turning my attention back to Alice and Jasper, I couldn't help but follow the curve of his neck to his lips, which were some of the most sensual I had ever seen, not to mention those smoldering eyes I wish he would turn on me…
"You see something you like that happens to share some of my DNA?" a voice whispered teasingly near my ear. Snapping my attention back to Edward, he quickly winked before spinning me around the floor again. "Don't worry, I won't tell. Though maybe I should, seeing as you're a bit too insecure for your own good, and it might take ages for you to admit to anything," smiling broadly, Edward dipped me again before bouncing around to the music.
"I can give you all the information you might ever want on the guy, and can teach you what makes him tick. And make sure he treats you right, so think of me as your second honorary brother!" Swaying to the music, Edward glanced back towards his brother, but his eyes quickly flicked beyond him to gaze at someone else. "Besides, you might be able to help me in return, cause I'm kinda in the same boat."
Looking up at him in disbelief, Edward slowly looked back down. "You think Alice has a thing for my brother, or do I maybe stand a chance?" Thinking back to Alice's weird expression on the bus, I slyly grinned back up at him.
"I think you stand more than just a chance," I told him slyly, causing Edward to grin before laughing again as we swayed to the music.
We stayed out on the dance floor for a few minutes more while I feverishly thought of a way to approach Alice about Edward. Biting my lip, I startled quickly when I felt a tap on my shoulder.
Craning my neck, I saw Alice's strained smile with Jasper right behind her. Leaning in close, she yelled "Will you come to the bathroom with me? Rose is really serious about that rule for the two of us." Smiling brightly I nodded my head, thinking it was the perfect chance to corner Alice about her feelings.
Carefully disengaging myself from Edward with a "Be back," and a sideways wink, I began walking through the crowd towards the bathroom – and promptly wobbled and found the ground rushing up to meet me.
Squeezing my eyes shut for the inevitable collision, I felt a hand yank hard on my elbow, righting me quickly. Unscrewing my eyes, I looked up to find an exasperated yet amused Jasper holding onto me, shaking his head. "You really are a walking time bomb, aren't you Bella?" Jasper asked ruefully as he began escorting me and Alice off the dance floor. Trying to decide if he was teasing or insulting me, I found I didn't really care when he didn't let go of my arm, keeping me steady in my heels.
Blushing uncontrollably, I turned even redder when I swear I heard him growl at a guy who started to approach me. The guy definitely backed off when Jasper glared and locked eye contact with him, and I went to cloud nine. Completely giddy in my daydreams of Jasper and I, I managed to wobble on my heels of death even more, which caused Jasper to let go of my elbow and hold on to my waist to keep me steady. Knowing I must be beyond fire engine red, I somehow muttered a thanks and dragged Alice into the bathroom. Sighing in sorrow and relief, I turned around to find Alice staring at me like I had a second head before giving me a weak smile and walked into a stall.
Taking care of my own business fast, I rushed back out to the sinks to wash my hands and wait for Alice, hoping she wouldn't be angry that I had been dancing with Edward all night. Biting my lip, I tried to think of the best way to broach the subject as Alice came up to the sink. Instead I just jumped without any real tact.
"You like Edward, don't you?" I asked straight out, grinning when Alice swung her head up and around with a deer in the headlights look. "Why don't you come out and dance with us?"
Mouth gaping like a fish, Alice stuttered for a second before blushing and turning back around to turn off the water. "Cause I didn't want to fight with my new friend if she liked him too," she finally muttered, turning to look at me fully. "I think it's stupid to fight over a guy, especially with a friend."
Grinning broadly, I took a leaf out of Alice's book and gave my friend a giant hug. "Me neither," I told her as I let go. "But guess what? I don't like Edward that way, he's more like a very protective brother. And Edward doesn't like me like that. In fact, I think he likes you, as he would talk about you at different times!" Not wanting to just spill that Edward had told me he liked her, I wanted the two to come together on their own with a few gentle pushes.
Eyes shining, Alice smiled up at me before squealing loudly and hugging me. "Really? That's so great, I was worried that he might like you, and that you maybe kinda liked him, but then that didn't make any sense as you blush uncontrollably around Jasper and just stare off into space looking at him, but I just didn't know and didn't want to say anything and…"
Blushing once again when Jasper entered the conversation, I kinda spaced out until Alice poked me in the cheek. Startled, I looked down into mischievous eyes before she started laughing. "See? Complete space cadet even with the mention of Jasper! You do like him!"
"Yeah," I answered sheepishly. "Edward kinda figured it out and he offered to help me understand what makes his brother tick so that I have a chance," I confessed. Whipping me around, Alice quickly dragged me to the door.
"Then what are you waiting for, get back out there and talk to him so that you and Jasper can get together, and be such a cute couple, get married, and make tons and tons of adorable babies!" I quite literally ran into a wall when the words 'make' and 'babies' came out of Alice's mouth together.
Rubbing my nose, Alice just giggled before grabbing me and pulling me towards the door of the bathroom again. "I didn't mean right now, silly! Though you can get in some practice during the next three months, if you know what I mean!" Alice said with a wink, causing my face to flush completely. "And you're my friend, so I trust you with my future man, and you can get in some good words about me! This is perfect!"
Wondering if Alice ever truly needed to breathe when she got into her super impulsive-excited mode, I opened the door to find Jasper lounging outside. Raising an eyebrow at my red face and Alice's uncontrolled giggling, Jasper merely shook his head before jerking it in the direction of the dance floor. "I don't think I really want to know," he said before walking us back toward the group.
Wondering if my face would ever resume its normal color, I saw Alice wink at me before ever so innocently nudging me so that I was crammed up against Jasper's side. Jasper glanced sidelong at me, but kept on walking, making a path through the crowd. Suddenly coming up short, I was jostled before Jasper once again reached out to steady me, before groaning and shaking his head. Looking to what had stopped him, I couldn't help but burst out laughing.
Out on the dance floor, Rose was swaying and twirling, her beautiful hair flipping behind her. Beside her, Emm stood – and was reaching for the stars. Reaching above his head with both hands and alternating side to side making a grabbing motion, Emm was in his own world. He never had been much of a dancer, but a few years ago he came up with this 'reach for the stars' move for dance parties. Beside me Alice was laughing so hard she was clutching at her side. I damn near died when Rose paused for a moment before joining him in his star effort. I know Alice did.
Watching the two, I couldn't help but laugh harder and admire the fact that the two were perfect for each other. Alice suddenly dashed over to them and joined in, twirling as she did so. Moving to join my friends, I lightly pulled Jasper to see if he would follow. Face twisted, he seemed incredibly angry… or trying hard not to laugh. Raising an eyebrow, he sighed once again but willingly followed to join the group, which now had an added Edward jiving to the music.
Alice subtly gave me a thumbs up when she saw that Jasper had followed before pulling me near her to do our own version of the stars. Laughing and dancing, I happily discovered that I only needed to have someone save me from face planting a couple of times, and before I knew it was 2:00 in the morning. Suddenly feeling the jetlag I had put off due to adrenaline, I couldn't help but yawn, and saw Alice follow suit a while later.
Leaning in close I asked "You about ready to go, or do you want to stay?" I had my answer when Alice yawned as a reply, before nodding her head toward the door. Moving closer to the other four I yelled "Hey, we're gonna head back to the apartments."
"Not alone you aren't!" Emm retorted quickly, straightening up. Biting my lip, I knew none of the others were ready to go. The twins looked at each other, having a silent staring contest. Finally, Jasper nodded his head sharply, but his mouth looked tight as he glanced back towards me.
"I'll take the girls back," Edward offered as he began ushering us towards the door. "Jas could, but he'll be the best one to help you find the other three when you're ready to go. I have a sucky sense of direction, so you'd just be trying to find me. But don't worry, it's a straight shot to the bus and then to the apartments, so we'll be alright," Edward finished, grabbing his jacket.
Saying our goodnights, I couldn't help but feel disappointed that Jasper wouldn't be escorting us. Then again, this way I could find out some inside information about my dark and brooding crush. I barely registered getting on the bus or the trek back to the apartments, I was ready to crash so badly. Alice was even quiet, which proved just how tired she was. Edward kept up a quiet banter until we got to our apartments.
Stopping me gently Edward asked "Hey, you wanna come in for a bit?", indicating his apartment. I saw Alice pause for a second and winced, hoping she wouldn't think anything was up. Apparently Edward noticed it too, because he quickly added "Our lil' Bells here has a major crush on my bro, and I'm tryin' to give her some pointers on what runs through his convoluted skull."
Smiling brightly, Alice got some of her pixie-hyper personality back. "Then you best get in there missy, and get all the pointers you can, cause Jasper is a self proclaimed bad boy, and its gonna take a girl awhile to crack that and get him all mushy lovey dovey with her! Go on, shoo!" She proclaimed, pushing me towards Edward and the open door. Turning my head, I gave Alice a tired wink and mouthed "some good words comin' up", which cause Alice to brighten even more and giggle, before waving us goodnight and entering our apartment.
Following Edward up to his room, I spread out on his bed while he got comfortable leaning against his headboard. Listening to him talk about Jasper's likes and dislikes, and his personality which could be extremely overprotective and possessive, I dimly was aware that it was taking him longer and longer to form sentences, while it was taking me longer to process them. Brain shutting down into darkness, my last thought was a daydream of Jasper as Edward's voice faded out into the night.
A/N: Sorry this has taken so long, but between sickness and family reunions, it got really hectic for quite a while! So thanks for sticking with us! As for the 'reaching for the stars', this did happen quite a few times. It was hysterical, and yet a wonderful time just hanging out and having fun at the pubs! We love you Jimmy, it wouldn't have been the same without it! Haha, Jimmy really was the big brother of the group always so overprotective but silly and fun at the same time….