This is my entry for the "Love Through Lemons" Contest by tby789 and Lolashoes

A/N:

So...this is my first posted fan fic and also my first lemon. Popping my cherry on both of these for a contest ABOUT lemons–gotta be insane on my part, I know!! But when I first read the concept and rules of the contest, this idea came to me and the story just sort of started writing itself.

The title comes from two things that came to me while writing:

Nighthawks is a famous painting of an all-night diner by American Painter Edward Hopper

Wonderwall is of course the song by Oasis, but I am actually referencing the heartbreakingly beautiful version by Ryan Adams...it just randomly started running through my head while I was writing the last part and I realized that the lyrics were perfect for the story so I included them.

Links to both of these are on my profile.

All copyright and trademarked items mentioned herein belong to their respective owners. (SM & Noel Gallagher) The remaining content is all mine. No copying or reproduction of this work is permitted without my express written authorization.


The young woman walked into the 24-hour diner and slid into a booth, setting a book down on the table. She placed her elbows on the table and leaned forward, massaging her temples with her fingers.

The young man stood up from behind the counter and started wiping it down with a damp rag. As he looked up he saw the customer who had just came in and his breath caught in his throat. She had beautiful, warm chestnut brown hair that hung in messy tendrils down past her shoulders, hiding her profile. Her tiny slim fingers were rubbing her forehead…was she in pain? She was hunched over the table. He knew he should bring her a menu…but instead stood rooted behind the counter, unable to take his eyes off of her.

His boss emerged from the kitchen and immediately walked over to the woman in the booth.

"Bella, babe!" His voice boomed across the nearly empty diner. "Here again? Another nightmare sweetie?" His voice lowered to a quieter level for the last statement but the man behind the counter still heard every word.

She looked up at Emmett and flashed him a weak smile. "Hey Em. Yeah…couldn't get back to sleep after…you know." She looked down briefly, then back at Emmett, changing the subject, "So what are you doing here tonight? You usually don't work the night shift anymore."

Emmett reached up and began scratching his head, "Yeah well…it's Sam's night off so someone has to man the kitchen. And Alice, she quit three days ago, no notice, nothing!' Just up and ran off with some drifter that came in here! Sheesh! Always knew that gal was a little flighty." Emmett shook his head in disbelief. "So anyway, I'm here for a few nights 'til I get the new guy trained." He turned and motioned to the man behind the counter who was still just staring at both of them. "Hey Eddie, come on over here, man."

The young man put the rag down on the counter and hurried over to the booth with the beautiful woman, his heart rate speeding up.

Emmett put his hand on the man's shoulder and turned toward Bella. "Bella, this is Edward, my new night shift guy." Then he turned toward Edward. "Edward this is one of my best customers, Bella." He pointed a finger at Edward and looked him in the eye. "You take good care of her when she comes in, you hear?" Bella blushed. Edward nodded his head vigorously and Emmett patted him on the shoulder. "Now go get a cup of tea with honey for Bella." Edward took off back to the kitchen.

Emmett turned back toward Bella, nodding his head toward the kitchen. "Just so you know, Edward can't speak. Lady from the employment office that came with him to the interview said he was in some car accident when he was just a little guy. Vocal chords were damaged beyond repair. Poor kid lost his parents in the accident too. Grew up in the foster system. Seems to be good kid though–hard worker, trustworthy–so far."

Bella's eyes widened as she looked toward the kitchen. Car accident…she shuddered and closed her eyes and started rubbing her temple again. Emmett's expression softened as he looked down at her. Poor girl…God only knows how long it had been since she's had a good night's sleep. He patted her shoulder. "Well I'll let you alone, sweetie…you need anything, just holler!" he said as he walked away.

A short time later, Bella felt smooth fingers touching her arm, a bolt of electricity sparking her skin. She jumped at the unexpected contact and her eyes flew open. She found herself looking up into the most mesmerizing green eyes. Right now they were wide with shock...and concern.

Edward immediately moved his hand away when she jumped at his touch. He'd felt a jolt of heat when he touched her…did she feel it too? Is that why she jumped? Or did he just catch her by surprise? He looked down into her deep dark-brown eyes, eyes so deep he could easily drown in their depths. Her skin was the smoothest, alabaster-like perfection. Her only human flaw were the dark purplish circles under her eyes. He longed to reach down and smooth them away with his fingers, if only he could.

Bella's skin still burned at the spot where he had touched her, and she rubbed it absent-mindedly while still lost in his gaze. She glanced down and realized he had set down her tea on the table so quietly she hadn't even heard him. He must have touched her arm to get her attention. She smiled softly up at him. "Thank you, Edward," she murmured quietly.

Edward's lips broke out into a wide crooked grin, lighting up his whole face. Her heart did a little flip flop. He nodded his head at her slightly, and then turned and walked away. Bella's gaze followed him. It had been such a long time since she had made any kind of special notice of a man, but she couldn't deny that he was gorgeous–a strong jaw line with a couple days' worth of stubble, lean but well-defined muscles hiding under his t-shirt. And he had this sexy, unruly mass of auburn hair. He looked like he should be smiling from the pages of a magazine not slinging hash in the middle of the night at some dive diner. Bella felt a pang of sadness at the story of his past that Emmett had shared with her. But then again, she of all people knew life was not fair. She sighed sadly and slowly turned back to her table and picked up her book.

Bella sat for almost two hours, drinking her tea, reading. Edward kept watching her while waiting on the other night-owl customers that wandered in. He had so many questions about her. Why was she here alone in the middle of the night? Why the dark circles under her eyes? Emmett had said something to her when she came in about "another nightmare." What haunted her so much that she couldn't sleep? He knew nothing about her…but he still wished there was something he could do to help her.

Finally Bella got up to leave. She looked up just then and caught him staring at her. He probably should have looked away or busied himself with doing something so she wouldn't know he was staring at her but…he just couldn't pull his eyes away. She smiled tentatively and he smiled shyly back.

Emmett came out of the kitchen and saw Bella gathering up her stuff. "Are you leaving us Bells?" he called out.

"Yeah…I should get back home."

"Well be careful babe, lots of crazies out this time of night!"

She rolled her eyes as she headed for the door. "Always am, Em."

As she left, Edward continued staring after her. Emmett sighed. He turned and spoke quietly to Edward, just loud enough so only he could hear.

"Bella lost her fiancé in a horrible car accident six months ago. She wasn't in the car with him at the time thank God, but they were fighting right before he took off. She's had a hard time of it ever since…has these constant nightmares that wake her up in the middle of the night. She is scared to go back to sleep so…she comes here." He looked over and saw Edward still staring out the door after her. "She only lives a couple blocks from here so she walks. She doesn't know it, but Sam or I usually follow her just to make sure she gets home okay. It's not safe for a woman to be walking the streets this late, but she's damn stubborn about it." Edward finally glanced over at him. Emmett nodded toward the door. "Go on. Be quiet, stay a safe distance so as not to scare her or let her know you're there," he warned. "I want you to consider it one of your job duties to do so whenever she comes in, you hear?"

Edward nodded vigorously, hurriedly untied his apron and headed out after her. Emmett smiled mischievously and headed back into the kitchen.

~O~X~O~X~O~X~O~X~

Once outside Edward looked down the street and saw her, about a block ahead, the light breeze blowing wisps of her hair around her. Edward moved slowly and quietly behind her, so that she wouldn't hear him. He didn't want to spook her. He was glad Emmett told him to follow her. He probably would have followed after her anyway…his heart ached for her after the story Emmett told him about her fiancé, and the nightmares. She was too beautiful to have experienced such tragedy.

Edward's eyes never left her. Much too soon she stopped in front of a red brick building and climbed the steps to the front door. Edward ducked behind a tree, though there was no way she could possibly see him behind her. Once she was inside, he moved back to the sidewalk and walked a few more steps closer to the building. He saw a light come on in one of the upstairs windows and his heart did a leap of joy and relief…that must be her apartment. He just stood there staring up at the window for a minute or two, until the light went off again. Good night beautiful Bella, sweet dreams this time, he whispered to her in his mind. Then he turned and headed back to the diner.

~O~X~O~X~O~X~O~X~

The next two weeks passed in much the same pattern. Two or three nights of the week Bella would come in, Edward would bring her a cup of tea, she would thank him, and then she would sit there and read and Edward would watch her. When she left he would follow her until she got to her apartment safely. On the nights she didn't come in, he still walked past her apartment building on his way home and would just stand there and stare up at her window. Sometimes her light would be on, most of the time not. When the window was dark, he would hope that meant she was getting a good night's sleep and that the nightmares weren't haunting her.

He began to live for the days she would come in, even though she didn't seem to notice him as anyone other than the boy who brought her tea. His heart would both leap joyously and break at the same time–happy she was there, but aching because he couldn't talk to her. He had lived almost all of his life not being able to speak and had learned to survive, to deal with the loss. He was kind of a loner anyway so it wasn't a huge burden most of the time. But certain times like these he cursed it…he wanted to talk to her so desperately. To ask her questions, find out what was going on in her mind…what she liked, what she disliked, what she thought of the world. He wanted to know everything about her.

~O~X~O~X~O~X~O~X~

For Bella, her nightmares were coming less and less and when they did, they were changing. Her dreams were of the car crash–the car erupting into fire while she is on the sidelines, screaming, watching Jacob's trapped body burning in the flames. No matter how she struggles and fights, her body is always rooted in place and she can't move, can't run to save him. But lately…after the car crash, after the flames erupt and before she can start screaming, two strong arms reach out from the darkness and pull her in toward them, turning her away from the horrific scene and embracing her, calming her, sheltering her. She always wakes before she can find out who this person is…her protector, her savior.

She laid in bed in the darkness for a while after getting home from another night at the diner…she tossed and turned. Eventually the exhaustion set in, her eyes drooped heavily and she drifted off to sleep.

She was encircled by strong arms holding her, warming her…she didn't feel trapped– instead she felt like she was enveloped in a safe cocoon. She knew somehow that she would be okay…the arms would protect her. She looked up but it was dark and she couldn't see a face. She spoke, repeating the same question several times–"Who are you?" but he never answered. Suddenly everything got blurry and the dream changed. Hands were stroking her…lips kissing, sucking her breasts…fire…tingling…fingers touching her thighs, moving higher…meeting her wetness…entering her…moving…stroking…she moaned at the shock, at the pleasure…lips moving again, up her chest, up her neck to her jaw, finally capturing her lips, sucking and nipping…she moaned again, her hands gripping his shoulders, clutching his hair…reddish auburn hair…her eyes flew open…Edward was staring back at her…

Bella shot up out of bed, shaking…Edward? No…no…she shouldn't be thinking of him that way…she was betraying Jacob…and besides there was no way Edward would want her that way.

She didn't sleep the rest of the night. Now that she had two dreams to run from she wasn't sure she'd ever be able to sleep again.

~O~X~O~X~O~X~O~X~

Bella came into the diner again the next night. Edward was a little surprised as she rarely came in two nights straight. As he set her tea down on her table he noticed she looked particularly sad tonight, the circles under her eyes even darker. He tried to go back to work as usual but he just couldn't stay away. He was tired of staying away.

Bella could see Edward approaching the table out of the corner of her eye. Her heart rate sped up, she felt nervous. When he stopped she looked up at him. He was fidgeting…finally he cocked his head to look at the cover of her book. Wuthering Heights. He grimaced and cocked an eyebrow, turning to look back at her.

She glanced at the book cover and then back at him quizzically. "What?" she asked.

He frowned and tried gesturing; he was very agitated and very frustrated she could tell. Finally he pulled out his order pad and pen and sat down on the other side of the booth and started scribbling furiously. When he was done he pushed the pad across the table at her.

Wuthering Heights? Really? Rather depressing isn't it?

She read what he wrote then looked up at him incredulously. "Depressing? It's one of the classic romances of all time!"

He shook his head and pulled the pad back to him and scribbled some more then passed it back to her.

Heathcliff and Cathy are so self-involved, so horrible to each other…how is that romantic?

She read what he wrote and just stared back at him. She was so amazed that they were having a conversation, after all these weeks of him barely interacting with her. Yes he couldn't speak but…he had never tried this before with her.

He grabbed the pad back and wrote some more, then handed the pad back to her, his eyes shining with anticipation.

So…please…tell me what you're thinking…why you like it. Convince me.

She read what he wrote then looked over at him. He was staring intently at her–he looked like he genuinely wanted to know what she thought. So she took a breath…and started talking.

It was a slow night and hardly anyone came in the diner. They sat there for hours talking back and forth. He went through two of the tiny order pads.

The next night Bella showed up again…this time with a full-size legal pad. When Edward brought her tea, she pushed the brand new pad of paper across the table toward him with a grin. Edward grinned right back at her and slid into the booth and started writing away.

This became their routine for the next few weeks. Many legal pads later, they had progressed from Wuthering Heights to other favorite books, to music, movies, other likes and dislikes…eventually even to the details of their lives. He shared with her what it was like to grow up without parents, his bleak experiences in the foster system and what it was like to not be able to communicate easily with the rest of the world. And eventually, one night…Bella finally told Edward everything–about she and Jacob, about the accident and the aftermath…and the horrible nightmares. It was difficult; she never spoke about it to anyone. But she felt so calm, so comfortable around him. She found it was easier than she expected to tell him, to say the words out loud. And she felt like a weight was lifted off her shoulders. Edward was so good, so patient, listening with concern and compassion. He fidgeted a lot with his hand and she thought he was going to reach out to touch her or take her hand in his…but in the end he didn't, he just sat there quietly, listening. Maybe she was just hoping for too much–maybe he just thought of themselves as friends. Her dreams about him had not stopped and they just increased her desire to be near him…to know what it would feel like to touch him, to kiss him.

The next time Bella came in, Emmett was working, so they didn't get to spend as much time together. Bella kept watching him while he worked…she missed him, even though they were in the same room.

Edward was frustrated–not only was Emmett around, but they had more customers than normal and he'd barely even gotten a chance to say hi to Bella. He looked over at her usual booth and…she wasn't there. He frowned; disappointed that he had missed her leaving.

But suddenly she was right there in front of him, so close he could feel her breath. As he looked into her eyes, she leaned up and touched her lips to his gently. He was so shocked he just stood there, and when he didn't move she quickly pulled away, her cheeks on fire. She looked down and mumbled an apology and…left. As he watched her leave, his senses finally came back to him and his heart started to sink, his stomach twisted in knots. She'd kissed him and he'd done nothing! She ran off because she probably thought he wasn't interested in her. Edward closed his eyes and his posture slumped in agony.

Emmett had been watching everything from the kitchen. Idiot kid! He thought. He came out and slapped Edward on the back. "Well don't just stand there man!"

Edward looked up at him with desolate eyes.

"Go after her!" Emmett gave him a little push and Edward ran out the door. Emmett just shook his head and headed back to the kitchen.

~O~X~O~X~O~X~O~X~

Bella was nowhere in sight on the streets as Edward tore out of the diner. Hopefully she was safe at home already. He took off at a run toward her apartment.

~O~X~O~X~O~X~O~X~

Bella slammed the door behind her, breathing heavy from running all the way home. She leaned back against the door and slid all the way to the floor, and dropped her head into her hands, the tears starting to flow. What had possessed her to kiss him? She knew he couldn't possibly be interested in her that way. All she had done was cause herself more heartbreak…and embarrassment when he hadn't returned her kiss.

Just then there was a pounding on her door so loud she practically fell over. It scared her and her heart rate went into overdrive. She stood up and looked through the peephole. No…it wasn't…

She pulled open the door and looked up at Edward, his arms outstretched and hands gripping the sides of the doorframe, his chest heaving as he struggled to take in air…as if he'd been running. He looked at her and his eyes were shiny and pleading…and then he reached for her, grasping her face, pressing his lips forcefully against hers. Moving them hungrily, insistently…pouring all of his want and need from the past weeks into one kiss. Bella closed her eyes, her whole body going weak, the shock of electricity from his lips and his touch igniting slow burning embers everywhere. Needing more, she reached up and clutched at his hair, entwining her fingers in its messy strands. Edward's hands moved down to her waist, pulling her into him more tightly, savoring the softness of her lips, drowning in the taste of her mouth–sweet and tart as their tongues tangled and twisted around each other. They broke apart, their breathing heavy, their hearts pounding. Edward leaned his forehead on hers and he stared down into her eyes, knowing his touch needed to convey all he could not say. He cupped his hands around her face, his thumbs rubbing circles on her cheeks, over her lips. She reached up and clasped his hands in hers and pulled him into her apartment, letting the door slam shut behind him. She pulled his arms around her waist and she leaned up, capturing his soft tender lips into another fiery, intense kiss. His hands slid down from her waist to cup her ass, and he lifted her up into his arms. She wrapped her legs tightly around his waist, as he started forward then stopped. He pulled away from the kiss and looked at her with a question in his eyes. It took her a minute and then she giggled, realizing what he wanted. "Straight back, at the end of the hallway," she whispered softly. Before she knew it he was laying her gently on the bed and hovering over her, his eyes bright and anxious.

He was hesitating, unsure…she sensed his nervousness and reached down to the hem of his T-shirt and started pulling it upward. He pulled his arms up and finished taking his shirt off, while she ran her hands up his chest, over his nipples, up to his neck. At the feel of her touch, he closed his eyes and tilted his head back, taking a deep breath. When he opened them again his eyes were burning with hunger as he stared down at her. He reached for her face again, almost devouring her lips with a kiss so urgent, so primal. Bella felt jolts of both heat and cold traveling her body, making her shiver with every kiss, every touch.

Soon they were both moving…groping, tearing off clothing. Edward was having trouble balancing his overwhelming urgent need to be with her, with his need to go slow. He wanted her to know, through his kisses, through his touch, how he felt about her. He knew this was her first time since Jacob, and he wanted everything to be perfect for her, he didn't want her to regret anything.

When they were finally both in their underwear, Edward leaned over her and stared into her eyes and caressed her cheek. As his eyes swept over her body, his hand followed suit…caressing, touching, wanting to feel and touch every inch of her. He finally bent down to her breasts, sucking at her nipples through the lace and satin. They were already hard and straining against the thin fabric. He slid the straps down her shoulders and unhooked her bra, pulling it off and tossing it to the side. He bent down and placed little delicate kisses all around her breasts, licking and sucking at her now bare nipples with his tongue. Bella moaned and arched in response.

Bella's body was being overwhelmed with sensations and every little teasing touch and kiss from Edward just sparked more and more fires. His facial stubble on her skin felt like a match being struck against the back of a matchbook…each spot he nuzzled instantly going up in flames. She didn't know how much longer she could wait…she needed him so desperately. Jacob was the only other man she had ever been with, but it had never felt like this with him. Edward awakened so many things in her, so many nerve endings that she didn't even know she had.

Edward trailed kisses down her body to the edge of her panties. As he did with her bra, he placed light kisses on the fabric, moving down, parting her legs slightly for better access. God, she was so wet he could almost taste her through the fabric. He sucked lightly at the wettest point and he heard Bella cry out again. He swiftly slipped her panties off her body and settled back between her legs, licking and sucking her most sensitive spot. Bella arched deeply and clutched at Edward's hair.

"Edward, stop, please…"

His head jerked up immediately. Stop? Did she really just say stop?? Oh God, he thought, this was too much for her, too fast…she wasn't ready…she didn't want this. His heart fell. She tugged on his hair and then his face, indicating she wanted him closer to her. He moved up, his face hovering over her.

Bella saw Edward's eyes dull and a look of pain and rejection on his face. Her stomach did a flip-flop and she knew she had probably said the wrong thing…but she just couldn't take anymore. She cradled his face in her hands. "Edward," she said softly, forcing him to look at her. "You're driving me crazy…I just wanted you to stop with the teasing please…I need you, I need to feel you inside me…now." To illustrate she pressed her lips to his as hard as she could. She didn't think she could ever get enough of the feel of his firm full lips on hers. She pressed insistently and his lips opened and she slid her tongue into his mouth, sliding and moving with his, trying to get as deep as she could. As she reached down and started sliding his boxers off, he moved his hips and finally finished getting them off himself. Bella could feel how hard he was for her and she placed her hand over him and started stroking him…up…and down…slowly…teasing him almost as he had her. Edward's breathing got more erratic and he broke away from the kiss for a minute, his eyes squeezed shut. Bella's hands slid around to his ass and she dug her hands in, forcing him closer. Her ache was so intense her whole body was trembling. "Edward," she whispered in his ear, "Now, please…oh God please!"

Edward lost all control at her words and plunged into her deeply. She gasped and he forced himself not to move, to make sure she was okay…and selfishly to take a moment to relish the feeling of being in her, being this close to her. She felt so hot, so tight surrounding him. He was panting and he pressed his forehead to hers, his body almost shaking, wanting to move so desperately.

"It's okay Edward…please, I need to feel you…deeper…" Bella was breathing heavily too and felt like she was going to explode from the sensation.

Edward started moving then, deeper and faster with every stroke, completely filling her. They were both clutching each other tightly almost painfully, their skin slick with sweat…their need so urgent to meld their bodies together as tightly as they could.

For Bella, with every movement from Edward she felt herself getting lighter and lighter. For once she closed her eyes and did not see a car in flames. With each thrust he was healing her…filling the dark hole that had existed inside her for so long. He was making her whole again.

Bella dug her nails so deeply into Edward's shoulders she almost broke the skin. Her muscles were tightening around him, the spasms coming in never ending waves that were sending white-hot tremors over her whole body. She arched into Edward deeply and cried out his name before collapsing exhausted against the damp sheets.

Edward couldn't believe the feel of Bella's body, the reactions he drew from her…how long had he watched her at the diner and followed her home, never believing she could ever want him. He felt like if he never received another thing in this lifetime, this one night with Bella would be more than he ever deserved. And yet, greedily he also hoped to have a lifetime of nights like this with her, if she'd have him.

He felt her tightening up around him, and he knew he wouldn't last any longer. He heard her cry out his name and his whole body twitched in reaction and he slammed into her one last time as deep as he could and spilled himself into her, clutching the bed sheets to avoid grasping her too tightly.

Both spent and sated with each other, still in a haze, the room spinning, they stayed joined together, not wanting to separate just yet. As their breathing finally started to return to normal, Bella looked into Edward's eyes and saw they were damp and shiny with tears. Still frustrated with all he could not say, he leaned on one elbow and clasped one of her hands in his. He tapped his fingertips to his chest as if to say "My." Then he placed her whole hand over his beating heart so she could feel it…then he slowly moved her hand back towards her, placing it on her beating heart this time, and just held it there, their hands entwined.

Bella didn't need any words from him, she understood everything he meant. Tears sprang to her eyes too, and she took his hand and mimicked his motions, placing his hand on her heart and then back onto his. "Me too, Edward…me too," she whispered quietly, as they each continued staring at each other for what felt like an eternity.

~O~X~O~X~O~X~O~X~

…There are many things that I would like to say to you

But I don't know how

I said maybe,

You're gonna be the one that saves me

And after all

You're my wonderwall…