Sorry this is late. I could go on listing a whole barrage of excuses but I won't. You can just read.

I don't own Twilight, and I still don't own the New Moon calendar...unfortunately, only one of those can be remedied ;)

"Come on, Edward! One minute left!"

My trainer, Felix, was encouraging me a little too close to my ear. I winced out of sympathy for my eardrum rather than the fact I was about to complete seven miles of running on the treadmill.

"You're doing great! Keep your breathing steady!"

I grunted and pushed myself faster. It had been a while since I'd had a proper workout. I had jogged during my off time in Argentina, but that was a little different than a full-blown work-out with Felix. I was going to be sore everywhere tomorrow. The beeper signaled the final seconds and I closed my eyes. When the beeper stopped the treadmill slowed down. I opened my eyes and huffed.

Felix set me up for a cool-down and I complied. I hadn't been this beat up by a work-out since college. It was always a bitch during soccer practices. I had hoped after I graduated that I'd leave the intense work-outs behind me and merely stay in shape. Felix had other plans. Apparently Argentine food had turned me into a softie.

"Any plans for tonight?" Felix smiled.

I shrugged.

"I've gotta meet Jasper at the studio after I'm done here. I have date tonight too."

Felix wiggled his eyebrows and grinned.

"Niceee. With who?"

I glanced down at the panel on the machine, hoping not to give my reaction away.

"No one you'd know," I said offhandedly.

Felix shrugged and walked over to the mat he'd set down on the floor. He rolled it up and started putting the weights back.

"Same time tomorrow, Edward," he instructed and grabbed his duffle bag as my cool-down finished.

I took a swig from my water bottle and shook my head.

"I need it to be later. I don't know what my schedule will be like yet. It all depends on how long I take with Jasper and how this date goes."

Felix exhaled. I knew it bothered him when I changed our schedule.

"Alright, fine. Call me in the morning."

Felix exited the gym as I followed him out. I walked him to the front door and said goodbye quickly, needing to be at Jasper's studio soon. I showered, got dressed, and before I knew it I was pulling into the parking lot of the studio. I noticed Jasper's shitty Range Rover from 1997 and shook my head. I could only imagine the gas mileage on that thing.

I breezed past the receptionist at the desk and waltzed into the studio. Jasper was mixing some unknown stuff together as I threw my jacket on the table, placed my guitar against the wall, and sat down next to him.

"What's that you're working on?"

"I'm doing some side work for this underground kid I met last night. He's going to be a legend," Jasper predicted.

"What's his name?"

"Riley, I think."

I nodded and went to grab my guitar. For the next three hours, I spent time in the booth and outside with Jasper. We decided what should stay and what should go. We tweaked things and came up with better ideas. Jasper made suggestions and I put my foot down when something was really important to me.

James popped in at one point and he was still as smelly as he was last night. His face had an orange glow, especially on his forehead. How he managed to sleep through that entire prank was beyond me.

"Why the hell are you so orange?" Jasper asked as he adjusted the bass on the one song we'd spent the afternoon working on.

I nodded my head in time with the beat and patted Jasper's back. It was sounding fantastic. James looked at Jasper and rolled his eyes.

"Seth Clearwater."

Jasper chuckled and shook his head.

"Seth Clearwater is a fucking god."

I laughed at that one and glanced at James. He didn't agree with Jasper one bit. Not that I necessarily blamed him. Once you were on the receiving end of a prank by Seth it was hard to think highly of him. James also tended to hold grudges even longer than I did. He almost put me to shame with how stubborn he was.

James shifted in my direction and completely ignored Jasper. I stared at him but tried to keep from laughing the entire time I looked at him.

"You've got a show to do on Friday night, Edward. It'll be low-key."

"Where is it at?"

I was smirking by this point. I really couldn't help it. It was just too funny.

"The House of Blues," James replied as he typed a few things into his Blackberry.

He frowned at the screen and the wrinkles in his forehead made the orange glow become even more pronounced. I cracked and let out a small chuckle. His eyes shot up to meet mine and he scowled at me.

"Just laugh already!" he ordered.

I burst out into laughter for a solid five minutes. My stomach was killing me from the laughter and the burn from today's workout. Jasper simply shook his head and continued adjusting things on his computer.

"Did you tell Victoria about it?"

James sighed and nodded.

"And she's still willing to go out with you in public?" I wondered incredulously.

"Well, not exactly. We're having dinner at her apartment."

"Right," I said, not wanting to get myself in anymore more trouble, "So, what are we ordering? I'm starving," I complained.

"Let's get some food from that Moroccan place," Jasper suggested.

I shrugged and pointed at James.

"You are so worthless, Cullen. You can't even order your own damn food anymore," James griped.

I smiled obnoxiously at him and wrote down my order. I placed the paper next to Jasper and he scrawled down his order as well. My phone chimed and I dug in my pocket to retrieve it. I flipped it open and was surprised to see who my new text message was from.

Can I bring anything tonight? Wine? Dessert? –B

I smirked. Maybe she should bring some wine. If I was really going to delve into the very problematic fact that she was my brother's ex-girlfriend then alcohol really couldn't hurt the situation. In fact, I'd feel a lot better interrogating her about her past escapades with my brother if there were alcohol involved.

Wine sounds great.

James was on the phone with the Moroccan restaurant and Jasper was doing something on the computer. I nearly put my phone away until it chimed once again.

Red or white?

I typed a quick response to Bella and slid my phone back in my pocket.

"So, are you going to see that Alice girl, again?"

Jasper nodded without looking at me. He suddenly swiveled around in his computer chair and started messing with knobs. I sat there and watched him, not entirely sure what he was doing to the song we had been working on.

"She called me before you got here. She wants to see me Thursday night. Her job is hosting some event in the Hills. She told the name of the person who owned the house but I forgot. I almost turned her down. I don't really do the whole work-party thing but I decided I'd go for her. Besides we all know I'm getting something at the end of the night," Jasper ended in a laugh.

I rolled my eyes and Jasper pointed an accusatory finger at me.

"Don't you even dare get self-righteous on me. You had an almost one-night-stand the other night with your brother's ex. You don't have room for judgment."

I bit my tongue and zipped my lip. After tonight, I'd decide if I had something to say to Jasper.

A couple hours later, I pulled into my driveway and Seth was walking down his. He was wearing a robe like he was Hugh Hefner or something. His hair was a total mess and he was yawning so much it was starting to rub off on me.

"What's up, Seth?" I asked as I leaned over the fence.

Seth shrugged.

"I'm tired as hell. I called in for a booty call," he laughed.

I rolled my eyes.

"You wanna come over? I'm going to do some work but feel free to try and break my Call of Duty records," I taunted.

"You're on," he decided.

I grabbed my laptop and planted myself on the loveseat as Seth strolled into my living room. This time he was dressed more appropriately and had a cell phone cradled against his ear.

"Leah, I don't fucking know! I'm a dude. Not to mention you're the older one. Get some sense," Seth shouted.

I glanced at him and gave him a look. He shook his head and rolled his eyes.

"I am a guy. How the hell should I know?" he repeated.

I concentrated on my desktop and tried not to listen too hard to their conversation. I hoped Leah wasn't into any big trouble. Shit, from the way it sounded she was 7 months pregnant.

"I'm not at home. I'm at Edward's."

There was another pause as I logged into my email account. Some of my mail had been opened or deleted already. I assumed James had done some cleaning up while I was away.

"No. He's got a date tonight."

I looked up at Seth again. He was smiling this time.

"No, I don't know if his date is into threesomes involving whips and chains," Seth smirked.

I heard screeching on the other end and Seth burst into laughter. He handed the phone to me and walked away. I gave him a suspicious look.


"Edward, I'm not into threesomes! My brother is just a douche. I told him to say hi to you for me but apparently he's incapable of being an adult."

"So then are you into the whips and chains?" I teased.

Leah giggled.

"That's for me to know and you to find out, Cullen. Unfortunately for you, you're seeing someone already."

"I'll make a note in my little black book. If things don't work out, I'll be knocking on your door."

Seth groaned and made a gagging sound.

"Alright, Edward. See ya."

"Bye, Leah!"

I hung up and threw Seth's phone across the living room. It barely got to the couch. Had I been a lesser athlete, his phone would have been in pieces. He scowled at me and gave me a warning look.

"Don't fuck with a player's phone," he threatened, "That's my little black book."

I laughed and waved him off. An hour into my email perusing, Seth gave up on beating my high scores and started whining.

"What are you doing, Cullen?"

"I'm responding to this email my mom sent me about this charity I support. I have an event I need to attend in a couple of weeks. It's supposed to be a concert."

"What charity?"

"It's a charity that helps inner-city schools maintain funding for sports. I figured it was a good one to support since I've played soccer and baseball my entire life. I was luckier than most kids."

Seth nodded.

"That's true. The teams we had on the rez were awesome but our school didn't always have the best equipment. That's some good shit, Cullen. I approve. I should do something charitable. I need to start making amends for all the bad stuff I've done in life. By the time I die I should be done," Seth joked.

I rolled my eyes.

"Well, what do you like? What's important to you? We can start from there," I suggested.

"I don't know. Give me a couple of names."

"There's the American Cancer Society, ASPCA, Save the Music, Make a Wish Foundation…those are more popular. There's some more obscure ones too. I can do a search if you want."

Seth grinned and suddenly I knew this was a bad conversation to have with him.

"No need. I've got an idea."

I looked at him expectantly from my seat on the couch.

"I love boobs. Why not donate to the Breast Cancer Foundation? You know…'Save the Knockers.'"

I rolled my eyes. Seth fucking Clearwater.

I was a nervous wreck preparing for my date tonight. I nicked the underside of my chin while I was shaving. The shirt I wanted to wear was at my parent's house, which would have been easily remedied but I didn't want to be anywhere near Esme until I sorted things out with Bella. Emmett called to chat and Rosalie picked up the other line inadvertently. It was awkward to say the least.

I stepped in front of the mirror and checked myself. The jeans I was wearing didn't have holes in them. The shirt I was wearing wasn't wrinkled. I looked farther down and realized my feet were still bare. I grabbed my socks from my drawer and slipped into some sneakers.

On my way downstairs, the doorbell rang and I froze. I opened it tentatively and was shocked to see Bella standing there. She was early. I swallowed and managed to keep myself from stuttering. I gave myself a two-second mental pep talk and finally spoke.

"Bella. Hi."

God. That was sheer brilliance.

"Hey, Edward. Can I come in?"

I nodded and stepped aside. Bella walked forward and I got a whiff of some expensive perfume. I didn't have a clue what it was but it smelled good. I was practically salivating which was probably the intent. She looked around and that simple girl I knew from Sunday morning was looking at my house with wide eyes. I closed the door and walked her into the kitchen where the food was cooling off. It was the one thing I had managed not to mess up today.

"I'm sorry I'm a little early. I didn't expect to leave and run into such little traffic."

"That's okay. The food is done and I was just finishing up myself," I reassured her.

I looked at her while she walked around my island. She placed the bottle of wine on the granite and strolled seductively. She was wearing this completely benign gray dress with black trimming but she was gorgeous in it. It flowed as she moved.

I took note of the ornate necklace and ring she was wearing. They were huge and seemed to match her dress. Her purse didn't look cheap either. This girl was a mystery. I'd spent my entire life in California and never came across her. If she was rich, she had to be from new money.

"I didn't really get a chance to look around last time I was here," she smiled.

I smiled back at her and placed my hands on the granite, watching her as she glided around.

"I really like the decorating."

"My mother decorated mostly."

Bella smiled and seemed to be entertained by a private joke.

"Of course she did."

I arched an eyebrow at her and grabbed her hand. It still felt as good as it did on Saturday night. I tugged her towards the dining room and sat her down.

"The food will get cold. We'll look around later," I explained.

I placed a plate of food in front of Bella and decanted the wine. We ate in a bit of an awkward silence at first until I decided to unravel the mystery of Bella Swan.

"So, tell me about yourself. I feel like I know very little of you."

Bella wiped her mouth and I gripped my napkin a little tighter.

"Um, well there's not much to tell. I work for a production company. I started as an intern there and now I can singlehandedly put together a runway show. It's not my ideal job but I make good money there. I also do a little bit of blogging. My real passion is writing so I do editorials here and there for different sites. I live with my best friend in a bungalow about 20 minutes outside of L.A. and I probably have more scars than a BMX rider."

"Scars?" I asked in disbelief.

I didn't remember any.

"Well, they're not too noticeable but I'm pretty clumsy. I've grown out of it some but childhood was rough," Bella giggled.

"I can't imagine you being clumsy at all, especially with those heels you wear," I replied doubtfully.

"Oh, trust me, the ground and I are very well-acquainted. You haven't known me long enough," she teased.

"What about the basics though? I mean I haven't the slightest clue how old you are or where you're from? What about your parents?"

"Slow down, Edward. I'm not even done with my pasta yet," Bella smirked, "I'll answer your questions in due time. I want to know about you too."

"Don't you already?" I said before I had the chance to stop myself.

"I wouldn't really go by what they say in gossip magazines if that's what you're referring to," Bella said with conviction.

It shut me up effectively.

"What would you like to know?"

"I don't know. You decide," she prompted.

I thought about it for a moment.

"I used to play soccer for UCLA. I should've been Captain my senior year but I lost a bit of momentum because I met my producer, Jasper—"

"Jasper Whitlock?"

Bella asked rather abruptly. Her reaction sort of worried me. I was half-afraid she'd hooked up with him too but he was too high to remember or something.

"Yes," I said hesitantly.

"Wow. Talk about coincidence. Your producer is dating my best friend and roommate."

"Your best friend and your roommate are dating Jasper? Damn. I'm sorry. I'll tell Jasper to—"

Bella's tinkling laughter stopped me. Her whole face turned pink and her eyes crinkled as she repeatedly laughed.

"Edward, my best friend and roommate are one in the same. He's dating Alice Brandon."

"Oh yeah. I knew that. Wait, so your roommate is Alice?"

"Mhm," Bella nodded.

"Huh. Does she really think I'm sexy?" I joked.

Bella's cheeks were already pink so I couldn't tell if she was blushing. She looked away and furrowed her eyebrows.

"I'm not sure. She said you had a nice voice after you called. She thinks it's why you're such a successful singer. Apparently you've got the perfect tone."

"Jasper's a good singer too," I added.

"Yeah, she mentioned that as well."

I picked up my fork and continued eating. I was already smiling and enjoying myself with her. She was easy to be around and talk to. I imagined that if things weren't so complicated I would probably feel even more comfortable around her. She was witty and charming. From the way she spoke, she was smart too.

We weren't talking about how much money I made, or if I could get tickets to a show, or that her shoes were more expensive than most people's television sets. It was all basic but somehow she made it more interesting.

"This is really good, Edward. The Vodka sauce is phenomenal. I'd almost forgotten how much I loved this stuff. I'll have to make it for Alice sometime soon."

"Do you like to cook?"

Bella nodded and sipped her wine.

"I'm a pretty decent cook. The only thing I hate is deciding what to make for dinner. Thank God Alice is very obsessive compulsive. She makes my life easier by writing out a list every two weeks. We simply get the groceries beforehand and just cook whatever's on the menu."

"That's smart," I concluded, "I don't cook half as much as I should. I've got this great kitchen but I'm hardly ever home to use it. My mom spoils me a lot more than she should as well."

"I'm sure it's well-meaning. From what you've said, it seems like you two are close," Bella noted.

"We are. My biological father and I are disconnected at best. He has his own life and I have my own. I love him dearly but Esme is my closest family member. There's that bond between us that isn't shared or even understood by the rest of our family."

Bella smiled and tilted her head to the side. Her eyes softened and she reached for my hand to squeeze it lightly.

"That's really sweet, Edward."

This time I blushed and ducked. I looked back at her and shook my head, determined to get back in this conversation. I was doing all the talking. Now she needed to start.

"Alright, I've spoken enough. Your turn," I instructed.

"What was that first question you asked me? Oh right, my age," Bella shot me a look, "You know it's inappropriate to ask a lady her age."

"I'm sure it's somewhere around twenty-five, which means you have nothing to worry about. I just want to be proven right," I smirked.

Bella narrowed her eyes in my direction and stood quiet for a long moment.

"I'm 25," she announced a little begrudgingly.

I smiled and stood up, offering her my hand. She accepted it and stood up with me. I lead her out to my patio and we stood at the rail.

"This is a fantastic view," Bella complimented me, "not that I'm surprised."

I rolled my eyes and continued to hold onto her hand. I led her over to the outside dining area and we sat down at the table. Bella tapped her toe against the ground and continued to look at the view. I simply watched her, not knowing where the girl from Saturday night could have possibly come from.

The Bella sitting in front of me was the girl-next-door. She was starting to seem like everything I'd want in an ideal girlfriend. I sighed. I thought about postponing the inevitable. The fact she was Emmett's ex didn't matter so much in the broad spectrum. If only….

"Edward, I know you're probably thinking about what happened on Saturday. I'm not an idiot. I'm sure you were informed of my past with your brother. Can we please just get this over with and stop ignoring it like the elephant in the room?"

I looked at Bella. Her face was carefully constructed. It seemed like if she wasn't so composed then I'd be able to look into her soul and see every emotion that ran through her body at the moment. I nodded and led her back into the house. It wasn't really a conversation I wanted to have on my back patio. I sat down on the longer couch while Bella opted to sit on the opposing loveseat.

"I don't know what you want me to say to you. I personally don't have much to say. If anything, it's you that should be explaining," I answered honestly.

Bella crossed her legs and folded her arms against her chest. I looked away from her, staring at a painting above my artificial fireplace.

"Fine," she began, "I'll start. I'm sure when you look at all the facts it seems like I'm some sort of whorish ex-girlfriend, doesn't it? I feel I should mention the much overlooked fact that you approached me, Edward."

My head whipped in her direction.

"You're going to blame this on me? Honestly?"

"I'm not blaming anyone. I'm just saying that you're sorely mistaken if you think I went out of my way to sleep with you. It wasn't some con to sleep with an old flame's brother. Honestly, if it wasn't because it was your birthday party I might not have even recognized you. You do look a lot different since you came back to L.A. and I've only seen you through various media outlets and a few old pictures Emmett has. Even he admitted to needing more updated pictures of your family. I'm sure you look differently than you did during Greek Week at UCLA in 2002."

I tensed my jaw. There was a slight condescension and bitchiness to her tone that annoyed me. I understood she was pissed off but I hadn't accused her of anything for Chrissake.

"None of that crap matters! I introduced myself. I flirted with you unknowingly. At any point you could have stepped up and mentioned that you were with Emmett while I was gone."

Bella's expression was defiant.

"Tell me something. Would it have changed the outcome of that night?"

My mouth opened as soon as she finished but I stopped myself from answering. I didn't have an answer right away. As I'd thought earlier, in the broader spectrum, it didn't really matter. People would forget and move on. They seemed to be going in that direction already. In my personal relationship with Bella? I wasn't sure.

I enjoyed being with her. As angry as she was making me, I still wanted to see her again. If she'd told me that night she was Emmett's ex-girlfriend, I would have definitely backed down. But tonight I knew she was Emmett's ex-girlfriend and yet I could only bring myself to be mildly irritated by that fact. It wasn't even that she'd been with Emmett. It was more that she'd kept it from me.

"Yes. It would have."

Bella's face became crestfallen and she stood up quickly. She breezed past me and started to make a beeline for her purse.

"Bella, wait," I pleaded.

She hastily grabbed her car keys from her purse and continued walking. I chased after her and grabbed her arm, begging her to stop.


I flinched at her tone.

"I'm sorry. I…it doesn't matter now. All that matters is that I know now. I like you and I still want to get to know you. I don't want you to leave. I just wish you'd told me is all."

Bella looked down at her feet and spoke.

"Edward, if I could go back and change things I would and it would start with Emmett. He's great but if being in a past relationship with him means that it will cause trouble for a relationship with you, I'd take it back. I don't want to be faulted for being attracted to you. As much as you felt some strange connection with me on Saturday night, I felt it too. I could be wrong. You could have simply wanted to spend the night with someone, but it wasn't just sex to me. I really found myself liking you that night and I still do. You're so different from the rest of them," she trailed off.

I lifted her face by pressing a finger to her chin. There were unshed tears in her eyes and I couldn't stand seeing her that way, because in the end it really wasn't a huge deal to me. It was a bad foot to start off on, but if she wanted to be with me as much as I wanted to be with her then we'd move on and make changes.

"I'm so sorry, Edward," she apologized.

"It's okay. It doesn't matter. I just want to be Bella and Edward. Forget everything else," I whispered.

Bella nodded and closed her eyes. I leaned closer to her and pressed my lips against hers softly. It was tender. When I pulled back for a breath, Bella gasped quickly and pulled me back for another one. I moved both hands to her face and pressed my mouth against hers more forcefully. My desire for this woman before me seemed to outweigh everything else. She had something and whatever it was I wanted it badly.

Bella moaned and the sound of wet kisses filled the air. Her soft arms crawled up my back until I suddenly felt her fingers run through my hair. My right hand fell from her face and situated itself on her waist, pulling her closer to me. I was panting and barely breathing but her mouth was better than air. I pulled away and started to place sweet kisses from her chin to her jaw.

"Edward," she whispered, "I didn't want to do this again. I don't want you to think less of me."

"It doesn't matter," I repeated into the kiss beneath her ear.

She shivered against me and panted.

"I don't know who I am with you. You make me someone else."

I listened to her words but nothing could distract me from caressing her waist and kissing the curve between her neck and jaw. Many people claim that women taste a certain way. Bella didn't taste like anything to me but she smelled incredible. Her perfume was driving me insane. Not to mention her hair had a fruity scent to it.

I reluctantly pulled away but when I saw her hooded eyes I knew I was making the right choice. I picked her up swiftly and placed her on my staircase. We weren't going to make it upstairs tonight. I started unbuttoning my shirt while she leaned back and kicked her heels off. My hands found purchase on her knees and I slid them up her dress to the apex between her legs.

My fingers grazed a lacy fabric and I groaned. Bella sat up and leaned closer before capturing my mouth with her own. Our mouths became distracting and I nearly forgot my hands were on her underwear until she rocked her hips forward. I peeled the material down her legs and allowed them to pool at her feet, which were placed on either side of my knees as I kneeled before her. Bella kicked them away and I situated myself closer. I grazed her slit with one finger and she exhaled shakily.

"More," she begged breathlessly against my lips.

I rubbed her clit once and her feet clamped down against my calves. I slid a finger into her and she kissed me harder. Her hand came to tug on my hair as I pushed in and out of her wetness. Her hips rocked imperceptibly on the staircase while her panting grew louder. Our mouths drew further from each other as her head titled backward. Due to the weather and sexual tension, sweat started to form on my brow. I kissed her neck and used my thumb to rub her clit in time with my thrusting finger.

"I need more," she instructed.

I situated another finger and went faster. She gasped and tugged on my hair.

"Oh, that's so good, Edward."

I curled my fingers inside her and rubbed faster against her clit. Her breathing quickened and her body tightened. I was waiting for it.

"Ahhh, Edward, yes, just like… yes! Oh God!"

Bella came on my fingers and I grinned against her neck. I continued thrusting my fingers until she begged me to stop. I pulled them out and sucked them dry. Bella looked at me with overwhelming lust and a glow to her that could only come from being satisfied. I leaned forward and kissed her. She threw her arms around my neck and drew me closer to her. I started to unbutton my jeans as she claimed my lips.

I thanked God for deciding to go commando and brought them down to my knees before I couldn't move any further. I reached into my back pocket for the condom I had slipped inside earlier. Bella pulled away, realizing I was busy, and helped me out. She pulled her dress off promptly and was clad in nothing but a feminine purple bra with pink trim.

I smiled at her and kissed her collarbone. We were a total mess right now but she looked beautiful. As much as I liked the black number from the other night, I truly adored this new set. It was much more like the Bella I'd encountered during dinner.

I got off the staircase and clumsily stripped out of my jeans, socks, and sneakers. I rolled the condom on quickly and guided myself to Bella's entrance. I pushed inside slowly as she held onto my shoulders for support. Once I was inside, I pulled out and thrust back in. I only did so three times before Bella squeezed the skin on my back and I noticed her wincing.

"The stairs…it hurts," she explained.

I nodded and wrapped my arms around her. I managed to actually stay inside of her as I took her down the hall and back to my couch. I positioned her on the couch so I could stand up and thrust into her while she lay down. Bella cried out at our new position and angle.

I drove into her consistently, careful not to get too crazy. I didn't want to jackhammer her. Her hands snaked their way into her bra and she tugged her own nipples. I groaned and squeezed the skin of her hip lightly, trying to let her know she was driving me nuts.

"You feel…so good, Edward."

"Bella, you're killing me. I want this…to last," I begged.

"Just keep…ungh, yes…keep going. Faster," she ordered.

I bent my knees slightly and drove quicker into her. My thrusts were measured and timed perfectly, giving her what she needed but trying not to work myself over too quickly. I reached behind her back and pulled her up to me. I kissed her hard and removed one of her hands from her bra, placing mine in instead.

She whimpered and rocked her hips toward mine as best as she could. I teased her nipples and palmed her a little more forcefully than I should have. Her other hand left the other cup and she placed the hand I had on her hip higher up her back. I used the advantage of having the upper hand to help her rocker faster on my cock.

"Fuck," I said below my breath.

She was so wet and I was probably going to have to do such a wipe down on this couch afterwards, but I could care less right now. Bella started to go faster and her eyes became crazed. I knew she was chasing after her release and this gave me hope. I competed with her speed until she couldn't take it anymore. She cried out loudly and came. A few thrusts later, I followed.

I kept thrusting until I came off my high and could no longer feel my legs. My workout with Felix this morning seemed incomparable to this. I placed my forehead against Bella's and pulled out. I discarded of the condom in the kitchen and when I came back Bella was still sitting on the couch, trying to pull herself together.

I smiled and picked her up. She grabbed the thong she'd thrown off earlier and slipped into it on our way upstairs. I entered my room with her and she fell against the sheets wordlessly. I slipped on a pair of boxers and climbed into the bed, wondering what was running through her head.

"What are you thinking?"

I couldn't help but ask.

"I just…did you expect to get lucky tonight?"

I was sitting in bed, so I looked down at her. Her eyes were closed but the worried crease to her brow gave away her preoccupation.

"No. Why do you think that?" I replied honestly.

"You had a condom ready. You weren't wearing underwear. I mean I know how you must see me and all but I don't want you to expect that anytime I'm here you're getting some action. I realize I'm a little more sexually liberated than most people but I'm not something to use."

I shifted and scowled down at her. I tapped her arm and she opened her eyes to look at me.

"I don't know the type of guys you've been with, and I certainly don't want to know if Emmett is one of them, but I'm not like that. Was I prepared? Yes. I generally do so when I invite a gorgeous girl over my house, but it's not a reflection of anything I may think of you. Not for nothing but that's rather egotistical."

"The type of guys I've been with?" Bella asked and she sat up and faced me.

"Just who exactly have you been talking to, Edward? Your brother knew very little of my past, considering we dated so briefly, so there has to be someone else. I don't know what this person told you but I'm not going to apologize for being a sexual person, Edward. It's not something that defines me."

"It doesn't matter who I've spoken to," I argued, "You're constantly making an appearance as the anonymous arm-candy in gossip rags. It's clear you're well-connected."

"You don't know anything about me. Just because I slept with you the first time we met doesn't mean I sleep with everyone that quickly."

"We just had sex again now."

"Because I wanted to. I find you to be interesting and I'm very attracted to you. Is that a crime?"

"No. It's just hard to distinguish sometimes what your hook is. Are you really just some shy girl that parades around as this sex-bomb? Or are you really that girl and you use the ordinary girl routine to keep guys interested for some time? I think you're more concerned about how others see you rather than me. You wouldn't be speaking about this unless you were worried about it."

"This is the most absurd conversation I've ever had!" Bella exclaimed, "You want to know who I am, Edward? I'm Bella Swan. I work at a fashion job, where I have to pretend to be something I'm not just to keep up with the rest of my colleagues. I go home and read Harlequin novels with my best friend. She laughs at the end of the book and I sit there, wishing someone would sweep me off my feet. I hate confrontation. I can cook the best damn filet mignon in L.A. And I like sex…a lot. I also like dating and meeting different people. I'm so busy at work that I don't even get to enjoy my traveling as much as I should. I go to Paris for a fashion show and I spend the entire time inside a studio, setting up. I don't understand why I can't be both girls? I'm an ordinary girl, but I do like to go out and have my fun. I'm sure 97% of the guys you know in L.A. are like that and yet no one is gossiping about their trysts and plethora of partners."

I simply stared at Bella. I didn't have anything to say in response. She'd just put me in my place really good. I reached toward her and brushed a piece of her long hair that had fallen in her face while she went on her tirade behind her ear. Her eyes softened but she looked down at the bed sheet. I once again tilted her chin up. I kissed her forehead and whispered my apology into her skin. She wrapped her arms around my back and hugged me to her.

"I know this is a lot and it's soon. I know what my omission on Saturday and Sunday looks like. I made a mistake, Edward. I should've told you, but I didn't. I can't be mad that I didn't. I'm here with you again and I like it. I told you…you're different from the rest of them. I can see it already."

I still wasn't too sure what exactly she meant with all of this but I nodded and kissed her hair. Once again, it was enough for now. I'd continue to take this relationship in stride. It was only our second night together and our first date. I didn't need everything figured out yet. For now, I knew as much about Bella as I hoped I would and from what I saw, I liked her.

She was quiet but could whip into a ball of attitude and energy right away. She was sexy and sensual. She knew how to balance those two and when to employ one and not the other right away. She was also smart as hell and I could tell she was clever. She would definitely keep me on my toes. Most importantly, I finally saw her honesty and I saw all of it, including whatever made her insecure.

Okay, I just have a few things to say. Bella isn't a bad girl. Part of the thing that makes Bella's character is that she fights the double standard in Hollywood. It doesn't matter if she gets a bad rep from gossips and haters. She lives her life on her own terms. She shouldn't be condemned for that. She should have told Edward though and that is a mistake that will haunt them a little more. It's also important to note what industry she works in and who is her best friend. Sometimes things don't always appear as they seem...