Tattward & Inkella One-Shot Contest

Title: Sleeper in a Clone Suit

Your pen name: Annanabanana

Characters: Edward & Bella

Disclaimer: I own a Rosie The Riveter refrigerator magnet but not these characters. I'm willing to trade.

To see other entries in the Tattward & Inkella Contest, please visit the C2 page:



a/n: A lot of the tat ideas in this are inspired by plans my husband and I have for our skin. I've lovingly lent them to these characters. I've posted links to pics of many of the designs in my profile.

My beta is the bestest! Viola Cornuta, thanks for fixing my words, cutting the crap and lending me some great lines! Hookedontwi, thanks for being my third set of eyes.

"What?" I grumbled into my phone. My eyelids angrily protested the light flooding through my window.

"Hey, Bit, just making sure you're up," Angela was excessively chipper for ungodly-o-clock in the morning.

"Stop calling me that, and I'm not up. What the fuck time is it anyway?" I would kill her. If I were fully awake, I would have already disposed of her body. I pried my bleary eyes open, and glanced over to the alarm clock. I didn't have my contacts in, and all I could see was a bright red blob.

"Um, it's quarter to seven, and thanks again for taking my shift," she tried to distract me with gratitude, but I failed to miss the first part.

"Have you lost your fucking sense, Angela? Is it really six forty-five? Why in fuck would you ever call me this early?"

"Well, you have to open the shop at eight, and I know you aren't a morning person, so I thought . . ." she trailed off quietly.

"Ang, I take approximately twenty minutes to get ready, and I live a five minute walk from the shop. How do I need an hour and fifteen minutes?" I was still bitching, but my heart wasn't in it. Angela was practically a perfect fucking human being, and she needed the morning off to take her mother to chemo for Christ's sake. Chemo; yeah, I'm an asshole in the morning.

"Sorry, Bi-, I mean, Bella. I was just worried you'd sleep through your alarm, and I didn't know how much time you needed. Shit, maybe you like to sit and drink coffee for thirty minutes before you get ready," She was too ridiculous.

"Ang," I laughed, "We work in a coffee shop." She giggled, still afraid of early-morning-devil Bella. "Don't worry; I'm up. Go be with your mom."

"Thanks, Bit! See ya later." I muttered about her repeated use of my abhorrent nickname, but she had already hung up.

I stared at the ceiling for a few minutes, debating the merits of more sleep and trust in my alarm. I huffed in capitulation, and stretched blindly towards my night table, fumbling for my specs. Lethargically, I dragged my ass out of bed.

Having some spare time, thanks to the chipper-fucking-chipmunk, I expended a smidge extra effort getting ready. If I had to work tired, I would do it in red lipstick. I figured out at a very young age people didn't notice my near-constant state of torpor if I hid it under makeup and hair.

I pulled my hair into a high ponytail and curled the ends perfunctorily with my curling iron. My bangs, Ang and Rose called them Bettie Page bangs, were well trained, but I combed them down for good measure before assaulting my head with hairspray. I folded up and then tied my red bandana around my head like a headband just behind my bangs, leaving the knot at the top. A quick swipe of black eyeliner, a couple coats of black mascara, Russian Red lipstick and I was done primping.

I strolled down the worn wood floors of my hallway back to my bedroom where I pulled on some slim black clam-diggers over my boy-shorts and folded the legs to just below my knee. I found a cute white halter top with black polka-dots forgotten in my closet, a nice improvement over my standard wife-beaters. I toed my feet into my haggardly low-top black Chucks without bothering to untie them. They were approaching perfection in their state of disrepair.

I tried to hold my breath as I snuck into Rose's bedroom to pinch a couple of magazines, but I couldn't avoid what smelled like a dirty prostitute's perfume and a hot, sweaty fuck. I reminded myself to tell Rose she was a huge whore when I got home; she'd be more pissed I called her huge than whore. I loved that slutty bitch.

I picked up my worn black canvas messenger bag, slung it over my shoulder and shoved the magazines inside. I rooted around for a minute, extracted my favorite $5 dollar cat-eye sunglasses and shoved them on my face. I checked the time and was pretty fucking impressed. I still had twenty-five minutes to get to the shop.

I grabbed my red cardigan, remembering how early it was, and stepped out my front door. I liked being on the street this early. Before the pavement had a chance to heat up, it still smelled wet and dirty, but it didn't turn my stomach like in the afternoon. I saw all colors embedded in what most would call gray and admired the new graffiti on the ancient vacant industrial buildings across the street. I liked the grit, the age; I liked that everything wasn't too fucking perfect.

I unlocked the shop door, smelling the cold, dank moisture from yesterday's coffee steam. I rushed towards the back room to turn off the alarm and flip on the lights. I hated being here alone in the dark, as if someone might be hiding, waiting. Stupid paranoia. Not that I'd be any safer if the lights were on. I spent fifteen minutes on prep. Just before I had to unlock the door, I turned to write the specials and my name on the board.

For half a second, I was thinking about how fantabulous Miguel was for writing them up for me last night. Then I saw the bottom of the board.

In bright white chalk, under 'spitting in your coffee today', was 'Bit,' my odious nickname. Miguel thought it was too mother-fucking funny, I'm sure. Asshat. I'd finally conceded to tolerate 'Bit' from my coworkers as long as they didn't spread it to the regulars. They were doing their passive-aggressive best to avoid complying. Teale was the only one in the shop who didn't call me 'Bit', and it was simply because I threatened to call her Sherry, her real name. I tried to browbeat Miguel with the same threat, but he didn't mind being called David so much. Teale and Miguel owned the shop and didn't care how we dressed or if our tattoos and piercings were visible. In return, I guessed I could tolerate some harassment.

I reminded myself to punch my brother the next time I saw him. I had worked here successfully for six months as Bella. No one in Seattle knew my nickname. My parents brought my stupid-ass brother Emmett to visit, and as usual, he had to fuck with my shit. He spent a total of one hour in the coffee shop while I was on shift, and suddenly everyone knew the whole retarded story behind my asinine nickname.

When my mom was pregnant with me, Emmett was three, and Mom and Dad spent almost nine months teaching him to say itty-bitty. As in, there's an itty-bitty baby in Mommy's tummy. Shock of all shocks, when I was born, the three-year-old thought Isabella sounded just like Itty-Bitty, and they never bothered to correct him. Let me repeat that for impact. My parents never fucking bothered to teach my brother my name. Instead they started calling me Itty-Bitty, too, which was quickly shortened to 'Bit'. Emmett made sure all of our friends, relatives and even my teachers knew about my nickname. I guess I should've been thankful it wasn't 'It'.

I grumbled about unprofessional shenanigans as I erased the chalk and changed the board to say 'Bella'. I walked to the old front door with the full-length glass pane, opened the shade, flipped the sign and turned the twist lock on the door handle. I never bothered to re-lock the bolt after turning the alarm off in the morning. I opened the door experimentally to make sure the lock didn't stick and let it close itself, bells jingling, as I walked back to the counter.

Withdrawal was starting to set in because I'd been up too long without coffee, so I decided to make myself a latte while I waited for my first customer. The espresso was already in my cup, and I was finishing up the milk when I heard the bells above the door jingling.

"Good morning, I'll be with you in just a sec!" I called blindly because I couldn't see over the espresso machine. I silently admonished my luck for not sparing me five minutes to inhale a fucking latte before someone walked in. I capped my cup, so I wouldn't accidentally spill it and stepped over to the counter.


Standing stiffly at the counter opposite me was the prettiest fucking thing in a dark gray suit I'd ever seen. He was all preppy and clean-cut and smelled like fucking mint and cedar with a smoky undertone. Vibrant green eyes met mine before I gave him a once over shamelessly. His shimmery hair looked as if he was locked in an ongoing epic battle with it. He had attempted, with partial success, to tame its wildness. It was the only thing about him that didn't scream annoyingly perfect, but for that reason it was fucking perfect too.

I stood and stared, completely forgetting to ask what he wanted. By the time I noticed his eyes again, they were trained on my chest. Most girls would've considered it offensive; Rose would've considered it on par with a sexy pick-up line, but I knew he wasn't being rude, at least not sexually. His eyes danced back and forth from one shoulder to the other, lingering on the bare skin under my collarbones. Well, bare probably isn't the most accurate word.

He gaped at my ink. I was used to that response from his type. I had a brilliantly colorful chest piece starting at the edge of each shoulder, covering all of the skin in between. It depicted an anatomically correct heart in the center wrapped in strings extending to sparrows on either shoulder holding the strings in their beaks, and the background was filled in with pretty flowers. The flowers on my right shoulder merged into others surrounding a sugar skull covering my upper arm. They were done in the traditional Americana tattoo style; I absolutely loved them, so I ignored the stares from the squares.

His eyes slowly rolled up to my face, pausing at the sparkly stone in my Monroe before finding my eyes again. I had my I'm-tough-as-nails-and-go-fuck-yourself look prepared for his inevitable condescension or disgust, but I didn't have to use it. His gaze didn't hold any judgment.

"I'll have a large cappuccino, minimal foam, breve, and make it a double, please." Liquid hot fuck. That's what his voice sounded like. Why'd he have to be a fucking suit? At least he looked good in it. "And Bella, please don't spit in my coffee." He smiled an imperfect, lopsided smile at me. Imperfectly fucking perfect.

"How the fu . . . it's meant to be a joke," I said with too much rancor cause that's what I did. When I got nervous, especially around a beautiful man, I turned into Arrogant Sarcastic Bitch. I was extra bitchy because he freaked me the fuck out using my name. I always forgot that damned chalkboard.

He just stared at me, waiting. Obviously, he was more aware of my job responsibilities at this point than I was. Hastily, I grabbed the appropriate cup and picked up the china marker from the counter.

"What's your name?" I asked him neutrally, and he glanced curiously around the room. He shrugged and stated, "Edward."

Writing the name studiously, it hit me that I was a total fucking moron. There wasn't another living soul in the shop to whom I might accidentally give his coffee. I didn't need his name, and he thought I was an idiot. I hid behind the espresso machine making his order and hoping to God in heaven he wasn't a morning regular. My luck, he'd be telling Ang how retarded I was tomorrow.

I brought his coffee to him and stumbled through ringing him up. He gave me a friendly half smile as he turned to leave, and I watched his elegant back shift under the expensive fucking fabric that might as well have been a dry-clean only wall socially dividing us.

I sighed despondently after the waste of perfection wrapped in clone clothes.

A couple nights later, when I worked my next shift, he came in around eight. In a fucking suit. It was black this time, and I was coherent enough to notice the dark gray shirt and thin black tie paired underneath it. I was as bitchy as ever because, fuck, he made me nervous, but he was quietly polite. He stared down my chest piece again and ordered the exact same thing.

Instead of leaving, he sat at a table and sipped his coffee. I used the excess time to really study him. He was so buttoned-up, literally. At eight o' clock at night, he hadn't even undone the top button of his shirt behind his tie. Little details I didn't notice before started to grab my attention.

The expertly tailored suit was slimly cut, like the suits in the fifties and sixties or the styles in Europe. Okay, so his clothes definitely weren't straight out of the department store. His hair was still in revolt against the taming he inflicted on it, but his sideburns were a little too long for the average prepster haircut. His feet were mostly hidden from me because of the way he sat, but I would swear by all that's holy he was wearing shiny black military jump boots instead of normal dress shoes.

Angela walked out of the back room and noticed him sitting at a table. She quirked her eyebrow at me after catching my dazed stare in his direction.

"Cute, huh?" she whispered, nudging my ribs with her elbow.

I shrugged my shoulders; "I guess."

"Please, he's fucking gorgeous," she hissed.

"Yeah and it means fuck-all cause he's a suit," I frowned. "He probably likes Weezer." I said with exaggerated disgust. Angela giggled.

"Bit, you like Weezer!" She poked me in the ribs.

"Yeah, but he probably thinks he's like super cool at the country club cause he heard of 'em first," I said in my best imitation of an air-headed bimbo.

"Bella, you're way too judgmental. Not every guy can love Koffin Kats and know every obscure Psychobilly and Punk band out there." She rolled her eyes at me.

"Fuck off, I like other stuff," I huffed and folded my arms across my chest. She laughed, and I stalked away to start the pre-closing crap.

"Hey, got a fun-filled night?" The smoky richness of his scent assaulted me before I could look up at him. I could taste his smell. Fucking flawless.

"Yeah," I snorted derisively, "I've got a really hot-ass date." I gestured toward Angela who catcalled in my direction. Fuck, I couldn't turn Arrogant Bitch off. She just launched that sarcastic shit outta my mouth before I could think straight. It was his fault; he made me slow.

I stood there, afraid Bitch would say something awful, and watched him. He gave me a small smirk, and fuck me if I didn't just come a little in my underoos. I was now warring with a completely new deviant urge.

There was a Feral Fucking Wildcat in my body trying to scrabble decorously, I'm sure, across the counter and lick his jaw while humping his leg. I wondered if he'd notice. Arrogant Sarcastic Bitch meet Feral Fucking Wildcat. Great, I could snark him to death or dry hump him to death, and he was a fucking square who liked Weezer.

He gave Ang a small, friendly wave good bye, turned and left the shop. Angela glared at me in a highly unfriendly manner.


"Did you have to be such a weird bitch to him? He may be a 'suit'," she made fucking air quotes with her fingers, "but I think he looks pretty hot in that suit. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Bit, he could be a great guy, or just a great fuck. Don't tell me he wouldn't be a nice hard rain for your dry spell."

I felt my cheeks heat up and threw a hand towel at her. "You made me fucking blush, Ang! Rose would be so proud of her little ho-in-training." Rose had been trying to force Angela bodily out of her shell.

Weeks passed in a similar pattern. Every night I worked, he showed up between six thirty and eight. He ordered the same thing and sat at a table, lingering over his coffee. By now I was pretty positive I'd seen all of his suits, not like I was keeping a mental fucking catalogue or anything. They were all he ever wore. The man must've been working his ass off.

I kept my conversation to a minimum cause I couldn't trust Arrogant Sarcastic Bitch any more than Feral Fucking Wildcat; they were both out to ruin me. I couldn't help staring at him continuously. When he wasn't looking at me, I eye-fucked him like a champ, like an ocular fucking porn star. Sometimes my overactive imagination would run away from me, and I would swear he stared at me, my tattoos, with less-than-chaste intentions. Then, the moment was gone and I had to mentally slap myself for hallucinating. Even if he did think about it, I'm sure it was for the same reason as all the other guys like him I'd encountered. It had been my experience, guys like him wanted to fuck girls like me to fulfill a fantasy. Something they could brag about at the sports bar over nasty, watery beer with their old frat cronies. I was not down with that shit. I wasn't interested in being a sideshow attraction on a deviance for dabbler's checklist.

I would watch him wistfully. Annoyed that he was harboring a fucking yuppie chrysalis about to unfurl. He was one overbearing SUV lease away from a McMansion in a silk panty subdivision with fifteen hundred more square feet than he needed, and a lawn he only noticed when the illegal immigrant worker forgot to mow it. One horridly ordinary haircut separated him from Crocs with socks, a Polo shirt in some hideous spring color and pleated khaki shorts. Pleated. Fucking. Khaki. Shorts. A few too many barbeques and Super Bowl parties would have him married to a mindless bleach blonde bimbo with fake nails, fake tits and a fake tan. What a fucking waste. I had to stop thinking about licking him; it wasn't healthy for my psyche or my self-righteous assuredness that I was, in fact, a better human being than the boors, frat boys and trophy wives of the world.

Resolved I wasn't allowed to lick him, not even in my head, I found myself adding an extra fifteen minutes to my primping routine on the days I worked. Way to go with the whole conviction thing, Bella. People fucking noticed. Everyone at work would ask me if I had plans or tell me I looked nice, even customers. I would've really fucking appreciated them informing me I looked like shit previously, but mostly I was embarrassed to be making the effort.

One of the nights Edward came in, I was closing with Wills, typically an opener. Wills was the cutest little stand-up bass player in a rockabilly band, and I would have had a crush on him six months ago if he weren't so timid. As it was, we got on spectacularly and sometimes went to shows together. Wills was outside dumping the garbage when Edward walked in. I made his coffee nervously with as little interaction as possible. He sat at his usual table to sip his cappuccino and render me useless for half an hour.

Imagine my alarmed dismay when Wills walked in past Edward, did a double take, gave him a huge-ass grin and sat right the fuck down at his table. They each reached out and shook hands. Wills touched him! This was so horribly unfair. I yearned to touch him in all of his bourgeois glory. I wanted to lick the incongruously banal glaze surrounding his preternatural beauty away from his skin. Surely, my acid tongue was good for something. This was why I wasn't allowed to touch him. The risk of licking was way too high. I wondered if Wills wanted to lick him? Or Ang? I knew Rose would want to.

I watched ardently, sighing entirely too fucking often, as he and Wills had an animated conversation. I couldn't hear them, but I was desperate to know what they said. Both of them surreptitiously glanced at me in regular intervals throughout their discussion. A few times, I caught his verdant eyes, and our gazes locked for a beat longer than normal; I got lost in the rich green depths. After about ten minutes, my demeanor jealously shifted to a surly state of bitch.

"Wills. I need you at the counter, so I can go clean up in the back," I snapped across the distance. Hello, Arrogant Sarcastic Bitch. I didn't need him behind the counter. We were a very casual shop. He could have easily watched the store from his entirely too comfortable perch a foot away from liquid sex in a lemming suit. At that particular moment, I was so glad Wills was a timid pushover.

"Sure, B...Bella," he stammered over my nickname as he stood up. I heard him say, "See ya later, Edward," quietly, familiarly, and I ground my teeth together in aggravation. Why was everyone so fucking friendly with the corporate drone?

And why wasn't he friendly with me? Oh, yeah, that would be my awkward inability to say two words without snapping at him. I'm still gonna blame it on him for staring at my tattoos and allowing himself to be distressingly commonplace.

He gave me a warm smile as he stood up to leave, holding my full attention with his stare, and I managed to smile genuinely back at him without hurting myself. Wills avoided me the rest of the night, so I didn't get to grill him about Edward.

Almost exactly two months after my first encounter with Edward, Angela watched me curiously, her head tilted towards her right shoulder. I was devotedly nibbling the Chick-Flick-Cherry I stole from Rose off of my ruined fingernails.

"Are you sure you don't mind closing alone, Bit?" She had a concerned look on her face. "You seem distracted, and it's pretty dark and creepy in this neighborhood at night. I don't want you to have to walk home alone," she scowled.

"Ang, this is my neighborhood. Shit, this is your neighborhood," I laughed. "How do you think I get groceries? What do you think I do when I close with someone else? You're the only one who lives close enough for us to walk together."

"Please," she snorted, "I know none of the guys will just let you walk off alone. They follow your stubborn ass in their cars til you get to your loft." She raised her eyebrows as if to say 'tell me I'm wrong'.

"I'll be fine. It's only two hours. End of discussion," I pointed at her severely. She sighed and walked into the back room.

When she reappeared, she was loaded down with her school bag, purse and jacket. "Just call me if anything comes up. I can be back in five," she promised.

"'Kay, have fun with the group project!" I squeaked with false enthusiasm. She stuck her tongue out at me as she passed. "That's not nice," I scolded teasingly as she slipped out of the door, bells jingling.

The shop felt desolate once Angela was gone. I expended as much time as possible wiping down the tables, sweeping the floor and cleaning the glass case at the counter.

I started to make absolutely trifling observations through my bored haze. The turquoise paint on the door was my favorite color. The daisies on the tables were starting to wilt. I noticed the little bit of nail polish I hadn't ingested yet perfectly matched the red bra under my beater. If I leaned on the stool just right, I could rock it back and forth with minimal effort. I challenged myself to recall from memory all the brands of beer caps on my belt; I drank each bottle myself before riveting the small metal circles to black leather. If I squinted just right, I could see Edward sitting at his table. Fuck. I had no idea where that shit came from.

Dubiously, I looked at the clock. Huh. It was after eight. No Edward. I instantly felt invisible coils bind around my chest, air catching in my lungs. Where was Edward?

What the fuck? Why did I feel rejected? Why did I fucking care where in hell he was?

But . . . where was he?

I was thoroughly flummoxed by the uncertainty running fucking apeshit rampant in my own head. I sat stunned on the stool. I think I stopped rocking. I checked the time every two to five minutes, and for the first twenty or so, I repeatedly glanced at the window in the door, waiting for him.

After the first twenty minutes, I got exceptionally aggravated with myself. I didn't like him. He's a suit, a drone, a lemming, a square . . .I played a deliberate loop in my head while my traitorous subconscious interrupted me with his fathomless dark jade eyes, his luminous skin tautened across the edges of his jaw, his imperfectly fucking perfect crooked smile and tempestuous bronze hair. His eyes seemed to hold secrets, and I silently wished his hair were a true reflection of him. Beautiful, surreal, barely-tamed and begging to be released.

My head shook slightly as a shudder vibrated my frame. I couldn't let myself indulge in imaginary men. I was already too affected by his presence or fucking lack thereof.

I checked the clock again, and with ten minutes til close, I decided to go ahead and lock up early. I was tired and frustrated, and I hadn't seen another human being in two hours. I sauntered to the door, turning first the lock on the knob and then the bolt. I fidgeted around behind the counter for a couple minutes, filled out the bank deposit bag and loaded a bus bin with all of the utensils and supplies I needed to wash and sterilize. I turned back to count out the cash till, and I jerked sharply at a knock.

With the brightness in the shop and the inky black outside, I could barely tell a man stood beyond the window. I wasn't sure if I wanted to let him in. Technically, I was open for another few minutes, but I didn't wanna be here any fucking longer. The faith my bosses had in me seeped into my thoughts like a heavy wool blanket of guilt, and I heaved a disgruntled sigh as I slogged to the door.

As I moved closer, I noticed shimmery, suspiciously familiar hair. That couldn't be right. I rolled my eyes down the man's frame, and I could barely make out his clothes. He was wearing an old-fashioned, long sleeved, solid olive drab BDU shirt as a jacket over a plain black T. His dark jeans were slimly bootcut and ended in a cuff resting atop a dark shoe. His build looked familiar. Huh.

I unlocked the door, eyes trained on the locks, and pulled it open for him to enter. He moved past me silently, and I re-locked the lock on the door handle; I wanted to make sure no one else could come in but he could get out without me having to walk him to the door. I followed him to the counter, and I could fucking swear I'd seen those muscles shifting before. I circled the counter and stopped in front of him. Edward. Holy Shit. He came.

I couldn't decide what to be most excited about first. He was here. He was wearing human clothes. He was fucking here in human clothes!

"Bella, can I still order?" he looked . . . well, fucking sweet as hell. I knew if I told him to leave, he would without complaint.

"Edward, I would have just watched you through the door and flipped you off if I didn't feel like letting you in." What the fuck was wrong with me? Why with The Bitch? I sighed, "Usual?"

"Please, Bella." He drew my name out in a breath, and I wished he'd stop. I'd never loved my name like I loved it in his beautiful mouth. I nodded cause there was no way in heaven, hell or purgatory I could say anything remotely decent.

When I finished making his cappuccino, he took it silently and went to sit down. His hair was much less restrained, and it seemed to naturally form itself into a disheveled pompadour. I could see the thin cotton of his T-shirt stretched across his muscled chest. His suits had always hinted at a sublime body, but I'd never been able to make out the definition between his muscles before. The clothes were simple, but the military flair kept my jaw closer to my fucking chest than to my upper lip. I noticed his studded belt and a large belt buckle, though I couldn't tell what it was.

I eye-fucked him flagrantly as my imagination got in the car and drove the fuck away from me at top speed. I could see us living in sin in a love-tastic warehouse loft with our so-fugly-he's-cute three-legged rescued mutt. Sigh. Pretty pictures danced through my head while I watched him. He looked at me occasionally and smiled. Imperfectly fucking perfect.

My uterus started whispering with my imagination. It wanted to have his pretty little bastard babies, give them tiny mohawks, dress them in miniature Misfits T-shirts and those adorable little baby-sized Chucks. My fucking uterus wanted to purchase baby-sized Chucks. That was my sobering thought. It brought my imagination speeding back to reality, wrapping around a tree in my front yard like an asshole drunk driver.

Lemming. Drone. Square. Clone. Weezer. Suits. Jump boots . . . mmm . . . No, Bella. Sideshow attraction. With those thoughts my shoulders fell, and I had to get out of his line of sight.

"Edward, I'm gonna start cleaning up in the back room, so just let yourself out when you're done." I struggled for neutrality, but even I could hear the severe edge in my voice. He looked at me with interest. Beautiful green eyes. What a fucking waste.

"If you want me to go ahead and leave I can, Bella." Please stop saying my fucking name.

"It's fine for you to stay. The door will open from this side, but the lock on the handle is locked. Just don't steal the cash drawer. I'd never be able to explain that one away, and no one who works here would believe you took it." I tried to tease him, but my tone wouldn't follow suit.

I gave up trying to be friendly and walked to the back with my bus bin. Dropping it into the sink, I turned on the hot tap, so I could soak the contents. As I stood there with soapy hands, I wanted to punch myself. I couldn't believe I had a crush on a businessman. I knew it wouldn't end well. No matter how adorable he looked tonight, he still wore fucking impeccable suits every other day; I wasn't his type.

I already felt epic disappointment because he hadn't flirted with me or asked me out yet. Not that I thought it was highly fucking likely. I couldn't honestly say I would've behaved any differently if I had a crush on a more acceptable target either. Ang wasn't kidding about my dry spell, more like an endless wasteland. I know it means I don't deserve the Rosie the Riveter magnet on my fridge or my right to vote, but I was oddly prosaic in my approach to men. I was beginning to think I was actually incapable of making the first move. And he sure as fuck wasn't moving. Not that I wanted him to.

Who the fuck was I kidding?

I heard the quick peal of bells as the door was yanked open, followed by the slower tinkling as it slid closed. I braced my hands on the rounded edge of the industrial stainless steel sink as my shoulders fell. Staring blindly at the faucet, my eyes slid out of focus. A slight ache settled in my chest, and I resented thinking about him. I felt a stronger pressure around my ribs and wondered why I was having such a strong physical reaction.

A split second before I recognized the heat against my back for what it was, my eyes dropped to the sink. At the same time, I saw a heavily tattooed arm around my ribcage and felt a warm body press against me. My brain froze.

I had always believed I would handle a situation like this one well, but I hadn't even managed to scream. I hadn't fucking gurgled. But I heard the bells. I heard them open and close. I didn't hear them again. Did I? No, definitely not. Definitely? Maybe someone came in as Edward left. Maybe the door didn't close all the way . . . no, no bells. I couldn't take my eyes off the arm; I'd never seen the tats before. My body was rigid with fear, and then I heard it. Whispering in my ear.

"I know I shouldn't be doing this," Oh my mother-fucking-God-in-Heaven. Edward. I was surprised I hadn't recognized his scent already. "I've waited two fucking months for some sort of sign from you that you might be interested, and you're such a bitch to me. Maybe I shouldn't be here, but I'm pretty sure you've been eye-fucking me hard."

A soft girly sound snuck out with my breath at his words, and I melted into the heat he wrapped around me.

"What, Bella, no acerbic comments? I'm disappointed. Don't worry, I've been eye-fucking you too. I'm just infinitely better at hiding it." He rasped, his hot breath on my neck sending shivers across my skin as his nose skimmed down. I heard every word he said, but all I could focus on was the arm encasing my torso. Above the wrist, I couldn't see a millimeter of bare skin; everything was ink. Without words, I grabbed the arm and turned to face him.

I studied the images running up and around his arm, emerging from swirling flames and smoke. Liquor bottles, a pack of Luckies, a five card hand, some poker chips . . . the rest of the tattoo disappeared into his shirt, and before I registered what I was doing, I pushed the cloth up his arm. The T-shirt was fitted and his arms were, fuck me, deliciously muscular; I couldn't force the material very far.

Edward looked at my face and touched the center of my bottom lip with his index finger. He smiled slyly, crossed his arms and grabbed the cloth at his sides, yanking it over his head. Fuck. Holy fuck. Holy fucking fuck.

I inhaled an embarrassingly loud breath. His body was absolute fucking muscular perfection, and he had more ink. Lots more. I stood gaping at him for a moment until I heard a quiet chuckle escape his throat.

I followed the swirls of fire up his arm to see a guitar and the front end of a Ford fucking Fairlane with a pin-up poured across the hood emerging from the flames. I couldn't help but notice the pin-up girl was a brunette with short bangs and brown eyes. My brown eyes continued up to the top of his arm where a giant red devil's head replete with horns was spewing all of the items forth in a breath of black, red and orange smoke and flames. It was the sickest fucking collage sleeve I'd ever seen, and it was on him.

My focus drifted to study the two huge, stylized ravens stretched diagonally from his shoulders across his pecs. They looked so graceful with their wings spread, I didn't notice at first that they were falling. Saliva pooled in my mouth with my increasing need to lick the fuck out of him. Five unfamiliar words were inked between the birds going down his sternum; Huginn og muninn er død. For a moment my curiosity distracted me, and then I noticed the nipple rings. Oh dear Lord in Heaven. This man was gonna fucking kill me. Dead.

I tried to divert my attention from his body, but my eyes were glued. His left arm was bare, but I could see ink peeking out from his ribs. I pulled him roughly, forcing him to turn, so I could see more of him. Under his arm was a large blue and yellow crest, probably his family's. Not that I even knew his last name. He continued to revolve slowly for me to devour his body, his art. He stopped with his back facing me. A reverent breath of appreciation pushed out of my lungs. His back alone was beautiful. The tattoo covering most if it served to make it fucking magnificent.

He had an antique map of the world spanning from side to side, ending where his lower back began. The detail was amazing; fucking breathtaking. There were little embellishments on certain countries and surrounding the double circle shape of the design. My attention drifted down the muscles along his backbone, partially drawn by the tattoo, mostly by his body. I reached out a finger and traced it lightly down his spine, feeling goose bumps rise on his skin. I stopped just below a banner framing the bottom of the world imbedded in his skin. These words were in English. I am a part of all that I have met.

"Tennyson? Really?" I blurted in disbelief. Rudely, I might add. In an instant he spun around to face me, gripping my upper arms tightly. He leaned forward, and his warm exhalations heated my lips.

"There's my girl. You have no idea what I wanna do to you when you make smart-ass comments like that. For two months, I've imagined bending you over the counter every time you spoke to me." He snarled into my mouth just before his lips met mine. I moaned at his admission while his tongue aggressively searched mine out. His hands left my arms to wrap around my ribs, rubbing circles over my thin cotton shirt.

Gasping harshly, he released my mouth only to return his to my skin. He ghosted kisses down my neck, trailing his lips across my collarbone. His tongue darted out to trace the patterns, and he moved slowly from one side to the other in supplication. I sighed desperately. I needed him everywhere, and, fuck, I wanted him to bend me over. I watched his perfect face moving worshipfully over my colorful skin. Who fucking knew? I decided to give him more incentive.

"You think those are the only ones I have?" It was a challenge, a fucking invitation. His eyes cut to my face, burning under dark lashes. A low rough sound from his chest sent vibrations through me as his mouth devoured mine again. Warm strong fingers snuck under my shirt and wasted no time pulling it over my head. A loud groan heaved from his chest when he saw my red lace bra, and his hands searched my tingling skin as he struggled to touch as much of me as he could at one time.

I tilted my head down, darted my tongue out and drew a lazy circle around his left nipple. A breathed "fuck" escaped him as I sucked the hard steel ring and soft pink flesh into my mouth. I enjoyed the contrast of textures as I flicked the tip of his hardened nipple. Releasing it with a lick, I moved to repeat myself on his other. He grumbled deeply and slid his hands down my back to grip my ass, pulling me slightly off my feet.

An expectant tension formed in my abdomen, hips and thighs as his hands kneaded my muscles. His hips rocked into me forcefully, and a very hard, very fucking large cock pressed into my stomach. At the massive evidence of his arousal, I bit down playfully on his nipple with a quiet squeak. I was rewarded with a loud growl as his fingers hunted up my back to unhook my bra, and I reached hungrily for his belt buckle.

I fingered the large, cold piece of metal before looking down to see what it was. It had brass knuckles with wings and I'm pretty sure I could feel a bottle opener on the back. I giggled as I popped the buckle open. One swift tug, and the studded leather obediently followed the buckle. I let it fall to the ground and raked my eyes down past his waist. Without the belt, his pants dipped lower than before, revealing a sensually muscular V giving me directions like a fucking airplane runway. I couldn't resist the urge to lick his rippling torso; my mouth discovered the salty, minty, smoky flavor seeping from his skin. As my tongue traveled down his beautiful abdomen, the edge of his black boxer briefs peeked out above his waistband and taunted me. They were wrapped all the fuck up around what I wanted. Hastily, I reached for the button on his jeans, my fingers tucking under the fabric and tingling against his skin.

"Uh, uh, uhhh, Bella." His hands smoothed over my arms and quickly disengaged me from the zippered entrance to Candy Land. Needless to say, I leveled my most disgruntled, most devastating pout at him. I wasn't feigning; I fucking wanted his shit. He delivered his lopsided smile back and slowly started to pull the lacy red bra straps down my arms. I whined at his lethargic pace, and tilted my head up, laced my fingers into his hair and sucked his bottom lip between my own. I dissolved in the pleasure of his tongue moving with mine.

While we kissed, he dropped my bra, and his fingers returned cravingly to my newly exposed flesh. He caressed lightly over my breasts, fingers coaxing shivers from my skin. As our kisses deepened, so did the urgency of his touch. His fingertips pinched, pulled and teased my nipples causing the tender pink skin to pucker and my breaths to pant out between our lips.

I slid my hands up his arms, delighting in the juxtaposition of supple, velvety skin stretched over solid, toned muscles. I pushed my fingertips fiercely into the abundantly thick muscles just below his shoulders before raking my nails down his stone chest. I paused at the steel in his nipples to brush, flick, tug. His response was better than I ever fucking hoped as he palmed my breasts roughly, and breathed indecipherable words into my mouth. He kissed down my chin and over my jaw, licked lightly along the column of my neck and swirled his tongue in the hollow at the base of my throat. His mouth emblazoned a trail of lingering kisses down to my breasts, and he lapped at my nipple before sucking it in between his lips. He took turns massaging and teasing with his hands and his mouth.

Eventually, he restarted the trail down towards my navel, licking and kissing the sensitive skin of my belly. His hands came up to my belt and slowly unlatched the buckle while his mouth remained fixed in motion to my skin. I felt him fingering the raised metal caps curiously as he pulled the leather out of my belt loops. It was quickly forgotten on the floor once freed from my body, and his hands darted back to the button of my skinny black pants.

"Uh, uh, uhhh, Edward," I scolded, pulling his urgent fingers from the fabric. He had such a frantically adorable look of desperation on his face, I almost fucking let him resume his task. Almost.

I released his hands with a silent order to behave. For now. I reestablished my fingers in his waistband and unbuttoned his jeans. Slowly, I pulled the zipper tab down, making sure to press my fingers into his obviously straining erection. I peered up from under my eyelashes and saw his stunned face. His throat undulated with an ebullient swallow.

I pulled his jeans down his hips slightly farther and let the front fall open. I didn't bother trying to take them off because I was too impatient to free his feet from twelve-holed jump boots. And the thought of him fucking me in black leather boots added more heat and moisture to the area between my legs. I tucked my index fingers into the cloth wrapped elastic waist of his underwear. I moved the fabric over his smooth ass before carefully sliding it down over his mammoth fucking cock. For a split second, my current intentions seemed insane, impossible, as I took in the full-on-unrestrained-hallelujah-praise-the-Lord-and-fuck-me-pure-in-a-sacristy girth of Edward's erection. I am so going to hell. Then, my fears dissolved; I wanted it, and if I were going to Hell, surely Lucy would help a girl out with her debauched desires.

Steadying myself with both hands curved firmly around his hips, I melted down to the floor. My hand darted forward to wrap around his abundant cock, and I rolled my gaze up towards his face. His features were, all at once, surprised, torn, desirous. I gripped him tighter, and curled my other hand around him. His breaths were scratchy and very audible and fueled the intense throb between my legs as I slipped my tongue between my lips to lap gently at the soft skin at the tip. A small amount of moisture flavored my mouth with his salty muskiness, and a low moan hovered in my throat. I slid my mouth further down his shaft. I was mentally preparing to keep my throat relaxed because he could definitely perform a fucking esophageal examination with his dick. I worked my way down and finally stopped very close to his pubic bone. I held my position, but my cheeks tightened as I sucked hard around him.

"Ung, Bella." His hands flew to my head, fingers intertwining with my hair. I sucked him in earnest. Swirling my tongue around his turgid length, I sealed my lips to his skin and slid back and forth over him. He tightened his grip in my hair encouragingly. I gripped the base of his cock firmly, pumping in time with my mouth, while I slid my other hand down to fondle, caress and massage his balls. After a moment, Edward's fingers stopped their gentle push towards my mouth and began tugging lightly at my hair. I got the idea and stopped pumping, but I sucked until he pulled out of my mouth. I peeked up at him feeling slightly embarrassed. I didn't know what the fuck I did wrong.

"Not like this, baby." He hoisted me up, kissing me reverently. He kissed his way down my neck and out along my shoulder. When he reached the end, he kissed and ghosted over my shoulder to my back. His hands moved me in a slow circle as his mouth made a path across my upper back from one shoulder to the other. Warm hands slid up my torso to curl fingers over my breasts, and his body pressed into my back. Slowly his fingers traced over my ribs and down my abdomen, stopping at the button to my pants. He bit and sucked along my shoulder and neck as he undid the zipper. He slipped his hands inside the fabric, rubbing and feeling my pelvic bone, hips and thighs.

"Mmmm . . . Edward . . ." I hummed throatily. He pushed the pants further down my legs, revealing my red lace boyshorts, and his fingers quickly found their way underneath the thin material. He continued to massage and palm my hips and thighs as his fingers brushed closer to where I wanted him. One hand moved back up my body to fondle my breasts while the other finally insinuated itself against my wet warmth. Heated air hissed over my shoulder as he discovered silky smooth skin, and I decided to provide him with more motivation.

"I thought you said something about bending me the fuck over." My tone goaded as much as my words. With a violent exhalation and an aggressive bite to my shoulder, he moved me a couple steps forward, tugged my undies down my legs and pushed on my upper back til I was bent over the break table. His rock-hard cock brushed against my ass as he ran his fingers over my back. One of his hands slipped down over my backside and along the inside of my thigh. Tentatively, his fingers brushed my lips before sliding along my opening and up to my clit. He stroked my sensitive spot with one hand while the fingers of his other prayed devoutly across the compass rose tattooed on my back. I knew he'd love it after I saw his map, and it turned me on even more. He continued to tease the wetness between my legs, coaxing mewls, sighs, profanities from my tongue while his fingers danced down to my ribs and traced the anchor and mermaid on my side. The way he touched my tattoos felt almost as sensual as the way he worked me with his hand, and a tight, muscular knotting started in my lower abdomen. Keeping his hands on my body, I felt him lean down to press his lips to the belt of nautical stars inked low around my hips. His mouth moved from star to star as he whispered, "So warm, so wet," burning heat and desire into my skin. Finally, I couldn't wait.

"Oh, Edward . . . please." The desperate, husky whisper begged from my lips as I thrust my hips back into his bare cock, feeling the soft skin against mine. Both of his hands swiftly found new purchase on my hips, and he bent over again to kiss the sensitive skin between my shoulder blades. I tilted my cheek into the cool linoleum and gripped the edges tighter with my fingers. A long, hitched sigh left my body as he pressed forward into me. He pushed all the way into me and stopped. Obviously, he understood his enormity. After a moment of shock at never, ever feeling so much at once, I longed to feel more. I moaned as I pushed back, grinding my ass against his hips. He grunted loudly, gripped me harder and lost his shit.

He fucked me with complete abandon, and he felt better than any-fucking-thing I had ever experienced or imagined. His fingers dug into my hips as he thrust forcefully into me over and over. The noises escaping him fueled the fire burning between my legs, and I got lost in sensation and sound.

"Uhhhng . . . Bella . . . so fucking beautiful . . ." His hand came up to stroke my back and slid under me to travel down my belly. He leaned forward slightly to accommodate his reach between my legs and heat radiated off of him into my back. His fingers explored my pussy, finding where we were moving together before sliding up to stroke my clit in time with his thrusts.

"OhmyfuckingGod . . . Edward . . . ummm . . . ahhh . . ." I was so close, and the increase in his speed told me he was too. Somehow, he managed to fuck me harder, and the loudest noise I had ever made during sex escaped my mouth as all of my muscles froze at once, shivering violently all the while. I stayed tensed with my orgasm, his fingers continuing to swirl circles over my clit, as he pumped into me roughly. A moment later, his hands grabbed my hips again, and he pulled me back into him as he thrust forward. My own orgasmic high started to dissolve through my limbs, and his cock throbbed, his release spilling into me.

"Fuck, Bella," fell quietly from his lips and his head dipped down to scatter soft kisses across my back and shoulders. After a prolonged moment, Edward pulled out and stepped back, helping me stand up. I pulled up my pants, fastening them quickly, before turning around. Edward had already buttoned his jeans, and his hands reached out to my face. He leaned in, wrapped his arms around my shoulders and gently kissed my lips, whispering my name. Then, he leaned back and tilted his head down to look into my eyes.

"I guess I should let you finish up here, so you can get home," he stated. I knew he had to leave even though I wanted to set up fucking residence in the back room and hold him hostage forever. I nodded silently at him, reciprocating a clear even gaze despite the raging anarchy inside my skull.

He broke our embrace and put on the rest of his clothes. I mimicked him and returned to the sink. I stared into the bin of murky water. My brain felt fucking murky. I was full of postcoital delight, but . . .

"Good night, Bella. I'll just let myself out." I heard his feet shift in place before his boots announced his retreat against the cement. I wanted to see his face again. I didn't know what to say, and somehow "May I have your babies?" seemed ina-fucking-ppropriate. I whirled without thinking and blurted.

"Edward?" His eyes found mine. So fucking beautiful. "I'm closing alone tomorrow night, too." Yeah, fucking blurted alright. He leveled me an imperfect little smile, pausing.

"I know," he smirked, one of his eyebrows peaking above his gorgeous green eye, and walked out of the back room. Hoh-lee fuck. Did he just say? No fucking way.

I spent the rest of the night anxious and flabbergasted. I ran every word he uttered through my head in a loop for psychotic over-analysis like a fucking loon.

By my shift the next afternoon, my brain had settled down. While it was still playing him on a loop, it wasn't the dialogue. I walked into the back room to drop my stuff, and saw Ang sitting at the break table with her lunch. I let out a loud giggle-snort at how strange it all seemed. Less than twenty-four hours ago, Edward fucked me where Angela was eating chips. Damn, I really should have wiped that shit down. Sorry, Ang.

A large swell of anticipation inflated in my chest. I felt like I was constantly holding my breath. What if I never saw him again? I couldn't believe I didn't ask for his phone number or last name.

Around seven forty-five, I started to get nervous. Was he gonna show late like yesterday, or did this mean he wasn't coming at all?

When he walked in at eight thirty, I was a complete fucking wreck.

I almost fainted when I saw what he was wearing. He had on a tight black beater, his huge belt buckle, very fitted, cuffed dark jeans and his boots. His hair looked more uncooperative than ever in a high, disheveled pompadour. He was his hair, wild and barely contained.

"Hi, Bella," Say it again. Say my name again and a-fucking-gain. "Usual, please."

"Fucking sleeper," I exhaled unintentionally under my breath.

"Wh-what?" He laughed out. Shit, now I had to explain my retarded thoughts.

"You walk among them undetected, and they never know you're there."

"You make it sound like they're zombies," he smiled at me incredulously. I gave him a duh-cause-they-are look.

"Okay, you may be partially correct. I'm in advertising design, and I find it easier to remove some judgment from the equation. Besides, I hate answering questions when boring people discover I'm deviant." He teased with a nefarious look. I wanted him to stay here for fucking ever.

"What's your last name?" I demanded.

"Masen. Do you want my phone number?"

"Maybe later," I responded shyly. Like he didn't have his devious way with me yesterday.

He sat at his table and sipped coffee. I finished moving about the business of cleaning up and closing the shop. After I locked the door, I glanced at him quickly, hoping he might give me a repeat of last night. I busied myself in the back room and waited. He stayed at his table. Finally, with nothing left to do, I walked back to let Edward out. He gave me a disappointed look.

"I have to set the alarm." I explained and reached up to smooth his knitted brow, fingers tingling on contact.

"Oh. Okay." Oh. My. Fucking. God. How cute.

I was half afraid he would be gone when I got back to the front, so I rushed through setting the alarm. My fears were unnecessary cause there he stood outside the door. Fucking delicious. I looked at him curiously.

When he didn't say anything, I asked tentatively, "So-o . . . what are we doing?" It felt both good and awkward to say we. Reaching out nervously towards his shoulder, I slipped my fingers under the edge of his beater. I smoothed the fabric down with my thumb as my knuckles grazed the wing of the inky black bird on his warm skin. The tiny touch made electricity thrum through my hand.

Edward lifted his hand to my elbow and slid his palm up my arm to rest on my opposite shoulder. "Well, Bit," he started, delicately tracing the sparrow under his thumb and sending more currents networking across my skin.

"Excuse me?" I questioned, staring at him shocked, until I pieced some details together. "So, Angela told you my schedule, my nickname . . . what else?"

"Wouldn't you like to know? Wills slipped on the nickname, so don't blame Ang for that."

I decided to let it drop because, truly, he could call me what-the-fuck-ever he wanted as long as he fucked me again. And again.

"So, what are we doing?" I raised my eyebrows questioningly. He blinded me with a beatific, glorious smile.

"Well, Bit, we're starting the rest of our lives together cause I plan on keeping you. Maybe now I can stop drinking coffee at night."