This story was written for the Twilight Fic Exchange on livejournal and was a gift for Emmettgirl. Although it sort of ended up writing itself and taking on an entirely different path than what I had really planned for....it was fun regardless. I realize I haven't updated anything else of mine * coughd.i. * forever and a day....don't judge me....this is all for fun kids.
So this little tale is light-hearted and silly and ridiculous and might very well suck...pretty much like everything else I write....would you expect anything less? Srsly...low expections for the win people...very very low...
There are several other AMAZING entries submitted for the exchange and they are all posted on livejournal. The link is on my profile. Please take a moment to go read and review the pool of talent floating among us...probably sitting right next to you...
Edward Cullen was going to be the death of me.
I had never crushed on someone as hard as I did with Edward. He was… well he was Edward. Gorgeous, smart, funny, athletic, charming, and did I mention gorgeous? Honestly, he was so ridiculously good looking that it had to be illegal somewhere.
Sometimes I wondered if his family purposely moved to our tiny little town of Forks, Washington just to hide out or something from "Big Brother". Surely there had to be a branch of government out there that would love nothing more than to get their hands on that DNA and fill the world with pretty people. No lifeguards needed in the Cullen gene pool whatsoever. The entire family was the face of perfection.
It really wasn't fair for so many people to be related and to all be beautiful at the same time. Usually there might be one or two in an average family that won't exactly fit the mold. They get the short end of the stick, so to speak.
Not in the Cullen house. Oh no. Even their voices are gorgeous. Never in my life would I have labeled a voice with refined adjectives. That just doesn't happen in my world. Listening to someone talk should not induce pre-orgasmic tingles. Not unless you're talking to a Cullen, Edward especially. His voice was smooth, deep, and even melodic. It never failed to send a delicious shiver starting from the top of my head slowly down to the tips of my toes.
Oh hell, who am I kidding? He didn't even have to open his mouth to get the burn in my nether regions going. He just had to be.
His hair was a color all its own, like a shiny new penny and was always in a state of disarray, his green eyes bold and dark, quite the contrast to his pale skin. I'm pretty sure that being perfect was exhausting because he always had slight purple bruises under his eyes. It did nothing to detract from his beauty, it was pretty damn sexy. He had the body of a runner, lean and long, muscles in all the right spots and all the right sizes. His face was in a constant state of varying levels of intensity. It was so rare to see him out of form, to break free of his perpetual frown and random smirks. But when he smiled, truly smiled, I'm pretty sure the world stopped. Actually it was more like a pause in the beats of my heart, but still… It's practically the same thing.
My favorite E-face? The lopsided grin. Even his lips were perfect. His bottom lip was slightly fuller than the top, giving him a natural pout, and they always looked so smooth. Not even on the coldest day of the year did his lips appear chapped. Of course, that could have something, or everything to do with his glorious tongue keeping them wet. I swore the guy had an oral fixation of sorts, or maybe it was just my own obsession with his mouth that made it seem that way. Not only did he frequently chew on pen caps, but when he was deep in concentration, he would stick his tongue out ever so slightly and run it back and forth over his bottom lip. It was pink and soft and just…if I knew it wouldn't cause a scene in class and if I was actually brave enough to do so, I would lean over and just suck it like a lollipop when he did that.
My genetics were nothing to rise and shout about. I was very plain in every possible way. I knew I was the last person in the entire school population that had a chance with him. Everything about me, Bella Swan, was generic. However, thanks to a hiccup in my own gene pool, I was bestowed with an amazingly high I.Q. that enabled me to be in every single AP class Forks High had to offer. Not that I particularly cared for the workload, mind you. I might be smart, but I'm a teenager. Not all my time is spent with my nose in a book or studying for a test. I enjoy lazy freedom as much as my peers.
The second best reason about being in AP classes was that I didn't have to share said smarty-pants classes with the other part of the female population that had more air in their heads than lungs. There were only three girls, including myself, that had brains. One of which the gender was technically in question, so really there were only two; me and Angela.
Score for Bella.
The first reason was more or less the view of Edward that kept me going back for more. He might be unobtainable, but that didn't mean I couldn't appreciate the view in the meantime. He was in more than half of my AP courses, and luckily there were only a handful of students that attended these classes, leaving me with free reign of sitting where I wanted in order to have the best view of such a fine specimen. Every class I took a different seat so by the end of the day I had been able to partake of every angle of his body.
I would sit to the right of him in math class, my peripheral observing him with his brow furrowed and his tongue sticking out ever so slightly while he worked on a problem. Who the hell knew that fractions could be so sexy?
I sat behind him in English class, watching him squirm all over in his seat, shifting from side to side and leaning forward, the muscles of his back defined with every flex and movement. And his hair, oh God his hair. He was constantly running his fingers through it, mostly when he would get frustrated or scoff in amusement at the topic of discussion.
Biology class enabled us to share a table since we were partners. I sat directly to the left of him. This was by far my favorite seat of the day because that was the half-grin side of his face.
Not only did I get to sit in the same room as Edward for five out of my seven classes for the day at an incredible fifty-three minutes a piece, but AP homework also required things like study groups and team projects. Where most girls outside of the "nerd" population could only speculate on what Edward's house was like on the inside, I smirked internally and silently cheered because I knew. I had been there.
It didn't matter that my visits to his home had been strictly for school business only. What mattered was that I had bragging rights to some of the most intimate genius moments with the hottest guy at school and Lauren Mallory did not.
Ugh. What a bitch.
Lauren Mallory and her rah-rah-sis-boom-bah cult following were a mini army of Satan incarnates. They had done nothing but make my life a living hell since I moved to Forks in the seventh grade.
Lauren and her lapdog Jessica had been part of the un-welcoming committee. The entire population of Forks had all known each other their entire lives. New faces were few and far between. There hadn't been anyone new before me for almost a decade. To say their acceptance of change wasn't really good would be an understatement.
But thank God I broke them in by taking the brunt of the lack of acceptance. I'd like to think I had done a good deed for the future newbies of Fork High. Like paying it forward. By the time the Cullen's arrived two years later the residents of Forks were prepped and ready for them, all thanks to me. Yeah, because their prettiness had nothing to do with it. Nothing. At. All. Maybe if I had been cuter or more outgoing or not the daughter of the Chief of Police my acceptance amongst my peers would have been easier. Maybe all I really needed was a penis instead of boobs. The Cullen's moved in and just made everything seem effortless as they were welcomed and accepted right away. I couldn't bring myself to dislike them because they were so enchanting with their looks and personalities. It really wasn't their fault for being perfect.
Lauren and crew were just shallow and superficial. I had to give the wenches credit, though. Their torment was not without a reasonable cause. My fashion failings and outward geeking was not very high on their list for teasing. Their motivations circled around the fact that I used just as much peroxide on my wounds as Lauren did in her hair.
I was a klutz, and not in the randomly-bump-into-anything-solid sort of way. Oh no. I was that and more. I was the only person I knew that could trip over air or end up in the ER for a life-threatening encounter with a spork from Taco Bell. Seriously, do people use it like a spoon or a fork? Those things should really come with warning labels…
It was all those moments, added with my chronic blush that made my life miserable and theirs brighter. And the fact that once the failing was pointed out, as if I hadn't felt my blush turn from red to redder to reddest really fast, it was an opportunity for Lauren and her air headed minions to always prey on.
I hated attention, other than when I would pay plenty of it to Edward.
But he really was more than just a pretty face and angelic voice. He had a beautiful mind too. I'm not completely shallow. There were plenty of good-looking enough guys running amuck through the hideous blue-walled hallways every year. Sure, when Edward had first arrived, I, along with all the other ovary card carriers had been immediately taken with his appearance. Every girl in school and to my knowledge even a few of the teachers, wanted him. But how could you not? Maybe if you were blind…
My crush, er obsession, truly began the very first time he had ever spoken to me, his voice melodic and heavenly. Edward had only been in Forks one week with girls already trailing after him. It was a Friday afternoon and the sun was shining. I sat under a tree, reading my favorite novel, Pride and Prejudice for the millionth time. Lost in the elegant writings of Jane Austen, I felt, rather than heard him approach. I looked up all squinty-eyed and blinking. He looked over his shoulder to the gaggle of girls gathered not ten feet behind him, shaking his head in what appeared to be disgust. He then returned his face to mine, smirking as he quoted, "Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us."
His voice was like melted chocolate, warm and smooth. I knew the words he spoke and my heart swelled with excitement and bliss. I almost died right there. He said no more and walked away. That was the day I fell in love with Edward Cullen. Even now I cannot read that page without entering my happy E-zone; a place where the lines of reality are blurred and Edward quotes that line to me over and over and brings the fictional romance to life. The E-zone allows me to cling to the shred of hope that maybe looks won't matter so much and I could be loved for my mind.
See? Totally not shallow, but shooting for the stars.
After the day he quoted that passage to me, I observed Edward more closely over the passing weeks. Despite his to die for good looks and immediate popularity, Edward wasn't loud or obnoxious and not very outgoing at all. He was popular without even trying and just good at everything. Everything being academics, sports, music, fashion… It all seemed to come to him effortlessly. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I never would have believed it, but really he could do no wrong.
But there were other reasons why I spent a lot of time watching Edward. I didn't just stare completely glazed over. Oh no. I spent much of my time planning how best to use my clumsiness to my advantage. I went as far to ensure random encounters of physical contact. Oh yes. I had run into many bodies in my seventeen years. But not one encounter made my own react the way Edward's did. The warmth, the charge, I could never get enough.
I had become more brazen in my "run-in's" with him. Last week I was so bold as to graze his man-area with my hand. I offered up an innocent Bella blush and apology, never meeting his eyes. I was afraid he would see right through me and know my intent was less than innocent.
It was possible that some day I would probably go to jail for sexually assaulting him in the school corridor. The risk was worth it.
Even though he and I had never had conversations involving personal matters, I felt confident that I knew him better than any one of our peers. It's a little sad, but all the little observations I had come to discover about him over time made my heart swell.
I knew that he preferred black pens over blue and loved to chew on the pen caps until he had popped out the little round center in the top. I had to limit the time I spent watching him do that. The chewing, his lips…I would get so turned on I had to ask for the bathroom pass and excuse myself several times a day.
One of my teachers sent home a note to Charlie suggesting that I have my bladder condition looked at. I wanted to assure them both it was not a bladder issue at all, but that would have been an awkward conversation…
Edward always used college-rule paper, never wide. He wore the same green button down that made his eyes impossibly brighter every Tuesday, always freshly laundered and adding to the scent that was already Edward. His lunch hours were spent in the library three times a week. When something troubled him his brow would furrow and scrunch, whereas when he was upset or angry, the vein in his forehead would bulge.
Oy. I spent too much time watching Edward. And I know I spent way too much time obsessing over Edward. When I wasn't near him, I wanted to be. When I wasn't thinking about him…well that just never happened. Even when I sat alone in my room doing homework, I smiled at the vacant space beside me, imagining him and I working on a group project together.
Sometimes, like the E-crack whore that I am, my legs would carry me into all of his familiar haunts around town, just hoping to get a glimpse or have one of those sure-to-send-Bella-to-hell gropings if I could trip just right.
I was perfectly content living in my E-bubble for many moons to come. This is the moment where I should probably say I need a life, but that would actually be a lie.
Which brings me to my current situation.
Standing in my room, I was preparing to participate in Forks Athletics Day. No, not as the towel girl, I'm an actual participant.
In athletic events, no less.
Need you even ask why I'm putting myself out there for certain death?
Well, Edward duh.
Truth be told I wasn't actually a willing participant. My dear friend, Alice Brandon, actually came up with this brilliant plan. She came over under the guise of a "shopping trip", but when she started to pull out my basketball shorts and tennis shoes I knew immediately something was amiss.
"All right, Alice. What's going on?" I demanded.
Alice tossed a pair of socks over at me and walked over to my closet. "I signed you up for Athletics Day," she replied nonchalantly.
"Where's your 'Property of Forks Police Department' shirt? And you heard me."
"Athletics Day? Really? You know I can barely walk, let alone be athletic." I went over to my closet to grab my hoodie and tried to swallow the excited panic that was burning in my chest. This was a disaster in the making. What was she thinking?
"Oh Bella, don't worry so much. I have a very good feeling about today. I wouldn't have signed you up if I had any feeling it would be bad. Today is going to be…" she tapped her chin. "Memorable," she concluded.
"Memorable. Yes, I can hardly wait to start making memories and having them placed in the trophy cabinet at school. With my luck I'll trip over someone lighting a cigarette and start the field on fire," I muttered.
"Silly Bella. There's no smoking on school grounds," Alice chided.
"That's why it would be my luck. The one time someone does…poof. The entire football field's aglow in flame and ash." I released a dramatic sigh and asked, "What the hell did you sign me up for anyway? What events do I have the pleasure of participating in today?" I didn't try to hide my sarcasm.
"Oh, just one or two…or ten," she offered, pushing passed me to the bed.
"Ten?! That's all of them!" I screeched.
"I know," she replied calmly.
I squeezed my eyes shut and rubbed my temple vigorously in an attempt to rid the impending Alice-induced migraine.
"I'm demoting you from best friend to dear friend," I told her.
"Whatever. When the day is done I'll be right back up to the highest rank." I looked up and narrowed my eyes at her. God, she looks all smug and fashionable. Damn her.
"Just one question. Why?"
She sat up straighter on my bed and squared her shoulders. "Bella, you are the smartest girl I know. In fact, you are the smartest girl in the school. But your common sense leaves much to be desired. I've watched you for way too long pining after Edward Cullen. You two go to almost all the same classes, you share the same interests. Hell, I'd even venture a guess that you two share a brain, academically. But you never once step outside your little AP comfort zone and make any attempt at all to put yourself out there and make a move."
I rolled my eyes. "There's a reason for that, Alice. I know academics. I don't know sports."
"Exactly." She grinned like the Cheshire cat and I quirked an eyebrow.
"I'm afraid I don't follow…" I trailed off.
"You don't know sports."
"No, I don't."
"So what, you think I'm just going to ask- oh no, no, no! I am not asking Edward Cullen how to play sports!" I huffed and crossed my arms. She stood from the bed and mirrored my stance.
"Oh yes you are," she smirked.
"Am not, am not, am not damnit!" Alice sighed and started to examine her fingernails.
"You might want to re-think that since Edward's your partner…"
"He's what?! Oh my God, I'm going to be sick." I started fanning my face and turned towards the bathroom. Alice grabbed my shoulder and spun me around to face her.
"Bella, listen to me. This is the same guy that you have talked to many times, done countless projects with-"
"And the same guy that makes my body do funny things because I'm totally in love with him!" I finished for her. She closed her eyes and shook her head.
"No, Bella. You can't think of him like that. If you want anything at all to happen with this guy you need to take a chance. It's not like I'm asking you to pour your heart out to him and confess your unhealthy obsession. I'm just asking you to take one little chance, Bella."
"I know, Alice. But it's Edward," I groaned and flopped on the bed with my hands over my eyes.
"Yes. It's Edward. Not Edward. Just…Edward." I peeked through my fingers and was met with the face of innocence.
"I'm going to humiliate myself."
"Of course you will." I scowled at her. "You know, you've had Edward on a pedestal for so long, I think you would be surprised to find that he's not actually a Greek God or however you view him. He's pretty normal. You two might have more in common than you think." Edward? Normal? I covered my eyes once more and allowed myself to actually consider going. My brain was assaulted with a flood of imagery.
Edward running. Edward sweating. Edward panting.
If it was possible to enter into post-coital bliss from mental images alone, I was pretty sure this was it.
Could it really be that bad?
Alice smacked my leg and said, "Bella, would you please just cut the dramatics and move it already. We still have to get over to the school and finalize your registration." Hands on hips, she tapped her foot impatiently and let out occasional dramatic sighs in timed intervals as I mulled all of this over while fighting my panic attack. "Come on, Bella. You know I hate standing in line," she whined. I propped myself up on my elbows and glared.
"Alice, you can't just spring something like Athletics Day on me and expect a rush. You know I don't operate well under pressure. It's like my clumsiness increases ten-fold and accidents begin to happen around me at an alarming rate. People get hurt, Alice. Lives could be lost. So stop rushing me or you might just lose an eye. And for the love of Jimmy and his Choo's, would you please stop tapping your foot already?"
Alice's head lolled backwards and she stomped the tapping foot in place. "Belllllaaaaaa. God, my dead grandmother moves faster than you. Seriously, if we don't get over to the school soon, your placement in the events won't be favorable at all and then Lauren and Jessica-"
"Whoa. What?! Lauren and Jessica are participating?" I cried as I jumped off the bed. Alice nodded her head in response. "Wow, I didn't realize that spreading your legs was a sporting event," I mumbled.
Alice snickered beside me.
I leaned over to tie my shoes obediently before zipping my hoodie. Once again my mind conjured up an enticing slideshow of Forks Athletics Day, starring Edward.
Edward running. Edward sweating. Edward panting.
"Snap your trap already and wipe the drool off your chin. It will irritate your skin and make you look all blotchy." Alice was looking rather pleased with herself for interrupting my fantasy. I narrowed my eyes and used my sleeve to wipe around my mouth.
"Gee thanks, Alice. Heaven forbid my skin appears irritated before I proceed to make a fool of myself. Your concern for my appearance as the medics check for broken bones after my participation in the long jump is like melted butter on my heart." I rolled my eyes and heard Alice blow a kiss over her shoulder on our way out.
We arrived at the school in record time, thanks to Alice's disregard for posted speed limits. I angled myself out of the passenger seat and looked around the parking lot, breathing a sigh of relief when Edward's silver Volvo was nowhere to be found. I'm not one to wish ill will towards anyone...well, anyone other than Jessica or Lauren, but today was certainly an exception. I found myself secretly hoping that Edward might have become sick, or his car wouldn't start, or maybe he had to leave town unexpectedly...
"Well, well, well. Look what we have here." I whipped my head around, only to be met with the sneers of Lauren and Jessica. Lauren spoke again saying, "You might want to double-check your calendar, Swan. The Special Olympics aren't until next week." Jessica snorted and giggled on cue.
"Good morning girls!" Alice chirped as she danced over to my side. She lowered her sunglasses to the bridge of her nose and gave an obvious head-to-toe appraisal of both. She clucked her tongue and said, "Isn't it a little early to be dressing like that?" Both Lauren and Jessica were dressed in snug-fitting tank tops and barely there shorts. Their boobs were pushed up and out so far I worried that someone might be knocked unconscious if they were run alongside either of them. There was no way those were staying in.
"You're one to talk, Alice. This isn't a fashion show," Lauren sneered.
"Nor is it dress-like-a-hooker-day," Alice retorted, pushing her sunglasses back up over her eyes. Lauren narrowed her eyes to slits and pursed her lips. Alice continued, "Why don't you two run along back to your street corner and spare the rest of us the pains of watching your asses spill out of that scrap of fabric. Seriously girls, ew." Alice grabbed my elbow and started to drag me away before either girl could respond.
We made it to the registration table and much to my surprise and relief, there was no one else there. Alice leaned over and started filling out the mandatory participant forms while I stole another glance around the lot. Lauren and Jessica were still standing where we had left them, hands on their hips and both of their mouths moving at lightning speed. Neither one of them looked happy. I swept the lot with my eyes and let out the breath I didn't realize I was holding.
Still no silver Volvo...
I mentally crossed myself and thanked God for small favors. I turned my attention back to Alice. She shoved a pen at me and pointed at the three boxes I needed to initial. I snorted as I read the disclaimer at the top, releasing Forks High from any injuries I might sustain.
More like injuries I will sustain.
Just as I bent over and began to sign away my life, I felt a change in the air. It was almost like an electrical charge as I could feel the hairs on my arms rising. Out of instinct I raised my eyes to the sky to see if there was a storm brewing. This was Forks, WA, the rainiest place in the Western United States. There were a few scattered grey clouds, but no sign of anything serious. I shrugged it off and finished my initialing, handing the paper back to a grinning Mrs. Cope.
Seconds later, I felt hot breath on my skin and velvety tones shooting straight to my ear. "Well hello there, partner." My uterus gasped, my face flushed red and hot and I was momentarily paralyzed. His body was so close to mine that I could feel that same electric charge rolling off him in waves. My skin prickled at the sensation. I felt a cool hand press against my forehead and that same voice that made me melt asked with concern, "Bella, are you all right? You feel pretty warm." His hand dropped as I willed myself to turn around. Edward's forehead was scrunched and his eyes swimming with worry.
"Y-yeah, I'm fine," I stammered. His face relaxed and he broke out the half E-grin I wanted to lock away in my happy place forever.
"I didn't mean to startle you," he said gently, running his hand through his hair. "You looked a little sick and felt feverish. I just saw you standing there and uh, I just thought that uh…"
I didn't want to just stare at him dumbly so I offered a few words. I hoped my voice didn't betray how neurotic I was around him… "It's okay, Edward." Now, if you'd like to make it up to me, I can think of a thing or two…
"Anyway," he laughed nervously, running his hand through his hair again and shuffling his feet in place. "So," he started once more. I put my hands in my back pockets and rocked back on my heels.
"So," I responded. We both laughed like idiots and looked at our feet. I lifted my gaze and met Edward's once again. His lopsided grin was quickly turning my insides into Bella goo. He took a step forward, never breaking eye contact, and reached out like he was going to take my hand. I was so caught in the moment I had barely registered that I was slowly raising my own hand to meet his.
Omigod…omigod…omigod…I'm going to hold Edward Cullen's hand!
He took another step forward, sucking me into the E-zone. There was no going back. His long fingers extended and reached for mine...
"Bella!" Alice. Edward dropped his hand and looked away, quickly shoving both hands into his pockets as if nothing had ever happened. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement, but what was I supposed to expect? As if the perfect guy really wanted to touch the not so perfect girl.
Was it all in my head? Oh my God, what if I was imagining that? Stupid, stupid, Bella.
"Bella!" Alice yelled again, pulling me out of my thoughts.
As I turned around to face her, I could feel my right ankle buckling and knew that I would be ass to the ground soon enough. I held my breath and closed my eyes and braced my body for impact…but it never came. My shoulders and head crashed into something that definitely didn't feel like asphalt and a pair of arms hooked themselves under my own. My knight in shining armor began to lift my body upright when I felt it.
The hands were on my boobs. What sort of hero cops a feel?
Please don't be Newton. Please don't be Newton. Please don't be Newton.
My fears were put to rest soon enough as an orgasmic chorus began to sing in my ear for the second time today. "Are you all right, Bella?" I would never get used to Edward's voice nor the reaction it created in my body. My breath caught in my throat and my nipples stiffened immediately. I mentally willed my arousal to go away and could only nod in response to his question. He pushed my body up, his hands leaving my breasts and sliding down my torso at a painfully slow pace, finally coming to rest on my hips. The movement felt seductive and sexy to me, though I'm sure it was anything but that for him.
It took a moment for my brain to catch up with what just happened. Not that I minded, but I wondered why he had placed his hands on my boobs anyway. I wasn't used to someone catching me, so I questioned how normal it might be for the catcher to grope the catchee. Maybe he had to grab them to keep me upright? I glanced down at my C-cup girls and pondered this. I wasn't an extremely tiny girl, but my breasts were really the only part of me that, er, stood out from the rest of my body. My arms were pretty scrawny, nothing with substance there. I would have slipped right through his very large, very pretty, very so-smooth-I-want-to-touch-them-all-day hands if he had caught me there. I mentally concluded that the manhandling of my boobs was really the only way to save me.
Yes, that had to be it. Edward was polite and perfect and would never cheapen a moment of heroics like yours truly would. I was always cooking up ways to "accidentally" fondle his man parts. Aside from his intentions, I would ask for it again in a heartbeat. This made me ponder how more daring I could be in future bump ins turning to fall ins just to get accidently groped by him. Would that be too obvious? It's too bad he was such a gentleman because I really wouldn't mind if he had a perverted side…
Edward sweating. Edward panting. Edward touching me all over. Edward whispering things he wants to do to me in my ear…
A girl can dream.
He didn't let go of me until he was certain I was steady on my feet once more. I whimpered internally when he did release me, already missing the feel of E-entrapment. My breathing had yet to return to normal and my face was completely on fire, though I had yet to determine if it was a result of my almost fall or my pre-coital fantasy. He walked to where he was standing in front of me.
"It's a good thing I was right behind you, Bella. That fall alone could have prevented you from participating," Edward chuckled.
My hands busied themselves brushing off imaginary lint and wrinkles from my clothing as I replied sarcastically, "Yeah, that would have been real tragic." Edward said nothing and I looked up, only to be met with an odd expression on his face. Disappointment? No, it couldn't be…
I broke the silence first. "Thank you, Edward. It really would have sucked to start the day off with something twisted or broken before I've had a chance to make a real fool of myself." I smiled and rolled my eyes.
He grinned and said, "Well, we can't have that now, can we? Besides, if you got hurt and couldn't participate, I wouldn't have a partner."
"I'm sure someone like Jessica or Lauren would be more than happy to help you out with that," I muttered, looking down and returning to my wrinkle-smoothing.
A finger was propped under my chin, ceasing my movements and raising my face up. Edward was staring at me, his eyes boring into mine and a serious look gracing his flawless features.
"If I wanted to be paired with either of them, I would have put my name next to theirs on the sign-up sheet," he said quietly.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Just…whoa. Edward picked me as his partner? Edward, my mind repeated slowly, picked me.
"Huh?" was my brilliant reply.
"Bella!" Alice screeched. Startled by the sound, Edward immediately released my chin. I had completely forgotten she was there, actually. I had been completely consumed by all that was Edward. I angled my body up, looking over Edward's shoulder to where she was standing. Edward turned his head so he was looking too. She was smirking with her stupid know-it-all look and I shot her my best warning look. It probably looked more like an angry kitten than deadly ninja because she didn't even flinch.
"If you're done being Bella for a few minutes, do you think you could walk over so we can finish your registration?" She waved a paper in the air with a very large number "13" printed on it and my last name "SWAN" written in Alice-font directly above it.
"Thirteen, Alice?" I squeaked like a hostile chipmunk. "Thirteen? You know you just sealed my fate with that. It's like you want me to get hurt," I whined.
Edward bumped my shoulder lightly with his fist. "It's just a number, Bella."
"Yeah, the unluckiest number ever. We're all doomed. I have a very bad feeling about this. I don't know. Do you think that maybe there's a priest nearby that could read me my last rites?" Edward snorted and I pretended not to hear, pressing forward with my paranoid rant. "This is serious guys! There is a very good chance I could be the unintentional Carrie of the day. Only instead of prom it's Athletics Day and instead of pig's blood it's my own and instead of-" I was cut off by a large clap of thunder booming through the air. I crossed myself quickly and Alice rolled her eyes.
"Stop being dramatic and get over here already. Oh, and Edward?" Alice chirped. "I picked up your number too." She held up the other piece of paper in her child-like hands and I almost fainted.
It read, CULLEN 69.
"Just remember to be safe kids. Lucky thirteen and sixty-nine….this is going to be good," Alice snickered at her private joke.
I chanced a look at Edward and he was tense and blushing. He avoided my eyes and marched over to Alice, relieving the paper from her clutches.
"I'll uh, see you down, uh, on the field, Bella," he mumbled awkwardly and walked away.
As Alice grabbed my arm and started to drag me off to the unknown, or rather the building that housed the locker room, I wondered what in the world had gotten into Edward. I knew what the number '69' did for me, none of it clean or holy, but Edward? Why did he get so embarrassed? I knew that Edward wasn't pure as the driven snow, but the subject of sex just didn't seem to interest him. The times I had been around him and the subject had been broached, primarily in the form of loud and dirty locker room talk, Edward had always managed to steer the conversation in a different direction. Not once had he ever blushed. Ever.
So what the hell just happened back there?
We stopped suddenly and Alice pointed her bony finger in my face and ordered, "Stay."
"I'm not a damn dog, Alice. And would you mind telling me what was so funny back there? You made the boy genius blush. Blush, Alice."
"Whatever. Listen," she said grabbing my jaw and squeezing my cheeks. "Your first event is going to be over there," she turned my head and pointed over to the rock bleachers. I was only allowed to look for a few seconds before she jerked my head back to face her.
"Buh buh buh. No talkie. Just listen. The first event is going to be a three-legged race. You and Captain Coitus are going to be in very close proximity. There's going to be touching, Bella. Lots of touching. This is like every groper's dream come true." She was still gripping my face and it was really starting to hurt.
"Alish, pleashe let go uh mah cheeksh."
"Oh, right. Sorry." She let go and I started to open and close my mouth repeatedly to stretch my face a little.
"Geez lady. Did you eat your Wheaties or what this morning? You're freakishly strong for such a little person," I told her.
"I've been doing a lot of hand strength exercises."
I stopped mid-face stretch. "Uh, what?"
"Hand strength exercises," she repeated. My mouth remained wide open and my face no doubt was in a state of looking like I rode the short bus, she went on. "Remember how I told you I liked Jasper?" I nodded. "And how I wanted to learn to play guitar?" I nodded again, unsure of what squeezing balls had to do with Jasper. "As it turns out, Jasper plays and teachers guitar, so I started taking lessons from him. He has the most amazing voice," she said all breathy and dreamy. "He writes most of his own songs, you know. God, he's eighteen and this brilliant musical poet," she sighed.
I sighed in annoyance and stared at her hard to try and break her out of the Jasper haze. "Anyway, he suggested squeezing the tennis balls several times a day to make my hands stronger. He even gave me some of his own that were broken in to start me out."
"So, your tiny hands are Hulk-ish strong because Jasper is letting you play with his balls?" I asked flatly.
She smacked my arm and I jumped back. "What the hell was that for?" I growled at her.
"No need to taint the beautiful connection Jasper and I share, Bella. Save your perverted energy for Edward."
"Beautiful connection?" I scoffed. "You squeeze Jasper's balls."
She smacked my arm again and muttered, "Geez, Bella. You make it sound so dirty when you say it like that."
"God, would you stop with the dwarfish 'roid rage already!" I rubbed my arm and was still stretching my face.
"Bella, stop doing that. It looks like your face is having a seizure."
"Yeah, whatever. So tell me again what the plan is? I'm going to attach my limbs to Edward's and run?"
"I'd rather squeeze his balls." I lamented with my own dreamy sigh. Alice raised an eyebrow and made a gagging noise. "Wait, that came out wrong..."
"Uh, yeah. More than wrong. Come on, let's get you down to the field and ready to go." Expecting another arm smack if I were to make any complaint, and since I was already starting to bruise from the others, I sighed internally thinking it best to stay quiet this time.
We walked down to the field together in silence and I spotted Edward right away. His unmistakable mop of hair was an all new shade of amazing in the sun. His torso was arched to the side as he stretched, the muscles of his body defined with every twist and turn. I started to slow down the closer we got. Alice slapped my arm yet again and grabbed my hand to drag me directly in front of Edward.
He looked up and smiled and I melted.
"All right kids," Alice started. She looked at Edward pointedly, "You have the schedule, right?" He nodded. "Great! I leave Bella in your very capable hands and will see you later." She gave my hand a reassuring squeeze and left. My eyes shifted over to Edward, only to find him staring at me. His eyes widened a bit and his cheeks went a little pink.
Clearing his throat he said, "Are you ready for this, partner?"
When you say things like "partner" and make my heart beat so wild I find it hard to breathe, no.
I nodded dumbly and didn't move.
He reached over and took my arm in a manner similar to how Alice had earlier, but instead of manhandling me, his touch was gentle and warm. My body trembled from excitement and nerves. He guided me over and placed both hands on my shoulders, leaning down until our faces were inches apart. The warmth of his breath blowing on my face with every exhale was what I imagined heaven felt like.
"There's no need to be nervous, Bella. I'm going to be right here with you," he said softly. "If you want to go, just say the word and we'll leave."
I was taken aback by his choice of words. We? He must have noticed my surprise, because he nodded once and said, "I'm not going to stick around here by myself. We're partners, remember? That goes for escape plans too," he chuckled with a wink.
I finally found my voice. "I'm fine, Edward, really. I think we have a few minutes before the event actually starts, so if you have anything you need to do before we jump in…" I trailed off.
He stepped back and dropped his hands from my shoulders, his face alive with amusement. "No, I think I'm good."
"You sure?" I pushed. "I mean, you don't have any last words you need to put out there to your loved ones or maybe make sure your mom knows where to find your will…."
"Bella, you're ridiculous," he laughed. He leaned in again and held my gaze intensely. "I'm going to take very good care of you today, Miss Swan."
With that he turned and picked up the band lying on the ground next to us. Edward had always been charming and sweet, but his behavior was a little baffling today. I wasn't sure how to take it. Leaning over and giving me a fine view of his ass, he placed the entrapment device around my left ankle, then over his right. He stood up and I found my side flush against his, the movement making me gasp. Edward seemed not to notice and wrapped his arm around my waist, prompting me to do the same to him.
"Okay, the only thing to remember here is that we need to keep in sync with one another. Our legs that aren't tied together need to step at the same time, just like the ones that are. As long as we're taking our steps at the same time, establishing a rhythm and holding onto one another, we'll be just fine."
Rhythm you say? Yeah…my mind's in the gutter about now.
I couldn't help but notice how closely he was still holding me, one of my breasts pushed into his side as he instructed me. I resisted the urge to rub myself up and down against him and basically humping the right side of his body. Not that I would really know what I was doing anyway. I had seen Alice's beagle in action upon my leg several times, but I was pretty sure there had to be a more graceful and sexier way to go about it.
I also noticed the gathering of other pairings around us and started to freak out a little as I watched familiar faces surround me. I grimaced as I watched Lauren and Jessica amble in with Tyler and Mike, both girls laughing like hyenas and the boys puffing their chests proudly. Edward, his arm still placed around me, tightened his grip and pulled me closer. He smelled so good. I wondered if he really was serious me about giving him the "word" to leave and if the escape plan might include locking ourselves in a room where I could just sit and inhale him all day.
Yeah probably not.
"Bella!" Of course Mike Newton had to yell like we were friends. I forced a smile.
I raised my free hand to wave, but didn't put too much effort into it.
He left his group and jogged over, Lauren and Jessica crossing their arms in reaction and shooting daggers my way.
Mike came right over to me and stood a little too close for my comfort. "I didn't know you were coming today. Are you here to cheer me on?" He nudged my shoulder with a grin.
"Uh, no." I pointed out flatly. "So you're partners with Jessica?"
He looked over to where Jessica now had her back turned to us. "Yeah, well I didn't really have much of a choice. My partner got sick and Jessica didn't have one, so…" he looked from me to Edward and asked, "Hey man, did your partner not show either?"
Um, hello? I was standing right there, wrapped around Edward, our legs attached together. Was Mike really that oblivious? What was he thinking?
"No," was Edward's curt reply. I was a little surprised at Edward's tone. He and Mike were teammates and…friends? Once I thought about it, I wasn't sure if I had ever actually seen Edward and Mike have a conversation beyond the field.
Mike continued to stare at Edward in confusion.
"Oh, well, where are they?" Mike asked.
I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry, so I just stared at my feet instead.
"Right here," Edward responded through clenched teeth, his voice laced with annoyance at the retardation standing before him. There was a too lengthy pause before Einstein finally figured it out.
"You mean Bella?!" Mike exclaimed. "You've got to be kidding. I mean, no offense but she's just…I thought you might be with…and then it's just sort of…" he stammered on like the idiot he was.
I continued to stare at my feet, tears pricking at my eyes. Was it really so hard to believe that I was paired with the incarnate of perfection? As I studied my cheap and dirty shoes and compared them to Edward's much nicer and more expensive pair I decided that yes, it was a little far fetched. I didn't quite understand it myself.
"Looks like it's time to start, Mike. You should get back to Jessica," Edward told him. He didn't sound very happy at all. I heard rather than saw Mike skulk off. Bella tears meant ugly cry and ugly cry meant blotchy skin and blotchy skin meant a scolding from Alice, not to mention the look of horror on Edward's face when he saw it. Before I knew what was happening a finger was placed under my chin for the second time today and my face was being pulled up.
Damnit. Though I willed for it, I seriously doubted the blotches had disappeared already.
His expression conveyed serious concern. I was embarrassed as hell by Mike's reaction. I didn't exactly get why Edward had signed up as my partner either, but at least he was nice about it. Mike was completely rude. Did Edward sign up as my partner because he felt sorry for me? Was I a charity case to him? He could have had his pick of anyone in the school, but he chose me. And I still couldn't understand why.
A stupid tear escaped from my stupid eye and I wanted to crawl into a hole and hide for the rest of the day…or my life.
Please swallow me now.
Edward wiped the tear with his thumb. I could hear the official in the background announcing for everyone to take their places. The race was about to start.
"Newton's a jerk." His face softened. "He's just jealous that he didn't get to partner up with you first."
I had to roll my eyes at that and laughed a little. "Yeah, well can you really blame the guy for his surprise? You and I don't exactly run in the same circle. And I'm not good for anything other than my brain."
"That doesn't excuse what he said, though. And yeah, we do. We share a lot of classes-"
"That's not what I meant, Edward. Those are classes at school, assigned by a computer, not a social circle. It's not really the same thing…" He dropped his hand from my face and frowned.
"We're friends, Bella. You've been over to my house to work on projects and we've-"
Wait. Edward thought of me as a friend? Not just "that girl from my class"? How was that possible?
I held my hand up, interrupting him again. "Again, all school related. It's not like we've ever done anything outside of an academic setting."
I squeezed my eyes shut and continued to let my mouth run over. Our differences were so obvious to me, I just had to make him understand. "I don't know why you signed up with me, Edward. I've not ever been anything more than a classmate before, so I'm just as surprised as Mike. I mean, you're…you. You're perfect and smart and hot and I'm just…me." I sighed and opened my eyes, but kept them to the ground. "I don't mind doing this because I don't want to leave you high and dry, but if this is a charity thing or something, just…ugh. Mike probably is jealous but only because he knows that I'm going to trip and he's looking for any excuse to feel me up." I laughed at my own joke about Mike's perversions, but suddenly realized Edward wasn't laughing with me. Did I offend him with my outburst?
Feeling my face heat up, my gaze flew to his. His normally bright eyes had gone very dark and he was breathing funny. Despite the awkwardness of being banded together around our ankles, he managed to angle his body that much closer to mine. His thumb was still stroking my cheek, his arm around my waist holding me tight. I watched, wide-eyed, as he tilted his head to the side and started to lean his face towards mine.
Was he going to kiss me?
No. Not possible. Or was it?
Apparently yes. Here he comes. Oh my God. Here. He. Comes.
All the times I day dreamed of him, ached for his presence, wishing he would notice me beyond schoolwork… My eyelids fluttered close on instinct, my head tilted up to meet his lips. The air was charged and I could feel it increase in intensity the closer we leaned in.
"You are good for so much more than just your brain, Bella," he breathed inches from my lips.
I'm going to kiss Edward Cullen.
"Cullen! Girl with Cullen! Get over here already!" Coach Clapp bellowed from across the field. We jerked away from each other and reluctantly hobbled over to the starting line.
Yeah so, I'm not going to kiss Edward Cullen. Well that sucks.
Though our arms were still wrapped around each other for support, neither of us said anything as we waited for the race to begin. I looked around at the other pairings and shrunk further into Edward's side as Lauren and Jessica both offered their trademark sneers, Lauren going so far to make hand gestures indicative of her taking me down. Fantastic. I inhaled sharply and closed my eyes, counting to ten to calm my nerves. Edward squeezed my side and whispered, "Breathe, Bella. And hold on tight."
The official standing at the front waited for everyone to be ready. Bodies were poised and positioned, the air was thick with tense silence. I could smell grass and dirt and sweat…and Edward. I leaned in a little further and took a few more subtle hits of all that was him to try and calm myself. My nerves were on end and I wanted to break free and leave. The near silence was deafening. I wish it would start already because I just wanted to get this over with.
The intensity of the moment was broken when I felt a hand palm my ass gently and gave it a little squeeze. My eyes shot up to Edward, his face a mask of calm and betraying nothing.
Did he just…grab my ass?
A whistle was blown then, effectively pulling me out of my reverie and unresolved thoughts about Edward being the bum scoundrel. Bodies whooshed by and the crowd began to cheer. I wasn't sure whether to start with my right foot or my left. As it turned out I didn't have to worry at all. I felt my body lifted and suddenly in motion. The leg attached to Edward's was moving in sync with his, but my foot wasn't actually touching the ground.
He was carrying me.
He was cheating.
Oh my God. Edward Cullen was cheating! This was new. Had there been some sort of cosmic phenomenon that had shifted us into an alternate universe? Because there was no way in hell the Edward I knew would cheat. Ever. Why would he do that? Well okay, I can see why he might think about it since he was paired up with the mother of all non-athletes, but to actually carry it out? I was shocked. Who knew Mr. Play-by-the-Rules was capable of such a thing? I wanted to say that Edward being a bad boy turned me on, but it was sort of unsettling. If I was being honest, I felt let down and disappointed.
"Edward, put me down," I hissed.
He ignored me. I attempted to wiggle my way out of his grasp, but didn't try too hard because I didn't want to cause us to both fall.
"Edward. Put. Me. Down." This wasn't right. I didn't like that he felt he had to cheat because he was stuck with a handicapped partner. He was breathing hard from running and I'm sure the result of carrying my body weight on top of his own.
"Bella," he panted. "Stop moving or we'll fall," he ordered.
"Put me down."
"No," he growled. Why was he being such an ass about this? I jabbed him in the side with my elbow and he flinched, but made no move to release me. We were nearing the finish line and were tied for the lead. I could see the others around us so focused on what they were doing they had no idea what was going on right in front of them. My adoration for Edward was replaced by anger at his selfish behavior. He wanted to win so bad he was going to break the rules? I had never before in my life cheated and I was not about to start.
I knew what I was about to do was going to hurt, but I had to try. I jerked the leg that was connected to his with all the force I could muster and pushed it down on the ground.
Edward yelped in surprise and we were both on our way down. The band around our ankles snapped, our fall quickly turning into dive and tumble. I felt myself flip in the air and landed with an "oomph" from both of us. I could feel my body tangled with Edward's, unsure of which body parts were mine as I began to register the initial shock from the impact.
The wind was knocked out of me and I struggled to catch my breath. The shock began to wear off and then it was just pain. A whistle was blown somewhere in the background, presumably to signal the end of the race just as I caught my breath. I tried to roll over and groaned. At least, I think I groaned. Did that come from me? It was low and deep. Maybe I had hit the ground harder than I thought and destroyed my feminine vocal chords. Was that possible?
I shifted my body again and another groan rumbled through my crotch. Wait. That can't be right. I lifted my head and found myself staring directly between another pair of legs. Correction. Edward's legs. It did not escape my notice that there was something long and hard poking my chin.
Can you say…awkward?
As I went to lift my leg I felt something fuzzy tickling it. I lifted my head just a little bit more and turned to look over my shoulder, all the while praying that the 'Swan 13' in the 'Cullen 69' was not an actual position on an actual field with actual people watching.
Too late. Damnit.
Edward was groaning beneath me and squirming around a bit. I took that as a sign to get up. How I was going to manage doing that gracefully and without attracting too much attention was beyond me.
Maybe if I just hurry and roll off…then keep rolling….it's possible that I could…aw shit…whose shoes are those?
Standing before me was a pair of white sneakers with a glittery pink "S" etched in the side.
"Wow, Bella," the nasally squeak of Lauren taunted. "I don't remember that activity being on the list of events on the sign-up sheet." A few scattered snickers moved through the crowd that was quickly surrounding us. I rolled off Edward and moved to push myself up off the ground.
"I'm sure if there was you would have been the first to sign up," I retorted, wincing in pain as I stretched my body upright and examined my hands that were now filled with bits of gravel.
"Excuse me?!" If looks could kill, I'd be dead.
It's not like the situation could really get any worse. It had been a disaster from the moment I arrived. Why not make it worth my while? I had my fill of Lauren-isms.
I stood up a little straighter. "You heard me," was all I said. I wanted to really let her have it, after all the torment and teasing she had put me through for so long, but that was the best I could come up with at the moment.
"Well at least guys like Edward know I exist and don't pretend to like me because they feel sorry for me. You're so pathetic. If your little buddy Alice hadn't talked Edward into signing up to be your partner-"
My head snapped up. "What did you say?" My voice was strained and hoarse. That couldn't be true. Lauren had to be lying. Alice wouldn't do that to me…
"You heard me," was her snide reply. "I heard them talking in the hall. You didn't actually think that Edward wanted to be your partner, did you?" Actually no, but maybe. "Oh my God you did!" Her cackle raised every hair on my body and I suddenly felt sick.
My eyes darted to the ground, my brain trying to process all that I hoped were lies spewing from Lauren's mouth. The shadow next to mine lengthened as it moved forward. Edward had gotten up from the ground and I hadn't noticed until now. I spun around to face him, the dirt and tears stinging my eyes.
"Is that true? Did Alice ask you to sign up with me? Did you do it because you felt sorry for me?" I didn't want to believe it, especially not about Alice. Even after Edward had attempted to kiss me moments ago, I didn't even want to believe that of him either. But in all honesty, it was starting to make more sense than not. Alice's encouragement for me to come today despite my inabilities, Edward's strange behavior and what I had mistaken for flirting, his cheating in the race because he had to know we would never win if he allowed me to participate for real…
I felt like a fool. As I looked at Edward, his face contorted in pain, sadness lurking in his eyes, it was the only confirmation I needed. He said nothing. I turned back to Lauren, her mouth still moving but the words muffled by the blood pounding in my ears. Mike and Jessica flanked her on each side, both laughing with her.
Forgive me Father for I am about to sin…
Pulling my arm back then lurching forward with a balled fist I hit Lauren square in the nose. Turning next to a startled Mike my knee made its way to his crotch like a dart to a bullseye. I spun around to face Jessica, her eyes wide with terror. I stepped right up to her until we were toe to toe. Though she had really only ever been a follower and her insults were usually in the form of laughs from Lauren's remarks, she had still been mean to me in her own right. Rather than assault her physically I decided it was best to prey on her insecurities. I leaned in real close and said, "For the love of God please wear clothes that fit. Everyone can see your cellulite." She gasped and I pushed past her, determined to get the hell out of there.
Screw Lauren and her cronies. Screw Athletics Day. And Screw Edward I'm-a-cheater Cullen!
I didn't bother to look back as I made my way to the locker room, desperately in need to clean up my wounds before they got infected. My hand hurt like hell from that very satisfying assault and needed some cold water.
And I just needed to lock myself in a stall and cry.
The walk to the locker room was quiet. Or maybe because I was seething with so much hurt and a bit of rage I was pretty much deaf. I tried to kick the door open but it had a knob so that didn't work so well. So much for badass Ninja Bella…
After jumping up and down a few times screaming I took a deep breath and opened it, walking through in a less-than-calm manner. I reached the sink and grabbing both sides leaned over and turned on the water. I splashed some on my face and neck then tried to regulate my breathing. I heard the door open and close, then footsteps heading my direction. They stopped and the only sound in the tile-enclosed space was the whir of the vent and the dripping sink.
"Go away, Alice." Silence. I knew if I stood up and faced her she would be all pouty and cute and I'd give in to whatever Alice-y reasoning she had for trying to meddle. If that's what really happened, that is.
"Alice, I know that you think you always know what's best for me and sometimes you do, but today was beyond humiliating. If what Lauren said was even true, I just…do you have any idea how that made me feel? The fact that you basically set me up for failure with the guy I've crushed on and in love with forever because you felt I needed to have another view of him? Well guess what? You were so fucking right it hurts. I saw a side of Edward today that I never thought possible. All this time I've seen him as pretty and perfect and without flaws," I sniffed. "Did you know he was cheating during the race?" No response. "Well he did." I laughed humorlessly and wiped my eyes, the porcelain in the sink starting to gross me out with the green colored ring around the drain. Yet I continued to stare at it.
"I probably set myself up for disappointment more than you or Edward even. I'm my own worst critic and so self-deprecating, I held Edward just a little bit higher than everyone else because he just seemed to be able to do it all. He has the looks, the smarts, the abilities, the talent. It just seemed to make sense. And now that I've seen him as you wanted me to, as normal….I've just lived so long believing he was something more than what he was. I don't understand why it has to be so hard accepting that he's not."
"I don't always do my homework and I never follow the posted speed limit," the orgasmic choir sang out. I whirled around and pointed accusingly at the owner of the voice that never failed to make me melt.
"You're not Alice!" I screeched, my voice bouncing off the walls.
Edward looked down at himself as if to check, then lifted his head and tried to smile. "No, I'm not," was his soft reply. "And I'm far from perfect."
"So I've noticed," I snapped. Sighing loudly, in a much quieter voice I said, "I'm going to assume that it's been you standing there the whole time." He nodded. I'm also going to assume that you heard everything that I said." His eyes never leaving mine, he nodded again.
"Bella-" he started, but I raised my hand to interrupt.
"Wait. Just wait. I don't know what you're about to say and I don't know if I want to hear it. But I do want to know if anything Lauren said was true. Did you sign up with me because you talked to Alice?"
He swallowed hard and nodded.
I puffed my cheeks and blew out a hard breath. "Okay then. I'm just going to go now. I think that maybe I need to transfer schools or something. Maybe I could do some online courses, you know? Something hermit-like and without my peers that watched me take a" I stopped a snorted, "Swan dive right into your groinal area today. Why did you cheat?" I rambled and blurted.
"You were upset about what Mike said. You weren't focused. I just didn't want you to get hurt."
Huh. Well that was…thoughtful?
"Why didn't you put me down when I wanted you to?"
He scoffed and smirked. "Didn't I tell you that we needed to have a rhythm?"
"So even though I was sort of carrying you, we were in sync. If I had put you down in the middle of all that, sort of like the move you pulled, what do you think would have happened?"
"I would have nosedived into your peen much sooner."
"Uh-huh." His posture was stiff, his hands shoved into his pockets. His tongue kept darting out to lick his lips, making me all tingly and almost forgetting I was mad and I just wanted to…focus Swan!
"You could have stopped and put me down! You wouldn't have had to drop me in motion!" I protested.
He shook his head and chuckled. "Did you not see all the people around us Bella? How no one was paying attention to what was around them? We were really lucky no one else got hurt."
I crossed my arms and puckered my lips in what I hoped was an intimidating scowl.
"But they didn't," I said like I was five. "And it's still cheating."
"Semantics," he waved his hand in the air.
Since I was on a real winning streak with my mouth and all, I went on. "So what did Alice say to you anyway? I'm really sort of pissed about that and need to know exactly what to yell at her for."
"Alice didn't talk to me. I talked to Alice."
I rolled my eyes and waved my hand for him to continue. "And?" He was shuffling his feet and looking back and forth between the ground and me while he spoke.
"And it's not what you think. I've sort of…had a crush on you for a long time, so I had Alice help me sign you up so I could spend more time with you and maybe work up the courage to ask you out."
My rant continued, "And you want to know something else, Cullen? I'm a little put out that you just stood there the entire time that Lauren was bitching me out and making our whole '69' experience all the more humiliating? So what? Did you lose a ball or two when I landed on you? Did you…" I stopped mid-rant and wanted to rewind the last 5 seconds of my brain being slower than my mouth. "Did you say you had a crush on me?" I whispered in disbelief.
"Do you still?"
"Do I still what?"
"Have a crush. On me. Bella Swan."
A grin spread across his face and he chuckled, the magical harmony ringing all through my body.
"I really like you, Bella. You're smart and beautiful and silently sassy…I feel like I can be myself around you and not pretend. I can have an actual conversation with you and it's not one-sided. Did I mention you are smart and beautiful? You've got a wicked right hook too. I've crushed on you for a long time but was so intimidated I didn't know how to ask you out. So I had Alice help me out a little." He shrugged and blushed and I died a little because it was so cute.
"You think I'm beautiful?"
"I told you that you were good for so much more than just your brain, Bella," he smiled and winked.
I snorted. Then my hands flew up to my mouth, covering it like it would make the embarrassing snort go away.
"I'm not perfect, Bella. If anyone is perfect, it's you," he said sincerely.
I snorted again. That's a habit I need to break very soon. So not attractive.
"I snort," I said in case he hadn't noticed.
"I belch," he replied.
"I bite my lip too much and will probably have a hole there one of these days."
"I run my hands through my hair a lot and will probably have premature balding."
"I faked being sick before finals so I could have an extra day of studying."
"I usually skip the classes I don't have with you."
"I don't paint my nails or wear make-up or really do anything to girl-ify myself unless Alice forces me too."
"My mom does all my shopping and still lays out my outfits."
"I love your eyes and your smell and sometimes I've bumped into you on purpose just to touch you." Okay maybe that was a little too honest…
He smirked. "Can't say I was too disappointed touching your boobs today, nor was it all bad grabbing your ass."
"My boobs are real."
"I take extra-long showers after spending time with you." I raised an eyebrow and he shrugged.
The smile on my face couldn't possibly get any bigger. My face was already hurting from it, but so what. Edward Cullen liked me and he took long showers because of me.
This was like the best not-so-Hallmark moment ever.
We stood there, grinning and staring stupidly at each other for a moment longer until an epiphany hit me.
"So wait. All this time we've liked each other and sort of, like Alice said, placed one another on pedestals when really we're both sort of…flawed?"
"It would seem so." Oh wow, the lopsided grin! I can die happy. I punched Lauren and the day is ending with my favorite E-face. Doesn't get any better than that…
"Wow. For being two of the smartest kids in school, we're really kind of retarded," I mused.
He tossed his head back and barked a laugh. It felt so good to be in this moment of ridiculous genius confessionals and know that my feelings were reciprocated. The laughter stopped and Edward was all quiet and serious again. His eyes were dancing with happy and looking right at me. He began to walk towards me slowly, every step he took making my heart race that much faster. He was sexy and smirky and I knew if he didn't hurry up I was probably going to die of anticipation from his stare alone.
He reached out to grab my waist, echoing his movements from earlier. Cupping my cheek and stroking it softly with his thumb, his eyes darted down to my mouth. Our bodies were close and the long and hard poke was back, but this time it was on my stomach and I didn't mind. I gave Edward a pokey!
And there was much rejoicing in heaven….
"Now," his breath sweet and warm and made me lose all sense of reality, "I think this is where we left off…"
He tilted his head and I did the same. Leaning forward and inching closer to one another I was certain my heart was going to beat right out of my chest. I closed my eyes and gave over to instinct, following the warmth radiating from his body and moving in to my desired destination…
"Cullen! Girl with Cullen! You in there?!" My fist balled at my side and I asked Jesus to forgive me for Coach Clapp's impending death.
Edward moved his other hand up so both were holding my face, holding me still and pressing his soft lips ever so slightly against mine he murmured, "Oh no, not again. He can wait…"
Yup. Edward Cullen was going to be the death of me.
If you made it this far and your I.Q. is intact...congrats. Thanks for reading. :)