Quiet Stars

For those of you patiently waiting for an update on Our Last Summer… I should have chapter 7 up soon. I am still working on the wedding outtake for To Feel but this one-shot came into my head and I had to get it out before I continued working on that… Enjoy!

The music pumps through the stereo system, pulsing through the crowd and settling in her ears. It's a mellow and haunting tune that makes the hair on the back of her neck stand and causes a shiver down her spine. She is distracted by the band, more so than her friends realize, and instead of participating in their conversation she watches silently. The barstool beneath her gently twirls as she taps her feet to the rhythm of the music.

Bella's drink is in front of her untouched and abandoned, the strong taste of the alcohol off-putting in comparison to the sweet drinks she had previously consumed. Her straw bobs softly in the liquid coolness performing a type of dance. For a moment her fingers play with the object, twisting and rolling it between her fingers, before she abandons it, once again distracted by the band in front of her.

She had noticed him instantly; amazed by the way he played his guitar and the way his hair cascaded over his eyes, blocking the view of his face. It made him seem unapproachable and yet irresistible at the same time. It was the epitome of sex hair and she found her eyes tracing the rest of his body, stopping to watch his fingers gently stroke the frets.

Her face flushed as her mind conjured images of him playing her body just as passionately. The thought caused her heart to jump and she blushed once again, suddenly thinking how foolish she was acting. As if knowing what she is thinking a small crooked smile lights up his face; she can't help but think he looks like an angel, the lights of the stage only adding to the affect.

Going out to bars wasn't something that Bella normally did, but her friends had convinced her that she needed a break from the constant cramming that she had been doing for finals. After spending most of the night reading, she didn't have the energy to argue and fighting them would have been a waste of time.

When Alice puts her mind to something, there really is no telling her no.

The bar is packed to the brim, the dance floor overflowing with people. The air feels clingy and humid from the bodies and she is glad that she wore a tank top instead of the sweater that the weather outside called for (not that Alice and Rose would have let her wear the sweater anyways). It's a suffocating feeling and she suddenly wished that she smoked, just so that she had an excuse to step outside for a moment.

Alice and Rose, sensing her distraction, disappear into the crowd of dancers and their leave gives her a bit more breathing room. She can't help but sigh in relief. It only takes a moment for the empty space to fill with new bodies but in the few seconds she has, Bella finds herself shifting her seat to better view the stage.

Her eyes scan over the four individuals, only stopping once they meet a set of brilliant green eyes that are staring right at her and take her breath away. She flushes with embarrassment and shock and for a moment she forgets to breathe. Averting her eyes, Bella can feel the blush flushing her cheeks and neck as she lowers her head. In her mind she is cursing Alice and Rose for putting her hair up, suddenly wishing she had something to hide behind.

For a moment, she can feel her heart pounding in her chest and she finds herself mortified at the thought that she has been caught checking him out. Turning back to the bar she orders a shot, downing it quickly and letting the burning sensation numb her briefly. Closing her eyes, she can still see the two emeralds etched into her brain.

A hand on her shoulder startles her from this thought and she turns, briefly surprised by the amused looks on both Alice and Rose's faces. It only takes a moment for the area around her to clear out and her friends plop down next to her, eyes alight with mischief.

"You sure seem occupied by something," Alice chided teasingly, "Is everything all right?"

Without giving her a chance to answer Rose popped into the conversation a huge smile on her face. "Yeah, Bella, we were trying to wave you down to the dance floor but maybe you just couldn't see us?"

She can feel the blush flushing her cheeks and she looks at her friends, smiling and shrugging softly as she responds, "I have no idea what you are talking about."

A small snort from Alice pulls her from her thoughts and she sees her friends immediately scanning the stage, their eyes lingering over each of the four men. "You are a bad liar, point him out to us," Alice demands.

"I don't think that is the best idea," she finds herself mumbling, "He already caught me checking him out once tonight." Her eyes couldn't help but shift in his direction, sneaking a quick peek at him. He has taken off his leather jacket and thrown it across a spare chair, the black shirt underneath is taught against his stomach and chest and she has to force her eyes to focus on anything else.

Alice and Rose obviously know her to well because their eyes follow her line of sight and linger over him, sizing him up. "You've got good taste," Rose mutters under her breath and it causes all three of them to laugh. "At least you know he is good with his hands."

The comment causes another burst of laughter and Bella finds her face flushing with images that are fluttering through her mind, unfiltered. As if sensing what she is thinking, her friends suddenly look devious and Bella wonders what she has gotten herself into.

"They should be taking a break here soon; maybe we should go over and introduce ourselves." Bella knows that Alice's words are meant to be encouraging but all she can think is how pitiful she looks in comparison to the two women next to her. For a moment her face pales. "Just think about it?" Alice questions, sensing her hesitancy, before holding up her drink in a kind of toast.

"To college roomies and more nights like this," Alice calls into the air before tipping her drink back and finishing it. Bella and Rose quickly follow suit. "I'm empty, let's get some refills!" Hesitant to drink even more, she shakes her head in amusement and points to the dance floor. For a moment her friends look confused and then delighted, sighing she shrugs her shoulders. It is the lesser of two evils.

They push their way through the crowds only stopping once they have a bit of room to move around. Alice is in front of her and Rose behind her, the three of them twisting and gyrating to the beat of the music. They are quickly surrounded by people and Bella is grateful that she is in the middle having the other two girls act as a buffer.

The music switches to up-tempo pop and Bella looks up, noticing the stage clear.

"The band must be taking their break," she ponders softly. Alice seems to hear her because her eyes look up at the stage for a moment and then suddenly back at Rose. Bella can almost feel the scheming happening in front of her and before she realizes what is happening she is suddenly by herself, her shoes slipping on the wet floor.

Her arms flail for a moment and she finds herself gripping the person next to her, trying to stop herself from falling. She can hear the tinkering laugh of her friends a few feet behind her for only a moment before a pair of arms wrap around her, steadying her. A smooth chuckle draws her attention and she finds herself turning and looking into a pair of ridiculously gorgeous emerald green eyes.

Instantly she is mortified.

"I am so sorry," Bella can feel the flush instantly spread across her cheeks and neck turning her a brilliant shade of red. "There was a puddle of liquid and I slipped and I didn't mean to grab you." She can feel the heat of his fingers burning into her hips and she pulls away a little bit, shocked by the tingles that shoot through her body.

"Not a problem at all," his voice is husky and he laughs for a moment before removing his hands. Sticking one hand out, he introduces himself, crooked smile back on his face. "I'm Edward by the way."

"Bella," she finds herself replying, her smile growing by the second as he wraps his hand around hers, shaking it softly. She can't help but notice the sparks that shoot up her arm. His eyebrow raises in question and she can tell he feels it as well.

"You must let us buy you a drink," Alice chimes in from behind her, "You know as a thank you and such."

He looks behind her at her friends for a moment and Bella can just imagine Alice sticking her lip out in her famous pout. "You really don't have to," Bella chimes in ignoring the glares she can feel burning the back of her head, "but I have to warn you that Alice is nothing if not persistent."

Edward looks behind her for a moment, a small smile on his face. "I can kind of tell." His laughter is contagious and she finds herself laughing with him as they make their way over towards the bar. The crowd is still thick and he leads her through it cautiously, staying close to her.

He smells like wet leather and tobacco and someone in desperate need of a change of clothing and she can't remember when this turned into such a good smell. But it has.

Her friends seem to disappear once they have drinks in their hands and she finds herself in a conversation about the club and the band. She can't help but gush about how good the band is and this only seems to cause his smile to grow. He stuffs his hands in the pocket of his holey jeans and looks up at her from under his eyelashes. He tells her he is glad she enjoyed it.

The words seem to cause a blush to flush her cheeks and her heart rate to increase. She isn't sure if he is aware of her response to him, but if he is he politely ignores it. His hand reaches up and runs through his hair and her brain instantly fills with images of her hands in his hair, tugging and pulling. She quickly moves on to other topics.

They discuss movies, music, and current news and before Bella realizes it the club has thinned out; suddenly it is last call and she can't seem to find Alice or Rose anywhere. He walks her outside, his feet shuffling along the pavement and she is surprised to find their parking space empty.

"I think," and she can hear the confusion in her own voice, "my friends have ditched me." He chuckles and shakes his head for a moment and she can tell he is contemplating something.

"I can give you a ride if you like?"

She is touched by the gesture and pulls him to her, embracing him as a warm flush floods her body. She can smell the warmth of him and as he wraps his arms around her, his fingers dig gently into her back and her mind replays his hands gently stroking the fret. Suddenly she doesn't care that her friends have ditched her.

For a moment she pulls back and their eyes meet. She can feel the pulse of her heart, the catch of her breath, and intuitively she knows what is going to happen. She shivers in anticipation and suddenly his leather jacket is wrapped around her, engulfing her in his scent and warmth. A moment later his hands tangle in her hair and his lips fold over hers.

She finds her hands tugging on the strands of his hair, her back arching into him, and as he snakes his hand along the hem of her shirt she moans. Their tongues wrap together and wrestle his hands fisting into her hair and pulling her closer. Bella is surprised to find he tastes sweet, minty, with just a small trace of cigarette. It's addictive and she finds herself wanting more.

His mouth leaves hers, trailing down from her lips to her ear where he nibbles the soft flesh there. She can feel her knees buckle and his arms wrap around her, his gentle groan filling the air as she nuzzles the open expanse of his neck. He looks conflicted as he pulls away and she is concerned for a moment until he begins to mutter under his breath.

"Not here, not in public, shall we take this someplace more private?"

Silently she nods, his eyes hooding at the action as he takes her hand and leads her down the empty rows towards an old beat up convertible. He steels himself for a moment before pressing her against the car, their mouths tangling together once more. He pulls away hesitantly before opening her door and helping her get settled.

-

The drive is short and quiet only building the tension between them. He maneuvers the roads expertly, as if he has taken this path several times before. The thought doesn't seem to bother her and as they pull into the clearing overlooking the city she could picture him coming up here to write, to think. Before he can even open his mouth to explain her hands are in his hair and her lips are meeting his. Pulling away for a moment he turns off the car and gets out, walking around to open her door.

Moments later they are lying on the hood of his car, the stars above them and the city below them. The air is a bit humid making her skin feel sticky, but as he puts his hands in her hair and pulls her closer, she can't seem to care. Her fingers find their way under his shirt, caressing first his back and then his chest. His hands copied her motions as his lips rained kisses down her neck and collarbone.

Soon his fingers slink lower and she can feel their roughness across her stomach, tracing her bellybutton before moving lower. His fingers find her center and he teases her for a moment before sliding a single digit into her. As she cries out for more, he adds another and begins to move them, quickly finding a rhythm.

Without further encouragement, clothes were removed and strewn across the ground. The breeze from the night cooled Bella's heated skin and was a dire contrast to the heated metal that lay below her. Edward's hands traced her curves of her body, grinding his flesh against hers, and causing her to moan desperately as she begged him to move faster. Nipping at the flesh of her breast, he moved forward slipping into her before crashing his lips with hers.

"You're beautiful," he whispered against her cheek, her lips. They moved together, skin to skin, and Bella felt like her body was on fire with each passing moment. The cool of the air combined with the heat of the car and their bodies created a pleasurable contrast that only seemed to make each movement more intense.

He plunges into her, his grunt and her cry echoing through the trees and up into the night sky. The feeling of the metal gracing her back, his hands skimming her body, and the steady thrust of his body into her sends her over the edge as her breathing rockets out of control.

For a moment her body trembles, then convulses, and he thrusts into her one last time before he releases. His moan echoes back and resounds in her head. For a moment they stay still, keeping the connection as the aftershocks filter through their bodies. Then ever so slowly he pulls away, his breathing just as out of control as her own.

Edward rolls to the side, cradling her against his shoulder and nuzzling her head with his nose and mouth. For a moment they are silent and then softly, ever so softly, his lips caress hers and their tongues meet once again.

The stars above them shine brightly and she is distracted by their beauty and magnificence, it is only then that she hears the soft music emanating from the car stereo and into the clearing.

Quiet nights of quiet stars quiet chords from my guitar
Floating on the silence that surrounds us.
Quiet thoughts and quiet dreams quiet walks by quiet streams
And a window looking on the mountains and the sea, how lovely
This is where I want to be here with you so close to me
Until the final flicker of life's ember.
I who was lost and lonely believing love was only
A bitter tragic joke, have found with you, the meaning of existence, oh my love.
(Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars- Frank Sinatra)

In that moment nothing else existed, nothing but them.