A/N…This is my first attempt at an AH/AU story. I'm from Florida, so it's based here.
Quick run down…Edward and Bella were friends in high school, but found love just before he went away to college. They haven't seen each other in 6 years. Will the lie she told him change everything when he finds out? Has years of struggle made a change in Bella?
This is rated M…for lemons and language and drug use…I don't own these characters, but you know that…
"You're going, Edward," Alice snapped, picking up my clothes from the floor. "You won't win this, so don't even try." She tossed my things into an open suitcase.
"Ali, please," I whined, sitting on the end of the bed, my pounding head resting in my hands.
A bottle of aspirin landed in my lap. "Edward, you're my brother…and I love you, but you aren't doing this anymore," she said, standing in front of me with her hands on her hips. "So what if Lauren cheated?" She asked, raising an eyebrow at my growl. "It's not like you were Mr. Innocent…does Ashley ring a bell?" She asked, tapping her tiny foot. "Lauren treated you like an accessory, she was a bitch. Good riddance," she said, turning around and throwing more stuff around my room.
"Serves you right, losing your job," she continued, walking into my bathroom and scooping up my toothbrush and cologne. "What the hell were you thinking, sleeping with your boss' daughter?"
"I know," I sighed, giving in to her. She was right, about all of it. "What have I done, Ali?" I groaned, lying back down on the bed.
She sighed, coming back in the room and sitting next to me, running her fingers through my hair. "You screwed up, that's it. We've all made mistakes, but you lost sight of what's important in life, Edward." She was quiet for a moment. "You've been in this apartment for weeks, you barely eat, and your drinking is starting to scare me. Please come with me, Edward. You have to go."
I couldn't say no to her, I never have been able to. She was my best friend, my sister, my twin and she was so right. "Fine, Ali," I said, sighing and sitting back up with a groan.
She took the aspirin from me and opened the bottle, shaking a few into my hand.
"Here," she said, handing me a bottle of water before rising from the bed. "I'll make you some coffee."
I sat there wishing the aspirin would take effect immediately, thinking about how I screwed up everything. I had graduated from NIU with honors in Marketing and Design. I worked my way up through Jensen and Mallory for two solid years. As soon as I thought I was comfortable, I was taken in by Lauren Mallory. She was hot, unintelligent and swore she wouldn't tell her father. We even moved in together, her dad eventually finding out. When I came home early one day, I caught her with a guy from the mail room on my couch. Bitch. When Mr. Mallory found out I tossed his daughter out on her sweet ass, he let me go immediately.
Alice was also right, I wasn't innocent in our relationship. Ashley was a secretary for the fourth floor and we ran into each other at the bar up the street. One thing always leads to another when alcohol is involved. I'm an idiot.
"Here, Edward," Alice said, bringing me a steaming mug. "Cream and sugar."
"Thanks," I said, wrapping my hands around its warmth. "Where are we going?"
"Florida," she said, smirking. "You're staying the whole summer with me."
"Whatever," I sighed, "I guess I have the time now. How are they?"
"Jasper is fine…he says he misses me," she smiled. "Emmett's dating a girl, Rose, I think…says she's the one." I snorted, remembering the Emmett I knew. "Bella is, well, Bella…" She stopped, looking at me.
"What does that mean?" I asked, closing my eyes to the pounding in my brain and sipping more coffee.
"Bella's busy, she stays that way," she said, getting back up to finish packing for me. "She teaches now, during the year. And on her breaks, she helps the boys with the inn." She snickered, "They hate the summer, she makes them clean the place from top to bottom, repainting and everything before the first guest gets there." I smiled, thinking she's still the same old Bella…she can get her brothers to do anything. "Last I heard, she was dating a guy named James, but Jasper and Emmett hate him."
"Of course they do," I snorted. "They've watched her like a hawk ever since they moved in with her and Charlie."
"Not close enough," Alice mumbled, rolling her eyes at me.
Charlie Swan was the Chief of Police in Forks, Washington, where we all grew up. He was divorced, raising Bella on his own.
He was called to the house of a home invasion and the scene was a mess. Emmett McCarty and his half brother Jasper Whitlock had come home to their parents murdered and no place to go. Emmett was eleven and Jasper was ten.
Charlie took them in temporarily at first, but it ended up a permanent situation due to Charlie's big heart. Ten year old Bella Swan found herself with two brothers who grew to love her fiercely. From middle school and on, Alice and I were inseparable from them. We were always together.
When we graduated, we all went our separate ways. Alice and I were both accepted to NIU, Emmett and Jasper moved to Seattle to work for a construction company. Bella was left behind and heartbroken about it.
Bella eventually went to Florida to be with her mom, ending up at her grandmother's. Renee was not exactly a prime candidate for Mother of the Year. She had a host of problems and tried to drag her daughter along with her. Bella having no patience for any of it, stayed with her grandmother, eventually inheriting a large home on Anna Maria Island after her death.
Bella called her brothers and they joined her, turning the home into a fairly successful inn. They have all lived together since.
All of this I have learned through Alice. I've thought about her every day, but it's just too painful to contact her. Somehow, Jasper and my sister have maintained a long distance relationship this whole time without complaint. Alice was in school for some time, for fashion. She wanted to be a buyer. She was just now finishing up her internship with a company and was now free to come and go.
"Did you say she was teaching?" I asked, looking at her rummage through my underwear drawer.
"Yup, her grandmother paid for school," she said, looking at me. "Em and Jazz take care of the place most of the time. She comes in on the weekends and holidays, staying the summer."
"When do we leave?" I asked, looking at my hands. My brain was a little more awake.
"As soon as you are packed," she said, zipping up one of my bags. "I added you onto my flight and Bella's saving you a room." I looked up at her. "She was shocked you were coming, calling you the 'Elusive Edward Cullen.' I think she's a little upset with you." She snorted and turned away.
I rolled my eyes, but I knew if Bella was upset with me, then there was a good reason for it. There was no telling what it could be.
The summer before I left for college, I begged her to come with me and Alice. We had plenty of money and room, but Bella wouldn't hear of it. She was well aware that Charlie couldn't afford it. I had fallen hard for her that summer, but she broke up with me. She was still the most beautiful girl I had ever met, no one I have met since could compare to her.
After I left, I made no effort to keep in touch with hardly anyone, especially Bella. I only heard about her through Alice and her contact with Jasper. Alice and Bella continued to be friends, seeing each other when Alice would join Jasper on holidays.
"I was busy, Alice," I whined, getting up and starting to help her pack.
"Don't tell me," she snapped, taking things from my hands. "You can explain to them why you weren't there when Charlie died," she growled, glaring at me.
"Oh, God," I groaned, leaning against my dresser, "I forgot about Charlie." I watched her flit through my room like a fairy.
"Of course you did!" She glared at me. "You forgot about a lot of things. Your girlfriends' character traits are starting to rub off on you…Lauren's shallowness, Jane's vanity, Tanya's drinking…" She stacked more stuff in my second bag and turned around to me. "Karma's a bitch, Edward," she pointed at me. "It's time to take a step back and reassess your life. You used to be sweet and kind and a gentleman, when did you lose that shit?" I didn't have an answer for her.
"But, you are still my brother, that will never change. You used to laugh and have friends…you used to care about people!" She must have been holding this in for some time. She was really letting me have it. "You have really changed and I don't like it. I want my brother back and if I have to drown you in the Gulf of Mexico to get him, I will!"
"You need to find love, real love, your other half," she said, folding her arms across her chest.
"Aw, Alice, don't give me that true love bullshit! It doesn't exist," I rolled my eyes. "You watch too many movies."
"The hell it doesn't," she huffed, "Look at Jasper and I, we found it. You had it and you pushed it away."
"Not this again," I groaned, "Fuck, Alice. How many times do I have to tell you? Bella broke up with me that summer."
"So you think," she said knowingly.
"Whatever," I sighed, waving her off. "You weren't there. She told me to go, that she didn't want me." I stripped my shirt off and headed towards the bathroom.
"I don't know, Edward, I think she needs us," she said, tilting her head, her voice was sad. "Jasper says she works too hard, plays less and that she just isn't the same…" She looked up at me and I could see worry in her eyes. They had been the best of friends and still talked just about daily, but they hadn't seen each other in months. "Go shower, Edward, you stink!" she groaned.
I laughed, shaking my head at her pinching her nose and waving her hand.
"Bells?" Jasper called, coming into my office. "Em and I are taking your truck for the supply run. You need anything?"
I shook my head no. "Ali called. Sorry, I thought you were gone already," I sighed, staring at my pen making endless circles on my desk pad.
"What's wrong? What did she say?" Jasper sat down in the chair in front of my desk. No one could read my mood like he could. "She's still coming, right?"
"What? Oh, yeah, her flight is at two o'clock," I said, waving him off. "She called to reserve another room…Edward's coming with her."
"No!" Jasper gasped, his mouth hanging open. "Oh, baby girl, are you ok with this?"
"Yeah, we're all grownups now, right?" I snorted, "I mean it was like six years ago, we were eighteen for God's sakes," I shrugged, feigning indifference, knowing it wouldn't work on him.
"Yeah, but…" Jasper worried.
"Jazz, it's fine…I'll be fine. We were flirty with each other, there wasn't anything more," I lied to him.
"You keep telling yourself that, Bells, maybe one day you'll believe it," he said, standing, "but, I know what happened that summer," he raised an eyebrow at me. "I talk to Alice too, remember?" He asked, snickering at my scowl. "We'll be back in a few, ok?" I nodded as he kissed the top of my head.
I was fucking kidding myself and I knew it. At one time, Edward meant more to me than the air I breathed, but no one knew about it. I was good at hiding it, good covering up our flirtatious behavior. He never knew I meant every touch and that just the sound of his voice would start my heart pounding.
It all changed the summer before he and Alice were supposed to go away to college…
"Come on, Edward," I slurred, "give me one more!" He laughed as I launched myself across his body, trying to reach the beer on his nightstand. He smelled divine…like beer, soap, tobacco and another delicious scent that was purely Edward.
"I think you're done," he snickered, wrestling me back against the headboard. We were in his room. Jasper and Alice were off alone together as always. "Jasper's gonna kick my ass if he finds out I got you drunk."
I folded my arms across my chest, pouting. "Jasper!" I scoffed. "Between you, him and Emmett, I've never had one decent date in high school. I was a leper. Wasn't it bad enough my dad was the chief of police? You three had to go and make it worse by chasing every guy off." We had all been friends since the seventh grade and all three of them made it their life's mission to protect me from anyone they didn't like.
"None of those guys were good enough, Bella," he growled. "Mike's a twisted fuck and Tyler practically date raped every cheerleader on the squad. We couldn't let you get hurt…you were too good for them." He ran his hand through his ever messy hair nervously.
"Just give me another beer, Edward," I said, fighting tears. "Now, that we're all done with school, you're all leaving me…just let me have this. Jasper's moving to Seattle with Em to work for that construction company. And now you and Ali are going to Chicago. What's difference is a beer gonna make?"
His head snapped up at the emotion in my voice. "Come with us," he said, picking up my hand.
"You know Charlie can't afford to send me to college and I can't leave him by himself," I sighed, turning my head away from him. It was killing me, the thought of them all leaving me, especially Edward. He may not have felt the same way about me as I did him, but I would have taken whatever he would have given me…he was still a good friend. And Alice, my best friend, she was going too…I didn't know what I was going to do when they all left me.
"So? My parents will take care of you," he said, "you can live with us." That's not the answer I was looking for. I didn't want to be charity for them. I felt that way around them most of the time as it was.
"I can't and you know it, it's not right," I sniffled, shaking my head. I looked back up at him. His face was sad as he looked down at my hand.
"What are you going to do?" He asked, tracing the lines of my palm.
"What? Now that we've graduated and you and my brothers are leaving me a virgin social outcast and my best friend and stylist is going with you?" I asked, snickering.
His face shot up into my favorite crooked grin, my heart breaking just looking at him. "Yeah," he laughed.
"Get a job, I guess," I shrugged.
"And your virginity?" He laughed nervously.
"Shut it, ass!" I said, smacking his shoulder. "Now that I'll be alone, maybe I can actually date!"
"Don't you dare give it to just any random guy, Bella!" He snapped, his emerald eyes darkening. "You're better than that!"
"Give me a damn beer and drop it," I said, rolling my eyes. "No one wants it anyway," I laughed.
"I do," he whispered, looking back at me.
I gasped, "No, you don't. You're just drunk." My heart was pounding at the way he was looking at me. We played around a lot, flirting and wrestling, but I was sure none of it meant anything on his side. He had tons of girls following him around. But, he was pushing the boundaries at this point. "You're saying things you don't mean," I breathed, starting to get up.
"Bella, please, wait," he begged, holding my hand to keep me on the bed. "I'm sorry. I know we fuck around a lot, but I just didn't know if…"
I stared at him for a moment, waiting for him to finish, but he didn't. "If what? If I meant any of it?" I asked, wondering if I was just about to make the biggest mistake of my life. He nodded, looking up at me. Throwing all caution to the wind, ignoring the screaming warning in my head that this was going to hurt, I said, "Every word."
Before I could blink, he pulled me to him, both of his hands on each side of my face. His eyes were staring into mine, his lips just centimeters away. "Please, Bella," he whispered. Knowing this wasn't going to turn out well, that my heart would shatter when it was over, I couldn't say no. I had loved him far too long, wanted him for as long as I could remember. I nodded, closing my eyes at my own stupidity.
When his lips met mine, it was like a current of electricity surged through us. With a gasp, we melted together. His hand wove into my hair, turning my head to deepen the kiss. We moaned when our tongues met, my body instinctively pressing to his.
He was still leaning against his headboard, his long legs stretched out in front of him. He pulled me closer and I climbed into his lap, straddling his thighs. His other hand was ghosting from my waist to my hip, settling on my ass. He squeezed, causing me to grind into him.
I groaned, my mouth breaking from his. He kissed down my neck, his tongue making torturous swirls against my skin. My hands fisted in his hair as his slipped under my shirt.
He pulled back, looking at me. "Should we stop?" His voice was pained, his eyes were full of something I had never seen before.
"We should, but I don't want to," I said, my breathing unsteady.
"Me either," he breathed, lifting my shirt over my head. "God, you're fucking perfect," he whispered, his hands sliding over my stomach and around to my bra clasp.
When my breasts fell free, I gasped. My head fell back when his hands cupped me, causing me to grind into him again. I reached for the bottom of his shirt. He lifted up so I could pull it over his head, tossing it on the pillow next to us. He was flawless, perfect. He was lean, smooth skin over tight muscles.
He wrapped his arms around me, skin meeting skin, and we both groaned. His lips met mine, his tongue dragging across my bottom lip, begging for entrance.
Edward rolled us, the kiss never breaking, and I found myself pinned under him. My legs instantly wrapped themselves around his waist. He ground his hips into me and I gasped, my head pressing into the bed.
He trailed his lips down my neck to my chest, his tongue flicking over my nipple. "Oh, God," I breathed, my back arching up off the bed. He hummed against my skin and my fingers dug into his back. "Edward, please," I begged, the friction we were creating was not enough. I was writhing underneath him.
He sat back and I missed his weight immediately. His hands were at my jeans, his eyes asking silent permission. I nodded, lifting my hips as he pulled them off along with my underwear. "Jesus," he breathed, his eyes closing, "beautiful," he murmured.
His face looked pained as his eyes traveled over my body. His palms were flat, ghosting over my thighs. My breathing was heavy when he hovered back over me, planting his elbow by my head. "Can I touch you?" He whispered, kissing my cheek. I nodded, closing my eyes to the feel of his tongue behind my ear.
Edward's fingers lightly grazed against the hair at my apex and I shivered at his touch. When his fingers swept through the wetness of my heated core, my hips raised off the bed and I buried my face in his neck. I cried out his name when he slipped a finger in, his thumb gliding slowly over my sensitive bundle.
He kissed me as he slipped another finger in and I gripped his hair, pulling him closer and swirling my tongue with his. His thumb made tight circles over my nub, causing a fire to burn in my stomach. "Come on, baby," he said, breaking from my mouth. There was a slight smile on his face as he pressed his thumb just right and I shattered under him. My breaths were short bursts as I clenched around his fingers. He kissed me again, laying more of his weight on me. "That's my girl," he crooned, smiling and kissing my forehead.
I sat up, unbuttoning his jeans, shoving them over his ass. He kicked them off, reaching into his nightstand and pulling out a foil package.
"You don't need it," I whispered, "I'm on the pill." I had been since I was fifteen. My periods were never right.
My hand was shaking as they lightly touched him. He was big, though I didn't know exactly what I expected. I had fantasized about him so much that what we were doing almost didn't seem real. His head fell back and his body stilled when I wrapped my hand around him. "God, Bella," he breathed, looking back at me. "That feels so good, you can't possibly imagine."
He kissed me again, pushing me back down and pressing his weight back on me. He rested his forehead to mine, breathing heavily. "Are you sure you don't want to stop?" He asked, closing his eyes.
"Don't stop," I breathed, wrapping my legs around him again.
"Hold my hand, baby," he said, linking our fingers together. "It's going to hurt," I nodded, knowing he was right, but I wasn't scared. "Squeeze if you need to."
With his head still pressed to mine, he positioned himself at my entrance. He pushed in slowly, his beautiful mouth hanging slightly open. I squeezed his hand at the slight stretching of him filling me. I gasped when he broke me. "I'm sorry," he said, finally all the way in. "You ok?"
I nodded, my breathing shallow. When he moved inside of me, I forgot all the pain. He was gorgeous above me, kissing my forehead, my face.
"You're so beautiful," he said, kissing my neck, "I've always wanted you like this," his rhythm picking up. We were both covered in a sheen of sweat, our bodies gliding against each other.
"Me too," I gasped, my eyes rolling back as he reached between us and circled his thumb over my sensitive nub.
With his words, his touch, the feel of his cock filling me, a crack opened in my stomach and I shattered around him, tears welling up in my eyes. I felt Edward tense above me, his arms flexing. "Oh, God," he breathed as he came in me. He wrapped his arms around me, trying to keep his weight off of me.
He brushed my hair from my face, wiping a tear away with his fingers. "Are you ok, love?" He asked, rolling to the side.
"Want to talk about it?" Rose asked, breaking me from my memory. I wiped a tear away, looking out the window. "Em said you might need it."
I snorted, shaking my head. "You get to meet Alice tonight," I sighed, watching her sit down in the same chair Jasper had sat in. "And her brother, Edward."
"So, I hear," she said, keeping her eyes on me. When Emmett started dating Rosalie Hale, I thought she was the meanest woman I had ever met, but it was just a wall she put up around herself. She was sharp witted and put up with zero bullshit. She's was actually one of the closest friends I'd ever had. "I know about her…tell me about him, tell me why your brothers are worried."
"They are worried," I snorted bitterly, "because Edward was the reason I came to Florida." I told her about my love for him, my summer before he left. "I loved him, Rose, more than I can tell you, but he was going to throw his future away for me," I frowned, shaking my head. "I didn't get that opportunity, I wasn't going to let him blow his. So, I ended it…telling him thanks, but see you around."
"Killed you to do it, didn't it?" Rose asked, tilting her gorgeous blond head at me. "Lie to him, I mean."
"Like nothing I've ever felt before or since. If you could have seen his face, Rose," I closed my eyes, shaking my head. "He was so…mad and hurt, but I knew he would have hated me eventually if he stayed. I left Forks right after that, because no one else was there…nothing left but memories. I couldn't even stay with Charlie, which was my intention to begin with. That and Renee said she was stable and needed me." I snorted, rolling my eyes.
"Ha! Renee stable?"
"Right…exactly." I laughed bitterly. Renee was never stable, having had a drug and alcohol problem for as long as I could remember. It was the reason that Charlie divorced her, taking me.
"What are you going to do, Bells? I mean, can you handle this?"
"I hope so," I sighed, closing my eyes. "Jasper and Emmett think I still have feelings for him, that's why they worry. They just don't want to me to get hurt."
"Probably, on some level," I paused, thinking, "I compare every man to him, still."
"Is that why James' shit is in the garbage?" She laughed.
"James' shit is in the garbage because he's a liar and a cheat!" I growled. "He was sleeping with some nineteen year old living in Sarasota."
"No fucking way! How'd you find that out?" She gasped.
"Emmett," I laughed, "he went over to his apartment to pick up my laptop and found him with this dumb bitch in his bed."
"So that's why Em's knuckles are bruised!" Rose's laughter filled the room.
I snickered, "Yes, ma'am…you've gotta love my brothers. Come on," I said, standing, "I need to get the bar ready for tonight."
My grandmother died four years ago, leaving me this huge house. It sits right on Anna Maria Island. She had lived there her entire life, having paid it off long ago.
When I had left Forks, my heart was broken over the decision I had to make. I tried to live with Renee. She was sober at the time, but it lasted all of three weeks. When her money ran out, her drugs ran out, and she hit the streets again.
I came to live with Charlie's mother. It was stable and loving, and she even put me through college. Alice had begged me to join them in Chicago at this point, but it had been so long. Edward was seeing a girl named Jane and I was dating the disaster known as Peter.
My grandmother was the best thing that ever happened in my life. When she was dying of cancer, she changed everything into my name and I got it all, including the house.
I was lost without her and the first people I called were Jasper and Emmett. They flew down immediately and took a look around. "Bells, this should be a hotel or something," Emmett noted, walking from room to room.
"Yeah, sis, a bed and breakfast," Jasper mused, tapping on the walls. "We could do it, run it."
So they did. With the years of construction experience under their belt, they redesigned the whole building, adding a bar next door. They moved in with me, running it for me when I had class during the year and conceding every decision to me. They've been with me ever since.
"Bells, we're back," Emmett called from the doorway.
"Ok, I'm setting up the bar, boys," I yelled, pouring the ice into the bin.
"Hey, babe," Emmett smiled, kissing Rose when he walked in. "Looks good, sis."
"Yeah, it's done in here," I sighed, wiping my hands on my jeans.
"Bells, besides Alice and Edward," Jasper started, "how many we got this summer?"
"Um, hang on," I opened my laptop. "Alice is staying the whole summer with Edward, I assume…There's two girls coming tomorrow for two weeks, then an older couple after that for the rest of the summer. And a young couple for a weekend."
"That's cool, almost a full house, huh?" Emmett asked, smiling.
"Yeah, seems like it…now, I need to get four rooms ready," I groaned, turning towards the stairs. "Oh, and who's bartending with me tonight?"
"I am," Emmett smiled, "since Alice is coming in…Jasper wants time off."
I smiled at my brothers, "Good, Saturday nights are heavy. Jazz, you bring her by tonight, and Edward too…Rose is dying to see him." He nodded, smiling. Rose snorted, shaking her head. "When I'm done with the rooms, I'm going to try and sleep for a few, ok?" They all nodded.
I only opened the bar on the weekends. It didn't pay to keep it open the rest of the week. My bed and breakfast was beautiful, I was very proud of it. The inn itself had six rentable rooms and three permanent…those were mine, Jasper's and Emmett's. I tried to run it like a home, treating people to breakfast every morning, a buffet on Sundays. Technically, I took Sundays off after I cooked.
It didn't take long to set up a room, laying out towels and schedules. The sheets were already clean and beds were made, having made sure that was done yesterday. I cleaned mirrors and windows, straightened pillows and chairs. I was so lost in my work that I didn't even hear anyone sneak up behind me.
"I can finish that, Bells," Angela said, snickering when I jumped.
"Shit, Ang, you scared the fuck out of me!" I gasped, holding my chest.
"Sorry, you were quite deep in thought," she smiled. Angela Weber was my part time help…one of two actually. She came in to do laundry and some cleaning when she wasn't taking college classes.
"Yeah, I guess so…" I smiled. "Ok, four rooms…two are for tonight and they are done. Two for tomorrow…they still need to be done."
"No, problem," she shrugged, taking the rag from my hands and getting to work.
I sighed, feeling cranky and nervous. I walked down to my room and collapsed on my bed, almost falling asleep instantly.
"You'll like the island, Edward," Alice said, driving us from the Tampa airport.
"I'm sure, Ali," I sighed, staring out the window.
It was dark when we landed, so seeing anything other than lights over bridges was out. I could see black water, but not much else. My hangover had subsided, giving way to the reality of my situation. I was jobless, because I was stupid enough to fall for a girl that used me.
Lauren Mallory would take me out, showing me off. She would dress me, tell me what to order…all that was missing was the leash. I was her pet. Her cheating didn't bother me as much as the fact that she ran to Daddy about it, crying that I kicked her out, cheated on her. Which I did, but months prior to her and the mail room boy.
We pulled into a small parking lot in front of a huge house. Music was playing in the matching building next door. Opening the car door, the salty smell of the ocean hit my senses and I relaxed almost immediately. I looked up at the house and smiled. They had done a beautiful job on it.
"Alice," Jasper sighed in relief, meeting us at the front doors and swooping her up in his arms. "God, I missed you!"
"Me too, Jazz," she whispered, placing kisses all over his face. They truly had a special relationship.
"Eddie," Jasper smiled, "It's good to see you, man." He held his hand out and I took it, returning his smile.
"Jasper," I said, "this place is fantastic."
"It's all Bells," he smirked, shaking his head. "She runs it with an iron fist, I tell you." He laughed. "Come on, let's show you your rooms."
Between Jasper and I, we were able to carry all of Alice's luggage. He grabbed two keys from behind the desk and headed upstairs. The place had the feel of a home, not an inn. He opened the first room, saying, "Ed, this is yours, Alice is next door."
"Ok," I said, looking around. It was all palm trees and ocean prints, but tastefully done. I set my stuff down, looking out the window. It was still too dark to see anymore than the sand leading out to blackness.
"Edward, come here," Alice called, walking to her room. Her room was very similar to mine, but her tones were more blue than green.
"Ok, guys…I have to give you the run down…" Jasper explained, rolling his eyes. I chuckled at him, happy to see the friend I knew from years ago. "There's coffee, fruit and muffins every morning downstairs. Bells cooks a huge breakfast on Sundays, then takes off for the day. That's tomorrow, you don't want to miss that, it's amazing. Anyway, beach is right out the back door and you can go any time. Oh! And the bar…as you can hear, is open on the weekends only…Friday, Saturday, Sunday…Ok? And Bells wanted to see you, so we can go down when you're ready."
"She and Emmett are bartending tonight?" Alice asked, smiling.
"Yeah, she likes Saturdays…she and Emmett get loud. They like the younger crowd. We scared off the retired folk ages ago," he snorted. I must have had a look of confusion on my face, because he added, "You'll see, it's fun."
Alice looked to me and I shrugged. This was her show. I knew seeing Bella after all these years was going to be rough. I was a little nervous, but excited at the same time. Seeing Jasper brought back some old memories.
"I wanna see Bells," Alice squealed, jumping up and down.
"Ok, Ali," I chuckled, "let's go."
"Um, I want to change first. It's a beach bar, Edward," she frowned, looking me over. "You too, go change."
I sighed, rolling my eyes. Jasper snickered, "Some things never change, huh?" I shook my head no. Alice dressed us all in high school and me through college. She finally released me from her fashion clutches once I began wearing suits to work every day.
I walked in my room, closing the door. I changed quickly into a pair of khaki shorts and a white t-shirt. Donning my sneakers, I met Jasper out in the hallway. "Better," he snorted, "Welcome to Florida…there's not a dress code to be found…anywhere."
I laughed, "seriously?"
"Nope," he shook his head, "it's the most casual state I have ever seen. I think because it's so damn hot. You'll see. Tomorrow? It's supposed to be ninety five degrees with humidity of eighty five."
"Fuck," I groaned, laughing. "No wonder everyone wears shorts."
Alice joined us in a little sundress, as Jasper told her she was beautiful. We went back downstairs and through the side door. We were hit with music like a brick wall.
Saliva's "Ladies and Gentleman" was blaring, the bar was crowded. As tall as Emmett always was, I had no problem seeing his head above everyone else. He was behind the bar, smiling and clapping his hands in the air. "Ok," he yelled, "who's doing shots?" Several arms shot up in the air, clapping and cheering. "Along the bar, all of you," he commanded. "Bells, you ready?" With his hand in hers, she emerged on top of the bar.
My breath caught in my throat. She was still just as beautiful as ever.
She was smiling as she danced from one end of the bar to the other. She was in small denim shorts and a black t-shirt that said, "Bite Me". Her mahogany hair was down to the middle of her back in soft waves, pushed away from her face with a band. Her legs were long, muscular. Her smile was infectious.
When the song's chorus came… "Do you want it? Do you need it? Let me hear it!" She waved to the people in front of her. Emmett flicked a bottle of liquor up to her and she caught it deftly, spinning it in her hand. Everyone at the bar held up a shot glass and she tipped the bottle over, pouring into them and walking down to the end. The patrons were soaked in booze, but cheering for more.
"She could pour gasoline on them, they wouldn't care," Jasper snickered at my ear. I laughed, believing every word of it.
The song ended and Emmett helped her down. "Come on," Jasper urged, "she said she wanted to see you two." He grabbed Alice by the hand, pushing his way through the crowd at the bar. They were breaking away, heading back to their tables. He swung her up onto a stool and Alice squealed. I sat at the next stool.
I watched Bella work the bar, filling drinks, smiling with people. They loved her.
"Bells," Jasper yelled.
"Hang on," she called back without looking up. She was scooping ice into two glasses, pouring from two different bottles and crossing her arms. Dropping the bottles back into their spots, she picked up another one, filling the two glasses completely, running down to grab something from under the bar right in front of us.
She stood up and gasped, her eyes going wide. "Edward!" She cried before turning to my sister. "Alice!"
"Hey, Bells," Alice said, smiling.
"Hang on, guys," she smiled, holding up her finger, "give me a sec." She finished the two drinks with a slice of orange, sliding them both across the bar. She leaned over Emmett, listening to someone else's order and nodded, filling a mug with draft beer and handing it over.
She tapped Emmett on the back. "What?" He growled from under the bar, "I'm changing the keg now, Bells, damn."
"No, doofus," she laughed, "Look," she said, pointing to us.
"Eddie! Alice!" He beamed, standing up. "You made it in ok." He walked around the bar, giving me a handshake and a one armed hug. He swept Alice up in a huge bear hug, laughing when she squealed. "God, you guys look great."
"You too, Em," I smiled, "nice tan."
"Aw, hell, it happens here, whether you want it or not. Let me take the bar so Bells can see you. She'll never stop otherwise," he snorted, rolling his eyes. He walked over to her, taking the mug from her hands, and pointing to us. "Go!" He laughed.
She walked away from him and out from behind the bar. Alice was off her stool and in her arms before anyone could blink. "I missed you!" Alice cried and Bella kissed her head.
"Me too," she sighed. For the first time since we walked in, I saw the sadness in Bella's eyes. "Edward," she smiled beautifully, setting my sister down and walking into my arms. "It's good to see you."
"You too, Bella," I sighed, burying my nose in her hair. She even smelled the same. "You look fantastic," I whispered in her ear. Her blush and eye roll was my reward. I chuckled at herself deprecating manner.
"You're not so bad yourself, Edward," she winked at me. Some things never change.
"Are these the infamous Cullen's?" I heard behind me. I turned around to see a tall beautiful blond, giving me the once over before turning her gaze on my sister.
"Oh, Rose," Bella smiled, "this is Alice and Edward Cullen. Guys, this is Rosalie Hale, Emmett's girlfriend."
"Nice to meet you," I smiled, holding my hand out. She took it coolly, then looked at my sister.
"I've heard so much about you," Alice beamed. "It's nice to finally meet you." Rosalie's smile made the difference. Her face softened, allowing her to seem much friendlier.
"You too, Alice…Edward," she nodded. She turned to Bella. "Did I miss shots?"
Bella laughed. "Just the first one…we'll do another one in a minute. Get a table guys, let me bail Em out." She turned to both of us. "What do you guys want to drink? It's on me."
"That thing you made me last time," Alice giggled. Bella smiled and nodded.
"Beer's fine, Bella," I smiled, shrugging.
"Ok, go sit."
We followed Rose to a table in the corner. Emmett bounded over to us, "Hey, babe," he smiled, kissing her quickly and then ran off. The way they looked at each other told me everything. They were head over heels for each other.
"Here you go," Bella said, setting my beer down. "And a Slippery Nipple," she laughed as I snorted into my beer, looking over at Alice.
"Yeah, I knew it was something like that," Alice laughed. Jasper chuckled, kissing her head.
I watched Bella for a few minutes behind the bar, when I heard Rose ask, "So, Edward, what do you do?"
"Right now, nothing," I snorted, shaking my head. "It's a long story, but I'm between jobs." A slow song came on and Jasper pulled Alice away from us, wrapping her up on the dance floor. "When I did work, I was in advertising."
"Are you staying the whole summer?" She asked over her beer.
"Yeah," I nodded, "Alice wants the time with Jasper and she says I need a break. I am beginning to think she's right," I said, watching Bella smack the hand away from a guy who was trying to touch her. I found myself frowning at the sight, until Emmett came from behind the bar, whispering something in the man's ear. His face went white and he nodded.
"Emmett says you were all friends in high school. Does she look the same?" She asked.
"Better," I smiled without thinking or taking my eyes from her. I looked up at her and saw she was smiling, "Sorry, it's been a while since I've seen her."
"You know," she smirked, looking me in the eye, "this may prove to be one interesting summer."
Rose and I chatted for some time. I found out that she owns a car restoration shop around the corner, specializing in high end cars. I wouldn't have guessed it about her, but I imagine that it was just one more thing that Emmett loved about her.
"Here, Edward," Bella said, sitting with us and setting another beer down. "Rose, shots are on in a sec…Em wants to do the stool shots." She smirked, shaking her head. "You want to try it?" Bella asked me.
"What's the shot?" I asked, looking up at Emmett lining up stools.
"Jaeger," she snickered, grabbing my hand. "Come on, you two…Ali, shots!" She called over to my sister.
She sat us all in a row on bar stools. There were two men on the end, Rose, Alice and then me. Starting the song "You Shook Me All Night" by AC/DC, she raised an eyebrow to Rose, who laughed, shaking her head. She waved to Emmett for the bottle and he tossed it to her, smiling and nodding to the music. Standing up on the stool with the first man, she tilted his head back with her hand and he opened his mouth. She poured the liquor straight in his mouth, making sure that she spilled some on his face. She laughed as he sputtered. She did the same to the next man.
With Rose, she tossed the bottle to Emmett who came up behind her, tilting her head back for a long kiss, earning cheers from the crowd. She left her head back, opening her mouth. He laughed, pouring liquid into her mouth. He kissed her again, laughing as she smacked his arm.
"Ready, Ali?" Bella asked, taking the bottle from Emmett. Alice nodded, smiling. Bella tilted her head back, "Open up," she laughed. Alice was giggling too hard. When she finally opened up, she sputtered with the amount that Bella had poured in.
Coming up to me she looked me up and down. "Did you get taller?" She asked, standing between my legs on the rung of the stool.
"Yeah," I smirked at her. "One last growth spurt."
She raised an eyebrow at me. "Open, Edward," she smiled, tilting my head back. She leaned into me, her fingers on my jaw, pouring the black liquid into my mouth. "Was that growth spurt everywhere, Edward?" She whispered into my ear, snickering as I choked on my shot.
"Want to find out?" I asked, raising my eyebrow. She laughed, hopping down from my stool.
What was I doing? It was like no time had passed between us. She was dangerously sexy and her flirtation was just like it was in high school. Maybe Rose was right, this was going to be an interesting summer.
A/N…Ok, so there's my first chapter…please let me know what you think. I will try to post quickly.
I want to thank Brits23 for her awesomeness and beta work…she rocks…go check out her story Show and Don't Tell! It's really good.
Ok, I need reviews…this is important to me.