Summary: Preternaturally irresistible, devastatingly charming Edward Cullen seems to have some strange power over the females in Forks… and Bella Swan is scared she might know just what it is. M for suggestive and sexual language. AU or AH. we'll see.
A/n: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. However, I, under the penname listed above, do own this story, plot and its variations. I prefer it not to be plagiarized and thank you in advance.
A Few Months Earlier…
Bella Swan was a neophyte to the world of men but desperate to get her toes (among other things) wet. Her mother was always flitting from one man to another, telling Bella how wonderful it was to feel wanted, desired by someone. Bella hadn't been able to stop thinking of men and sex since her mother had sat her down last week to give her "the talk." Only Renee Higginbotham's version was to hand Bella an article from the New York Times that claimed up to 50% of women never climaxed from sex and as many as 10% never had an orgasm at all. This terrified Bella far more than the actual prospect of sex and she had spent days thinking about it. It was so unfair. Guys always got theirs; why should girls be any different?
Granted, Bella didn't really know what she was talking about. She was still inexperienced but had recently come into her looks. She was attractive but not in the staggering, commanding manner of her friend, Rosalie. Nor could her beauty be compared to that of aesthetic, artistic Alice, the final member of their trio. She was in the upper echelon of the "girl next door" bracket, due to her slim figure, soft brown eyes and seraphic face. She knew she was pretty but there was nothing interesting about her looks, nothing that would catch the attention of someone like Rick Eleazar or… Jasper Whitlock, who was currently sitting on top of his table, pulling on the hem of Kate Beckett's top to reveal more cleavage. She swatted him away playfully and ineffectually and he leered at her, a knowing grin on his face. They shared a moment of pulsing, heated eye contact before clasping hands and leaving study hall together.
Bella sighed. It wasn't as if she liked Jasper. She didn't even know him. But ever since Renee had told her those statistics, she'd been appraising every guy in school to see whether the girls he would be with would ever fall into that 10%. Jasper Whitlock? Unlikely. His success rate was probably 110%. She could imagine that he knew what he was doing, could imagine that right now he and Kate were probably heading to the projector room behind the gym…
"And—I mean, what topic do you want to do, Bella? Bella?" Edward followed Bella's gaze and saw the departing figures of Jasper and Kate. He sighed. Every time Bella and Edward had met to do their project in the last few days, her head had been in the clouds. She was always staring at other couples or guys around the school as if trying to decipher some secret. Especially at Jasper. As a result, they had fallen way behind on their Myths and Legends project in History. "Bella!"
"What? Oh I'm sorry, Edward. My head has been all over the place lately," she said. She looked at the boy in front of her as he used his index finger to push his glasses up his nose. The frames were so thick and the lens so small she could barely see his eyes. His fingernail was chewed and bitten and as he exhaled, a dull piece of his odd-colored hair flew up and then rested back on the corner edge of his mouth. Oh, he was definitely one of the 10% guys. That is, if he had ever even been with a girl. Which led Bella to think of another one of her problems. She had the sneaking suspicion that Edward was going to ask her out.
It wasn't that Bella didn't like Edward. No, he was nice and polite but there was nothing beyond that exterior. He hardly ever spoke more than he needed to, didn't really have any friends and always chose to work alone on projects. Unless group work was mandatory, like in this one.
"So what do we want to research, Edward?" she asked.
"That's what I was just asking you, Bella," he replied. His tone was flat, his voice kind but lacking any real personality. She flipped through the library book she had in her hands and laughed when she opened to a particular chapter.
"What? What is it?" Edward asked. Bella looked at him. She didn't know whether he would find it amusing as well, but hell, she had never even heard him speak about anything outside of school. It might be fun to see his reaction.
"How do you feel about researching the legends of incubi and succubae?" she said, giggling. She watched as he turned a poached salmon pink, and a light sheen of sweat stole over his forehead.
"Umm… aren't, uhhh, aren't those the… sex demons?" he asked, stuttering over the words and nearly whispering the word 'sex.' Bella giggled.
"Yeah. Here, let me look it up," she said, observing Edward over the screen of her laptop as she typed in the search engine. "Wikipedia says 'An incubus is a demon in male form supposed to lie upon sleepers, especially women, in order to have sexual intercourse with them, according to a number of mythological and legendary traditions. Its female counterpart is the succubus.' Oh my." She giggled again and saw that Edward had turned a rather… puce color.
"You want to research… that?" he asked.
"It's an option. I mean, it is fascinating. It says incubi were sometimes blamed for pregnancies out of wedlock. Can you imagine? I'm sorry I'm lazy and couldn't make my guy wear a condom but I'm going to blame it on a demon that seduced me… in my sleep!" she said, laughing. Edward cracked a nervous smile. "It says here that these legends were often used to explain 'nocturnal emissions.' Well, at least they're not part of the 10%."
"Oh… I mean," Bella took a deep breath. She had to stop thinking about that article. It was spilling out into everything. Then again, Edward's reaction to the incubi suggestion was rather amusing. She wondered what his reaction would be if she imparted some of Renee's wisdom. Feeling bold, she asked, "Did you know that up to 10% of women never orgasm in their entire life?"
Edward slowly but surely turned scarlet. "Uhh… what?"
"It's true. I uh, read it in the New York Times. Can you imagine never feeling that in your entire life?" she looked at him pointedly.
"Oh… uh, I didn't know. Umm, I didn't know that was something that was a…. priority to you. At this point," Edward stuttered. It was Bella's turn to flush.
"Oh, I mean… it's not. I'm still a… I was just thinking about it. How it's unfair that guys always… but girls don't necessarily… you know," she said. Her thoughts were still much bolder at this point than she was. But Edward was looking at her strangely, as if to wonder why she was discussing sex with him when they never really talked about anything but school.
Suddenly, she realized what a mistake it had been bringing up this topic. Why the hell was she talking about sex and… orgasms with a boy who she suspected liked her and in whom she had no interest! Stupid, stupid Bella. Oh god. He was totally going to get the wrong idea unless she did damage control. She summoned up her inner Rosalie.
"You better be damn sure that when I…, "she faltered. Right now, she was Bellalie, an awkward, insensible mix of bold and shy. Still, she had to say this, lest Edward get the wrong idea. "It'll be with someone who knows what he's doing. Absolutely. I am not going to be one of those '10%ers'. I will make sure that my guy knows how to…. do things." Damn it, she was just Bella. No Rosalie in her. She dared to peek at Edward to see his reaction.
"And how… how would you know if the guy knew how to… do… things," Edward asked. Damn it, he was looking for an in. Bella had to nip this in the bud.
"Girls talk, Edward," she said, bitchily eyeing him up and down. This was all Rosalie. It was slightly cruel, but no crueler than having to say no if he asked her out. Which she would have to. Despite her bravado, she meant what she was saying. She really did want someone who knew what they were doing, since she so clearly didn't. Edward had deflated slightly but recovered.
"And this has what to do with our project?" he asked, warily.
"Oh nothing… just that, according to these legends at least with the incubus, you're guaranteed a good time, y'know? You'd have to believe that a… sex demon would know what he was doing," she said, trying to lighten the conversation. "Anyway, we don't have to do that. It was just an idea." He nodded in agreement.
She exhaled in relief that she had manage to deflect that whole situation. At least now Edward knew that she wouldn't ever say yes to him. At least now, Edward knew what she was thinking.
The only thing problem was she had no idea what Edward was thinking. What crazy, crazy things Edward was thinking.
thanks for reading!