A/N: So when The Fandom Gives Back Auction was announced and I signed up, Nelln was one of my first friends / readers to express interest in buying my services. Of course the auction started on EST and she lives on PST and the three one shots I offered up were gone in the first few minutes. So I offered up three more and Nelln got her wish.
All she asked me for was a Musicward, so here ya go sweets. I also know that she loves her L.A. Kings hockey team (although I am a Montreal Canadiens fan) so I worked that in for you. I hope you enjoy it. I was stumped on a few occasions, but my lovely beta MaggieMay14 assures me that it is good, so I believe her.
As per usual, I don't own Twilight but I do have plans to see New Moon again tomorrow with my beta.
The best day of my entire week was Wednesday. In fact, every other day I went through the motions and basically willed Wednesday to come quicker. It never did, but by the time the next Wednesday rolled around I had to try and pretend that I wasn't excited as hell about it. Cool was my middle name when Wednesday's rolled around. The rest of the week, I was just depressed
Wednesdays were when he showed up.
He was gorgeous with dark brooding green eyes, a prominent jaw line and intricately chiselled features. To top it off, he had a crazy mess of reddish brown hair that made him all the more appealing to me. My downfall was that I knew nothing about him. Oh, I knew that he liked to play guitar and he had a rather expansive tattoo on his back that I had seen merely by accident as I was taking out some trash behind the club and I caught a glimpse of him changing his shirt. God, how I wished he had been changing his pants instead, but the view I was afford of his taut muscular back covered in intricate scrollwork had been marvellous. I dreamed about that back for days on end, and the face that went along with it haunted my dreams since the first time I saw him over a year ago.
I had just moved to San Francisco and was eager to rid myself of any and all memories of my past back in Forks, Washington. My father was the small town police chief and I had lived under his watchful eye since the day my mother left when I was just five years old. It was just me and Charlie from that point on, but being the only daughter of a cop was not an envious position in my opinion. He was over-protective to a fault and when I expressed my desire to move away, Charlie was against it, as I knew he would be. Hurtful words were exchanged and even though it pained me to do it, I packed up all of my things that night and hopped into my truck, heading down the coast to the 'City by the Bay.'
I don't know why I always felt a pull to San Francisco. Perhaps it was the influence of my hippy mother, Renee, but regardless, when I arrived I felt like I was home. I had several thousand dollars which I had saved from my summers working at Newton's Outfitters in Forks and the few waitressing jobs while I was at college in Port Angeles, but I found myself burning through it quicker than I thought possible. Apparently living a sheltered life in a small town hadn't really prepared me for all the expenses of living on my own like rent, food, gas, power and everything else that came along with it.
When I got to the city, I quickly ended up finding an apartment with a roommate through a small local newspaper. I now lived with a vivacious little thing named Alice who was a student at UC Berkley and she helped me find my rather lacklustre job at 'Kings'. She was dating the DJ, Jasper, and with him as my reference, they quickly gave me a job waitressing as often as I wanted. So technically, I have Alice to blame, or thank depending on how you look at it, for my obsession with the guitarist who came every Wednesday and sang with the voice of an angel.
"Bella, wake the fuck up, table six looks thirsty," called my overbearing boss James, as I turned around and scowled at him for pulling me from my thoughts of my mysterious musician. Between him and the lousy tips, I often found myself wondering why the hell I worked here to begin with. "I don't pay you to stare off into space."
"Yeah, I know," I replied casually, not wanting to piss him off further. He was already in a foul mood because his girlfriend and the best waitress at the club had dumped him and quit two days earlier. The rumor floating around the club was that Rose had dumped James after being furiously pursued by Emmett Cullen, the eldest son of Carlisle Cullen, the CEO of Olympic Enterprises, one of the largest companies in the country.
"Are you going to do something about it or are you just planning to stand there?" he questioned, as his fingers tapped furiously along the bar top as he grew more frustrated with me, and I became annoyed.
"Actually, I am waiting for you to get me their drinks that I ordered a few minutes ago James," I said fiercely as he looked at me, embarrassment clouding his face as I repeated the order to him again. "Two Coronas', a Rolling Rock and a Vodka and Cranberry for the woman." James quickly set to work getting the drinks ready, clearly looking a bit anguished that he had yelled at me because of his own stupidity. Of course James would never apologize. It wasn't in his nature to say he was sorry, even if he was at fault. When he finally placed the drinks on my tray, I took them with ease and delivered them promptly to the table, getting propositioned by one of the guys before I turned on my heel and walked away after turning him down nicely. There was only one guy who I wanted to hit on me, and he was due to arrive at any moment. I knew this for a fact, because it seemed that as ten o'clock drew nearer each Wednesday night, my palms would get sweaty and I would lose all focus.
I took an order from another table, clearing off the empties before I headed back to the bar, where James was pouring some drinks for one of the other waitresses, Tanya. They were gossiping back and forth about Rosalie and her leaving, with James making snide remarks about how she would dump Emmett as soon as she found someone with more money or a larger cock than he had. I held back a snicker as James didn't realise he was insinuating that he had a small dick before I rolled my eyes, not interested in getting involved in their gossip, as I gave my drink order and waited patiently for James to finish. After I delivered the drinks back to the table I was serving, chatting amiably with the group of girls who were friends of the last performer, I turned around and walk right into a brick wall, my drink tray hitting the floor with a loud clang.
"I am so sorry," I began to apologize as I bent down to pick up the tray, before standing up to come face to face with my mysterious musician.
"No blood, no foul," he said sweetly, as he manoeuvred himself around me, his hand brushing up against my outer thigh as he headed towards the back room. I was frozen in place as my body shivered in reaction to his touch. It was so gentle and soft, a casual touch not done on purpose, but oh so tempting at the same time. I raised my hand slowly, as though I was about to say something epic, but I was met with silence. What the hell could I possibly say to the man who haunted all my dreams since the moment I first seen him?
I watched him from the corner of my eye for the next few minutes as he busied himself around the club and spoke affably to Jasper as though they were close friends. If they were close, why the hell had I never seen him outside of the club? Just then, the singer who was currently on stage finished his extremely mediocre version of 'Right Here Waiting' by Richard Marx, and my heart skipped a beat, because I knew he was next.
I could feel the electricity in the air as he took the stage, his acoustic guitar held firmly in his strong hands as he sat at the stool and fiddled with the microphone stand for a moment, bringing it closer to him. I couldn't stop watching his every movement.
"Evening everyone," he stated as the room grew silent under his forceful voice. God I wished that voice was saying different, more sensual things to me right now as I lay beneath his firm body. "I know it's hard to follow up such a stellar cover of Richard Marx, but let's see what we can do, alright?"
I watched a little too intensely as he launched into his first song, his fingers playing the guitar seemingly without any effort. His voice was strong and full of passion as he closed his eyes and let himself get taken over by the lyrics that he sang so soulfully I felt like he was singing to only me. When I blinked for a moment, I caught him staring right at me as he sang and I immediately felt myself getting turned on.
"Bella, table eighteen seems to be looking a little dry," said Tanya snidely as she walked past me, her eyes brimming with disdain as she made her way over to the bar to get her latest order filled. I pulled myself from my reverie, remembering that I was here to do a job, albeit reluctantly, and not ogle the fuckhot musician currently singing his heart out. I made my way over to the table I dreaded all night, filled with the same three usual drunken assholes. It was just my luck that every single week they requested to be served by me.
"Evening boys," I said with fake enthusiasm as the first, an awkward looking blonde guy named Mike eyed me up as though I was a piece of meat. "What can I get for you… the usual?" Yes, they came here so often I knew what each of them wanted. Mike wanted me, Eric had wanted Rosalie until he heard she no longer worked here and Tyler… well Tyler wanted Jasper.
"Your phone number," slurred Mike, who already seemed like he was half in the bag. It was the same situation every single time they showed up here. The three of them drank until James had one of the bouncers toss them out and call them a cab. They weren't the rowdiest guys to ever pass through the doors of Kings, but they were the most consistent.
"I actually forgot to pay the bill this month, so my phone was disconnected," I lied, trying to sound remorseful, even though I could tell Mike wasn't really buying it. My mind was distracted as my mystery singer segued into a rather soulful version of 'Everybody Here Wants You' by Jeff Buckley and my knees grew weak.
"I'll just have to leave you a big enough tip then, so you can change your mind," he added as he winked at me before ordering his Glenfiddich neat, which was such a pompous drink for a guy wearing a 49'ers jersey and ripped jeans. I knew he was trying to impress me, but there was no way I was going to fall for his sycophantic ways. Tyler and Eric took their sweet fucking time trying to decided what to order and I desperately wanted to smack them both over the head with my tray when they finally just ordered their usual White Russian and Appletini before I rushed back to the bar and placed their order.
As I waited, I looked back towards the stage and the room grew silent as he ran his fingers through his dishevelled mess of hair. When he opened his eyes, he looked downright sad while his gaze darted anxiously around the room, clearly looking for someone. It would be just my damn luck that he had a girlfriend or something, I groaned to myself internally. When I looked up again, he quirked a small smile and his eyes locked with mine. He was looking at me again.
"So I have some bad news... this is my last song and I don't just mean for tonight," he said through clenched teeth as my heart grew cold at this announcement. "I know some of you have been listening religiously for a year, but something has come up and this will be my last performance at Kings." I let out a fairly loud gasp and he did a double take, obviously having heard me. "Thank you for being such loyal fans and friends. Now, let's get this show on the road, for the last time."
Every single fibre of my being ached with the news that he would no longer be performing at Kings. Why the hell would I even want to stay here if he wasn't performing? I used to have ambitions of being an artist and doing things with myself other than being a waitress at a mediocre bar in the heart of the Haight District. He began playing the first chords of his last song just as James placed the drinks onto my tray and motioned for me to get back to my table.
I reluctantly crossed the room and let his voice overwhelm me as I steadied the tray, feeling somewhat shaky because I would miss this. I would miss him.
The show is over, close the storybook
There will be no encore
And all the random hands that I have shook
Will be reaching for the door
I watch their backs as they leave single file
But you stood stubborn, cheering all the while
I know I can be colorful
I know I can be grey
And I know this loser`s living fortunate
Cause I know you will love me either way.
I paused as I got to the table and out of the corner of my eye I saw that Mike noticed me watching the stage, my focus on the beautiful man clutching the guitar. Each lyric and note pierced my heart and I realized how much I would loathe coming to Kings without him here to keep me sane and fill my soul with music.
"I won't miss seeing him every week," Mike commented caustically, pulling me from my thoughts. I put their drinks down on the table a little too firmly as I watched Mike pull a twenty dollar bill from his pocket and rest it on my tray, apparently this was his way of getting my number and I wasn't having it.
"How long have you been coming in here Mike?"
"I dunno, a few months I guess," he replied with a shrug of his shoulders, before he quirked his eye brow at me, apparently curious as to where I was going with my questioning.
"And how many of those times have you asked me out?"
"Every time I come here."
"What makes you think that I would ever be interested after all those months of turning you down?" I retorted as Eric and Tyler started laughing across the table and Mike looked at them both with disdain before turning his face to me, his fury clear on his face. Apparently Mike didn't take rejection or embarrassment well.
"Well what the hell makes you think Edward Cullen would be interested in you Bella? You're a waitress at a shitty club and he's about to run a major fucking company," Mike snapped at me as I turned back to the stage and my jaw literally dropped as Mike's words hit me. "James doesn't want him playing here anymore because his brother stole Rosalie from him and everyone knows it. You can't tell me that you didn't know that the heir to Olympic Enterprises was the guy you lusted after every fucking week?"
My eyes grew wide as I watched Edward, both relieved and nervous now that I knew his name. He finished up his song and I heard Mike scoff from behind me as Edward wished everyone a good night and thanked them for listening to him indulge his musical side. I tried to ignore the sounds around me and maintain some semblance of cool, until I felt Mike grab my arm as I tried to walk away. I grabbed my tray defensively and turned around, my eyes red in anger and sadness. "What the hell?"
"Just so you know Bella, everyone here knows you want him. I'll be waiting when you realize he's out of your league," Mike stated forcefully as I wrenched my arm around from him and turned around, only to run face first with the brick wall known as Edward.
"Is everything alright over here?" he asked, his smooth yet confident voice calling attention to all of us, even Tyler, who I swear even sighed.
"Everything is fine," Mike replied as his eyes narrowed at Edward before he turned to me, a saccharine sweet expression on his plain face. "Isn't it?"
"Yeah, just fine, these boys were just looking for romantic advice and I was suggesting to Mike that he should reconsider his tactics of bullying or pressuring women into dating him," I replied snidely as I began to step away from the table and this time Edward grabbed my arm and led me away from them.
"Are you sure everything is alright?"
"Peachy keen, really. Now I have a few more tables to serve, so if you don't mind…" I pulled away, albeit reluctantly, from his grasp and turned my focus back to work. I moved onto my next table and before I realized it, I was heading home for the night, feeling empty as I left the club knowing full well that I wouldn't see him again.
When I got home the night of Edward's final performance, Alice was up and waiting for me, as though she anticipated something would happen. She curled up on the couch with me and listened as I poured my heart out about having feelings for Edward, even though I didn't know him at all and about how I felt unfulfilled in my life. I needed more; I deserved more than simply waitressing and making ends meet. I wouldn't even mind the struggle as much, if I was doing something I loved. Alice encouraged me and did her best to reassure me that everything would be fine if I followed my heart, so I did.
I worked the next week and when I walked in on Wednesday, knowing full well that I wouldn't see Edward, I decided to quit. Working there didn't hold the same desire for me as it had when I had first discovered his music. James was pissed, especially since he had just lost his two best waitresses within a one month span, but I couldn't have cared less. As I walked back to my apartment from Kings that night, I passed a newspaper stand which held the latest issue Business News Weekly, which had a photo of Edward on the cover, announcing his appointment as the new CEO of Olympic Industries, one of Seattle's largest employers. I paid my four dollars for the magazine and took it home with me, shamelessly reading the article four times before finally falling asleep on the couch with the magazine still clutched in my hands.
When I woke up the next morning, I had newfound vigor and determination. I pulled out my dusty old sketchpads, oil paints and canvases and set to work in the living room painting whatever came to mind. It had been almost a year since I had attempted anything even remotely creative, and as I converted the room into a makeshift art studio, I found myself happy for the first time in a long time. Alice encouraged me continually and on Friday night when she came home from work, she came bearing gifts; a proper easel and a large selection of watercolor paints from the Art store down the street from campus.
Nights turned into days and I found myself completely engrossed in my art. It seemed like I rarely ate, slept or dressed these days, opting instead to wear my same trusty pair of cotton shorts and paint splattered tank top, both of which had seen better days.
It was four days after the Fourth of July and San Francisco was suffering through a major heat wave. While I stood in the living room in the middle of the afternoon, wiping sweat from my brow as I worked on a portrait from my memory, Alice walked into the apartment, which caught me off guard. She wasn't alone.
"I'm sorry, I didn't know we were expecting company," I said as I stood in place and looked at Alice in frustration. Could she have picked a worse time to bring over a guest? "If you don't mind, I will just go clean up a bit."
"Bella, don't go anywhere. It's not like I brought him home to date you, I don't work for eHarmony," she laughed as I glared at her for a moment in confusion.
"How about I introduce myself," said the gentleman standing beside her in a rather expensive looking outfit. I didn't know much about fashion, with the exception of not wearing white after labor day, but he was dressed impeccably, that I was certain of. "My name is Laurent Desjardins and I run the Desjardins gallery down on Fulton." My mouth hung open for a second in shock. "I take it that you know of my gallery?"
"Yeah, I've been in a few times but of course there was never anything there I could afford," I said stoically as he nodded his head and gave me a rather charming smile.
"There are very few who can afford pieces from my gallery," he admitted casually as he started to walk around our extremely cluttered apartment, his eyes darting around to all the artwork which literally covered every surface and wall. "Anyways, Alice here is a friend of my little sister Heidi and the girls informed me of your talent. I'll get right to the point and tell you that at the beginning in August I am holding an exhibit for up and coming artists. I wasn't sure if you would be a fit for my gallery to be honest, but I want these four works from you." Laurent pointed at three very different paintings that rested around the room, and the unfinished portrait currently gracing my easel. I sat down on the nearest chair, honestly thinking I would puke if I didn't.
"You're kidding me right? This kind of shit doesn't just happen? I haven't picked up a paint brush in a year and suddenly my best friend has a gallery owner in my living room who wants me to be put in a show?" I panted nervously as I held my hands against my knees and lowered my head between my legs as I tried to calm down. I pinched myself rather hard and when I looked up, Alice and Laurent just stood before me smirking.
"I am not kidding. This is fun Alice, like I'm Ed McMahon with the Prize Patrol or something," he giggled as I looked up at him and couldn't help but break into laughter. "I'm not promising you the moon or the stars here Bella; just some wall space in a well known gallery for a few weeks. Nothing could come of it, or you could sell everything."
"Bella, isn't what this has been all about? All the savings from Kings is almost gone and as much as I love you to death, I can't afford your half of the rent, so you have to take a chance… just do it," Alice urged as I looked into her eyes and she was brimming with pride. I was pleased with some of the things I had painted, my favorites actually being the ones that Laurent had picked out for his show, but was I ready to part from them?
"I'll do it," I said with a slightly nervous sigh as Alice jumped over to me and wrapped her tiny little arms around my shaking body. If someone bought one of my pieces, I would seriously be thrilled, or throw myself in front of a streetcar, I'm not sure yet.
"You won't regret it Bella. I know the perfect thing you can wear to the opening night too," she gushed as I looked at her with even more trepidation. A gallery opening? How the hell was I going to make it through a gallery opening when I had paint permanently lodged under my finger nails, my hair looked like an utter disaster and I hadn't worn anything that wasn't cotton since I left Kings. Hell, even my underwear was all by Fruit of the Loom these days. I had no need and no one to impress. "Don't worry Bella. I can see the look of sheer panic on your face, but I promise I will take care of it."
So for the next three weeks, I surrounded myself in my art, finishing up the abstract portrait I was doing first before then doing a few more pieces that interested Laurent when he came with two members of his staff to pick up my four pieces for the show. Two days before the scheduled opening, Alice treated me to an early birthday gift, a day at a spa. I was able to relax somewhat, but as each moment passed, I got even more anxious about everything. This would really be a make it or break it moment for my career.
So on Friday night, I walked into the Desjardins Gallery feeling out of place in a rather form fitting black sleeveless dress with ruched sides and a large ribbon wrapped around my waist, accentuating my hips. My breasts were covered in ruffles and to top it all off, the shoes Alice forced me into were bound to make me break a leg. I hadn't worn anything this sexy or expensive in a very long time.
"You look great Bella, stop fidgeting," Alice scolded as I narrowed my eyes at her and let go of the hem of my dress which I had tried to tug down a bit so it wasn't exposing so much of my bare legs. "Seriously… you are a professional artist now, act like one." I reluctantly nodded my head at Alice and squared my shoulders, letting out a deep breath as I noticed Laurent was stalking across the room towards me, both arms outstretched like we were the best of friends.
"Bella, you look wonderful. We've had a lot of interest in some of your pieces already, so it might be a great night," he gushed as he pulled me into his arms and gave me a huge hug and when he pulled away, still holding onto my shoulders firmly, I looked at him in shock when he mentioned people actually liked my work. "Go have a glass of champagne and calm your nerves, you look like you need it."
Alice excused herself to go wait for Jasper outside as I grabbed a drink from the nearest waiter and made my way around the gallery, checking out all the other new artists who were being featured. There were so many different forms of art featured, including photography, watercolors and even mixed media. I was a little impressed by some of the artists, but there was one display of photography that just confused me. I know it was probably meant to be seductive, since it was photos of a bare woman's legs in different heels and stockings, but it wasn't my cup of tea.
"You don't like it?" I heard an oddly familiar voice behind me ask and when I turned around, I was met by the brick wall himself, Edward Cullen. Oh. My. Fuck. He was dressed impeccably in a dark blue suit, his hair still a mess, but his eyes didn't look nearly as happy or soulful as they did when he would perform on stage at Kings. "I'm guessing the photographer either as a foot, shoe or leg fetish."
"What are you doing here?" I stammered anxiously as I clutched my champagne glass firmly in my hand, reminding myself not to drop it on the floor and make a run for it.
"Let's consider me a patron of the arts."
"Let's tell the truth instead," I replied with shaky confidence as Edward let out a small laugh and nodded his head.
"I can do that. My brother dragged me along with his new girlfriend, Rosalie. If I am not mistaken you guys know one another," he said as his eyes looked down the length of me appraisingly. He broke out into a Cheshire cat grin and I felt emboldened by his response. He clearly liked what he saw and that thought alone made my mind race and gave me confidence. "What brings you here tonight?"
"The oils over there against the far wall are mine."
"A waitress who paints."
"An artist who used to waitress," I corrected him as he smiled again and grabbed a glass of champagne from the tray of the next waiter that walked by. "I quit a week after you stopped playing." I started to blush furiously as Edward's eyes went wide at my words. I turned back to the photos in front of me and tried to ignore the fact that he was now standing right behind me, only inches away. I could feel his body heat through the thin fabric of my dress and shivered in both nervousness and excitement.
"I would have gone back if I could, but James…" he stated, fading away before he could finish his sentence.
"I understand. It's alright really," I replied casually as Alice approached with Jasper on her arm and Rosalie trailing behind, with a rather burly guy who I guessed was Emmett. "I'm Bella by the way. Isabella Swan."
"It's nice to finally put a name to the face Bella. I'm Edward Cullen, but I think you already knew that," he declared as Alice stepped forward and interrupted us as she gave me a quick hug. When she wrapped her arms around me, she whispered in my ear that one of my smaller works had been sold. I wanted to scream with excitement, but remembered where I was, so I simply nodded my head in response and acquiesced when Alice pulled me away to see Laurent. When I turned back, Edward looked downright sad that I was leaving.
The rest of the night passed in a blur as I spoke cheerfully to several other interested buyers and art connoisseurs'. I felt completely out of my element, but I did my best to hide the fact that I was more comfortable in Levi's and Old Navy than Diane Von Furstenberg. I noticed Edward from the corner of my eye several times, but never found the courage to approach him again to talk to him casually. As the night drew to a close though, he found me as I was resting my empty champagne glass on the bar, having only had two drinks during the night as I tried to maintain some composure.
"I'm not usually this forward with woman, as evidenced by the fact that it took over a year for me to say anything to you, but I was wondering if you might want to go somewhere with me tonight," he stated, sounding formal yet also endearing. I had no idea what to say in response, so I simply nodded my head, eager to spend any time with him that I could manage. "I promise to get you home in one piece."
"I wasn't worried. Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith," I admitted as Edward smirked at me and I felt my insides practically melt. "Are we going somewhere in particular?"
"Yes," he replied playfully as he wrapped his arm around my waist slowly to guide me from the gallery and I couldn't help the smile that broke out as I felt like I fit perfectly at his side; like I was meant to be there. We bid a quick farewell to Alice and the rest of the gang who were standing outside of the gallery getting a breath of air. They all congratulated me on a successful first showing before the valet brought Edward's car to the curb.
"What the hell kind car is that?" I questioned as I looked at the sleek black sports car I was about to get in to and felt like I was stepping into a dream.
"It's an Aston Martin DBS Volante," Edward stated casually as though he was discussing a standard car like a Corolla or a Ford Focus. Not everyone drove something as sexy as an Aston Martin. "It was the first major purchase I made after I got access to my trust fund a few years ago."
I was taken off guard as he spoke so candidly about something that was so foreign to me. Trust Funds, Aston Martins, CEO's of major corporations. I let out a small gasp as Edward put the car into gear and we sped off down the half empty road to… wherever the hell Edward was taking us. "This is all so… surreal."
"What is? The car or me?"
"Both. I never once though I would be sitting in an Aston Martin… especially not beside you. In fact, never in my wildest dreams did I think you owned an Aston," I admitted reluctantly as Edward let out a snort and a laugh beside me.
"What did you think I drove?"
"I don't know… maybe a beat up old Toyota Tercel," I said with a shrug of my shoulders as Edward laughed even louder while we pulled up to a stop light and he rested his head against the headrest which I am certain cost more than my bedroom set. "I just didn't think you were rich."
"I'm not rich Bella. My parents have money and I have an expansive savings account, but I live a rather boring life with the exception of my car and my apartment," he stated genuinely as I simply nodded my head in response.
"Is that we are going… your apartment?"
"Um no... did you want to go there?"
"I want to go wherever you want to take me," I admitted with a blush as a horn honked behind us and Edward smirked sexily before looking back to the road and driving us wherever he intended to take me.
"From what I could gather, your work went over really well tonight," stated Edward as I looked quickly to see the huge smile on his face. In fact, he looked a little smug.
"Thanks, I think. I ended up selling two pieces," I said casually, recalling the fact that I sold my abstract portrait and a smaller oil painting which reminded me of back home. I felt a small twinge of regret and began to miss my father for a moment but I quickly reminded myself he would be proud of this achievement and resolved to call him on Sunday when I knew he would be home. When I looked back at Edward, he was still grinning wildly. "You bought one didn't you?"
"Who else would buy a painting of me?"
"How did you… you could tell… why didn't you tell me?" I stammered nervously as Edward just nodded his head and laughed.
"I know it was supposed to be abstract and all, but I think it would look really good hanging in my apartment. I could tell it was me the moment I laid eyes on it; I also knew no one else could have it. I may have bought it as soon as I heard someone else was interested," declared as I looked at him with both frustration and desire. "Seeing that you had painted me helped me get up the nerve to talk to you tonight."
I was completely floored when a little more than five minutes later we pulled in front Kings and Edward got out acting rather carefree, whereas I was glued to my seat.
"I'm not really interested in going in there. Is there somewhere else we can go?" I stammered nervously as I looked up and noticed the neon lights of the sign were not glowing electric blue like they usually did, which was very weird since it was a Friday night, which was usually one of the busiest nights. "It's not even open tonight Edward."
"I know. I have a key."
"Why the hell would you have a key?"
"It pays to have friends in high places."
"I would hardly call James a friend of yours," I replied as Edward opened the passenger door and held his hand out politely, waiting anxiously for me to take it. When I gripped it, a quick shock ran through my entire body and I shivered in response, though it was still rather warm out. "How did you get the key?"
"Jasper gave it to me."
"Why the hell… oh fuck it. I'm done asking questions, since you seem to enjoy playing some sort of game with me," I replied in frustration as I folded my arms over my chest and Edward grabbed my upper arm and pulled me towards the front door.
"I'm not playing games Bella. Jasper gave me the key tonight at the gallery. He decided he was tired of just being a DJ a few months ago and we had been discussing buying the club together as partners. We met a few times and he showed me a rather impressive business plan he put together, and with my financial backing, we appealed to the rather greedy side of James," Edward said honestly as I looked at him with my mouth gaping open, no doubt looking like a complete idiot as he spoke. "We took possession of the club Tuesday and today was the first time I had seen Jazz since he got the keys."
"I'm speechless, truly," I admitted as Edward used his keys to open the doors and then he escorted me inside, turning on some the lights inside and locking the doors behind us.
"You've left me speechless since the first time I laid eyes on you Bella," Edward admitted as I stood frozen to my spot, much like I did every Wednesday when he took the stage at the club. "I couldn't even form a coherent sentence around you, but when I took the stage I felt like I was playing for you. So every Wednesday I came… just to see you."
I was literally flabbergasted and couldn't manage a rational thought in my muddled mind. Edward came to the club just to see me and I practically lived my life around Wednesdays so I could see him again. "You are so beautiful," he said sweetly as he walked towards me and grasped my face in his hands, kissing my lips softly. The feel of his lips against mine was like nothing I had ever considered before. It was like Fourth of July fireworks, opening presents on Christmas Morning and New Years Eve in Times Square all rolled into one. I let out a low groan against his lips and opened my mouth eagerly as his tongue slipped in and I considered pinching myself to see if this was some sort of dream. Everything that had happened in the last few hours just didn't seem real.
"Are you alright? Should I not have done that?" Edward asked breathlessly as he pulled away and I kept my eyes sealed shut. "Fuck, I'm sorry," he stuttered and I felt him back away from me, which I didn't want, so I reached out and grabbed his hand, keeping him from moving further away.
"The only thing you should be apologizing for is not doing that the moment you met me," I admitted unabashedly as Edward grinned and stepped back towards me, his hand threading through the back of my hair, which Alice had styled in loose curls for the gallery opening. Edward pulled me towards him and our lips connected once more, electricity flowing through our bodies as I wrapped my arms around him and welcomed him wholly. "I've watched and wanted you for over a year," I said nervously against his lips as he pulled away and smiled sweetly. "I've never wanted anyone more than I wanted you Edward. Even when I didn't know who you really were, I wanted you."
"I was always me here Bella… the real me. I love to play music, I'm very relaxed and calm, I'm not pretentious and I never flaunt my wealth. If it wasn't for the fact that my father was sick, I wouldn't even be taking over the company; my brother would be doing it alongside my father like they had always planned. However, I'm loyal to a fault and I love my family almost as much… I have no other choice right now," Edward said quietly as I kissed his cheek sweetly, impressed by his loyalty and determination.
Edward grabbed my hand and led me towards the stage, lifting me up to sit on the edge as he stood between my slightly opened legs. I took his hand in mind, entwining our fingers and I stared at them for a moment, surprised at how comfortable everything felt between us. "I loved your music."
"I loved that you looked at me like I was the only person in the room when I sang."
"You were… every Wednesday night," I said without remorse, as Edward's lips found purchase on the side of my neck and his hand moved gently down my arm, my body reacting instantly to his touch. I wanted more. I needed more. "And every night you were in my dreams." Edward pulled away from me for the briefest of moments and when our eyes met, I knew it was him. It was always meant to be him. My mysterious guitar playing man was what I had been waiting for to make everything make sense.
No words were exchanged as he moved forward again, his lips gently covering mine as I struggled to catch my breath because he felt so good against me. Edward's hands gently ghosted down my back and ended up on my ass, making me groan as he gripped me firmly in his hands and pulled me closer to him. His erection was very obvious as I pressed myself against him, desperate to feel all of him. "I need you."
"Please," I replied honestly as I started to unbutton Edward's dress shirt as he pushed his jacket off. He had already removed the tie when we walked into the club and the moment his coat and shirt were gone, I couldn't help but lean forward and kiss his chest gently. Edward pulled me in for another kiss, our lips matching perfectly together, moving in sync as I reached down and fumbled with his belt.
"There's no hurry Bella," Edward stated as he reached down to still my hands before kissing my lips again and then began peppering me with soft kisses from my lips down to my slightly exposed collarbone. "I'm not going anywhere."
"I'm not taking any chances tonight. I could wake up tomorrow and this could all be a dream, and I refuse to have regrets in the light of the morning," I admitted anxiously as Edward moved his fingers up and began to unbutton the two buttons on the top of my dress. My chest heaved in anticipation and I couldn't help but blush as I watched Edward lick his lips, while his eyes remained trained on my breasts.
"There will be no regrets," he muttered quietly as he bent forward and kissed the swell of my breast while his hand reached behind me to undo the zipper on the back of my dress. My fingers fumbled with the ribbon sash that wrapped around my waist and I began to curse myself for allowing Alice to put me in such a complicated dress. I breathed a sigh of relief when Edward slipped my dress from my shoulders, revealing my black lace bra to his eager eyes. "You are beautiful."
Edward tugged on the hem of my dress and I lifted myself tentatively from the stage, watching his eyes with anxiousness as I lifted my arms up and he pulled my dress completely off, draping it on a nearby chair. "Jesus... you are even more stunning than I ever dreamed of." I couldn't help the blush that covered my entire body at his words and I was unable to respond appropriately, so I pulled him towards me and kissed him instead as I began to attempt the removal of his belt again, finally succeeding in removing it and pushing his pants down seconds later, along with his boxers.
"I've waited so long for you," I admitted anxiously as Edward nodded his head in agreement. He grabbed at the lace covering my breasts and pulled it down, leaving the fabric to cup my breasts as he sucked one of my nipples in his mouth while his other hand massaged my free breast. "Oh god," I groaned as he bit me and I arched my back, urging him on. "So much better than I dreamed."
Edward switched his mouth to my other breast and began to lick and suck my nipple, flicking it back and forth teasingly as his hand moved ever so slowly down my stomach to the place I wanted him the most. He grabbed the lace from between my legs and moved it to the side, sliding two fingers down the length of my dripping wet folds, making me moan in excitement. "You are so wet baby," he muttered as my fingers found purchase on his back and I literally wrapped myself around him.
"Every Wednesday Edward… and every time I thought of you," I replied honestly as his eyes grew wide in surprise from my words. He leaned forward and kissed me feverishly, our lips melding together in desperation as I felt him ease both fingers within me, causing me to clench my teeth as I moaned out in pleasure. It had been so long since I had been with someone else that I was aching in anticipation.
Feeling rather confident, I reached my hand down between us and tentatively grabbed Edward's thick cock in my hand, stroking it slowly as I rubbed my thumb over the tip, spreading his pre cum all over the head. I wanted him in my mouth and inside of me, but from the expression of darkened lust in Edward's eyes, it would have to wait. Edward took a step back from me and I reluctantly released his cock from my grip. "Take your bra off."
I did as he instructed, my body on fire from his forceful tone, which I had never heard before. When I looked back up, Edward had his cock in his hand and was stroking it slowly as he watched me intensely, his eyes burning with need. "Panties next Bella," he stated as I lifted my ass of the edge of the stage and tugged the lace down my legs, leaving me completely bare for him.
I felt extremely exposed and considered shying away from Edward, but based on the look on his face, it wouldn't have helped matters. Edward turned away from me slowly and began sorting through his wallet for a condom, no doubt. As he stood with his back to me, his fantastic ass on display, I looked up to his back and saw the tattoo covering it, that I hadn't seen in several months.
"Your ink is stunning," I uttered, feeling like an idiot when Edward turned around with a smirk on his face a condom clutched between his fingers. He silently sheathed himself and stalked towards me, grabbing my ass and pulling me right to the edge of the stage.
"It's my last name. A lot of people claim they can't read it because the scrollwork is so intricate, but I love it," he admitted as he kissed me sweetly and I felt his cock slip between my wet folds, but not enter me. "I got it during an act of rebellion when I was twenty and I didn't know what I wanted out of life. Of course, now all I want is you."
I bit my bottom lip at his declaration and then groaned loudly as Edward eased himself inside of me, my body adjusting to his size as my knuckles turned white as I gripped the edge of the stage. He stilled his movements and I lolled my head back, trying to come to grips with the sheer ecstasy that was wracking my body at that moment. "What do you want Bella?"
"You… always you," I forced out as Edward pulled out of me and then slid back in as I wrapped my legs around him, urging him deeper inside of me. For the next several minutes, Edward and I moved in perfect sync with one another, his cock filling me as I forced my hips up to meet him. It was everything I could have dreamed of and more. He continued expressing how much he had always wanted me as I fought back the need to cum with each word he spoke to me. It was amazing how this man could have such control over me even though we truly hadn't known each other that long.
When he reached up and began pinching my overly sensitive nipples between his fingers, I shook in release and arched my back in pleasure, letting the orgasm overcome me as I screamed out his name repeatedly. Edward thrust himself inside me once more and as I squeezed every muscle in my body in ecstasy, Edward gripped my ass tighter in his hands and released with a loud possessive growl that was one of the sexiest things I had ever heard in my life.
We both took a moment to compose ourselves and I felt anxious when Edward pulled away to discard of the condom, tugging his boxers back on as he came back to where I sat, still trying to come down from my high. I couldn't believe I had just had sex with Edward… on the stage at Kings no less. "I'm sorry… it shouldn't have happened like that."
My heart sank in my chest at his words and I began to over think everything, like usual. Did he regret this? What happened to him declaring that we would have no regrets just a little while ago? This could not be happening, not now.
I jumped down from the stage, my legs wobbling slightly as I was still wearing the heels Alice had forced me to wear and began to grab at my clothes as I fought back the tears. "What are you doing?" Edward asked, clearly confused as I pulled my dress back on over my head, not even caring that I couldn't find my panties. "Bella… stop."
"I have to go."
"Fuck… I didn't mean… that came out all wrong," he stammered nervously as he grabbed for my arm and I pulled away defensively. "I meant that our first time shouldn't have been on the stage, but I couldn't help myself. I should have been dating you for a while, romancing you with gifts and flowers, taking you to meet my family and telling you I love you before making love to you."
I stood in the middle of the club with my mouth gaping open in shock and feeling like a complete and utter idiot for immediately thinking the worst from his statement. "It was perfect for us."
"It wasn't good enough for you… you deserve the world."
"All I want is you," I said honestly as I pushed the tears from my cheek and looked at Edward with a tentative smile. He stepped towards me quickly and wrapped his arms around me, kissing me firmly before pulling away, my face now grasped in his hands. "Play for me."
Edward kissed me gently before offering a chair to me at the front of the stage. He then proceeded to put his pants back on as well as his dress shirt, which he left unbuttoned. I sat down eagerly as he hopped up onto the stage and grabbed the guitar that rested against the stool. He tuned the guitar for a few moments because it wasn't his and when he was comfortable with the sound he looked at me intensely; like they did every Wednesday night, which I now knew was love and desire.
"I was never as good at words as I was with music, so maybe this will say something I can't."
Digging a hole and the walls are caving in behind me,
airs getting thin but I'm trying,
I'm breathing in, come find me
it hasn't felt like this before
it hasn't felt like home...before you
And I know it's easy to say, but it's harder to feel this way,
And I miss you more than I should, than I thought I could,
I can't get my mind off of you
I know you're scared that I'll soon be over it,
that's part of it all,
part of the beauty of falling in love with you,
is the fear you won't fall
The moment Edward finished, I literally launched myself off the chair and wrapped myself around him, sitting on his lap and kissing his lips with reckless abandon before finally pulling away breathless, to find a laughing Edward beneath me. "I fell… one Wednesday over a year ago, Edward."
A/N: Songs referenced are 'Colorful' by The Verve Pipe and 'The Fear You Won't Fall' by Joshua Radin. I don't own them, they do. I just use their words to explain what my characters are too chicken shit to say.
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