An Introduction to Swirl and Daisy: The Non-Romantic Romance
Betas: xsecretxkeeperx, acciodanrad9
Chapter 7: The First Time He Kissed Her
. . .
December 23, 2001
Yesterday I called Edward and we talked for a while. He told me that he loved talking to me and that it was even better than online role-playing with his LotR friends. I can't even begin to tell you how hard it was for me not to squeal out loud when he said that. He's invited me over to his house later today, and I'm SO excited to give him his Christmas presents!
In the last five days, we've already gone to see the Lord of the Rings TWICE and that's not even counting the first time we saw it at the midnight showing. I have to say, the movie itself is getting kind of boring, but both times Edward held my hand through the entire movie! OMG, I can't even begin to tell you how perfect and cute it is! Last time, he just reached over and grabbed it without even asking me – I like that side of Edward!
But seriously, how hard is it to get a freakin' first kiss? I want a movie kiss! Something romantic and sweet. I just can't help the urge! It's growing!
I should probably go get ready…
P.S. I want my first kiss!
. . .
Being in Edward's bedroom had always given me butterflies. No matter how many times I'd entered his room in the past few months, it was always a thrill to walk in and see the same hand-painted Elvish on the wall and the gold and blue coverlet on his bed.
This time was different. Edward had redecorated. Kind of.
It surprised even me how quickly my eyes were able to find the two new additions to Edward's room, considering that the size of the space was massive in comparison to the two picture frames, each holding a four by six inch photo. But there they were on his desk. One was a picture of me standing at the dance with a camera in hand, oblivious to the fact that a picture was being taken of me. The other was a picture of Edward and me dancing (before the epic failure of Alice f-word Brandon) with his arms around my waist and my hands around his neck.
I walked over to Edward's desk and picked up the picture of us dancing.
"Where did you get this?" I asked, startled by the look of utter contentment displayed on both mine and Edward's faces.
Edward was doing that weird thing again where he refused to look me in the eye as he shuffled his feet and tugged at his hair. "Well, um, I took the first one when you weren't looking, and my mom took that one while we were dancing. You don't mind it, do you?"
"Yeah, I definitely mind that you have a copy of this and I don't," I said.
Edward's face lit up with that amazing smile I loved so much, and then we did that thing we always did where we stared at each other with goofy expressions. To be honest, it was getting kind of old. There was only so long you could stare at someone (though Edward's staring shelf-life was a lot longer than most people's) before you needed to move your relationship to the next level.
I'd been thinking about it a lot lately (since about three seconds after I met Edward), and I was ready for us to move our relationship to the next level. Renee had always told me to let the boy set the pace. The problem was that Edward seemed content moving forward at the pace of a dying snail. Even Charlie would be content at the rate we were progressing. It was maddening!
"Do you want to see what I got you for Christmas?" Edward asked.
"Oh, you didn't have to get me anything," I said.
Edward playfully argued, "But you got me something."
"Well… yeah, I did," I conceded lamely. I had actually gotten Edward two gifts. The first I knew Edward was going to freak out about and absolutely adore. The second was a bit more personal. I actually hadn't one hundred percent decided if I was going to give it to him yet. Luckily, it was small enough that it didn't need to be wrapped, and could be hidden in my hoodie pocket. If I decided not to give it to him, he would never know.
I walked over to where I had accidentally/on-purpose dropped his first present next to the bed. This had become a little game to me. It was always fun to see how Edward would react whenever I was within a yard of his bed. Normally his face would turn a pale shade of pink, his mouth would pop open, and he'd get a concentrated expression, as if he was reciting times tables in his head.
The best part, though, was when he would try to find some excuse for me not to be near the bed. One time he actually told me that he had broken the headboard, so it was a safety precaution not to go near it. I couldn't imagine Edward doing anything with so much force that it would inflict damage to the headboard, but then again I had no idea what he was like in bed.
Okay, even in my mind that sounded dirty.
True to our game, when I turned back to Edward his face was pink, and he had on that weird expression. "Um, the headboard still isn't structurally sound. Maybe we should, you know, open presents over by the window… where there is a cool breeze… and you are safe."
He was too easy. I smugly obliged his request, walking over to the large, bay window and taking a seat on the window bench, while he went to his closet to grab two packages. The butterflies made an encore appearance when he sat next to me and held out the first gift. "This one first," he said.
I dug through the tissue paper to the bottom of the bag, pulling out a T-shirt. It had "I Love Orc-Meat" on the front and the back said, "Big Thighs + Loin Cloths Kick Legol-Ass Any Day." I laughed, not only at the design, but at the realization I'd probably be getting T-shirts for every Christmas and birthday present as long as Edward and I were affiliated.
"I designed it for you," Edward said. There was so much excitement in his tone that I laughed even harder.
"I figured," I said. "Thank you so much, I love it!"
I put the T-shirt back in the gift bag and looked up at Edward to find him studying me in a peculiar way. The smile was still on his face, but it was different now – it was more guarded, and I didn't understand the reason for the shift. "This is for you as well," he said, handing me the flat, square package that was much heavier than the other present.
He watched me closely as I opened the gift, and I hoped the gasp I released upon unwrapping the leather-bound photo album was the reaction he was looking for. I flipped the cover open and saw the picture of us dancing. The next page and all the pages after were filled with photos of me that I never knew he had taken, some with me sitting with Angela and others during random school events that we'd photographed together for the yearbook. There were also a lot of pictures of us in Yearbook class.
"How did you get these?" I asked in awe, looking through one picture after another of us sitting in front of the computers, making up task lists, or simply gazing into each other's eyes.
"Um, that really doesn't, ya know, matter," he stumbled over his words. I looked at him curiously, before he hurried to ask, "So, do you like it?"
"Like it? Edward, I love this." He had gone through and embellished each page with drawings of daisies, and I silently traced each one with my finger until I got to the last page. I froze. "What is this?" I asked of the peculiar drawing.
Edward cleared his throat gruffly. "That's a fanart drawing I did of Aragorn and Arwen together in Rivendell."
I looked closer at the drawing. "But Edward, Arwen's face doesn't really look like Arwen. It kind of looks like... me."
"Well, I may have, um, altered, the drawing a little bit to put you in there instead of Arwen. I did the same with Aragorn, except that it's me there, not you," he murmured in a lower voice.
I kept my head down and my eyes focused on the page so Edward couldn't see me trying not to laugh. It wasn't that I didn't find the picture endearing; as a matter of fact, I thought it was the sweetest thing ever. In about thirty seconds Edward was going to realize how perfect for each other we were. "This is the best gift anyone has ever given me," I said, looking up. "I love it. Thank you so much."
That beaming smile returned to Edward's face. "Mine next!" I handed him the long, thin package, now anxious for him to open his gift. It had taken most of my first paycheck to afford the replica of Aragorn's sword, but the way Edward's face lit up when he opened the box made every cent worth it. Judging by the three times we had already gone to see Lord of the Rings, and taking into account the lovely picture Edward had drawn of himself as Aragorn, I figured I had probably made the right choice with the purchase.
"This is amazing!" Edward practically squealed, pulling the sword out of the box and brandishing it in the air.
"Well, I figured that you might like to go as Aragorn to the midnight showing next year since you'll have outgrown your hobbit costume." I was thrilled he seemed so delighted in my gift. "But there is one thing - the guy I bought it from told me it was bad luck to give someone I like a sword, knife, or dagger, so you have to buy it from me."
Edward laughed. "Bad luck?"
"Well apparently, it cuts the friendship. Do you really want dark forces working against us? I think one shiny penny is a fair price."
Edward dug into his jeans, muttering, "Yeah, we definitely don't want that." His hand surfaced from his pocket victorious and dropped a penny in my palm – I would treasure that penny always. Our eyes met and we shared one of our infinite stares, contentment mirrored in both our smiles. It was a perfect moment, but it still wasn't enough for me.
"I have one more thing for you," I whispered, worried about breaking the magical connection I felt with him. This gift had the potential to either seal our future together or diminish it completely.
He nodded encouragingly, and I reached inside my hoodie pocket to retrieve the second gift. "You wouldn't be Aragorn," I said, "if you didn't have Arwen's Evenstar." I held out the replica of the pendant necklace Arwen had given Aragorn to represent her love and devotion to him. My gaze dropped to the floor as I continued with the rest of the speech I had prepared. "Only, it isn't Arwen's Evenstar I'm giving you. I'm offering mine, if you want it."
Hopefully the undertone of my metaphor was clear. I was offering my heart to him with this Evenstar. He could take it or leave it. It was silent in the room, and I couldn't bring myself to look at him until he breathed a nearly silent, "Bella."
Slowly, I lifted my eyes to his face. He sat there, mouth slightly agape, for what felt like forever. Say something, I silently willed. He didn't. "This was a stupid idea," I said, humiliation crashing over me like a bucket of cold water. My cheeks flushed a deep shade of red as I prepared to get up and leave.
"Wait!" Edward shouted. My skin throbbed from where he had reached out to grab my wrist. Heat and electricity flowed from his touch. It was unnerving. Jerking forward slightly, his eyes held mine with an imploring look for only a second more before they flickered down to my lips, and I understood his unasked question.
Oh. My. God.
Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Edward Cullen wanted to kiss me. Oh, my God.
I didn't know how to indicate that I was more than all right with it, so I settled for leaning closer to him. I could hear his breathing accelerate and imagined that his heart was beating as fast as mine. Slowly, we inched towards each other, gauging the other's reaction. Time seemed to accelerate, and yet the moment couldn't come quickly enough.
A small smile flickered on Edward's face. "Amin mela lle," he whispered, before my eyes fluttered close and his lips met mine.
And we were kissing. And it was glorious.
And apparently Edward didn't know what to do anymore than I did because our lips touched for a few more moments (I counted up to three), before he pulled back and gave me the most breathtaking smile I had ever seen.
"That was wonderful," he said. "Exactly as I always imagined it would be!"
"Really?" I asked. It wasn't that kissing Edward hadn't been the best three moments of my entire life (because they definitely were). It just wasn't the movie kiss I had always imagined.
"Yes." He was so elated and sincere that I couldn't doubt him. I'd have bet the smile that lit my face at his declaration was as bright as his. "Can, um, can we do it again?"
I eagerly nodded and leaned in. He had just started kissing me once more when there was a loud knock on his bedroom door, and it abruptly opened to a woman walking in, carrying a laundry basket. "Edward, honey, some of the stains on your bed sheets weren't coming out so I went ahead and-"
"MOM!" Edward shrieked.
The woman's head snapped up from the laundry basket, and my eyes practically fell out of my head when I recognized her.
For an immeasurable moment the three of us sat in complete silence, the puzzle pieces falling together in my head. I didn't know what was weirder – that Edward's mother had walked in on us kissing or that she was the same person as our yearbook teacher, Ms. Evans.
"Is there something you forgot to tell me, Edward?"