Disclaimer: I don't own anything but the complimentary hotel pen I used to scribble the draft of this chapter.
AN: First post, I am so excited to hear your response! If you're from LL, I heart you guys. Note that this chapter is un-betaed, so I apologize for grammar errors. More AN at the bottom so I won't ramble this first chapter, enjoy!
I walked out of the cold of the morning air and into the building, pushing the heavy door as I went. The door slammed from the wind blowing outside and I was enveloped by the warmth from the walls. Sighing, I pressed the button and waited for the elevator to ding. I greeted Charlie, the building's doorman slash security guard, with a smile. The corners of his eyes crinkled. God bless that man.
I was exhausted. Tonight was the first night I'd had to work the night shift. The first night of many more throughout the next month. I had yet to adjust to the hours I'd been assigned. Sleeping days and working nights was not something in my norm. I pressed the call button for the elevator, waiting tiredly.
The elevator dinged and the door opened. I trudged my heavy legs inside the elevator and leaned against the left wall, the cold surface keeping me awake. I rubbed my tired fingers over my eyes, waiting for the doors to close and the heavy silence to break in the littlest bit.
What the hell? Out of nowhere, the loudest dull roar pried my eyes open. I heard the loud doors open from their nearly closed state and the sweetest of voices stood out from the noise. "Hold the elevator!" She sounded breathless. Out of instinct, I quickly slipped my hand between the elevator's closing door and through the small gap.
"Gosh, thank you so much. That was insane." A woman came into view and stepped into the elevators. She was beautiful. She had long brown hair, mostly hidden under the confines of the hoodie. The straight strands of hair fell across her eyes and framed her face in a soft embrace. When I'd taken her full form in, I was truly surprised. She was stunning. She stood petite, not small, but tiny enough to wake the urge of protecting her fragile form. A course of electricity went through my hand and up my arms, tempting me to touch her.
She let out a breathy sigh of relief, taking the hoodie off of her head and I took the chance to take my eyes off of her form and onto her eyes. "You're welcome." She punched in her floor number into the metal panel on the wall. 17. I took note of the number and leaned back onto the far wall in the elevator. I took the opportunity to watch her through my tired eyes.
The dim walls of the elevator did not help the discreet watching. I found myself near squint, trying to memorize the ways her head tilted up to watch the luminescent numbers slowly increasing, indicating just how little time I had left in here with her. I shifted my eyes back on her, desperately imprinting her form into my memory. Her elbows were angled, as her hands hid in her coat pockets. Her straight, brown hair peeked out from the jacket collar, persuading me to brush it away from around her shoulders. She was stunningly beautiful.
The elevator dinged, waking me from my observation. And the too short journey up the floors of the apartment with her had ended. She'd abruptly walked outside as soon as the metal doors opened with a creak. She took a long step forward onto the floor and out of the elevator. Suddenly, she turned around to face me, sticking her slender, gloved hand between the closing doors, just as I had earlier.
"Thank you again, for rescuing me…" she trailed off her speech, her voice breathy. I took it as a sign to answer.
"Edward. I'm Edward." My throat felt raspy and dry. Completely rough and rigid compared to her harmonious voice.
She nodded. "I'll see you around then, Edward." And with that she turned around and left. My eyes trailed on the doors where her hand had been, watched it close slowly with a thump.
The air felt heavy once again, my throat dry, the small confines cold. I punched in my number and waited.
This stunningly beautiful and breathtaking girl, who lives on the 17th floor had managed to completely baffle me. She reminded me of a void I didn't reckon I had. I'd already missed the soft angles of her perfect form by floor 19. By floor 21, I decided that I had gone berserk.
Once I got to my floor, I stepped out and inhaled deeply. There was no need to over think this. You're just tired, Edward. Yeah right.
It was cold. It was windy. I wanted to get home. But getting home wasn't all that easy with slick wet roads, and a swarm of people following you around with huge ass cameras, flashing lights in your face. Not to mention the relentless pestering of questions, creating a loud noise from all around me.
Come on, Bella. You can do this. Just keep walking forward, and don't bother looking back. I gave myself a small peptalk before stepping out of the warm confines of my car. Pulling up my jacket's hoodie over my head, I claimed myself ready to face the weather and the crowd.
"BELLA, OVER HERE!"
"DESCRIBE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH BEN"
"IS IT TRUE THAT YOU GUYS ARE HAVING TROUBLES?"
I blocked out the voices the best I could. I pushed through them slowly, as if I was waiting in line for movie tickets. I took my steps, careful not to slip on the wet icy pavement, and parted the crowd in front of me. These bastards made my life hard to live. Gosh.
I kept walking, looking down and paying attention to my steps. It was terribly difficult, considering the people huddling around me with their… weapons of choice. The apartment door was now in my line of vision and I knew it wouldn't be long until Charlie came to my rescue.
Finally! It was Charlie. He had his arms spread wide open as he helped me through the crowd, making sure that they kept their distance. "Are you alright, Bella?" His concern baffles me. God bless this man.
"Yeah Charlie, I'm fine." I had to shout over the questions, and the camera clicks. And the sounds of feet, pounding the sidewalk. As soon as we got in, Charlie pulled away his arms from my perimeter and tried to keep the crowd outside the building. The crowd were pressed up against the heavy door, still shouting for answers, and surely at each other. I realized that the elevator door was open. It was closing quickly now and I had to get the hell away from here.
"Hold the elevator!" I shouted, despite the noise that was very quickly dissipating. I stepped quickly into the elevator, thankful for the hand that stuck its way in the doors' closing crevices.
"Gosh! Thank you so much, that was… insane." I finally lifted my head up from the near permanent position of my neck, altering my gaze upwards and away from the floor. Before me was a man. No, he was more than a man. This ma—god, was completely and stunningly beautiful. He had a chiseled jaw, and dark copper colored hair that stood on end in its erratic position on his head. He was tall, about an entire head taller than me. Once I got into his close proximity, his scent was a whiff of heaven. It was musky, yet very… alluring. I couldn't explain it. His chiseled jaw, my gosh that jaw. Looking at it gave me mental papercuts.
"You're welcome." Sweet mother of Jesus, this man's voice had turned my insides into a puddle of goo. Frolicking in its thick and frothy goodness. I quickly turned around away from him and punched in my floor number. 23. The button 23 was already glowing red and I was pleased to know where he lived. Well, at least his floor. I turned my head and looked forward. He was standing directly behind me. He was wearing a light blue dress shirt, cuffed just below his elbows. I held in my gasp as I saw his arms. He was inked. This glorious god of a man was tattooed.
The elevator dinged far too quickly and I held back a sigh as I, with much regret, stepped out with a long stride on to my floor. As soon as I did, the wonderful smelling whiff was gone, and I felt lost. I then realized that I didn't want to end tonight this way, at all.
I quickly stuck my hand in between the closing doors and pried it open with little to no effort. The man looked up at me, his tired green eyes looking lost and confused. "Thank you again, for rescuing me…" I trailed off my words, hoping to get a name out of this beautiful stranger.
"Edward. I'm Edward." I nodded, a small victory soundtrack playing in my heart.
"I'll see you around then, Edward." I turned around and walked to my door. By the time I pulled out my keys, my mind was flocked with images of Edward. When I dumped my bag on the counter, I smiled for remembering that he lived in floor 23. And by the time I headed to bed, I was thankful that Ben and I weren't together for real. I sighed and let sleep overcome me.
I'd failed to get any sleep last night, well morning really. It was noon when I'd finally decided to leave my apartment. I needed some air, and the fire escape didn't provide any worth breathing in. The sun would do me some good, I hoped. I leaned against the walls of the elevator on my way down, again reminding me of the girl I met last night. Morning, Edward. It was morning. I kept forgetting the fact that 2am was two hours too many to consider night. Sighing, the doors opened and I walked out.
The sun was shining through the small windows above the heavy doors. But that wasn't what I noticed. It was the same girl again, from last ni-- morning. She looked even more captivating today, with the soft warm light of the sun illuminating her. She had her elbows on the front desk, her torso leaning forward, her back to me. She was talking to Charlie, I think, her soft laugh echoing in the otherwise quiet room. I walked over to the desk, unable to resist myself.
Before I knew it, I came in close distance to a gorgeous laughing girl and Charlie. The fine wisp of electricity was present again, I'd almost missed the wonderfully peculiar feeling up and down my arms.
"Good morning Charlie, you too Floor Seventeen." I'd given her a nickname when I woke up. I didn't know her name, much to my regret, but I do know her floor. Charlie smiled at me while Floor Seventeen decided to speak.
Chuckling, she replied, "Good morning, Edward. Floor Seventeen is actually named Bella." She'd remembered me. She'd also given me her name. Bella. I couldn't wait until I could test the sound of the name on my own lips, saying it out loud instead of in my head. I gave myself a mental pat on the back.
"Yes, Edward. Bella here just decided she'd get me cookies." Charlie's gruff voice cut in our exchange.
"Well Charlie, you did put up with those rats who've been chasing me around all week! I must thank you somehow now, shouldn't I?" A smile lit up her face as she voiced Charlie's reply.
"Well, then I believe you owe me cookies." I flashed her a smile when she decided to face me, her side to Charlie. I saw Charlie watching us with a smile through my peripheral vision.
"I believe that was one morning, Edward." She squinted her right eye, half covered by her bangs, to prove her point. I couldn't deny this girl a thing.
"Of course. What was that about, anyway?" She grimaced at my question and I cringed mentally. I hadn't meant to upset her, at all.
"You don't… know?" Looking up at me through those lashes made her more beautiful than I could ever try to remember. I shook my head, my lips pursing in curiosity. Sighing, she continued.
"I so happen to be dating Ben Hollis. He's very… famous, you can say. I'm surprised you didn't know-" her voice trailed off as my heart broke a little. She was dating someone. Someone famous. Famous enough to lead a swarm of people to his girlfriend's home. I sighed mentally again, cursing myself for being so hopeful that I could somehow be with this amazingly beautiful girl. I forced a smile to appear on my lips before I pressed on.
"Oh. That's… Yeah, I'm surprised." She nodded at me again, a smile playing on her lips.
"Walk me out, Edward. Tell me all about you." She tilted her head to the door, making her request even more persuasive than it already was. Charlie looked down at his open newspaper, clearly too distracted to read. The old guy couldn't deny the gossip unfolding between the two of us.
"Does that get me cookie points then?" I asked suggestively. She replied by chuckling, "I'll see you later Charlie." She walked towards the door, leaving me next to Charlie's table, baffled beyond words. Charlie looked up and winked at me.
"Don't let her get away, Edward." And with that, I chased after her.
"Hey Bella, wait up!"
I pushed the heavy doors with both hands, each step I took being more of a disappointment. I guess Edward wasn't coming along then.
"Hey Bella! Wait up!" Oh never mind. I smiled to myself and I kept walking, unwilling to turn my gaze around. I'd let him catch up to me, then. His steps thudded against the concrete of the pavement, jogging slightly to catch up to me.
Once he was by my side, I hid my smile and turned to face him.
"Tell me your biggest, baddest secrets, Edward."
He looked surprised for a second, but then cleared his throat and answered "I'm not sure if you'd like to know, Bella."
"Well, of course I do. Why did you think I asked?" I struggled to keep my voice steady. It was a cold morning, the snow from last night gathered on the outer edges of the pavement.
He shrugged, turning his gaze to the pavement. He looked down on his feet as we walked for a while, before he lifted his head again looking at the empty street. "I'm not sure if I'd want to scare you away just yet, Bella. My secrets are secrets for a reason."
I nodded slightly in understanding. I turned my head forward, to face whatever it was he was facing. My voice raspy was raspy from the cold when I replied. "Me too."
Then I turned around at the intersection and entered the warm coffee shop.
AN: Many thanks to the wonderfully nice people from LL. You guys have me hooked on your weekly rec posts and it is only my dream to ever end up there next to other amazing authors. I've finally gotten off my lazy butt and started typing this; I can't wait to hear your response. To the friendly people on Twitter, I heart you all so much, thank you for all the kind words and support.
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