Thank you, thank you, thank you to everybody who's still reading this story 3 It truly means a lot.
I know I'm going terribly slow, but I'm glad to be writing again and to be making progress on this fic. The fact that you guys are still with me makes it even better.
Chapter 17: Grand Piano
~ Edward POV
I slid the key card through the lock and opened the door of room 503. Sam was nowhere to be seen, but he obviously had been here already, judging from the bag that was tossed on the left one of the two beds. I realised I hadn't really grabbed any of my things from the bus before as Bella had been there. Groaning, I made my way back to the bus to get my overnight stuff. Five minutes later, I was back and definitely ready to finally take a shower.
After dropping my bag on the right bed, I got into the bathroom and stripped off my sweaty jogging outfit. Turning on the water, I stepped into the shower and I relaxed as the water poured down on me.
It didn't take long before my thoughts returned to Bella.
I still thought I hadn't gone too far. I mean, I only wanted to protect her. She had a damn stalker, for fuck's sake. Obviously, that girl hadn't been James, but just because Bella had kicked and cursed at a pillow a few times and decided she wanted everything to continue as normally as possible didn't mean the problem would go away like that. This was serious business. She was well-known through the entire country and she needed someone around to protect her from crazy fans. Period.
Fine, I would apologise again later. I hadn't meant to upset her, but I had anyway.
An uneasy feeling filled me when I recalled the way she had looked just before escaping the elevator. I really didn't like to see her hurt.
Yes, I would definitely apologise later.
After that decision I felt slightly better and started washing my hair. I remembered the way Bella had looked when she had sat down on that bench and I was turned on immediately. I jerked off to the memory before turning off the water and getting out of the shower. I didn't bother to dry myself of and simply wrapped a hotel towel across my waist.
Sam still hadn't returned when I stepped into the room again which was alright with me. I figured I could get a little writing for the blog done after getting myself brunch. I had already wrote some yesterday evening, after Bella's concert, but I had forgotten to mention it to her so I couldn't put it online yet.
I discarded the towel on the carpet floor as I got into my jeans. Someone knocked the door and I grabbed the random band shirt I had shoved in the bag. While pulling it on, I opened the door and was met by the shocked eyes of Bella when my head popped through the neck hole.
Quite surprised Bella was standing here, I forgot to ask her in for a moment, then stepped aside as a silent invitation. She passed me and I could smell the scent of her strawberry shampoo. Her hair was wet, not as dripping wet as mine, but it was obvious she had just taken a shower as well. She sat down on Sam's bed and I walked over to mine, picking up the towel on the way to dry my hair.
We sat across each other for a moment, just staring at one another, before I took a deep breath and broke the silence. "Bella, I-" I began, but she put up her hand to silence me and shook her head.
"No, Edward, I'm sorry." She said, stressing the I. "I really don't know what my problem was and I shouldn't have said what I said." Her eyes had a determent look in them. "I'm really sorry."
"It's okay. I shouldn't h-"
Bella brought her finger up again to cut me off and gave me a scolding look. "Don't finish that sentence. I had no right to go all Bella Bitch on you while you were only helping me. I appreciate you were looking out for me."
Again, she put up her hand and opened her mouth to start speaking herself.
"Geez, Bella, are you ever going to allow me to speak again or have you become so full of yourself you only want to hear yourself talk?"
I smirked when her face fell for a moment until she realised I was just kidding. Her lips curled into a shy smile and her cheeks turned my favourite shade of pink. I loved her blush.
"Are we good?" She asked, sounding a little uncertain.
Blaming her mood swings on girl shit, I nodded and smiled at her. "Wanna' go grab something to eat?"
"Sure." She nodded and pushed herself off the bed. "Maybe we can buy something on our way to the venue?"
I glanced at my watch, noticing it was a little after noon, and wondered what she had to do at the venue this early already. "You have to be there early today."
She laughed and I looked at her questioningly with a raised eyebrow. "Not me, you." She explained. "The piano? I figured it'd be easier to work on your song before the sound check." The relaxed expression on her face turned into a frown as she realised something. "Unless you don't want to be there for the sound check, which is completely fine of course. I just thought... Maybe for the blog... Never mind." She waved her hand around as if to erase the last few sentences she'd said and she walked over to the door.
I got up from my bed and followed her. "Now sounds good to me."
Bella turned and gave me a genuine smile before darting over to the lift.
We took a detour on our way to the venue to get the paper on which I had written down the composition last night and my notebook, then another to get something to eat on the go. We talked about some tour related things and Bella filled me in on the schedule of the next couple of days. Tomorrow we would still be here in Worcester, as Bella's first show had sold out quickly and they had added a second date. The day after that we'd travel to whatever city was next but Bella wouldn't have a concert yet that evening.
As we walked inside the venue, Bella greeted the security guard at the artist entrance and led us through the backstage area, until she halted at a storage room, or at least that was what the tag said. "This should be it." She tried the door and it was open.
We walked in and I stopped to look around while Bella walked further into the room. The room was filled with boxes, speakers, standards, whatever really.
I turned to the direction of Bella's voice and she stood next to a beautiful grand piano, with a blanket in her hand.
"Fuck. Whatever moron decided to put that beauty in a storage room should be shot." I looked at the piano in awe and let my hand slide over the keys. It was tuned perfectly so at least they still took care of it. As far as keeping it in storage under a blanket was taking care of it.
"Here." Bella said as she carried a piano bench over to the piano. It was a bit dusty, but I didn't care.
I nodded and got my papers out of my bag. Spotting the notebook, I remembered I had to ask Bella to approve of the blog I had written yesterday.
"Could you check the blog I wrote yesterday? If you'll approve it, I can put it online this afternoon."
Smiling, Bella nodded at me. "Sure. I can do it now if you'd like. Then you can focus on your music."
I handed her my notebook. "It's in my documents. I think I called it 'Isabella blog' or something. Feel free to click around, there aren't exactly top secret documents on there."
"Damn, I was hoping to find your plans for world domination." She headed for the door with my notebook under her arm and smiled at me before leaving the room. "Happy composing."
Sitting down at the piano, I stretched my fingers before playing one of my other compositions.
My fingers slid over the keys and I closed my eyes, as I knew this one by heart. It was a song I had written years ago for my mother. Needless to say, she loved it. She loved anything I created, but that one was her favourite. Back at my parents' house, I had a piano that was a lot like this one. I smiled, as only positive emotions belonged to this composition. I let my fingers rest on the keys after the last chord.
I jumped a little, startled at the sound as I hadn't realised I wasn't alone anymore and looked at the door over my shoulder.
Bella was staring at me, with one hand resting on her chest, my notebook still tugged under her other arm.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to... That was beautiful... I came back because your notebook asked for a pass and... That was really beautiful, Edward."
I was glad the room wasn't lit well, because I blushed at her compliment. "Thanks. I wrote it for my mother."
"She must love it." Bella still stood there with her hand clutching her chest, frozen on the spot and with a dreamy look in her eyes.
I nodded and Bella seemed the snap out of her trance.
"Right, sorry. I won't disturb you any longer." She turned to walk out of the storage room.
I chuckled at the way Bella seemed so out of it right now, completely forgetting what she had come back for. "The password is Clair de Lune, without the spaces."
"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean..." She trailed off for a moment before continuing, "Clair de Lune? I love Clair de Lune."
For some reason, it made me incredibly happy to hear that. "Me too."
Before she closed the door behind her, I spotted the smile on Bella's face and smiled in return.
Shifting through the papers I had put on the piano, I searched for the one that was Bella's song. I hadn't named it yet, because it was unfinished, but I referred to it as Bella's song in my head as the inspiration had come to me on the way home from the interview.
A new wave of inspiration washed over me and I pushed the keys that felt right. Every once in a while I scribbled it down on paper when I found the right notes, but I realised I didn't need to put this on paper to remember. Just thinking of Bella, the melody came to me. The song was Bella's as Bella simply was the song.
I had no idea how long I sat there playing Bella's tune on and on, when Bella slid in between the bench and the piano and sat down next to me. With closed eyes I played it one more time so she could hear it entirely. The last note almost seemed to echo through the room and I opened my eyes again.
I turned my head to look at Bella and she opened her eyes right in that moment. We locked eyes and even in the bad light, I could see her brown ones sparkle. My name fell from her lips, more as a sigh than a whisper.
"If I thought the one for your mother was beautiful, I don't have words for this one." She whispered, still staring into my eyes.
Before I replied, I swallowed heavily, sure I wouldn't be able to speak otherwise. "It's yours."
She blinked once and slid closer to me on the bench so our thighs were touching. "Mine?"
Nodding, I broke our eye contact for a moment to look at her lips when her tongue darted out to wet them, then my eyes returned to hers again and they suddenly seemed to be closer.
"Bella." My voice was hoarse and I almost didn't recognise it as mine.
I wasn't sure who closed the distance but the next moment our lips were touching and it felt like no other kiss had ever felt before. Closing my eyes I was aware of Bella only as I put my arm around her waist and pulled her closer, wanting as much body contact as possible in this position.
Bella pulled back for a moment and I felt her warm breath on my skin. She gently tugged at the arm I had wrapped around her and it felt like my heart literally sank when I let go of her. I opened my eyes and was about to apologise for something I didn't know yet exactly but then I saw Bella smiling at me, a kind of smile I hadn't seen of her before.
She moved the bench backwards creating more space between us and the piano, then stood up slowly, only to sit down again in my lap facing me. Wrapping her arms around my neck, she leaned in and kissed me again. I responded eagerly as I placed my hands on her sides and pulled her closer. When her tongue sought entrance I parted my lips willingly, wanting to taste her. As our tongues met, she let out a moan and I almost came undone right there and then.
While Bella's hands ran through my hair frantically, my hands moved down to her ass – a fucking fine ass – and pushed her centre against my hard-on, earning another moan from Bella. I pulled away from our kiss in desperate need of oxygen but continued to kiss her skin from her jaw towards her neck. As she let her head fall backwards to give me better access, Bella untangled one of her hands from my hair, placing it on the keys of the piano and producing the most horrible, yet – under the circumstances – best sound in one. I laughed softly against her skin and I heard her giggle.
In that very moment, I realised I was in love with Isabella Swan.
A/N: Fiiiiiinally! These two are just so stubborn.