Summary: Forks High School Drama Dept. is putting on their annual musical. Bella and Edward discover a certain prop that enjoys many memorable performances amongst the theater crowd. AU-H, Rated M for language and sexual content. Written for the Twi-High Anonymous Challenge.
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight or Oklahoma. This plot is mine.
"Okay people, break time is over. Places!" Mr. Black's announcement was met by groans from all corners of Forks High School Auditorium. Director Jacob Black, a Forks High School alumnus, sat god-like atop his director's platform in the middle of the house. A stampede of elephants sounded throughout the cavernous space as students shuffled about from every direction and found their places. The stage crew, dressed in all black, disappeared into the shadows, ready at command. Mr. Black now looked on with amusement at the costumed teenage cowboys and farmers' daughters. His smile gave way to something almost pained when he caught sight of young Jessica Stanley.
"Oscar, let's start at the top of 'I Cain't Say No'." Mr. Black attracted the musical director's attention before he sighed and turned back to the curly-haired girl on-stage. "Ado Annie, please stay in character this time. We perform in front of an audience tomorrow night!"
A distinct snicker came from the dark recesses of stage left. It likely originated from a member of the stage crew, who did little to hide their disdain for the actors and inflated egos. Even the house manager, Bella Swan, cracked about Jessica's over-the-top performance.
"Hey, Rosalie! Want to bet how many more times they're going to make Ethel Merman start over?"
"Bells, get over it. You and Jessica both tried out for the part, but the director cast her because you can't dance." From the back of the auditorium, Rosalie trained the spotlight onstage as she whispered to her friend.
"But she sucks! I know Ado Annie's every single line and --"
"Shut up already! I can't follow the light cues with this inane chatter," Rosalie snapped.
Bella sniffed softly as she stood up and retreated backstage. The darkness enveloped her and she ambled past the prop table and picked up a kaleidoscope wistfully. She spun the outer cylinder gently, and imagined she was cast in "Oklahoma". She then brought the kaleidoscope up to her lips like a microphone and mouthed the words along with the song onstage,
"I'm just a fool when lights are low.
I cain't be prissy an' quaint
I ain't the type that can faint.
How can I be what I ain't?
I cain't say no!"
Bella looked up from her reverie and saw the self-righteous smirk on the key grip's face. His name was Edward Cullen, and if he weren't such a jerk, Bella would want a piece of his fine ass. With one look at his face, Bella knew he watched her entire lip-sync. Her face flooded with embarrassment and Edward leaned in close and whispered darkly into her ear without moving his gaze.
"Bra-vo. You are a pretty little thing. Shouldn't you be onstage, singing your heart out? What brings you back here, into my lair?"
Bella gasped from the feeling of his warm breath so close to her neck. She looked down to the floor and saw his steel-toe shit-kickers in close proximity to her own feet. She braved another gander up higher this time, and raked her eyes over Edward Cullen. He was probably 6' tall, with very straight posture. His pale face and floppy bronze hair hovered almost specter-like over dark black clothes. She couldn't make out his eye color in the dark, but guiltily knew them to be green.
"I did try out for a part. That part in fact." She nodded her head in Jessica's direction. "Black made me house manager because I can't dance."
Edward's eyes were still trained on Bella. He drew her arm and pulled her away from the prop table, deeper backstage. When he was satisfied that they were out of earshot, he let go of her arm and hopped onto a tall metal stool.
"Okay, dollface. Let me tell you about the actors and the stage crew: we don't mix. Actors are all caught up in themselves, being dramatic and shit, and stage crew makes their sorry ass look like a million dollars. We don't fucking sing and dance; we build the sets; we work the soundboard and we shine the spot. Those ungrateful pricks take everything for granted."
Bella stared at him and did not know what to say. Several retorts came to mind, but she thought better of it. She was unsure what group of people Edward thought she belonged in.
"You know, I'm friends with people who are actors and crew. They're not all pricks."
Edward rolled his head back and laughed. "I've got a pretty good idea who's a prick around here. I know what they're thinking. Conner…prick, Tyler…prick, Lauren…prick."
"Don't forget about Jessica," Bella chimed in.
"Jessica is not a prick, but she's annoying. -- Like fingernails on a chalkboard." He shivered and grimaced.
"If you hate actors so much, why do stage crew?" Bella countered.
Edward paused his diatribe momentarily, and looked thoughtful. He picked up the green power tool from a loop on his tool belt and absently fingered the chuck. When he finally knew what he wanted to say, he looked triumphant.
"I like working stage crew because I get to make things with my hands. There is something extremely satisfying about building something out of wood and nail and then seeing it used. I'm good with my hands, and I like creating solid pieces. I dunno, I think that I might apprentice with a cabinet joiner next Summer. I take pride in my handiwork."
Bella heard the pride in his voice when he spoke of carpentry. In fact, she thought it was kind of sexy and felt less guilty for liking him. She looked on dreamily and replayed his words in her head, "Satisfying, wood, nail, good with my hands."
"How about you, Peggy Sue? What makes you tick?" He replaced the tool and squinted at her slender figure appreciatively.
"My name is Bella, not Peggy Sue. Why do you care what I like?" Bella tried to sound annoyed, but was secretly thrilled by his question. She shifted her legs uncomfortably, then realized that she had stood listening for quite some time. Bella glanced around the room until her eyes alighted on a nearby pile of broken down boxes. She flopped down on top of the pile and Edward left his metal perch and joined her.
"Well Bella, I find you intriguing and very difficult to read. I wonder…" his voice broke off. Edward turned the full intensity of his gaze to her and touched his index finger to her knee. He made small, firm circles on the denim, as not to tickle her. She shivered anyway.
"What do you wonder Edward?" She angled her torso closer to his. His body radiated heat and Bella wanted to touch him. She felt lusty and confident. She placed her left palm on his right thigh and returned his gaze. His tight, black jeans were tented at the crotch. Edward shut his eyes and blew out a long breath.
"I wonder what it would take to make you blush?" The timbre of his voice indicated his desire.
Bella smiled coyly and whispered back, "Wouldn't the guy with the big drill like to find out!"
Edward raised his eyebrows at her and rose from his seat at the challenge. Once again, he removed the green power tool from its loop and held it out in front of himself. Then, he proceeded to educate Bella on the finer points of his Makita.
"First, it's a Makita, not a drill." He brandished the white nomenclature with his finger.
"Second, I can screw for up to 3 hours straight, then put it on rapid recharge and be ready to go again in 30 minutes." He smiled at his innuendo and checked to see if Bella had blushed. A slight flush appeared on her cheeks, so he decided to continue.
"Third, no cord means that I have easy access to tight places. And lastly, the Makita has a nice weight and balance. Even girls like to handle it. Want to hold my Makita Bella?"
Bella was not sure if she drooled, but felt her face flare. The palpable sexual tension in the room was like a loaded mouse trap. She tread lightly, not knowing what would cause it to snap. She just opened her mouth to speak when Rosalie appeared from nowhere.
"Bella, it's intermission. Get out into the house before Mr. Black has a shit fit."
Bella bit her lip and looked at Rosalie and then back to Edward. She looked as though she wanted to say something but stayed mute. Edward returned to the metal stool with an annoyed countenance.
"Get your ass going Swan! I'm not your Mama and I won't lie for you."
"Fine, Rose." Bella ducked her head and pushed off the corrugated cardboard. She tried to hide her disappointment, lest Edward see her melancholy. She was almost out of range when she heard his call.
"Don't listen to Rose. She's just jealous cause she can't touch the Makita!"
"Edward, what the hell is going on between you and Bella?! I came to find her backstage, and instead I find you looking at her like she's something to eat. That whole Makita spiel was pretty crude, too. Bella is a nice girl, Edward." Rosalie warned him contemptuously.
"I didn't do anything to Bella, I swear! As to her being edible, I wouldn't know, but I'd like to find out." He waggled his eyebrows and waited for Rosalie to whack him with a script.
"You crew guys always… whack!…think with your dicks! Why don't you just take her up to the Prop Loft and get it over with?"
Edward rubbed his head in mock pain. Truthfully, he knew he deserved the beating. Rose had a smart mouth, but she always called guys out on their shit. He thought about her last words for a moment as she left him backstage.
The Prop Loft was an attic space located behind stage and accessible only by tall ladder. It was a retirement home for the props of seasons past. Dozens of chairs, tables, a couple suits of armor and shelves full of small props collected dust there. In fact, the only prop without a thick dust coating was the Prop Loft's crown jewel: a chartreuse velvet sofa. The sofa started life at the height of fashion in Mrs. Cope's 1960's living room. When harvest gold replaced chartreuse in popularity, the school secretary did not want to part with the lovely sofa. At her husband's urging, she donated it to Forks High School Drama Department. Every year, despite her retirement, Mrs. Cope came to the performance's opening night. She hoped to see her beloved chartreuse velvet sofa, but to her disappointment, it was used in only a handful of plays.
The chartreuse velvet sofa's real claim to fame was its advanced sexual experience. Hidden in the depths of the Prop Loft, the sofa had served as a plush foundation for a great many encounters. When Mrs. Cope donated the sofa in the late Seventies, she never guessed that it would serve as the Drama Department's secret rendezvous destination for over 3 decades. For all its infamy, students dared not show a black light to the piece of furniture. Thoughts of ancient mixed bodily fluids induced vomit to most, so the majority chose the path of blissful ignorance.
Edward walked back upstage to the prop table. Thankfully, the gears in his mind turned slightly faster than his libido. He slapped the table and congratulated himself on such a brilliant plan. Edward set the stage for his own disappearance.
"Hey, Ben!" Edward gestured toward the short bespectacled boy who brought a lasso to the prop table.
"Hey, Edward. What can I do for you?" Ben pushed the wire frames up the bridge of his nose and waited expectantly.
"How'd you know I was going to ask you something? I haven't said anything yet."
Ben set the lasso down and looked at Edward for a moment before he talked down to his shoes. "Yeah, but I know you. That's the way you start out asking for favors. Whadda ya need?"
Edward glanced at his Indiglo watch and realized he only had a few minutes before Act II began. Timing was secondary only to planning. He decided to play his trump card.
"Ben, come stand over here and tell me what you see."
Ben walked over to the place Edward had stood and caught sight of Angela Weber. The soft-spoken girl who raised and lowered the stage curtains turned shyly in the boys' direction and smiled. It seemed to Edward that a cat caught Ben's tongue. Edward changed his mind when Ben's jaw fell open and his tongue rolled out of his mouth.
"Holy shit!" murmured Ben.
"This, my friend, is the view of the key grip. You just stand here, making sure that the right props go out before every scene and watch Miss Weber's lovely jugs when she hoists the curtain." Edward grinned and knew he had played his cards right. Ben turned his head sideways in effort to best appreciate Angela's bust. He looked back at Edward with fogged-up lenses.
"Cullen, you are a god! Thank you." Ben eagerly picked up a script from the prop table. He stood at attention while he waited for Mr. Black's cue. In the meantime, he enjoyed the fringe benefits from his new vantage point.
Edward shook his head and chuckled. He checked the time again, then strode further backstage. Edward grabbed a Mag-Lite from a hook on the wall before he continued his scavenger hunt. He happened upon pile of quilted pads and rifled through the stack in search of the cleanest one. He made his selection, folded it and carried it on the crook of his arm. Edward trotted over to the ladder corner and selected a tall wooden ladder and pulled it out. The orchestra began to play the entr'acte, a signal that Edward had very little time before Bella's arrival. He finished his preparations and sat on a low ladder rung when Bella Swan scampered backstage and saw him.
"I was just looking for you. What have you been up to? Did you miss me?" She batted her lashes and licked her lips suggestively.
"Well, I decided as long as I was going to hell, I might as well do it thoroughly." Edward waited for her to comprehend his meaning. Seconds ticked by and his impatient nature took over. He grabbed her hand, and led her to the ladder.
"I was thinking there was something I wanted to try."
He climbed up first, then grabbed her wrists to aid her ascension. She wrapped her hands around his arms and let him lift her onto the loft floor. When she finally stood up in the dusty cave, her eyes widened and adrenaline rushed through her veins. Edward let go of her wrists and slipped close behind her. He drew her tight and put his arms to her waist. She shuddered with anticipation as he awkwardly moved them toward what appeared in the dark to be a sofa. He clicked on a large Mag-Lite, as if he read her mind. He pointed it at the chartreuse velvet sofa which was covered by a U-Haul moving pad.
"Is this okay?" he asked her earnestly.
"It's more than okay, Edward." She turned into him and pushed him down onto the seat. She hitched her leg over his thigh while he grabbed her ass and crashed her lips with his own. The violent impact of their kiss sent a quake through Bella's body and she ground against his jeans zipper.
"I want you Bella, you're driving me crazy. I can't get through this rehearsal without thinking of nailing you to a wall," he growled.
"I've never done anything this crazy before. Will anyone find us?" Her words rushed out and betrayed her nerves. He nibbled on her ear and she forgot her own name. "You're a naughty boy Edward Cullen, but you turn me on."
Edward gave her no answer and returned his attention to her lips. He moaned into her mouth when their tongues met and pulled his fingers through her long hair. Bella closed her eyes and gave into the sensations. In the moment, Bella no longer cared for Mr. Black, Ado Annie or anything else related to play production. She recognized her own arousal and was certain Edward reciprocated. In a bold move, Bella reached her hand down between his thighs and lightly trailed her fingertips up the inseam of his jeans. Edward sharply inhaled when her touch made contact with his erection. Bella heard it and was encouraged to stroke him harder.
"Stop! That feels too good, too soon. At this rate, I'm going to come in my pants before I even get your shirt off!" He looked flustered and his eyes flashed wildly.
"If you don't like what I'm doing, you've got to show me how you like it."
He gave her a loud lip smack, then leaned back on his elbows. "Silly girl! It's not that I don't like it, but I want to make it inside you. Let me touch you now."
Bella sat up straight and peeled her shirt over her head. She balled the fabric into a wad and let it drop from her hands. She sucked in her cheeks and pouted playfully, "Edward, I thought you said you could screw for 3 hours at a time and recharge in just 30 minutes!"
Edward groaned loudly, "Fuck me! Now you're going to get it!"
With a quick motion, Edward had her flat on her back. He straddled her legs and dipped his head to her breasts. He nosed the lace trim on her bra before her nuzzled each of her nipples through the fabric. She arched her back from the stimulation and his tongue licked a moist path over her décolletage. She made small noises when he pulled down her bra straps and revealed her breasts.
"Beautiful," he mouthed and teased her perky nipples.
Edward continued his lovemaking while the orchestra played "All Er Nuthin'". He led her hands to his shirt buttons. Bella took the hint and deftly unbuttoned the faded black shirt. She inhaled its clean, fabric softener aroma and committed the scent to her memory.
This is what Edward Cullen smells like.
Edward reached into his back pocket for his wallet. From inside its folds he produced a foil-wrapped condom. He touched her face tenderly and asked her permission to continue.
"Do you want to keep going Bella?"
"Yes, don't stop."
She lifted her hips and unfastened her own jeans. Edward took hold of her pants and ceremoniously yanked them down her legs. He smiled at her sock monkey underpants and sat back on his heels and undid his own fly. He had slid one leg out of his jeans when he heard sounds from the floor below. He and Bella froze in place, neither dared breathe.
"He left me in charge and came back here. I haven't seen him for over half an hour!" whined a male voice.
"My key grip and my house manager go missing and I have to go hunt for them?" Mr. Black growled. "I don't have to guess where they went, Forks is my alma mater."
Footsteps sounded on the wooden ladder below. Edward grabbed his shirt and covered Bella. He was about to step back into his other pant leg when a head of black hair emerged over the top ladder rung.
"Edward and Bella, I had to see it with my own eyes. My, my. Here you are, getting down on THE sofa. I want to see both of you, dressed and in my office in 5! Make sure you wash your hands first, there are a lot of miles on that thing."
Almost as quickly as he appeared, Jacob Black vanished and left the couple with their mouths agape. Bella grabbed her clothes from the floor and furiously put them back on. Edward tried to push her shirt tag down, but Bella swatted his hand away.
"I'm a big girl Edward. I can dress myself."
Edward knew better than to push the issue. He understood that Bella was angry at him for getting caught. Girls had no sense of conquest.
What's the fun of getting laid in the Prop Loft without the danger? he thought.
He re-clothed himself in silence and waited for the other shoe to fall. He yawned and dragged his hand through his messy hair. When Bella finally finished redressing, she turned to him with crossed-arms.
"Don't you have something to say to me?"
"Sorry is a start. Tell me when your parents are going out of town next and everything is forgiven."
Bella swiftly kicked her leg over the Prop Loft's edge and lowered herself down the ladder. Edward followed behind, and allowed her to admire his rear. When his feet hit the ground, he turned and searched her face for clues to her disposition.
"Can I call you Bella?"
"You better call me, Cullen! I'm still waiting for your Makita demonstration. You know, where you get into all those tight spaces and screw for 3 hours straight? You also promised me that you're good with your hands," she taunted playfully.
"Babe, you ain't seen nuttin' yet 'til you've seen my Makita in action," he piped up.
"See you in the office Edward."
A/N Well, what did you think? I think I'd be down for Edward's Makita demonstration in two shakes of a lamb's tail, but that's just me. Have a funny theater story to share? Go on, leave me a quick review. I don't bite. Extra special thanks going out to Marvar for her encouragement, my dear actor friend whom I've known since high school and my former high school drama teacher. Put me on author alert and be the first to read my upcoming fic, This Woman's Work.