Flirting Lessons

Bella POV

"Wow, I want one of those rabbits!" a girl with dark curly hair squealed as she walked past the stall, tucked under a blonde guy's arm. She was pointing at one of the thousand stuffed rabbits above my head, and simpering at her boyfriend. I resisted the urge to roll my eyes and puke.

"I'll win one for you, Jess," the guy told her over-confidently. Ugh, dream on, I thought, please don't tell me that you're one of the suckers that actually falls for this crap? Then I remembered that if he had a go at this, I would get money. I smiled as he came over to me. "Hi, do you want a go?" I asked politely, with a false smile.

"Yeah." He dug around in his pocket and handed me a few dollars.

"Thank you. Hook a duck with a red mark on the bottom and you win one of the smaller prizes or a blue mark to win one of the stuffed toys," I informed him, stuffing the bills in my pocket and handing him a rod.

"Oooh, get a blue one, Mike!" Jess pleaded in a superficially high voice as he angled the rod trying to grab a duck floating around in the middle. What she didn't know was that only one of the numerous ducks actually had a blue mark on the bottom so the chance of winning was pretty much… well, about twenty-nine to one, because that's how many ducks there were.

Yep, Valentines Day and there I was at the annual firework display in Washington working on the 'Hook-a-Duck' stall as a favour for my friend Emmett while he was on his honeymoon. He had insisted that this night was one of their most profitable and had pleaded with me to do it. I accepted because I was a sucker for guilt trips and because he had some pretty good blackmail. Oh, and because I was a single girl and I felt like an unwelcome third wheel when I hung out with my best friend, Alice, and her boyfriend, Jasper, and that was sure to be even worse on today of all days. Mainly because they spent their whole time making out or talking about various things they were going to do later on in the evening. Believe me, some of the things they said were tres puke inducing.

I hated Valentines Day. Worst holiday of the year, in my opinion. I mean, here I was watching all these loved up couples wander by while I had no one to return to- unless you counted my pet fish, Bubbles. And he (or I guess it could have been a she) hardly appreciated the sexy underwear I had put on in an attempt to feel more sexy on today of all days. Not that anything would ever happen. I knew that, when I got home, I would feel that same gut-wrenching disappointment that nothing had happened. I shouldn't encourage myself when I knew that wearing sexy underwear made no difference to whether anyone decided to hook up with me. Stupid, pointless lingerie.

I leant against the stand holding my polystyrene cup of coffee and watching as Mike fumbled with his rod and a loudspeaker announced that the first of the three firework displays would begin in twenty minutes. Bored out of my mind already, I reached for the glossy magazine Rosalie, Emmett's new wife, had left under the desk. I was more of a novel reader myself, but anything was good enough as long as it kept my attention. I flicked through it under the desk, looking for something, anything, interesting. I almost jumped out of my skin when that Mike dude yelled, "Dammit!"

I looked up to see that he had gotten a red-dot-duck. "Hard luck," I said, though I had no sympathy. I took the duck and the rod off of him and bid them a good evening before turning back to the magazine. Some article about flirting. I rolled my eyes, but read it anyway.

Suddenly, I got the distinct feeling that I was being watched. I looked around, but couldn't see anyone so I looked back down and continued to read. But the feeling had settled now. Self-consciously, I fiddled with a strand of my long dark hair and looked around again, once again to come up blank.

"Stop being paranoid," I chastised myself under my breath, flicking the page over.

"Yeah, paranoia is a sign of insanity," a velvety voice chuckled from nearby.

I jumped and looked up to see a tall man in a black jacket and a green turtleneck sweater. I moved my gaze to his face and my train of thought abruptly stopped in its tracks as my eyes met a pair of dazzling emerald green ones. I blinked in shock and broke eye contact long enough to look anywhere but in his eyes. That happened to be at his muscular chest and arms that showed through the turtleneck. Oh, holy hell. "Can I help you?" I squeaked, cursing myself inside my head.

The Sex God, as I named him in my head, grinned crookedly and it took all I had not to melt into a puddle. "Yes, actually. I was wondering if this was a kissing booth?" He held out a dollar.

What the f… fudge? If you really want to know, Alice and I had a swear box- pathetic maybe, but I was getting all the money at the moment and, if I could control what I thought, surely controlling what came out of my mouth would be a piece of cake? "No," I replied to his question, even though that really couldn't have been more obvious. I take all of the above back. Controlling my thoughts was a hell of a lot easier than controlling my moronic pie hole. If I thought before I spoke, I could have said 'it can be whatever you want it to be' or something equally sexy, because I was pretty sure that The SG had been flirting with me.

"It's not?" He feigned disappointment. "How much will it cost me to change that?"

I raised an eyebrow. "Was that a shameless pick-up line?" That's more like it!

He shrugged and that crooked grin widened. "It might have been."

"I'm sorry, I don't kiss strangers." I smirked at him. Dammit, Bella! What the hell are you doing?! Just kiss him already and hide before he realises what a retard you are!

"If I told you my name, I wouldn't be a stranger." TSG ran a hand through his hair, making me look at it. It was a strange shade of bronze, though that may have been the poor light playing tricks on me, and was in a messy disarray. Something was awfully familiar about that hair, I just couldn't quite put my finger on it. I rested my chin on my hands as I leant against the stand and stared at him for a long moment, trying to remember where I had seen him before, but it wasn't coming to me.

He put his elbows on the stand too, and mirrored my position, staring into my eyes. "Are you assessing me to see if I'm nice enough to take home?"

"No…" I said slowly, frowning. "I just… I think I recognise you, but I don't know…"

"So I'm not a stranger?" he said, leaning closer.

"Um…" I had lost all ability to think, let alone answer him. But then, my inevitable clumsiness mingled with bad luck decided to rear its ugly face. For reasons that are unknown to me, I moved my arm and somehow managed to knock over my polystyrene cup of coffee… all over TSG.

"Shit!" he exclaimed loudly, straightening up and leaping backwards.

"Oh my God. I am so sorry…" I said, my eyes probably wide as saucers. Well, holy fishcake; there went any snogs with the Sex God. Seriously, Bella, could you screw up much worse than that? Spill scalding hot coffee over the sexiest man on earth when he was flirting with you? I grabbed under the desk for the napkin I had gotten and leant over the stand to dab at his chest.

"Uh… thanks," he said awkwardly, trying to prise the napkin from my hand.

"I…" I hesitated and then sighed. "Sorry."

He chuckled. "Don't worry."

"Honestly, I…" I started but was interrupted by a loud bang.

TSG turned and looked at the sky that was momentarily lit up by a brilliant red firework. "I have to go. Promised my cousin that I'd meet her at the start of the first display. Sorry." And then he turned and walked off faster than I could have said goodbye.

"Charmed," I muttered, as a green firework exploded directly overhead. But I had to grudgingly admit that I probably had scared him off by burning his chest. His gorgeous, muscular, absolutely dreamy chest… no. Stop it, Bella. You're never going to see TSG again, and you don't even know his real name.

I sighed and grabbed the other napkin from under the desk, using it to wipe the coffee off of the stand while there were no customers. I absent-mindedly continued to wipe circles in the desk even after it was clean as I watched the fireworks explode overhead. Reds, greens, blues, silvers and glittering golds lit the sky in harmony, making me sigh again, though this time wistfully. It might just have been me, but I thought that fireworks were very romantic. The thought of standing underneath the explosions of light with someone you love, their arm wrapped around your waist, whispering sweet nothings in your ear… I frowned at the train of thoughts my mind was taking. I should have known not to agree to doing this, that coming here would devastate my non-existent love life even more than staying at home watching people cut their own legs off with saws. No doubt every 'eligible bachelor' in the area had seen me chuck coffee at TSG and was carefully staying a good ten metres away from me at all times. I could criticise pathetic simpering couples like Mike and Jess that had come for stuffed toys earlier, but I was just being hypocritical because, really, all I wanted was someone to love me like that.

The first firework display finished then, eliciting a loud cheer from the audience. I chucked the napkin back under the desk and turned back to the magazine as I waited for the customers to find their way back around to the stall. As expected, a fair few people turned up and had a go as a way to kill time before the next display. I passed out numerous rods, managing to poke myself in the eye, stomach, leg and other eye, and handed out the tiny prizes of toy cars, rubbishy toy guns, princess tiaras and toys on key rings to everyone that had a go.

"Hi, do you want a go?" I turned to the next customer and blinked in surprise. "Oh. Hey Alice. Hi Jasper."

"Hi Bella!" Alice squealed. "I haven't seen you in ages! We have to do more stuff together… weren't the fireworks awesome? Ohmigosh! You have to meet my cousin!" She said all of that in one breath, no kidding, and then grabbed my arm and tried to pull me through the gap in the circular stand.

"Woah, woah, woah," I said, stopping her. "Calm, Ali. I can't just leave this." I gestured to the stall.

"Meh, Jasper'll watch it, won't you Jazzy?" she asked, pushing him in.

He rolled his eyes at me, but nodded at Alice. "Sure, babe."

"Come on, Bella! You really have to meet Edward. I just know you'll love him," she gushed hyperactively.

"You should really stick to de-caf, Al," I told her sarcastically; I knew that she never drank coffee, but she was always in a naturally caffeinated state anyway.

She waved her hand dismissively, and pushed through the crowd yelling loudly, "Tiny person and pregnant woman coming through!"

I gaped at her. "Alice!" I hissed. "I'm not pregnant."

"I know, but they move, don't they?" she said as though it should be obvious.

My brow furrowed but I didn't argue; I knew better.

She pulled me toward a sweet stall, jabbering away about something random, and I glanced over my shoulder at my stall to see Jasper being hounded by customers. I smiled slightly, in time to hear Alice say, "Edward, this is my best friend, Bella."

I heard him before I saw him. "Ah. We've met."

Damn that gorgeous velvety voice. I turned back round and blinked at TSG. "Holy shit."

"You know each other?" Alice demanded, holding her hand out to me.

I sighed and placed a dollar bill in her hand. Edward watched on, amused. Then, he gestured to his coffee-stained turtleneck. "She tipped coffee on me," he explained to Alice.

I flushed a deep shade of red while Alice tutted. "I could've guessed that. I've had my fair share of coffee-stained shirts." She looked over at my stall, and Jasper, and said, "Well, you two have a nice chat, I'm going to see Jazzy. Ciao." I gaped after her as she walked away. She had been talking about setting me and her cousin up for a while but really? She shouldn't be so obvious, especially not when I was clearly this embarrassed, and when he was never going to like me now that I had tipped coffee on him. Then I slowly turned to face the impossibly sexy man before me, still embarrassingly red-cheeked.

"So…" he started, "you're the infamousBella."

"What do you mean?" I said indignantly, remembering that I had seen TSG before; I had seen a photo on Alice's laptop. Why could I remember that now, but not before it was too late?

"Alice talks about you all the time," he told me, leaning against a wooden picket fence next to the sweet stall.

I scowled, and leant against the fence too. "So you know that the coffee thing really happens on a day-to-day basis?"

"She might have mentioned something about you being extraordinarily clumsy… a few times… well, a few hundred." He laughed, and the sound made me tingle all over.

I scowled at him.

"Don't be embarrassed," he murmured, his voice low, and husky, and delicious… "You can spill coffee on me whenever you want."

"I might take you up on that," I said with a laugh. "But your flirting is outrageously terrible." Yeah, said a voice in my head sarcastically, really awful- so bad that you're more turned on then a bitch in heat. Oh, shut up, I retaliated, before shaking the voice out of my head. See, arguing with yourself isn't too weird, but you know it's bad when you argue with yourself and lose.

He laughed at my comment, and moved closer. "Do you want to teach me, then?"

I rolled my eyes. "Embarrassing the girl you're trying to chat up might be a good start," I told him sarcastically, my brow furrowing slightly; this was the strangest conversation I'd ever had with someone I'd only just met.

He moved in front of me and stared into my eyes. "I'm terribly sorry to bother you," he said in a low, seductive purr as he looked up at me from underneath his eyelashes, his green eyes doing this totally hot smouldering thing, "but you are the most beautiful woman I've ever seen, and I'm afraid that I'll have to rearrange the alphabet to put u and me together."

Oh for the love of all that is holy! That man has just initiated an explosion of butterflies in the pit of my stomach… I blew out a deep breath before shrugging. "Eh. Mediocre. Cheesy stuff isn't great."

Edward leant back again and thought for a second, and then tried again. He touched his left cheek to my right and whispered in my ear, "I'm not leaving without a kiss."

I crossed my legs in a pathetic attempt to stop the burn. "Bit pushy," I noted.

"Bit picky," he shot back at me. Then he pursed his lips and said, "My lips are frozen. Fancy warming them up?"

I laughed. "Well, mine are numb."

"Well, then, shall I warm yours?"

I shook my head, still laughing. "Next!"

He thought about it for a moment. "My apartment's been lacking something… fancy helping me find out what?"

I just raised an eyebrow.

"Did it hurt? He was serious now.

"Did what hurt?" I wondered, intrigued as to where this was going.

"When you fell from heaven. I mean, you'd have to be an angel to have a face like that."

I burst out laughing. "Hell yes. I broke three fingers and a leg."

"Catch a goat you've pulled?" He was laughing now too.

"Sorry, I can't see no goats," I teased.

He came back to my side and leant against the fence again and said, "Why do I need to know a load of cheesy chat up lines when I already know that one day I'm going to get a ring on your finger?"

"Bit forward," I said with my eyebrows raised.

"Who said that was a practice?" He winked at me, and then pushed off of the fence and walked off towards a nearby stall.

Intrigued, I followed him. "What do you mean?"

He simply shrugged, and gestured toward the stall. "Drink?"

"Um… I'm good, thanks." I watched as he bought a peanut butter and banana flavoured milkshake and sucked on the end of the straw. He shivered as he swallowed, his Adams apple bobbing in his neck, and then smirked at me.

"You're crazy," I muttered.

"And you're hotter than the Sahara desert but you don't hear me complaining," he said.

I laughed. "Seriously. Stop now."

He looked at me, eyes wide and pleading. "Give a guy a break? What is the right thing to say?"

I thought it over for a moment. "Um…"

"Admit it, you won't take any kind of compliment," Edward said as we wandered over to the less empty part of the grounds.

I grinned. "Not really."

"Well, then, Miss Swan, you are totally not at liberty to tell me that I am bad at flirting." He took a hold of my hand and his was so warm and welcoming and soft that I let him. Not that I wouldn't have anyway. I mean, this was the Sex God. So remind me again why I was playing hard to get? Oh, yeah; because it was totally working.

He squeezed my hand and then brought it up to his lips to kiss the back, watching my face intensely as he did so. I blushed, naturally, but stared right back into his deep, green eyes, letting them wash over me as he pulled me down a dark alley out of sight of other people, without breaking eye contact. Then he pulled me close to his body and moved his hand from mine to my hip, sliding it under my top; his warm finger stroked along my hipbone, and then slipped under the waistband of my panties. I trembled against him and he chuckled lightly and took his hand away, deftly sliding me away from his body and lobbing his drink at a trash can. It went straight in without touching the side.

I glared at him as he slowly turned to face me.

"What?" he demanded, but his smile told me that he knew exactly 'what'.

I moved back to his side and grabbed his hand. "I thought you were just getting the hang of that flirting thing…" I hinted.

He smirked. "Oh now you're interested. Sorry, my interest wore off a while ago."

I scowled at him. "Serious? You sounded like you were very interested a minute back."

He shrugged. "I just wanted a kiss."

I couldn't bear it any more. I pressed my body against his, and moved his hands down to my hips. "Then just kiss me, dammit."

And, thank all that is holy, he did. He bent his head close to mine and captured my lips with his, and then he kissed me. He moved his lips softly and steadily, varying pressures and making me moan into his mouth. My hands were everywhere; from buried in his hair, to roaming over his gorgeous six pack under his top, to feeling up his ass. His hands didn't miss the opportunity to feel me up either as he pushed my mouth open, causing our quick desperate breaths to meet in the middle and our tongues to engage in a passionate tango. I pulled away for a breath just as the second lot of fireworks began with a huge bang over head. I jumped slightly and Edward laughed breathlessly, before lifting me up and backing me against a wall. As the cold concrete connected with my back, I wrapped my legs around his torso, trusting him to hold me up, and met his lips again.

Neither of us paid any attention to the heart-shaped fireworks that lit up the sky above us as our lips moved fervently together; we just lost ourselves in the bubble that we had built. Eventually, Edward pulled away from me and helped me get my legs down. It didn't help much, since they were so wobbly.

"Alice is probably waiting for you to go back to the stall," he said pointedly and I nodded sadly. I guessed this was what it was going to be. He'd kiss me and leave me desperate for more, without even leaving a number.

Then, he slipped a piece of paper into my pocket and waved before disappearing into the throng of people outside of the alleyway. I sighed, and dug into my jean pocket, retrieving the paper. I expected it to be his number or something, and was surprised to find that it read:

28 Gate Close- about 20 minutes from here. I'll be waiting, beautiful. xxx

I smiled to myself, and tucked the paper back inside my pocket; perhaps wearing my nice underwear hadn't been so pointless after all…

~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~

Well… Valentines Day and I couldn't resist. I know I promised an update on THWTLAL tonight and I'm sorry that there isn't one. It won't be up until Tuesday now I don't think, since I'm going to see Kelly Clarkson tomorrow :D I am very sorry about that, but I don't actually have it finished or anything this time so… :S

Um… hopefully you liked the fluff and have a great Valentines Day if you have an 'other half'. If not… come join the singles club. We'll have fun ;) Play… I dunno… Monopoly? *looks shifty* Haha

I went ice skating this morning and my friend Hannah made them do an announcement. It said 'happy valentines day to steph and Edward- good luck with the new baby'. I almost died XD Sorry, just had to chuck in that random fact.

Reviews are very much appreciated! So please leave one?

Thank you :)

Steph