A/N: OK so I'm not the most talented writer in the bunch, and sure my tenses and punctuation suck, just ask my Beta *looks at Jess*. But I couldn't let the birthday of my beloved SC, you know her as MasenCullen, pass without some hoopla. I decided to try my hand at a birthday fic to honor her day. It's a little story that developed from some very interesting, and hilarious conversations she and I had.

SC, I adore you. You know this. Happy Birthday to the most awesome fic partner in crime EVAR! And just for being so awesome, I made you some pretty to look at that goes along with the story. I know how you LOVE visuals. Oh and bb?....you may recognize the bartender in this story. BWA HA HA!

Thanks are in order to my terrific beta Jessica1971. She pulled this one out of her bag of tricks when I dumped over 9,000 words on her. It would not be anywhere near good with out her pretty sparkles of awesomeness sprinkled throughout. She has her own message for the birthday girl:

Masen - Happy Birthday!! I was honored to help Captain Jezebel with her birthday surprise fic for you :) She wrote the smut (oops, I meant "story"), then I prettied it up for your reading pleasure! I love both of you dearly, and I'm so happy that I got to be part of your special day. I hope you have a wonderful birthday today! 3, Jessica1971

Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight. Twilight character names belong to Stephanie Meyer. All characterizations, plot lines, backgrounds and details belong to the respective author.

Links to visuals in my profile.

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

Bella Swan/The Player:

Many people looked at the way I lived my life, and the first thing that popped into their mind was 'slut' or 'whore'; I preferred 'slore'. I rolled my eyes and snorted at this.

Yes, I snorted. I know it's not lady like, but I didn't give a shit.

Anyway, I truly didn't think of myself as either of those disgusting names, names probably thought up by men to keep women from knowing just how much fun it was to have their opportunities. What I was trying to say was that I loved sex - check that, I loved good sex. I was not going to be hindered over the fact that I had a vagina instead of a penis. I'm a woman that knew what I wanted, and went out to do something about it. I was not going to let the silly rules DICK-tated to me by the penis population hold me back or keep me down, unless I wanted to be kept down. In that case, the gentlemen keeping me down was in for a treat because, I was very good with my mouth.

Snickering to myself, I walked into my bedroom as I prepared to get ready for my night. It seemed I needed to bolster myself with this inane inner monologue whenever I wanted to go out. I rolled my eyes at myself again. Regardless of how many times I told myself I was just as entitled to playing the game as a man, I always felt the need to combat the judgmental stares. It was like I had to prepare the inside with armor, just as I prepared the outside with beautiful clothes and lipstick.

Brand new black lace and pink bow bra and panty set from Agent Provocateur...check.

Now, don't get me wrong. It's not that I didn't believe in love, or making love, or monogamous relationships. I knew they existed; I'd seen it in the way my brother Emmett looked at his wife Rosalie. I just hadn't found it yet. Who knows if I ever would? But until then I'd enjoy as many orgasms as I could find. Again, don't get me wrong, it's not like I hadn't tried to keep a steady boyfriend. I had two serious relationships, but something always went wrong. So I figured I would get my kicks while I was still young enough to get them.

Although I was using one night stands and booty calls as my source of entertainment, I wasn't a complete tool. I did have specific guidelines I followed for the perfect hook-up - no strings attached, maximum satisfaction guaranteed. I'd paid my dues in the boys club, so to speak. I'd hit all the pitfalls in the game, learned the do's and don'ts, the hard way. It all boiled down to four very particular areas of importance; safety, quality, game plan, and exit strategy.

I walked over to my laptop and opened the document I'd opened before many a foray. Sitting at my desk to read it over once again, though I could probably recite it word for word, I felt my shield go up. My rules, glaring up at me from the screen. They served as the last reminder I needed before beginning my night.

Bella Swan's Guidelines for the Perfect Hookup

Rule number one: ALWAYS use protection, and get tested REGULARLY.

This rule was quite self explanatory, and fell under the safety category.

Rule number two: Never get sloppy drunk. You must keep your wits about you to snag a safe and quality man.

Save the shots for GNO. You never wanted your judgment to be impaired if you wanted a man that was genuinely there for a good time, not unlike yourself. You wanted to make sure, to the best of your ability, that he was who he says he was. Now you can never know exactly who someone is in one meeting, but if you ask the right questions, look for the right clues, and keep your senses about you, there shouldn't be a problem. This is safety and quality combined.

Rules three through six were definitely all about the quality factor.

Rule number three: Chances are if he can't kiss, he can't fuck.

Like the guy who licked my face, slobbering like a dog. This alerted me to thinking he might be quite inexperienced with kissing girls. When we made it to bed, my assumption proved correct. I sighed, shaking my head. So I liked to use a guys kisses early in the evening as a guide to how he would perform later on. If he didn't cut it, I cut him loose. There were plenty of men that knew how to use it waiting in line after him.

Rule Number Four: Momma's boys are a big no-no.

I wasn't talking about a man that loved his mom. A man that loved his mother was a good man, it showed you he knew how to love, and respect a woman. But momma's boys, oh, those were a different breed. Enter the cutie pie. He had such a sweet baby face that I was scared he'd be inexperienced, but he proved me wrong. The sex was great; it was when he called his momma immediately after climaxing to ask her if she could make him pancakes the next morning that freaked me out.

Rule Number Five: Absolutely no clingy/needy guys.

I knew there were girls that were into the whole needy thing, perhaps it made them feel more secure in who they were, but that wasn't conducive to the game. My little geek - I should have been clued in when he asked me about marriage. That's not exactly the thing you ask someone when you first meet them, especially at a bar. I should have moved on; I didn't. He was cute in that nerdy type of way. I liked him, so I took a chance. I think it was right around the time that he said I love you and asked me if I wanted to move in with him that I balked and shot out the door half dressed.

Rule Number Six: NO possessive jerks.

That was one of the two times I tried my hand at something more than just sex. My first real relationship. Good in bed, possessive, thought he owned me, wanted to be my world. Yeah, no amount of good fucking could have made me ready for that. So that didn't last long. Next...

Rule Number Seven: Make sure you get yours before he gets his.

Yes, I always made sure I was satisfied. Men could be unpredictable, so if that meant I was coaching the whole time, or redirecting hands and lips, so be it. There's no shame in seeking your orgasm just as hard as men do. They live for post coital bliss, and so do I - mine. This was definitely part of the game plan section of my rules. I found out what a guy could do to get me off, and helped him do it.

Rule Number Eight: Never spend the night, or let them spend the night.

It was easier to make a clean break. If you lingered, things got awkward; everything just seemed different in the light of day. The night had a whole air of mystery that was clarified into harsh truths at daybreak. You've had your fun, now go home.

Not all of my hook-ups ended in such disaster. Those were the important few who served to teach me my lessons learned. I've had many a wonderful evening with quite a few gems that stood out in my mind. The sexy gym buff who liked to call himself B. No name, just B. Now, he was the epitome of yummy. Or the cuddly teddy bear named Tank, because he was built like one, but he was all soft and sweet once I got a hold of him.

I giggled and shook my head to clear it as I stood and crossed over to my closet, plucking out my dress for the evening.

A sexy little black number from Anne Klein...check.

Moving back into the bathroom to check my hair and makeup one last time, I grabbed the gold clutch that matched the medallion at the front of my dress perfectly. I checked to make sure I had all the necessities: the tube of Chanel Courtisane lip gloss shade #138 that went with me everywhere, cell phone, keys, cash, credit card, identification, gum, and condoms. Pretty sure that was everything, if not I was shit out of luck because nothing else was going to fit. Why did they make the cute bags so tiny? Laughing softly at my silly query to myself, I grabbed my pumps on the way to the entry way.

Drool worthy Christian Louboutin peep toe pumps...check.

A last look in the hall mirror, and I was on my way. I wondered what he would look like, my mystery date for the evening. Would he be blond, brunette? Would he have brown eyes, or perhaps baby blues? Silently I hoped they would be green because they were always my favorite. Hailing a cab, I was on my way to Marquee Lounge. My name was habitually on the 'In list', as it was one of the hotspots I frequented. Very exclusive, architecturally pleasing to the eye, dark woods, beautiful glass chandeliers, an alluring second floor lounge that sported it's own bar, and sound proof glass walls so that you could watch the festivities below.

I loved the second floor; it was the perfect place to talk while still leaving myself open to other opportunities, should the need for them arise. So that was exactly where I wanted to be, hunting for my Mr. Right For Tonight. As I stepped from the cab, I saw quite a large line waiting to see if they would be able to get in tonight. I stepped past them quickly, knowing more than half wouldn't reach the inside of the club. Like I'd said, this place was quite select with their door policy. You either had to know someone or be on that list. I was lucky enough to have the benefit of both.

Making my way past the doorman, I ran a quick perusal around the main room, making a mental note of all the seemingly single men present, searching for someone that would catch my attention. There were so many good looking guys out; I was such a lucky gal. Unfortunately, there were also so many beautiful women in attendance - girlfriends, wives, or perhaps other female players to contend with. That made things a bit tougher. You never knew if you were talking to a single guy or an asshole whose girlfriend was in the bathroom. I made my way over to the bar and ordered my usual, rum and coke.

Sipping slowly, my gaze wandered the room and locked with the most beautiful set of green eyes I had ever seen. I immediately fell into their depths. I gasped and my heart lurched a bit. When I was able to clear my brain and focus, I realized that those eyes were attached to a heavenly face. Stunning. I couldn't think of any other word to describe him, he was just stunning. Strong jaw lightly dusted with scruff, those piercing green eyes, and reddish brown hair that stood in a state of unholy mess that I wanted to run my fingers through. In fact, the chaos looked like someone had already molested his sex hair, but it only served to make him that much more desirable.

He sat in the banquette seating closest to the deejay booth, across the room from me. With the crowd on the dance floor, I couldn't see much more than glimpses of his face through the bodies as they moved slow and provocatively against each other. He seemed to be staring at me, taking me in just as much as I was him. If I could just get over to him, see him up close, chat a little, I might have my Mr. RFT. I began to weave my way through the heated figures grinding on the floor. As I got closer to my target, the sea of bodies thinned out and I noticed he was no longer sitting there.

Damn! Lost him.

Maybe he saw someone else he liked, or maybe he was there with someone. Who knows, but he wasn't there. I was very disappointed. He was so hot and seemed very interested, but I needed to keep moving if I was going to find a quality man tonight. Sighing deeply, I decided to stick with my original plan and head upstairs to the quiet of the second floor lounge. I knew there were plenty more beautiful men to choose from, so why did I feel so disheartened? I didn't understand how a few glances shared with a complete stranger could have me so worked up. I shook the funk from my body and forced a smile on my face.

As I reached the top of the stairs and turned into the lounge, the smile I was forcing turned genuine. Big and bright, my smile mirrored the way I felt inside when my eyes took in the scene before me at the bar. Standing there, alone I might add, about 6' 2', in a classy suede charcoal blazer, a black button down, and the most sexy dark wash jeans, was my mystery man. He wore a scintillating crooked smile and held his glass up to me in greeting as I entered the room.

Trying to look like I wasn't extremely excited to see him, and to have correctly deciphered that he was attracted to me, I sauntered over to the bar and took the spot next to him. Can't let him know he had gotten to me with his little disappearing act. It was time for mama to go to work. I felt the warmth of his form move closer. His scent was so clean and fresh. I inhaled deeply to surround my senses with him, smelling hints of sage, sweet grass, and cedar. That was a large mistake; my mind shut down completely as my body moved unconsciously closer to this man. I was losing control of the game fast, and he hadn't even uttered a word.

What was I thinking?

Knowing I needed to take the reins back and keep the upper hand, I closed my eyes for a moment to steel myself. I felt him lean into my ear and his hot breath fanned over my neck as he whispered the best pick-up line I've ever heard into my ear.

"Hello" he said simply.

His voice was like velvet caressing my ear. A shiver ran down my spine, goose bumps broke out along my arms, and I gasped aloud, hoping he didn't catch any of this. His smirk let me know I hadn't fooled him. My body was reacting to everything about him - his voice, his face, even his smell. I had never reacted so strongly to ANY man before, not even Jake, and I was with him for a year. I turned to look into his eyes. When they locked with his, my panties got considerably wetter, and my knees went weak.

I was in big trouble.

Edward Cullen/ The Sweetheart:

Many of my friends did not understand the way I chose to live my life. I could hear them now.

'With your looks and money, you could have any pussy you wanted dude. Any poon in the entire city is yours for the taking.'

What they couldn't comprehend was my reasoning for abstaining from the game of casual sex with casual partners. They couldn't fathom why I, a straight, good looking, successful, red-blooded American man, would turn down the offers to be 'completely satisfied' from dozens of women every time we went out. I tried to explain that I didn't believe in the merits of fucking around; they just looked at me like I had two heads. Well, I actually do have two heads, but… never mind.

I would just say I was waiting for the right one. The majority of the time it ended up with me looking like the snob who had too many qualifications for my pussy, but that wasn't the case at all. I only had one. She had to make me feel something special, something I'd never felt before, and I was willing to wait until I found the woman that did. No matter how long it took. Now I didn't exactly go around spelling it out to my friends, because they would just tease me for having a vagina and revoke my man card.

Only Jasper knew my whole story. My best friend since childhood, he and I had seen each other through many a tough time, so I trusted him with my feelings and deepest secrets. I could never tell the rest of the guys that I was saving myself for Ms. Right, for the woman that made my heart beat out of my chest and my pulse race. Only Jasper knew how inexperienced I truly was, and by that I mean that I was a virgin.

Now, don't get me wrong, it's not that I didn't want to have sex. Oh, believe me, I wanted to very badly, but I wanted it to be with the right woman. I knew where everything went and how to make a woman feel good, I'd just never done it. I wasn't a hormone ridden teenager that might burst upon contact with any part of the female body; I was a 25 year old man in peak physical condition. I knew when I found her that I would be able to make love to her, make her feel good, hold her in my arms, look her in the eye, know it was only her, and I would be happy with my reasons for waiting.

I stood at the bar, hoping tonight was the night, as my mind wandered over my reasons for being here. I knew she frequented Marquee Lounge among a few other classy establishments in the city, but this place was one of her favorites. Besides, it held a special place in my heart; it was at Marquee six months ago tonight that I first felt her.

Jasper had dragged me out after our disastrous outing the night before. I had turned down a record fifty girls in one night. The ribbing I received from the guys was extremely harsh. I was not willing to go through it again, but I had promised Jasper I would go out with him and his new girl.

About an hour after arriving, I was close to calling it a night, but Jas kept giving me the eye, silently begging me to stay a little longer. I guessed this new girl must be very important to him because he never really pushed for me to become so friendly with his any of his exes. So I sucked it up and stayed as a favor to my friend. I have since thanked him for forcing my attendance that evening. If he hadn't, I might never have felt what I felt that night.

I turned to Alice and smiled, about to make some more small talk, when I felt a sudden jolt of excitement run its course to every nerve ending of my body. It was followed by a warmth that spread from the center of my chest to everywhere within my body. Alice gave me a funny look and I smiled at her.

"What was that?"

I rubbed my palms against my thighs, a confused look on my face. "I have no idea."

I felt it again, and this time she must've seen something cross my eyes because her eyebrows shot up, then nodded at me knowingly. Only I had no clue what she figured out, because I was still clueless. Alice's eyes began darting around the room, so I followed, and that is how my eyes first landed on the beauty of Bella Swan. The moment I saw her, my heart began to beat double time, my palms became sweaty, my pulse sped, my throat went dry, and my cock sprung up into the hardest erection I have ever had. I'm not a eunuch, so I've gotten a hard on from looking at a woman before, but never at first sight. And never clear across the room from where she was.

I had to adjust myself before causing an embarrassing scene with Alice. I didn't want Jasper getting the wrong idea, either. That situation could have gone to shit quickly. For the rest of the night, my eyes pursued her luscious frame wherever it went. She was about 5'7" in heels, had long shapely legs, a firm round ass, tiny waist, and full breasts.

Mmmm… curvy and toned, just the way I like 'em.

She had long flowing mahogany locks, soulful brown eyes that sparkled in the light of the chandeliers, and a smile that could light up the room should the chandeliers fail. I watched her flit about the club gracefully, talking with friends, dancing, mingling, and laughing with the bartender. I came to realize that not only was she well known here, but she seemed to be searching for something. I watched her chat up guy after guy, turning each one away for some reason or another, and the thought came to my head. Maybe, just maybe, she was waiting like me, looking for her Mr. Right.

Those thoughts were propelled from my mind with extreme force when she leaned into the guy currently making her giggle. She whispered something, they kissed, and then left together. That was all it took for my bubble to burst, but I couldn't stop thinking about her and still felt the effects her presence had on my body long after she was gone. Excusing myself from my group of friends, I strode over to the bar to ask the bartender about the enchanting woman with the bright smile.

I learned she was a regular, very sweet, but a big time flirt. This started me on the path that led me to where I stood now. Some might think of what I did as slightly stalkerish, but she was the first woman to ever give me these feelings, and I was not about to let her walk away from me. I frequented Marquee, staying in the shadows and watching her from afar, admiring the way her body swayed to the music and sauntered through the crowded room. I became enraptured by her laugh and smile, but most of all I loved to look at her soulful eyes and read what others were not seeing about this incredible woman.

I became friendly with the bartenders, and they gave me the scoop on other clubs she was known to patronize. I learned how much of a player she truly was, and the skill she used in finding what she wanted and needed for the night. I had to say I was quite impressed with her process, although I wished she would just see that she was worthy of love. I heard the rumors and names she was called behind her back. The men thought they were using her; they all wanted to meet her criteria to experience her widely know skills. The women mostly feared and hated her. Jealousy painted their faces green anytime she walked into a club. Either they were jealous of the attention she got or the confidence she exuded.

She seemed to know what was being said about her, but never let it get to her. In reality, she was using the men, but the women were just silly if you thought about it. She never took a man from another woman. If they were paying attention, these women could learn something valuable from Bella's attitude. Sadly, there were times when she thought no one was watching that she let her bravado slip, and I saw deep through her stare. I don't even think she realized how lonely she was. She was always searching, finding, and moving on - a vicious cycle that only brought physical release. She wanted more. In those guarded moments, her eyes always told me she wanted more.

I continued to learn about her and pop up at her favorite neighborhood haunts, hoping to catch a glimpse. I became more enamored with her the more I learned. The way she bit her lip when she was flirting, the way she threw her head back whenever she fully laughed. I was falling in love with her. I knew it was crazy, but I felt it. It's what I had been waiting for this whole time. I always stayed out of sight so she wouldn't try to make me one of her 'dates'. I wanted to meet her, but I just wanted to be ready, and I needed her to be ready.

After some time, I began to get very jealous of the affection she would show these men at the bars. I would be angry at her before I reminded myself that she didn't know me yet. I would feel rage towards the men. I wanted to break their necks, but then I remembered she was the aggressor in these situations. I started to feel extremely protective of her. I was scared I was going to slip into full on stalker mode by following her home every time I managed to see her at a club, just to make sure she got home alright.

It became extremely hard for me to keep my sexual needs at bay. I was jerking off three to fours times a day, always to different fantasy scenarios starring my favorite little player. I always had an erection the moment I felt her enter a room. My body was starting to need this woman as much as my heart. I didn't know how much longer I could wait.

In short, I was quite unbalanced. But whenever I felt that maybe I really was just her nutty stalker dude, I would feel the warmth in my heart telling me that I was on the right path, that she was meant to be mine. So I cherished her from a distance, and waited for her, as I had been doing my entire life. I needed her to see me, to feel me, the way I did her. Only then would I know she was ready.

I thanked S.C. for my drink and went to pay. She was a cute, petite wisp of a woman with short, dark, curly hair and the most adorable face you could find anywhere. But boy did she have a dirty mind. She and I had become quite close over the past six months, and she never failed to make me laugh. Plus, her lack of filter was very helpful in my endeavors to learn everything I could about Bella.

"Edward," she raised her brow at me, "you know your money is no good here, it's on the house."

I tried pushing the money back toward her, but she gave me that look that a mom gives her kids. You know, the one that says 'don't fight me on this, end of discussion'. So I smiled and raised my glass to her in a toast.

"Thanks, hun."

"No problem. I mean, you come in here so often, I'm pretty sure your money alone paid for the new light fixtures in the bathrooms, as well as the deejay's new turn table. If I keep letting you pay, the boss will find something else that he 'needs' to buy," she chuckled.

I smiled, shaking my head at her. Like I said, she never failed to make me laugh.

"You know, every time we talk, I ask what the 'S.C.' stands for, and you say you'll tell me next time. Well, it's next time," I teased.

She shrugged her shoulders and said, "Maybe it's my way of making sure you'll come back to visit me."

I gasped, feigning shock.

"I'm just teasing, Edward. We both know the real reason you grace this fine establishment with your fine ass."

"Am I that transparent?"

She looked me up and down and just nodded with a sly smirk on her face. Again, she cracked me up. Of course everyone knew about my crush on Bella, well, except for maybe Bella. Then I remembered she didn't answer my question.

"You sneak. You're not getting away that easy."

"Let's just say my parents were silly hippies that thought naming their children after rainbows and lollipops was a great idea."

"That bad, huh?"

"Just be happy you got a traditional name, Edward," she winked and was off to take care of her next patron.

It was close to one o'clock in the morning, and she hadn't shown up yet. It looked like it was going to be a late night. Taking my drink with me, I traipsed across the dance floor, winding my way through the close knit bodies. I had to avoid two advances on my way to the banquette. I sat back to enjoy my drink and get lost in the music until my lady showed. I was about halfway through my drink when I felt it - the jolt, the warmth. She was here.

Would tonight be the night? Would she finally see me? Would she finally feel me?

My gaze chased her gliding figure from the doorway to the bar. She was scanning the room, always moving, always searching. After ordering her rum and coke from S.C., she turned to continue her search. Behind her, I could see S.C.'s eyes find mine. She winked and smiled a big goofy grin at me. Shaking my head and looking down to my lap, I stifled a chuckle. Just as I began to look up, my eyes were met with a most welcome sight.

I let out a breath it felt like I had been holding in for six months. Finally her expressive brown eyes met mine. Finally, she was seeing me. The excitement I usually felt around her spiked greatly when our gazes locked. The warmth emanated from inside all around me; I was pretty sure the guy sitting next to me could feel it. She studied my features between the swaying dancers, and she began a path towards me.

Oh, no you don't, missy. I'm not going to make it that easy.

Under the cover of the surging dance floor, I made my way to the second floor lounge. I knew it was her favorite spot in the club and she would most likely end up there, and I wanted her to be able to feel me. I didn't know how, but I knew if she could just get close enough, she would feel it, too. Then it was time to do what I did best, wait for her. She rounded the door, and I swear it took everything in me not to pounce. I wanted her, in every sense of the word.

Sexy black dress, FUCK, with these heels that made her legs look like they went on for miles, DOWN BOY, oh and her hair, soft waves falling around her face. Very nineteen forties pin-up girl, FUUUCK.

Bella wore her fake smile, the one she wore when she was trying to convince others she was happy, but I knew better. For a moment, my heart faltered when I thought her fake smile was for me, but then her lush lips broke wide into her thousand watt smile when she saw me waiting for her. My heart nearly leaped from my chest and I smiled back as she walked towards me, hips captivating me with their sway. She stood next to me, leaning back against the bar as I moved a little closer to her. I waited.

Slowly, Bella inhaled a deep breath, and in an instant she seemed to be intoxicated. Drunk on me as I was on her, she advanced, unaware of her movements, needing to feel me, needing to be closer still. I knew she didn't understand what she was feeling, and she tried to fight it. She shut her eyes to bolster herself, and I saw my opening. Leaning in close, I could smell a faint hint of apricot along her neckline.

Oh, she smelled so delicious. I wonder if she smelled this good everywhere?

The hard-on I always seemed to sport in her presence got even harder. This was the closest I had ever been to her, and the feelings were so strong that I was damn near ready to throw her down and ravage her. I had to be a gentleman, though. She needed better from me.

"Hello," I whispered across her ear.

Then I saw it - the goose bumps, the shiver, and finally I heard her sweet gasp. She was beginning to realize; she felt me. I smirked knowingly; I remembered everything she was feeling. She turned to fully face me, and as our gazes met again, her knees almost gave out. I reached to grab onto her so she would not fall, my arms wrapping securely around her waist and holding her close, our eyes still upon each others. I knew she could feel me hard against her, but I didn't shy away. I wanted her to know what she did to me.

Once she was steady on her feet, I began to let go, not wanting to overwhelm her.

"Wh-What?" she asked softly, her voice slightly shaken.

I smiled down at her and moved a stray hair that had fallen into her face behind her ear.

"I said, hello," I whispered again.

Her false bravado reared its ugly head as she stepped back a bit.

"Nice line there, bud. Very original," she teased.

I stepped closer, closing the gap she had created, gently taking her hand in mine.

"That wasn't meant to be a line," I answered, never breaking our gaze. "You are a lady, and deserve to be treated as such. Therefore, I promise not to feed you a line."

I brought her free hand up to my lips and grazed her knuckles in a gentle kiss. Feeling a spark shocked us both and our eyes widened. She leaned in like she was going to tell me a secret.

"I hate to tell you this, bud, but that bullshit about being a lady and not using lines...it's a fucking line."

I laughed so hard that I thought I scared her with the sudden sound of it.

"Well, then please forgive me for using such a cheesy line," I smiled.

"Oh, no, I never said it was cheesy. Actually, it is one of the sweeter ones I've heard. My name's Bella Swan," she held her hand out to shake.

"Edward Cullen," I kissed her hand again.

This time the spark didn't take us by surprise, but it did change something in her eyes. I felt a strange shift in the air around us. It crackled with excitement and the warmth was becoming stifling.

"Edward, do I know you?"

"I'm not sure if you're ready to hear the true answer to that question."

Her eyes narrowed as she considered my non-answer. I felt her thumb unknowingly make small circles against the fingers of my hand, which she had yet to let go of. I tried to hide my grin of pleasure.

"What do you mean?"

"Just that, there are two answers to that question. The simple one, and the true one. Simply...no, Bella, you do not know me."

I realized that it must have been a little frightening to her, having intense feelings towards a stranger. A stranger that you felt such a connection with that you feel like you know him. A stranger that will not answer your question simply. A stranger that held you so tight, you felt his cock digging into your side. A stranger whose touch causes sparks to flutter through you. Her heart began to race, and her breathing became labored.

Shit, I was scaring her. That was the last thing I wanted.

"I'm so sorry, Bella, I didn't mean to frighten you," I began to loosen my grip on her hand to step away from her. Perhaps she wasn't ready yet. Perhaps I was just a crazy fuck. Either way, I had scared this poor girl long enough.

"NO!" Her grip tightened around my hand and she pulled me closer with such speed I accidentally pushed her back into the bar. Her sumptuous frame wedged tightly up against mine. She gave a sheepish smile. "No, please don't go, I-I just don't understand. I-It's all so strange, how I'm fee..."

"Feeling?" I finished.

"Yes," she whispered as she looked down, trying to hide her face from me.

Gently, I nudged her face up with my finger crooked under her chin until her eyes were on mine again.

"No, don't hide. I know how you feel. I feel it, too."

She smiled her big smile, "You do?"

Nodding, I brought my hand up to run the backs of my fingers along her cheek.

"So beautiful."

A faint pink brushed across her pale cheeks, lighting her up from the inside out. She blushed, the tough as nails, man eater, player-woman blushed because a man said she was beautiful. I was overjoyed that I was the man that caused such a radiant look to grace her angelic face.

Then her look turned fearful.

"Remember earlier, when you said I was a lady?" She looked so small, so panicked.

"Yes," I continued to caress her cheek and jaw line, trying to calm her and hoping the warmth radiated out to envelop her.

"Well, I'm not exactly a la…"

I hushed her lips with my fingers, "You are to me."

"...but I sle…"

My fingers traced her lips, "I know."

"And you still want me?"

"Of course I do, I always want you."

She gasped at this, "How? How could you want me? You don't know me. You don't know what I do."

"Bella, let me ask you this. Do you know me?"

"Hey, isn't that my question?" she laughed. Noticing my serious look, she answered. "I feel like I know you, but, to be honest, no."

"Exactly, and even though you don't know me, you want me." It wasn't a question. "You don't know my past. You don't know how many women I've been with. What makes you think I haven't slep..."

It was her turn to cut me off. "I can see it in your eyes, Edward. I'm one of those people who have sold their soul so many times that I recognize an innocent when I see one."

Such a change in the way she felt about her 'dates' in only a short time being alone with me. I had always known she had a sadness in her, but was too afraid to change it.

She didn't see that this is exactly where I wanted to lead her.

"Yes, Bella, I may be an innocent, but that doesn't mean I don't know what I want. I know your past, and I still want you."

My hand ran down her neck and I moved it to nape of her neck, caressing the soft skin I found under her hair. I tilted her head back, my other hand finding its way to her hip, and I brought her closer as my lips descended down upon hers for the first time. Her soft lips moved against mine, languidly, in a feeling of pure perfection. We both felt it - complete validity. We were meant to be together, this was right. Her arms came up to circle my neck as she pressed herself closer to me, needing more.

I licked her bottom lip and pulled it gently between my teeth, causing her to groan. She tasted so good, and her sounds caused my cock to get embarrassingly harder, although I didn't even care. I finally had her in my arms, kissing me, responding to my touch. I licked her delicious bottom lip again, but this time she opened her mouth to me, inviting me to taste her. I pressed my tongue into her mouth and teased hers playfully. She whimpered, right before she took charge of the situation. She tightened her grip around my neck, forcing my face closer to hers, and kissed me passionately.

I felt everything Bella put into that kiss - her confusion, fear, excitement, want, need, pain. I felt it all, and sent all of my feelings back to her. We stood wrapped in each other, because nothing else in the world mattered at the moment. She pulled away from the kiss, leaning her forehead against mine to catch her breath, her shoulders rising and falling with the effort. Stepping back, she looked into my eyes again.

"Wow," she whispered, her fingers reached up to touch her lips lightly. "That was..."

"Incredible," I vowed.

"Did you feel it, too?"

"Yes, Bella, I felt it. I've always felt it," I cupped her cheeks, kissing her softly.

Suddenly the dam broke. We had both had too much, our bodies ached, pulsing with fire and excitement, for which there was no cure but the proximity of the other. Her lips pushed harder against mine, her hands fell from their place, making a slow path over my shoulders, and across my chest. Her movements were a blur, feeling, touching. My hands roamed her back. I slid them down to cup her perfect ass before I squeezed. She moaned into my mouth, a soft sound that made my dick twitch.

We broke apart and I leaned in to kiss her neck. Her moans grew louder, and I knew soon enough we would attract unwanted attention.

"Bella," I groaned into her ear as her hand brushed lower, ghosting over my erection.

I knew we still had so much to talk about. I knew she had to process all of the new feelings she was having. I knew she would need time, but right now she needed something more. Bella needed a man to make love to her. She needed to be worshipped and loved, and it was my job to show her. I stilled her hand, my eyes closed tightly. I had to get control of myself.

"Please," I whispered. "Please, Bella."

I opened my eyes, begging her to understand I was not rejecting her. I needed to slow down if I was going to make it through this night the way I hoped. She nodded, to my relief. I gulped audibly, for now was the moment I had dreamed of for my entire life, but more specifically since I saw Bella. My stare intensified, I grabbed her hand and squeezed gently.

"Bella," I rasped. I wondered why my voice chose to leave me at that moment. "Would you like to go home with me?"

I had chosen my words carefully. I didn't want to use the words so many others had used with her; 'Wanna go to my place?' I needed her to know that I wanted to take her 'home' in every sense of the word. She was quiet for a few moments, and I feared I may have pushed too far, too fast. Then her hand squeezed mine back as she whispered a small yes.

She held tight to my hand as we made our way down the stairs. We moved together in a state of confusion and bliss; I never felt anything like it before in my life. As we passed the bar, I looked around for S.C. When she saw us leaving hand in hand, she flashed me a huge smile and mouthed 'good luck'. I couldn't help but smile as I mouthed my thanks back. The valet brought my car around and Bella was swiftly escorted inside.

The ride to my place was quiet, but intense. We could feel the electricity, the heat surrounding us, drowning us, but words were failing us where our bodies were not. I held her hand the entire time, smiling and winking at her when she looked at me. There were moments of sheer panic when I thought I was moving too fast, fear of being hurt, fear of the unknown, and the possibility of crashing my car when I couldn't pull my gaze away from her.

We reached my apartment building and I ran around to open her door before handing my keys off to Seth. He smiled at me when he saw me place my hand on the small of Bella's back, guiding her inside. The elevator ride up to my apartment was interesting. I think my body was preparing for what lay ahead, because my hands and lips were seeking her soft skin the moment the doors closed. I was running my fingers up and down her arms, kissing her neck, lips, and cheeks. I could not get enough. She seemed to be on the same wavelength because her hands roamed my body as she kissed her way across my entire jaw.

It wasn't the fevered tempo from earlier in the club. It was needy, but slow, measured. Unlocking my door, I ushered her inside, briefly catching the awe on her face at my entryway. It tended to have that effect - the lighting, curved walls, not to mention the huge open terrarium embedded into my wall, full of plant life. I motioned for her to proceed forward into the living room.

"Would you like something to drink?" I asked, motioning for her to make herself comfortable on one of the couches as we passed my piano, and her eyes again held that awe for a moment. I removed my jacket and hung it in the hall closet.

"No, Edward, I just want you," she answered softly.

I moved closer to her, cupping her face in my hands. I searched her eyes. "Bella, I need you to understand that this is not a one night only thing for me. I will not use you like the others. I will not let you use me."

She looked down for a moment, then back up and straight into my eyes. "I know. I felt the difference with you the moment I saw you, the moment I ...felt you. Does that make sense?"

"Of course it does, I feel the same for you."

"And, Edward, I could never, ever use you. There is just something I see in you, something I feel for you, something that could not let me ever hurt you."

I smiled at her, and no more words were necessary. She took my hand as I led her into the bedroom. She turned her back to me, shifting her hair to the side and looking at me over her shoulder. My hands were steady as they pulled the zipper of her dress slowly down her back. I pulled her to my chest, my hands inside her dress, pushing the sleeves down her arms and caressing every inch of flesh as it was revealed to me. Her dress pooled at her feet and her round voluptuous ass was revealed to me. She stepped from her dress, turning around for me.

My heart leapt out of my chest, my lungs were devoid of air, and my cock throbbed from inside the confines of my pants. Bella wore the most sinful, yet adorable, bra and panties - black satin and lace with little pink bows in all the right places. I just wanted to rip them from her body, but I needed to control myself. I reached around to undo her bra and slid the straps down the same path her dress had previously followed.

Fuck me, her breasts are perfection.

"Fuuuck," I whispered.

My hands immediately cupped her smooth breasts. I held them in my hands and marveled at their weight and the fact that I was touching them. She watched in amusement at my behavior; I was mesmerized by her. I leaned in and kissed her gently before burning a path of kisses down her neck. I promised I would worship her, and it was time to make good on that promise. I lapped at her collarbones, sucking them into my mouth, tasting her taut skin. Her whimpers and moans only served to push me on.

I lay open mouth kisses over the swell of her right breast, lavishing her body with attention, slipping my tongue out and making lazy circles on her skin. Finally, I reached her tightened nipple. I kissed it gently before sucking it into my mouth. Her body arched closer to me, begging for more. My hand massaged her left breast, pulling her hard nipple between my fingers and pinching lightly. Her moans filled my ears, my room. I needed her.

I walked her towards my bed, arms wrapped tight around her. My mouth switched to her left breast, nibbling on her pebbled nipple. She was so lost in the sensations that she didn't feel me lift her onto my bed and lay her out like a queen to be adored. I leaned over her, my mouth kissing over her torso, nibbling, and licking. My hands touched everywhere they could reach, caressing her, holding her. When my mouth reached her hips, I licked a line straight across her abdomen from one side to the other.

"I need to see you, Bella," I growled.

My fingers hitched under the edge of her panties and I pulled them on a slow trek down her luscious legs. Leaning back, I pulled her leg up to remove those sexy heels from her beautiful feet. I kissed the soles of both feet afterwards, then each of her ankles. I ran my tongue over her calves, kissing and nibbling her knees. Bella squirmed underneath me, whimpering. I sucked and gently bit her thighs before my eyes landed on all of Bella. There she lay gloriously spread out for me.

My fingers traced the soft pink folds, and she moaned.

"You're so wet."

"Yes, for you."

My eyes lit up at her words, I was doing this to her. I trailed my thumb up her pink lips to her clit. Tenderly, I applied pressure and began making small circles. Her hips shot up off the bed and I knew I had done it right. Using my other hand, I slid two fingers inside her and began to pump, gradually increasing my speed. I curled my fingers upward until I heard her let out the most primal moan. It shot straight through me.

I moved my fingers faster inside her, pressing harder on her clit. She panted, and writhed, and cursed, until finally I felt her hot walls tighten around my fingers. Screaming my name, she came undone in my arms.

Her hair was a tangled mess around her head, her body literally spent, skin flushed, chest heaving. I had done that. I had done that to my Bella. I began to undress as she lay there, just watching me as she came off of her high. I unbuttoned my shirt slowly before dropping it to the floor. I wanted to watch her face when she saw my body for the first time. I wanted to know if she wanted mine as much as I wanted hers. Next went my shoes, socks, and jeans.

"I need to see you, Edward," her words mirrored mine to her.

Sliding my last piece of clothing from my body, I stood there before her, naked in every sense of the word, waiting for her approval. I looked at her, trying to gauge her thoughts, but her eyes were scanning my body hungrily. She wanted me. Her fingers shot out, stretching towards me, as if trying to reach me on their own. So I moved back onto the bed and into her grasp. Her hands were everywhere, exploring me, loving me. I groaned at the sensations she was giving me, but I had to stop her. This was about worshipping her.

I kissed her tenderly on the lips and moved her hands to caress my back. Hovering over her, I began kissing her passionately, not leaving anywhere in my range untouched… lips, nose, neck, breasts. We could both feel the need building to an uncontrollable level; it was in every touch, every sound, and every kiss. I was so fucking hard it was painful. She knew. She could feel me trying to hold back, but needing to move on.

"Ed...Edward, in my pur...," she tried to gasp out between kisses.

I smiled at her and leaned over into my bedside table drawer. She didn't need to worry; I would take care of everything tonight. Nothing but pleasure for her, no worries. I ripped the foil package open with my teeth and sheathed myself in mere seconds. Nothing was going to keep me from this. I positioned myself between her legs and pressed myself to her opening. With my free hand, I grabbed for her hand and clasped it tightly. Her eyes were closed in anticipation.

"Bella, please look at me."

Her eyes opened to mine, and as our gazes locked I tenderly slid into her. She felt so good, so warm, and so right. When I was fully inside, I leaned in to kiss her. She gasped, and I swallowed it. I began to make deliberate moves, pacing myself slowly. Watching her eyes the entire time, I was kissing her gasps and moans as she felt the full force of us. My body was racing, wanting to give into this new feeling, to find its release. But I couldn't let go yet.

I moved faster, rocking my hips into hers. I reached my arm down to pull one of her legs around my waist and tilted her hips up so I could reach the spot inside her that would cause her to explode. She moaned that primal moan from earlier, letting me know I found it. I rocked harder, deeper. Our eyes remained on each other, our lips caressed each others. I knew I wouldn't last much longer, so I reached down to circle her clit. I kept my movements in time with my thrusts, wanting her to reach that high with me.

"Please, baby," I begged. "Please come with me."

It was like that was exactly what she needed, because at the sound of my voice she tightened around me, sending me over the edge. She screamed my name, and my eyes slammed shut as I thrust into her, my face buried against her neck. I felt her release all around me as I came. It was incredible, and everything I had been waiting for. I looked up to see tears in her eyes and a repentant look on her face.

"I'm so sorry, I didn't know."

I wiped her tears and nodded. She was so beautiful, so perfect.

"Edward, I think I love you," she whispered, looking at me with shock evident on her face.

I just soothed her, running my fingers down her cheek. "I know."

"You do? How?"

"Because I love you."

Both of us were so confused as to how it could be, but not fighting it at the moment. I kissed her softly and rolled over her, disposing the condom in the trash can under my table. I moved onto my side, covering us up with the sheet and pulling her up against me so that her back was pressed against my chest while my face was buried in her hair.

Mmmm…. apricots. She did smell like them everywhere.

She played with my hand that rested across her stomach, and I knew we didn't have to say another word. I didn't have to ask her to stay, she didn't have to ask to stay, we just knew. Her breathing evened out and slowed. I realized she had fallen asleep in my arms - just where I wanted her to be. We had a lot to face in the morning, and she had a lot of new feelings to understand, but we would do it together.

As I watched my sleeping beauty, one thought occurred to me, causing my chest to swell in pride and a big smile to cross my face. I had waited my whole life for her, but she, in a sense, waited for me, too. She had waited to make love, to be loved, and to give love to someone. She had waited for me to be that someone. I snuggled closer to her, kissing her shoulder before I fell into a deep peaceful sleep.