Carlisle Cullen looked at himself in the mirror in an attempt to finish his preparations for the night. He was nervous; it seemed as if it had been centuries since he'd last truly gone out for pleasure. Styles changed, would he appeal to anyone? He'd been without that special physical connection (or any for that matter) since his last relationship had failed three years ago.
He grew frustrated at his hair; should it be combed smooth like a gentleman? Ruffled, unkempt like the rugged men he'd also seen women fawn over? He gave up, grunting from irritation. His hands flew up to his hair. "Forget it," he sighed as he ran his fingers through it, pushing it back. Then he looked at the outfit he'd chosen. He didn't know how he felt about it. Well, he didn't know how he was supposed to feel about it; he wasn't completely sure of what trends were and weren't 'in' now. He thought he looked decent in the black semi-formal jeans with his black button down shirt. He liked the mystery it gave him. He undid the first button and let just a light tuft of hair peek out. He hoped he'd fit in with the crowd.
Carlisle smiled at this reflection before leaving his home. He drove slower than usual, not wanting to pass the building. He saw the glow of the bar sign and parked by the sidewalk instead of bothering with circling the lot to search for a space.
He waited in line to be admitted and couldn't believe some of what the others were wearing; he suddenly felt overdressed. He caught people staring out of the corners of his eyes. That's somewhat nice, he thought. At least no one is laughing. He reached the front and showed his I.D. to the bouncer.
He pulled open the door and was met with the rowdy scene; people leering at each other, people stumbling around, and the few with tact. He had to remind himself of why he was here, To meet new people.
He walked up to order a drink; he needed to unwind. "A gin and tonic, 1/3 gin, please," he said. He didn't care much for beer. He was handed the glass and downed straight what he could without choking. He smiled now that he was starting to feel the familiar refreshing wave from the tonic water, and the following slight warmth of the liquor seeming to fill his veins.
He stretched his arms, loosening himself. He began to reach for the drink again when he felt a tap on his shoulder. He spun the barstool he'd sat upon and looked at the woman who'd wanted his attention. She was pretty, maybe not modelesque, but attractive enough, though most of her appearance was hidden beneath dark makeup and darker clothes. She smiled and he grinned back.
She wasn't his type, but deserved a chance. He patted the seat next to him and she understood. She ordered and pulled out almost every cliché and cheesy pickup line possible. He was flattered, really he was, but he was distracted by the crowd. He looked around and noticed just how many people were dressed in blacks like him, and he was at ease.
He liked watching the people sway and have fun, as it helped calm him. He continued staring at the hues that melted together under the dim lighting. He blinked and thought he saw a flash of red when he opened his eyes. Puzzled, he scanned for it. He was catching only simple corners and it became a game as it ducked in and out. He became annoyed with the flashes and held his eyes closed for a few minutes, focusing instead on the music filling the room.
He was ready to play again and waited anxiously for it to reappear. He kept his eyes locked on the center, anticipating its return, but it didn't show. Carlisle turned to face the bar again. He noticed the lady, Julie, he thought, was no longer there. He felt guilty and wondered how long she'd been gone.
There was a guffaw somewhere around him, and he liked it; it meant pure happiness. He twisted his neck to find the joy, and captured the red as he did; it was covering a young woman's curves, hugging her waist and cutting off at her knees.
His eyes trailed upwards and could barely make out her features, but he watched as she kept laughing with a group. She stopped and turned her head, meeting his eyes. He panicked and looked away, pretending he hadn't really been looking at her. He waited before lifting his gaze, only to be met by her still curious loitering eyes. She was embarrassed now as well, and she covered her mouth to stifle the nervous giggle that followed. Neither one could look away.
The woman stepped forward after excusing herself and found herself approaching him. He looked back at the counter and lifted his glass to his lips, finishing what liquid courage remained. He could hear her heels clicking and noticed the glass in his hand beginning to shake.
He didn't look at her when she sat beside him, but before she opened her mouth to speak, he was ordering again, "I'd like a shot of your most bracing liquor," he cleared his throat, "and please get something for the lady next to me, whatever she wants, and put it on my tab.
"Another Bloody Mary, E?"
"That'd be great. Thanks, George."
Carlisle couldn't help himself as he heard the drink being placed in front of her, "Aren't Bloody Mary's used for hangovers?"
She chuckled, "I like to get an early start." She sipped it lightly, "And thank you…"
"Carlisle, my name is Carlisle, and you're welcome." He turned to face her for the first time. He noticed her hair, which had fallen, covering her visage, was the loveliest shade; a mixture of brown, blonde, and the slightest rouge tint. "So…E? You know my name, but I don't know yours."
"Hmm, well you did pay for my drink…My name's Esme." Esme swept away the loose curls on her cheek and reached out to shake Carlisle's hand, both looking down as they made contact.
They jumped at what felt like an electric current in their fingertips. They looked up, frozen, fully taking in each other for the first time that evening.
She was entranced by the man in black, his blonde hair looking almost white compared to the fabrics covering him, and the blue in his eyes, almost ghostly in the lighting.
He was hypnotized first by her ruby lips, parted in surprise, waiting for a response. But it was when he looked her in the eyes, lively yet seemingly sad beneath the surface, that he was taken over. They had a million stories to tell with each flicker of emotion, and he wanted to know all of them.
He knew she was starting to blush and let go of her hand. He pretended to cough to break their stares, "So, are you here with your friends?" How original, he thought.
She took another drink. "Yes. I almost never come here, but they insisted. You?"
"Oh, I'm here by myself. I don't care for the scene much either but I needed to get out and do something."
"Bars make you uncomfortable?"
He scratched his neck, "Yes."
"Me too," she sighed with noticeable relief.
They laughed after a moment. Carlisle was hooked; he wanted to know more. "Um, are you a student here?"
"I'm majoring in unemployment," she sniggered again before correcting herself. "Well, I was a student but I needed a break. I tried majoring in psychology, but it wasn't my thing…That took me years to realize. Now I'm trying to decide what I want…What about you? You look like the scholarly type." Carlisle looked at his clothes, confused, and Esme smiled. "By the way that you speak, not dress."
"Oh," he shook his head mentally, feeling silly. "I'm trying out a few medical fields."
"Lofty ambitions…I like that."
"Thanks," he said before finally attacking the shot in front of him. "Hey, I know it's bold, but would you like to dance?" He was anxious to explore her charming innocence.
She seemed taken aback, but nodded. "It's been a long time; I'll need help," she said shyly.
"I can do that," he couldn't believe how easy it would be to get closer.
The beat was simple enough, and he took her by the waist, staring into the hazel eyes that commanded interest, guiding her hips to the rhythm. "Like this?" she asked.
"Very good!" He knew he should feel ashamed about the way he was thinking in that moment, but he couldn't force away the thoughts. She seemed pleased with herself and he smiled with her as she began moving a bit on her own while the pace of the music increased. "You're a natural."
She stepped closer, pressing herself against him, moving with his body as he rocked to the lyrics. He couldn't explain all that happened in that instant; his body was pulsating. He thought the energy earlier had been close to unbearable, but that was nothing compared to what he was reveling in now. He struggled to focus but grinned proudly, imagining the way she looked as they moved; a flame spinning through the darkness.
He was increasingly warm, and not from the alcohol. His mind was becoming lewd, not that he was thinking with his mind now. He looked down at her, flustered, and thought he almost saw her smirk.
"Follow me," he mouthed, and she did. He was worried that he lost her because of his speed, but he entered the secluded hallway that led to the bathroom and turned to find her with him.
He looked at her, ravishing in the v-neck he'd only just noticed. Irresistible.
He pushed her carefully against the wall as she wrapped her legs around him. He kissed her urgently, smudging some of her lipstick, and he loved it. He traced her neck and heard her breath hitch in response. He was playing dirty.
And now she was too.
She let go and turned him into the wall instead. She ravaged his hair mercilessly with a hand as she let the other open up one more button on his shirt. She leaned into him harder and rested her hands on his belt, stopping and panting with him.
This time, she did smirk, and he noticed. She stepped back, smoothing her dress and curls back into place.
She leaned forward, whispering into his ear, "What kind of woman do you take me for?"
He watched as she walked away, laughing to herself, swinging in perfect unison to the music…
He looked down, suddenly reddening in the face from embarrassment. He'd never been more thankful for the darkness.
He paid his bill and exited the bar, still feeling somewhat euphoric, but grew angry as he stood outside, leaning on the cool brick of the building.
"It was a lie and a game all along; the shyness, the dancing, the purity!" She'd played him like a fiddle, but he didn't hate her…completely. He just despised what she did. He'd wanted to know her and she knew it. Or maybe she'd planned the conquer before seeing him? "She won," he sighed. "But those damn eyes…They should've warned me. So expressive, so beautiful…Never trust Bette Davis eyes."
He walked to his car, unable to hear the following laughter on the inside of the building where she'd been watching him.
So she'd won, had she? She shook her head. She had been winning, going in for the kill before he made the first move and threw her off.
Now the lingering warmth of his touch was enough to keep bringing her to her knees.
She hoped he'd find the number in his pocket soon…
Never trust Bette Davis eyes? True, she didn't give him any reason to think otherwise tonight, but she couldn't wait to try.
Note: Though there is a slight chance of me continuing this at some point in time, it is currently only intended to be a one-shot. I'm working on another AH story, and I don't want them to be too similar.
Wow, this is so incredibly different from anything else that I've written. This was my first AH story, and I've got to say, it was a blast! Well, vixen Esme was fun to write period. ;) If anyone's curious about the inspiration for this, I was going through my song library on my computer a few days ago and found a ton of different versions of the Kim Carnes hit, "Bette Davis Eyes" that I'd forgotten I'd downloaded. After listening to them, I was thinking about the amazing expression that was always on Bette Davis' face and how it looked like there was always that bit of fight underneath them. It eventually branched out into this story. Quite an interesting chain of thoughts that led to it indeed...
Go on and hit that "Review" button...Sexy Semi-Heartbroken Carlisle wants you to do it. It would make him feel better! ;D