So, thanks to lambcullen and her awesome editing skills, I am reposting chapters 1-4. These were originally posted before I acquired my wonderful beta Moblair. Now you won't have to cringe through my bad grammar!
Thank you in advance if you are rereading these chapters, I hope seeing the cleaned up versions will enhance the story for you…
Also, thank you to everyone who has read, reviewed and recommended this story. It makes me so fucking happy that so many people are enjoying it.
And if you haven't already seen it, I have started a separate story for some missing moments and alternate POV's I thought you might enjoy. Faithfully: The Outtakes. There is only one installment so far, but I intend to add more as the story progresses.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
*Hello, I Love You*
She's walking down the street
Blind to every eye she meets
Do you think you'll be the guy
To make the queen of the angels sigh?
~Hello, I Love You-The Doors~
The smell of dust and vinyl wafts through my nostrils, as I sift through the latest album acquisitions in my favorite music shop in Soho, Record Roundup. The shop's owner, Garrett, always makes a point to call and let me know whenever he receives anything that might be of interest to me. He called me about a week ago to wish me a happy birthday, and also to let me know that he was holding a new box for me to sort through. I smile fondly thinking back to day we met.
I met Garrett about fifteen years ago. I was young, barely twenty, and the front man of a young, inexperienced band from our hometown of Chicago. Being newcomers on the scene, we had a hell of a time finding gigs in the city and after two years of struggling, we decided to spend the summer at my grandparents' home in London to see if we fared any better across the pond.
I guess you could say we owe our big break to Garrett, because about seven weeks into our twelve-week experiment, we were playing in a local pub when he approached us to complement our style. He was cool as fuck and ended up spending the rest of the night hanging out with us drinking, and bullshitting about music.
I learned that he owned a local music shop and that he, like me, was an avid collector of vinyl records. He mentioned that he had some contacts in the industry that he had acquired through his business of collecting and selling valuable vinyl records. He said he would be happy to drop our name to them.
True to his word, he passed our contact information on to his colleague, Eleazar, who two weeks later, arranged to come and watch a show. Little did we know, that show would be the turning point in our career. Five years later Eclipse were considered the most successful and sought after rock band in the world. Ten years later, and we are still going strong. So strong in fact, that we relocated the band permanently from Chicago to London. Mostly because the paparazzi are far less intrusive here.
Moving was not as rough of a transition for me as it was for the rest of the guys, however. My father is English, resulting in dual citizenship for me, and most of his family still lives here in London. There were many summers and holidays spent here visiting family as I was growing up. I feel very comfortable here, London is my true home.
So here I am, engrossed in examining a very rare, and valuable, Sex Pistols album for scratches. When, out of the corner of my eye, I catch sight of the most spectacular set of lips I have ever laid eyes on. Without thinking, I abandon the treasure in my hands and set out to follow the owner of those lips.
Glancing around to make sure there are no paps following me, I carefully step out onto the sidewalk, cautiously staying about fifteen paces behind. I didn't want to alert her to my presence.
As I trail her, I take advantage of the opportunity to rake my eyes down her feminine form, from top to bottom. She is tiny, no taller than 5'3" with a slight but curvy frame. She has long dark hair that hangs down her back in loose curls, ending just above her narrow waist, which gives way to the perkiest, fullest, roundest ass I have ever seen.
My hands are twitching at my sides, with an uncontrollable urge to reach out and grab hold of it. I am aching to see if it is as firm as it looks, barely encased in the shortest, tightest shorts known to man. If you could even call them shorts.
Damn! those should be illegal.
I can hardly walk with the massive wood I am sporting.
Shaking my head to clear it of the lust-induced fog brought on by my brown haired beauty's un-fucking-believable ass, my eyes continue their journey down her long shapely legs. I took in every detail, from her tight, slender thighs to her toned calves, tapering down to delicate ankles, and finally reaching her little feet, that are tucked into some sexy, high wedge-like sandals. I am pleasantly surprised by how incredibly long her legs look in proportion to her small stature, and cannot shake the image of having them wrapped around my waist, as I pound into her tight wet pussy.
My mind is starting to run rapid with images of tangling her long, shiny hair around my wrist and pulling her head back to expose her long creamy neck. I would drive into her with abandon.
She ducks into the local coffee house, and since it is a common occurrence for me to frequent this particular establishment, I am not too concerned with creating a scene.
Slipping into the line two people behind her, I begin to wonder where the hell these sudden stalker tendencies have emerged from when I hear a sexy, throaty voice order a vanilla latte with whole milk. The sweet sound of her voice goes straight to my cock, and I unsuccessfully try to suppress a groan. The middle-aged woman in front of me turns around and shoots me a dirty look muttering, "Pervert," under her breath.
My eyes follow, as my brunette goddess makes her way to a corner booth with her coffee in hand. I watch unabashedly, as she pulls out a worn paperback, adjusts what I assume is her iPod and settles in to read. I am mesmerized by the way the sunlight filters in through the window and brings out the reds and golds in her hair. I fail to hear the barista ask for my order, and a throat clearing loudly behind me pulls me out of my trance. I quickly snap my head to the young, shorthaired blond girl behind the counter.
"What can I get for you, Sir?" she asks sweetly.
"I'll have a regular coffee, please. Black," I answer, with my signature half-smirk in place.
She appears momentarily stunned before answering, "Yes sir, right away," and scrambles off to get the order filled. I hand her a few bills and tell her to keep the change, then I make my way over to the booth occupied by the goddess.
I briefly wonder how long it will take before counter-girl twitters, or whatever the fuck they call it, my location to all her friends.
At the thought, the reality of the situation rushes through me, and I begin to worry what the hell I am doing following some strange girl through the streets of London like some kind of creepy stalker. I mean, what the hell am I even planning to say to her? Hey, you have a fantastic ass, may I touch it?
"You have really lost it Cullen," I mutter to myself.
Just as I am about to turn and bolt from the coffee house, she looks up from her book, and the world stops.
Truly fucking stops.
Just like in the movies, where everything moves in slow motion, and the heavens open up, casting a glowing light upon the object of your desire, while angels descend playing harps and shit. That is nothing compared to locking eyes with my brown haired beauty. She is literally the most breathtakingly beautiful woman I have ever seen.
My breath hitches in my throat, my pulse is pounding in my ears and my jeans are straining to maintain the massive erection I have suddenly sprouted, as I drown in the depths of her large chocolate brown eyes. Holy mother of God. I want to vomit and do a jig all at once; my insides feel like they are on fire. Now, I am by no means a religious man, but looking into her eyes felt like a goddamn spiritual experience.
Her eyes widen, as her perfect mouth opens slightly and her breathing quickens. I can feel the air between us crackling with electricity, while the hair on my arms and on the back of my neck stand on end. She lets out a little shiver, and I finally brake from my daze. Fucking Christ, Cullen. Get a grip, I think to myself.
"Is this seat taken?" I ask, pointing to the empty bench seat across the table from her. I internally roll my eyes at how breathy my voice sounds. When did I become such a chick? I mentally berate myself.
She blinks a couple of times before slowly shaking her head in the negative, a small smile creeping across her face. As I slide into the booth, I take a moment to really look at her. She has a heart-shaped face with large, exotic eyes; framed by extremely long, thick, black eyelashes that curl upward. Her slender nose is accentuated with a small crystal stud, and she has deep dimples on both cheeks, which are currently tinted a lovely shade of pink. Then, of course, there are the lips. Motherfuck. They are even better than I originally thought, huge and pouty and dark pink. Do lips like this really exist? I find myself wanting to suck on them just to see if they are as soft, squishy, and juicy as they appear. I can't help envisioning what they would look like wrapped around my cock as she takes me deep down her throat. I internally curse myself, Jesus fuck. Are we seventeen again? I reach down to subtly adjust my raging hard on, in hope of relieving some of the pressure.
Looking back up to her amused eyes, I have the good sense to at least try to look a little sheepish at being caught blatantly ogling her. She raises one perfectly arched eyebrow in challenge and I lean back, crossing my ink covered arms across my chest challenging her with my best cocky smirk. To my utter surprise she does not back down, instead, she curls one side of her gorgeous mouth up into an answering smirk that is sexy as fuck. I cannot help but smile widely at her all the while maintaining eye contact.
This beautiful girl is feisty.
Here she is, sitting across from one of the most well known, not to mention, sought after musicians in the world, and she is staring me down, completely at ease. No screaming, no giggling, no hyperventilating…nothing. I can't believe it! The one girl I want to fawn all over me, and she merely rolls her eyes and looks back down to her book!
What. The. Fuck. You have got to be kidding me! My mind screams. Do you have any idea who I am? How many other women would give their eyeteeth to be in your position right now? My inner voice sneers at her. How dare you blow me off!
Narrowing my eyes at her, I reach out to grab the book in her hands just as she moves to turn the page. Our hands bump, and I feel a jolt of electricity shoot up my arm straight to my chest. She gasps as her eyes widen, and I am positive she feels it too.
"What are you reading?" I ask, pulling us both from our momentary shock while trying desperately to maintain an air of nonchalance.
A deep crimson stains her cheeks and she quickly looks away. I am confused as to how this confident, sexy woman is now shy and embarrassed, as I successfully pull the book from her grasp.
"Oh, God," she groans, as she drops her head into her right hand, effectively covering her face while I close the book to get a glimpse of the title. My eyes widen in shock as my mind registers the title of the book. The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty. I look over at her with my pierced eyebrow raised and an amused grin set on my lips, as she peeks up at me from under her long lashes. Still hiding her bright red face in her hand.
"No, beautiful, I'm not God. I'm Edward. Edward Cullen." My cocky ass spouts off with a smirk, suddenly thinking I'm James Bond or some shit, before my brain to mouth filter has a chance to kick in.
I hold my hand out like a douche, worried that I have offended, or worse, embarrassed her further when she sits up, squares her shoulders, and with determination flashing in her eyes, she places her hand in mine. The electricity is flowing between our joined hands in full force as smirks back at me. Oh yes, the vixen is back. Her pink tongue snakes out to moisten her plump upper lip, and she catches the dark blue ball of a tongue ring between her teeth. I nearly come in my pants, like an inexperienced teenager, at the sight of it.
"Bella," she answers in that sexy, throaty voice of hers.
"Bella," I repeat in nearly a whisper, trying it out to see how it feels rolling off my tongue. I swear she whimpers a little.
"Fucking Perfect," I say, deciding that there is no better name to describe the goddess sitting before me.
She flushes again, giving me a shy dimpled smile. This woman is amazing. It frightens me a little that she is making me feel like this. As if I simply cannot go another minute without knowing every little detail about her. She is an enigma, and I cannot get enough.
"Are you new to the area?" I ask, gesturing around with my hand, and briefly wondering if the question sounds as creepy out loud as it does in my head. I mentally scold myself for being so completely out of practice charming a woman. Not to sound like a cocky bastard, but I know I look good, and I can't remember the last time I had to put forth any effort to gain the attention of the opposite sex.
"Uh, no. I'm actually here on vacation. I live in Seattle. Washington. In The States…." she rambles on, obviously flustered.
I can't help but chuckle, as I roll my eyes at her, "I know where Seattle is, I'm originally from Chicago." I grin at her shocked expression.
Her beauty momentarily stuns me as she unleashes a dazzling smile, before I answer, "My band is touring across Europe for the next eight weeks. Our first show is tomorrow night, here in Hyde Park. After that, we will take a couple of months off for some much needed rest and relaxation. Then we'll pick up again for a U.S. tour starting in November. However, I live here. A couple of blocks from this very spot as a matter of fact. You see, while my mother is American, my father is British, so I have dual citizenship. I actually have homes in both places; I just prefer living in London because the paparazzi are far less intrusive…." I trail off, realizing I sound like a complete jackass. "Wow, that was a whole shit load of useless information about me." I chuckle awkwardly, looking away and clicking the ball in my tongue against the rings in my lower lip while rubbing the back of my neck. Christ, you sound like a moron. I push my hand through my, already chaotic, hair and chance a peek back at her, trying to gauge her reaction to my incessant rambling. I was hoping like hell I have not scared her away.
"Oh, wow. Your band tours?" she asks, genuine interest shining in her beautiful eyes.
"Uhm, yeah," I answer incredulously. Hello? Have you really no idea who you are talking to?
"Nice. So, have you ever recorded an album?"
She is still completely oblivious to my identity. It is equal parts refreshing, intriguing, and aggravating which is completely fucking with my head, not to mention my ego.
"Uh, yes. Several, in fact. Have you never heard of Eclipse?"
"You're in Eclipse?" she whisper shouts, looking around quickly to make sure no one has heard her. My ego inflates and I unleash my best panty-dropping smile. Finally, I think just before she continues…
"My babysitter was so into you!"
She is so proud to finally put together who I am that she misses the look of absolute horror on my face. What the fuck! Her babysitter? Does she seriously think I am that fucking ancient?
"How old are you?" I blurt out without thinking. She is seriously the hottest thing I have ever seen but I really do not want to get myself arrested. I nervously pull at my hair, waiting for her answer. Her eyes snap to mine, and she must register look of trepidation clearly etched in my face because she scrambles to explain herself.
"I didn't mean to imply that you are old or anything. I was just proud that I remembered who you are. I mean, you are totally cool for an older band -what I mean is that a lot of people are still completely obsessed with you… or…err…I mean your music, completely obsessed with your music. Not that they aren't totally into you…Oh God, kill me now…" she mutters, pleading with her eyes for me to understand her rambling.
To my surprise, instead of feeling humiliated or pissed off, I am completely amused watching this gorgeous, confident, sexy woman stumble through her lame-assed explanation. I cock my eyebrow at her and chuckle.
"It's okay, Bella; you can say I'm old. A whopping thirty-five years," I reply sarcastically. "But you know what? If you are a really good girl I may even let you call me daddy." I add in a husky voice, leaning as far forward as I possibly can with my forearms resting on the table, and throwing in a wink just to get under her skin.
Her eyes darken and she bites her full bottom lip, before narrowing her eyes and smirking playfully, "Wow, you are old. I was merely a toddler, while you were out becoming a big time rock star!"
"You are killing my ego, Bella," I pout at he. "A toddler, really?" Suddenly, a wave of uncertainty washes over me. I have absolutely no qualms with the age difference, provided she is of legal age, but now I'm worried that she might. Will she see me as a creepy old man trying to rob the cradle? Will she even want to be seen with someone much older than her?
Just as the doubt begins to take over my mind she laughs, and it is the most beautiful sound in the world.
"Yes a toddler. I'm twenty."
She looks at me from under her lashes, as she adds, "Don't worry, I'm legal…barely." With a cheeky grin and a wink. I can't help but laugh at the absurdity of the situation.
And just like that, we fall into an easy conversation, talking about anything and everything. I tell her about my family, my sister, my childhood, my band and my desire to teach music to under privilege children one day. In turn, she talks about her mom and dad, her brother (who I learn is on this vacation with her), her passion for photography and designer shoes, and how she hopes to publish a book of photographs about the beauty of the desert. Before I know it, I notice the sky has darkened, alerting me that we have been talking for over four hours. I am shocked at how easy it has been to let my guard down with her. This sexy and confident, yet shy creature, has completely disarmed me. A task that has never been accomplished by a member of the opposite sex. Holy shit! She is fifteen years my junior. What the fuck am I doing?
I don't have time to lose myself in my inner turmoil however, because movement across the table catches my attention. My eyes shoot up to her as she stands to leave.
"I had a wonderful time talking to you, Edward," she says softly, taking her bottom lip in between her teeth. The shy girl emerging once again, and the sound of my name coming from her beautiful mouth making me instantly hard.
"Wait, can I see you again?" I hastily blurt out before she can leave. I have never felt this way before, and I can't risk the chance of never seeing her again. Just the thought of her walking away causes a painful constricting in my chest.
Her beautiful brown eyes dart up and lock on mine. "Yes," she breathes.
"Please say you will come to my show tomorrow."
My heart is pounding in my chest, and my palms are sweaty. I can't remember a woman ever having this kind of effect on me.
"Okay," she says, as a brilliant smile lights up her face displaying the deep dimples on her flushed cheeks.
"How many tickets will you need?"
"Uhm, well, I'm here with my brother and his girlfriend. I couldn't possibly bother you for that many tickets. I would be glad to come alone." She is obviously uncomfortable with accepting more than one ticket.
With a warm smile, I reassure her, wanting to discourage that line of thinking, "It's no problem, really. I would be honored for you to bring along your brother and his girlfriend." I look into her eyes, hoping to convey my sincerity. I feel her resolve slipping as I add, "Please?"
"Okay. Thank you."
"What is your last name? I will need it in order to leave your tickets and backstage passes at will call." I am standing close enough to her to catch a whiff of her intoxicating scent. Strawberry, freesia and vanilla. Mmmm, delicious.
"Swan. Bella Swan," she answers gazing into my eyes, as I reach out to grasp her tiny hand in mine.
"Alright, Bella Swan. I will leave three tickets for you at will call. I can't wait to see you again"
I bring her hand up to my lips, never taking my eyes from hers, to place a gentle lingering kiss on her knuckles. Her sharp intake of breath and flushed cheeks, are exactly the reaction I was hoping for. With the knowledge that I will see her again the next day, I drop her hand and exit the coffee house, leaving the most extraordinary woman I have ever met watching me walk away.
I step out into the warm summer evening feeling lighter, and happier, than I ever have in my life, with only one thought running through my mind.
Goddamn, I cannot wait until tomorrow.
Thanks for reading!