Hi guys. Are you ready to get physical? Edroar is eager to make you sweat, so I'll meet you down below.
Happymess: YOU are the master ninja. Bella and I bow down to your mad skills. Edroar would too...if he were real, which he's not. Why he refuses to believe that is beyond me.
Caro2lalala & Djsmommie: One of these days I won't be such a hot mess. Not today of course, but it will happen. I swear it.
*DISCLAIMER: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight…I'm just a girl that hates to be verbs.*
And I'm on tonight. You know my hips don't lie and I'm starting to feel it's right. All the attraction, the tension, don't you see baby, this is perfection.
-Shakira, Hips Don't Lie
He tried to kill me.
The man frazzled me plenty of times, but I never knew the full extent of his wicked powers, until now. Who would have guessed a genuine smile held more danger than an angry roar?
Yet it did, because it stripped me of all my senses.
By the time I reached the health club I managed to pull myself together. After prepping the massage room I headed to the lobby to kill a few minutes before my boss arrived. Crazy thoughts ran through my mind.
What if he unleashed that smile on me as he lay on the table?
I would have no choice but to violate him on the spot. He had to know that. The oil involved would make his body slippery, causing me to slide right off him onto the floor.
Perhaps I could use the cream instead...then I would stick to him like glue. Caught up with my inner musings I stopped walking, standing still as a statue, staring at a blank wall in the lobby.
"Bella!" A familiar little voice yelled. Big, bright, brown eyes looked up at me.
"Hey, Alex." I smiled at his adorable face. "Where's your dad?"
"He's down the hall. He walks really slow." He shrugged. "My legs are faster than his, plus I ran when I saw you. I couldn't help it."
I laughed until Jake appeared, looking more than a little frustrated.
He sank down to his son's level. "What did I tell you about running away from me?"
"I'm sorry, Dad." He gave his saddest puppy-dog eyes, causing Jake to cave on the spot.
"We're a team, Buddy, remember that. We stick together." He ruffled Alex's spiky black hair before standing up. "Hi, Bella."
"Hi, Jake. How is the book coming along?"
"Good so far. I'm meeting my editor in a few minutes, but Alex wanted to stop by and say hi to you first."
"And invite you to the festival." He jumped with excitement.
"A festival." Mike's aqua silhouette whizzed past me. "Count me in," he cooed at Jake, batting his lashes seductively.
A sudden screech rang out.
We covered our ears instinctively, but it just got louder. Alex didn't fear Jessica anymore…well no more than the rest of us. She dropped to her knees before him and began chirping an extremely odd form of baby talk. His face scrunched up tight, ears completely covered by his hands.
While poking his belly she made creepy animated faces, squawking an indecipherable language. Emmett and Rose appeared beside me, looking concerned, immediately covering their ears as well. The sound was downright painful.
It seemed the agony would never end…until our boss stepped into the room.
He didn't say a single word. He didn't need to. The man's presence alone spoke volumes. Jessica's mouth clamped shut in an instant, her eyes widened like saucers, a neon pink fingernail froze on poor Alex's tiny stomach.
Before anyone could say a word, Alex darted over to Edward with a wide smile on his face.
"Mr. Cullen." He appeared so small standing there before him, staring straight up into his eyes. "Will you come to the festival? They picked me to play the drums at the opening ceremony. I've been practicing. I sound pretty good now."
"What festival are you referring to?" Edward eyed the boy with more interest than he gave most adults.
"Chief Seattle Day, he's a dead guy that led my grandfather's tribe. Our casino helps with the festival."
"I see." Edward ran a finger across his chin. "As a matter of fact, I am a sponsor of that event, but I've never gone. I heard the previous drummers were horrible."
"They're not horrible." He shook his head. "Some of them are really good, better than me." A discouraged frown appeared on his face.
"Well then, I suppose I'll have to be the judge of that."
Alex's frown quickly turned into a blinding smile. "You can sit next to Bella during the ceremony. She's my date."
Edward glanced over at me. "Is she really?"
"Yes." I winked at Alex. "I have a thing for musicians."
Mike coughed out the word cougar from behind Emmett and Rose. I shot him a quick glare before smiling innocently at my boss.
"Is there a reason no one is working?" Anger flashed across Edward's face as his eyes scanned the room.
The gang nearly collided into each other as they jumped into action. Within seconds Jessica plopped in her chair, breathing so heavy it sounded obscene. Emmett scurried away with Mike prancing directly behind him.
Rose remained by my side.
"Oh, look. It's time for me to get to my meeting," Jake announced, breaking some of the tension. He grabbed Alex and scooped him up onto his shoulders. "Say good-bye to your date, Lover Boy."
"Bye, Bella." He waved at me. "Bye, Mr. Cullen." Alex kept waving as Jake ran off to the elevator. The sound of little boy giggles echoed down the hall.
Rose cleared her throat nervously. "I just wanted to uh...tell you, Mr. Cullen, I think your idea for the employees to submit their favorite children's charity and raffling the recipient for the talent show this year will be a great success." She stood stiff as a board.
I just didn't get it. What did she think he would do? Even if he yelled it was just noise, yet Rose's fear of him practically paralyzed her.
"I usually don't favor leaving decisions to chance, but I made an exception in this case."
He didn't react to her frightened demeanor at all. His eyes wandered over to mine and locked there firmly.
"Sometimes fate is unavoidable," Rose's shaky voice noted.
"Indeed." He stared at me intently.
Now I was stiff as a board, but for an entirely different reason. I had to look away from his gripping stare. If I wasn't careful, my ass would be frazzled. My eyes landed on Rose, who glanced back and forth between me and Edward.
"Well I'll just…go...and get to work." She backed away from us slowly, as though she'd seen a ghost.
I smiled up at my boss. "Ready for your massage?"
"Definitely." He smirked wickedly.
"Why do you look so evil?" My smile grew wider.
"Because I am." His words lingered in the air as he walked away.
"So I was thinking," I announced to my naked boss, as he lay on the massage table.
He glanced up at me. "Are you going to offer me another deal?"
I scowled. "How did you know that?"
"You have absolutely no poker face." He observed from beneath his crisp white sheet.
"What does that even mean?" I laughed.
"It means I can see you plotting. You want something." Edward's arms stretched out as he settled his body on the table.
"Why must you make it sound so shady? I'm not trying to take anything from you." I grabbed the massage cream holding back a smirk as I completely avoided the oil bottle.
"You want to give me something?"
"Yes." My hands touched down on his warm skin. "Something you need."
"And that is?" His eyes closed as I worked his muscles.
"Nourishment," I told him while massaging a particularly knotted muscle. He grunted in response. "I know you're not eating properly, skipping entire meals, I bet."
When Edward slept during our sessions I developed an attachment to that vulnerable side of him. I thought I preferred it that way. But now that he stayed awake, his responsiveness raised the energy to a much higher level.
"I will provide you with a meal in exchange for each ninja lesson you give me." My hands continued working as he took in my words.
His eyes opened. "Ninja?"
"Yes." I smiled with pride. "I'm extremely spry."
"I saw that earlier," he noted dryly.
"What you saw earlier is called improvisation. I created my own version of the roundhouse kick…that's what ninjas do."
"Is that what that was?" He eyed me as I nodded. "Because it looked like you fell on your ass and couldn't get up."
"That's how I wanted it to appear." My fingers ran down the length of his spine. "If I fooled you I must be even more talented than I thought."
I grinned while working my way down the back of his thighs, Edward's favorite part of the session.
He remained silent until the massage ended. Slowly, his eyes opened. Crystal green irises grabbed mine, not a bit of anger or turmoil in them. That was my favorite part of the session.
"Extremely talented," he said, holding my gaze.
We scheduled my first lesson for Monday at five o'clock.
He accepted my proposal without much of a fuss. I negotiated as he relaxed on the table. For each lesson he gave me I would provide him dinner. To my surprise, he even agreed to let me choose the place.
Edward drifted into such a state of Zen I probably could have got him to agree to much more. His staying awake during our sessions definitely worked in my favor. My mind ran through a list of my favorite eating joints, places his snooty ass would surely snub with his nose up high. I couldn't wait to expose his arrogant taste buds to how the other half lived.
Maybe I would even make him a home cooked meal or two.
Though, I would permanently traumatize Angela if she ever came home and found our boss sitting at the dinner table. I couldn't exactly invite myself to his house. I didn't even know if he had a house or an apartment; probably both.
The weekend kept me busy. Saturday afternoon I rehearsed with the gang for the talent show. My friend James, the drummer in Jazz's band, let us use his bar.
We had a lot of work to do.
If enthusiasm counted for anything we didn't have to worry. Never had I seen a group of people so pumped up for a performance in my life…and I use the term performance loosely. Thankfully, we still had a month to somehow pull our act together.
Monday morning came, and I woke with a feeling of excitement. Not just for my lesson, but for what I planned for my boss afterward as well.
At five o'clock I strutted down the hall in my ninja gear; a black sports bra with matching Lycra shorts. My hair held up with a sweatband that said 'Refuse to Lose.' Edward's powerful presence filled the training studio. He gave me a quick once over before walking towards me.
"We'll start with stretches." He pointed to the mat on the floor. "Get on your knees."
My brow arched up at his choice of words, but after taking in his concentrated expression and militant demeanor, I let it slide.
Actually, his trainer attitude surprised me. I didn't plan on taking the lessons too serious. I figured he would attempt showing me a few moves, get aggravated and tell me to go buy mace.
Clearly, my boss had other plans.
His jaw set with steely determination as he explained the importance of knowing how to defend myself in a world full of vile and dangerous assailants. Not only did the man trust no one; he viewed them as a physical threat.
Warped or not, Edward's eagerness to teach me to protect myself from the evil he saw around him, touched me.
No one would describe Edward Cullen as a patient man, but to my surprise he guided me with great patience. He exposed a new side of himself to me. I tried my best not to read too much into it.
The new side of myself I exposed to him surprised me even more. No one would describe me as an obedient woman…ever. Yet, I found myself a highly attentive student, so much so that it bordered on obedience.
That should have scared me, but it didn't.
By the time he tossed me a pair of shiny red boxing gloves, I desperately wanted to learn everything he had to teach me.
We spent well over thirty minutes training before I threw my first real punch. Satisfied that I understood the basics he put on what he called focus pads. His eyes gripped mine intently as he held one up.
"Alright, let's see what you can do." The devious look he gave me would have freaked out most people, but it made me smile.
"Will I be punching and kicking those?"
"Can we put some music on?" The health club had an amazing sound system.
"You don't need music," he said dismissively.
"It will make me feel bad ass." My feet remained firmly in the stance he wanted me in.
"If a homicidal psychopath approaches you on a dark street, will you ask for music before defending yourself?"
"Of course not," I huffed at his ridiculousness. "This is just practice. You're not a homicidal psychopath."
"Some would disagree." He grinned wickedly. "For the sake of this exercise I am. You will view me as a dangerous threat to your life."
"Well, that shouldn't be too difficult," I grumbled under my breath.
And so it began.
Edward militantly gave commands for the jabs and kicks he taught me. I struggled hard at first, which frustrated the hell out of me, but it didn't bother him at all, he just stopped and took the extra time to guide me until I got it right.
Why he considered my lessons so important, I had no idea.
Every time my glove landed on the pad I felt empowered. The brute sound of it echoing through the room pumped me up higher and higher, until I worked myself into a kickboxing frenzy.
Ninja blood ran through my veins...any fool could see that.
Edward never wavered, no matter how hard my blows pounded down on the large, cushioned pads he held out. He stood solid, unrelenting as a brick wall.
Sweat covered my entire body, adrenaline flooded my system, and yet Mr. Homicidal Psychopath barely exerted himself. I bought the sweatband at the sports shop because it made me laugh.
Who knew it would actually serve a purpose?
Exercise never appealed to me. How quickly that changed. Once I discovered the rush you got from kickboxing, I couldn't imagine anything more addictive.
I felt like I could tear down walls, lift cars, climb buildings and possibly even fly. I didn't want it to end.
"NO!" I yelled barbarically, when Edward ordered me to stop.
Stop? There was no stopping? Ninjas didn't stop. Despite his instructions, I continued to throw a slew of solid jabs at him, which he expertly blocked.
In a flash, he pinned my arms down at my sides. I got a stern glare.
"I'm going to assault you." The vein at the base of his throat thumped in anticipation.
"You don't want to do that," I warned, exhaling a deep breath. "I'm a deadly force of nature."
"Bella." He released my arms. "Be serious."
"I am being serious." Did he not just witness my super human powers?
"We'll start off easy." He tossed the focus pads on the floor. "I'll come at you from behind. Obviously, I don't expect you to bring me down. I just want you to try getting away from me."
"I will bring you down." My gloves smashed together, echoing like thunder.
He smirked at me, as if the mere thought humored him. Oh, now it was on. I would show no mercy.
"Alright, Mr. Smirky," I taunted. "How about this, if I bring you down I get one question. No boundaries and you must answer it."
"You are being ridiculous." He moved in closer. "Taking me down is not a possibility."
"Oh yeah? Then why haven't you agreed to my deal. Are you scared of this?" My big, red thumbs pointed at my chest.
His brow arched. "You seriously think you can take me down?"
"And if you don't?" His smirk disappeared.
"If I don't?" I repeated, not sure where he was going with his question.
"What do I get when I take you down?" The predatory look in his eyes for some God forsaken reason excited me.
"Oh," I pulled my gaze from his. "You get to answer my question."
He snorted in my face. "No deal."
"Fine." I rolled my eyes. "What do you want?"
"Such a dangerous question," he paused. "What are you willing to give me?"
"Such a dangerous question," I threw his words back. "How about this, in the unlikely event you take me down, you can ask me anything and I promise to answer honestly?"
"Nah." He yawned to show his disinterest.
"What? That is a fair deal," I argued. He shrugged and yawned again. "Alright then, tell me what you want."
"I want you to finish what you started on the plane."
My brain ran that sentence over at least five times before I found the ability to respond.
"What I started on the plane?"
"Could you be more specific?"
"You fed me a delicious little snack." He lowered his lips to my ear. "I enjoyed it….immensely."
His hands reached down to my boxing gloves, he pulled each one off and tossed them on the floor.
"Did you?" he asked with interest.
"Yes," I admitted, unable to hide my excitement.
"Good." He smiled, the genuine one, with a shot of sex thrown in. "Because I'm still hungry."
I didn't respond. I couldn't. I just stared at his lips. The bastard unleashed his smile when I least expected it.
The tip of his finger guided my chin up until our eyes met. "Will you feed me?"
He rendered me mute, so I nodded in response.
"Tonight," he said. "I want you to feed me a full meal."
My lips moved to his ear. "I will feed you until you beg me to stop."
Two could play his game. Granted he could watch me smile without going dumb. That gave him a slight advantage, but he would not defeat me.
"I never beg," he warned, "ever."
"We'll see about that." I kept my eyes on his. I wouldn't make the mistake of looking at his lips again until he hit the floor.
He stepped away from me. "Are you ready?"
Nodding my head, I gave him my most bad ass stare.
Then he pounced.
Even though I expected it, he still managed to catch me off guard. Panic swept over me in waves. Why couldn't I remember a damn thing he taught me?
Just as I was about to beg for mercy my ninja blood kicked in. I could have easily got away from him, but I wanted to take him down. I would take him down.
He blocked each jab and kick I attempted as though my moves were predictable. It probably should have discouraged me, but it only made me more determined.
I don't know how long it took for me to realize he hadn't moved an inch. He just stood there swatting me away like a pesky bug. This enraged me.
"You are going down, Lion!" I flung myself at him, throwing every bit of my training out the window.
He caught me without faltering. I hoped the brute force of my body landing on his would have knocked him over. It didn't. Now I needed a new plan. I didn't have a new plan.
In an act of sheer desperation I started tickling him. As my headband stated, I refused to lose. He would go down one way or another.
I tickled the back of his neck first. When I got no response I moved my fingers down to his sides. My legs remained wrapped around his waist for leverage.
"Are you serious?" He tried plucking my body from his, but I just locked my legs tighter around him.
My fingers ran all over his body. He had to be ticklish somewhere. His hands were quite busy as well, the more he tried detaching my hips from his the stronger I ground against him.
I found myself dry humping my boss with fervor, but this time I had a valid reason. He would go down, by any means possible.
My body hadn't moved that vigorously against a man in quite some time, probably ever, which said a lot. Not to brag, but my hips had been known to put Shakira to shame.
"Fuck," he grunted, his hands pulled me closer to my surprise.
That word coming from his lips set my body on fire.
I wanted him down on the mat for an entirely different reason now. Based on the look in his eyes he did too. The man had the ability to demand sex without saying a word. He made me want to do bad things to him.
So I did.
The gyration attack I unleashed on his body was probably illegal in several states. We groaned from the intensity of it. I couldn't stop myself though. The distinct feel of his need made itself known…painfully close to where I wanted it.
Get him on the floor. Get him on the floor. Get him on the floor.
The words ran through my mind continuously as my fingers desperately searched his body for a ticklish spot. He stopped trying to pull me off him. In fact, his fingers began exploring my body, completely distracting me from my goal.
I nearly gave up when it happened; his stomach muscles contracted and he squirmed in place as my fingertips brushed behind his ears. An evil grin spread across my face.
He knew I had him.
Just as I went in for the kill my back landed flat against the mat. He brought me down in a nanosecond. His body felt solid and warm covering mine. The sudden action took my breath away. I looked up into his eyes. Never had I seen them so feral.
"You are impossible." He had my wrists pinned above my head. I lay there completely at his mercy and by the looks of it he liked the situation.
"How did you do that?" I didn't even try to hide the awe I had for his skills.
"Quite easily." His mouth moved closer to mine. "Who knew a ninja could be such a wimp?"
"A wimp?" My jaw dropped. "You're just upset I found your weakness, but thank you for recognizing my ninja ability."
"I have no weaknesses." His fingers gripped my wrists tighter.
"If you say so." My eyes rolled.
"Don't push me," a low growl coated his words.
Just like that he morphed into the Lion. I wondered if he had any control over his animalistic tendencies. It seemed I had no control over bringing them out.
"You love it when I push you." I smiled up at him. "Admit it."
"I assure you I do not love anything." His gaze ran over my face as he contemplated my words. "Love is the greatest weakness of all."
The raw honesty in his voice made me frown. Someone hurt him deeply. Had Edward been in love and suffered a broken heart? My gut told me no, the man never even had a friend.
Wrapped up in my thoughts, I didn't notice he released my wrists. Edward appeared lost in thought as well.
"What time should I pick you up tonight?" I changed the subject, hating to see him in pain.
It took so long to for him to respond I expected him to back out of our dinner plans.
"I'll send a car for you at eight." He pulled his body away from mine.
"No, we agreed I would take you out for dinner after each lesson. I'll pick you up at eight; just give me your address."
He shot me a peculiar look. "I have a limo and a private driver."
"Yes, I know." I sat up, bringing us face to face. "I have a vintage Chevy and a driver's license."
"You want to drive me to dinner?" This information seemed mind blowing to him.
"I do." Not only would my boss see how the other half ate, but how they rolled...in a beat up old truck.
"Very well." He shook his head in bafflement. "I'll text you the address when I get back to my office."
"Excellent." I grinned at my victory. "I look forward to it."
"Good." He helped me rise to my feet and threw me a wicked grin. "Not nearly as much I look forward to collecting on our bet."
I stood there blinking like a moron. "You still want me to…uh…feed you?" I whispered the last two words.
"Absolutely." A spark lit up his eyes. "As I recall you vowed to feed me until I begged you to stop."
"But that was when I thought I would take you down." He couldn't be serious.
"A deal is a deal." His eyes roamed the length of my body. "I must admit you make me quite hungry. I expect you to pay up…tonight." The smug bastard had the nerve to say before walking away from me.
My first lesson didn't go quite as expected.
In the course of an hour I managed to dry hump my boss, again. I consistently outdid myself. That would have impressed me if I wasn't a self destructive masochist.
In spite of it all, I found myself looking forward to bringing him out to dinner.
No one else saw it, but I knew Edward had good in him. He had a wicked side as well, a very wicked side. Sometimes I wondered which side attracted me more.
With one hand I could count the number of men I slept with, none of them one night stands. Just the thought of it turned me off. As I told Jazz a thousand times, casual sex was not my thing.
Yet, I eagerly agreed to feed the man, the double entendre clearly evident.
Surely a greater fool did not exist. How could I possibly justify giving myself to a man that shunned love and friendship?
He made people cry on a daily basis.
It had to be him of all people to spark a fire so intense it would consume me if I didn't watch my step. Our chemistry nearly killed me several times already. As I raced home to shower and get ready I second guessed the place I chose to bring him. My fingers drummed the steering wheel as I waited for the light at the corner of my street to turn green. Perhaps I should go easy on him our first dinner.
No, it would be perfect, I decided as I slammed the loud, creaky, rusted door of my truck.
The night would certainly be interesting. A sane woman would worry more about his expectations after dinner, yet for some reason that didn't concern me at all. Proving once again, sanity was not a strong point of mine.
While unlocking the door to my apartment my phone chimed. I had a text. My heart raced...over a text. What the hell was wrong with me?
Yikes hissed as I tripped over her on my way to the kitchen. Immediately I dropped my purse and bent down to pet her. She swatted at me, claws fully extended, bright yellow eyes daring me to touch her. My pussy held a grudge like no one else. As she strutted off I reached in my purse for my phone. Edward probably came to his senses and cancelled our plans.
813 Overlook Drive, Medina.
He wanted this. What 'this' was, I had no idea. Based on the ridiculous smile on my face I wanted it too. Then I noticed the address.
You live in Medina? I scoffed at the screen as I sent the text.
Yes. It's where all the Fat Cats live. Get over here. I'm starving.
The sound of giggles filled the room. It freaked me out since I only giggled when I was high.
"What's so funny?" Angela stood in the doorway. When the hell did she get home? I didn't hear her come in the front door.
"Oh, nothing." I straightened my expression as I cleared my throat. "I was just reading a text."
"I can see that." She smirked. "Is it from a boy?"
The thought of anyone calling Edward a boy made me laugh. I shook my head at her confused face.
"He's definitely not a boy." I hated liars, so decided to be honest. "It's from Edward."
"Edward?" She looked even more confused. "How did you meet him?"
"He's our boss." I watched as she absorbed my words.
"Wait…Mr. Cullen sent you a funny text?" Her eyes couldn't get any wider.
"Yeah, it made me laugh. He can be funny sometimes. He's not the monster everyone thinks he is." I tried to come off casual, but sounded defensive.
"Why is he texting you after hours?"
"To give me his address." I glanced at my watch. "I'm picking him up for dinner at eight."
She burst out laughing. "Oh my God, Bella. You get me every time. I actually believed you for a second. You looked so serious."
"I am serious." I headed for my room. "We have a deal. He teaches me self defense and I take him out to dinner every Monday. I have to get ready or I'll be late."
Poor Angela, I left her standing in our hall dumbfounded. Thank God I didn't tell her the full extent of our deal or she might have passed out. After a quick shower I threw on my favorite faded, denim skirt and The Clash Punks on Parade t-shirt. My tights had runs all over them. I briefly wondered if they were too much, but the outfit lost its vibe without them. The whole point of the night was to show Edward how the other half lived.
Not everyone wore couture and drank champagne.
Rips and imperfections were a part of life. Why would I hide that? Besides I definitely fit in where we were going. Him on the other hand, probably not. Lacing up my black, worn Chucks I decided to give him a heads up. I grabbed my phone and typed out a quick text.
What are you wearing?
His response lit up my screen seconds later.
Happy Hands costume
Rolling my eyes I fought off a goofy grin as I typed my reply.
It's not a costume. It's a uniform. Dress casual. I'll be there at eight.
Tossing my phone in my bag I wondered what casual for him would look like. Hopefully he wouldn't feel too out of place. Then I realized the man survived a night at The Box…barely. He could handle it. Except tonight I wanted him to have a good time. He taught me how to be a ninja and now I would teach him to have fun.
As my GPS guided me along the open road I turned the radio up and opened my window, letting my hair blow in the cool, fall breeze, losing myself in the music. I always lost myself in music.
The next thing I knew the voice of my wonder gadget told me I reached my destination. As my not so quiet truck chugged up the driveway I turned the radio down. I needed a new muffler…bad. Sitting in my beat up old Chevy I took in my surroundings.
He could not be serious.
Next up: Chaos and mayhem for sure…Bella shows Edroar how the other half lives. Will she pay up on their bet?
Huge Love to Taquerias…whatever the hell they are. I'm still trying to figure that out, but they sound amazing. Where are they hiding them in New York?
That's all for now folks. Let me know what you think…it's my greatest weakness.