Running the Option

From: Rosalie Hale

Subject: Sexual Healing

Date: Monday, October 18, 2010 12:19 p.m.

To: Isabella Swan

Tonight. 10 p.m. Crazed. Be there. Fresh meat and hot bods await.

From: Isabella Swan

Subject: Hell Yeah!

Date: Monday, October 18, 2010 12:22 p.m.

To: Rosalie Hale

You got it, Babes!

Rose was hungry, and I was too, so I was excited about the club-going prospect. My body shivered at the thought of the human blood that would be, hopefully by midnight, coursing through my veins renewing my strength. I felt the tips of my fangs punch through my gums just a little at the thought.

Usually feeding and sex went hand in hand, hence Rose's reference to sexual healing. Did it seem overtly promiscuous? To humans, probably. But vampires wouldn't consider having sex while feeding as licentious. The only time a vampire would be considered a sexual deviant was, well, probably never. It was just part of who we were.

Oh, and if you haven't yet figured it out, let me clue you in on what's-what—Rose and I are indeed vampires.

As vampires, we fed off humans monthly to sustain our existence. Even though we were essentially killers, we didn't harm them; we only depleted them of a little blood. And if things went well, the humans walked away safely, none the wiser because we had the ability to rid them of their memories which was advantageous. I'd fed from countless human males over the years, but after our time together, a little mind erasing took care of their ever knowing they'd been fed from or that they'd even had sex. And I didn't always have sex with them. As a matter of fact, since James had left two years ago, I'd been completely celibate. Damn him.

As far as mating went, if a vampire happened to find his mate in a human, as I'd thought I had with James, and the human was willing, they'd be turned into a vampire, and then the couple could supply sustenance for themselves through feeding from each other forever. "Turned" humans could feed from vamps, not sure how the science on that worked.

If the human decided to become a vampire's partner but didn't want to be changed, it worked the usual way with the vampire feeding from the human once a month and all were happy. The only bad thing was that the human would age while the vampire did not, and the happy couple would be separated one day by death.

Vamp on vamp happened too, but they both still had to feed off humans, so that was a little inconvenient, but they could make it work, sans sex with the humans unless that's the way they rolled.

Yeah, this lifestyle sometimes sucked, pun intended, but those were the breaks. We did eat regular food too, so that was another perk of the race. I'd rather eat "normal" food and have to feed on blood once a month as compared to some diets humans chose. I mean, if you thought about it, my diet was way better than being a human vegetarian and subsisting on tofu. That shit's just rank. Speaking of vegetarians, why does all their food somehow resemble meat anyway? Veggie burgers were shaped like, well, real burgers. Vegetarian bacon? You got it. It's like they didn't want the meat but tried fooling themselves into thinking they were still eating it. Hellooo? That's like swearing off sex but continuing to get off with battery-operated hardware. You still got the general gist, just not all the perks that went with it.

And the taste of vegetarian blood? Disgusting. There. Got that off my chest. I'll stop soap-boxing it now. And as to the battery-operated comment? Since I speak from personal experience, I'm just not gonna go there.

I left the Starbucks that was on campus and headed to my linguistics class to learn about dipthongs, affricatives, and stops. Talk about your good times. As a junior at the University of Washington, I hadn't decided yet if I wanted to use my English degree to become a journalist or a college prof. I had another year to decide, so I wasn't too worried.

I got another email from Rose in the middle of class.

From: Rosalie Hale

Subject: Holy Shit!

Date: Monday, October 18, 2010 1:11 p.m.

To: Isabella Swan

OMG! He's here! In class! This very minute! *In love* The All-American QB's here too! *stares at you*

From: Isabella Swan

Subject: Big fat friggin' eye roll

Date: Monday, October 18, 2010 1:15 p.m.

To: Rosalie Hale

Would you hurry up and screw the dude already, skank. Jesus. And I've told you before—not interested. Get a clue already. Damn.

From: Rosalie Hale

Subject: Take a fuckin' chill pill

Date: Monday, October 18, 2010 1:21 p.m.

To: Isabella Swan

He is FUCKHOT! The QB I mean. Well, Emmett is too! You should totes hit that! The QB I mean, not Emmett. And STOP calling me SKANK!

Rose had gone all football slut, crushing on Emmett McCarty, star running back for the U-Dub Huskies. I'd only seen him from, say, fifty yards away, to use football terms, so I had no idea what her infatuation was. I knew he was thick, burly and muscular, but other than that, he seemed to be a whole lot of nothing special.

And even though vampires really have no sexual rules, I just liked teasing Rose about being a whore/tramp/skank/slut when it came to her sexing, full-well knowing this held no validity whatsoever. I think this had developed from the last two years of hearing about her sexual exploits with her humans while I'd resisted sex—not wanting to get attached, or mostly not being attracted to anyone in the least—and that I just plain got some sick satisfaction out of seeing her get pissed when I called her these names.

She'd been trying all semester to pique my interest in quarterback dude, a guy named Edwin, Edward, or Edmond, probably some nerdy, antiquated-named guy for whom I had no use. She just wanted me to whore it up alongside her with those-who-if-they-had-a-brain-would-take-it-out-and-play-with-it, otherwise known as jocks. So not happening.

It wasn't that I couldn't find anyone to be with. I just wasn't feeling it right now. Hadn't been for the past two years. Since James, most of the men I'd come into contact with were sub-par. Even those of our kind that I'd attempted to date were sadly lacking in I-can-turn-Bella-on skills. So I fed once a month on random human males, but immediately wiped their memories clean so they wouldn't become attached to me or vice versa. Easy-peasy without all the complications.

Class was over, so I met Rose back at our apartment which was a pretty damn nice place, compliments of her parents. Her dad was a bank president and her mom was a lawyer in Seattle, and, boy were they loaded. My foster parents, on the other hand, were your average middle-class folks. If they'd supplied us with housing, dorm life would be rockin' our world right about now.

"So, Bells, I heard Emmett talking to Edward about going out to Crazed tonight! How perfect is that?" Her squeal measured about 160 decibels which would've ruptured the average human's eardrum, but seeing as I wasn't human, it just irritated the shit out of me.

"Rose. Seriously. You've never even talked to the guy, only eavesdropped on him from a bazillion feet away. How do you know he's not dumb as a box of rocks?" I asked her, my eyebrow raised.

The infamous Rosalie scowl showed up. "Bella, you are such a fucking skeptic! If just once you'd trust my instincts, you wouldn't have to be lonely."

I glared at her. I wasn't lonely! Well, not really. Okay, I was a tad lonely, but who cared. And my being alone was by choice, damn it. Stupid friggin' James had made sure that his leaving with a vengeance had done me in but good keeping me from wanting to be with anyone else. Jerk-off had cheated on me with some human, was now married to her, and had two-point-five kids and a white-picket-fenced house. Asshole.

James was anathema to me, and my thinking about him just put me in a pissy mood, so I went to my room and studied for my Gothic Fic test, leaving Rose to watch her idiotic MTV shows.

We started getting ready to go out around nine. The only things really necessary for us were dressing and fixing our hair. Make-up wasn't necessary as Rose was beautiful as-is, her long blond hair framing her flawlessly gorgeous face, and she'd assured me that I was equally as stunning, my long auburn hair almost hitting me at the waist.

As vampires we had a leg up on the human population because our beauty was what lured them to us so we could feed. So, our actual going-all-out-hottie time, as Rose called it, was limited to clothes and hair only. I wore my skintight Seven jeans with the cutest cami top, Ed Hardy hoodie over it, and Rose chose a miniskirt with a knotted-at-the-side button down over a tank and her Christian Louboutins. We looked pretty damn hot.

We took her BMW 6M convertible, which drew major attention. We'd use it as our last-chance bait at closing time if we hadn't found someone to feed on by then. It was a damn hot car, especially when compared to my junker truck. But the truck was all I could afford, and as long as it got me from point A to point B almost as fast as I could run, then it was okay by me.

I instantly felt gobs of eyes on us as we entered the raucous-as-hell place. The music was hip-hop and the dance floor was crowded. Rose and I always garnered all kinds of attention because, like I said, our looks lured the humans in. But we also had the capability to conceal the fact that we were vampires, from humans and other vampires alike. Well, we could somewhat mask ourselves to other vamps. There were ways to get around it for us if we suspected, but it involved going into a trance and other bullshit and was kind of a waste of time if you asked me. But the hidden identity thing did keep us from scaring our prey, and it was a kind of defense mechanism when it came to others of our kind. All in all we effectively disguised ourselves as human, which let us interact in their society quite nicely.

"Oh, my God! He's here!" Rose was all grins as she turned her head to the side, honing in on Emmett's voice somewhere in the back of the club.

"Yay," I retorted.

"Bella, I swear, I'm gonna slap the shit out of you if you don't stop with the attitude. Loosen up and have fun for a change, Ms. I'm-only-interested-in-my-boring-ass-education-and-career."

"Okay! I will! I just want to find a hot guy and fuck his brains out then all will be right with the world!" was my sardonic reply as I grinned and bobbed my head like a ditzy sorority girl at her.

"C'mon." She chuckled leading me to the bar. She just knew things would be better if I got laid, like sex was some kind of panacea for my or anyone else's problems. Oh, eternally optimistic Rose.

I ordered bourbon and Rose ordered her usual frou-frou lemon-raspberry daiquiri and we walked the club heading toward Emmett-land.

"Bella! Edward's with Emmett! I just know you're gonna die when you see him! He's so hot!" She was all excited.

"If this Edward dude can accomplish my death with just my seeing him, I'll do your laundry for a month." I snickered. I knew she was joking, but as it took a whole helluva lot for vampires to die, it was humorous of her to say. I won't go into specifics, but let's just say it's definitely an involved process.

All of a sudden the most wonderful aroma hit me almost knocking me back ten feet. I looked around wondering where this carnal concoction was coming from. God. I'd never smelled anything like it. It was the sexiest blood I'd ever come into contact with. I tried keeping from going all bloodhound and shit, but I needed to find the source of this heavenly bouquet that was assaulting my nose.

Rose stopped in her tracks, leaning into me and whispering, "There's the Greek god," pointing toward a group of a half dozen guys so I still didn't know which one was supposed to be Emmett.

I was still busy trying to find where the hell it was from whence this essence came that so overwhelmed me. Yeah, I was going all romantic poetry now, but, damn, the heady aroma was turning me on big time, making me want to compose all kinds of maudlin crap.

"Bella, look at him," Rose sighed, pulling a Scarlett O'Hara and swooning.

I caught her before she hit the friggin' deck and glanced in the direction that her sycophantic self was looking. And, may I just say wow. May I? Because I'm going to anyway. Wow. And also holy hell. I'd found the possessor of the fragrance that was holding me captive. He was leaning over a pool table facing me, and let me just say again—wow.

"Who is that?" I hissed at Rose.

"Who?" she managed to ask in spite of her there's-a-hot-guy-I-wanna-fuck-in-front-of-me stupor as she still stared at an unknown-to-me Emmett.

"That guy playing pool… who is he?"

Finally snapping out of her trance, she looked at pool-playing dude then started laughing. "That's Edward Cullen! The quarterback! The guy I've been telling you about?"

She so could've stopped after his name, not needing to continue with the epithets as he'd captured my attention the minute I'd laid eyes on him. So this was Edward Cullen. Oh, my. So damn good-looking. And the fragrance coming off of him was the nicest slam to the senses anyone could ever have delivered to me. I had to have him and his blood tonight or my stalker tendencies would go into overdrive until I did. Damn, he was so sexy and hot and attractive and dazzling and any other synonym for gorgeous you might want to add here.

I actually found myself wanting to check myself out in a mirror to see if I looked okay. I'd never been worried about how I looked to a man before. This was new and uncomfortable territory. As I fidgeted with my hair, Edward glanced up as if he'd heard my siren song and looked me right in the eye. I swear to God I got all giddy inside and actually would've blushed if my body had that ability. The moisture pooling between my legs was also new to me as no man had ever had this kind of effect on me before.

Keeping his deep green eyes on me, he mumbled something to a guy who I assumed was Emmett. My first clue it was probably Emmett? Rose was all but drooling on herself as she stared at him. Edward finished talking to the guy and walked toward me. Damn, he was erotic as hell. He was tall with broad shoulders and had a surety in his walk that was downright seductive. I guessed it came from being the athlete that he was and also the leader of his team. Whatever it was made him smokin' hot. His bronze-colored hair lay crazily about his head. It was what Rose would've called JBF'ed hair, and I totally understood now why she'd call it that. His strong jaw covered in stubble was just the icing on the cake.

As he approached me wearing his low-slung jeans and a white button down looking so damn alluring, I suddenly found myself afraid which was funny because I'm a killer—a cold-blooded give me what I need or I'll so rip your head off kinda gal—but at that moment, I was scared. Thoughts of What if he doesn't like me? and What if he doesn't think I'm pretty? fired through my head making me nervous. But the scariest thought of all was What if he breaks my heart?

"Hi," he said as he came up to me pretty much invading my personal space, but I didn't care, not even one little bit. His honey-smooth voice literally dripped with sex, and a whole lot of I'm gonna take you right here on that fucking pool table, blasted through my mind.

"Hi," I shyly replied. Oh, jeez. Me, shy? Because of a human? Um. Yeah.

"I'm Edward."


"Meaning beautiful. Perfect name."

What a charmer. I giggled.

Seriously? Had I just giggled? Ugh. I sensed Rose gaping at me, and I knew there'd be a look of pure astonishment on her face if I glanced at her, so I didn't. I didn't want to break the eye fucking, er, eye contact I had going with Edward.

"So you live around here?" he asked.

"Yes. I share an apartment with my roommate," I motioned my thumb toward Rose, "here in Seattle. I'm a junior at the University. You're the All-American quarterback, right?"

"Yeah, that'd be me." He chuckled. "Just quarterback is fine, though." I loved his laugh and the little crinkles that surrounded his eyes when he smiled. Damn. "I wonder why we haven't met until now?"

Rose bumped my shoulder with hers, bringing me out of my reverie. She reached a hand out to shake Edward's. "Hi, I'm Rose. I've been trying to talk Bella into introducing herself to you all semester," she said smiling.

My head shot round to look at her as I grimaced.

"Oh, yeah?" Edward snickered. "Well, I wish you had before now." He winked at me, the half-smirky smile on his face so damn hot. It was me who was now in danger of swooning.

Now, on the outside I might've seemed calm and collected, but on the inside I was freaking out. Edward was someone I could totally fall for and I was horrified. I knew right then that I should Gingerbread Man it out of there.

Emmett had come over to see what all the fuss was. Upon seeing Rose, I thought he just might swoon too.

"Emmett Camarty, er, McCarty," he stuttered, introducing himself and taking Rose's hand in his, bringing it to his lips, kissing her knuckles.

She introduced herself, all excited and shit, and off they went to sit at the table he and Edward had occupied while they'd shot pool.

Edward and I stood in our original place, our eyes locked until I had to look away because he was making me nervous and also because I was afraid he'd see right through me, picking up on all the tawdry thoughts about him that were flying around in my head.

We continued standing in semi-uncomfortable silence him looking at me and me avoiding his might-be-able-to-read-my-lewd-and-lascivious-thoughts eyes. When he realized my vocal cords had apparently stopped working, he tried filling the space by asking, "So what's your major?"

That snapped me out of my stupor as I was totally into my "boring-ass-education-and-career" as Rose had so eloquently put it earlier. "English Ed with a minor in journalism," I replied, knowing he was probably a PE major and dumb as a lamp.

"'Terror made me cruel; and finding it useless to attempt shaking the creature off, I pulled its wrist on to the broken pane, and rubbed it to and fro till the blood ran down and soaked the bedclothes…'"

He was quoting Wuthering Heights, my favorite book. Holy hell. I just stared at him, nonplussed. Gorgeous and smart? Jackpot!

His crinkly-eyed smile came out as he looked proudly at me, all pleased with himself. But I'll be damned if that wasn't just the hottest thing ever. "How about a game of pool?" he asked.

Shit. I didn't know if I could handle being near his novel-quoting ass without attacking him, his enticing blood flaunting itself under my nose, his sexy intellect, and, well, the damn blatant animal attraction I had for him. If it got to be too much and I did attack him in front of everyone, I couldn't be sure Rose and I'd be able to erase all their memories. Someone might sneak out before we could get to them, which would so not be good.

Realizing I'd been standing lost in my thoughts, I looked up at him. When I saw the amused look on his face, like he thought I was some weak female who couldn't play, the competitor in me came out, ignoring for now my physical needs.

"Uh, sure. But I'm warning you, I'm pretty damn good."

He laughed walking me over to the pool table, his hand on the small of my back, and the contact made me jump. There was some kind of current that moved between us, some kind of pull that was undeniable. Wow. I wondered if he'd felt it too.

"So, how about we make a wager?" he said.

"Okay, what shall it be?" I smirked at him knowing I'd whip his ass at this game.

"I win, I get to take you out this Saturday after our game."

"And if I win?"

"You can say no." The cocky look he gave me told me he was a confident bastard, used to getting anything he wanted when it came to women, thinking there'd be no way I could tell him no.

Well, we'd see about that. Game on.

He racked and let me break. Three stripes went in right away. I couldn't help but grin when I saw the look of surprise on his face. I ended up running the table as he sat stunned. Smiling at him sweetly, I handed him my cue stick.

"Thanks. That was fun."

"Best two out of three?" He chuckled.

I let out a big, dramatic sigh. "Okay. Winner breaks."

Once again, I ran the table, leaving him speechless.


"Yep. I warned you I was good. Okay, guess I'll be seeing you around," I said, walking off.

My plan was to find someone, feed and go home. I had to get away from Edward goddamn Cullen because I wanted him so bad right now, not only his blood but sexually, and I knew I'd get attached and I didn't want to risk being hurt again.

"Wait!" he yelled coming after me. He caught me by the arm, turning me to face him.

"Yeah?" God, I needed another human now before I slammed my fangs into his throat PDQ.

"Where're you going? Why not have a drink with me?"

Why not have a drink of you? "I can't. I really have to go."

"Oh. Mind if I walk you to your car then?"

Keep it together, Bella. Ugh. I wanted him in every way and I was about to come unglued. He was making this too damn easy for me to take him, but no way was I going to. I was a chickenshit but who the hell wants to get hurt? Not I, damn it. That bullshit wasn't happening again.

But dude was not giving up. Okay, I'd let him walk me out then I'd douse his memory, find someone in the parking lot or sneak back in the club to feed quickly, then go home. Sounded like a plan.

"Okay, let me just tell Rose."

We walked to the table so I could let her know I was leaving. She wiggled her eyebrows as she threw her keys to me and I answered her with an eye roll. She knew I'd been on a two-year sexual sabbatical, which totally appalled her, so she was excited at the possibility of it ending and I knew she wanted to scream out "Gitcha sum!" because that was so her mating call, whore vamp that she was.

Edward put his hand again at the small of my back and led me out of the club to Rose's car that she'd parked around back. There was that feeling again, an almost palpable link connecting us. I'd never felt this way with anyone before. The strange thing was that it felt so right. Like home. And this thought was very unnerving.

There was no lighting in the back of the club, but being a vampire I could see everything clearly as we walked around the corner of the building toward the driver's side of the car when suddenly it was as if our bodies were magnets and we collided. Pushing me against the back wall of the club, he pressed his body into mine, his mouth capturing mine hard with his, our tongues swirling eagerly around each other. Holy shit I wanted him. My hands tangled in his hair as uncontrollable moans emitted from deep inside me. Oh, he was such a good kisser.

"God, I want you so bad, Edward," I groaned into his mouth as the wetness gushed between my thighs. It had been so long since I'd been with a man; my thinking became seriously skewed as all earlier thoughts that I needed to get away from him flew out the window.

Upon hearing that I wanted him, the sexiest growl came from him, he dropped his hands and grasped my ass, pushing his hips into me letting me feel against my stomach that he was hard… and huge… oh, my. His sexual presence, his mouth on mine, and the alluring smell of his blood were overloading my senses to the hilt. If something didn't give pretty soon, I was afraid I'd strike like an agitated snake.

"I want you too, Bella," he hissed, grinding his hips into me, pushing against me harder. His hands moved to my waist then up under my cami where his thumbs grazed my nipples. He groaned as he realized I didn't have on a bra. "God, you're fucking hot."

As the fingers of one hand fondled my nipple, he dropped his other hand, undoing my jeans, pressing his palm against me and slid it down inside my panties. Oh, God. The moan coming out of me was primal and basic and full of need. His fingers moved over my slick folds then he slid two inside me, making me cry out at the contact. Shit!

Moving his fingers in and out, he entered a third, curling them into that damn spot that always drove me crazy, his thumb pushing against me making my breath catch. Holy damn, this guy was great with his hands. I could feel the heat building inside me as his fingers filled me, his tongue explored my mouth, and his hand worked my breast.

"Oh, my God, don't stop," I moaned into his mouth.

"Wouldn't think of it," he murmured back. How friggin' hot was that?

As I gasped, he moved his fingers in and out of me faster, going deeper, harder, curling them into me making me pant. His mouth went to my throat and when he whispered my name, I cried out, my release hitting me hard. I could feel myself pulsing around his fingers as he still moved them inside me, milking my orgasm to last as long as he could. I was glad he was leaning into me, or I'd have collapsed on the ground.

"God, you're fucking beautiful, Bella," he said, pulling his head back to look at me, his eyes piercing mine seductively.

My head fell forward on his shoulder and I hissed, "Unzip yourself, now," into his neck where I was leaving kisses, trying to keep myself from sinking my teeth into it.

"Christ, you're killin' me," he said as he unzipped his jeans.

I'd worked my jeans down off one leg then wrapped my arms around his neck and he pulled my legs up to encircle his waist, his hands cupping my ass. Oh, I had to have him now, one way or the other, preferably sexually as the attachment wouldn't be as strong as it would if I fed from him. I knew sex was the apropos choice, but I still wanted to puncture his skin with my fangs and suck his sweet ambrosia-like blood in huge draws inside until I was sated.

I reached down and pulled his exceptionally large cock from its confines, moving myself so that the tip of it lined up perfectly with my opening. I pushed myself into him, pulling him to me by my heels on his ass, and the head of his cock entered me, making both of us groan.

"Bella. Need you. So good," he moaned into my neck, using his hands on my ass to pull me to him as he slowly entered me, stretching me, filling me like I'd never been before.

He moved slowly in me, taking my breath away.

"Edward, oh, God, you're so big," I hissed.

At this he slammed himself inside hard with a growl, causing my breath to catch. God, he was so deep. He pulled out till just the head was inside, then drove home again, making me cry out at the depth he was going.

As he thrust inside harder and faster, I felt my desire growing, then realized it was not only for sex but his blood. The exquisite smell of what was pumping through his veins had me on edge; my lust for it in a precariously controlled madness that might go off at any moment. I started panicking, knowing I wasn't going to be able to stop myself if we continued, and upon feeling my fangs extend fully, I stiffened. Shit! I had to get the hell out of there now.

"What's wrong?" he asked, pulling back to look at me.

"I… I can't do this, Edward. I'm sorry. Please, let me down."

"Why? What's the matter?" he asked as he kept moving inside me, keeping my desire building to dangerous heights.

"Put me down, Edward. I need to go. Now!" I said.

He looked at me, surprised, a confused look in his eyes, but he set me on the ground, removing himself from inside me. I got my foot in my jeans, pulling them up, then ran my hand in front of his face to erase this stupid encounter and took off walking quickly back toward the club, reminding myself not to move too fast, that there were more humans around. The fucking back door was locked, so I went to the front.

I was pissed at myself for letting things get as far as they had. No way was I giving myself to him just to be hurt again. No. Way.

Upon reentering the club, I walked toward the back, noticing that Rose and Emmett were gone, and looking around saw a guy sitting by himself. I went to him, grabbed his hand and pulled him to the back hallway toward what I guessed was the manager's office.

"Hey, sweetheart, slow down," he said to me as I smashed my mouth to his, pinning him to the wall. "What's the hur—" he started as I sank my fangs deeply into the vein on his neck. He choked out some sort of sound but then quieted because vampire drinking had a paralyzing effect on humans.

Oh, my God. I drank in great pulls taking in the sustenance that I needed so badly, my bloodlust amped up from the frenzy that had built from my failed tryst with Edward. Damn it. I'd wanted him so badly. Maybe since I'd blanked his mind we could start all over again when I didn't need to feed. No, there wasn't any way I was gonna Marie Antoinette myself—put my head on the chopping block—just to be hurt again.

I finished with Random Dude, pulling away from him, wiping my mouth. When he started to ask what I'd done to him, I waved my hand in front of his eyes, washing all memory of our meeting away. I went out the emergency exit just down the hall, all stealth-like looking around to make sure Edward had gone, and jumped in Rose's car and drove home.

Upon arriving home I texted her.

*At home. Didn't work w/ QB. C U in a bit. Don't hurry on my acct*

She answered a few minutes later.

*Aw, damn. Sry. K. W/ Emmett. SO CUTE! C U later*

Well, at least the night had worked out for one of us. I showered then went to bed, dreaming all night of green eyes, bronze hair, and a beautiful, large cock.

The next morning I got ready for class, poking my head into Rose's room to see if she'd made it home safely. She had and was sleeping soundly. I wondered if she'd fed from Emmett. I'd have to wait till later to ask her.

My Gothic Fic test was a bitch, but I thought I'd done fairly well on it. My Twentieth Century American Lit class was a bore as we discussed Thoreau and his musings from Walden Pond. How anyone could find Walden interesting was beyond me. The guy wrote about the dumbest things over his stay there. Who gave a shit about frogs croaking or cockerels crowing? Jeez.

When I got home, Rose told me how she'd gone to Emmett's apartment, feeding from and sleeping with him. She said she didn't clear his mind of the sex because she really liked him and thought he could handle everything eventually. They'd planned on going out this evening.

At four o'clock there was a knock on the door. I'd already dressed in my outfit for the evening—old gray sweats that were three sizes too big for me, rolled down at the waist and a huge U-Dub tee that was über comfy. I answered the door to a huge bouquet of flowers being shoved in my face. Um, okay. I took the vase seeing that some teen-aged boy was the deliverer, and after setting the flowers on the coffee table, I got a couple bucks to tip him then immediately called for Rose.

"Rose! Something came for you!" I knew Emmett was probably totally into her now.

She squealed as she came into the living room, looking all giddy, both palms on her cheeks.

"Oh, my gosh! How beautiful!" she screamed pulling the card out of its envelope. Upon reading it, her face fell and she thrust it toward me. Huh? "They're for you," she said pouting.

"What? Me?" I took the card reading what was written on it—


Had a great time last night. Would like to redeem myself at pool sometime… and finish what we started out back…

Dreaming of your kisses, amongst other things—


I stood in a daze staring at the card. I'd cleared his memory! No way should he be able to remember anything! What the fuck?

Rose snapped her fingers in front of my face, shaking me out of my cogitation. "Rose, I zapped him. He shouldn't remember anything about me. His only concern should've been blue balls after I shut him down." I looked at her in bewilderment.

She snickered at the last part but then got serious. "Shit, Bella. Maybe you, uh, missed or something? Maybe because you'd been drinking it didn't work."

"I had one drink… and I didn't 'miss.' I don't know what's going on."

This wasn't good. This was going to totally screw everything up for me. What the hell?

Later that night, I received a text message from an unknown number.


I answered back, *Hi?*

*So what R U doin?*

Who the hell was this?

*Studying. Who is this?*

*Edward. So how R U?*

Oh, Jesus.

*How'd you get my number?*

*Emmett. Why?*

Shit. I guessed Emmett must've gotten my number from Rose? I was so gonna kick her ass.

*Oh. Just wondering*

*So even tho I lost our bet U thnk U'd go out w/ me Sat after the game?*

Great. What was I supposed to do with this?

*Not sure. I'll have to check and get back w/ you*

Several minutes went by. Jeez. Now I'd hurt his feelings. He finally sent back.

*K. I'll B waiting. C ya beautiful*

I sat there stunned. Then I felt bad for not thanking him for the flowers. Damn. Why was he doing this to me? And why hadn't my memory cleansing worked? My mind didn't have the capacity to even think about this at the time, so I went back to studying, turning up the volume on my iPod. Shit.

Throughout the week I saw that things were going well with Rose and Emmett. I was glad. I hoped she didn't get hurt because I could tell she really liked him. She mentioned Edward a few times to me, and even though I couldn't get him off my mind, I told her each time that the more I thought about it, I realized it was a moot point, that I didn't want to get hurt again, so I was moving on. She just shook her head at me, mumbling something about my being a scaredy-cat, which made me snort out a chuckle.

Friday night over our kickass homemade pizza, Rose convinced me to go to the game the next day and go out with her and Emmett after. They weren't going out tonight because the coach had all players on a curfew. She wanted me to officially meet him, plus this was her sneaky way to get me out of the house. She said she didn't think Edward would be out because Emmett had told her that Edward's parents had decided at the last minute to come to his game, so he wouldn't be around. That was good news. And then my phone beeped.

*So how R U? Haven't talked 2 U all week*

Damn it. I thought Edward had taken the hint when I hadn't answered his texts back the past two days. Ugh. Rose saw the text and grabbed my phone.

"What are you doing?" I screamed at her.

"I'm taking care of this for you!" she said, running around the table just out of my reach as I chased her, texting him back.

"Rose! I don't want anything 'taken care of!' Fuck! Give me my goddamned phone back now!"

If she didn't comply I was gonna go vamp attack on her ass and she'd be sorry. She finally threw it back to me and walked away with a "Hmph!" Shit. What did she say? As I was checking my sent messages, another one came in.

*Really? I've missed talking to U too*

Rose was so getting her ass kicked now.

"Rose! You'd better hide because I'm pissed now!" I yelled. Jesus.

*So U coming to the game tomorrow?*

Damn it. I guess I had to talk to him now since she'd opened the damn door by answering back. She was gonna pay big time.

*Um, not sure yet. Maybe. I don't know* Jeez. Indecisive much?

*If U do, wait for me after?*

Great. Thanks, Rose!

*We'll see, okay?*

*Okay. Maybe talk to you tomorrow then?*


*Nite gorgeous*

*Good night*

Well, what to do now. He was rather charming and it seemed like he had a brain. And he was fuckhot. Ugh! You'll only get hurt, Bella. I again reminded myself that I had to make sure to stay the hell away from him.

We went to the game, and I was impressed with the fact that Edward really was All-American material. He was good. Not that I knew that much about football, but his passes were caught and he himself ran for a touchdown twice, so I knew that meant he wasn't bad. U-Dub had been on a roll this year, their record was 8-0, thanks in a very large part to Edward. And cue the panties soaking through when putting the words "large" and "Edward" together.

I guess I should've tried erasing my memories of him because all I'd done for the past week was fantasize about what it would've been like to have sex with him while simultaneously feeding from him. Damn. Too bad erasure didn't work on vamps, or I'd have had Rose zap that shit right outta my head pronto. As it was, I had to do my own mental scrub by reminding myself that it would never work with him because I'd only end up getting hurt.

After the game Rose made me stand outside the locker room with her to wait for Emmett. Big, sweaty, stinky guy watching was not my idea of a good time, but I was a good friend, so I went. Of course I was scared to death I'd see Edward, but thankfully Emmett came out first. Rose made out with him for a bit while I occupied myself with trying to guess the IQs of exiting players, thinking that collectively all of theirs might add up to 100, and praying that Edward wouldn't emerge. We finally left telling Emmett we'd meet him in a bit at Crazed.

We went to our apartment to change. Rose was the happiest I'd ever seen her, and I wondered if Emmett just might be "the one." He was a nice guy now that I'd gotten to meet him. And as long as he treated her right, it was all good.

At the club, we sat at a table drinking and shooting the shit. Of course, Emmett had to regale us with his account of what went on during the game, which they'd won by fifty-six points. What I understood of the convo was that Edward handed Emmett the ball then told him to run like hell. Well, if that's all there was to football, I would've gotten it years ago.

I kept getting asked to dance, turning down the first several guys, but when Rose and Emmett had gone to the dance floor, I thought, what the hell. I'd danced with one guy several fast dances in a row, when a slow song came on and I guess he thought he was gonna get some close-up action. Um, nope.

"C'mon, sweetheart. Give a guy a chance," he kept saying to me, while holding my arm, not letting me go.

I wanted to tell him I was giving him a chance by letting him live and not going all medieval on his ass. He had no clue that I could've ripped him limb from limb in a matter of seconds. But I was trying to be polite, telling him nicely that I just wanted to sit back down, when all of a sudden dude went flying about ten feet away from me. What the hell? And then the scent hit me.

There stood Edward looking all pissed off and yummy at the same time. Damn.

His face was angry but then his smirky smile greeted me. "Hi."

"Hi," I said back, gaga-eyed. Oh, brother.

"Sorry, but he was bothering you."

I chuckled. "Yes, he was. Guess he won't be anymore."

"Can I have this dance?" he asked all old-fashioned and romantic and shit.

Well, hell. I guess I couldn't turn him down after he'd gone hero on me.

"Uh, sure."

He took me in his arms holding me close. Wow. It felt so good being near him like that. His hair was still a little damp from his post-game shower and messy as ever, and his dark blue button down hung over his jeans. Damn.

"Did you see the game?"

"Yes, I did. You seem very good," I said shyly. Again with the shyness. Ugh.

His crinkly-eyed smile beamed for me. I couldn't help but smile back. He looked like a little boy who'd been praised for making his bed or something. So cute. And sexy. And hot.

"Thanks. I try. We're 9-0 now. Might get a chance to play in the National Championship."

"Is that a good thing?" I dumbly asked.

"Yeah, I'd have to say it's a pretty good thing." He laughed. How was I to know?

"Well, then, congrats."

"We don't know yet. Won't know until late November, really. But we do stand a chance. Did you see that play where the guard blocked for me and I got a first down?" He was now in recap-the-game mode, his eyes lighting up which made me smile. Too adorable.

"Uh, yeah?" I replied, not having a clue what he was talking about.

"And our tight end. Fuck, he was so on today. He blocked the shit outta their Sam. Coach actually gave him the game ball."

"Sam? You know the other team's guys?"

He cracked up. "No, it's their strong-side linebacker. We call them Sam and the weakside is the Will. But, damn, we had their safeties guessing all day long."

Keep talking football, Edward, and the attraction will begin to wane, I thought with a smirk.

Realizing he'd gone off on a tangent, he sheepishly grinned at me then became very serious. "God. You look gorgeous tonight."

Annnd, waning done; let the waxing begin. Christ, this was scary.

I smiled up at him. "You don't look half bad yourself."

His lips crashed down on mine, surprising me, literally taking my breath away.

"Wow," I squeaked when he pulled away.

"Wanna get out of here?" he asked, those green eyes of his burning hotly into mine.

When I stood just looking at him, he took my hand saying, "C'mon," leading me off the dance floor.

After telling Rose we were leaving, we drove in his very nice Volvo to his very nice condo. On the way, we talked about school, and he told me his dad was a surgeon, that was why he was going pre-med. His mother was an interior designer, which would explain how nicely his place was decorated, he warned me with a chuckle.

I didn't get a chance to witness his mother's designing, as he had me against the wall the minute we made it inside. His hard body was pressed into mine, igniting the fire in me. I wanted him. Now. I unbuttoned his shirt, pulling it off his shoulders, then removed his t-shirt, leaning in to kiss his muscular chest, licking and softly biting over his nipples, making him groan.

He pulled my shirt over my head then devoured my body with his eyes upon seeing my blood-red bra.

"Fuuuck." That's all he said, which I guess translated into "I want you now" because he undid my jeans and pushed them down for me to step out of, and upon seeing my matching panties he grabbed me hard to him, smashing his mouth into mine.

I unbuckled his belt, undoing his jeans, pushing them and his boxer briefs down so his very large cock sprung out. When I took him in my hand, he moaned loudly into my mouth. Moving his mouth from my lips to my jaw then slowly down my neck, down to my breast, he pulled my bra down under it, exposing it and suckled on my nipple, which drove me crazy, making my hips buck into him. He moved back up, taking my mouth with his.

"So fucking hot. Goddamned stunning," he murmured into my ear.

He then drew my panties down for me to step out of and grabbed my leg, throwing it over his hip, hooking his arm around it while clasping my other hand in his down at my side. The intensity in his eyes overwhelmed me, and I came immediately as he slammed his cock inside me with a deep thrust, both of us crying out.

"I need you Bella. I need all of you. Okay?" he hissed as I weakly nodded, so caught up in his wantonness, his deep thrusts, I would've been okay with anything he asked of me at that moment.

With that, I felt a searing pain at the side of my neck and realized he'd latched onto it and was drinking from me. Shit! He was a vampire! How did I miss that? But holy God, this was hot, and another orgasm ripped through me so hard I cried out his name loudly, sure that half the city heard it.

I'd had sex where only I'd fed, but I now understood what all the fuss was about when someone fed from you during sex. God, it was good. Edward continued pulling long draws of blood from me as he slammed his length inside me, making me gasp each time he drove in hard and our hips connected.

He came with a roar, just as he'd finished feeding, thrusting hard one last time inside me, his head thrown back, his neck and shoulders strained. Jesus, he was beautiful. He kissed me softly and releasing my thigh, put one hand at the nape of my neck, the other at the small of my back. I knew that being in his strong arms was so where I was supposed to be. Imagine that.

He carried me to his bed, placing me down gently then lay next to me; as we faced each other, his hand glided up and down over my hip.

"You didn't know," he said.

"No, I didn't. How?"

If he'd been full vampire, he couldn't have fed from me. He explained that he'd been turned a couple years ago, but the female vamp who'd done it had only used him as a rebound, and had returned to her lover afterward, leaving him alone and completely lost. He said he'd figured things out quickly, and had been fine since. But he said he masked himself because he didn't want anyone to know what he was, that he'd played football before he was changed and loved it and didn't want to give it up. He knew he had an unfair advantage over the humans, so he actually made himself go without feeding for months before and during season so he'd be weaker and wasn't really using his vamp strength when he played.

This also explained why I couldn't erase his memory. Ah. Made perfect sense now.

"When I smelled your blood that first night, it overwhelmed me and I knew I had to have you. And then you just felt so right. I knew you were the one. But I did get a kick out of your trying to cleanse my memory."

"I'm sure you did! I wondered if I was losing my touch." I chuckled. "I felt the same about you. This does feel so right, Edward, but I'm scared to death of getting hurt. I don't think I could take it again."

"I could never hurt you, Bella. Not in a hundred years," he said, his hand moving up to curl a few stray hairs behind my ear as he leaned in and lightly kissed my shoulder.



"I want to be with you, Edward. Um, how's forever sound?" I chuckled even though it was scary as hell to say that, but I couldn't help thinking that it just felt right.

"If I have any say, that's exactly what'll happen," he said, looking at me so seductively, pulling me to him and kissing me deeply, his quickly growing arousal becoming thick and heavy on my thigh.

I awoke the next morning, a smile forming on my face upon feeling Edward holding me tightly in his arms; knowing I'd found where I belonged, I thought of the only word that fit—home.