I don't own Twilight or the hot pictures of Rob on the WfE set. They just make me think of these things.
Dedicated to my Ficsters: WriteOnTime, LittleSecret84, Spanglemaker9 and the-glory-days. I love them more than cotton candy.
The Boy in Blue
"Please, Bella. Pretty please. Pretty, pretty, pretty please. I'll be your best friend."
"You're already my best friend," I replied, flipping through the pages of US magazine. "I just can't get used to Ashley Tisdale's new nose," I mused, it just didn't fit her face.
"Bella, focus. I'm begging. Pleading. Madame Zelda is supposed to be amazing."
Drawing in a breath, I placed the magazine back on the stand and stared across the street at the Firecracker Festival. Every year for as long as I could remember, Forks held a festival Fourth of July weekend. It was one of those things you looked forward to every year as a kid. But we were in college now. It was a little passé.
"Alice, don't you think you're acting a little irrational? She's a palm reader."
"I know. But she told Lauren last year that she'd get into Syracuse and she did."
"The girl wore a Syracuse sweatshirt everywhere. She probably had it on!" I argued.
"Bella. Come on. I'll call Rose and we can all go together."
I still didn't want to budge. I found the whole thing creepy. You pay someone to look at your palm and tell you what you want to hear. No, thank you. "I'll buy you cotton candy. Every color."
Alice always found my weak spot. I loved the cotton candy at the fair. I sighed, knowing that I was going to give in. From the look on her face, Alice knew it, too. I didn't even need to say a word. She read my face, squealed and pulled out her cell.
Less than a half hour later, we were walking through the gate to meet Rosalie by the ticket booth. She was barely paying attention, still brooding because her boyfriend Emmett was vacationing with his family for the month. When Alice told her our plan for the evening, she agreed grudgingly. I wasn't surprised. I didn't think she'd be happy about anything until he came home.
We made our way to Madame Zelda's tent, which looked like a giant tapestry sale. I waited as each of them took a turn behind the curtain and sat down on her velvet stool. I waited as they held out their hands and heard their futures.
Alice went first and came bouncing out, her eyes bright and her grin wide.
"She said that I've met my soul mate and we're more in-tune that most couples. I just know that it'll be me and Jasper forever. I wonder how he feels about winter weddings."
"You go ask him that," Rosalie replied, sarcastically, "and you'll never have a chance to find out. You've only been dating for three months. You'll freak him out."
"The heart knows, Rosalie, my dear. The heart knows."
"So dramatic," she replied, rolling her eyes. "My turn."
Less than five minutes had passed when Rosalie stormed out of the small room, infuriated because the old woman insisted she'd watch fireworks with her true love.
"How the hell am I supposed to spend the fourth with the love of my life if he's in Colorado!" she exclaimed, pulling her cellphone out and marching out of the tent.
"And she called me dramatic," Alice muttered, shaking her head. "You're up, Bella," she sang. "Go find out if Mr. Right is going to sit next to you in class this semester. Or maybe you'll bump into him at the lab."
"I'll settle for Mr. Okay, but I don't think Madame Zelda has any insight into that."
"Open mind, Bella," she said, as I walked through the hanging tapestry and into the old woman's sitting room. Inside the room there was a small table covered with a multicolored tablecloth. The woman sat in a large chair with a high back, her dark skin wrinkled and hair pulled back. I wondered if she was from the Reservation.
"Sit down, child," she said motioning to the velvet stool. "You don't believe in the power of the spirit?"
I was immediately embarrassed. I had kept my voice down in the waiting area. I never meant to offend anyone. I just didn't believe in palm readers.
"I'm…I'm so sorry. I didn't mean for you to hear that," I replied, feeling the heat in my face.
"It wasn't your words that I heard," she said. "Not the ones you speak."
She chuckled and again motioned to the seat across the table. I wanted to leave, but I couldn't be that rude.
"May I see your palm, my child?" she asked, holding her hand out. I hesitantly placed my hands palm up on top of hers. Her fingers were dry and rough and moved along my palm.
"You have a very long life line. See here," she said, pointing to a line bisecting my palm. "Ooh, and your love line—what a lucky girl you are. Not many get to experience the love that you have. You are truly blessed."
"You must be mistaken. I don't have anyone," I explained, uncomfortably.
"Hmmm. Watch for the boy in blue. He'll need some encouragement."
"So sweet," she said again, sitting back and placing my hands back on the table.
"Is that it?" I asked. I didn't want to be rude, but I hadn't gotten much out of her. The boy in blue? That's only like eighty-percent of the population. Way to narrow it down, Madame Zelda.
"Have a good evening," she said, chuckling again. I was glad she found this humorous.
Shaking my head, I stormed out of the room like Rosalie, twenty dollars short and irritated as hell.
"So, what'd she say?" Alice asked, bouncing on her toes.
"I have to look for the boy in blue, so someone drop me off at a police station. Or wait, is Blue Man Group playing in the city because face paint is hot."
"Bella, you never know," Alice added.
"Sure. Whatever. Let's go do something productive…like eat cotton candy until we throw up. You're buying."
"And you wonder why you haven't found Mr. Right," she replied, shaking her head. "Puke, I've found, is a major turn-off."
We walked through the midway, passing carts selling red, white and blue hats and light-up wands. I remembered begging my dad to buy me glow-in-the-dark light sticks to wave in the air before the fireworks when I was a kid. I hadn't seen the fireworks in ages.
As we approached the cotton candy vendor, the sweet scent of sugar filled the air and made my mouth water. I didn't care what they wanted to do next. I was grabbing a spot on one of the picnic tables and staying right here for the rest of the evening.
"Alright, Bella. Since you were such a good sport and didn't complain once," Alice began, he tone dripping with sarcasm. "What color cotton candy are you starting with?"
"Decisions, decisions," I replied, tapping a finger against my lips. "I'm feeling…blue."
While Alice walked up to the counter to place the order, Rosalie glanced at her phone for the hundredth time.
"Rose, staring at it won't cause it to ring," I finally said.
"Thanks for that, Bella. Really. I'm not willing it to ring," she explained, indignantly. "I'm…waiting for a text."
"So much different."
"Emmett hasn't been answering his phone and it's weird, alright? He never screens my calls and he always checks in. I'm worried."
"They're camping, right? Maybe they're out of cell range. Maybe his battery died. You know how forgetful he can be. When you're not around, he's kind of lost."
"I hope he's okay," she replied, looking down at the screen once more. Yes, Emmett was kind of lost without Rosalie, but Rosalie was just as lost without Emmett.
"He's fine and probably in the mountains somewhere staring at the blank screen of his phone, too."
She gave me a weak smile, but I knew it wasn't much consolation for her.
As Alice paid for my cotton candy and Rosalie continued to press refresh on her phone, I scanned the crowd, looking for any familiar faces. That's when I saw him. He was tall and muscular with crazy russet hair, walking through the crowd and past the midway.
"Alice, come on," I said, grabbing her hand.
"Wait," she cried, reaching back and picking up the bag from the counter. "What the hell, Bella?"
"There was a guy…." I said, shaking my head, unable to put into words the way he made me feel.
"A guy? Was he wearing blue!"
"Um…no. White, but he was incredible."
"But he's not Mr. Right, Bella," she replied.
"Are you kidding me, Alice? You're really listening to Madame Zelda? No. Just no. We need to find this guy."
Alice called over to Rosalie, who was naturally staring at her phone.
"Bella saw a guy," she announced.
"Bella saw a guy?"
"Yes, and we're going to find him."
"You two," I began, impatiently. "Less talky and more walky."
Grabbing Alice's hand again, I tore through the crowd in the direction he headed, looking in booths and kiosks for any sign of him.
It wasn't until we reached the carnival rides that I saw him. He stood next to the ferris wheel, his leg bent and resting on top of the gate with a large metal lever in his hands. He had some dirt on his face and a fine layer of sweat on his skin. I usually dated science geeks and book nerds. I couldn't explain how looking at him made me feel. I thought I was going into cardiac arrest.
"That's him," I said, sounding winded and breathy.
"He works here?" Rosalie asked. "Like as a job?"
"Come on. Let's get in line."
"We can't fit three people," Rosalie said, matter-of-factly. "You go on with her, Al. I'll be over here."
I was getting more and more impatient so I tugged Alice by the hand over to the end of the line. As we waited, I watched the muscles in his arms flex as he pulled on the lever to start and stop the ride. When it was time for the wheel to spin, he would step back and wipe his brow with the back of his hand. He didn't speak to any of the patrons. He didn't even smile.
My heart began beating faster and faster the closer we got to the front of the line. I had no game plan. I had no game. But I had to do something.
My hands were shaking when the couple in front of us started to board. He locked the bar on their chair, and walked back to the line, stopping right in front of me. I wondered if his hand would touch mine when I passed him my ticket.
Once again, I watched his arms move as his pulled the lever, sending the chair up in the air, suspending it just past our heads.
Then he looked at me. Right in my eyes. His were beautiful. Such a pretty steely gray and I wanted to stare forever, and he was staring, too ,and we were having an actual moment. But then he cleared his throat and I looked down, noticing that he was reaching out his hand and looking for a ticket.
"Oh, sorry," I muttered, holding it out for him. The edge of his mouth turned up slowly and his chest moved slightly, almost as if he had laughed. It was the only reaction I had seen from him throughout the entire time I had been in line.
I gathered up my courage as we walked to the chair. I hopped in, waiting for Alice, and once she was inside, he walked toward us, shutting and locking the bar in front.
"What's your name?" I yelled, as he turned to head back to his station. My heart stopped—literally ceased beating, when he turned around. That edge of his mouth that sort of turned up had morphed itself into the sexiest smirk I'd ever seen.
"Edward," he said, before shifting the lever, sending us backward and into the air.
"I can't believe you just did that," Alice squealed. "Where is this coming from?"
"I don't know," I replied. I was usually so shy.
It was the longest five minutes of my life as I waited for all of the cars to be filled and the ride to begin in earnest. Each time we dropped down and swept across the platform, Edward stared right at me. Each time I saw him, my heart beat faster and chest felt tighter.
I began to panic when the ride began to slow down and stop. I knew he was letting people out. I knew my time was limited. I just didn't know what I'd do next.
"Give him your number," Alice suggested. "Or ask if he has a break."
Our feet hovered in the air, right above where Edward would be standing, waiting for us. I wanted to look into his eyes again. I wanted to see that smirk. I wanted to touch his lips—kiss his mouth. I wanted. So much.
As the wheel moved us down, I drew a deep breath. He walked toward us, smiling, his eyes so clear and bright.
"So, do you think it's fair that you know my name and I don't know yours?" he asked, bending and placing his hands on the bar.
"Bella," I said, breathy and low. "I'm Bella."
"How old are you, Bella?"
"I'm twenty," I replied. "How old are you?"
I could see the people in line getting aggravated, staring while I blatantly flirted with Edward. An hour ago this would have embarrassed me. Now, it really didn't.
"Do you get a break anytime soon?" I blurted out.
"Yeah, actually," he said, smiling again—amused by how forward I was acting. "Why?"
What was I supposed to say? I want you to take me somewhere private and kiss me until I can't breathe. I want to run my hands along your chest and hold you against me tight. I want to look in your eyes and lose myself and feel this way all the time.
But I couldn't. Not that.
"How about this? Would you like to take a ride with me?" he asked, motioning to the wheel above us.
I looked over to Alice who was watching the whole exchange with wide eyes. It must have been awkward, but I couldn't help it. I couldn't help anything I was saying or anything I was doing.
"Um…I'll go sit with Rosalie and help her stare at her cellphone," she offered. Edward opened up the gate, letting Alice out, then put two long fingers into his mouth, and whistled over to a scruffy-looking blonde man at the concession stand.
He walked over, hands in his pockets, raising his eyebrow at me and then Edward.
"James, would you mind covering my break?" he asked, looking at me as he spoke.
"Well, this is a first," he said, smirking. Only his smirk wasn't sexy like Edward's. His smirk looked more like a sneer.
"You know how to work the ride, right?"
"Of course," he replied, leering at us. "Enjoy yourselves."
He hopped into the seat next to me and I was immediately overwhelmed by his closeness. I could feel the heat from his body, and I wondered if he could feel the heat from mine. He reached his arm around the back of the car, so that I could feel it lightly grazing across the back of my neck. Every time it brushed against me, I shivered.
"Are you going to relax?" he asked me, bending down, speaking into my ear.
"I didn't know I wasn't," I said, still breathy and unsure.
"Lean back," he said.
I hadn't noticed that I was hunching over, away from the arm behind me. I slowly relaxed my shoulders and leaned back, feeling the hair on his arm on the back of my neck. I wanted him to curl it around me and pull me closer. I didn't even know his last name.
"See, not so bad," he added, chuckling as James threw the lever back and sent the wheel up in the air and our chair out of sight.
"So, tell me, Bella, is this a regular thing for you?" he asked. "Is this how you meet new people?"
"On a ferris wheel? No," I laughed, feeling nervous and awkward.
"I don't…this is so weird. I don't usually…"
"Relax, I was just teasing you," he said, letting me off the hook. "I'll tell you a secret. I don't usually go on rides with the customers."
"No? Then why are you doing it now?"
His lips pursed, and I found myself watching them. Wanting them.
"You surprised me."
"I surprised you?"
"Talking to me when you did. I was pleasantly surprised," he explained cryptically.
"I saw you…walking through the fairgrounds."
I didn't know why I was telling him this. The words were just spilling from my lips.
"And what did you think when you saw me?"
"I thought you were beautiful," I replied.
"Well, it seems like we have something in common, then."
If my heart beat any harder, I was sure it would begin rocking the chair. He was so disarming and honest. I'd never met anyone like him.
"So, you brought snacks?" he asked, and I noticed that Alice had left my bag of cotton candy on the seat. "Is this your friend's?"
"No. It's mine. It's always been my favorite part of the fair. Would you like some?" I asked, opening up the bag. He laughed and shook his head and I realized what I had said. My face felt hot and I wasn't feeling quite as brave anymore.
"I'd love to try some," he laughed. Reaching in, he pulled out a small wisp of candy, but instead of eating it, he held it to my lips. I watched his eyes as they focused on my mouth. I watched his eyes as I leaned forward, reaching out for it with my tongue, grazing his fingers as I drew the candy into my mouth. By the time I leaned back, it had already melted on my tongue, leaving a sweet taste behind.
"Can I have a taste now?" he asked, his gaze steady and unwavering. But he didn't reach for the bag. He leaned over, always watching, and softly, almost imperceptibly, rubbed his lips against mine. My whole body shuddered and I know that I let out a harsh breath. Emboldened, he moved his hand along my back, drawing me closer, before pulling my bottom lip into his mouth, gliding his tongue along it before kissing me softly again.
"That's definitely the best way to eat cotton candy," he said, so close to my lips that I could feel the heat across them.
So I pulled some cotton candy from the bag like he had done for me. I held it up—an offering—and he opened his mouth and showed me his pink tongue. Then something inside me snapped, we were so high up, no one could see and I wanted so badly to taste it on him, too. So I launched myself at him, kissing his lips, pressing my tongue into his mouth. I had never been so forward. I had never felt this way, but he was sweet and warm and so much better than I ever thought he could be.
We were held back by the barrier from the chair, but Edward was able to snake his arms around me and pull my upper body up against his, squeezing and holding me, making me sigh and pant into his mouth.
"Mmmm, Bella. I don't think I'm going to want to let you go," he said, as the wheel began to move forward.
"You don't have to," I replied, pleading with him. "Kiss me."
"You're not worried about who'll see?"
"No. Kiss me," I said again, watching and waiting for his lips to touch mine. And when they did, once again, it was wild and fast and exhilarating. Kissing him was better than the most thrilling thrill ride. Kissing him was all I wanted.
When we stopped again at the top, his lips latched onto my neck and his hand traveled onto my shirt—cupping me, squeezing, making me want to cry out.
"Can we…go somewhere?" I panted. I was on fire. There was no way I could pretend I wasn't.
"I know a place," he said, his eyes smoldering. He pressed a soft kiss on my lips. I was so lost. I had hardly noticed that the ride wasn't moving.
"Are we stuck?" I asked, pulling back, breathing heavy. Edward looked over the railing, shouting down to James. I could tell that he was answering him, but I couldn't hear him at all.
"They're working on it," he replied. "Normally, this would bother me, but I can't seem to get very upset about it. I think I like being stuck with you, Bella."
I felt his hand settle on my thigh and move slowly up, grazing my skin with his fingertips.
"Is this okay? I want to touch you, Bella," he said, his eyes boring into me. "I really need to touch you."
I would have said yes if I could have spoken, but his candor was causing my brain to malfunction. I threw my head back, and he took that as an invitation to taste the skin on my neck and begin moving his fingers higher up my skirt. I was shaking and quivering, moaning and panting and he had barely touched me. If he ever needed an ego-boost, this was it.
"You feel so good," he said, breathing into my neck and along my shoulder. His fingers on my inner thigh felt amazing, but then he moved them just a little, grazing the edge of my underwear. I think I stopped breathing waiting for him to move, waiting for him to push his fingers under the rim and onto my skin. And when I felt him I gasped, unable to focus on anything other than the patterns they traced all over me.
I cried out when his fingers delved deeper, no longer teasing or testing. He knew exactly what to do and where to do it. He knew exactly what I needed and when. And as I shook and moaned and finally shattered, he held me against his body, whispering things no one had ever said to me before.
When I had regained my senses and was able to function, I kissed him again, noticing his tongue as it poked through his lips. I pulled back laughing uncontrollably, unable to catch my breath.
"Is this the way you always react when you come?" he asked, arching his brow.
"No, no. I'm not laughing at you," I replied, blushing. "Well, I am. It's just…your tongue is blue."
He looked at me like I was crazy and laughed, unaware that I had spent the better part of the evening talking about the boy in blue, not knowing that he was literally around the corner. Before I had a chance to explain, the wheel lurched forward and we were lowered to the ground.
"Sorry, man," James said, raising the bar on the chair. "You know how tricky this thing can be. It's hard to fix it when your uncle isn't around."
"He's back tomorrow," he replied. "Then you won't have to look at my ugly mug anymore."
"This is your last day?" I asked, confused by their conversation.
"No, I'm just filling in. Helping out my uncle." He stepped out of the car, and held out his hand to help me down.
"So, you don't work here?"
"I've been helping out since I was a kid, but I take classes now so I only fill in from time to time if they're in the area."
"So, you live around here?"
I was having a hard time wrapping my mind around the concept. I assumed he didn't live here. I assumed he traveled. It never occurred to me that he was local.
"I live in Port Angeles. Is that going to be a problem, Bella?" he asked, and I could tell what he was thinking. I could tell he was wondering if I was looking for someone who was about to move on. I wasn't looking for anyone, but him.
"No. That's just…perfect."
He smiled, shaking his head again—amused by something. I didn't care. He lived here and he wouldn't be leaving.
"I think after that, James, I'm officially off for the evening," he said. "I have a date."
He reached for my hand and led me down the ramp.
"Edward," James called after us. "You forgot your sweatshirt."
I saw a blur of fabric as James tossed it over to Edward and my mouth fell when I turned and watched Edward slip into a navy blue hoodie.
"Ready for some fireworks?" he asked.
"Absolutely," I replied, squeezing his hand in mine.
He led me through the crowd and I could feel the anticipation building. It hadn't been ten minutes since he last kissed me and it was already too long.
As we walked through the fairgrounds, he led the way, but would continually glance back at me, smiling with his whole face—smiling with his eyes. I was giddy and crazy and needed to just get to where we were going.
I realized that we were headed for the shore, just past the fairgrounds. The grassy terrain slowly turned to gravel, then finally to a pebbly sand. Small bonfires burned along the shore and couples on blankets curled up on the dunes.
I turned toward the voice and saw Rosalie, standing with her arms wrapped around Emmett. Alice and Jasper were huddled by the fire behind them.
"He was flying back to me," she said, grinning from ear to ear. Her arms circled his waist and he bent his head down, kissing the top of her head.
"I missed you too much," he said.
"Should we sit?" Edward asked, motioning to the fire.
"Is that…are you sure?"
I wanted to be alone with him, but I also wanted so much sit with Edward by a warm fire with my friends. I introduced him to everyone as we took our seats on the sand. Edward leaned back on his hands and pulled my back against his chest. He wrapped his arms around me, holding me tight.
"You're shivering. You should have a jacket."
"I'm not cold," I replied, shaking my head. He did this to me. He made my body hum. I felt his chest rise and fall. I relaxed into his arms, feeling so perfect and so right.
As the first set of lights exploded in the sky, I glanced around the fire at my friends. Alice and Jasper whispered softly to each other—wrapped up in their own world. I wondered if they were discussing wedding vows.
Emmett and Rosalie stood behind them, still embracing—still beaming—watching the fireworks with their true loves.
And I craned my neck behind me, glancing at Edward, marveling at his steely gray eyes, so deep and penetrating. I tugged on his blue sweatshirt and buried my head in his chest.
I'm sorry, Madame Zelda. Now I believe.
Have a Happy and Safe 4th!