A/N So Here's my first attempt at writing fan fiction. I've never written a word of fiction in my life, so this is all new to me! Many thanks to my wonderful beta, Magnolia822, and my pre-readers, xhellokitty99x and xXTailoredDreamsXx, and to Lolypop82 for all her help with banners and manips! here we go!

So hot.

It's just so hot in here. And what is that god-awful noise? Sounds like a freight train charging through my head. A mix of loud puttering engines and a throbbing akin to walking out of a club after standing next to the speakers all night. Something's poking my face; it's not pleasant, and it's rather annoying. Where the fuck am I? As I turn my head, I see the culprit of all my anguish. Overly spiky hair stabbing at my chin, and snoring...god almighty- the snoring.

What was his name again?

Last night had been...interesting. I made it to the hotel from the airport and after unloading all my luggage I desperately needed a drink. I changed into some jeans and light v-neck sweater and made my way to the hotel lounge. After about two pints of Guiness I saw him. Tall, dark, and definitely handsome. I gave him a coy smile as he made his way to me, giving me a perfect smile and making small talk. I knew it- soccer player, and American. Great, this worked out to my advantage; I'd have the inside scoop on one of the three American players playing on Arsenal's team, and maybe I'd have some fun tonight.

And fun it was. I'm not sure, at one point we ended up in a room (presumably his), but even with a slight buzz I could register that he was good...not great...but, good enough. I do remember he came before me... yeah, bummer, but it was alright because he managed to do some nice work with his fingers afterwards that sent me into sweet release. I don't know if it was my buzz or not but it seemed like it was over as soon as it had begun. Oh well.

Now I find myself with a headache under what feels like a damn space heater, hair matted against the back of my neck and forehead, and that damn overly gelled hair poking my in the face. I have to get the fuck out of here...

After finally unceremoniously extricating myself from the death trap that is the naked man next to me, I realize, thankfully, that I'm not in my own hotel room. I say thankfully, because it will make my getaway easier. I also realize my walk of shame will be less embarrassing since I'm in a hotel and these people will never see me again. Over the years, I've become quite the ninja escaping from the arms of my random hook-ups, something I'm not sure I should be proud of or feel depressed about. Fuck it. Why analyze?

After recovering pieces of my outfit that have been strung about all over the room and re-dressing, I silently close the door behind me. Taking a few steps into the elevator, I sink back towards the corner, dreaming of warm baths and room service when the car dings and my nostrils are accosted by the wretched stench of some over-priced perfume. Looking through my peripheral vision, I see Tall, Leggy Blonde attached to taller, Lean Bronze Mess of Hair, sucking face: an entity with more hands than a Hindu god. They enter and I find myself in an elevator with Mr. and Mrs. Horn dog. At least there's only one more floor left. I can't handle the smell and cough uncontrollably, and joy, they pull apart to stare at me. She's Barbie incarnate and he's just... he's just...fucking outrageous.

"Are you alright, sweetie?" chimes a concerned looking Barbie.

cough..."oh...I'm just"...cough..."fine, really"... cough cough... "no worries...just" ...gag... "allergies...I'm sure"...cough cough gag.

Yes, B, very eloquent.

Sex Hair gives me a once over with his eyes before unleashing (what I'm sure he's well aware of and probably has a name for) a sly smirk that I immediately want to smack off his ever-loving face. I return the gesture with a unamused eye roll while Barbie dutifully disappears under his neck, emitting disgusting smacks and wet sloppy sounds. Just when my gagging reflexes start to rev up their engines, the elevator dings and I'm off like a canon out towards my luxury hotel suite, but not before I hear a very smooth male voice say "Have a nice evening." I can hear the smile in his remark. Ugh...typical. I walk into my hotel room and breathe the fresh, clean air deeply and chuck all my stuff to the floor, only grabbing my cell phone and iPod.

I practically drag each foot towards the huge bathroom, and I secretly thank the hotel gods that my employer has splurged on my room. I dock the iPod and play some random classical music that Alice decided I needed to have and strip down to my birthday suit. I peruse myself in the mirror and my mind wanders. Last night's romp with what's-his-name was pretty good, probably the best I'd had in a while. He managed to get me off, which was a miracle, considering how pre-occupied I'd been with thoughts of deadlines and timelines.

I slip into the almost too-hot bath and drift into my thoughts. I drift through everything I'd been through to get where I am at the moment; the move after graduation from Columbia to my own tiny one-bedroom in Manhattan, my first gig writing online blurbs for an entertainment website, and finally my first big break, writing for the sports department at the Post. I don't LOVE it, but it is hopefully the proverbial foot-in-door I swear will get me to "Serious Journalist" mode.

As the gentle themes of the piano envelope the giant bathroom, swirling with the scent of whatever bath stuff the hotel has provided, I think back to what led to this innate need to succeed. My dad had always pushed me to go the extra mile. Living in a small town in Washington, he wanted for me to see the world or at least as much of it as his police chief wages would allow. I'd spend summers with my mother and her soccer-junky boy toy in L.A., forced to learn the ins and outs of the game until I couldn't stand it anymore. It was an O.K. game for the most part, but it was the eye candy that finally peeked my interest, making reporting on it bearable.

I wasn't blind. I learned to appreciate the finer points of the game: mainly, legs and asses...and chests. By the time I turned 17, I wasn't the only one scoping out the goods, getting stares and eye fucks from the team my mom's mid-life crisis, Phil, was coaching. I wasn't gorgeous by mainstream standards. But I was quite comfortable with myself and what I had to offer, even as a teenager, and never had an issue having my pick of prom dates.

I wasn't academically aimless, though, as were many of my small town high school friends; I knew I wanted to write. I wanted to see the world, writing about the important topics. I wanted to write about civil unrest, political campaigns, social issues plaguing our society. Instead, I'm writing about scores and stats regarding the latest Cup tourney. Fuck my life. At least the men are hot.

As soon as I'm nice and pruney, I wrap myself around a hotel bathrobe (God, I love those) and rather carelessly flop onto my bed, glancing at my cell to set my alarm. I notice I've missed yet another call from the New York offices. Damn, too late to call now. I'll just respond later and blame my lack of communication on the time difference. I look out the window towards the London skyline, and I sigh, drifting off to sleep for a few hours.


My cell goes off at what seems to be an ungodly hour, and I'm internally cursing the makers of said cell phones for their ridiculous alarm tones. Suddenly jolted out of bed, I grab the offending piece of shit phone and answer.

"Where the fuck are you?" A voice screeches.

"Well, good morning to you too, Rosalie" I croak.

"Yeah, whatever. Listen, do you know what time it is? Are you aware you have a press conference to cover in less then 15 minutes?"

"SHIT!" I yell, seeing the clock on the phone display 7:45 AM glaring angrily at me. I sprint out of bed and hang up on the bitch. I mean, I love Rose and all, but damn, she's a hard ass.

Quickly throwing on the first pair of slacks and whatever blouse I lay my hands on, I get dressed and half-ass my makeup, throwing my hair up in a simple ponytail in an effort to make it down to the hotel conference room in 10 minutes flat. I can't screw up today. The paper decided it was best for our correspondents to lodge in the same swanky hotel as where the team was conducting their events during the weekend. Worked out for me since I was planning on getting nookie several times during my stay.

What? I have goals. Get it? Goals? No? Oh well, fuck you.

Taking the elevator brings back memories from a few hours ago...memories of Smelly Barbie and Fuckhot Sex Hair, and I immediately shake my head to clear my thoughts and focus on what I'm about to do. The elevator doors open and Rose, my sweet Rose, is there with Starbucks in hand.

"You are an angel."

"Took you long enough. They're about to start. Luckily, I got us really good seats up front. Several teammates will be joining the coach for a quick Q & A session. Try not to fuck it up," Rose spews in one long breath.

"Why, thank you for the pep talk, Rose." I sarcastically respond.

Just as I'm thinking of my next smart-ass comment, the buzz of the reporters and incessant flashes from cameras begin and the team's coach saunters in, along with three players. One, I recognize right away as none other than last night's fuck. Damn, what was his name?

Next is a dark, muscular fellow with almost-black hair...he's quite a sight too. But it's the last player who enters that stops my breathing. Copper...crazy bed head...tall...and that cocky-ass smirk...and I fail to notice in my oxygen-deprived haze that he's staring right at me. Cheeky bastard. So he's on the team? If he's here, that means he's one of the Americans on the team. Wonderful.

For the rest of the press conference, it's back and forth between reporter and panel. All the teammates respond with cookie-cutter answers, including Sex Hair up there with his stupid grin, which he keeps directing at me. I finally respond silently with a raised eyebrow, my bitch face, as Rose likes to call it, in full effect, and he finally diverts his gaze to answer someone's question.

Hmm, he's answering questions about why he's playing for a UK team. He responds by explaining that he's actually half English and felt like this team was the perfect fit for him. Interesting. Here I go.

"Hey Rose, what's his name again?" I whisper.

"Who? The kid with the crazy hair? His name is Masen..." she flips through her notes..."Edward Masen"

"Hand me his stats, will ya?" She quickly fetches them out of her clipboard and hands them to me. It's impressive. He's clearly a very important asset to the team. Played three years back home for Wake Forrest University before getting scouted to Arsenal, racking up goals and assists every season as right-wing.

Then, there's a little about his family background; grew up in Chicago, played along side his cousin, Jasper Whitlock, a native of North Carolina. His father is an important physician in his circle, while his mother owns a very successful interior design firm.

As I keep reading I notice some bits about being seen with some very interesting female companions. Models, daughters of important businessmen, and high profile socialites have all had the pleasure of his company (insert sarcasm here).

But who was that blond in the elevator then? Must investigate.

Rose asks a couple of questions aimed at what's-his-name, who's clearly eye fucking me. Hmmm...might be good enough for round two? Maybe? I give him a little smile of acknowledgement...ALEC...Yes! That's his name...Alec Hawkins. We'll revisit.

All too quickly, the conference has ended, and the players and coach take to the exits. Masen stays back a beat or two, staring at me again. He obviously has no manners. I do notice as he walks away, that his ass is quite magnificent. Yes, quite.

Rose wakes me up from the mesmerizing display of male perfection by nudging me shoulder to shoulder, talking about the delicious bear of a man sitting next to Masen and Alec. I'm really not paying much attention as we escape to the hotel lobby, where lunch and libations are next on the agenda.


Rose and I spend lunch at one of the many pubs down the street from the hotel, enjoying the sights and sounds of people laughing, talking, and cursing at TV screens displaying football matches. I finally have a chance to relax and chat with Rose, something I haven't been able to do since my flight came in 36 hours ago.

"So, Ben wants us front and center on Saturday night at some shindig the league is hosting. Some meet and greet with members of the media. I bet they're trying to put their best foot forward after all the fuckery they had to deal with last year..." Rose explains.

"Well, I'm sure they have a lot of image cleaning they need to do with three failed drug tests in a month, and talk of upper management being involved. Makes sense that the league wants to show off their new squeaky clean image to the press." I mentally remind myself that I now have one day to prep for this cocktail party when I feel a warm hand on my shoulder and the screech of a chair next to me. I look to find Alec, my..um...entertainment from last night. He looks at me with a smirk that immediately reminds me of why I followed him to his hotel room last night.

"Wasn't very nice of you to leave without a word this morning. I thought we hit it off rather well, didn't you?" He croons into my ear.

"Well, my dear Alec, you were sleeping so soundly, I wouldn't dream of waking you. Consider it my gift to you for your um...performance."

He throws his head back in laughter while Rose looks at me, then Alec, then me again, shaking her head and rolling her eyes.

"Well, Ms. Swan, allow me to take you out for a drink after our game tomorrow so that I can show you my gratitude...properly," he says, smiling and staring intently at my cleavage. Didn't even try to hide it, not even a little.

"As much as I would love to Alec, I have plans. We're getting prepped for this weekend's events and we need to be ready for the upcoming match tomorrow. But perhaps we'll see each other at the party the League is throwing on tomorrow night? I'll gladly leave my dance card open for you," I croon back in his ear. Yeah, he might be worth another fuck...maybe.

He replies, "I look forward to that. But be aware I might steal you away at some point so we can...uh, discuss...how to repay your kindness." Really? It's just too easy with this one.

He kisses my cheek and walks away after nodding smugly towards Rose.

"Wow. Seriously? Not here for even 48 hours and you've already shagged a team member? How do you do it?" she says. I give her a knowing look, "Geez, I know HOW you do it, but how do you reel them in all the time?"

"I don't reel them in, Rose. I simply make polite conversation and eventually..."

"Eventually you fuck. Yes, I know. But I guess what I really want to know is, how do you remain so emotionally detached, B? I have no problem catching a man, but I find myself vested in the emotion of it all once I do sleep with one. I need to learn the tricks! Show me, oh wise and knowing Bella!" She jokes, as we finish our pints and grub, laughing and giggling.

I chuckle at her dramatic declaration, and explain.

"Rose, I'm detached because I take it for what it is. Most men have a one-track mind, and I have learned that you cannot change what is in their DNA. I simply remind myself of that fact, and remember that I have my own life, and I'm perfectly happy being single and uncomplicated...it's fun...and drama-free."

"Well, congratulations. You seem to have cracked the code, my dear. Good luck with that," She states dismissively. She loves me, but in the two years we've worked together for the paper, she's learned that she will not win the sex argument. She knows better than to try to get me to see the light that sex is more fulfilling than being free to fuck whoever I choose, no strings attached. I tried the feelings thing years ago, and I got my little heart trampled on by a guy who said he cared about me.

I kept thinking about this as I entered the elevator toward my room. Perhaps if I'd never walked in on Michael fucking a co-ed during a surprise visit to his dorm for his birthday during my senior year of high school, I'd still believe in a good, old-fashion love story. Maybe I'd see the world as a giant Sparks novel. But after that fateful day, I steeled myself to get the hell out of Forks, get ahead and enjoy any bit of physical contact I could get from men. No questions asked, no strings, no declarations of love, nothing. Much easier that way...they wouldn't get in the way of me succeeding, of proving myself a force to be reckoned with.

The elevator comes to a stop midway on its journey to my floor, and I don't bother looking to see who joins me. I'm too stuck on my daydream when a smooth velvety voice speaks barely above a whisper to my left.

"We meet again."

Oh, God. It's him. Masen. His sweet breath reaches my neck at the moment I hear him, and a shiver completely overtakes me. He smiles wryly, and I try to form a coherent sentence.

Nodding politely his way, I reply. "Hello there. I hardly recognized you without Vacuum-Mouth Barbie attached to your face."

The cocky little shit chuckles and edges closer towards me. I instinctually tense up and wait for the comeback. There is none.

He reaches out his hand to take mind. "Edward Masen. I believe I saw you at today's press conference, sitting next to the blonde? You're press...who do you write for?"

I take his hand while he's speaking to me, unaware of the fact he's asked me a question. I'm too busy staring at the way his lips move when he speaks. He notices, and cocks his head to the side, raising an eyebrow and giving me The Smirk. Yes, it's a proper name now, since it's obvious he's trademarked it.

"I'm sorry, what?" I manage to say after clearing my throat.

He chuckles softly, "Um, who do you write for? I assume you're with a paper back in the States?"

"Oh, yes, I write for the Post, New York. That's where I live, New York City, I live there."

Ok, What the hell, B? Why the sudden word vomit?

"I see," he quirks, and continues, "Well, I was hoping you'd have some questions for me, since it's so very obvious you want me."

I'm sorry, WHAT?

"Excuse me?"

"Well, I saw you this morning eyeing me while I was with Tanya, and again at the press conference. I was just hoping maybe we could discuss some of my better qualities over coffee or something."

This guy's fucking unreal, and not in a good way. Okay, maybe slightly in a good way. I can't deal with his emerald stare while he looks for a reaction. Arrogance though, THAT I can deal with. So I get my head in the game and respond.

"Mr. Masen, I'll ask that you refrain from expressing your ill-conceived observations, since it's clear that you have taken one too many headers with the soccer ball and have this strange idea that I was eye-fu...uh, looking at you in any way that was not professional. And may I take this opportunity to point out that asking a woman for coffee after said woman has seen you suck face with another woman no more than 10 hours ago is really not the way to hit it off with her. And if you think..."

"Ms. Swan, I think I can pretty much tell when a woman is eye fucking me, and as a matter of fact, it seems that you don't have a leg to stand on since you were clearly doing the walk of shame this morning in this very elevator..." He said, cutting me off my rambling.

"What? How did you...what you mean? I don't know what you're talking about...I never..." Now I really didn't know what the fuck I was saying... he had successfully rendered me unintelligible.

"Save it, Swan. You can get off your little high horse and just admit you want me..."

Just as I open my mouth to retort, the elevator opens its doors and three other guests file in, and apparently this is his floor. Is he staying here? Doesn't he live in the city? He smirks at me and whispers into my ear. "Your panties were peaking up out of your bag this morning. That's how I knew." He trailed his nose briefly on the edge of my ear, sending electrical currents down to my lower regions, feeling myself get wet...not the right time, B, you whore, I mentally berate myself..."Have a wonderful evening, Ms. Swan," he hums, as he exits the car.

I'm standing there, suddenly uncomfortably moist, not knowing exactly what the fuck just happened. The elevator doors close once again, and I find several pairs of eyes gaping at me, obviously having heard his little comment. The car finally stops at my floor and I quickly walk towards the safety of my room. I once again strip and change into my pj's and order room service for the evening. Tomorrow Masen's team will be playing a friendly match to show off some of the newer players, and somewhere in the middle, I need to find a kick-ass dress for the cocktail party tomorrow night. As I open the door to my room service my cell phone rings and I check the ID...CRAP...it's the New York office. I forgot to call Ben back. I tip the bellboy and answer as I close the door.

"Ben, what can I do for you?"

"Bella! I've been trying to get a hold since last night, where the hell have you been?" He barks.

"Sorry, really sorry Ben. I've been kind of busy. The time difference fucked me up, and we were at the press conference this morning and got some bites I'll get to you via email tonight."

"Well, I just wanted to remind you that we want you to focus on the American players. Masen's up for a possible return to the States to join the MLS and I want a one-on-one interview with him, and I want you to do it."

Hold the phone. Ben wants me to do what now?

"Ben, are you sure you want me to do it? Rose has so much more experience with this than me, and I'm really just here to assist her with fact-finding, I really don't..."

"Bella, this could be the break you're looking for. I gave you this job because I know how good you are, even back in school, you were always ahead of the game...Please just get this story...you have until you leave on Monday to turn it in..." Ben always has a way of giving me a guilt trip; always bringing up our days back at Columbia.

"Ugh, fine Ben, I'll have it for you."

"You're a doll, Bella. See you back in the city soon!"

"Yeah yeah yeah. see you then, Ben."

This means tomorrow I must get a hold of Masen and schedule an interview. Smug ass. I have a strange feeling that asshole is going to make my life increasingly difficult. Damn his 6 foot, copper haired, evil green-eyed Smirk!

Shit, I'm wet again.

Damn him.

A/N So what do you think? Please review and let me know! I'll have a blog for EtS very very soon!