A/N: S. Meyer owns Twilight.
In a sudden flash of inspiration, I wrote the whole chapter in just one night. I figured I owed you to post now after making you wait so long between the updates recently.
Anyway, hope you like it!
I blinked, trying to make the illusion of Mr. Cullen go away.
Blink, blink, blink.
Probably not an illusion then.
"Bella, are you alright?" Jared asked, causing me to jump slightly. I tore my eyes away from Mr. Cullen and saw that Jared was watching me, both his eyebrows raised.
"I'm fine." I managed to get out while my eyes drifted back to my non-illusion, who seemed to be just as surprised to see me as I was to see him. Slowly, he started moving walking towards me through the thick crowd.
I turned back to Jared, "I'll give you a call and we'll have dinner someday, okay?"
"Sure thing." he smiled, taking my hand and giving it a light squeeze, "Take care, Bella."
I barely heard him, I was already moving, pushing through the throngs of people who were blocking my path. It felt like there was a magnet dragging me forward, I had no choice but to follow the invisible pull Mr. Cullen had on me.
I was walking slowly, since I was very aware that I was both a bit intoxicated and also in heels, and I never let go of his gaze. His eyes were piercing into mine, and soon we were standing face to face, still lost in our own strange little bubble.
He looked amazing, of course, wearing an open black jacket with a white tee underneath and black jeans. His hair was even more messy than usual; a sign that he had been running his hands through it a lot during the night.
I felt his eyes trailing down my body, taking in the light grey top, black jeans and the red heels. I was instantly glad that I had chosen to dress up for the night. Or rather, I was that Alice had picked out clothes for me to wear.
Our moment of silence was interrupted when someone bumped into me hard from behind, causing me to fall forward helplessly. I didn't have time to comprehend what was happening before a pair of hands gripped my shoulders, and I was being held against a strong, muscular chest.
"Hey, did he hurt you?" a smooth voice called, and I looked up to see that Mr. Cullen was watching me anxiously. He was still holding me against his chest, and I took the opportunity to breathe in deeply, relishing in his wonderfully manly scent.
Bad girl, Bella.
I smiled, really quite pleased with being shoved he was the one to catch me.
"No, no. I was just caught of guard, no worries."
"I should go after that fucker and make hi-" Mr. Cullen stopped himself, and he looked as surprised as I was over his words.
We stared at each other for a minute, and then I broke out in laughter. I had no idea why, but the whole situation just seemed so comical all of the sudden. It didn't take long before he was also laughing, and then we had to move since people were beginning to get a bit aggressive in their dancing.
My heart sank when he let go of my shoulders and straightened me up, but then he took my hand and lead me off the dance floor. I looked around to see if I could spot Alice, knowing she would probably be looking for me soon. I didn't see her, but I was too caught up in trying to process what was happening to care much at the moment.
Mr. Cullen took me to a booth behind the bar where there weren't as many people and the music wasn't as loud. I took a seat, expecting him to sit on the other side but he sat down next to me, forcing me to scoot in to make room.
Okay, so now I was trapped.
"Are you here alone?" he asked.
I wasn't even thinking before I blurted out "Yes." and then felt a blush colour my cheek. I didn't want him to think that I had to leave to met up with someone, but he'd probably think I was crazy if I went to this kind of place on my own. "I mean, I came here with my friends but I don't know where they went."
"So you're not with that guy I saw you talking to by the bar?"
I don't know if it was the alcohol in my body, or how I was sick of how his mood swings once again left three steps behind, but something in me decided that I needed to speak up. I would regret it in the morning, and I would really regret it the coming Monday when I wouldn't have a job to go to.
"You know what, Mr. Cullen, even if I were; it's really none of your business, is it?" I spat, feeling the anger build up inside of me. I guess my verbal filter got washed away with that third shot of tequila.
His eyes darkened, and for a second his expression almost scared me. He looked almost angry, I could feel the frustration roll off of him in waves.
"No, Isabella. It is none of my business." he said in a low voice, pronouncing my name in a way that had the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I bit down on my lip, unsure if I should continue. His eyes warned me to take things further, but some part of me kept pushing, saying that I had already began so I might as well get it all out there.
I straightened up and stared him straight in the eyes, trying, and probably failing, to look fierce. "So why do you care?" I asked, raising my eyebrows.
He shook his head, "You have no idea what you do to me, have you?"
I almost gasped, but before I had time to think of a way to respond, he continued, his voice growing darker and rougher with each word.
"You don't know what it does to me when you look at me, how it feels when I touch you or when I catch your scent in the air. You don't know what it's like to watch you joke around and laugh with other men, when all I want is to be the one who makes you laugh."
I was speechless. Literally, I couldn't form a single coherent thought to put into words. I stared at him, trying to take in what he had just said. I shook my head slowly back and forth, struggling to find my voice again.
He sighed heavily and ran his hand through his hair, then released my gaze, his eyes shifting to an empty glass on the table.
I knew I had to say something, anything. He had just laid his heart out there, and I needed to reassure him that I did know what all that felt like, because it was the same for me. Worse, it was even stronger for me.
But which words to choose?
I bit down on my lip, cursing the chaos that was taking place in my head. Why couldn't I think clearly? Why couldn't I speak, god damnit.
Just as I opened my mouth, still not sure what would come out, Mr. Cullen's eyes found mine again. They were different, not burning with the intensity I had seen before, but empty, almost as if the fire in them had gone out.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to say all that, I just couldn't keep it to myself any longer. I'm sorry." he said again, and then to my great horror, he started to get up.
Why aren't you saying something? I yelled at myself, panicked, but still there was nothing.
His jaw was clenched shut, he looked me in the eyes for one more minute and then he stood up, turning his back to me and disappearing into the crowd.
I sat there, staring after him. I was in shock. That must be it. That was why I couldn't move or speak. Was I even breathing?
I gasped for air when that thought came, and realized that I had indeed been holding my breath the entire time. Pulling out my phone from my bag, I saw that Alice had texted me, asking where I was. I wrote her back with shaking fingers, saying that I was still at the club and had bumped in to an old friend. I asked her to go home without me, and that I would stay a bit longer.
When I had sent the text, I sat still for a moment, staring straight ahead.
He cares for me. He really cares for me, he had told me how he felt and I had said… nothing. Not a single word.
Oh, good God, what had I just done? I had to find him, I had to tell him that I felt the same and I had to explain everything. But where did he go?
I looked around, searching the sea of people for a patch of that familiar bronze hair. Getting up, I made my way along the edge of the dance floor, reaching up on my heels now and then to try and see above people's heads. It was all to no avail, I couldn't see anything but the collective heap of people jumping up and down to the beat of the music.
I sighed, coming to the conclusion that he had probably already left.
I cursed myself for my stupidity and speechlessness, which had now caused me the chance to ever have a chance to tell Mr. Cullen how I felt. Surely after this night, I would never see him again. I couldn't go back to work after this, could I? Would he expect me to come back?
Deciding that I'd probably do best in leaving now before the club closed and everyone would try to get a cab for themselves, I made my way towards the exit, still searching for him among the tightly packed bodies surrounding me.
I was beginning to get a bit claustrophobic, there were so many people here and I didn't feel as if I made any progress in moving forward. I felt my pulse pick up, a sure sign that a panic attack was pending. Ever since I was a kid I had gotten panicked whenever there were too many people around me, I felt suffocated and had trouble breathing right, which led to the panicking.
Just when I felt my breath start to become shallow, I saw a door to my left. Not caring where it led to, I made a dash for it, pushing the people around me out of my way, which was easier said then done. I couldn't believe that it was even legal to have this many people in one place. I pushed on the door and almost fell on my face when it slid open easily, revealing a narrow hallway. It was dimly lit and packed with storage boxes along the walls, filled with posters from the look of it.
I closed the door behind me. I was pretty sure that this place was off limits, but I needed to take a minute to calm down and breathe before I got out there again. I leaned against the wall, and then slid down so that I was seated on the floor, since my legs didn't want to carry my any more. Also, my feet were hurting from walking in heels all night so it felt good to let them rest for a bit.
I could still hear the music from the club clearly, and the loud chatter of voices coming from the people on the other side of the door. I exhaled deeply, and focused on getting my thoughts back in order.
A while later I heard a bell as from an elevator, and then the distinct sound of footsteps coming towards me down the hallway. I scrambled to my feet, not so keen on getting caught here. Just as I was about to turn and dodge out of there, I heard my name being called.
Of course I knew exactly who it was.
I turned slowly, feeling a blush spread over my face. Someone was probably enjoying messing with me, why else would I find myself in an empty hallway with him of all people? Not that many people would hang around in empty hallways like this, but still. What was he doing here?
"What are you doing here?" he asked, echoing my thoughts. He was walking towards me, but stopped before he was close enough for me to see his face clearly in the dim light.
I swallowed, hoping that my voice wouldn't fail me this time. "I kind of panicked out there in the crowd, I needed to breathe so I just opened the door and went in."
Wow, Bella. Those were actual words. Didn't think you had it in you.
I rolled my eyes at my snarky subconscious.
Mr. Cullen stepped forward, "Are you okay? Do you need to sit down?" his every word was laced concern, and now that I could see his expression, I noticed that his face was anxious, but also a bit wary.
I shook my head, forcing a smile onto my lips, "I'm fine now, thank you."
He nodded, and we were both silent for a while. I fidgeted with the rings on my left hand, wondering what to say now.
"Could I offer you some water, at least?"
As he said the words, I realized that I was in fact parched. The taste tequila was still strong in my mouth, so it would feel good to chase it away with water. Also, it would give me an opportunity to talk to him and to try and say the words I hadn't been able to say before. At least that was what I hoped, but knowing me I'd probably freeze up again.
Then show him instead of telling him.
I considered it, choosing not to listen to the voice in the back of my head that kept screaming "married!" on the top her lungs. I was way past that, and I knew it.
I smiled an earnest smile this time, "I'd like that." I said, and turned towards the door, figuring we would be heading back to the bar. I wouldn't mind facing the crowds if Mr. Cullen was there with me.
But before I could reach for the door handle, he spoke again.
"Actually, I was thinking we'd go this way." he motioned with his head in the opposite direction, and started walking down the hall. I was confused, but followed him. Guess he was taking me wherever it was he had come from.
"What were you doing here, anyway?" I asked, careful not to trip on any of the boxes as we made our way through the darkened corridor.
"I know the owner of this place, and he lives upstairs. I was just…" he trailed off, and I didn't question him further. I guessed he had needed to get away too.
We reached an elevator door after turning a corner and Mr. Cullen pressed a button that opened the doors. Stepping inside, I tried not to look at him. I was afraid of what I would see in his eyes after all that had happened.
The elevator doors closed, and in a matter of seconds, I could feel that familiar, strange atmosphere surround us. The pull between us grew stronger, and I clenched my fists to stop myself from reaching out to him.
Show him. My subconscious reminded me then, giving me a mental kick in the ass.
Without any real thought, I threw all carefulness and hesitation aside. I reached out and pressed the stop button, and the elevator immediately came to a halt, causing us both to lose our balance for a second.
"What are you-" Edward began to ask, but I didn't let him finish. Everything I had felt for the last couple of weeks came crashing down on me. Every pent up sexual frustration and every emotion that I had so stubbornly been beating down bubbled up to the surface, and I turned to him, looking deep into his eyes as I reached my hand out towards his. Our fingers interlocked and the pleasant sense of electricity flowed through my veins at his touch. I pulled him towards me as I stepped back until I was pressed against the elevator wall, his body flush against mine.
My breathing got heavier as I stared up into his hungry, smouldering green eyes. His full lips were a temptation I could not resist anymore, I had already tried for so long now.
"Bella…" he said in a deep, smooth voice.
I placed a finger over his lips, feeling their softness under my fingertip.
"Everything you said," I began, my voice steady now as I let my fingers stroke his cheek and then bury themselves in his wonderful hair, "I feel the same."
He exhaled, and his sweet breath against my skin shredded whatever chance there had been of me backing down.
I reached up, slowly closing the distance between our lips while still holding his gaze. His hands roamed my sides, and my fingers locked into his hair, pulling his head down to meet mine. When there was no more than an inch between us, he stopped.
"There are things you need to know." he whispered, and his tone revealed how conflicted he felt. I was too far gone to think about anything besides his lips on me, so I just shook my head slightly and pulled him closer.
"It doesn't matter." my lips almost touched his as I spoke, I wanted to close that last inch but he held back, his eyes intense and cautious.
"It does matter, I can't do this if I don't…"
I silenced him the only way I could think of. I kissed him. I finally reached a bit further and let my lips touch his, and then I almost melted in his arms as he began to kiss me back fiercely, moulding his body to mine. My heart was beating almost painfully in my chest, all I wanted was for him to be closer, to kiss me deeper, to touch more and harder and to let me do the same.
A second later, I got my wish fulfilled.
He grabbed hold of my waist and lifted me up, and I locked my legs around his waist as he pressed against me, holding me tightly against the wall. All I could feel was him, all I could see and hear and taste was him. I was on an Edward Cullen high, and I never wanted to come down.
His lips were so soft against mine, but he used them in a way that could not be described as gentle, which suited me perfectly. He began to kiss a trail down my throat, and I threw my head back, giving myself over to the exquisite sensation.
The only sound in the small elevator was our heavy breathing and mumbled words of pleasure coming from our lips.
As his lips moved down my throat and to my collarbone, I almost came undone. The feeling of his lips against me, combined with the heat radiating off of him, was overwhelming, I moved my hips against him to gain friction, and was encouraged with a deep, guttural groan as he pushed back against me.
"Isabella…" his voice was muted as he spoke against my skin, and the trembling of his lips sent me spiralling even deeper into the whirlwind of pleasure I was experiencing.
I untangled my hands from his hair and gently took hold of his jaw, angling his face up so that I could touch my lips to his again. The deep, warm feeling his kiss gave me had me panting, and I hugged him closer, still moving my hips against him.
His lips left mine for a second, and I exhaled, completely lost in everything that was him.
"Oh God, Edward, that feels so good." I whispered as he kissed a trail along my jaw, leaving every inch of my skin tingling.
I was a bit baffled when he started chuckling all of the sudden, his body shaking and doing strange but oh so good things to me.
He lifted his eyes to mine, and a happy, almost boyish smile lit up his face. "That's the first time you've consciously called me by my first name."
My eyebrows furrowed in confusion, "Consciously?" I asked, perplexed over his choice of words.
"Well, perhaps this can't be considered as consciously, seeing as how it was kind of in the heat of a very, very hot moment, but yes. You've never said it to me before." he was still smiling, he leaned forward and buried his nose in my hair, inhaling deeply.
"I still don't know what you mean, but right now I can't be expected to think clearly so you will have to excuse me." I mumbled, nibbling gently on his earlobe. He groaned, flexing his hips against me and causing a very, very pleasant sensation in my lower body. I whished that there were so much fabric in the way, I was getting desperate to feel him, all of him against me.
Drawing on my new found confidence, I reached down between us and let my fingers play around the rim of his jeans, testing the waters a bit so to speak. He instantly stiffened, but he didn't stop me so I kept going, reaching my hand inside his jeans. I already knew I what would find, it had been obvious ever since he pressed his body against me the first time, and I was very eager to feel him without the clothes barrier between us.
I looked up and saw that his eyes were closed, his head thrown back and with his mouth slightly open. Guessing I was really on the right track, and quite positive that he wouldn't stop me, I reached further.
The elevator suddenly shook once, and then began to move.
"Shit, shit, shit." he chanted, taking hold of my waist and putting me on the floor again. "Someone pushed for the elevator." he straightened his shirt and ran his hand through his hair, not achieving anything except for messing it up even more.
"Someone?" I asked, trying to smooth my hair down.
He gave me a serious look, "My friend, Peter, most likely, since it is his place."
"Oh." I managed to say, growing nervous. What would his friend say when he found us in an elevator, both of us with swollen lips, sex hair and wrinkled clothing? I really hoped that Peter wasn't a smart guy.
My heart was still beating fast, both from the excitement of what we had just shared, but also from the stress of what would happen when those elevator doors opened.
"Hey." Mr. Cullen said, and I looked up to see him watching me. He stroked my cheek softly with the back of his hand. "Don't worry, Peter is a good guy. We've been friends for years." I nodded, chewing on my lip. It kind of tasted like him, I noticed with a small smile.
The elevator stopped and the doors opened, revealing a surprised, brown haired man holding a box in his muscled arms. He looked from me to Mr. Cullen, a crease forming between his eyebrows.
Mr. Cullen cleared his throat, "Peter, I'd like you to meet Isabella Swan." he glanced down at me, a smile tugging at the edge of his mouth, "Isabella, this is Peter. He's very good at keeping secrets."
I like secrets! Well, at least if I'm in on them.
Reviews are like seeing all those new pics from the BD shoot. 'Cause damn, Robward is looking mighty fine behind the wheel of a speedboat.
Lots of love to all of you who keep reading, reviewing and encouraging me to write this! Thank you!