This is a one shot specifically for FGB, and was won at auction by ChiTwiGal.
The idea behind this one shot was a song prompt, and of the many songs I was offered, I found a lovely cover version of I'll Be, by Edwin McCain. I've placed a link on my profile, and is central to the plot in this one shot.
This was beta'd by my partner in crime, Lambcullen, and as usual she does amazing things with my words, and puts on this hot little cheerleading outfit when I need it.
Thank you for reading.
I watched as he pulled the small razor blade out. It was dull in the gray light. Today should have been a sunny day, but the clouds were dark, angry.
The sea a mirror image of the sky: brooding, unsettled.
We stood in the sand, the wind blowing around us, pulling my hair around me, until the dark silky strands whipped into my face. I pulled them away in time to see his jade green eyes meet mine.
"Give me your hand."
He had cut his own hand, a small bleeding line across his palm. I bit my lip and looked away, as he slowly carved into my skin. The pain rushed through me, dragging a thrilling release through my bloodstream. I couldn't take it anymore, and looked at the flesh I'd placed in his hands, my life line and heart line slashed wide open.
My eyes met his again.
"You did good, love." His bleeding palm covered mine, and in that moment, our blood mingled, his mixing with mine, as we held each other's hands. The wind caressed my cheeks, and I watched his jaw tick, thoughts playing across his eyes like a movie screen.
His intense stare matched his words, "From this moment on, no matter what happens, you're in me, and I'm in you. Always. I'm yours, and you're mine."
At the end of that summer, the backyard was a sea of dandelions. The ocean of bright yellow melted into the tree line at the back of the house. When my father wasn't home, we would spread a blanket out towards the shoreline, and make out. And dream the dreams of younger people in love.
He would hold my hand to his lips, separate my fingers, and kiss the sensitive points between them, knowing each and every nerve ending was his. Only his. Forever.
I tried not to think about it. When he would go one way, fulfilling familial dreams, and I would be left behind.
I watched from the corner of my eye as time moved, changing the sunny dandelions into their gray and withered counterparts. An autumnal wind blew, and they released themselves into the wind, hoping small pieces of their souls would be moved in appropriate directions, anchoring in fertile soil.
I watched as he put his duffle bag in the back of his car, his green eyes barely leaving mine. The slam of the trunk door seemed final, and it made me jump.
He grabbed for me, for my face, and held me, his fingers touching me. I closed my eyes, lost in the sensation of his touch, it curled beneath my skin, into my blood, making butterflies flutter in my stomach.
He waited for me to open my eyes, and I met summer green with my autumn brown.
"Distance and time is nothing. I'll come back for you."
The kiss on my lips was all consuming, his mouth owned me, possessed me, and I signed myself over willingly to the heat of his hands sliding over me, his tongue delving into my mouth, the smell of him, woodsy, masculine. The kiss was hard, but not punishing. His tongue hinting at things he wanted to do to my body, thrusting against me as he pressed me to the back of his car. Perhaps anyone could pass by and see this intimate moment, but it didn't matter to either us.
I was crying, I sobbed into his mouth, and he took my hurt inside of himself. He broke the kiss to hold me to him, his arms around me like steel bands. I wanted to stay there, against his chest, his body, his strength, for the rest of my life.
"I love you, Bella."
Seven Years Later
I sipped at my espresso, as autumn leaves, wet with the morning rain, feebly tried to catch the wind, as a truck drove by outside. Its engine loud and harsh, it rattled the glass window of the small coffee shop.
I glanced at my laptop, the cursor blinking at me in question, wondering if I wanted to continue.
The coffee shop was a small independent establishment, that sold fresh roasted coffee the way I preferred it. It also sold the most amazing homemade breads. Plastered over the red brick walls, there were colorful posters that advertised everything from small concert gigs to lost cats.
I preferred this old new England town, its quirks incredibly endearing. It had a colonial feel to it, but there was a small community of arty people who made the older buildings seem new again. The salmon colored brick buildings like an acceptably cool older generation.
I settled in quietly, writing the sequel to my second novel. My face relatively unknown, but the cover of my book recognizable worldwide.
People seemed to enjoy my thinly veiled personal angst. Names and dates changed to protect the innocence of my youth.
But even seven years later, I was still waiting for him to come back.
My doctor, my agent, and even my mother had urged me to move on.
But how do you move on from the love of your existence?
How do you move on from something that is inside of you? Something that owned every part of you?
I looked back at the cursor, and minutely shook my head. No, I couldn't continue like this for much longer. I closed the programs down, and shut the power off, closing the lid.
The worst part was I knew exactly where he was.
The whole fucking world knew where he was. His music, his life, were a part of the daily news.
The street lights were just starting to turn on, and I quickly stowed the laptop into my bag, slinging the strap over my shoulder. Car keys jingled in my pocket, and I pulled them out, my shoes a small smack on the wet pavement.
I settled into the front seat, the old car smell of my ancient white Chevy Malibu oddly comforting. I had bought it on the side of the road, and had it fixed by a friend.
She ran like new.
I'd had the stereo replaced, I could do that now, with my comfortable income from book sales. I docked my player in, and it picked up from where it had left off.
I closed my eyes, the pull never dull, like a knife edge, but the cut was never satisfactory. The pain not enough to touch the love I still bore for a music man, who probably had forgotten my name by now.
Maybe I had to stop. Maybe I should finally have that epiphany and let it all go.
I had tried before. Throw away all the internal needles I stuck myself with, so I couldn't be tempted to chase my personal demons.
I tried again.
I pulled the music out, and tried the radio. The female DJ was just starting a new song.
"And from his new album, a slightly softer single. This is Bella, by Edward Cullen."
The car lurched as I hit the breaks. I turned the engine off, leaving the radio on.
Softer piano music filled the car, as tears filled my eyes, my gut tightened, wrenching, and I felt ill.
And tell me that we belong together
Dress it up with the trappings of love.
I'll be captivated, I'll hang from your lips
Instead of the gallows of heartache that hang from above
And I'll be your cryin' shoulderI`ll be love suicide
And I'll be better when I'm older
I'll be the greatest fan of your life
I sobbed, listening to him, as rain filled the freshly wiped windscreen, blurring the trees, the parking lot, and all the other images outside.
It was just him and me.
The song eventually ended, and the DJ's voice filled the car again.
"Well, I wish I was Bella. Whoever she is, I hope she gets his message."
The lump in my throat burned, as the hole in my chest opened dark and wide.
Eventually I drove myself home, the raw feelings tucked away into the numbing autopilot of routine. I pulled into the drive of my modest empty house in suburbia. I locked the door behind me, and placed my keys on the counter.
Dinner was something I don't think I could have managed to cook, and so I ordered Chinese.
I sat on the couch, flipping through TV channels, as the evening melted away into late night television. I paused as one of the hosts caught my eyes and ears:
"Coming up, Edward Cullen is here," he paused, while the audience screamed in delight, "He's going to be performing his new single, live."
Like watching a car accident, I couldn't turn away. Wind blew harsh raindrops against the windows outside, and the commercials dragged in. Toothpaste, Energy Drink, Fast Food, Drug with long list of side affects, New Mini Series, Local News promising total devastation.
Then finally, the Late Night host was back.
Once the crowd had quieted down, he smiled into the camera, all huge white teeth with big veneers.
"Right, the moment you've all been waiting for. Edward Cullen is one of the most recognizable recording artists today. He's a gifted musician, and has agreed to perform his brand new single tonight. Ladies and Gentleman, please help me welcome Edward Cullen."
The band played him out, it looked like he was going to do an interview first. I had avoided these at all costs, which was hard to do. I didn't really watch much TV anymore, my words were what kept me busy. If I wasn't in front of my laptop, I was either eating, asleep, or talking about my words with someone else, usually with my editor.
But now, I watched him walk out, my eyes devouring his familiar confident, long-legged stride. He wore a tight silver suit, white button down shirt, and black tie. He was all nervous smiles, awkward waves at the audience, and a steady handshake with the host. He sat down, his legs open wide, his posture easy, and for a moment I was back in time, sitting across from him as we enjoyed a hot chocolate after spending the day trying to teach me to ice skate.
His summer green eyes had met mine across the table, "What are you doing all the way over there?"
He removed his gloves, his long artful fingers settling on his wide spread knees. I looked unsure, and he smiled at me encouragingly.
"Come over here, sweetheart."
I shut my eyes, closing the memory off, and watched the interview on the TV screen.
"So, this is your fifth album in six years, then?"
He nodded, his mouth kicking up into a melting half smile, "Yeah, I can't believe how fast it's all gone."
"You certainly crank them out. Have you written all of the songs again on this album, as well?"
Edward nodded, "I love writing with, and for other people, and I prefer to write my own material as well."
"Now this CD has a different sound than your usual music. You do a lot more solo work. In fact, it's mostly you and your guitar or piano, am I right?"
Edward shifted in his chair, "Yeah, I wanted to go in a different direction this time. There are some things I felt a need to express through my music this time, which seems to have produced a different sound."
"So would you say this is a much more personal album, then?"
"Definitely. All of my songs are personal because they are my own, but this album is a lot closer to me."
"Can you tell us about the first single, Bella?"
I sat up, hearing my name. Edward shifted in his seat again, almost uncomfortable for a moment. "Um sure. It's written for someone I used to know. It's a message of sorts. I have no idea where she is, I hope she's watching though, and listening."
The host raised his eyebrow, "Fantastic! So Bella actually exists? She's a real person?"
Edward blushed under the studio lights, "She is. She's one of those loves you have when you're young that you really don't understand how truly beautiful it is, until your life is completely empty."
He was empty?
I turned the television off, and the room filled with darkness.
I remember the way we met, it was my junior year of high school...
A knock sounded at the door, and I looked up to see him walk through the doorway. My heart stopped.
Edward Cullen. Mr Confidence, looked sheepish and was he...embarrassed?
"Are you the English tutor?"
I blushed as his eyes met mine, "Yeah." My voice sounded hoarse, and I tried to clear my throat, as he shut the door and sat down at the table across from me. We were in the library, but in a room off from the rest of the shelves and rows of books. The room had a funny smell, the mixture of old books and fresh paint giving it a curiously addictive aroma.
Bottle green eyes met mine, and my heart paused.
He nervously ran a hand through his hair, "Um. I don't know where to start with this shi-stuff." I smiled as he avoided the curse word.
"Well. Why don't you pull out your homework, and we'll start there?"
He pulled out his book and assignment, and as the afternoon wore on, we developed a certain amount of comfort with each other. We even laughed a couple of times. He was surprisingly easy to get along with, even if it was for a couple of hours.
I didn't think that courtesy would be extended to me outside of this room. We were from two different places in this school. He had his circles, I had mine. They didn't really ever intersect.
There were many of those afternoons together, and for a few hours we seemed like friends. Sometimes, we accidentally touched, and both of us reacted like we'd been struck, a flinch. I figured he just didn't want that kind of contact between us. I craved it, but studiously avoided touching him, afraid what total rejection would do to the easy friendship we were slowly developing.
As with every typical high school, there were people who fed their egos by making other people feel awful.
I was just exchanging my books in my locker, shoving my pre-calc book in and pulling out my American history textbook. I put my hand back in to get my Advanced Lit book when the locker door slammed, trapping my wrist, then bouncing back.
I looked up into the cruel smiling eyes of Riley, who was Mr. Small Town Star Player. The kind of guy you prayed would show up to the class reunion in ten years to talk about his Glory Days, with a fat paunch and a receding hairline.
I looked down at the red mark on my wrist, the throbbing pain bringing tears to my eyes, as I held it close to me. I continued to look down, hoping if I didn't show too much of a reaction, he would go away.
I wouldn't give him the satisfaction of seeing me cry.
"Riley, what the fuck is wrong with you?"
It was Edward.
Oh God. Not now. I don't want him to see me like this.
I tried to pick my bag up, and in my scramble to get away, I used my right arm. I gasped as pain shot up my arm, and I dropped my bag. Books spilled onto the floor, and Riley's team mates laughed at me.
"Shut up, Edward. I was just askin' Bella if she had a date yet for the dance."
There was male laughter that followed that statement, making me blush.
"Riley, why don't you go shower with the guys?"
Edward walked up to me, and his green darted to where my hand was clutching my wrist. I looked down, blushing deeper with shame and shrunk from him as he helped me up from where I was trying to gather my books. His hands gently pulled my arm towards him, his fingers ghosting over the red mark. The soft touch shivered all the way down into my stomach, "Bella, did he do that?"
I didn't have to say anything, Edward saw my face, saw the tears I was trying to hold back. His whole face changed, his eyes furious. He stepped in front of me, swung back and hit Riley in the jaw. Riley fell backwards into the lockers.
"You don't get to fucking touch her again."
Riley went for Edward, but the team held him back just as Mr. Bertie came around the corner.
"No, sir," Edward answered.
Mr. Bertie cleared his throat, "Well then, I suppose you should all go where you need to be, rather than loiter in the hallway."
I gathered my books and tried to walk away, my arm screaming at me. I started to walk away, but Edward caught up with me.
"Bella, let me see your wrist."
Before I could answer, he was tugging at my arm again. He took my books from me, and softly handled my injured arm. His hands were so gentle, and he apologized when I hissed, as he pressed against a tender spot.
"You should probably go to the nurse."
"I'll be fine," I mumbled.
"Bella, I think it's pretty bad, c'mon, I'll take you."
I looked into his eyes, and then looked back down at my scuffed sneakers, "You don't have to do that."
"Bella, you don't have to go alone."
I ended up being dragged along behind him to the nurses' office. It turned out that I had broken it. I was dismissed early from school, and my dad took me to the hospital.
After that, Edward had to help me with my homework, and he showed up to walk me to class as well. I continued to tutor him, and he helped me get most of my homework done as well. One afternoon, we were sitting in our usual room after school, and he was looking at my cast, his eyes burning.
I put it under the table and leaned forward, turning the page of my history book with my left hand.
"Trust me, my cast does not have the answers to your mock SAT test," I looked at him, and his eyes no less intense, pulled at me.
He leaned closer to me, our chairs now next to each other rather than across.
His hand reached out, his fingers touching my cheek. My heart pounded in my throat as he moved closer. I closed my eyes, and my body melted, as his lips touched mine, hesitantly. Then firmer, with more pressure.
I opened my eyes when he stopped, his eyes were narrowing at me, studying my face.
He knew. He knew it and I was horrible at it.
Edward was my first kiss.
"Bella, have you ever been kissed before?"
"No." I blushed, and looked down, hoping my body would implode on itself.
His fingers tipped my chin up, "Maybe I can give you something back, then." His fingers moved over my skin and I bit my lip, "Part your lips, and relax your mouth. Just follow my lead."
He leaned in again, his lips on mine, his lips sucked and tugged at my bottom lip. Sensations ran through me, from where his lips touched mine, sweeping over every pore of my body, liquefying into my veins
I jolted slightly when his tongue licked my bottom lip. His hands moved to my shoulders, they were warm, his long fingers squeezing, as his tongue dipped into my mouth, softly. I think I made a noise, but I wasn't sure. His mouth moved, and I tried to follow his lead.
Our teeth scraped together, and I pulled back from him, afraid I had done something wrong.
He saw the look in my eyes, and smiled slightly. Rather than say anything, he followed me, leaning out of his chair and pulling me closer. He angled his face and his fingers found my chin, guiding me. His lips settled on mine, and I placed a nervous hand on his strong shoulder.
His tongue swept into my mouth, and this time, I tentatively touched mine to his. He encouraged me, and his mouth moved over mine, with mine. He was patient but took charge, his hands holding me, urging me forward, until I was nearly on his lap.
He pulled away, and we panted together.
"Was that ok?" I whispered.
He smiled crookedly, and brushed a stray lock of hair behind my ear, "More than ok, Bella."
How could I have been so fucking ignorantly stupid?
I had seen a chance, I had taken it, and been scooped up into living dreams I'd thought I'd had.
But the dreams at night, dreams of Bella and I, those were the dreams I wanted to be living.
I sat in my hotel room, a glass of scotch in front of me, untouched. My hand in my hair, my jacket and tie thrown over the bedspread and my sleeves rolled up. I glanced at the words and images on my arms, each color, each letter, a culmination of my life up to this point.
Bella was there, on the inside of my left wrist, her name over the veins that went directly to my heart. I opened my hand to see the faint scar that ran across my palm.
The drapes were drawn, the only light the small lamp near the table.
I wondered where she was, if she still thought about me. I opened my palm, the back of my silver ring glinted off the dull lamp light. It was a plain flat silver band that sat over my middle finger. Imprinted over the metal were the words Love Only Once. Bella had given it to me, on New Year's. Our last New Year's together.
Had she married? Did she have children? Was she someone else's now?
Selfishly, I didn't care. She was mine, she always would be. I had thrown her away, and I had to find a way of making it up to her. Even if it took me the rest of my fucking life.
I had started off in our hometown, discreetly trying to find her. Her dad had died in the line of duty several years ago, and I felt awful that I hadn't been there for her when Charlie died.
She seemed to have left town, and no one really knew what had happened to her.
I would find her though, she would be mine again.
I woke up to late morning light streaming through the curtains.
There was something different about this morning, I felt like I needed to accomplish something important.
I sat up, my hair messy around me, and reached for my phone on the night stand. Earlier this morning, I had eventually pulled myself upstairs, the couch was giving me a crick in my neck.
For all the success of my books, I had never once given an interview or appeared in public. I wrote under a pseudonym, enjoying the obscurity that came with anonymity.
But I was willing to give all that up, for one chance, to somehow let Edward know I was here. Maybe it was pathetic, but even if it ended badly, I was tired of waiting to see what would happen.
I dialed the number and my editor picked up, "Angela, it's Bella. I'm ready to do that interview they've been begging for lately."
Three weeks later
Morning. I came out of the shower, a towel wrapped around my waist. I flipped the TV on, trying to find something to play in the background. I had a gig tonight, but wanted to eat breakfast before sound checks and run-throughs.
I flipped past a channel, but something on the screen made my heart freeze.
I flipped back quickly, the early morning news just coming back from commercial.
"Good Morning. I have with me the very elusive author of the Vampire Nightfall series."
The camera closed in on Bella, her face was pale, and she looked very nervous. I wanted to reach through the screen, to hold her. Her hands shook as she reached for the glass of water on the news table.
She spoke, and her voice ran over me, settling inside me. I couldn't look away from her face, she had moved from being the girl I loved, to the woman I needed, wanted.
I realized she was here, in New York.
What the fuck am I doing sitting here?
I had to see her, but I couldn't move for the mobs of people following me.
It didn't fucking matter anymore.
I quickly pulled on jeans, a red t-shirt, and my black leather jacket. I shoved my feet into socks and shoes, and grabbed my black trilby and sunglasses. Leaving my hotel room, I shoved on the sunglasses and hat, I hoped it would be enough to get me through the building, without getting noticed.
I flipped my phone open to my manager. Emmett answered on the first ring, "What's up?"
"I'm going out, can you have something to pick me up at the back of the hotel in about ten minutes?"
"You got it. Where are you going this early?"
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you."
By the time I made it to the small back alley, a black SUV was waiting for me, the engine running.
"Where to, Mr Cullen?"
He maneuvered through the streets, my heart was beating a million miles a minute, and I couldn't keep my leg from shaking. There were crowds of people outside of the studios, which was a normal occurrence for this particular show.
"Park across the street, and wait."
He did as I asked, and I watched the entrance, watched for any sign of her. I had no idea what the fuck I was going to do.
There was movement near the door, and there she was. The wind picked up her hair and blew it into her face, but she pulled it back. She was wearing dark blue jeans and a black trench coat that hugged her tiny figure. Her skin was pale against the dark color.
"I'll be right back."
I got out of the car, pulling my leather jacket up, and crossed the street, narrowly avoiding getting run over.
My heart beat was in my ears, as I made my way up to where the barriers were. I fought my way through the crowd to the front. Bella was signing autographs, but people were calling her Dawn Meyers.
Had I gotten it wrong?
There was no way, I would know her anywhere.
She drew near, and the girls pushed me against the barrier, fighting to get close to Bella, someone hit me in the head with a book, nearly knocking my hat off.
I reached into my pocket and pulled out a napkin from the bar I was at last night after the show.
Bella drew near with her Sharpie, but her face was sad. It pulled at me, the despair in her eyes.
I handed her the napkin, and our fingertips met. A jolt ran up my arm, my body recognizing her touch.
She looked up, her brown eyes wide. She'd felt it too.
I reached up and took my sunglasses off.
"Edward." she whispered.
Fuck this barrier bullshit.
I put a hand on the metal bar, and leaped over the side. Huge security guys came to move me, but Bella pushed them back. She seemed so small next to them.
"It's ok. I know him, it's all right. Please, let him through."
They stepped back as I moved forward. I tore my sunglasses off, and the crowds seemed confused.
"Who is that?" Seemed to ripple like waves across the fans outside.
I pulled Bella towards me, nothing else mattered. My hat fell off, and distantly I heard my name.
"It's Edward Cullen!"
Shrieks erupted around us while I cupped Bella's chin, my fingers moving over her delicate skin.
"I don't care if you're married, if you have a dozen kids, if you're with someone. You will always be mine, and you possess every part of me."
My mouth found hers, capturing the small sob that rushed from her throat. Her hands crept around my neck, her fingers in my hair. My eyes were closed, but I could hear the pop of flashbulbs going off around us.
She tasted like I remembered. She tasted better than my memories had allowed me.
I held her face, my thumbs caressing her cheeks, I knew I was bruising her mouth, but I couldn't get enough of her. When my thumbs encountered traces of wet on her cheeks, I pulled back from her. My eyes searched her face, and what I saw there twisted something inside of me.
What had I done to her?
"Come with me." I said, my lips caressing hers again.
"I have no idea, just come with me."
Her hand in mine, we fled towards the SUV I had a across the street. Paps and other fans followed us, and she squealed when someone almost hit her with a camera. Opening the door to the car, I lifted her up and in, and then threw myself beside her.
"Back to the hotel, and try and lose some of the paps," I shouted to the driver.
He pulled out into traffic, weaving in and out of cars. I looked at Bella, who had shrunk into the corner of the backseat, her eyes closed. I was practically crouched over her, my arms braced on either side of her.
"Bella, look at me."
"I can't," she said.
"Because I'm afraid if I do, this is gonna be real. You even smell the same."
I laughed softly at her, and she opened one eye at me. I smoothed a lock of her hair back from her face so I could see her better. I realized she was shivering.
I shrugged out of my jacket and placed it over her, "You're freezing. Here."
She gasped when my arms came into view. I looked down at them, and saw that her eyes were drawn to the colorful ink that flowed over my arms.
"Oh Edward." she sighed, sitting up. The jacket fell away as she leaned closer.
"Can I touch them?"
"Um. Sure." My voice was gravelly as her hand reached out, and I watched her cold fingertips trace over the inked images and words.
"They're beautiful." She traced over my right arm, and then my left. I moved my arm so she could touch all of me, and she gasped.
Her fingers were lightly tracing her name over the inside of my wrist.
The SUV stopped, and I realized we were back at the hotel.
She took my offered hand, and followed me through the backdoor. It was odd, having that strange jolt from her touch back, after so long.
I led her through the quiet hallways, and into the elevator. She didn't say anything more, but her free arm was wrapped around her middle, and she kept looking at the floor.
My cell rang, as we stepped out of the elevator. It was Emmett.
"Um. What the fuck did you just do? It's all over the fucking news. Are you out of your-"
I interrupted him before he could work himself up, "Emmett! It's Bella."
That stopped him, "What?"
"Look, I don't have time to explain, she's with me now," I looked back, my hand pulling her along behind me, "I'm not gonna make sound checks for tonight, but I'll be there for the show. I need this time."
"Ah, fuck off, Edward. Over some girl?"
"She's not some girl, Emmett. Handle this shit for me, or else I'm canceling the show. I don't give a fuck. That's how important this is to me."
He sighed heavily, "Fine. Whatever, just-you better fucking be there tonight."
He hung up on me, and I put the phone back in my pocket. I pulled the keycard out of my other pocket as we arrived at the door to my room and slid it into the door.
"After you," I gestured as the door swung open.
Tentatively, she went inside and stopped, waiting for me. When the door was shut she turned, and laid my jacket on the bed.
Silence descended over us, and I walked toward her. The air seemed charged with tension now, and for the first time since I had ever laid eyes on Bella Swan, I didn't know how to be around her.
She looked up at me, and there was a strange look in her eyes, one I had never really seen before.
I wasn't ready for her reaction. She hauled off and smacked me, right across the face.
"Ow, what the fuck was that for?" I held my hand to my cheek, working my jaw. She put a lot of force behind that.
"You left me, Edward Cullen. Do you know what it's like to be tortured like that? To see you smiley, living out your perfect dreams, while I was left behind? You told me forever, and threw me away like yesterday's garbage. I didn't know how to move on from that. I still don't think I have."
I listened, and watched as her eyes filled with angry tears.
"Jesus, Bella. There are no words I can give you that will ever make up for-"
"I hid from you, from life, from everything! All I had was my writing. And even the success of that was not enough. I wanted you. All I ever wanted was you."
She was getting herself all worked up, her breathing was harsh, and she was half sobbing. Seeing her this way was a knife in my gut, twisting my insides.
I had assumed she wouldn't want to go. I had assumed she wouldn't have any interest in the dance. She just didn't seem like that kind of girl.
But there she was, on the arm of some guy I didn't know. He didn't go to our school, in fact he looked older. Maybe he was her cousin or something.
He was still a douche.
And I was the bigger one for assuming she wouldn't want to come. Suddenly the black tie I was wearing was too tight. I ran a finger under my collar as I looked at her, in a green satin gown which made her skin like pale and creamy and so soft. Her hair was softly curled and falling down her back in waves. Her face seemed somehow…prettier, and I realized it was because she was wearing makeup.
Around her wrist was a small arrangement of flowers and when she thought nobody was looking, she stroked the petals and held the small bouquet to her nose.
Bella had come in with her friend, Angela and her date was also not someone I recognized from our class, and he definitely looked older as well.
I was standing with the guys, and I asked Mike who they were.
He shouted over the music in my ear, "I dunno. Jess says they're some guys that Angela knows, they're like, in the Navy or Army or some shit."
I hadn't really come with anyone, the guys and I had just come together, rented a huge limo for the dozen of us and their dates. I was the odd man out, but I didn't care. I was up for prom court, so I had to be here.
The night wore on, but I didn't take my eyes from her. She sat at the table a lot, looking forlorn. The guy she was with looked bored, and he didn't even ask her to dance. I was about to go over and ask her but the music stopped and the DJ announced they would be revealing the winners for Prom Court.
Riley and Victoria won, and the crowed obligingly clapped as they took their place in the middle of the dance floor.
Other couples were invited on, and I noticed the tall head of the guy Bella had come with. I gritted my teeth when I noticed as the crowds parted briefly, he had his hands on her ass. I loosened my bow tie and unbuttoned my collar, too uncomfortable now to keep up pretenses.
But when he turned around, it wasn't Bella he was dancing with.
And as my eyes swept the room looking for her, I saw swish of green satin disappear around the exit.
I took off after her and made it to the exit. The hall was empty, and only the emergency lights were on, giving the usual bright hallway a dark and sinister feeling.
I listened, even paused so my dress shoes would stop echoing loudly on the tile. No answer.
I kept walking, shouting her name, when I round a corner, and in a small alcove, I saw a small show sticking out.
I rushed over, and knelt in front of her.
"Go-Go away!" She was sobbing quietly, her breath catching, her pretty face swollen.
She tried to scoot away from me as I reached for her.
It was horrible, seeing her this upset. My mind flashed through all the times she had patiently helped me, her smile encouraging. I thought of the first time I kissed her, and realized it was her first kiss ever. Something had come over me at that point, and I realized I wanted to be a lot of her firsts. She taught me a lot, but I wanted to teach her too.
I pulled her from the dark corner and into my arms. She fought me at first and then gave in, crying like her heart was broken.
"Why are you crying?"
She sniffled and I wiped tears from her cheeks.
"I didn't even want to come," she was all nasal from crying, "but Angela begged me to because she had met this guy at work and her mom said she could go as long as she brought someone with her. So she set me up with her date's best friend."
"Is that the guy you came in with?"
"Garrett is nice, well I thought he was nice. But he doesn't want to be here with me. I think he figured out I wasn't-that we weren't-that he wasn't-"
Even in the small light in the hall I could see her blush. She tucked her face against my chest. My hand cupped her shoulder and pulled her away slightly so I could see her face.
"He's an asshole."
She hiccupped a laugh as I wiped tears from her cheeks.
"He's a fucking asshole."
She giggled this time, and I smiled at her.
"So am I."
That sobered her. I looked at her, my eyes meeting hers, "I should have been the one picking you up tonight, I should have asked you. I didn't know you would want to come, it just didn't seem like your thing."
She blinked and swallowed, "Every girl wants to go to prom, Edward. Where's your date?"
"I didn't bring anyone."
She wrinkled her nose at me, "Shut up."
"No I swear, I didn't. There's a big group of us here anyways."
We sat quietly for a few minutes, her breathing eventually calmed, her face dried.
She sniffed, "I guess I should go home or whatever. I really don't want to go back in there."
I looked down at her, "Bella. Will you go to prom with me?"
"Edward you don't have to do-"
"I want to. What? Do you wanna see me beg? I'm already sitting on this dusty floor in my tux. My ass is already dusty."
She laughed, and bit her lip.
She nodded and I stood up, helping her up at the same time.
"Do I look ok?" She looked down smoothing her dress, and patted at dust and small wrinkles.
I tipped her chin up with my fingers and brushed my lips across hers, "You look perfect."
"All I ever wanted was you."
At those words, she crumbled. She started to fall towards the floor, her knees giving out on her.
I caught her, held her against me. She fought it at first, and then gave up. She made fists in my t-shit, and her sobs knifed through me as she cried loudly.
I held her, not really knowing what comfort I could offer.
I was an asshole, first class, grade A, asshole. The product of my own selfish choices had nearly broken her. Seeing her like this was my punishment. I ran my hands over her back, down her spine, trying to soothe her. My t-shirt was wet from where her face rested against my chest.
She quieted eventually, just small hiccups.
Then the words that nearly broke me, whispered against my heart, "I hated you so much, Edward Cullen."
Before I could answer her she spoke again, quietly, "I waited for you, but you never came back."
"I'm an idiot, Bella. A fucking moron. I thought this was what I wanted. I loved it, making music, being able to share myself. But there has always been a part of me that I held back. I thought I could move on, but I never really did."
She pushed away from me, "You do not get to feel that way! You just fucking don't!" She shrieked the last part. She was panting now, and wiped a hand across her cheek roughly, "You. Left. Me. I was stuck in that bumfuck town, with pitying looks from everyone we knew. I waited tables to put myself through community college. I waited everyday for you. I was yours, I was ready to give everything to you."
Her eyes brimmed with tears again and she shook, her entire body trembling.
Her chest heaved with emotion as she looked me in the eye, and in that moment I got a really good look at them. The innocence of youth was gone, and a stagnant bitterness seemed to have encroached on the pretty brown of her eyes.
I looked at her, "Where do we go from here?"
"I don't know. All I know is I imagined this moment thousands of times over the last year, and it never worked out like this."
I nodded. It was the same for me.
"Are you still mine?"
She shook her head, her breath hitching, and she looked at me, her face tortured.
"I can't do this anymore."
She started to back away from me, retreating, and I advanced as she tried to run to the door.
I caught up with her, pulling her against me, "It doesn't matter, Bella. Whatever happened in the last few years happened. You can't deny this. Can't deny the way my touch makes you feel."
I reached for her left hand, and held it up, seeing the small scar that ran across her skin, "You're mine, and I'm yours. Always."
I gave her one last pause, but she said nothing. I dropped her hand so I could tug her lip from between her teeth. It was red, swollen, and I needed to soothe it. I placed my lips over hers, sucking it into my mouth as she kissed me back. Slowly, her hands made their way to my arms and I held her hands as they slid into my palms, squeezing them as my tongue touched hers. She whimpered into my mouth and pressed against me.
A dam burst inside of both of us, and this time, there was no stopping. I pulled at her top as she tugged at the hem of my t-shirt. Our kiss broke so she could remove her top and pull mine over my head. She gasped when she saw me. I looked down at where her eyes caught.
Her fingers grazed where my nipples were pierced, the tiny barbells horizontal through my skin. Her hands moved over the black ink that moved in an arc from between my shoulder and neck to the other side, running over my collarbone. The black ink was like tear drops caught into a necklace, draped over my shoulders in a half circle.
My skin was so different now from what Bella probably remembered.
I traced over her too, watching her skin rise and flush as I brushed the backs of my fingers over her the swell of her breasts.
I pulled the straps down of the bra, watching them fall over her delicate shoulders.
"Don't talk. I need to know, Edward. Please. Don't ruin this with words." Her fingers found the opening of her jeans, and she unzipped and had them sliding down her legs while I watched, slightly shocked.
Her palms found my cheek, and she rubbed over the fading red mark where her hand had been. Guiding my face down to hers, she kissed me, this time it was different.
It was soft. It was gentle, her mouth asking as she gave. She followed my mouth as I bent and lifted her against me. She wrapped her legs around me and I carried her over to the bed. Her arms were around my neck, her fingers in my hair.
Her eyes looked trustingly into mine as we moved on the bed, her scooting towards the pillows, and me covering her body with mine.
And it was like I was that Edward, before the screaming fans, the ink, the songs. It was just me.
And she was that Bella, her eyes hopeful as she blushed and looked away. It was her.
We had fallen apart, and we were find pieces, and putting them back together.
I kissed her mouth, her chin, tiny kisses along her delicate jaw to her ear.
"I loved you, Bella and I love you now."
"Edward," she sighed. I sucked her ear lobe into my mouth, and she gasped. I smiled inwardly, remembering this was one of her sweet spots. There was another one just below her ear, especially if I bit her gently with my teeth.
Bella arched her neck, moving her chin, giving me more access.
"Do you like that, baby?"
I kissed her neck and moved down to her collarbone, nipping at the skin there, and her fingernails scraped in my hair.
I kissed the soft swell of her breasts, and she leaned up slightly, unhooking her bra from the back. She lay back again, and I pulled the black lace away from her skin.
She was so fucking beautiful. I looked at her face, and realized I had said my thoughts out loud.
I cupped one in my hand, it filled my palm and she made a soft noise when I squeezed her gently.
I couldn't resist anymore, the pink of her nipple calling me. I kissed her, before sucking her into my mouth, laving my tongue over the tiny bud. Her back arched against me and her hands pulled at my hair.
I moved to her other breast, and my hand drifted over her side and then lower to her hip bone.
She moaned as my teeth touched her sensitive nipple, and I moved my hand between her legs, cupping her. I ground my palm against her, and her hips came up to meet my hand. Her moan was louder now, and I pushed harder against her, the black lace over her pussy pushing against my hand. She was wet, I could feel her through the material.
My already hard cock was like steel as I thought of how warm and sweet she would be inside.
My mouth left her breast, and I rose up and off the bed. Her eyes followed me as I tore at my jeans and boxers. I pulled a condom from my wallet and put it in my mouth. Her eyes flitted to my dick and then back to my face, a faint blush covering face.
We had never really been naked in front of each other. Bella had been that good girl, that for some reason, had allowed me to get almost to third base a couple of times.
I unwrapped the condom and rolled it over my cock before crawling my way back up to Bella.
My lips brushed at her mouth, and against her lips I murmured, "I love you, Bella."
The tip of my cock slid in, and I slowly filled her.
"I love you, too, Edward."
It wasn't until I hit the tiny barrier that I realized what it was. My eyes widened, as I realized what I'd just done. Her soft gasp of pain made it worse. I stopped, trying to withdraw, but the legs she had wrapped around me, held me.
"Bella? Are you-have you," I swallowed. Surely she had been with other-
A single tear rolled down her flushed cheek before disappearing into her dark hairline, "It's always been you, Edward."
Her muscles contracted around me, squeezing, and it felt so fucking good.
"Oh, God, Bella."
My mouth covered hers, needing to taste her.
My lips moved from hers as my hips moved gently.
"Is that ok?"
She closed her eyes as I moved again.
She nodded, "I'm ok."
I reached between our bodies and found the tiny nub of flesh between her legs. She was still slick with arousal and moved my fingers, circling, until she bucked against me.
I could feel her getting wetter again, and I rubbed until she was arching and gasping beneath me again.
I moved my hips against her, my hand back up against her side. Her hips came up to meet mine, and we rocked until the rhythm between us began to build. Her whimpers turned into moans and I ground into her, faster until I could feel a sensation build low in my stomach, running lower to my balls.
I buried my face in her neck, kissed her ears, and her thighs squeezed me, her legs trembling as I could feel her start to orgasm.
"Yes, sweetheart. Come with me."
I moved faster, trying to remember to be gentle, until I felt my mind explode into a million falling stars, the brightness intense, the feeling taking over me.
We rolled to our sides, both of us panting, and I kissed her temple, holding her to me. After a moment I withdrew from her, and her breath hissed. I disposed of the condom and lay back down beside her.
"Are you ok?" I asked, smoothing hair from her forehead.
She nodded, "Yeah."
The air was quiet around us, but was interrupted by a small buzzing noise.
She sat up, "My phone!"
She struggled out of my arms and reached for her jeans. Pulling out an expensive phone, she answered it.
"Hello…I'm fine. I know, it was a kinda sudden…No. That was the only interview I want to do…Please tell them no thank you…I'll call later…Yes it was Edward Cullen…"
I sat up beside her, and moved a lock of her hair over her shoulder, kissing her neck. She shivered and her breath caught.
"Yes, he um, yes." I kissed the shell of her ear before sucking her earlobe into my mouth, "I-I know him. Yes, I know Edward Cullen. No, I don't know if the song is about me."
"It is," I whispered into her other ear and she made a small noise before slapping her free hand over her mouth.
"Look, I have to go. Can you cancel my flight home for now? I'll be in touch. Yes, I promise to call you. Bye!"
She hung up the phone and turned to me. I kissed her lips, and she sighed.
"I don't want to be away from you, but at some point we're going to have to part ways. Where do we go from here?"
Her fingers traced over the ink on my collarbone, tracing the crescent pattern over my chest to the other side.
"I don't want to be parted from you ever again. It will kill me."
Something in my chest squeezed painfully, and the sheets russleled beneath us as I pulled her to me.
"I can't be apart from you either, baby. Not ever again. Come to the show tonight? Come with me? We don't have to wait for each other, come with me."
Several hours later found me dressed and enjoying a prime seat just off the stage, watching Edward sing to thousands of fans. He was amazing, and they screamed for him between songs, the energy palpable in the room.
We made love again that night, he worshiped my body with his.
My publicist didn't get it, she thought I was placing myself on hold for him.
"But I'm not. The last few years I've been on pause," I told her while I sipped coffee at breakfast.
Edward had a weird look on his face all day, through final sound checks and run-throughs.
That night I sat in my reserved seat, watching Edward perform. Tonight, he cleared the band from the stage, and a piano was rolled out.
He took his shirt off, and the crowd went absolutely wild for him.
There he sat, his toned chest muscles flexing in excitement, the ink glistening on his sweaty skin from the stage lights.
His fingers put together notes, forming chords and the girls screamed as they recognized the opening notes to Bella.
He paused and waited for the crowd to quiet.
"I want to do something a little different tonight. I'd like you to meet Bella. Bella, would you come out here?"
My heart dropped into my stomach and my legs felt like jello. I couldn't believe he was doing this.
I got up, and somehow my feet brought me onto the stage. I blinked at the bright lights, and put my hand up to shield my eyes.
"There she is. Come on over here, baby."
The crowd went crazy again when they spotted me.
"You guys say hello to my Bella!"
The screamed louder, and I paused, not sure what to do.
His fingers played another note, "She's shy, y'all. Come and sit with me, sweetheart."
I sat down next to him, his skin begging for my touch, but I wasn't that bold.
He kissed me and then turned to the piano in front of us.
I was mesmerized as his fingers pressed into the keyes, the notes echoing over the crowd. His bottle green eyes met mine, as he sang my song to me.
His voice was like warm whiskey, heating me from my inside out. I was captivated by him, I could see why people were so in love with him.
But none of them more so than me.
The muscles under the ink on his forearm bunched as he continued to play for me and the crowd disappeared as the only light on stage created walls out of darkness. We were in our own world, his voice the only sound I needed. The soft whisper of air as he breathed between verses.
The song ended, and he stood up from the bench. I moved to follow him. He shook his head.
"Stay," he said to me. He took the mic from the stand over the piano, and pulled something out of his pocket.
I watched as he knelt in front of me, and my heart nearly leapt out of my throat when he opened a tiny box containing what looked like an art deco ring. It was beautifully unique, and the diamond sparkled and winked in the stage lights.
"Bella, I'm yours, and you're mine. I promise to love you, every moment of forever. We belong together. Will you marry me?"
Time stopped, paused. His eyes were holding mine, and everything in my body, in my blood leaned towards him.
"Yes, Edward. Yes. I'll marry you."
The sound of the crowd was deafening, as Edward slid the ring on my finger. He caught me against him, and I sobbed.
This was where I was meant to be.
Finally, I had the missing part of myself back.
The other part of me.
Thanks again for reading. x