A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words Contest

Title: Standing Ovations and IOUs
Summary: "
Entry for pic is worth 1000 words. One-shot. AU/AH Chart-topping rivals Bella and Edward find that they can put their 'hatred' to good use; sometimes the best things in life are unplanned. Dirty but not explicit. I suppose you could call it lemon rind..."
Author(s):
Stephaniiie
Disclaimer:
I borrow Edward, Bella and crew because I lack originality. If I had written the Twilight saga, Jacob would probably have died a horrible death so I think it's safe to say that all things Twilight belong to Stephenie Meyer and no copyright infringement is intended.

Here is the link to the picture that was my prompt: http :/ 1 . bp . blogspot . com/_IpO2bqs0FzA/TF8VM_xcwTI/AAAAAAAAAGM/Mwln5IEJxb8/s1600/edwardandbella4 . jpg

To view other entries for this contest, go to: http :/ www . fanfiction . net/u/2278443/

(Remove the spaces around the dots)

WARNING! – This story contains a lot of sexual references and hints at naughty things. It's certainly not explicit but I think that the M rating has been earned. If you are not comfortable reading that, or you know me personally (you know who you are) then PLEASE do NOT read this!

***PLEASE NOTE*** I know zilch about being a famous singer. I know just as much about the Grammys. If I have gotten anything wrong then I'm incredibly sorry but it's proved somewhat difficult to come across a famous singer's memoirs from the Grammys on Google.

Huge thanks to the ever-wonderful Lauraaaaa for pre-reading :)

Standing Ovations and IOUs

Edward POV

I've done a lot of stupid things in my life. The most stupid things, though, all occurred within just a few months.

It all started on the night of the most prestigious music awards for bands of all time; the Grammys. That had been a tense evening. Hell, the whole day had been tense. I had barely slept the night before, and then had worried throughout the day of prep (the clothes, the make-up, re-memorising thank you speeches… that kind of crap).

The red carpet before was strenuous. All of the paps asked the same question; were we worried about being defeated by Eclipse? Jasper, Alice and I all gave the same, dull-as-hell answer: "Of course we're worried but, at the end of the day, the best band will take it." That certainly wasn't how we really felt.

Our band, Breaking Dawn, and their band, Eclipse, had been rivals since they had stormed the charts about five years before, when Breaking Dawn had only just risen to stardom. They were stealing our freshly-acquired limelight and we fucking hated it. So for five years solid it had been their band and our band battling it out for the top spots. Since our respective music was so different, it was a fierce battle. Both bands had obsessive and extraordinarily loyal fans (similar to that bloody vampire versus werewolf debacle) that vehemently defended their preferred music. And everyone had a preference, because the music was so different. Let me explain.

Breaking Dawn consisted of Alice Brandon, her boyfriend, Jasper Whitlock and me, Edward Cullen. We mostly did country stuff, and the occasional blues song. Alice was our sultrily-voiced singer, Jazz was on the harmonica – he had crazy-talent when it came to that thing – as well as doing anything else we needed, and I was our guitarist and backing vocals. We had intended for Alice to be our front woman, but somehow over time I had become the face of the band. Alice and Jasper said that it had something to do with my 'availability' (I was single) and 'hotness' (I don't need to explain that one).

Eclipse, as I have already said, were our rival band. They were fronted by the extremely sexy and beautiful Isabella Swan, usually known as Bella, and I secretly presumed that she was the reason why their band was mostly followed by guys. The other two members of the group were the equally sexy, but not as appealing in my eyes, Rosalie Hale and a huge bulky guy called Emmett McCarty. Their music was as different to ours as it could have been. They did rocky poppy music. Bella was their lead singer and guitarist, Rosalie was on bass and backing vocals and Emmett was the drummer. They were a great band, admittedly, but Alice, Jasper and I all knew that they would never put the same amount of work into their band as we did into ours.

That didn't mean that they didn't get the same massive fan base and recognition that Breaking Dawn did, though. They reeked of sex appeal and 'coolness' and so they were just as popular as our little band which, by the way, had gained a fan base of more than a million people worldwide in the first few months of being in the public eye. When it came to the Grammys, it was us versus Eclipse all the way. Best single of the year? Music video? Forget it Lady GaGa or Taylor Swift, our fans were much more hardcore. Eclipse and Breaking Dawn seemed to win alternately each year; swatting awards between the two of us like a tennis rally. Especially the big award; the best band.

On this particular night, we had won it the year before, but Eclipse had won it the year before that, and us again the year before that. Like I said; a rally. This year, though, Jasper, Ally and I had fought as hard as we could to break the alternating run and get the prestigious award for two years in a row.

So when we took our seats that night, directly behind Eclipse unfortunately, the three of us were shaking with nerves about the award that was more important to our band than any of us could explain.

I seated myself in the chair that was taken up by a sign reading 'Reserved for Edward Cullen of Breaking Dawn', trying to ignore the screams of the fans in the room that had started up when we had come in.

Just a moment after I sat down, Bella Swan turned round in her chair and raised her eyebrow at me. "Cullen," she acknowledged, her voice calm although her chocolate brown eyes sparkling with excitement.

Here was where it got difficult. See, I had a bit of a thing for Bella Swan, just like every other guy old enough to appreciate natural beauty. She was my enemy so, of course, I never admitted to liking her let alone finding her fuck-hot. That was it though. I only found her fuck-hot; I didn't like her in a romantic way. Nu-uh. But those eyes… they would be my undoing someday, I was sure of it. "Swan," I replied in the same distant tone.

"Scared?" she taunted.

"Nope," I snipped (though it was complete bullshit), sticking to the one-word conversation we seemed to have fallen into.

"Huh," she snorted in return.

"You?"

"Nope." Then she turned back round in her seat to face the front, waiting for the ceremony to begin.

I felt a pair of eyes on me and glanced to Bella's left to see Rosalie glaring at me over her shoulder. She made the immature universal gesture of 'I'm watching you' before turning to Emmett on her other side. They were rumoured to be dating but had yet to say anything.

I glanced to Bella's right side then, and noticed that the seat beside her was empty. Then, because I was insanely curious – oh, and maybe because I was a masochist – I leant forward and whispered in Bella's ear, "So where's your boyfriend?"

It was a well-known fact that Bella had been dating Hollywood actor Jacob Black for about a year. Honestly, I was jealous of him getting to tap that but I couldn't very well get together with her myself. That would be weird.

Bella turned her head, but only slightly since my mouth was still about two millimetres away from her right ear. "I don't see how that is any of your business," she murmured. There was something in her tone, though, that I couldn't work out.

I shrugged. "It's not, I guess. I was just wondering. You look kinda like a third wheel."

Bella made a point of looking over her other shoulder at Alice and Jasper who were talking quietly amongst themselves, heads close together, fingers linked. "Wow, look who's talking," she said sarcastically. Then she sighed and knotted her own fingers together. "Jake's out of town. Filming something something." She waved a hand dismissively.

"Oh," I said because, really, I could have guessed that.

She laughed. "Oh, indeed. How about you? No 'special someone'?"

"Nope. I'm too special for them," I said cockily but jokingly.

She rolled her eyes. "Smooth, Cullen."

"You know you like it, Swan," I shot back.

She scoffed. "I don't think so."

"No?"

"No."

I stroked a finger along the back of her neck, careful to only use the tip of my index finger. "Then how come the hairs on the back of your neck are standing up?"

"I wouldn't tease me if I were you, Cullen."

I smirked. "And why's that, Swan?"

She swivelled fully in her chair so that she could lean forward and whisper seductively in my ear. "Because I can make sure that the hairs on my neck aren't the only things standing up."

Damn.

She was good.

And she was already right about other things standing up. Fuck.

But I played back, just because I wasn't going to lose. "And if that were to happen," I whispered, just as seductively, "then I would have to take you to an unoccupied hotel room and do things that would prevent you from standing up."

She scoffed again, but her cheeks reddened slightly. "I highly doubt that you'd be capable of that."

I chuckled lightly. "Oh, trust me, Isabella, I'm perfectly capable of making you see stars, let alone preventing you from standing." I loved the way her name rolled off of my tongue.

"Guys that big themselves up are always disappointing, Cullen."

Ha, she had walked right into that one. "I don't need any 'bigging up'; I'm already big enough. You're welcome to have a look if you want to."

I had presumed that she would glare at me, maybe have a go at me or something for being so suggestive.

But she didn't.

What she did do was much worse.

She leant her head even closer and whispered, "Write me an IOU and I may just take you up on that. I might have to measure with more than just my eyes though."

Holy fucking crap. Something told me that she wasn't referring to a tape measure.

Of course, my brain stopped functioning then.

She took advantage of my momentary distraction to smirk and sit back properly in her seat. She crossed one leg over the other and sat smugly waiting for the ceremony to begin, just as she had been a moment ago.

I blinked at the back of her head for a moment as I realised that she hadn't walked into my trap; I had walked into hers.

Well damn.

Just then I noticed Jasper and Alice watching me. They must have caught part of our exchange. Or maybe they had just noticed the half-shocked, half-horny look on my face.

"Everything okay?" Alice asked, just as the lights dimmed.

"Yeah, fine," I muttered, trying to subtly adjust myself.

Alice nodded and turned to face the front.

Jasper, however, wasn't convinced. He raised his eyebrows at me and pulled his phone out. A second later, my BlackBerry vibrated with a text reading: Don't let her distract you just because she looks like she'd be good in the sack.

I opened a blank text and replied, Dude. She as good as said she wanted to suck my dick.

He stared at me and mouthed, "Seriously?"

I just nodded with a blank look on my face.

But then the ceremony started and I stopped thinking about Bella Swan's mouth and started thinking about dead kittens and pasting a false interested expression on my face, knowing that there was a camera trained on the area that Breaking Dawn and Eclipse were sat in.

Once I had managed to get all that was standing up to stand down, I started to have a good time. The first awards for breakout artists and smaller stuff were okay. Then came the bigger awards. Eclipse won most of the rock category awards. We won most of the country/blues category awards. The first category that both our bands were nominated for was best single by a band. Unfortunately, Eclipse won it for their single, The Darker Side of Twilight. Alice, Jasper and I clapped for them politely, knowing that the cameras would be trained on us, but inside I knew that all three of us wanted to give them the finger.

Bella gave the speech, while Rosalie stood beside her looking pretty, her golden hair glittering in the lights, her red dress accentuating her curves. Emmett just nodded along with what Bella said. Which, by the way, I didn't hear because I was too busy checking her out. She was wearing the most gorgeous deep blue dress with a plunging V-neck that made her skin look beautiful. She was drop-dead stunning when she wasn't hidden behind a chair. Oh yeah, and she had just totally gotten another standing ovation from my disobedient dick.

Thankfully I had gotten him under control by the time we got our comeback for best music video by a band. We won that for the video of our single, A Never Ending New Moon, which was a brilliant personal accomplishment for me since I had done all of the choreography for that particular video.

Alice did the thank yous for our band, fiddling nervously with the spaghetti straps of her short turquoise dress as she did so. I added a few bits that Alice had forgotten due to her nerves, though, and some girls – okay, quite a lot of girls – in the audience went crazy with screams. I didn't understand it. I was good-looking, yes – good-looking enough to be cocky and flirt with Bella – but not that good-looking. They all loved my hair, for some inane reason. It was a bizarre bronze colour and stuck out in every direction possible, which was just annoying.

As the evening went on into the night, it became a battle. They won sexiest female band member (Rosalie, which I thought was just wrong with Bella there); we won sexiest male band member (uh… yeah… yours truly…). They won best band vocals; we won best band guitar solo. They won best band live tour, we won best band live track.

By the time the best band overall award rolled round, we were one ahead of them since we had clinched the best band album. The six of us waited with baited breaths as the nominees were read out. It was clearly going to be one of us, but which one? Would the alternate pattern continue, or would we finally break it?

But then, the woman read out their names. Not ours. I couldn't be bothered to even put on a show for the cameras this time round. I slouched back disappointedly in my seat and proceeded to listen as Bella expressed her 'surprise' and delightedness at receiving the award.

Whatever you dick-sucking whore.

When the goodbyes had been said after the impossibly long evening, I was looking forward to going home, taking a cold shower (hopefully washing away any inappropriate thoughts of Bella Swan as I did so), and sleeping. I had completely forgotten about the fucking after-party.

At the after party, which took place in the main hall of the giant five-star hotel that all of the nominees were staying at, I stuck with Jazz and Ally and we drank and smiled and thanked the people that congratulated us on our winnings. But after a while, they started sucking face which, to be frank, disgusted me a little. So I went off in search of the bar and another beer.

I almost turned around when I saw who was already sat at the bar. But then decided against it; why should Bella Swan prevent me from getting my beer?

She looked up when I sat down beside her and ordered a beer from the bar tender. He was quick, and a chilled beer was instantly in front of me. I took a swig.

"Congratulations," Bella said politely after a moment.

Reluctantly I returned, "Yeah, you too."

An awkward silence fell.

Bella broke it. "Where's the rest of your band?"

I shrugged. "Sucking face somewhere. Maybe they pissed off to their hotel room, I dunno." I glanced around for Emmett and Rosalie. "Where're yours?"

She snorted. "Probably the same."

I raised an eyebrow. "So it is true."

She must have suddenly remembered that I was the enemy because she backtracked. "I have no idea what you're talking about."

I had the upper hand again. Unfortunately my brain must have lost control of my mouth because I used said upper hand to start up the suggestive flirting again. "Yes you do; I'm talking about your band mates doing dirty things."

"You have a one-track mind, Cullen. First you want to do dirty things to me, and now you presume that everyone's at it." She bought into the suggestive and flirtatious banter as well. I was doomed.

"I never said that I wanted to do dirty things to you," I disputed.

She edged closer and started to run her beautiful fingers up and down the neck of her own bottle of beer. Of course, my dirty mind imagined her fingers running up and down something of mine that was mildly resembled by the neck of the bottle.

That was a mistake. Instant fucking hard-on. Not that her next words wouldn't have made that happen anyway.

"I remember you saying something about wanting to make me disabled which generally suggests that you want to fuck me against a wall."

Damn, her casual tone was playing havoc with my hormones.

I put on a good poker face and raised an eyebrow. "Yeah? Well, you certainly weren't fighting me off. You wanted a fucking IOU."

"Ah, but I never said I wanted one."

"That's a shame," I said with a false sigh. "I might have given you one if you had."

Her eyes narrowed. "What would this IOU entail? Just a look? That seems a little stingy."

"What are you giving me in return?" I asked, a half-smirk playing at my lips.

She shook her head. "Uh uh. You tell me what you're offering and then we compromise."

Was it me or was this becoming slightly more than a joke now?

I continued nevertheless. "Okay. A look and a measure." It seemed a little strange that I was offering her something that would give me pleasure but I went with it all the same. I didn't realise until much later that it wasn't pleasure up for offer; it was control.

"What kind of measure?" Her eyes sparkled with mischief.

I shrugged. "You can decide."

She seemed to be mulling it over.

"So what are you offering for this exchange then Swan?"

"Since when has it been an exchange? It's an IOU," she pointed out.

"Since you said 'then we compromise'."

I found myself wondering when the banter had turned into a 'compromise'.

"Fine," Bella conceded. "You can have an inspection."

I had been unable to stop myself from grinning. "What kind of...?"

"You can decide."

"How about up against a wall?" I asked suggestively.

She rolled her eyes and threw back the last of her drink. "You know, Cullen, sometimes you really turn me on. Other times you just disgust me." She shot me a smile that was far too sultry and then left.

Damn. Had she been teasing me the whole time? What a fucking cockblocker. Pun intended.

But then I noticed the writing on the napkin she had left in front of her. I surreptitiously reached out for the napkin. The message read:

My room's number 11c. Give me 10 minutes.

I beamed.

Exactly ten minutes later, I was knocking on the door of room 11c.

"Just a second!" Bella called from inside.

I stuck my hands in my pockets and thought about what a strange twist of events this was. If someone had told me that morning that I would be waiting to have sex with Bella Swan, I never would have believed them. I would have wanted to believe them but I wouldn't have.

Then Bella opened the door and I had to fight to contain my excitement. Her dress was gone, leaving her in matching lacy strapless bra and panties, the same colour as her dress. She was even more beautiful underneath the dress.

Suddenly, her hands shot out and she grabbed the lapel of my tux. She pulled me in and shut the door behind me, instantly pushing me back up against the door and attaching her lips to mine.

"Edward," she groaned into my mouth; the first time she had used my real name.

I took a hold of her waist and switched our positions so that her back was pressed against the wall. My hands moved down to grope her ass and she automatically lifted her legs and wrapped them around my waist so that I could grind against her.

It didn't take long to shed our clothes and fulfil our respective IOUs. Even after we had both kept to our sides of the bargain we continued our dirty ministrations.

It was the best night of my life.

And then, when she could barely walk the next morning, I was the happiest man alive.

Until her boyfriend called her cell and reminded me that the night before had been a terrible, terrible mistake.

Bella hissed some stuff into the phone, things that sounded like "Yes, I'm in my own hotel room" and "No of course I didn't sleep with a randomer!" and "Jake what kind of slut do you take me for?" For a girl who was talking complete bollocks she kept an incredibly straight face.

When she hung up, we both sat there in silence for a long while, her sat with her bare back to me. Then she spoke, without turning. "He's kind of… controlling and… um… angry…" Her voice was barely above a whisper.

I wondered why she was telling me this – me, of all people!

"Um…"

"I know, I know. Why do you care, it's not any of your business, right?" She laughed bitterly, and then got up to go and fetch her bra and panties which lay on the floor by the door.

"Uh… I…" This was really the most awkward situation I'd ever been in.

She spun back round to face me when she was back in her underwear. "Cullen," she said in a stern voice, "I'd really appreciate it if you didn't mention this to anyone."

That pissed me off. "What kind of idiot do you think I am? Why on earth would I go out to the press and be like 'oh yeah, I fucked Bella Swan last night… yep, yeah my mortal enemy… she's great in the sack but, hey, we didn't mean to. We were a little tipsy and a lot horny'?"

She was quiet for a moment and then her cheeks flushed a little and a small smile played on her lips. "I was great?"

"Oh, jeez of all of the things…" I raked a hand through my hair and gave in with a sigh. "Yes. Bloody fucking fantastic, actually."

Her little smile widened. "You're not so bad yourself."

"Better than Black?" I couldn't help myself.

She snorted. "He hasn't made me feel like that in… ever." The smile faded and she was left looking kind of disappointed and sad.

I sat up properly. "So why are you still with him?"

Judging by the expression on Bella's face, this was a sensitive subject. She shuffled her feet nervously. "He… um…"

My eyes narrowed. "He's violent?" I guessed darkly.

"No!" she replied quickly. Almost too quickly. "He hasn't done anything…" She hesitated but then sighed and added, "Yet."

"You think he would?"

She shrugged.

I suddenly wanted to hurt Jacob Black. Very, very much. I didn't feel guilty for seducing his girl any more. Or had she seduced me? Hmm…

Then, she smiled slightly and came over to the bed. She sat back down and wriggled over to beside me. "So…"

"So." I smirked.

"Don't get all cocky with me. So we had sex once. So what?" She tried to blow it off but her voice shook.

"Yeah." There was a pause. "Actually, we had sex a few more times than once."

She flushed. "Smart ass."

"Hot ass," I shot back.

"We're supposed to be enemies," she pointed out with a sigh.

"We are enemies. I still hate you for last night."

"Last night?" she purred. "You mean something else happened beside the fuck-awesome sex?"

"Fuck-awesome you say?" I put one hand on the other side of her body and leant over her. I buried my face in her neck and licked it with the tip of my tongue; I remembered from the night before exactly what drove her crazy.

She whimpered slightly underneath me. But then she manned up and muttered, "Jeez, you really are a fucking semi-automatic."

"No 'semi' about it, baby." I winked at her and then attached my lips to her neck again.

"Edward…" she whispered. "We can't…"

"We already did," I reminded her.

She thought about it for a moment.

I took advantage of her momentary hesitation to run a hand down her side and then trail a few fingertips along the inside of her thighs.

"Fine, okay!" she said after a moment.

I shook my head. "Not good enough. You have to want it."

"Just fuck me already, dickhead."

"Uh uh." I raised my hand to rub closer to where she wanted me to be, brushing along the edge of her panties. "Ask nicely."

She shook her head, but I continued to run my fingers up and down her thighs, waiting for her to crack.

Eventually she groaned irritably and whispered, "Please, Edward. Pretty, pretty please with a cherry on top."

And so I did. Not that I wouldn't have if she hadn't begged. It was more of a power thing, I guessed.

Then, we went our separate ways. Things went back to normal.

Days passed. I went back to jamming with Ally and Jazz. She went back to… well, she went back to whatever the fuck she usually did. We were still both headline news, we still battled each other for top chart position. For a few months, everything was exactly the same as it had been before.

Well… almost exactly the same as before.

Firstly, since before the fuck-awesome sex I hadn't known what she was really like I hadn't missed her. Now, even after such a short time together, I missed our banter, and her body, and even just her as a person. Whoever thought that I'd actually like Bella Swan?

So I had gotten my agent to call her agent and get her number. Ever since, we had exchanged texts. Just banter, teasing. Every time I heard her voice on the radio, I'd zap her a text telling her that I was never going to listen to that radio station again. Every time she saw a poster of our band she dropped me a message telling me that she had no intention of ever driving past that particular billboard again; even if it meant taking a huge detour. We both knew that the other was lying.

It wasn't long before we were IMing and calling each other daily. I knew everything about Eclipse now, right from the horse's mouth. She told me things that she probably shouldn't have done, considering that I was her enemy and all, but that was okay because I did exactly the same.

I learnt things about her that I had never dreamt of before. Through her devoted messages about her fans and her music, I discovered that Alice, Jasper and I had all been so wrong about Eclipse; they were every bit as dedicated and attentive to their music and their fans as we were to ours. I began to feel that maybe they had deserved the best band Grammy more than we had.

But then things started to change. Rumours filled the tabloids that Bella was having problems with her relationship with Jacob Black. He had been seen, and photographed, out with tons of other girls doing things that no committed guy ever should. But whenever I sent her a text asking if she was okay and offering her my support, all she replied with was: Thanks, but I'm fine.

As the rumours got more and more frequent, and more and more dramatic, I became more and more worried. It wasn't long before I was desperately calling to check up on her. But she didn't answer, ever.

So I sent her a text. It said:

Bella. Please call me back. I'm worried about you. If you don't want to talk to me anymore then please just tell me but… let me know you're okay, B. I know this started out a bit weird but… ugh I'm just gonna say it and I'm sorry if it offends you at all but… Bella, I think I'm in love with you. There it's out there. Please call. Edward x

Of course, I regretted the message the very second I pressed send. That was at seven o'clock in the evening.

She didn't call that night. She didn't call the next morning. I dragged myself to the studio to record a new track for the album, but my playing was crap and my singing was even crapper. Alice and Jasper noticed and they asked what was up but I just said that I was tired. They didn't look like they bought it.

I left the studio in a mood. It was raining which didn't make me much happier. Then my car wouldn't fucking start. Bloody unreliable shit. I knew that I should have stuck with the Volvo I had had in high school rather than using my millions to get a flashier thing.

So I started the long walk home in the tipping down rain. On my way home, though, I passed a lay-by. I don't know why I glanced over as I passed, but I did, and that was one of those actions that changed my life.

Right by the side of the road, on the grass, was a body. My brow furrowed and I went over. It wasn't until I was right beside her that I realised that the body wasn't just any body. It was Bella's.

"Bella?" I asked, kneeling down and putting an arm on her shoulder.

She turned her head slightly. There was a huge gash on her forehead and it was bleeding profusely.

"Shit," I muttered, looking around for something to stem the flow.

"Edward?" she said in a weak voice.

"I'm here," I told her in a hushed voice as I pulled my jacket off of my shoulders. "What happened to you?"

Her eyelids flickered slightly. "Jacob…"

I tore a strip off of the bottom of my shirt. "Jacob what? Bella, what happened?" I balled up the strip of fabric and pressed it to her head, doing my best to clean her wound. "Shit, we need to get you to a hospital. Bella, keep your eyes open. Stay with me, okay? Tell me what happened."

"Jake… found your text."

I felt my heart leap into my throat. This was my fault. I remembered what she had said in the hotel that night: He hasn't done anything… yet. He had hurt her.

"What did he do?" I fought to keep my voice level. I sat her up and held her in my arms as I pulled my cell out to call for an ambulance.

"He… thought that we were… you know… together or something." She winced as I dabbed around her gash. "I didn't know that he had seen the message. I didn't even know about it. Then… he said that he'd take me for a drive. And he stopped the car here and asked what you meant by the message. I was surprised by… by what you said," she whispered. She hesitated and then continued. "I had to admit about… the night of the Grammys. He went kind of… mad. He was ballistic. I tried to get out of the car but he pulled the door back again and I cut my head on the door… It was an accident. I don't think he meant to actually hurt me, just scare me. But then it bled. A lot. And he was the one that got scared. So he scarpered."

"And just left you here?" I spat angrily as I dialled.

She nodded weakly and then rested her head against my shoulder. "He broke my cell phone."

"It's okay. I've got you now." When the operator picked up, I asked for an ambulance and just held her in my arms as we waited. I made her stay awake as we sat there, in the lay-by.

"Edward?" she asked in a whisper after a long pause.

I had a bad feeling about what she was going to ask me. "Yes?" I said slowly.

"Did… did you mean what you said in that text?" she whispered, playing with her fingers.

I couldn't very well lie to her now. "Yes," I whispered back, "every word."

She was silent for a long, long time.

I began to panic. I had come on far too strong. She definitely didn't feel the same way. This was it. No more banter, no more texts, no more late night chats. Certainly no more sex, ever again.

But then she laughed. Fucking laughed.

"What?" I demanded.

She continued to laugh. Then she said, "Oh God. We're so messed up."

My brow furrowed in confusion. "We are?"

"Completely." She twisted slightly in my lap and giggle-snorted in my face. She flushed in embarrassment, but I thought that it was adorable.

"I think you hit your head a little too hard," I murmured.

"We're supposed to hate each other. Hell, we do hate each other! We're enemies. But… oh God, Edward, I think I'm in love with you too." She smiled, despite the blood that was drying on her head.

It took a moment for her words to sink in. "You what?"

She took my face in between her hands and whispered, "I love you."

I shook my head in disbelief. "I'm not going to believe that until you say it when you haven't got a concussion."

"I haven't got a concussion you moron. It's just a cut."

"You were curled up and shivering in the grass, Bella. You weren't making an effort to move. Why do you think that you can convince me that you're fine after that?"

She reached a finger under my jaw and said quietly, "I only lay there because I had nowhere else to go." She sighed. "You shouldn't have called an ambulance."

"My car's broken down so I can't get you to the hospital any other way." I paused and then added, "And you're always welcome at my place."

"I don't know where your place is," she reminded me.

"I'll have to rectify that, won't I?"

She smiled, just as the flashing blue lights came into sight. "Yes." And then she kissed me. It was a quick kiss, finished before the ambulance stopped alongside us, but it still made my pulse race and my heart sure that I had made the right choice in telling her that I loved her.

The medics gave her a once-over on board the ambulance. It turned out that the gash on her head was only shallow but, because it was a head wound, it looked worse than it was and she only had a minor concussion; nowhere near big enough to make her unaware of what she was saying. When the paramedic asked her how it happened, she had said that she had gotten into a fight with her ex boyfriend and had hit her head on the door and he had driven off. The medic looked unconvinced but Bella stuck to her story. I was too busy basking in the fact that she had called Jacob her ex boyfriend to pay much attention to anything more, though.

Once the paramedics had told Bella to come into the hospital if she felt dizzy or got a headache at all, and told me to wake her every hour through the night, they let us go. We walked along the road in silence. I knew that I was unconsciously heading to my apartment but I didn't know where she wanted to go.

After a moment she asked in a small voice, "Can I stay with you? Just for tonight, I mean. I… well, I don't want to intrude on Em and Rose and…"

"Bella," I cut her off, "you don't even have to ask. Besides, you heard the paramedic; how else am I supposed to wake you up every hour of the night?"

She looked up at me and smiled. "Thank you."

"You're welcome."

Bella linked her fingers through mine, and squeezed my hand.

I found myself missing our banter, so I said, "You better hope that the paps don't get wind of this; they'd have a field day."

She joined in teasingly. "Oh gosh, imagine what would happen if they found out that I was dating Edward Cullen! I can see the headlines now!"

I hesitated and then asked, "Are we dating?"

"Well, you're yet to take me anywhere on a date, so technically not. But we did just confess to loving each other at the side of a road so I sincerely hope that we're something." She giggle-snorted again. "Maybe you need to work on romancing me a bit."

"Okay," I said, "next time we can spill our deepest, darkest secrets in the drive-thru of McDonalds."

She tilted her head back and laughed loudly. "That sounds okay. As long as we're together."

"We will be." I nodded, and then added, "For as long as you'll have me."

She squeezed my hand again, and looked up at me. "Always."

I squeezed her hand back and we continued our walk in silence. Sure, there'd be paps out to get us in the morning, and probably for the rest of our lives, but for now it was just me, and her, and a long empty road. And then just me, and her, and a big empty apartment…

"Hey Swan," I whispered.

"Hmm?"

"I have some awful nice walls at my house." I winked at her.

She rolled her eyes. "One-track mind."

"I have a nice bed, too."

She thought for a moment and then said, "I'll bet you have a nice shower and all."

I laughed. "Yup."

"You know… if you keep this up, you'll be sleeping on the couch."

I didn't bother to point out that it was my apartment. "Will you be sleeping there with me?"

She smirked. "Damn straight."

I beamed; it seemed like falling in love with Bella Swan was a lot of fun.

But, hey, sometimes the best things in life are unplanned.

~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~X~

Whoa. I don't think I've EVER written such a long one-shot in my whole life…

I really hope that you liked it! It was a little more… raunchy than anything I've written before but hopefully it's not awful because of that. It's still pretty tame though I guess, compared to other things.

Voting opens on the 23rd August and I'll post links/information on my profile when I know more about it :)

Uh… I think that's all. You guys know that I'm a complete review whore already so I won't bother begging… much :L

Please review!

Thanks so much :)

-Steph