This is my first one-shot, so I hope I did ok! It's for Moonlight Studio's lyrical contest. Details at the bottom :)
Disclaimer: Stephanie Meyer owns all the characters, I don't own anything , sadly.
- For readers of my other stories: Updates will be soon, I had to finish this first because the deadline is soon. :)
Story name: Slipping Through My Fingers
Rating: T -a couple of swear words, but nothing too drastic
Song: I can't break it to my heart- Delta Goodrem
If it's okay I'll leave the bed light on
And place your water glass where it belongs
And if it's alright I'll lie awake at night
Pretending I am curled up at your side
See I'm circling in these patterns
Living out of memories
I'm still a long way from accepting it
That there's just no you and me
Word count: 5,582, excluding A/Ns and header
Slipping Through My Fingers
I straightened up and smiled as I recognized the cue that we were coming to a break, "This is Isabella Swan and Mike Newton presenting to you from CNN Sports, stay tuned for more after the break."
Mike and I stayed still and kept our smiles in place for a second longer, and then the camera man gave us the signal, and we relaxed, quickly getting out of our seats at the table in the whole set up.
"Bells, what's up? You seem really distracted today," Mike asked as we walked off the set and towards the offices where we worked when we weren't on camera.
I sighed and shook my head, "I'm fine, I'm just tired."
"On a Tuesday? But we're not even in the middle of the week yet!"
"I know, I know," I sighed, "I just... didn't sleep too well last night."
Mike studied me dubiously for a moment, and then shrugged.
It was true, I'd been more distracted than usual on the job today, but talking about Edward Cullen this, that, and then the obvious side rumours about Tanya Denali and a love... well, it got on my nerves, quite frankly- and didn't help the growing suspicious and jealousy that 'Tedward' just might be true. I still didn't get why we had to talk about possible love lives when this was CNN god damn sports.
I love my job. It's exciting and thrilling to present live on TV, even if being sent on location is ultimately better. I worked hard through college and training in California to get this job, and to be quite frank, I was pretty highly ranked amongst the workers around here for someone who hadn't been working here that long.
But today, I was itching to just leave.
It might have had something to do with the headlines that Mike and I were presenting today.
"Listen, Bella," Mike interrupted my thoughts with a tone that I knew all too well "What are you doing this Friday? We should-"
"Swan!" I had never been so relieved at the sound of my boss's voice, saving me from having to find an excuse again, but his booming tone didn't sound like a happy one. I turned around.
"Yes, sir?" I asked in my most suck up voice that I could muster up. He'd already yelled at me twice today for not being 'on my game' on set, and I was pretty sure that I was in for a third time now.
"We need to talk," he said sternly, "Come into my office, please."
For a moment I froze as a voice in my head screamed, you're getting fired! But then I pulled myself together and pushed that thought away before nodding and following Sam into his office, pretending not to have heard Mike's protests from behind. I absolutely could not be fired. Not after all the work I'd done and sacrifices I'd made into this job in the first place.
But thinking about those reasons... did not help calm me down.
Sam got right to the point once I was seated in one of the big leather chairs in his office.
"Right," he said, "There are two things. First of all, judging by the look on your face when I called you just now, you already know that you've been screwing up big time today."
"Before I go on about the second thing, I need to know that you will stop with all this distracted bullshit. You follow me?"
He wasn't going to fire me?
I nodded eagerly.
"Good," Sam said, satisfied, "Now, secondly. As you know, tonight is the opening football match of the tournament in New York, between the Chicago Blue Wolves and the New York Red Tigers."
"Mallory and Chen are in New York at the moment; they'll be interviewing a few of the players and reporting after the first match tonight. Of course, we need them back here by the end of the week, but next week we're sending two more people to follow up the reporting and interviews on the teams that are playing then..." my heart froze, and then began to race at what he was implying, "... and I want you to be one of them. You've spent just enough time at this company to know how things work, but you need some more outside, on hands work, and I think that this is the perfect opportunity. Are you following me, Swan?" Sam demanded.
"Uh, yes..." I muttered after a moment, but my mind was whirring with thoughts and internal conflict. I wanted for so long to do hands-on reporting for anything... and my boss gave me the one job that I wasn't sure was better or worse than anything... but I was leaning towards the latter.
"I'll probably send Newton with you as well, he's a hard worker too and I think you two make a good team," He mused.
I swallowed and nodded, suddenly struck with the awkward image of Mike, me and him all at the same table.
"You know, you could act a bit more enthusiastic," Sam murmured after a moment, stroking his stubble like an old man would his beard, "I did after all just give you what you've been nagging me for, for the past few months."
I quickly rearranged my smile, while pushing down the slightly nauseous feeling in my stomach, "I'm thrilled, sir, thank you so much for handing this to me, I look forward to doing this."
"Good," he said, and then dismissed me with a wave of his hand.
As I walked along the diversion home that I knew like the back of my hand, I looked up at the sky. The sun was just setting, leaving few traces of yellow and orange on the horizon, while a purple, pink and blue Twilight took over. Although both my apartment and work was in central Seattle, I did this detour every day because it brought back memories of very happy times.
I lowered my gaze from the sky onto the massive green field that ran on the right of the sidewalk for acres ahead. There was nobody on it today, and because it was summer and I knew that it would stay relatively light for a couple more hours, I stepped off the side walk and crossed onto the field. The second my heels made contact with the short, beautiful green grass, I stopped and removed them from my feet.
I sighed as my bare feet touched the cool grass, and I began to walk along the field. If I turned my head to the left, I could see, past the sidewalk I'd been walking on and the road, the small, humble cafe that once upon a time, I used to work at. There was a couple sitting at one of the tables set outside; both with what looked like smoothies, and an oversized cookie that the girl was nibbling on. They were chattering and laughing, and the teenage boy leant over and placed a kiss on the girl's cheek- they looked blissfully happy.
I stared at the boy a little longer. He had messy brown hair, dark eyes, and appeared to be quite tall. I turned my head back towards the quiet, peaceful field, and after a few moments of staring across, I closed my eyes, and suddenly the teenage boy with brown hair and dark eyes had turned into the most beautiful man you'd ever seen, with a strange, fascinating coppery coloured hair that was dishevelled as though he'd run his hands through it many times; and eyes the colour of the most gorgeous, striking emerald green. He had a tall, well muscled body, which was running at an incredibly fast speed across the field. He turned his head to look at me, and his lips broke out into a beautiful smile that I called my crooked smile because it lifted up slightly higher on one side of his face.
And then he was gone as my eyes flew open in hope, only to see the beautiful field ahead of me as it should have been, except now seeming a lot less beautiful, because there was no bronze coloured head running across the field.
"Come on Bella; pass the ball to me, not Emmett!" I gasped and spun around, but there was no one there.
I was definitely going crazy.
"I'm going to get you!" I turned around again, but I knew I was just remembering. His beautiful laugh was echoing in my ears.
In one weak moment, a single fat tear slid down my face and chin, but I quickly wiped it away. I sat down and made myself comfortable on the grass; there were other things that I had to think about, that I'd avoided thinking about since I'd spoken to my boss earlier in the day, like being informed than in about a week's time, I would be travelling to the other side of the country to interview and report on the playing football teams.
Anyone who'd being following the football teams and watching the news-hah- would know that one of the teams that were highly likely to go far- if not win- this tournament were the New York Red Tigers.
What they didn't know, however, was that the star of the team just happened to be the love of my life- that I'd let slip through my fingers.
Okay, okay, I get it. By now, you probably want me to get on with the history and the story, and move on.
The first time I saw Edward, I was almost done with college at the university in central Seattle, and I had a part time afternoon/evening job at the cafe across the road from this massive field. It started at four in the afternoon, and ended at eight. While I enjoyed my job and dealing with sweet treats and delicious smelling coffee, there were days of the week where sales got really sluggish because most people would be around in the morning, before work or classes.
I closed my eyes.
It was the beginning of summer, and the days were already starting to feel warmer. I had just started my shift, but apart from the two people in the cafe whom I had already served, I had no customers. I rested my elbow on the counter, and my chin on my hand, and I began daydreaming about everything and nothing.
Two figures across the road suddenly caught my eye. They had their backs faced to me and were about to walk down the steps which led to the field. One of them was absolutely huge, and very, very muscled. He appeared to have short, dark curly hair- but it was the other man which caught my eye- the one with the fascinating, copper coloured hair, and the lean but well muscled figure.
I suddenly found another customer standing at the till, asking for something, so for a little while, I was occupied.
But the next time I allowed my eyes to drift towards the large field, I found that the two men that I'd seen earlier were now sprinting around the field, passing what looked like a football, even from here. It was a quiet day, and as they began to tackle each other, both their laughs drifted into the shop. There was a very loud, booming one, and I imagined that belonging to the larger one. And then there was a sort of musical laugh, which was definitely very masculine, but had a sort of velvety feel to it. I was sure that it belonged to the bronze haired man.
For the next couple of hours, I watched them play football or tackle each other or just run around the field like little boys whenever I wasn't busy with a customer, and they continued to play until about an hour before my shift ended, when it appeared that they had finally decided to rest. I watched them walk back up the steps, and my heart rate sped up as they crossed the road and stopped right outside the cafe. They looked like they were having some sort of debate, and when I subtly- or so I hoped- strained my ears, I found that I could hear their muffled voices through the glass windows and doors of the cafe.
I remembered how Edward and Emmett- although I hadn't known their names then- had an argument just outside the cafe. Emmett desperately wanted to come inside and have something to eat, but Edward was reasoning that if they got to their family dinner late, their mom and sister would have it in for them.
No matter how much I still loved them as a second family, knowing Esme and Alice, Edward had been very wise.
Just as they turned to leave, and as if he'd read my thoughts, the bronze-haired man turned his head to look inside the cafe, and after a split second, his eyes met mine, and I literally had to stifle a gasp. I'd never seen such a striking emerald green colour before, and they were more amazing than any other colour I could have imagined his eyes being.
Yes, I'd occupied myself earlier by doing that.
Embarrassingly, I couldn't stop looking into his eyes, and he didn't stop either, until what felt like years- but was probably a few seconds- later, his mouth suddenly lifted into a gorgeous, cheeky, crooked smile, and he winked before turning his face away and carried on walking with Emmett. Naturally, I was blushing the entire time.
And just like that, I was hooked, and we were on a roll.
It became a routine.
Every day, at the same time as the first, Edward and Emmett would pass the cafe on their way to the field. Edward would turn his head and meet my gaze, smile that beautiful smile and wink. His friend, Emmett, would guffaw every time and say something teasingly to Edward at the same time that I would be trying to calm my blushes, and then they would carry on down to the field. I would watch them play in between serving customers- even though my boss, Felix, would yell at me constantly- and sometimes Edward would turn and grin in the direction of the cafe, although I was positive that he couldn't actually see me. I'm not saying that I know I whole lot of stuff about football, but the more I watched the two of them play, the more I had this feeling that they were very talented. As in very, very talented. And then, when they were finished playing, they would usually come into the cafe and have something to eat and drink- I had never been more thankful then for the working hours I had. Oddly and to my disappointment, Emmett was always the one that would come up to the cash till and order for them, while Edward waited at a table. Emmett had taken to calling me by my first name- after reading my name tag- and we shared an easy banter. I didn't know how someone who I barely knew could feel like an older brother, but he did. And every day when they were about to leave, Edward would look back and smile at me, and my day would be complete.
The first time that Edward and I had gotten somewhere close to communicating was after about two months of him and Emmett coming to play football every day at the field. They had come in after playing and had their drinks and something to eat, as usual. As they were leaving, I went to their table to pick up the tip as I usually did, except this time, next to the tip, there was a coffee sleeve. I picked it up, about to chuck it out, when writing in an elegant script caught my eye on it. Three simple words, but as I had read them, my heart had begun to race.
You are beautiful.
I looked up, and for a second, found his green eyes watching my reaction, before he quickly turned and hurried away.
I sighed as I sat up, my eyelashes wet again. I looked at my watch, and found that I'd been lying on the grass for almost an hour. Dammit. It was getting darker now, and I needed to get home. I pushed myself up and onto my feet, brushing the grass off my back and quickly headed home.
Edward and I would have had our happy endings if it weren't for the horrid timing of our careers dreams stepping in. Aro Smith was a good friend of Edward's dad, and Carlisle shared my beliefs that Edward was very talented. So it wasn't a huge surprise when Aro finally saw Edward play football and made him an offer that would kick start his career as a major football player.
It was that he would have move to New York.
All this happened around the same time that I got accepted for an internship at CNN- something that would have to be done in California. It was as though our lucky stars were suddenly turning against us.
And then, I found what I thought was the solution- but when I carried it out, it turned out to be the biggest mistake if my life. I finally told Edward that I'd gone straight to Aro the day before, and told him that Edward was coming to New York, that I'd gone Sam Uley, and declined the offer for the internship. I told him that I was going with him to New York. I expected Edward to be relieved, but instead he was furious. I began to realise what an idiot I was for making a decision for him that he hadn't been ready to make, and not discussing anything with him. But I had also felt like he was taking it a level too far, and some of the things he said to me stung badly.
Suddenly, I was walking out the door, and a week later I found out from Emmett that Edward had left the country to take up this job opportunity. No goodbyes or anything.
Once I had stepped into the cool confines of my apartment, I kicked off my heels again. I went into the bathroom and turned on the shower tap, and while waiting for the water to heat up, I switched on my TV, and turned it to the sports network- the kick off match was about to start. As it did, my eyes automatically started searching TV screen, examining each player, looking, and looking more, until finally, I found him.
The camera was zooming in on him as he got hold of the ball, and the commentators were referring to him as the star Quarterback.
I miss you, Edward.
I pushed that thought away, and tried to be stronger. I left the TV on as I went for my shower, and afterwards I curled up on the couch with microwave food for an hour or so, as the match went on and I watched the man I loved run around the field and get tackled. Out of nowhere, I remembered the days when Edward and I had done just this, except that he wasn't on the TV screen. He would hold me in his arms and stroke my damp hair lovingly, all the while yelling at the players on the screen, and then smiled at me fondly when I would begin to giggle. Afterwards, we would continue to watch trash TV for hours on, and when Edward got bored, he would start to tickle me shamelessly until I was gasping for mercy. I smiled at the memory, and curled up into a tighter ball, hugging my arms around my legs.
Thank God I didn't have a roommate, or she'd think I was nuts.
As the match came to an end, I flipped the record button so that the next evening I could watch the after- match party interviews. I would have liked to watch them right then, but then there wouldn't be anything to curl up in front of tomorrow.
And you'd be faced with just how lonely you are, a small voice in my head said.
I switched the TV off and quickly washed my dish in the sink. I opened one of the cabinets and removed two glasses, which I filled up with water. I headed into my bedroom, placed one water glass on my side of the bed, and the other on the other side, where it belonged. As I'd done many times before, I ignored the tiny voice in my head screaming, "Denial!"
After brushing my teeth, I finally climbed into bed under the cool sheets. I curled up onto one side, and closed my eyes tightly. I imagined Edward's warm, strong arms wrapping around me, and I curled up further, pretending that my pillow was his chest.
The New York Red Tigers had won the opening match today.
Which meant that next week, win or lose, I'd be interviewing some of the players.
I didn't know whether this was a good or bad thing, but I did know that it meant in a week's time, I would be in close proximity to a man that I missed very much, but doubted that he wanted to see me.
And that I could never break it to my heart that I'd actually lost him.
"Goodnight, Edward," I whispered, before letting myself drift off into a slumber filled with green eyed Gods.
In the past hour, I'd received nine missed calls from Emmett and my manager, Jasper; another three from my coach Aro, four texts from Tanya- which I hadn't opened- and another missed call from my mom probably because the other four had called her, wanting to know where the hell I was.
This was becoming a routine, but the numbers had thankfully dropped since the first time I'd done this. Mom had left a message, and I knew that she wasn't actually worried since she knew where I was, but had sounded slightly concerned at the level to which I was wounding up the people who loved me (her words, not mine).
So what had I done to cause such havoc amongst these people? Robbed a bank? Stripped naked and walked down Fifth Avenue? Declared my resignation as a major football player? Heck no.
I'd left an overly loud, crazy- fan-surrounded after party a tad bit early.
Such a crime, right?
Yes, it had been the second win for our team, but I wasn't in the mood for a stupid after-match party tonight, and Bella's shift on CNN started in half an hour anyway- I'd calculated the time differences ages ago.
Which is why I'd rushed home- though calling a hotel room home is pushing it a bit- to catch her beautiful face talk on TV.
For a few minutes, I lounged on the couch, wondering what to do until the CNN came on.
Suddenly, there were three loud bangs on the door and I jumped up. "Edward, open the door!" Jasper yelled, "You have a party to attend, and I'm not letting you slack it off, tonight! CNN wants an interview!" I froze. CNN? On Bella's shift? Surely that couldn't mean-
"Okay, okay!" I yelled back, and headed to the door to unlock for him, "I'm coming."
When I opened the door, Jasper grabbed my arm and started pulling me out of the room, "Thank God you're still dressed. CNN airs in half an hour and it's going to take twenty minutes to get there if we're lucky, and this is really good publicity Edward." He turned his head to eye me speculatively once we were in the elevator, "I'm surprised you didn't put up a bigger fight."
I sighed. "I'm not in the mood to pay for a broken door," I muttered and Jasper chuckled.
The second that Jazz and I stepped out of the limo, he and Aro were hauling me towards the huge CNN sign, were a fancy table and three chairs had been set up, and the camera crew in front of it.
I was pushed into one of the chairs, and just when I was wondering where the reporters were, I heard a familiar, soft female voice from the side, and I froze.
"Are we ready guys?"
Bella. Was. Standing. Right. There. But she hadn't seen me yet. Or maybe she had- because surely she'd been told who she'd be interviewing- and was just ignoring me, which actually seemed more likely in this moment. My mind began to spin at the sudden turn in events. I couldn't believe it!
"We're about to air, Newton's coming now." She turned around, and I tensed for the moment that her eyes would meet mine and everything would change, she never looked at me. She came and sat in the chair next to me as he man directed, but it was as though I wasn't there at all.
I suppose I deserved that, but I couldn't not say anything to her. Bella, who I had missed like crazy and I hadn't seen in ages and was in love with, was here in New York City tonight.
I turned slightly in my seat, my heart hammering as I spoke. "Hi Bella," I whispered. She was looking at a piece of paper, and was quiet. For a moment I thought she would continue to ignore me, but eventually she sighed and spoke.
"Good evening, Mr. Cullen." It wasn't a personal greeting, and I felt my heart fall yet again.
The idiotic Mike Newton joined us, with a much more enthusiastic greeting to Bella than to me- he knew part of our history together. And now, they were ready to air.
Well, there was nothing to lose. The cameras had started to roll, surrounding people had gone quiet, and this was it.
"So, Mr. Cullen," Bella began, and my felt my heart clench at her obvious attempt at distance, "What does it feel like to not only have won tonight's match, but to have also scored the winning goal?"
I was quiet for a beat too long, and then answered, "It feels amazing," I said simply, because I felt a bit short on words.
Newton asked the next question, "In the next match, you're up against are the Bulls from California. Considering their very strong defence players and Quarterbacks, are you worried about your team's performance next week?"
I fought the urge to snort. I wasn't being cocky, simply realistic. "No."
I didn't snort, but I heard the tiniest snort come from Bella, and I fought the urge to chuckle at her expression when she realized that I'd heard. She quickly went on with her questions.
"It's no secret that your rise to athletic fame has occurred considerably fast. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience?"
I sighed quietly, and repeated what I'd said so many times before, "This past year has been incredible and a bit overwhelming. The luck I've come across is astounding, but I'm more focusing on what I love most: Football." And then I added, "Of course, I miss Seattle a lot, and all the people there who I love." I added emphasis on the all, but she continued to divert her eyes from her paper to Mike to the camera.
The interview carried on, and I kept trying to catch her eye and get some sort of communication going, but she deliberately avoided my eyes. Well, I deserved it considering the way I'd treated her, and then upped and left.
"Last of all," Newton said when we were nearing the end of the interview, "The tabloids have been going crazy with the rumours that you and Tanya Denali are now an item. Do you have anything to say about that?" This question seemed to ignite brief stiffening in Bella at my side, but almost unnoticeable- this was my chance.
I took a deep breath, and then dove right into the deep end. "Just that they are entirely untrue, and I don't even know how they formed. There's only one person I'm interested in, and I've been in love with her for the past year and a half." I must have been feeling very bold, because as I said this, I reached under the table and took Bella's small, warm hand in mine, and I heard a small gasp come from her, but she didn't let go.
"Oh?" You could hear Mike's surprise, and obvious irritation- I wondered if he could see under the table from where he was, "Do you have anything to say about that?"
I swallowed, and hoped that I wasn't going too far, "Just that this girl is my entire life, and I don't deserve her, but I hope that one day she can forgive me for all my fuck-ups." I knew that I wasn't supposed to swear on TV, and that Jazz would give me shit for it, but I couldn't have cared less- all I cared about was watching Bella's reaction to my words.
For the first time in almost a year, she lifted her beautiful brown eyes up to meet mine- but they were glazed with tears. Crap. I could see her resolve to be professional slipping.
"Are you sure she's the right one? You could probably have any woman on Earth, you know."
"She's the only one I want," I murmured, and it was becoming harder and harder to remember that we were on National TV.
"Edward," She whimpered softly, and I couldn't hold back any longer. I took her into my arms at the same moment that she sprung forward, and suddenly her arms were wrapped tightly around my frame and I was burying my face into her soft brown hair, inhaling her scent and just holding her, because I'd missed her so god damned much. I ignored Mike's confused murmurs in the background, and I ignored the fact that there were probably millions of people across the country watching us right now.
"I'm so sorry," I whispered in her ear, "For everything. And I've missed you so much!"
"Me too," She mumbled against my chest, and I felt my shirt get a bit wet. She was crying.
"Hey," I soothed, "Shh. I know this is freaking crazy and fast, and this probably isn't the best place considering everyone watching us because they don't know how to mind their own business, but..." There was a muffled giggle, and I smiled. Suddenly she lifted her face from my chest, stood on her toes and pressed her lips to mine.
The kiss probably lasted about three seconds in total, but it was the longest and best three seconds of my life. Everything just stopped, and it was just her lips against mine, and electricity shooting through my veins, like all the other times, except this time, it was so much better. I was still confused as to what would happen for here- and god knows she was as well- but the kiss held reassurance that we would stay together. All I knew was that this time, I wasn't letting her go.
When she pulled away, she smiled, "Let everyone know, right?"
I grinned, over the moon, "Absolutely." I was vaguely aware of the awkward silence that had formed, and that Mike was trying to wrap the 'interview'- which now felt like a thousand miles away- up.
"Those people better not start clapping like in those cheesy films you just love," I muttered teasingly, and she laughed, touching her nose to mine.
No one clapped, but some random guy yelled, "Get a room!" and to my utter surprise, I heard Jasper burst out laughing.
"Edward," Bella turned serious as people started to go back to their own things, probably about to start a dozen rumours about us, "I know there's some stuff we have to work through, but I can't be away from you anymore. I-"
I pressed a finger to her lips, "I know, trust me, I understand. I'm going to try and come back to Seattle when this tournament is done with. My work won't be as frequent then because the season is almost over. We'll work something out, sweetheart." I paused, and then whispered, "I love you."
Bella smiled, "I love you too." She laughed slightly as I wiped a tear from her cheek with my thumb, "This is just... I mean- look at us!" I saw what she meant and laughed as well.
"I must apologize for something else though," I frowned slightly, "It probably wasn't the best idea to reunite in front of all these people. Now the paps are going to bother you as well!"
Bella laughed and shook her head, "It doesn't matter. None of it does, except for you," She said, and pressed her lips back to mine for a deeper, more passionate kiss. I would never get tired of kissing this girl.
But she definitely had a point. I knew that I was in for a lot of shit and teasing from just about everyone I knew, but the only thing that mattered just then was Bella.
Oh, and persuading her to extend her visit.
This time, there was no way in hell that she would slip through my fingers.
A/N: Hii :) So, there you have it. Like I said before, it's my first one-shot, and I'm not really used to stuffing a whole story in one chappie, but it was truly a lot of fun to write. I did it as an entry for Moonlight Studio's lyrical contest.
If you want to enter, the deadline is the 21st, which is pretty short, but I'm just saying ;) The voting starts on the 22nd and ends on the 3rd of September. Now I know for a fact that there are a lot of wonderful entries for the contest, but it would truly make me happy if I knew that just one person had voted for me :)
It doesn't take long to review, and a few words of advice or opinion goes a long way!
Thank you for reading