Twilight character names belong to Stephanie Meyer. All characterizations, plot lines, backgrounds and details belong to the respective author. No copying or reproduction of this work is permitted without express written authorization. ©2010 FoxxyJ. All rights reserved worldwide.
To the best betas ever - mcc101180 & Scorp_112 – thank you so much.
Thanks to xrxdanixrx for validating me on Twilighted.
Please take a moment to watch the flying trapeze finale trick. Type in "La Nouba, Flying Trapeze, Cirque du Soleil" to YouTube. The video is 8:45 long, but you only need to watch twenty seconds of it at 1:46 to see part of the trick. Then, imagine it in tandem with a catcher.
Thank you to all my friends, readers, and reviewers. I hope you enjoy a glimpse into the lives of Magic, Winny, Bella and the gang six months down the track.
Step Right Up
Epilogue – Six Months Later
"Edward Cullen," Bella admonished. "I can't believe you've had sex here."
It was one minute past midnight – their usual rendezvous meeting time – and Bella stood, wearing a short t-shirt dress, in the dark shadow of the giant inflatable jumping castle, located at the end of the sideshow.
Edward shrugged his shoulders and gave her his best smile. "You should be thankful, beautiful. You know my creativity in finding these places is the reason that you are the only woman to ever have been in our bed. Besides, you're gonna love it."
Bella shook her head at him. She was immensely pleased by the fact that she was the only woman to ever have been in Edward's bed. Each week for the past six months, Edward and Bella would reclaim one of Edward's previous rendezvous spots as theirs. Bella had been shocked at several of them. She didn't particularly care for doing it under the bleachers in the main ring, but the public shower block was a particular favorite of hers. The couple had been back for a few repeat performances in different shower blocks across the country, although they needed to be lucky to be undisturbed. Bella had almost died of embarrassment on one occasion when her mother started singing from the next shower stall.
Bella was surprised at the buzz she got from the thrill of possibly being caught in public. She'd giggled the entire time Edward had taken her in one of the giant teacups in the sideshow, and she'd sneezed when he'd had her from behind in the horse stalls. The only place she'd felt guilty about was when he spread her out across one of the long white tables in the canteen. The next day, Bella blushed scarlet the entire time they ate dinner. As much as Edward enjoyed watching her embarrassment, by the end of the meal, he was convinced both Emmett and Jacob had worked out what had Bella glowing red. He didn't want to mention that fact to her, in case it put an end to their activities.
To say Edward had had fun over the past six months was an understatement. Bella had turned into a sex kitten, and Edward had encouraged her every step of the way. He hadn't really been intimate with women in half the places he'd told her he had, but since she was keen to outdo all of her predecessors, Edward would keep coming up with locations until she said no.
His need for her hadn't diminished one bit, and his desire to have her in as many places and positions as humanly possible was going strong. He had a sneaking suspicion that Bella was actually onto him making up locations, but she enjoyed the fun of their weekly rendezvous as much as he did. For her, it had started out as a way to erase his memories of other girls, but now it was about her and her beautiful boyfriend having fun sex together. He'd particularly enjoyed it when Bella had suggested a location of her own. The cramped slow grind of taking her on the cool grass underneath one of the big rigs was on his top ten list of favorites.
Bella was now the only calming touch he needed in his life. Her fingers on his skin made him feel like everything was right in the world. Without her touch he was lost, so he made sure that they crossed paths during the day as often as possible. He also hadn't thought it was possible to love her any more than he had when they'd finally slept together, but Edward was more in awe and had more respect for the brilliantly talented women before him now than ever before.
Bella's role in the circus had expanded greatly since she'd joined the performers' ranks. Aro knew a star when he saw one, and Bella was now a star attraction. Her entire routine was centered around her accident-prone stumblings, and the audience adored her. She still genuinely blushed during many of her performances, and that only made the crowd love her even more.
"So… we gonna do this then?" Edward said, trying to gauge her reaction in the dark.
"I don't know," Bella replied nonchalantly, looking left and right to see if anyone else was still about at this hour. "You might have to convince me," she teased.
Rising to the challenge, Edward leaned in close to her but made sure their bodies didn't connect. With his nose only an inch from her neck, he breathed in deeply and groaned. He watched Bella's chest rise and fall quicker than it had moments ago. He was getting under her skin, and he hadn't even touched her yet.
Bella's love of Edward's dirty mouth had grown into an addiction. She loved the way his words made her body respond. Their weekly rendezvous were almost like a role-playing game some nights. Sometimes, Edward would tell her exactly what he had planned for her the day before, so that she had time to think about the pleasure that was to come. While on others, he'd text her with hints or clues during the day, and then there were the times when he'd wait until they met up before whispering his dirty ideas against the flesh of her neck.
"In a moment, you're going to wrap your arms and legs around me, and I'm going to carry you onto our humping castle." He paused for effect. "Our bodies will grind together in all the right places as I get us to the far corner." At this point, his index finger traced along her thigh, just under her hemline. Edward watched as Bella's nipples began to show through the soft fabric.
"Next, my mouth is going to reacquaint itself with the delights between your thighs."
"But, it's my turn," she said in a breathy whisper. Part of the fun of their weekly meetings was taking it in turns to pleasure the other orally first. One week, Edward would be on his knees worshipping Bella; the next, it would be her turn to return the favor.
"I know, but I need to taste you tonight. You smell so good." He leaned in and breathed deeply again. "So good."
"But…" she swallowed, clearly turned on "…I want to taste you, too."
"How about a compromise?" His index finger dragged up her body, following her luscious curves. "Since we've got a soft bouncy bed for a change, I think we can both do a little licking, sucking and nibbling, sixty-nine style."
Bella bit her lip. "Hmmm…"
"When I've had my fill of you, and you've come on my face at least once, I'm going to roll you onto your stomach. I'll position your body over one of the round humps in the curved flooring. This will push your delicious ass into the air, beckoning to me - almost begging for me to have you. I'll just have to push this little dress up an inch or so." Edward walked around behind Bella, still maintaining a slight gap between their bodies. His finger and voice the only things connecting the pair. His finger trailed across her shoulder and found the exposed skin of her wide neckline.
"I'll place your hands above your head and hold you still. You'll spread your legs, wanting me. Then, my body will mold along the length of yours as I slid my cock into your soft, hot pussy. I'll fill you - completely. Deep. Hard. The feeling of me inside you will send a shiver through your system. My long fingers will entwine with yours so I can hold you steady, before I pound into you from behind. Our bodies will stay connected, only my hips thrusting, Bella."
Bella's breath hitched as she visualized Edward's words. He ran both index fingers down her bare arms, causing her flesh to erupt in goose bumps.
"You can't even begin to imagine the rhythm this thing will give us once I get going, baby."
"Oh, god," she moaned.
"So, will you care to join me, Ms. Swan?" he crooned. Bella could hear the smile that she knew was spread across his glorious face. She could feel the heat radiating off her own blushing cheeks.
Edward laughed as he scooped her up into his arms and headed for the entrance. For the next forty-five minutes, the castle rocked like it was possessed by the devil himself, while Edward gave her everything he'd promised and then some. The calm night air was broken only by soft moans and one final joint grunt of satisfaction.
A moment later, Edward stepped onto solid ground and waited. A thoroughly spent Bella climbed onto his back, and he walked them back to the RV, humming softly in the darkness.
In the months since Seattle, there had been several new additions to The Volturi Bros in both performers and crew.
The biggest surprise of all was Renee taking to the stage. Renee had no desire to stand under the big top and entertain an audience, but she fell into the role after adopting four tiny white pooches.
Nobody was more shocked than Bella was the day she walked into her mother's tent to find four little silk-lined baskets, lined up where her torturous camp bed used to be. Tanya's abrupt departure left the talented Pomeranians homeless. Too many people had been on the receiving end of their inflated doggie egos, so much so that Aro was preparing to get rid of them. He was reluctant to give the dogs away as it meant printing new posters without them, and if he could save money somehow, then he did. When Renee took pity on the mutts and let them into her space, Aro sat back and patiently waited.
Seth had joked with Bella that it didn't surprise him one little bit that those four-legged bitches were drawn to her mother. In his opinion, birds of a feather flocked together.
After two weeks of caring for them, Renee found the little creatures adorable and began spending more and more time with them. Several people complained that having costume fittings was now a hazardous affair, since the bored mutts would stalk unsuspecting ankles from the time anyone entered until they left. Aro was able to convince Renee quite easily that it was cruel of her to deprive her new little friends the opportunity to perform their tricks each night. She saw the logic in it immediately and agreed to take over the act.
As Renee had been a young mother, her youthful looks served her well under the spotlight. Gone were the miniature pink tutus, replaced instead by elegant little jackets. In fact, theirs was the only act to have an endless selection of costume options since Renee had taken a liking to sewing the doggie-sized garments. Each night, Renee would don a long simple gown and lead her four legged adoptees with military precision through their routine. Knowing her mother wasn't alone in her tent any longer made Bella happy.
Bella stood on the tiny raised fitting dais in her underwear, nervously biting her lip. Renee stood nearby, eyeing the sketch Bella had given her.
"Well, what do you think?" Bella asked. No matter how much her relationship with Renee had improved since she finally stood up to her, Bella still had her moments of being scared shitless. Renee might be a marshmallow when it came to the pups, but she was still a hard-ass to everyone else.
"Shh… let me think."
A chorus of snarling alerted Bella to Edward's presence. Tanya's bitches had never liked Edward, and now that they belonged to Renee, they liked him even less. Renee had somehow managed to transfer all of her suspicions to her foot soldiers. Whenever they caught sight of the trapeze star, their teeth came out and they would patrol his feet like circling sharks.
His arms slipped around Bella's bare waist as he placed a quick kiss on her shoulder.
"Baby. Renee," he greeted.
"Edward," Renee answered, only because her daughter was there. She smiled to herself as she watched her minions keeping him on his toes. From the start, her goal had been to watch him, in case he stepped out of line, and it delighted her to no end that she now had helpers in that task.
Edward sat up on the high cutting table, out of nipping range.
"You really want to wear this?"
"I wouldn't have given it to you if I didn't," Bella said.
To say Bella had come out of her shell was an understatement. She was a completely new woman on the outside. With Alice and Rosalie's help, she'd embraced her feminine side and now felt confident wearing her tiny flesh revealing costumes. Edward's appreciation of said revealing costumes went a long way in helping her to love them too. Edward had a keen interest in costume design these days, as he particularly enjoyed peeling them off his sexy girlfriend. As Bella discovered, he was brimming with hot ideas that accentuated his favorite body parts perfectly.
On the inside, however, Bella was just the same shy, uncertain girl she always had been. On a whole, she found talking to people much easier, but it was still something she worked on daily. Without a doubt, the way Magic looked at her had her sometimes believing she was as beautiful as he insisted she was. Her battle was a constant struggle with her inner voice of self-doubt. Each time she would feel self conscious and want to look at the ground before slinking into the shadows, she would chant to herself "you can do it," then hold her head up high and face her challenge. With Edward by her side, she had decided she could tackle the world, despite the fact it also scared the shit out of her most days. She did feel secure and loved these days - more loved than she had ever been. The circus really was her home, and the Cullens and LaPush crew her long lost family finally found.
Renee laughed. "I remember not so long ago a certain hooded hermit," she said, looking at her daughter.
"I still love a good hoodie, Mom," Bella replied. Her favorite item of clothing was one oversized red and silver version with Cullen across the shoulders. That piece was now considered more hers than his as Edward hardly ever felt the cold.
"I just have an appreciation for other styles now, too," she continued.
"It wouldn't have anything to do with Bozo over there, would it?"
Bella giggled. Edward scowled.
"Now, Renee, I hope you don't think I'm responsible. I happen to love Bella in anything she wears, even her beloved hoodie," Edward commented. He thought of exactly how much he loved seeing her branded in his gear, particularly when he knew she had no top or bra on underneath it. Adjusting himself discreetly on the bench, he flicked loose sequins at the still circling sharks.
"Don't annoy my honeys, Edward."
"Honeys?" He laughed. "More like bee stings," he muttered.
"Okay," Renee announced. "I'll have it ready in a week, but you're doing the beadwork, young lady."
Renee snapped shut her sketch pad and dismissed her daughter.
"Honeys," called Renee, before clapping her hands twice. In a second, the four little dogs were at her feet, in a line, waiting. Renee turned and strode from the tent with her foot soldiers keeping pace neatly behind her.
As Bella began to dress, Edward stalked toward her.
"What's the rush?" he asked as she zipped up her jeans.
"Back off, you."
"B, you might as well give in now. You know I always win. One day, I'll have you in here, and you'll be screaming my name." He snagged the edge of her t-shirt, preventing her from putting it on while his eyes roamed over her.
Slapping his wrist, Bella continued to dress. "Never – gonna – happen."
"We'll see." He wagged his eyebrows at her.
The only part about Magic that had died was his wandering eyes and hands. Now that he had a girlfriend to share his sexual deviances with, he was back in full swing. Magic was as bold and cheeky as ever and never far from the surface – just the way Bella liked it.
Seth was as pleased as punch with the staffing changes. He had finally been set free of dish duty. After Jake took over the tiger spectacular, he didn't have enough time to continue his old job. Aro wanted Jake to devote as much time as possible into rehabilitating the tigers after their treatment from James, so he promoted Seth to head animal man. Seth's full-time position was now caring for, grooming, feeding and training all the four legged circus friends. He had been ready to take on more responsibility as he'd shadowed Jake during his rounds most days. The change allowed Jacob to give the tigers the love they deserved and made Seth stick his chest out with pride, because he was no longer his sister's dish pig.
The positions of kitchen hand and handler's assistant were easily filled with one call to the Rez. Sam and Emily packed up their lives in LaPush and soon were the two newest members of the crew. Leah was glad to finally have someone helping her out who didn't suffer from domestic blindness. Seth and Sam had always gotten along well back home and soon fell into step with each other in a new routine.
Bella quietly slipped into Jake's tent. She was wearing her brightly colored Thai silk dressing gown over her costume. Renee had just gone on so it gave her enough time to wish her best friend luck before she was needed. Jake was launching his new act, and tension was high.
Nobody was ever able to sneak up on Jacob these days. His girls had his back, and when Bella appeared at the door of his quarters, Lucy let out her usual hiss. The old girl had settled greatly under his care. She wasn't so cranky with the world in general, but the lingering effects of James' cruelty could still be seen in her some days. Turning around slowly, Jake smiled. He stood in the middle of his practice area, holding a heavy gauge silver chain. Attached to the end of that chain sat Chrissy Jane, the youngest, most docile cat in his pride wearing a thick black collar and harness around her chest and shoulders.
Bella approached slowly and knelt down. "Hey, CJ. You ready to meet and greet?" she asked, gently rubbing the sleek fur behind the cat's ears.
Jake was moments away from starting this first live audience tiger trail. Modifications had been made to the seating stands, and a special path, decorated with glittering big cat prints, wound its way through the unsuspecting public. Jake and CJ would walk this path together. No bars, no cages, no whips or electric prods – just Jake and his special girl, and a whole lot of faith in her. Jake had been walking CJ for months around the circus after hours. She was the right temperament and still addicted to tummy tickles.
The audience would get an up-close-and-personal look at a fully-grown Bengal tiger. They would be so close that they could reach out and pat her as she passed. Jake's plan was to open his performance with the walk, since after the girls had started their routine, the crowd's applause and general excitement would have the cats too riled up to let CJ into the audience. He could only do this while she was calm.
"Costume looks good," Bella commented.
"Thanks. It feels a bit snug." Jake was dressed from head to toe in black leather; a pair of long fitting pants and matching vest. Across his shoulders, Bella had painstakingly sequined a leaping tiger. Up close, it was a bit much, but from a distance it looked good. The leather gave Jake an extra skin in case his girls got too rough with him by mistake. Those claws could slice you open in an instant.
"That color looks good on you. I'm glad you ditched the orange."
"As if I wouldn't look good in my namesake," he joked. "Hey, we should do name themed costumes from now on. You'd make an adorable swan princess."
Standing up, Bella stuck her tongue out at him. Looking back at the tiger, she said, "You make my boy proud, CJ."
Bella hugged Jake around the neck. "I'll buy you a drink later to celebrate. I gotta go. I'll see you out there," she said.
After another quick hug, Bella left her friend to prepare himself mentally.
Since the tiger enclosure was connected to the big top, Bella didn't have far to go. She threw her dressing gown off when she rounded the corner and was greeted with a loud bellow from her favorite friend.
The least surprising new addition to the show, well, to those that knew him at least, was Winston. It hadn't taken Bella long to convince Aro to let him perform. Bella knew his talents were going to waste giving kids ten-minute joy rides in the sideshow, so after a quick chat to the ringmaster, Aro let her plan a routine.
At this time of night, backstage was like Grand Central Station. Renee's act was drawing to a close, and the four gleaming black Liberty horses were waiting by the entrance, stamping their front hooves. These horses were bred to perform and were always keen to get inside the ring. Waiting quietly behind them was Winston. Bella had handcrafted a fantastic new halter for him. Made from red leather, it had tiny glittery purple, green, red and gold pompoms attached along it. The small orbs shimmered when Winny moved. He also wore a similar harness that went around his chest and first hump. This was to give Bella something to hold onto during the performance. Bella couldn't be certain, but she was pretty sure Winny was glad to see the end of his saddle. Maybe it was just the fact that he enjoyed performing under the big top more than giving kids rides.
Bella stood next to him, and he lowered his head for a quick scratch. Her new costume was gorgeous. In keeping with the Arabian ship of the desert theme, Bella was dressed as a cross between a genie and a belly dancer. Her costume perfectly complemented Winny's. She wore a tiny gold shimmering top that was honestly little more than a tube top. Connected to this were puffy sleeves that covered her biceps only. This left her neck, shoulders and entire midriff completely bare. Attached to the bottom edge of the boob tube and sleeves were the same glittering colored pompoms as on Winny's halter. The skirt, which hung low on her hips, consisted of long red, green, purple and gold three-inch sashes. These were all attached to a jingling waistband of silver bells. Each sash flowed freely, exposing Bella's legs when she walked. She was also barefooted. Bella loved this costume. She felt extremely feminine in it as each strip of fabric waved out behind her like tiny colored flags when she moved at speed.
Renee and her honeys buzzed past Bella and Winston, and one by one the Liberty horses and their riders entered the ring. Bella and Winny waited quietly for their cue. Initially, the Liberty act was not impressed with Bella's ideas to join them, but even they had to admit it was funny. The ladies liked to feel that their performance was more sophisticated than other acts, and the presence of a 2000-pound camel detracted from their image. Aro, however, had loved it, and so Winston and Bella joined their number.
Halfway through the Liberty routine, Winston lumbered into the main ring. He joined the gleaming stallions and mares cantering in a circle. Ben halted the performance and gave Winny a good rousing, trying to chase him out. Before he could finish, Bella ran into the tent and frantically searched for her missing ride. Bella pretended not to see his giant form amongst the horses, until all the kids in the crowd yelled his whereabouts to her. Acting completely surprised, Bella walked over. The pair had a gestured conversation – Winny insisting they stay with the horses, and Bella insisting they leave. Ben soon joined the pair. With both Bella and Ben now insisting the camel leave, Winston took control. He slowly sat down in the middle of the ring, creating an effective roadblock. Bella pushed, pulled, heaved and shoved in very over-exaggerated motions, while the great camel ignored her. The crowd found his sudden selective deafness amusing.
Exhausted, Bella climbed between Winny's humps to rest, wiping her brow and lay her head on his first hump for a quick nap. When it was obvious the camel was not willing to move, Ben proceeded on with the horse routine, but before the steeds could complete one lap of the ring, Winston was on his feet and following their moves.
From high up on Winston, Bella mimicked the stunts that the girls were performing from the back of their horses. Seeing Winny lifting his feet high and trying to prance around the ring with the grace and speed of a Friesian horse had the audience in tears. Ben interrupted their performance for a second time, requesting Bella and the camel leave. Bella rebutted his request, stating that anything they could do, she and Winny could do better and so, the challenge was set.
Ben would issue a command, the horses would obey, and Winny would copy the stunt as best he could. For five minutes, the great beast mimicked their moves with Bella on his back. She did the best she could considering the other girls had sleek smooth backs to balance on, and she had thick fur and two humps to contend with.
Finally though, Winston had to admit defeat. Ben stopped all the horses in a line and each animal reared up on its hind legs while the girls clung on. Winny was stumped. It was a move physically impossible for him to achieve. With his head hung low and his tail between his legs, Winston slowly exited the ring. The crowd all felt sorry for him and "awed" in sympathy as he walked out.
Outside, Seth met the pair and quickly changed Winston into his next costume. This one completely covered both his humps in yellow and black striped fabric. Bella raced back to the dressing room to change into her black corset gear, ready for her magic act.
Six little Gummi bears were standing up against the mirror on her dressing table. She smiled to herself as she popped the green one in her mouth. Edward had been here and was thinking of her. She wondered if he had found her individually wrapped triple chocolate brownie in his costume. His addiction to her cooking had forced her to ration his supply each time she baked. If she didn't, it always ended in tears because his brothers usually weren't fast enough to get any.
Bella's eyes met Carlisle's adoring gaze in her mirror. His eyes flicked down to the last two sugar bears.
"I don't need to tell you just how much he loves you, do I?" he said, smiling at her.
Bella's blush dusted her cheeks in a faint tint of pink. "No, you don't. I know." She smiled back. "And, I adore him too."
Snatching the remaining bears, Bella headed for the main tent. "I'll see you both there."
In the time it had taken her to get changed and return, five sleek cats had entered the cage in the secondary ring. Jake and CJ were halfway through their tiger trail, and the audience was spellbound. The only time in The Volturi Bros. history you could almost hear a pin drop was because the crowd was stunned silent by the very close presence of the beautiful cat. Spectators sitting in the seats along the trail couldn't believe their good fortune when the magnificent creature stalked past, occasionally brushing people's legs with her swooshing tail. Jake was one proud dad when they completed the circuit incident free and joined his other waiting girls in the giant caged arena.
The existing cast and crew were the only ones that noticed the most significant change to the tiger spectacular - Jake's performance was whip free. Once locked inside the arena with all his girls, Jake led them through his new routine without raising a whip to them once. Inside the cage was an emergency whip hanging near the door, but so far he hadn't needed it. When it came time for Lucy to ride the pony, Jake waited near the door for Seth to lead the stocky little horse in. When he turned around to take the reins, he was confronted with Winston's great head trying to squeeze into the man sized opening. Posing as a tiger now, Winston tried to get in with the cats. The audience loved his comic relief in the middle of the dramatic tiger show.
As his humps wouldn't budge past the doorway, Jake just stood shaking his head when the camel lowered his head in defeat. Bella walked on and hugged his neck, before walking slowly off stage alongside him, patting his shoulder in consolation.
Jake's finale showed exactly how much faith he had in the cats. He performed a series of stunts up close and personal with his girls, which was the reason for his new leathers. Jake instructed all the cats to lie down on their right sides in a close line. He then stretched out across them, making a tiger mattress. In the wild, tigers spend much of their lives as solitary creatures, so to have six of them expose their undersides and lie in close proximity, showed the trust they all had in their new handler. In the minutes that followed, Jake's arms, legs and even his head found its way inside several opens mouths. Jake got onto his hands and knees and braced himself, while CJ took a seat on his back. As the smallest cat, hers was the weight he could hold for a few seconds while she sat on her hind legs and waved goodbye. The crowd erupted and gave Jacob a standing ovation. He stood near the tunnel leading out of the arena, and as each tiger went to exit, he spent a moment praising them.
Lucy was still the least enthused about human contact but let him pat her rib cage without hissing. Three of the cats, including CJ, become so at ease with Jacob that they would stand on their back legs while resting their front paws on his shoulders and rub their faces against Jake's head and chest. He would scratch between their ears vigorously. The emotion displayed by the tiger handler at the gesture showed how much love and respect they had for each other.
Leah pounced on her mate when Jake cleared the back staging area. She had tears in her eyes from how happy and proud she was of her man. Leah had lived the ups and downs of Jake's new show since he'd taken over. She knew the effort he'd put into these performances, and to see the audience on their feet applauding him, cracked even Leah's tough exterior.
Bella had just finished hugging Jake when Aro interrupted. Slapping Jake on the back, he said, "You've done the circus proud, Black. Anything you need to continue to deliver that, consider it yours."
Aro offering to spend money was the highest praise of all. The ringleader shook Jake's hand before leaving to introduce the clowns.
Bella placed Winston's camel sized top hat on his head and straightened the bow tie hanging around his neck. She stood with Esme and Carlisle waiting for their curtain call. These days, her debilitating nerves had turned into an adrenaline hit. She understood the buzz Edward used to talk of after a performance, and she actually missed the feeling on their days off.
The only change to the magician's act was the addition of Winston. After Bella "accidentally" let the doves escape, and Carlisle failed to make the birds magically appear, she asked the magician if she could give it a try. Carlisle nodded and explained that she'd need an assistant.
Letting loose the loudest wolf whistle possible, Winny answered Bella's call. The moment the audience saw him in his suave new costume, he got a welcoming round of applause.
Carlisle repeatedly demonstrated the trick by pulling various items from his top hat. After watching carefully, Bella stopped him, grabbed the large hat off Winny's head and produced a lovely bunch of daisies from inside it. The audience all laughed when Carlisle scolded her, because she never proved the hat was empty to begin with. Before she had time to try again, Winston made the floral arrangement disappear – in two quick mouthfuls.
Bella, Carlisle and Esme continued their routine for a while with Winston shadowing their every move. Each time the pink daisies sprouted from Carlisle's jacket, Winston's rubbery lips went close to getting hold of them before Bella could shoo him away.
The large metal frame used to make Bella vanish had been replaced with an even bigger version. Carlisle and Esme showed the open box to the audience, but before Bella would oblige and get in it, she insisted on trying her hand at the trick first. Pushing Carlisle aside, she produced a magic wand and ushered Winston up the two small stairs into the rectangular frame. He sat down on his knees, and Bella and Esme raised the curtain. Bella ran around, madly waving the magic wand at the box. A moment later when the fabric screens were lowered, the box was empty – except for the enormous camel shaped blob hiding under a black sheet. The audience roared with laughter as Winston sat dead still, hiding. The women raised the curtain again and after more exuberant wand waving, the camel "reappeared" sitting for all to see.
At this point, feeling like he was finally a success, Winston took a bow and left the stage. Carlisle and Bella continued with their illusion, wowing the crowd with an actual disappearance.
In the change over, Bella traded her knee high boots for a pair of ballet slippers that laced around her ankles. Climbing the tiny metal ladder into the rafters for a second time, she waited in the darkness for her final cue. Bella had been more than happy with her additional parts in the show, but Edward had insisted she make an appearance with the trapeze troupe as well. Always wanting to give the paying public more for their money, Aro quickly endorsed Edward's proposal.
Bella's role in the trapeze was small. She only joined the flyers toward the end of their performance to even up the numbers. For the new finale, the flyers were performing a stunt in duplicate. Instead of just one catcher's bar and flying trapeze, they now had two sets. This allowed both Jasper and Emmett to sit side by side and catch a flyer each. By adding a second flying trapeze bar, this meant that four flyers could be airborne at once. The teams consisted of Em, Edward and Bella on one rig, with Jasper, Rose and Alice on the double rig, mirroring their moves.
Double trapeze acts came in and out of fashion, and Edward had been watching old Russian footage to come up with new ideas. The trick they performed was actually quite simple, but done in tandem it never failed to thrill a crowd. Jasper and Emmett waited, swinging upside down from the catcher's bar.
Two flyers would swing out from different elevations with their backs toward their designated catcher – the lower flyer upside down and one above right way up. They'd release their holds on their bars simultaneously, and the first flyer would flip right side up into the hands of the catcher while the second flyer would drop down through the legs of the first flyer, deftly avoiding hitting them, and grab hold of the now-vacant bar, swinging back toward the board.
In their performance, Alice and Bella were the first flyers, swinging out and turning upside down. Edward and Rose waited above and timed their swing to match in with the girls below them. At the critical point, Emmett would take hold of Bella and Jasper would grab Alice, while Edward and Rose freefall to the swinging fly bars below.
For the return, Bella and Alice would swing backwards and perform a half spin mid-air before being caught in the hands of Edward and Rose, now hanging upside down in the usual catchers' position from the fly bar.
Bella felt confident as she flew from Em into Edward's capable hands. The pair swung upside down together once, gaining speed, before Edward sat up. Using the momentum and his body, Bella timed it so that as Edward became upright, she managed to slide back through his arms and ended up sitting on his lap, instead of being pulled up behind him. Rosalie and Alice mirrored the same return to their left.
Edward secured one arm around Bella's waist, pinning her to him before his lips lightly touched the skin on her shoulder. Knowing she was safe, he saluted the audience and the crowd went wild, cheering and whistling. Swinging happily together, the couple looked down, waving and smiling.
"Meet me up here tomorrow night at midnight," he whispered.
Bella's eyes widened at the idea. He couldn't be serious. "Are you crazy?" she mumbled, still smiling.
"For you? Yes."
Bella rolled her eyes and continued waving to the crowd below as they continued to swing back and forth above the applauding audience.
Alice, Rose and Jasper took turns jumping from the moving bars into the massive net.
"Yes, I'm serious. I've been thinking about this a lot." Edward's hand, that was holding Bella securely to him, pulled her tighter, and she felt the stirrings of his "seriousness" against her ass. "Wear the Arabian Nights' number too."
"Behave. You're going to have to stand up in a minute."
"I will, if you agree to try it." Edward saluted Emmett, before his brother jumped from the catcher's swing to his waiting family below. "Is it a date?"
Bella turned in Edward's arms to wave to the crowd behind them. Close to his ear, she whispered, "Yes." Bella placed a quick kiss on his smiling cheek. "It's a date."
Even though this story is complete, I would still love to hear what you thought of it. Please leave me a review and tell me what you thought of the circus life.
Thank you and good night.