Disclaimer: All Twilight related characters belong to S. Meyer.
Description: After being dragged to a baseball game by her best friend, Bella Swan meets handsome first baseman Edward Cullen with the help of a foul ball. There's something about him that she can't put out of her head, and apparently neither can he.
A/N: Hello everyone! Here is my first attempt at a Twilight AU fic. I decided to combine two of my favorite things: baseball and San Francisco. Please check out my author profile page for a link to the playlist for the story, as well as helpful images to give you a better feel of where the story is taking place. We all know music + fanfiction = love so please enjoy!
I wasn't going to say I hated baseball. Because I really didn't. I actually liked baseball a whole hell of a lot more than I did other sports. But standing there wrapped in a scarf, hood, gloves and a fluffy vest, I had to wonder if it was worth it. San Francisco baseball was cold and it was June for goodness sakes! Across the bay, it had been over 80 degrees today. I'd broken out my shorts for the first time this year. Now I was bundled up like I was going skiing, and it still wasn't enough.
"Look here they come!"
Angela, my roommate and best friend, was bouncing on the balls of her feet staring in the direction of the dugout. Her short pigtails swayed under her ears and she tugged at the bill of her baseball cap nervously. We were standing down the third base line at AT&T Park in San Francisco. The Giants weren't scheduled to play for another two hours but Angela insisted that we show up for batting practice. I agreed, like a good friend.
I looked over towards the Giants' dugout. The players started stepping onto the field like a stream of ants, dressed in black and orange. Angela's face lit up and I couldn't help but smile.
You had to admire her for her devotion.
"Does Ben know about your fetish for baseball players?" I asked wryly, looping my arm through her elbow. Ben was her long-time boyfriend, who I was currently replacing for the night. He had to work late.
Angela snorted. "Please. He gets the football cheerleaders. I get the Giants."
Another strong, San Francisco gust of wind raced across the field and crashed into the both of us. It seeped through my three layers of clothes and chilled me to the bone. "Jesus," I said through clenched teeth, tugging Angela closer to me. "Is it like this every game?"
She had the binoculars up to her face now, watching as the players took turns hitting shag flies. "Mostly. The fog will roll in pretty soon."
I looked up at the sky. It was still blue for now, tinged slightly with the hint of sunset. "Great."
I talked a lot about hating the weather in the Bay Area, but in truth, I loved it. It was cold, but not too cold, beautiful in the fall, but not too hot in the summer. Fog was definitely preferable to rain, which I was very well acquainted with after living in Washington State for most my life.
I let my eyes drift over the open sky revealed by the ballpark. I could see the tops of sailboats floating by outside the park and seagulls in the air. The Mariner's stadium definitely wasn't like this.
Angela squealed to my right and I snapped out of my reverie. "Ooh, sprints!"
I followed her excited gaze as a group of players made their way in our direction with a trainer. Angela was literally trembling with excitement. I laughed to myself and squeezed her arm. I had to admit, I definitely preferred the baseball uniform to basketball or football. Men in tight pants and high socks? So classy.
The group of players followed the foul line to the open expanse of left field and sunk down to the grass. They twisted their legs and shoulders, stretching in the direction of their trainer. The crowd around us was watching excitedly and I felt kind of stupid. Watching them stretch? Really?
The three players all had different physiques. The largest had his back to us. He was built like a bear, top heavy and tall. His legs were wide and muscular, and his arms rippled with even more muscle. His dark brown hair was cropped short to his head.
"God, look at McCarty," Angela muttered to herself.
"The big one," she gestured, nodding to the large player. "Emmett McCarty. Catcher. He's gorgeous."
As she spoke, Emmett looked back towards the dugout with a grin on his face. He was pretty cute, but I wasn't a dimples kind of girl.
"Who are the rest," I asked, looking back at the other players. The one facing us directly was slender and tall. His hair was golden and curly. It stuck out of the bottom of his cap. He was circling his arms like a windmill. "That's Jasper Whitlock," Angela answered, leaning close. "Pitcher. He pitched last night and won it for us."
I nodded. Pitchers were boring. Like quarterbacks. Overhyped.
"And the last one?" My eyes lingered over the last player. He was seated on the ground, half turned away from us. His left leg was crossed over his right and he was twisted around. His trainer was pushing his shoulders, helping him stretch. I couldn't see his face, only his number. 17.
"Edward Cullen," I heard. "First baseman and Golden Glove winner. Total stud."
"That doesn't mean much to me," I said with a laugh. "His glove is gold?"
Angela groaned and shook her head. "It's an award. He's really good. Let's just say that. If we're lucky he'll hit a home run tonight."
As I looked back over at him, he switched his legs and was suddenly leaning in our direction. I heard a gasp and blushed as I realized it came from me.
Angela let out a hum of approval beside me. "Did I mention he's totally gorgeous?"
No. I thought. No, you forgot that part.
I wasn't sure if gorgeous was the right word, actually. What was better than gorgeous? Beautiful was not enough. Godly? Otherworldly? I felt so shallow. I didn't usually talk about people that way, but this was ridiculous. I wanted to climb onto the field just to get a better look.
His face was pulled tight in concentration. Pale skin puckered between his dark eyebrows. His jaw was set as he listened to his trainer's directions. A soft, defined line ran from the base of his ear to his chin. It was the most delicious jaw line I'd ever seen. It was highlighted by a few days' stubble, a copper sheen on his pale skin. His lips were dark, and pursed.
Just then Emmett mumbled something and the group broke into a riot of laughter. I felt myself stumble back like a moron. Angela tightened her grip on my arm.
I ignored her. Edward was laughing and that was the only thing I could focus on.
But it wasn't just his mouth that smiled it was his entire face. His eyes were glowing and he let out a howl of a laugh. It was a beautiful sound. Had I never listened to a man laugh before? This was ridiculous. I wondered what color his eyes were.
We stood watching them stretch for a few more moments before they all stood up and started sprinting to center field. I pretended not to watch the way their rear ends looked as they ran. No bounce. Only muscle. My insides twanged. After a few moments, Angela dragged me closer to the bullpen to watch some of the pitchers warm up.
After half an hour, the Giants players started filtering back into the dugout. I searched the sea of orange and black for a trace of Edward as they disappeared one by one. I felt a dull sinking feeling in my chest. What if I didn't see him again before the game? We were seated in the bleachers and I fully intended on buying at least three beers. That was before I had a reason to concentrate, however.
Jesus Christ, was I fifteen?
Angela shrieked beside me again and I glared at her. "You really need to give me warning before you do that," I said, poking her with my elbow.
"Autographs!" she cried, and dragged me back to where we were originally standing. "Look!"
I followed her ecstatic finger and stopped dead in my tracks. It wasn't just any player signing autographs. It was him. "Oh shit," I muttered to myself. He was much closer now. Much closer.
Angela tugged my sleeve and pulled me the rest of the way. She elbowed through the crowd until we were next to the short wall. She gracefully pulled a baseball out of her bag along with a sharpie and skillfully leaned over, trying to get his attention.
I was frozen at her side staring like a moron. Seriously? Had I never seen a man as attractive as this? I'd seen plenty of hot guys on campus at Berkeley when I went to school there. Hell, I'd even dated a few football players, but this was something else entirely.
From here I could see the hints of copper hair poking out from his baseball cap. It matched the color of his eyebrows and stubble. He had tiny smatterings of freckles on his cheekbones, close to his ears. His chin was strong and defined. And that jaw line…
He turned our direction and started moving towards us, signing balls, gloves and hats as he went. Angela was bouncing with excitement again. I think I was trembling.
God, that's ridiculous. Trembling?
The air around me felt charged. Static. Was the fog already rolling in? He was two people from Angela now, and my heart started racing.
Christ, Bella, get a hold of yourself. He's a sports star. A celebrity. What are you doing? At that moment he reached for Angela's outstretched baseball.
"Your play last night was fantastic," she said, handing him her Sharpie. She was good. I wouldn't have known what to say.
Edward smiled a delicious crooked smirk and I nearly fell over. "Thanks," he said and I heard his voice. It was deep and smooth like velvet, and it hit my ears and the rest of my body in the most wonderful way. He was still smiling when he handed her back the baseball. "Enjoy the game."
Then he turned towards me and all I could do was gape. I didn't have anything. I didn't want anything. Just him. What? Shut up.
His eyes met mine and I took in a deep breath. They were green. Emerald green. Bright, sparkling happy green eyes. The setting sun was hitting his face, the light half obscured by the brim of his cap. The shadow played over the bridge of his nose and cheek. I felt like we were standing there forever, staring. The air around us was crackling and I didn't know what to do.
I felt like I needed to be nearer to him somehow. Like I should grab the front of his jersey and pull myself into his arms.
Angela cleared her throat then, and nudged me with her leg. I stumbled forward, stammering, "Um, I don't have anything for you to sign."
He smiled again. "Ticket?"
He nodded towards my pants pocket where the thin strip of paper was sticking out. "I'll sign your ticket."
I pulled it out of my pocket and stared at it blankly. "Oh, ok."
Angela shot me a scornful look, and handed him the Sharpie again. He quickly signed his name on the back. "What's your name?" he asked, still staring down.
I froze. He didn't ask Angela for her name.
"Bella," Angela said, giving me a "what the hell is your problem" look.
Edward looked up again and was grinning now. If I thought his crooked smirk had been crippling, this was deadly. He handed me back the ticket and nodded to me, dipping the brim of his cap low enough to cover his eyes for a moment. "Enjoy the game, Bella."
"T-thanks," I stammered, reaching for my newly autographed ticket.
"HEADS UP!" someone shouted from behind us.
I looked around like a moron and saw a group of people rushing in our direction, gloves extended. Angela yelped and covered her head with her arms as the group moved closer. I looked up and saw a white ball dropping down from the sky. I faltered, and backed up towards the low wall, trying to avoid the mass of foul-ball hungry fans rushing towards us. The ball hit the seat in front of me with a thunk and someone pushed me aside to dive for it. My heel hit the edge of the wall and I tumbled backwards. My knees slipped against the padded vinyl covering and suddenly I was falling onto the field.
"Bella!" Angela cried, reaching for my hand.
Oh shit. Now I was going to get kicked out of the park and fined a million dollars. Just my clumsy, stupid luck.
But I didn't fall far. A pair of strong hands caught me around the arms and hoisted me smoothly back onto my feet from behind the wall. Angela's mouth was agape as I could only guess who had been the one to place me back on my feet.
Please be Edward. Please be Edward.
"Are you alright?"
The voice was low and near to my ear. I knew it was just loud enough for me to hear and that sent a pleasant shiver up my spine. I could feel his breath on my neck and I swallowed hard. I turned slowly to meet his eyes. They were intense. He looked worried. "I'm fine. Thank you." I realized his hands were still holding my arms.
His mouth tugged up into another smile and I felt like falling over the wall again. "You should bring a glove next time." He winked.
I was about to say something snarky when I heard Angela gasp and another pair of strong hands closed around my forearm. These hands were not nearly as gentle though. Edward's face darkened.
"Excuse me ma'am," said a gruff voice behind me.
I whirled around to meet the large, stern face of a security guard. I tried to pry my arm from his grip. "I was knocked over," I said lamely.
"Fans are not to place any part of themselves on the field at any time. I'm sorry, we will need to escort you off the premises."
They started tugging me backwards, towards the stairs. I glanced over at Angela pleadingly. "But my friend," I stuttered, looking back up at the guard. "I can't leave her."
"I'm sorry," he said, and he started up the stairs.
Edward's voice. No way.
The guard stopped and looked down at Edward. He looked mildly annoyed.
"She was knocked over. It wasn't her fault. "
"I'm sorry Mr. Cullen, you know the rules. There are liability issues and insurance properties. It's not my decision."
Edward crossed his arms over his chest. "It was an accident. Just let her go, man."
I heard the guard mumble something to himself and he let my arm go with a sigh. "Fine," he said through gritted teeth. "Don't expect a player to be around to defend you next time. Hands inside the stands, you hear?"
He turned and jogged back up the stairs. I looked down to meet Angela's shocked face. I felt like she hadn't changed expressions in the past five minutes. Jesus, what had happened in the past five minutes? I'd received an autograph from Edward, I'd almost died, I'd been saved by Edward and almost ejected from the park?
This better be some fucking game.
I looked up from Angela to thank Edward but he was already jogging back to the dugout. He looked over his shoulder and nodded at me. I forced my mouth closed and nodded back.
Maybe I should pitch myself onto the field more often.
Angela grabbed my arm and pulled me towards the direction of our seats. "Come on," she said, looking at Edward and shaking her head. "You need a fucking beer."
A/N: Thank you for reading my first chapter. Please r/r! I plan on posting chapters once a week unless you're lucky. :) Don't forget to check out my profile page for the Foul Territory playlist and image aides! Thanks guys!