Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. No copyright infringement intended. I am the proud owner of a sparkly nose piercing as a result of too many shots down on 6th Street.


Mystery POV

"You've been here since three o'clock, kiddo. It's pretty slow and Riley's here, so you can take off an hour early if you like."

"Are you sure? What if things pick up?" I question, a bit surprised by my boss's suggestion.

"Eric and Mike are outside talking up the drink specials. If it gets busy I'll pull one of the boys in."

"Oh, okay then Mr. Whitlock," I say, a little disappointed. I hope it's not because he thinks I'm doing a lousy job.

Almost as if he can sense my mood, he kindly replies, "Please, I told you, call me Jasper. And no worries, alright? You're doing great. I know it's your first week and you're still learning behind the bar, but you've got a natural talent. I just thought you'd like to make an early night of it is all."

I smile at his reassurances and tell him thanks. I confirm with him that my shift starts tomorrow at four and that I'll see him then. Nodding at Riley, I walk from behind the bar and make my way to the back offices to grab my stuff.

God, I'm so damn lucky that Mr. Whit – Jasper – is taking a chance on me. My decision to move and transfer to UT is the scariest I've ever made. The enormousness of that huge campus here in Austin is a far cry from the likes of home in Beeville and Bee County College for Christ sakes. The transition is gargantuan, but I've got a neat little studio not far from here and I'm starting feel good about where I am.

Of course, 6th Street is the place to work if you want to make some good money, which is why I am so thankful that Jasper is giving me a shot here at The Library. It's a wicked cool bar with a great vibe and on a good night, I can pull down some serious bank. To my benefit, I rock the "naughty librarian" look (complete with cat glasses) and that should help tremendously in the tip department. I can't wait to test that theory on a busier night.

Even though it's summer, there are still a lot of people in town, the touristy types replacing the college regulars. Weekends are by far the most profitable and the fact that tomorrow night is Friday has me totally psyched at my potential cash infusion. Hopefully, I can earn enough this summer so I won't have to apply for too many student loans. The financial aid I qualify for doesn't quite cover tuition, plus books and materials for class.

Oh the joys of higher education.

I throw my apron in my locker and grab my purse, but realize that I really don't feel like going back to my apartment. Even though I'm by myself, the idea of soaking up the atmosphere here is much more appealing than my quiet abode. People watching is always entertaining, especially in a place like this one. Of course there is always the possibility that someone interesting might come along…

Pulling up a stool toward the end of the bar, I tell my boss that I'm not really ready to go home, that chilling here for a bit sounds better if it's all the same to him. Being the awesome guy that he is, Jasper tosses me a Shiner because he's good like that; he's in tune with what people like. I'm sure this is why he's ridiculously successful in the bar business.

"Hey baby, can you make us a couple of Colorado Bulldogs? You know just how I like 'em, honey."

Even over the bluesy guitar riffs infiltrating the small club, I recognize the tinkling voice behind me belonging to Mrs. Whit- Alice. Truly, she's one of the nicest, most genuine people I've ever met. Alice teaches Costume Design at UT, and thankfully she's given me some unique insight into surviving at such an intimidating campus. I understand immediately why Jasper snatched her up, even though she's not really my type.

Like I really even know what that is anymore. I don't even know what team I want to be on right now.

"Just two, Ali?" Jaspers asks.

"Yeah, for now. Rose is still working on her Cosmo."

"Alright baby, I'm on it." He says with a knowing smile, his presence commanding behind the bar as he starts to mix the drinks.

Alice sits next to me and nudges me with her elbow. "So, he's not working your fingers to the bone is he, sweetie? You still liking it here?"

"Oh yes ma'am, I love it here and I'm really learning a lot. He's not cracking the whip too hard. Let me off an hour early in fact because it's a little slow," I respond with complete sincerity and take a long swig of my beer.

"Well, I know he's glad to have you. I've been telling him it was high time he got a gal behind the bar to keep the crazy frat boys in line."

I blush, not at her compliment suggesting that it's the men I can handle, but at the fact, deep down, that it's the unruly women I want to keep in line. Nodding my head, I giggle something lame about being tougher than I look, thankful that my boss's wife can't see into the innermost recesses of my thoughts. Those scenarios that I myself don't dwell on too long because I'm sort of scared at what plays out in my head.

Mercifully, Jasper delivers the two cocktails to his wife, thus saving me from saying something moronic or incriminating, which usually happens when I get anxious.

Before she leaves to take her drinks back over to her table, she leans over and says, "If you get tired hanging out up here by yourself, come see me and the gals. We'll be the hot messes shakin' our money makers."

I chuckle, and pray that it doesn't betray my nerves. That's a dicey proposition to consider, dancing in such close proximity to my employer's spouse, especially if the other ladies Alice is with are even remotely smokin'…and hold the fucking phone. Holy Brunette Bombshell, Batman.

Turning to follow her airy glide as she smoothly navigates her way back over to the table, my curiosity is definitely piqued. My eyes cannot help but assess the situation that I may or may not get myself into as the indecision about busting a move still weighs on my mind.

I first notice the extremely attractive blond, whom I assume is Rose, currently sipping her cocktail and talking about a mile a minute into her cell phone. Whoever it is she's talking to is getting more than an earful as it appears to be a somewhat heated discussion. It doesn't take long for my attention to shift to the absolutely breathtaking mahogany-haired siren. She grins at Alice happily accepting her drink; I cannot help but be completely mesmerized by her smile.

And suddenly, I no longer ponder whether someone interesting will show up – that possibility quickly manifests into reality because I'm hopelessly spellbound. Although distance and dim lighting won't allow me to see the color of her eyes, the vitality they radiate is unmistakable, hypnosis a veritable certainty should I make eye contact with this enchanting woman.

There's too much space and background noise to hear the laugh she emanates in response to whatever it is Alice is telling her right now; however, I have a gut feeling her mirth might have an addictive quality I'll only crave upon encountering it firsthand. I dismiss the cheesy comparisons of melodies and symphonic movements that run amok in my thoughts, convincing myself that the actual sound has to be above such rudimentary correlation.

What I do know is that it will take fire, flood or blood to pull my focus from watching this beautiful stranger.

But she doesn't have to be one now does she? Go over there and make her acquaintance.

Are you kidding me? No. No way, no how. You'll only embarrass yourself. How ridiculously awkward to fawn all over a friend of the people who sign your paychecks.

Coward. You won't know unless you go over there.

Now that's just a quagmire filled with ineptitude, isn't it? Anonymity is the security blanket you must cling to.

The two voices continue to argue with each other, both making valid points. Truthfully, I don't really know which one I'm going to listen to at the moment. I know to which one I want to heed, yet fully understand the one to which I should hasten. Despite the great debate going on in my head, one resounding truth cannot, and will not be ignored.

I want her. I want her so bad I can't stand it.

"You want who so bad you can't stand it?"

I literally jump off of my stool and face the bar, only to find Riley grinning at me like the cat that ate the canary.

Fuck, did I say that out loud?

I stand there and stare at him dumbstruck because quite frankly, I am at a loss for words. The count stops at seven with the number of times I open and close my mouth in an attempt to respond. He "hmmms" at me in question (with an eyebrow raise for added effect) knowing he's caught me. It's clear I will not escape his question without some sort of answer.

"Excuse me?"

"You heard me," he needles, his eyes narrowing in the attempt to get me to confess.

"Well, you obviously misunderstood." I shake my now empty Shiner at him. "What I said was I want another brew so bad I can't stand it."

Riley takes a second to calculate the number of syllables in what he pretty much knows he heard versus my incorrect correction. I'm a shitty liar and cannot bluff to save my damn life. Propping his elbows up on the bar, he shakes his head, and annoyingly his pointy finger is all up in my face, which tells me one thing: he ain't buying what I'm selling.

"No, I'm positively certain you said 'her', which is why I asked 'who'. Come on, spill. You know I'm a nosey bastard. Telllll meeee." He pleads in a ridiculously nasal-like whine that causes a vigorous head shake on my part. There is no way I'm giving up any intel.

"Fine," he says, "then I'll just come to my own conclusion and tell Jazz you have the hots for his wife. I totally saw the way you were checking out Alice's ass when she left the bar."

Jasper chooses that precise and inopportune moment to catch this part of the conversation. I, of course, want to crawl in a hole and die.

"Who was checkin' out Ali's ass?" He asks, looking back and forth from me Riley, patiently waiting for one of us to talk. The only reaction my brain can muster is the shift to my toenails, which are dire need of a pedicure right now. "Seriously you two, who are you guys talking about?"

"This one here," he says gesturing with his thumb, "was definitely checking someone out in your wife's general vicinity, and I'm merely inquiring who the 'her' is that's garnering all the attention, that's all." The aforementioned statement is all said with a sneer that deep down I know is meant to be playful, but is actually condescending as hell.

"Ok, so, Alice invited me to go over and hang, maybe dance, with her and the ladies she's with. I was merely evaluating whether or not I wanted to and happened to be doing so in the direction of their table."

They both stare, waiting for me to continue as if my answer isn't sufficient. "God, I was just looking to see who Alice was with. Is it a crime to be curious?" I'll admit my tone might be a tad defensive.

"Whoa, easy there missy. It isn't a crime, as long as you're totally honest with us about who's responsible. It's common knowledge that a person can always confide in his or her friendly neighborhood bartender." Jasper says with a sly wink, making it clear that this inquisition has become a tag-team effort.

Mother fucking buckets of piss. How in the hell do I spin this?

All of the sudden, for reasons I can't begin to explain, I feel the need to tell these two yahoos everything. Maybe it's the weird and knowing look in my boss's eyes that makes me want to be nothing less than truthful. It's almost like he's a flesh and blood combo of Valium and Sodium Pentothal.

I decide that I'll answer a question with a question. Or two.

"Who's the brunette at the table? Does she come in here a lot?"

"That would be Bella, one of the Three Amigos. She and Rose, the blond, are Ali's best friends. She frequents pretty regular with my better half." A smile spreads across his face as he pauses for a brief second before asking, "She the one that caught your eye kiddo?"

I turn and look back over to where they're sitting and state with a tone much more wistful than I normally speak with, "It's just…she's just…stunning." And she is. She truly is. Her name is completely apropos.

Bella. Beautiful. And I still want her so bad I can't stand it.

Jasper starts asking me questions without trying to get too personal, because the line of such queries could become inappropriate with the wrong intonation or word choice. He's not asking about orientation (as if I would know how to answer), merely if I'm unattached. He's not in the least obtrusive; I truthfully respond to each one with head nods or shakes, all the while never taking my eyes off Bella.

I'm completely engrossed in her mannerisms – the way she's barely bobbing her head in time to the music, the way she absentmindedly stirs her drink, the way she taps her fingers against her cheek, the way she's looking over here and smiling…whatthemotherfuckingfuck? Bella is waving, the sweet smile still on her face, and Alice is motioning like she wants someone to come over to their table.

I turn my whole self around because I'm embarrassed as all hell at getting caught in full-on gawk mode. Tweedle Dee is chuckling, while Tweedle Dumbass covers his mouth to stifle his obvious laughter at my expense. Sonsabitches. This might be the right time to exit stage left.

Rising off my barstool, Jasper gently puts his hand on my shoulder to prevent my escape. It's then that I notice the tray of shots in front of me. Counting the number of shot glasses at five, I'm totally confused as to how they got there and who they're for.

"Easy there, just stay put. Alice texted me wanting you to bring over some shots. No need to get yourself all in a tizzy, okay?"

"Um, alright, but why are there so many? And what are they, even?"

"Well, these four are for all of you ladies to do once you take 'em on over." He's gesturing to the group that is clearly all the same. "This one," Jasper explains as he picks the lone one off to the side, "is for you to do now so you'll in fact get your derriere moving."

"Yes, I'll definitely be needing that I think."

I take the shot and slam it and holy shit is that motherfucker strong! "What was that you just gave me, Jasper?" I choke out, the burning sensation now coating my throat.

"That, my darlin', was a Royal Fuck. Now get over there and give 'em hell Tiger."

I pick up the tray and take one of the glasses to see if I can figure out what's in it by taking a whiff. It smells very sweet and judging by the caramel color, I'm pretty sure I know what it is.

"Buttery Nipples, Jasper? Are you kidding me? You're a laugh riot, you know that?" I giggle a little because it is on the funny side. But then again, I'm starting to feel the Crown hit my system. And so I traipse towards them to conquer and take names.

"We know you're officially off the clock, but it was obvious you needed a save from the boys," Alice says with a subtle lilt in her tone. I chuckle because she is right in more ways than one. She makes my introduction to the girls and I tell them it's a pleasure to make their acquaintance.

As I take a seat across from her, I hear Bella speak my name, fully aware of the way my heart rate spikes in response. It positively sputters as I imagine how it would sound falling from her lips in direct response from the things that my lips want to do to her body. But I need to steer myself away from errant fantasies, so I pass out the shots.

We each tap our glasses on the table, clink them all together and then knock those Buttery Nipples back with a resounding "ahhhh". This one goes down way smoother thanks to the Baileys. I'm immediately thankful Jasper chose a lighter shot; it would be really bad form to pass the fuck out forty-two seconds after getting over here.

By now, I've had just enough alcohol to have a respectable buzz, which keeps me from spazzing out. We engage in small talk, and I'm able to learn how closely these ladies are interconnected. Jasper wasn't lying when he called them the Three Amigos, because they are indeed tighter than tight.

Rose is a social worker and deals primarily with battered women. Having the utmost respect for her almost instantly, I see the overwhelming good in Rose while also realizing how unwise it would be to tangle with her. Her husband is named Emmett, a former Army buddy of Jasper's and current linebacker coach for the Longhorns.

And because I'm a little blitzed, I awkwardly do that "hook 'em" thing with my hand, which totally looks like the "rock on" sign. I wonder out loud if it was the stoners or the Longhorn alum that came up with the gesture first. Tokers and Teasips* are complete polar opposites, how they arrived at identical hand signals boggles the mind.. I promptly giggle at myself for such a random contemplation.

It's obvious I'm a happy lush, but I'm downright ecstatic when Bella says, "You're such a ball of cute with your giggles and adorable drunkface. I could just eat you up."

By all means, grab a napkin and get to work babe. Soup is on.

As it turns out, Bella and Alice were college roommates and it's clear from the way they relate to one another how close they really are. I find out that Bella works for the Austin Statesman as an online entertainment editor, which is cool considering she gets the lowdown on all the upcoming events.

I'm getting pretty giddy because there's been no mention of a personal relationship as of yet when Bella's phone rings. My mood quickly sours as she takes a call from some dude named Edward, who just so happens to be Alice's brother. I quickly ascertain that he is, at the very least, her significant other since she doesn't wear a wedding ring. Whatever the case is, she's definitely committed to the guy.

I disguise my epic disappointment by again finding the neglect of my toenails enthralling.

Alice decides we need more drinks and shoots another message to Jasper, who in turn sends Riley over. In addition to more mixed drinks for the triplets and another Shiner for me, there are also four more shots. Rose asks him what they are, to which Riley looks right at me and answers, "Silk Panties."

What a cheeky mother fucker he is…..

"Salut!" We all say in succession and I feel my cheeks grow warm as we ritualistically slam our drinks in the same fashion. It probably looks like some choreographed shot wave. I decide that Silk Panties are the bomb and now I know I'm blushing. I'm not sure if my reaction is from the alcohol or the image in my mind of removing such an undergarment from Bella. With my teeth.

"I don't know about you guys, but I'm ready to get my swerve on." Bella says while she does some impromptu drum beating on the table. I for one am all in favor of this idea – in fact watching said swerve Bella-style is no doubt going to be the highlight of my night.

As we make our way out to where some other people are dancing, I'm able to really look at Bella in totality, and holy guacamole, what a visage. She is so perfectly put together it's almost not fair. The peep-toe heels she's wearing give her about three inches on me, suggesting we're pretty close to the same height. It's fair to say that I've never seen a black-capri-pant and cami-vest combo look so tantalizing. I don't stop my fixation at just the wardrobe, oh no. I'm sure that's what lies beneath the wrapping is a slice of heaven.

Her skin is slightly tanned, but not the awful looking orange glaze from being fake-baked. It's a subtle brown, almost fawn-like; I'm willing to bet the farm back in Beeville that it feels like the finest satin. Of course I've been marveling at the mocha color of her eyes and hair (somewhat comparable to mine, but with more spark and shine) since I got to the table. But now that I can fully study her, I am absolutely captivated.

I want her so bad I can't stand it - even more so now.

Her clothes divulge enough about her form to incite an overwhelming desire that screams more. Curvaceous yet trim, she's not of a fragile build; however there's an air of delicacy that demands care when touching. I try really hard not to ponder the bankable tenderness of her breasts and what a life-altering experience it would be to feel them in my hands, in my mouth… that is such a 'guy' thing to do. As badly as I want to, I can't control those thoughts, because there is something about her that just makes me want to go there.

On the surface, it might seem we're not all that dissimilar, but she is far and away a masterpiece in composition, where I'm more of a paint-by-numbers. If we're fine cognac, then I am the upscale Courvoisier, where she is the luxurious and ridiculously expensive Louis XIII.

But that doesn't really matter because I'm out here dancing with her. Well, in her semi-circle at least.

By now, I'm starting to loosen up and really enjoying being with the girls. Alice is small, but she's lithe and fluid. She makes the funniest dance faces though and I giggle at the way she closes her eyes and purses her lips when she's really feeling the song. Rose, who's much taller than Alice, is also graceful, but her movements are much more subtle. She emanates what I call the "don't touch me" look. The aura of "you're not that lucky" surrounds her in a little bubble that no one dare invade.

I manage to dance myself in front of Bella so I can gratuitously watch her beautiful body move. And can she ever move. The shake of her hips is a movement I cannot tear my eyes away from. Bella arrests any doubt to the question of "can you move your body like a cyclone?" The answer is an emphatic hell yes.

I'm completely lost in Timbaland and JT singing about bodies and buffets and thinking how I'd like to serenade Bella with these lyrics; it startles me when I feel some random guy come up behind me and press himself against my body. My eyes go wide as saucers; this rock hard, sweaty and smelly Neanderthal whom for whatever reason thinks I have a sign on my ass that reads "grind here" is putting his mitts all over me. My discomfort level is at about a nine right now.

With the narrowing of her eyes and the flick of her wrist, Bella swiftly grabs my arm pulling me toward her and spins me around so that she is now the one behind me. I feel the body I've been admiring all night surround me, fully enfolding my own. Naturally, this gives Cro-Magnon Man the impression that I want to be the filling in some sort of bump-and-grind sandwich, so of course he slides closer.

'I don't think so." Bella's velvety purr vibrates in my ear, shooting an array of tingles all over my body. "This one's with me and I don't share." Holy shit. Goosebumps cover my skin, and there's no suppressing the resulting shiver in response to her warm breath against my flesh. Looking dejected, Sir Hump-A-Lot turns and gyrates elsewhere to find his next unsuspecting victim.

And now I'm suddenly stricken because I'm not sure what to do or what her actions mean. Do I stay put, or should I turn around and resume my previous dance position? My heart is thundering in my chest and there's no way that Bella can't feel the pounding as close as we are right now. Taking in a measured breath, I attempt to regulate my respirations and calm myself down.

"Relax honey," Bella murmurs just loud enough for me to hear, "Just go with it." My body responds to the request and I slowly melt back into her. The tension in my frame is mostly gone, but somehow I'm still holding back just a little because I truly don't know what to make of this.

Uncertain of what Alice and Rose must think of our new-found closeness, I look to both women to gauge their reaction. Funny enough, neither one seems to care at all, still shaking their groove things. Clearly Bella and I aren't even a blip on the radar.

"I don't bite, I promise." She chuckles softly and at her words I recognize that such a proposition wouldn't be entirely unwelcome.

And so I do it. I totally let go of all my inhibitions and allow myself to succumb to whatever this is that's going on right now. The warmth her body permeates floods my entire being and I absolutely relish in it. The deliciousness of her smell infiltrates my system giving me a high like no other I've previously felt. I resolve to enjoy every last second of her; there will never be another moment like this one I'm sure.

My movements follow Bella's sway for sway, body roll for body roll and dip for dip. Her hands find their way to my hips, at first just resting against the swell, almost as if she's unsure how I feel about the touch. To clarify that I'm more than okay, I place my hands over Bella's and loosely entwine our fingers. At first she just runs our hands in small circles, always keeping in time with the rhythm of the music.

The ministrations become larger and I feel her slowly guide our hands away from my body until our arms are suspended above our heads. The tempo pulsates and she trails her hands slowly down my outstretched limbs, further still and caressing my ribcage. Her painstakingly unhurried dissension ends at my hips, though this time she comes deliciously close to my ass cheek and does precisely what the song tells her: smack that.

I will send Akon a fruit basket, for he is a lyrical genius.

Amidst the bass lines and thrumming beats there is no concept of time passage, only the sounds of the music and the synchronization of our bodies. I barely notice or stop dancing when Riley brings over more shots, simply grabbing the glass that is offered and downing the contents. There's no mistaking that I've just slammed a Sweet Tight Pussy because Jasper taught me how to make that shot just yesterday. Wiping my mouth, I laugh at Riley as he winks and heads off back to the bar.

"Hey," Bella breathes into my ear, "will you go sit down at the table with me for a second? I really need a break."

I oblige, because who am I kidding, I'll follow her just about anywhere right now.

We take a seat and Bella immediately pulls off her shoes, scrunching up her face and rubbing her feet. "God, what I wouldn't give for a couple of band aids right now. I've got about three blisters that are killing me."

"There's a first aid kit in Jasper's office. I'd be happy to get some for you."

Bella smiles at me, which causes the bubbles to flitter all through my stomach. Her grin is infectious and I can't help the goofy-ass one that's erupting all over my face. Tilting her head to the side, she appears to be evaluating my offer, or perhaps me in general.

"What?" I ask her, because this look and her silence are making me insane.

"You, that's what," Bella giggles. "You are so sweet. Why don't I just go back there with you?"

Standing up, I grab her hand and help her up. Even though I don't want to, I let it go. Bella stops to tell Alice what's up and we make our way through the people dancing. As we pass the bar, I let my boss know where we're going and why. It doesn't escape my notice the funny smirk he gives me with a response of, "Help yourselves ladies."

Truthfully, I'm a little torn. Words cannot convey how giddy I am at spending a few moments alone with Bella. Not that I'm brave enough to try anything. No fucking way. Rejection sucks and she frequents this place too often. But the faster we get to the first aid kit, the faster I can get her back out on the dance floor. I've never enjoyed having my personal space invaded so much…

Once inside his meticulously neat office I rummage through the bookcase behind Jasper's desk, careful to put things back just as I found them. All those years in the Army have made him a stickler for order. Bella walks over to the couch against the opposite wall and takes a seat. When I ask her how many bandaids she needs, she holds up three fingers. I promptly pull them from the kit and walk over to her. Screw me if I don't almost trip over a chair because the way Bella is now sort of turned with one leg propped up on the couch surveying the damage to her foot. The sight of her doing something so trivial obviously impairs my gross motor skills.

Bella shifts so I can sit beside her. Unable to resist the chance to touch her again, I drape her bent leg over my own so I can put the band aid on for her. "My feet don't gross you out?" she asks, a little surprised.

"Nah, I'm the oldest of three. Fixing up boo-boos is sort of a specialty."

By the time I'm finished covering all afflicted areas, I've told her a little about my life back in Beeville, which to me sounds mundane and boring. Either she's placating me, or she's genuinely interested based on the nods of her head and the smile on her face. I can't believe how talking to someone I've just met seems as easy as breathing.

"So, did you leave behind a boyfriend when you moved down here? You talked about living alone so…"

It's such a simple question really, but her query has made the air thick and my lungs heavy. My mouth tastes of cotton, dry and sticky, and somehow I can't even muster a swallow to clear my throat. Frantically searching my temporal lobe to find speech, I come up short of finding any words.

Well hello awkward silence.

"I'm sorry was that too personal?"

"No," I sputter out, forcefully enough that it causes Bella to slightly flinch. "Sorry. Shit…umm…no, it's not too personal. And no, I didn't leave behind... anyone special."

She pauses for a second, her legs still over mine. With her elbow propped on the back of the couch, head resting against her palm, those Godiva-like irises mesmerize me, slicing right through my soul. Suddenly, I want to answer anything she asks.

"Can I ask something a bit more personal? I mean, feel free to tell me if I'm out of line."


"What about a, uh…girl? Is there one back home, or here for that matter?"

"Why would you ask that?"I wonder, self-analyzing everything I've said and done throughout the course of the evening.

"Because your answer was gender non-specific, whereas my question asked about a boy. And for the record, it's okay if girls are your thing. It doesn't bother me." Bella's smile is so full of reassurance and for the life of me I can't fathom why it even matters to her. Maybe she's just curious.

Well, she's not the only one, now is she? Go ahead. Tell her. Tell her how she's had your undivided attention since you spun around on your barstool. Tell her how good she felt pressed against you, more right than that random Joe that was all up in your business. Tell her about the images you've had in your head this whole time of you two and how turned on you are by them, although you have no idea why. Tell her how badly you want her to be the one to help you understand…

That devil-may-care voice is back, clearly on one hell of a roll, only this time the opposing voice of reason is strangely silent. I strain to hear the cries of caution or premonitions about how telling the truth would be nothing but disastrous. Yet there's a total void, not the slightest peep.

"No," I finally respond, "there's not one of those either, here or there. And, um, I'm not really sure what my thing is if you want to know the truth. Even if it doesn't bother you, it annoys the shit out of me."

"Because you're confused, inquisitive, or maybe a little of both?" she asks with an air of understanding.

"I…I think maybe, yeah," I answer honestly, although my voice is so soft it's almost unrecognizable.

At that very moment, before I'm about to spill everything, I hear the sound of Wooderson's "Alright, alright, alright" from that movie Dazed and Confused come out of nowhere. "Excuse me," Bella says as she shifts and fishes her phone out of her pocket. Apparently she's gotten a text, because her fingers are flying over the little buttons in response.

This allows me a moment to ponder exactly what it is I'm going to say once we resume our conversation. Once again, I'm dissecting the chips in my navy blue toe polish as if somewhere in the cracks is the answer. The fact that I want to reveal so much about myself to someone I barely know is still sort of freaking me out. That, and why did I choose to wear flip flops when I'm so desperately in need of pedicurial attention?

"That was Alice. Rose is ready to go."

"Oh well, if you need to leave let me walk up with you." I start to move her legs off me so we can both get up, but she's holding me down with them now and places her hand on my arm.

"No, no. Stay there. I can get a ride elsewhere. We're not done here." Her smile is easy and knowing; I want to trust her so desperately. "So, you're a little mixed up because you've developed an attraction to women? Am I close?"

I nod. "Yes, I mean…no, not all women, but there's been a few that have made me wonder about myself. I don't know what that means and I'm sorta scared to find out."

"That's understandable, but I don't think it necessarily has to mean anything. You're young, starting a new phase in your life, and hell I know it's not uncommon to experiment at your age."

"I'm not that young," I mutter. I know she's a little older than me, but not that much. At least I don't think she is. "You talk like you know."

"Look, I've got more than a few years on you and a lot more life experience. And if it makes you feel better, yeah, I do get it. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt and sold it at a garage sale." Bella laughs warmly and it's clear she wants to put me at ease.

"Really?" I say unable to keep the disbelief out of my question. "But you're straight, right? You're with that Edgar guy aren't you?"

"It's Edward," she laughs, "and yes, I'm with him, as you call it. But I'm not into the whole label thing. Gender is irrelevant to me. I think you dig who you dig, know what I mean?"

"I guess so. It sounds so simple when you put it like that." It astounds me the calm in which she describes something that's been giving me pseudo-panic attacks.

"It's only complicated if you make it that way. I think if you're feelin' somebody, you should clue the person in."

"Again, you make a very precarious overture sound elementary, like checking the yes or no box on a note."

Bella moves her legs off me, shifting her position and tucking them underneath herself. Her upper thigh is touching mine and her body is angled in a fashion that has put her closer to me. A whole lot closer to me. This look that she's giving me right now is brimming with confidence and I wonder what in God's name has her so pleased with herself.

She slides her outstretched arm behind my head, inching herself forward and impossibly closer to me. In fact, the proximity is such that I can still smell the remnants of the liqueur on her breath. The barely there hint of Kahlua mixed with the scents of her shampoo and perfume have my olfactory senses on overload, leaving me in some weird state of paralysis. I'm stunned, and even though I know I should move, there's a complete disconnect between my brain and body.

"That's because it is. In case you haven't noticed, I've been feeling you all night." She pauses for a moment with a wry grin and adds, "See, that wasn't so hard now was it?"

She what? I shake my head in disbelief; not only from her words, but also at how freely she spoke them.

"So, there's one for the no box." Bella says with a light chuckle, now smiling her radiant smile. Her arm behind me shifts and I feel the gentleness of her hand tuck my hair behind my ear. She skims my cheek with her forefinger, the touch barely grazes my skin, yet somehow leaves a trail of heat in its wake.

Her eyes move from mine to my lips and back again and I feel the bubble machine in my stomach whir at blinding speed. The heaving rise and fall of my chest seems obvious to me and I wonder if it appears that way to her as well. Or maybe everything is just over amplified in my mind.

"I'd like to try and check the yes box though, and I've been thinking about this all night. I'd really like to kiss you now. May I?"

"Yes…p-please." The sound of my response is nary a whisper, and at least I manage to mouth the words. I pray that if she didn't hear perhaps she's able to lip-read.

The moment is both fleetingly fast and eternally unhurried; Bella moves toward me as her hand weaves into the hair at the base of my neck, and with a gentle pull, guides me forward closing the meager distance between us. My eyes hazily close nanoseconds before I feel her lips touch mine.

At first I'm unsure, and fear of the unexpected grips me, momentarily leaving me unable to respond in the appropriate manner. But the soothing movement of her fingers stroking my neck relaxes me and I yield my mouth to hers. The tranquility of this kiss is unlike anything I've ever experienced and I plunge myself into the wonderfully fluid motion.

Both wanting more from this exchange, our lips part simultaneously, thereby allowing us to explore the feel of one another more fully. The delicate glide of our coalescing tongues fills me with the strongest rush of adrenaline I've ever felt in my whole life. It fuels me, propelling me further down an unfamiliar path that no longer seems so frightening.

What starts as gentle and sweet quickly transcends into vigor and passion. Our bodies have angled so we are now facing each other, molten together so that every possible plane and curve is touching in some way. My hands weave into Bella's silken tresses, graze the cotton-soft skin of her arms and sweep over the expanse of her back. I want to touch her everywhere and all at once.

Against the muted but rhythmic thud of the music outside, our heavy breaths and writhing forms follow in synchronization. A moan manages to break free; I'm so lost in Bella in takes a moment to register that it comes from me. I know she'll be my undoing and I can't bring myself to care. I want to elicit noises that not even Edward can procure.

Edward. Edward! Oh shit, she's got an Edward!

I pull away, not because I actually want to, but because she's with someone else. I'd be pissed as fucking hell if Bella was mine and I found out she was making out with some other random girl…guy…person…whatever.

"Wh-what's wrong? Too fast? Too much?" she questions, the look on her face a mixture of confusion and concern.

"I – you – we – don't you think Edward would have a problem with what we're doing?"

Bella strokes my cheek because clearly she understands all she has to do is pet me in some way and I'm good as gone. I know the gesture is meant to be comforting, but honestly it's just turning me on that much more.

"Truth? Nothing's happening right now that I wouldn't do with Edward here. That's just the sort of relationship we have. I'm not worried in the least, so you shouldn't be either. My only concern is going beyond your limits."

"Are you serious? Edward doesn't care if you do stuff with other people? How can he even be okay with that?"

"Because he knows I love him and at the end of the day, I'm still his. He loves me and wants me to be fulfilled. His only issue would be that's he's not able to watch, or participate."

"So you guys are like swingers or something?" I'm really struggling to understand their whole set up.

"I told you, I'm not into labels. We love giving each other pleasure. We love watching the other getting pleasure, whether or not we're involved directly or indirectly is not an issue. And while the subject of pleasure is on the table right now, I'd really like resume our previous activities because I think we were both deriving a lot of it from them. That is, if you'd like to."

I think for a moment; if neither one of them has a problem with this, then I really don't see why I should have concerns. Being with Bella feels so right that my mind refuses to consider if any of this is truly wrong. I murmur a quiet "mmm hmm" and pull her succulent mouth to mine, letting her know that I'm absolutely on board.

I waste not one moment and allow myself to wholly drink her in. Her taste hits my pallet with so much flavor, caramel and coconut slightly overpower the traces of Baileys, the sweetness better than any confection I've ever had. And the more I have, the more I crave; the more I imbibe, the more I thirst.

God, I want her so fucking bad, I can't stand it.

The funny thing is I've got no clue in hell what I'm doing. With no idea where to begin, all I know is that my hands want to roam, so I let them. I touch her the way I want to be touched and pray that I'm just a little right. Besides, how will she know my boundaries if I don't show her?

Her breast beneath my grasp feels just as incredible as I thought it would - malleable and soft; I brush my thumb over the peak. Feeling it harden under my touch, it's Bella who moans this time, which absolutely blows my fucking mind. I shudder when she reciprocates my ministrations, certain that I will lose control at any moment. The electricity that's flowing through my veins powers every cell in my body; every nerve ending is like a live wire.

Bella breaks the connection just long enough so we can catch our labored breaths. This time, her full and swollen lips find my neck, and damn I can't help but loll my head to the side to make it more accessible. I've been kissed here before, sure, but never by lips this soft or done with so much care. I swear it's never made me break out in goose flesh like I am right now. Tingles ripple across my skin and there's no restraining the "ahhhh" that I exhale in delight.

She takes me in her palm again, only this time I feel her hand creep up and over the top of my tank and plunge beneath my bra. Skin on skin, she deftly fondles me – teasing, rolling and pinching until I'm crazy with need for more. Bella is concerned about lines she shouldn't cross; I know I have to show her what I yearn for.

"Kiss me here; I want to feel you here." I pant in a somewhat garbled manner as I guide her downward to my breast. Pulling my bra and shirt down, both nipples spill out, puckered and anxiously awaiting the warming wetness of her mouth.

"Yes ma'am," Bella murmurs, dipping her head. She suckles on one, then the other, lavishing them with equal attention. Soft strokes, spiraling twirls and tender flicks pepper the mounds of my white flesh and rose-colored tips. I arch into her with the desire to be as close as physically possible.

Christ, the gathering dampness from between my thighs, the way I'm aching for some sort of friction is threatening my sanity if I don't let go soon. And I wonder if she's as wet as I am, wonder if she wants me to touch her there as desperately as I want her to touch me. There is only one way to find out.

I maneuver my hand in between us, sliding it across her stomach down to the brim if her pants. Lingering there for a moment I say the words telling what I want, what I need. Without words, she moves my leg up just enough so she can slip her hand under my denim mini.

She starts to ask me how, but I answer by unsnapping the button of her capris, dragging the teeth of the zipper downward. Actions definitely blow words out of the fucking water because I barely manage to get what sounds like "unnrrr" out before she attacks my mouth again. The second we both find flesh…



We both wantonly buck into the wandering but welcome fingers that seek the other's slick swelter. Veritable mirrors of one another, Bella and I explore the sameness of the soft and small tufts of curls that sit atop bare lips. The feel of her slick arousal only increases my own; I relish in the knowledge that I wield the same power over her body as she does mine.

I find her clit, rubbing tight yet tempered circles against her sensitive bouquet of nerves. I know when she quivers with a keening "nyahhhh" I'm doing something right. Instinct takes over; the more she responds the more I remit. Sensing she's close, I want nothing more than to see her unravel and know it is my doing.

And in very much the same way as when we were dancing, I match her stroke for stroke, swirl for swirl and plunge for plunge. Syncopated movement in unison, our gasps, thrusts and entanglement of limbs are a rhythmic cacophony of motion and sound. Building in crescendo, I feel the tightening deep within and know what I've been yearning for is blissfully imminent.

Amidst the "yeses" and the "just like thats", I'm certain that Bella is just as close as I am to climax. The thought of us coming together excites me even more.

I nod.

She nods.

And just like that, we give over to the onslaught of sensation and let the fuck go. With thundering jolts and stifled cries, the rush sucks us into the tornadic vortex of our simultaneous orgasms. Tethering ourselves to one another, we free-fall, funneling down until we're nothing more than two clinging heaps of woman.

Wow. Fucking wow. I only thought I'd been to the mountain top before.

Fingers emerge from flesh and hands materialize from beneath garments and thus the disentanglement process begins. But before we can right ourselves entirely, Bella takes my reappearing hand in hers. With a devious smirk, she places both our very wet fingers into her mouth and envelops them entirely. After sucking them from base to tip she tells me that we're the best mixed drink she's had all night.

I agree after she kisses me and lets me taste for myself.

It's a little late to wonder if this is really such a good idea. Bella is already unlocking her front door while I pace nervously behind her. It all made sense back at the bar. But now, shit, I'm not so sure.

"Come on inside. It's alright, you have nothing to be afraid of, trust me."

Her smile is all the momentum I need to get me through the front door. I walk inside and take in the comfortable apartment that she and Edward share. It's classy without being pretentious, stylish and comfortable. Warm colors and clean lines make me feel more at ease somehow.

Bella leads me into the kitchen where she opens the pantry and grabs a bottle of rum.

"See the cupboard next to the oven? Be a treasure and grab me a couple shot glasses, will you?"

I nod and do as she asks. Pouring us a drink, we clink glasses and slam those bad boys down.

Bella points out that I've dribbled a little and then promptly leans in and licks it from the corner of my mouth. "Waste not want not," she whispers just before she takes a shot of me. It hasn't been that long since we left the bar, but I'd already started to miss the feel of her mouth on mine and the taste of her tongue. The taste of other things that I was merely teased with before…

I hear a throat clear, which quite frankly startles the hell of me. Bella steps aside to reveal a tall, handsome-as-homemade-sin guy that I know has to be the infamous Edward. Clad only in a towel hanging from his hips, he's clearly just showered because his hair is still damp and wild. I can smell the fresh, woodsy scent of his soap. He smiles seductively to her and then looks over to me with a gleam in his eye. The way he appraises me doesn't make me feel wary, but wanted.

"Hey baby. Glad you made it home. Did you have fun with the girls?"

Bella giggles a reply of "yes" and slides over to him, giving him a kiss. Surprisingly, I don't feel jealous. More of those are coming my way, I know.

"So, who's your friend, honey?" he asks, stepping behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist and resting his chin on her shoulder.

"This is the new girl that Jasper hired to bartend." Bella reaches her hand out, beckoning me to them. Making the formal introduction she says, "Edward, baby this is Bree. Bree, sweetie, this is Edward."

Pulling me into her, she kisses me softly. I can feel Edward's forearms press into my stomach. This position we're in should feel awkward, but strangely it doesn't.

As she breaks the kiss she turns her head to Edward and tells him, "Bree's come over to play with us. Doesn't that sound like fun?"

A/N: This one shot was inspired by the following quote, albeit with a human twist: "How can you stand it?...I want her." - Bree Tanner, Eclipse p.570

*Teasips – nickname for students and alumni of the University of Texas.

Song references:

Smack That by Akon - http:/www(dot)youtube(dot)com/watch?v=bKDdT_nyP54&ob=av2e

Carry Out by Timbaland featuring Justin Timberlake - http:/www(dot)youtube(dot)com/watch?v=NRdHsuuXxfk&ob=av2e

Thanks to RoseArcadia, HookaShewz and fngrcufs for giving me priceless advice and the push to nut-up and enter this thing. Love you guys to the moon and back.

Special thanks to lolapop, who not only pre-read, but whose beta cherry got popped with this biotch. Love you in ridiculous amounts sweet Yin.

This was my entry for the In the Closet anon contest, hosted by the wonderful queenofgrey and banananapanckes7. Judges extraordinaire were the magnificent adair7, belladonna17, camoozle, duskwatcher2153 and en-glace. Thank you ladies for putting together something so fun. Congrats to all the winners and entrants, I am honored to be in such fabulous company! Please visit the link to check out the other entries: http:/www(dot)fanfiction(dot)net/u/2424392/intheclosetcontest.

Cheers to you and big puffy hearts for reading!