So this will be my second story. I'll try to keep it short & sweet with this one. Probably around ten chapters and not all of them will be as long as this one. I'll try to update around every two weeks once I finish WOL and any outtakes I promised through the FGB auction.

As always, I owe many thanks to KCerena & Reamhar – my awesome Betas. Lola-pops may also have had a hand in this one and Kisvakondok told me that the story doesn't suck after pre-reading it.

I. Skaterboy

Summer 2005, BPOV

I can feel my shirt clinging to me as I march up the dark, dingy stairs of the subway exit on my way home from work. It's July in NYC. The city is a dirty, humid mess and it's only gonna get worse. It feels like the heat and grime of the city are permeating everything, and after what has already been a shitty day, they're only making me crankier.

I take the last step and shuffle in my flip-flops along Smith Street toward home. When I first took the job as a production assistant, I had no idea how demeaning and stupid the gig with "The Quick Gourmet" at a local TV network would be. I assist a TV Chef who thinks the greatest culinary invention ever is Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup, which she liberally adds to at least half of her dishes. My inner food nerd cringes every time I see her cook. To top it off, she's a raging bitch. To say that I hate my job would be an understatement. I used to love anything to do with epicurean delights, but now I see a stove and all I want to do is turn around and run.

Nobody tells you in college that you're wasting your time reading Shakespeare and taking calculus classes because all you'll end up doing after graduation is making coffee and other debasing tasks your boss doesn't want to waste his time on; in my case, those include cleaning dirty pans, shopping for ingredients that end up in the trashcan, and stroking the ego of a woman with zero talent. None of the stuff I do actually requires you to have any kind of education, or a brain for that matter. Judging from my experience so far, whatever you're learning during those four years only comes in handy when tyring to make intelligent cocktail conversation.

As I walk, the only things I can think about are a shower and the bottle of wine that is sitting in the fridge. I pray none of my roommates are around so I can have the apartment to myself.

Living with three other people in a tiny, cramped apartment doesn't allow for much alone time or privacy. You can hear everything – and I mean everything – in our apartment. And as my luck will have it, as I look up the stairs of the brownstone I live in I see two of my roommates, Tanya and Kate, hanging out on our stoop, a pitcher of margaritas sitting between them. I love them both, but I desperately need some alone time to shake off this day.

"What up, girl!" Kate shouts as I approach. She eyes my sweaty frame and frowns. "You look like could use this." She hands me a glass that I'm certain consists of 90% tequila, 5% Triple Sec and 5% limejuice. I'm too lazy to even walk up the steps, and so I sit down next to them and take a sip.

The two of them are sprawled out, all long legs, blond hair and big sunglasses.

"Fuck, Tanya, how much tequila did you put in this?" I ask, shuddering as the alcohol burns its way down my throat.

"Like a bottle. Whatever. Shitty day?"

"Yeah, what else is new," I sigh.

"I hate to break to you, Bella, but most people hate their jobs. We," she says, gesturing between her and Tanya, "just don't take it that seriously. What you need is some distraction!" Kate's wink informs me about what kind of distraction she has in mind.

"Yeah, you need to relax and get laid, Bella," Tanya chuckles. "How long has it been? Like three months since your romp with the cameraman?"

Jake. Not only was he a fucking asshole, but also I'm not certain he knew what a clitoris was, and if he did, he sure as shit didn't know where to locate it.

"Really, I need to focus on getting another job, not another idiot to waste my time with," I argue, but part of me thinks that maybe they're right. A distraction is easier to come by than a new career. "So if that's the solution, why the hell are you two sitting on the front steps getting wasted?"

"We're on a reconnaissance mission," Kate enlightens me, lowering her sunglasses, watching a guy walking by us. "Tanya discovered that we have total eye candy living right in our hood. They'll roll by here at some point. Just wait."

"Who rolls by?" I ask, confused.

"Girl, just wait," Tanya assures me, refilling my drink. We talk shit for a while, fantasizing about central air and hot boys.

"There they are," Kate whispers. I follow her gaze as a group of guys comes around the corner. They're skaters, but most of them are walking with their boards. They're undoubtedly cute, with lean muscles, slouchy jeans and tight t-shirts bearing logos I've never seen before. We watch them, and I think they all kind of look the same until the last one rounds the corner on his board, ollying up onto the sidewalk and walking up to his friends.


He's tall and pale, with nice hair. His face is so pretty that I almost think he'd be a damn good-looking girl as well. They do that man thing where they shake hands and half hug, and he ducks into the store on the corner while they wait for him.

Our heads turn in unison to follow him as he enters the store.

"Who are these guys?" I ask, still staring in the direction of the store.

"I know, right? Seriously, we need to be sitting out here, like, all day long," Tanya says, fanning herself.

They seem to notice us soon after, and Tanya and Kate engage in inane conversation, acting like they don't see them, though the whole show is for their benefit. I'm still waiting to see the one who walked into the store, though.

I watch him exit the store carrying his skateboard under his arm and a brown paper bag in his hand. I notice that although he's skinny, he's nicely built with broad shoulders and narrow hips. I think I may have found my distraction.

He talks to the rest of them for a minute, gestures down the street, and drops his board before stepping onto it and moving toward us. I take a big sip of my drink, watching him over the rim of my glass.

As he passes our house all three of us eye him. I see the faint stubble growing on his face and his piercing green eyes. Skaterboy must have noticed us watching him and stares right back at us, his lips revealing gleaming white teeth as he gives us a sexy side smirk. He's obviously a cocky motherfucker.

"I call first dibs, I discovered him," Tanya quips the minute he's out of hearing distance, pushing her strawberry blond locks out of her face.

"Oh hell no! I was standing right next to you," Kate contradicts.

"Whatever," Tanya says, dismissing her. She has a gleam in her eye. "I think I've seen him working at that bar around the corner. We should go down there tomorrow night."

"I'll come along," Kate adds with a smile.

"Suit yourself," Tanya responds, smiling right back at her.

I'm rather entertained by their bickering over a dude. I admit he's hot and all, but possibly not worth the effort. From personal experience I know that looks don't always translate into chemistry in bed. I decide not to get involved. I sink back onto the stairs resigned, letting the booze numb me and waiting for the sun to go down.


The weeks pass without a Skaterboy sighting. Tanya and Kate still mention him occasionally at first, but a couple of weeks later they've all but forgotten about him and decide to take Eric, a spoiled brat who works as a junior analyst at Goldman, up on his offer to go with him to Fire Island. I briefly consider coming along just to escape the city, but then I remember the party where I got stuck listening to him drone on and on about his job all night long while trying to finagle his way into my panties, first by attempting to casually prop his arm around my shoulder and eventually by trying to push his tongue down my throat.

No need for a repeat on that, so I decide to stay in the city, although the temperature is supposed to reach 90 over the weekend.

By 10 AM on Saturday I'm sweating profusely in our apartment, even though I cranked our little air conditioner up to the max last night. Our neighbor downstairs has that retarded 'Just a Lil' Bit' song by 50 Cent on replay the entire morning at max volume. I'm about to go insane when Jasper, my other roommate and BFF since Kindergarten, suggests that we take a dip in the local public pool. I don't care for the pool, but it's so hot that I relent and agree to come along.

Ten minutes later, I stand dressed in bikini, cut-off jeans, and wife beater, leaning on my bike in front of the house waiting for Jasper to come down. For a dude, he takes forever to get dressed and get his ass in gear. He blames his snail's pace on living with three girls and threatens to move out every so often when one of us accidentally uses his razor. What can I say? Dear Jasper practically begged to live with us when we first moved into this apartment after graduation last year. His insistence to move in with us still baffles me. He had a much better job offer in San Francisco and even his job here pays enough for him to rent a nice apartment in Manhattan by himself. I guess the boy likes slumming it.

I don't see Skaterboy until he's practically on top of me. He doesn't seem to be bothered by the heat as he rolls by without any effort.

"Hi," he says quietly, his eyes moving down my frame. I'm about to respond with some choice words when Jasper bursts out of the building, yelling, "Ready?"

I jump, and Skaterboy chuckles as he rolls away. My eyes follow him of their own accord.

"I've been standing here for ten fucking minutes, Jas," I snap.

He raises his eyebrows, looking after the guy on the skateboard. I just roll my eyes.

The pool is packed to capacity with kids and the local hipsters who couldn't swing a weekend share in the Hamptons. Jas and I drop our towels on the concrete floor next to the deeper side of the pool and go for a swim.

"So what've you been up to lately? I feel like I haven't seen you in weeks," Jas asks, though I'm pretty certain I've seen him pretty frequently.

"Don't ask. I work, I eat, I sleep and I go to work again. Trust me, my life is boring as hell. Nothin' you wanna know about." I give him the short answer.

"Wanna go hang out tonight? Kick back some beers, listen to local bands and check out a burlesque show … sound good to you?" he asks me, laughing.

"Yeah, sure. I'll check out the boob show with you," I answer. I really could care less about going out and watching crappy bands and girls swing around nipple tassels, but the apartment is too hot to stay there all night.

We crawl out of the water eventually. My fingers are already pruney and I decide to sunbathe for a while. I pull The New Yorker out, put on a pair of sunglasses and start reading one of those twenty page long articles. Jas heads back into the water again a few minutes later.

I feel water being splashed at me from the direction of the pool and without looking up, I flip Jas off. I hear a chuckle.

"Asshole," I mutter, ignoring him.

At the next splash I slap the magazine down, "Fuck off, Ja…"

It takes a second for me to recognize the green eyes peering back at me from behind dark lashes.

"Hey," Skaterboy says with a smirk.

"Hi," I respond as he pulls himself out of the pool and sits down with his feet still dangling in the water. I see the water glistening over his pale skin and I lick my lips. He looks delectable.

"So … what are you reading?" he asks, nodding at my magazine. I pick it up and show him, not trusting my voice, as I stare at his defined abs.

"Smart and funny," he comments and I shrug, grinning despite myself.

"Are you trying to flirt with me, Skaterboy?" I blurt out.

"Skaterboy?" He laughs. I blush, annoyed I said that stupid nickname out loud. I remember that I'm an adult, with a good job, an education, a savings account and a preposterous amount of credit card debt. I try to redirect the conversation.

"So, you work at the bar around the corner from our place?"

"Not really. It's my dad's bar and sometimes I help out." He shrugs, not offering any more information.

I'm about to ask him his name, when Jasper strolls up, dripping water.

"Jeez, Bells. I'm so easily replaced," he jokes, looking between Skaterboy and I, before grabbing his towel.

"Right, Jas, as if anyone could ever replace you," I joke, smiling sweetly at him.

"So what's your name?" I finally ask, looking at Skaterboy. I can't keep calling him that– Skaterboy. It reminds be of this bad song by Avril Lavigne. Ick.

"Edward," he answers, reaching back to shake my hand, his long fingers wet and a little rough against mine.

"Bella," I reply, "and this is Jasper." They nod briefly.

"So Edward, any interest in coming with us to Southpaw tonight?" Jasper asks, casually plopping himself down on the towel next to me.

"The place on 5th?" Edward asks, frowning.

"Yep," Jas responds, quirking an eyebrow at him.

"Maybe I'll see you there." He smiles at me before slipping back into the pool. "I'll see you around, Bella." He swims across the pool to the other side, gets out and walks in the direction of the showers and dressing rooms. I hardly breathe while I watch him.

"What was all that about?" I demand, turning to glare at Jasper, who's baking next to me, his blond locks hanging almost down to his shoulders.

"I was just trying to help a girl out. Don't be so touchy, woman," he says, lying back on his towel.

"Really, Jas, what makes you think I need your help in the boy department? It's not like your doing that well with the ladies these days or you wouldn't plan on hanging out with me on a Saturday night," I state, matter of fact.

"I've got prospects! Remember Alice Cullen?" He smiles a self-assured smile.

"I told you I wouldn't remember a girl's name until they made it to date two. So…no."

"Bitch. She went to elementary school with us and moved away because her parents got divorced. You two were, like, best friends in third grade." I look at him as he cocks an eyebrow up, challenging me. My brain starts scanning through fuzzy childhood memories. Jasper is the one constant person in my collection of friends.

"I can't believe you don't remember her," he says, shaking his head.

"Oh, Alice," I nod, placing her. "Tiny girl with dark hair? When did you see her? How did you recognize her?"

"She walked up to me at a party and said 'Hey, I know you. You're Jasper Whitlock.' She's pretty funny," he muses, thinking. "Anyway, she got really hot, so we're gonna hang out."

"So why aren't you taking her out tonight?"

"I might," he answers slyly. "She's in PR or something, and has to work tonight at some event. But she promised me if the party ended early enough, she'd swing by. She's moved in with her dad for now until she finds her own place. It's just around the corner from us."

"How convenient," I joke.

Jasper falls asleep and I finish reading my article, before we pedal back home on our bikes. I'm kind of curious about meeting Alice, but if she hooks up with Jasper, I'll likely only see her for a short period and keeping in touch with any of Jasper's ex's usually turns out being too awkward. They always end up asking me about him, fishing for information, anything really that might give them a reason why he dumped them unceremoniously after some great roll around the sheets.

Jasper and I hang out at our apartment and knock back beers before heading out. I know the bouncer at the club and we avoid the line that's formed in front of the place. I can't quite figure out what the attraction is with this place. It's dark, grimy, and old and mostly serves as a concert venue. I search around the place, scanning the masses of people crowding around the bar, and then the still empty area in front of the stage looking for Edward. I don't see him, and I hope my disappointment doesn't show. I scream at the bartender for a vodka cranberry and nurse it for an hour while some bad garage band starts playing. When he isn't there an hour later, Jasper and I decide to get filthy wasted. I've switched to vodka soda, the burlesque show has started and we cheer on a chubby girl who shamelessly swings her boobs around in circles on stage.

We're about to call it a night when some chick suddenly pounces out of nowhere onto Jasper. She's dressed in a skirt and killer heels and has short black hair. Her whole get-up screams overdressed for the occasion. When she finally lets go of Jasper, she looks at me, and it dawns on me who this is. Since it's almost closing time and I'm seeing double, that's quite a feat.

"Alice?" I scream over the music. She hugs me, before she responds.

"Bella? I can't believe I found you!"

We catch up on each others' lives as the club empties out and determine she lives literally a block away from us, and I struggle to keep up while she spouts off information. She sure talks a lot.

"Living with my dad is really cool, but my brother is pretty fucking annoying. He's all emo and hanging around the house all the time."

"Well, if you ever just need an escape from parental supervision or the little brother, totally swing by our place," I slur, patting her shoulder.

"Yeah, I'd love to take you up on that offer. Maybe even tonight," she smirks at Jas. They start making out at the bar and I decide it's time to go home.

I soon regret extending such a generous invitation to Alice. I counted: they had sex at least five times that night and as a result I barely got any sleep. For a small person she has a loud voice, I observe, woken up around noon by the clattering noises emanating from our kitchen. I lazily get up in my ensemble of tank top and boy-shorts and walk slowly into our tiny kitchen. I'm greeted by Jas, who's making pancakes in his underwear. Alice is sitting at the table in the living room drinking coffee. I make myself a cup and sit down across from her.

"Mornin'." I yawn, without bothering to cover my mouth. "Did you get a good night's sleep?" I ask with a grin.

"Morning, Bella. Um, yeah … about last night – I'm so sorry," she apologizes, turning red around the ears.

"It's okay. When Kate and Tanya bring guys over it's usually way worse. If they can't wait to get to their actual bedrooms you usually get quite a show as well as the accompanying sound effects," I snark. "So what are your plans for today?"

"Jasper and I thought we'd go to the Met. It will be cool inside and hopefully not too crowded. Plus, they've this couture exhibit going on right now that I'm dying to check out."

"Do you want to come along?" Jasper asks, walking in with plates full of pancakes.

"I think I'm going to stay in. Maybe go see a movie to cool off. Besides, I have to go to this dude's housewarming party later on in the afternoon. You guys go, have fun. I think you need some time alone."

"Whose housewarming party?" Jasper inquires with a full mouth.

"James and Victoria," I mutter in response.

"Ugh, I'm definitely not going. James that groping fucking pig, no way."

"Oh, please Jasper. He has a girlfriend now. Plus, it's not like he's groping boys, so what do you care?" I reply, rolling my eyes, even though I secretly agree with him: James is a fucking pig – a chauvinistic one at that.

"It's disgusting to watch. And having a girlfriend? Like that has ever prevented his hands from wandering to all the wrong places. Never mind that my mom's cat probably has a higher IQ."

"Whatever, Jas. Don't go – not sure he even invited you anyway. And about the IQ, dear Jasper, not everyone can be a Valedictorian," I snort, which effectively ends our chatter on the subject of James.

We eat breakfast together talking about our jobs and I notice that both Jasper and Alice have at least a modicum of passion for what they are doing. I feel a pang of envy, as I recognize that I have zero desire to talk about my job. I stay quiet until the topic of the conversation shifts to people we went to school with. Alice doesn't know most of the people we went to high school with, but there were some that we knew since our elementary school days together.

"Do you remember Jessica Stanley?" Jas asks Alice.

"Yeah, I think I vaguely remember? What happened to her?" she asks, her curiosity peaks as she sees the smile that spreads across my face when Jas mentions her.

"Well … take a stroll down Smith Street and stop by at 'Brooklyn Tattoos'," Jasper suggests and I laugh.

"What – she works there? That's all?" Alice asks, not understanding our amusement.

"You had to have known her in high school to appreciate that tidbit of information. She was President of the Young Republicans and was a total bitch. She wanted to institute abstinence only Sex Ed and lobbied to change the biology curriculum to reflect creationism as an alternative to evolution, but …"

"Then she met Mike Newton, tattoo artist extraordinaire. Now she works in his shop and pierces people's genitals for a living," Jas finishes, laughing.

"Well, as long as she's happy, that's all that counts, right?" Alice questions, and as soon as the words leave her mouth, I realize she's right; we can laugh all we want about Jessica's strange transformation from JCrew wearing Republican to leather clad tattoo vixen, but if she's happy than she might be miles ahead of most of us. We joke around for a while and gossip before we leave the apartment together.

Alice and Jas walk into the subway hand in hand to go to Manhattan, while I walk down Court Street to see a movie in the well-air-conditioned multiplex theater. I buy tickets for "Mr. & Mrs. Smith." Staring at Brad Pitt while nibbling on Twizzlers and drinking Diet Dr. Pepper is definitely a win.

After the movie, I stop at a liquor store to buy some booze for the house warming party. I grab three bottles of white wine and pay out in a hurry, realizing from a glance at the clock in the store that I'm running late, as usual.

I storm out the door and down the street when I feel myself pressed hard against muscles covered by cotton. I almost stumble, but the person in the white t-shirt holds my elbow. I look up and see him.

"Sorry," I say, steadying myself on his arm. "Thanks." I nod and stand there for a second. I want to talk to him, because he is just too delicious looking for his own good. He's wearing green cargo shorts, a t-shirt and Vans. I wait for him to say something, but he just stands there shuffling around his feet.

"So ... just wanted to say sorry about yesterday," he says sincerely, looking down at me.


"About not coming to Southpaw last night … " he explains and I release a breath that I didn't know I'd been holding.

"No worries," I respond quickly, checking the time on my phone. "Sorry, I'm late for this housewarming thing … " He doesn't say anything, so I mumble "bye" and start to walk away. I take about three steps before I sense that he hasn't moved but is staring at my back now. I turn around. "Do you want to come? As my guest? It's probably going to be lame …" I shrug my shoulders and watch as a smile spreads across his face.

"Yeah, I'd love to." He closes the distance between us and walks casually beside me. I notice that he's really tall and I feel tiny next to him. I barely reach his shoulder.

"So Edward, what do you do when you're not prowling the hood on your skateboard?"

"I have an internship at a hospital in the city. Mostly I just do administrative stuff and I volunteer at the Senior Center down the block," he tells me. I hear this and my heart goes out to him. Many of my college classmates still haven't found a job and are basically jumping from unpaid internship to unpaid internship. A twinge of guilt hits me because I hate my paid job so much, when really, I should be happy I have one.

"Shit, that sucks," I offer as consolation.

"Nah, it's okay actually. What do you do?" he asks.

"I work for a TV network as a production assistant for a really stupid show. I hate my job," I admit. We arrive in front of James and Victoria's new apartment building and I ring the doorbell.

"That bad, huh?"

"Oh, you've got no idea. But it pays, so I really shouldn't complain," I sigh, as the door buzzes and we enter the building.

"So whose party is this?" he asks as we walk up the steps.

"This dude that I used to hang out with in college and his new girlfriend just moved in together. This is their housewarming party." We enter the apartment and an already wasted James grabs my ass as he pulls me into a hug, right in front of his girlfriend.

"Hi, James," I greet him, squirming quickly out of the hug.

"Who did ya bring along there, Ms. Swan?" he slurs, throwing an arm over my shoulders and facing Edward.

"James, meet Edward. Edward, meet James." I try my best to politely introduce them to each other, even though Edward has a rather grim, tight-lipped look on his face as he shakes James' hand. Victoria eyes me warily. This isn't the first time James' hands have found their way to my backside. In fact, I'm certain I remember him doing this to anyone with a vage and boobs during several drunken college parties.

I walk into the kitchen and Edward follows. I hand him a bottle of wine and a corkscrew while I search for wine glasses. I'm later than I thought. The kitchen is a mess, the sink full of dirty dishes. I watch him expertly uncork the bottle and hand him two glasses. He fills them and hands me one smiling.

"Cheers." I clink my glass against his.

"Cheers," he responds smirking. "So what would you rather be doing, if you hate your job?"

"I don't know. I haven't really thought about it, you know? In college I had no career plan and I still don't think I have one. This job just sort of fell into my lap and it sounded like something I would like doing."

"But now you hate it," he muses. "What do you like to do when you're not at work?"

"I read a lot, but that's about it. I doubt I could find a gig where I'd get paid for doing that."

"Don't editors for publishing houses read all day?"

"Yeah, I guess you're right, but in order to become an editor, you have to be an editor's assistant first and I heard that job is as boring and mindless as my current job. So …" I sigh.

"With some luck though, you'd become an editor eventually and then at least you'd have something to look forward to at the end of the work day." He correctly assesses my situation, and I have to admit he's astute and also that I am completely smitten with him.

Previous encounters with skateboard obsessed boys had left me with the distinct impression that they generally were only interested in destruction of property, finding empty swimming pools and pulling off stunts involving nudity and cops. But apparently I'm wrong, at least as far as Edward is concerned.

"What about you? Do you have a master plan?" I ask jokingly.

"I don't know yet, maybe medical school eventually," he hedges carefully. We sit down at the kitchen table and talk and banter until it's dark outside and we've finished two of bottles of wine. The more he tells me about himself, his hopes and his aspirations, the more intrigued I am. I never met anyone with such altruistic career goals and I feel a bit envious of the clarity with which he sees his path in life. I seem to have no ambitions whatsoever. I look up at the clock above the kitchen door and notice that it's almost 11 o'clock. The only people left are really drunk or passed out.

"Do you wanna get out of here?" I suggest to Edward.

"Sure," he answers almost immediately and gets up.

I quickly say goodnight to James and Victoria, who I haven't seen all night and head out of the door with Edward.

We walk side by side, his arm occasionally brushing against mine, and I want to kiss him badly every time one corner of his mouth goes up and creates a crooked grin.

"This is me," I say when we reach my steps.

"I know."

"So I guess …" I start talking, but before I can say goodnight he kisses me. It's a quick peck on the lips. He straightens himself up again and I touch my mouth with my fingers, not quite sure whether I've ever felt this before – this jolt of electricity from a simple kiss.

He pulls his hair back with his hand and looks nervous and insecure all of a sudden. I put my hand behind his neck and pull him back down to me, kissing him. I slide my tongue over his bottom lip and he opens his mouth, our tongues greedily searching and exploring. Within seconds he pulls me close to him and I move my hands underneath his t-shirt, feeling his skin, exploring his back. His hands move to my ass, as he crushes me closer, and I feel his hard-on pushing against my stomach. I grind against him and pull his hair.

"Get a fucking room!" I hear some old guy say as he walks his Labrador past us. I glance up at the windows to my apartment and notice that the light is on in the living room. I make a decision quickly.

He's still holding me and we're panting, our foreheads touching.

"My roommate's at home. Your place?" I whisper, looking into his eyes. I hear him growl and nod. He keeps his arm around my shoulder with his hand resting on my hip and we walk two blocks until we reach another brownstone. He drags me through an entrance below the stairs.

"Are you living with your parents?" I ask as I notice that the house is not divided into apartments.

"Yes, with my dad, but he's not home," he answers. I'm not surprised. I mean, hey, unpaid internship, where else would he live but with his parents, right?

He pulls me into his room and starts kissing me immediately. We fall onto his bed and he lands on top of me. He kisses me and the boy can kiss. I pull my leg up to his waist and pull him closer to me. He grinds into me, panting, groping, searching for more skin under my shirt. He leans on his forearm and pulls his t-shirt off while I do the same.

"May I?" he asks looking at the front clasp of my bra.

"You're kidding, right?" I laugh. "I think we may be past that at this point," I say, looking down at where our bodies are pressed together.

He smiles as he flicks the clasp open and I shrug my bra off. He turns on the light next to his bed and I see him staring down at me, sweat shimmering over his eyebrow. His touch is reverent, and I can feel my nipples harden in response as I watch him. Moving down, he starts kissing and licking my breasts. He places feather light kisses down my stomach to the top of my skirt, he stops and looks up at me for permission. What's he waiting for? I nod slowly, watching his fingers dip below the waistband. He pulls down my skirt and places his hand on my panties. I buck my hips into his hand searching for friction and he looks up at me, seeming a little surprised.

"Uhm, tell me what feels good?" he asks hesitantly, as if he's not sure on how to proceed.

"Sure," I assure him, as he pushes my cotton panties down with a curious expression on his face. Edward places kisses on the inside of my thighs before carefully pushing his fingers against me, sliding up and down, without ever hitting the right spot. I'm getting a little frustrated waiting for him to figure out female anatomy 101, so I take his finger and place it on my clit.

"Here?" Edward responds pressing his finger down, before placing a kiss on the spot where I felt his finger two seconds earlier.

"More please," I pant, now that he's finally hitting a homerun.

I gasp, as he licks and starts sucking. He carefully glides a finger into me and starts moving it in and out in perfect rhythm with his tongue.

"Uhh, so close," I shift my hips forward again, seeking release from the touch of his mouth and fingers. Turns out his hands are magical once properly instructed. I find release quickly and lie panting and sweaty while he still licks up and over my clit. I'm too sensitive, so I reach between my legs and move his face up to me and kiss him. I taste myself on his lips.

I reach for his shorts, undo the button and the zipper and reach for him, feeling him hard and straining against his boxer shorts. He exhales loudly when I grab him, looking down to watch my hand as his stomach muscles contract sharply.

"Condoms?" I whisper and he swallows loudly.

"Hang on," he answers reaching to the nightstand next to his bed. I glance down at it and see a stack of skate DVDs in the bottom shelf of the stand.

He opens up the drawer and pulls out an unopened box of condoms. He lies down next to me, fumbling to open the box. I decide it's time to get rid of the rest of his clothing. I crawl on top of him and pull down his shorts together with his boxers. I watch as his erection springs free, before leaning in and kissing him from his navel across his flat stomach. He shivers below me.

"Wait," he says, breathing hard. I look up at him from my position and see that he has ripped the box of condoms, but hasn't managed to get one out.

I move up to rest my chin on his chest. He drops the string of condoms on the bed next to us and kisses my mouth. I move to the side next to him and we are facing each other, touching and kissing, his erection touching my naked stomach. I stroke him lightly and push my thumb over his tip. He hisses and reaches for the condoms. He rips open the foil of one package, and I see that his hands are shaking. He almost drops the rubber on the bed between us.

I wonder what's making him so nervous, but push the thought aside; I want him now. I take the condom from his shaking fingers and in one swift motion pull it over his length. He kisses me and rolls back onto his back keeping me close to him, so that I'm effectively back to lying on top of him.

"Do you mind?" he whispers.

"Lazy boy," I answer, biting my lip and grinning, as I straddle him and then position him at my entrance. I slide down his length slowly, feeling him stretch me, and bend down to kiss him. He puts his hands on my hips and I start moving on top of him. He promptly finds my rhythm and starts pushing his hips into mine. I feel him tense underneath me rather quickly and hope he's not close. I grind my hips into his one of more time and feel him shudder underneath me. He's done. I'm a little disappointed, but don't let it show. He's sweet and I like him. So I kiss him softly.

"I'm sorry," he murmurs.

"It's okay," I say, smiling, releasing him and moving next to him resting on my side. Edward tosses the used condom on the floor next to the bed and I lean my head against his shoulder comfortably.

My fingers trace the lines of his torso idly and he pulls up one of the sheets from his bed to cover us. He kisses my forehead and I hope he doesn't fall asleep immediately. I remember that I'll have to get up in the morning and run over to my apartment to take a shower, before going to work. I try to get up to look for my bag with my cell phone so I can set the alarm to go off around seven o'clock, but he holds me to him, not letting me go.

"You're not going to leave, are you?" he asks, looking a little worried, but trying to sound casual.

"I just need to find my cell phone to set the alarm."

"Okay," he breathes into my hair and releasing his hold on me. I find my bag and my cell phone and sit on the corner of his bed, setting the alarm on my phone and then look around his room.

"I see you haven't really redecorated since moving back in," I say with a chuckle, eyeing skateboard posters and a shelf filled with soccer trophies. He doesn't answer me, but instead pulls me back to bed and starts kissing me. He moves on top of me and I can feel he's hard again.

"Ready again?" I laugh.

"Yeah," he answers, smiling into my neck. My fingers move along his back and I feel him slipping over me. I gasp at how good he feels and his smell.

I remember a story from my physical anthropology class in college about sweaty t-shirts given to girls to see which scent they preferred. It turns out biology has it's own way of determining your match: in that experiment, the girls favored the smell of t-shirts recently worn by males whose immune response genes were different from their own; the different immune genes when combined ensure that the offspring of the couple is more likely to have a strong immune system and therefore a higher chance of survival. It's all chemistry.

If Edward's smell is any indication, he's my match.

"I want you," he whispers and I nod. He reaches for another condom and this time his hands are not shaking as he pulls out the rubber and pushes it over his erection.

"I want you too," I moan into his mouth. He pushes against me, but not hard enough. I lift my hips up and feel his head slip inside. He moves forward slowly, filling me inch by inch. Once he's inside of me completely, he starts thrusting.

"Feels so good," he breathes, picking up his pace with his elbows on either side of my face. I move my legs up to his waist and push him deeper with the heels of my feet, urging him on. He pushes up on one hand and lets the other glide towards my ass. I close my eyes and I can feel my climax building. I shove my hips up to meet his.

"So close," I gasp, as he increases his speed and I can feel myself coming, clenching around him. He thrusts in a couple of more times before collapsing on top of me.

After I catch my breath, I wiggle underneath him. He pulls out with a groan and tosses the condom aside. He lies down next to me and we spoon, while I drift off into a deep sleep, spent.

Edward rubbing his hard member against my backside wakes me up a little while later. I'm about to turn around to tell him I'm too tired for another round. I have a job after all and have to get up early in the morning while his interning ass probably doesn't have to show up until later, if at all. But then I hear him moan in my hair.

"Bella …" I glance over my shoulder and see that his eyes are closed. He's sound asleep. I turn my head around and kiss him. He wakes up and kisses me back.

We fuck twice more in the middle of the night. I take it back: sometimes looks and attraction do translate to chemistry in bed.

I hear a knock on the door and I open my eyes. The sun is up, but I haven't heard my cell phone go off.

"Edward, are you up?" I hear a female voice outside the door yell.

My blood runs cold and I shake his shoulder, trying to rouse him. Before I can get him to wake up to answer whoever is hollering at the door, the door flies open. At first I'm relieved when I see Alice Cullen in front of me, but then my brain starts churning.

Alice … living with her dad … younger brother … you've got to be fucking kidding me.


"Bella!" Alice shrieks.

"Alice!" I mutter, covering my head with my hands. I realize that I'm now officially sitting topless in front of her and pull the sheet up, looking for my underwear. "I'm sorry, Alice! Shit, I had no idea."

Finally, Edward stirs beside me and looks up. His expression mirrors mine.

"Alice, get the fuck out of my room!" he yells, pulling the sheets up around him.

"Don't worry. I'm out of here." She closes the door loudly behind her. I jump out of bed and start looking for my underwear and the rest of my clothing.

I find my underwear and my shirt, swearing under my breath while I put them on. I pause then, looking at Edward for a second who is sitting with his head buried in his hands.

I look around the room, seeing it clearly in the morning light.


"How old are you?" I whisper, terrified to find out the answer.


I pause, not knowing how to react. "I'm sorry?" I say. "I had no idea. I wouldn't have asked you to come to the party and I most certainly would have never touched you, if I'd known."

"Gee, thanks. That makes me feel great," he huffs, grabbing his boxers and pulling them on quickly. Finally, I see my skirt peeking out from underneath the bed; I go grab it, put it one and take my bag. A look at my cell phone confirms that it's still really early and I have enough time to get ready to go to work.

"Listen, I gotta run. I'm really so sorry," I say quickly, my back turned towards him, heading toward the door. All I can think about is how fast I can get out of here. I'm about to press down on the door handle, when I hear him.

"Am I going to see you again?" he asks quietly. I feel guilty and ashamed, so I turn around and look at him sitting at the corner of his bed.

"I don't think that's a good idea. This was … a mistake," I say bluntly, not wanting any misunderstanding between us.

Before he can respond I bolt out of the room. The number seventeen echoes in my head as I run out, down the steps of his house and into the street.

I walk quickly home and my mind keeps on going over the events of last night. How the hell did I not realize how fucking young he is? I think about what we did in his room and I blush. His nervousness and the way he dropped the condom. I pray that I wasn't his first. The thought makes me instantly ill. Did I just deflower a seventeen-year-old? I feel the bile rising from my stomach up to my esophagus and make it to the toilet just in time to empty the contents of my stomach into the bowl

"You alright, Bells?" I hear Jasper's concerned voice coming from the other side of the bathroom door.

"I'm alright. I think it was something I ate." I rinse my mouth with Listerine while I look at myself in the mirror. I can't stand what I see. I cry in silence sitting on the bathroom floor. My life is a disaster. I hate my job and a fucking seventeen-year-old has more of a plan on what to do with this one-time-chance for a life than I have at the age of twenty-three. After wallowing in self-pity for ten minutes, I get up to search for my phone to call in sick. Jasper leaves around eight to go to work and Kate and Tanya won't be back until tonight, which is a good thing, because I need time alone to think. I need change, not a distraction.