Author's Note

What follows here is a short story I wrote in honor of Lolashoes' birthday this year. It takes place within the broader universe of Twi/Osa Bella and features Mercy Brown, Edward and Bella in an alternate take on how Edward first meets Bella. It's lemony and not intended for anyone under the age of 18. Let me reiterate, this is an alternate take, so it does not fit into the Osa Bella story. It's just sort of a sideshot or something like that, whatever these things mean

For those of you who haven't read Osa Bella, Mercy Brown is a character I introduced in that story. She's a vampire, a performing musician and an old friend of Edward's. In Osa Bella, Bella is a big Mercy Brown fan before she ever meets Edward and one of the first conversations that she and Edward have is about Mercy's music.

The song featured in this story is a real song by a band called "Family Band" and I encourage you to seek them out at and check out their album, Miller Path.

Many thanks to Texas Katherine, Mama_Cougar, Tby789, Latch Key Wife, and as always, Mr. Myg for reading and cleaning this piece up. And of course, thanks to Lolashoes for the inspiration.

#

All night long the most delicious black haired girl stood across from the stage, along the wall, nursing the same beer. I couldn't help but notice the rapid beating of her heart, even from where I stood. It was something I often noticed-the inner workings of the human body, a gift of sight that had been bestowed me upon my transformation to this dark life. It was useful when stalking potential playmates, and here I could see this one was excited about something. Hopefully, me.

Still, she looked broody as she watched me play, like many of my regulars often did. My songs seemed to attract the pensive, the weary, the ones thought too much and knew real heartache. But she was something else I had a hard time sorting out. A little lost, was the best way I could describe it. Searching for something. She'd never approach me-I could tell she wasn't the type. But with the way she eyed me, wistful, needy, and more than a little suggestive, I had to meet her.

"Hi, I'm Mercy Brown," I said, taking the empty bar stool next to her once the crowd at The Crocodile had thinned a little and I'd had enough chatting with my audience. "What are you having?" She smiled and pointed at the empty Rainier bottle.

"Is that your real name?" she asked. "I've always wondered."

"Let me guess," I said. "You searched it in Google and came up with a wiki reference to some poor girl who died of tuberculosis and was accused of being a vampire in the 19th century, right?"

"Yeah," she said. "What an awful story that was. But it's a great stage name."

"Do you believe in vampires?" I asked.

"Depends on what number Rainier I'm on," she said with a laugh.

"Bartender," I called, smiling at her. "Two Rainiers."

"You drink this stuff too?"

"No, they're for you."

"Are you trying to get me drunk?"

"Definitely," I said and gave her a smile. I gazed into her brain and saw the neurons firing, the synapses glowing. She wasn't drunk. Yet.

"Awesome," she said. "Now I can tell my friends Mercy Brown got me drunk."

"That's not all you'll be able to tell them," I teased. "Are you from around here?"

"I'm from Forks," she answered. "I'm just here for the weekend. I came here to see you, actually."

"Really?" I was beyond pleased with this information. "I'm so flattered!"

"Yeah, I'm a huge fan. I just didn't want to fangirl all over you in the first five minutes of meeting you," she said, a wide smile breaking across her adorable face as she relaxed a little. She took a pull off a fresh beer. "I didn't want to scare you away. I can be a little intense sometimes."

"You're perfectly delicious," I said. "I think I'm going to have to keep you."

"That's fine," she said, teasing back. "I was looking for a new home, anyway."

"Oh come on," I said. "You must have plenty of... attachments? In Forks?"

"Not really," she said, her voice turning from playful to something a little dour, and this would not do.

"Are you here alone?" I asked.

"Yes," she said. "I needed a weekend away from the usual."

"No boyfriend? Or girlfriend?"

"No," she said, shaking her head, fighting her urge to smile too broadly. "No attachments like that."

"I really may have to keep you then," I whispered in her ear, listening to the rush of blood through her veins, the quickening pulse. "What did you say your name was, sweetheart?"

"Lola," she said, her eyes darting to the left, her pulse picking up speed, an obvious sign of her lie.

"Lola?" I asked, not bothering to hide the incredulity in my voice. "Is that your real name?"

"It is tonight," she said, a little apologetically. "I need to stay anonymous right now. For professional reasons."

"Oh, you're a professional then?" I casually placed my hand on her thigh and felt her muscle tense in response to the coldness of my touch. I played with the hem of her short skirt. "How old are you, sweet Lola?"

"I just turned thirty," she said, with a slight grimace. "Today is my birthday, actually. I came here to celebrate."

"Shame on you for not telling me sooner," I said. "I absolutely love birthdays. I'm going to throw you a party."

"No," she said, laughing. "This birthday I'd like to forget."

"I disagree completely," I said. "This birthday we'll make unforgettable."

#

I wanted to pick her up and carry her on my back all the way to the boat, I was so smitten with her, but she wasn't drunk enough for that. She offered to carry my guitar for me and I let her.

"Do you play?" I asked.

"No," she said. "Maybe I'll learn someday. You can teach me how to play Daylight."

"That's my favorite," I admitted. "My friend helped me write that."

"Oh?" she asked. "You have a collaborator?"

"On some tracks. I couldn't get him to play tonight, though. He likes to write the music and record it, but he's not so big on performance."

"Shy?"

"Just moody," I said, smirking as I thought of how surprised Edward would be when I showed up with Lola.

Edward was my close friend, my sometimes music collaborator, sometimes bed partner. I would have fallen in love with him, would have chosen him as a mate if not for the fact he had already fallen in love with someone he'd never met.

Edward had the gift, or curse depending on the situation, of hearing people's thoughts. His sister Alice could see the future and long ago in a vision she'd heard him say, "Bella, you are my life now."

With that, she'd sent Edward on an impossible quest for some woman named Bella that lasted decades. The continuing search made him bitter on love, but he was still the best lover I'd ever had. It had been a long time since I'd brought him a playmate to share and I hoped he'd find Lola a nice surprise. She was certainly his type. She was cute, dark haired, smart and plenty adventurous. And she smelled so very god.

"Do you want to meet him?" I probably should have asked Lola about that before we left the bar.

"Tonight?" she asked.

"Yes, tonight," I said. "I'm taking you to meet him right now, so say yes."

"Yes, then," she said, nervously. "Are you taking me to meet anyone else?"

"It's your birthday party," I said. "How many more guests would you like?"

"That's plenty," she said, her heart racing, her palm beginning to sweat around the handle of my guitar case. I took her other hand in mine as we walked along.

"We'll just hang out," I said, reassuring. "I like you, Lola. I swear, there's no pressure here."

"Okay," she said. "Look, I feel like I have to tell you-I've never been picked up by a woman before."

"Now that's a real shame," I said, teasing. "Good thing I was here to fix that."

She laughed, but I could tell she was still nervous. She was extra sexy when she was nervous. The adrenaline did something to her scent that made me a little wild for her. It made me think of doing all kinds of things to her to make her more nervous. I put my arm around her shoulders and nosed into her hair.

"You smell like strawberries," I said. "Good enough to eat."

"Oh my God," she said, catching her breath. "That's hot."

"Let's get a cab," I said. I'd had enough of the slow walk to the marina. She took a deep breath in and gave me a nod that told me, nervous as she was, she was on board with whatever the night might bring. My kind of girl.

#

Down at Bell Harbor we strolled along the dock until we came to Edward's boat, Reckoner. But the lights were out. He was probably out looking for Bella again. He often did this when we were in the city.

"Hey Captain," I called, just in case. "Permission to come aboard?"

"Is this his boat?" Lola asked, her mouth agape. "It's amazing. This is a vintage Hinckley ocean cruiser."

"You like boats?"

"Yeah," she said. "But this boat is a one of a kind. Where did he get it?"

"Oh, I'm sure he'll be happy to tell you all about it," I said, rolling my eyes. I hated Reckoner for the months it kept Edward away, the long hours he spent caring for it. I stepped onto the deck and Lola handed me my guitar before she hopped on board, glowing in her admiration.

"Where is he?" she asked.

"I don't know," I said. "Come on, I'll show you around."

I showed her down into the cabin and she gawked at all the boring teak detailing. As she wandered around I watched her, admiring the way her hands lovingly stroked the wooden rail, the way the curve of her ass brushed up against the counter as she bent over to put my guitar down.

"It's my birthday, so do I get a special request?" she asked, her hands on her hips.

"I suppose so," I said, smiling. "But you'll have to give me your jacket first as collateral. I don't want you running out mid-song."

"Like I'd run out on a private Mercy Brown show? No way."

"What do you want to hear?"

"Diamonds," she said.

"You picked a song that Edward wrote," I said, pulling my guitar out of the case.

"Edward?" she asked. "That's his name?"

"Yeah," I said.

"Is he your boyfriend?"

"My boyfriend?" I laughed. "Hardly."

"Well, I just thought..."

"We've been friends for many years," I said. "We're very close, but it's not like that." I checked the galley, hoping Edward had stocked some alcohol, assuming I'd bring guests back after the show like I usually did. "Are you drunk enough yet?" I asked. "There's a reality I'd like to bend for you before the night's over."

"Oh?" she asked, smiling. "I may need another drink then."

"How do you like whiskey?" I asked, putting the bottle on the counter.

"No tequila?" she teased. "I suppose whiskey will do, then." I poured her a shot and slid it across the counter. "You're not having one?"

"I never touch the stuff," I said, noticing the cloud across her face. "Anymore," I added. I walked around the counter and stood behind her, putting my hands around her waist, my head on her shoulder. "My reality is bent enough as it is."

"Salud," she said, turning to face me, raising her glass. She tipped her head back and threw the shot down like a pro. She winced slightly and licked her lips. "That burns."

"Is it a good burn or a bad burn?" I asked.

"Very good," she said. "Do I get my song now?"

"Of course," I said, pulling my guitar from the case and giving her a smile. I sat on the bench across from her and she leaned against the rail. I closed my eyes began to sing,

"I used to believe,

my fingers were diamonds,

and the men they would pay me just to draw them,

all night long..."

The scent of her hair, of her heart pumping her blood filled the small cabin and I almost felt high. Her eyes were locked on my mouth and she twirled her hair in her slight fingers and I suddenly wanted to be that twisted strand, very badly.

"And you can encircle me

Your own little island

And you are there archer there

And there are trees

All those trees..."

"Thank you," she said when I finished. "You're amazing, Mercy. Any day now you'll be hitting the big time."

"That's not what I want," I said, eyeing her.

"What do you want?" she asked.

"Come here and I'll show you," I said, getting to my feet. I set the guitar down and she approached me, suddenly shy and I saw her heart again, quickening its beat. "You are so sexy when you're nervous," I said, putting my hand around her waist and pulling her to me. "You have no idea."

"I've never done this before," she said, quietly. "I don't want to... disappoint."

"Oh, Lo, I don't think that's possible." I reached for her face and smiled as she flinched at my cold touch. But she didn't pull away.

"I think that whiskey made me hot," she said. "Do I feel feverish?"

"You feel wonderful," I said, pulling her chin up and lightly touching my lips to hers. I inhaled her again, deeply. Her sweet scent made me delightfully dizzy, her slight trembling as she opened her mouth a little to accept my tongue made me wet. I stroked down her back like a cat and she began to breathe quickly. She put her hands to my face and pressed her lips to mine.

"I've never kissed a woman before," she said, a little breathless. From the heat coming off of her, the intensifying sweetness of her body, her kiss, I could tell it wouldn't be the last time she kissed a woman.

"And what do you think?" I asked, sliding my hands to her waist, slipping my fingers under the fabric of her skirt. I pushed her gently back to the wall, keeping my eyes locked on her. She didn't answer me, but instead slipped her tongue into my mouth and wrapped her arms around me and then kissed me harder. "Oh there, I'm not so sure I believe you," I said, giving her a smirk.

"Can you take this top off?" she asked, tugging at the hem of my shirt. I raised my arms and let her pull it over my head. I stepped back and she watched as I slowly unhooked my bra and let it slide off of my breasts.

"Your turn," I said, putting my hand out to stop her as she approached.

"When is your friend coming back?" she asked, glancing past me to the cabin door.

"Does it matter?"

"What if he finds us?"

"What if?"

"Well, wouldn't that be sort of awkward?"

"For?"

She paused and then unbuttoned her shirt slowly, looking a little more nervous.

"I don't want you to do anything that makes you uncomfortable," I said. I closed the small space between us and put my arm around her waist, drew her in for another kiss. Her mouth had gone a little dry from nerves, and I slipped my tongue in it and she began to suck lightly. I unbuttoned her the rest of the way. "Actually, that's a lie," I whispered and listened to the rush of her blood pulsing through her body and then I couldn't help but look, down, inside of her, and see how aroused she had become by my words. "I really may have to keep you," I purred. "You are just too fun."

She kissed me then, stroking her tongue in my mouth, demanding and I pushed her back to the wall and slipped her bra off. I ran my fingers lightly over her neck, trailed them slowly down between her breasts and enjoyed the sound of her beginning to pant. She dragged her lips to my ear, ran her hands over my naked back. I teased her nipple with the backs of my fingers and then cupped her breast gently, enjoying her tensing beneath my cold touch. I kissed her again, squeezing her nipple between my fingers. She gasped in surprise as we both heard him-Edward-boarding the boat.

"He's here," she whispered, covering her breasts with her arm and pressing herself to the wall. "I shouldn't meet him like this."

"Oh yes, yes, you should," I said, grinning. "This is where it starts to get interesting."

"I've never... "

"All the better," I said. "He loves meeting new people. Trust me."

"Mercy? Who've you got down there?" Edward called from up above.

"Come see," I said. "She can't wait to meet you."

Lola gulped and hid behind me as I turned to face the cabin door. I giggled as she scrambled to cover herself with her shirt, but she didn't have time to get it on so she just held it to herself, her naked back against the wall.

Edward came into the cabin and smiled at me and raised his eyebrows. "Good show?" he asked.

"What do you think?" I said over my shoulder. Lola nodded and blushed.

"So, who is this?" he asked.

"Edward, this is Lola," I said, gesturing behind me. "She's a little shy." I felt Lola cringe and cracked a smile. It was so fun breaking in new playmates. "She could probably use another cocktail."

"Come on out," he said, a playful grin on his face. "I promise not to bite."

I felt poor Lola burning up behind me, embarrassed but also intensely turned on. This night was going even better than I'd hoped, I thought, but then I looked at Edward's face and read something strange there. He looked surprised.

"Step aside, Mercy," he said.

I shifted, but she moved with me, staying behind me. Then he came over and took her by the hand and pulled her a few steps from the wall. She held the shirt to her, trembling slightly.

"Happy Birthday, Lola," he said, pulling the shirt from her hand and lowering his gaze to her breasts, and then resting his eyes on her blushing face.

"How did you know it was my birthday?" she asked.

"Mercy," he said. "She was thinking it."

"He can read minds," I said.

"Most minds," he said. "Not hers."

"You can't read her mind?" I asked. "Really?"

"Really," he said, looking perplexed. He narrowed his eyes at her and asked, "Who are you?"

"Lola," she said, covering her naked breasts with her arm.

"No, really," he said. "You're no ordinary human, or I'd be able to read your mind."

"What?" she asked. "I don't understand."

"She needs a few more before she'll believe in vampires, Edward," I said.

"I don't want her drunk," he said, and then relaxed a little. "So how old are you then? I need to know how many spankings to give."

"Oh my God," she said, blushing again. "Look, I'm very new at this... "

"That's okay," he said. "No experience necessary for that." Edward gazed into her eyes and something else flashed there. Curiosity. Tension.

"What's wrong?" I asked him.

"What did you say your name was?" he asked her again.

"Lola," she said.

"Lola what?"

"Um..." she looked down at the ground, sheepishly, and mumbled, "Shoes."

"Lola Shoes?" he asked. "Are you kidding?"

"No," she said.

"Bullshit," he said. "Tell me who you are."

"No," she said, her courage impressive in the face of Edward's demand. He wasn't used to being told "no" by anyone. Certainly not a human.

"I need to know."

"Too bad," she said.

"Wow," I said. "I love her more and more all the time. I swear Edward, I think I'm going to have to keep this one."

"Does she have any attachments?" he asked.

"Not really," I said.

"My father's a cop," she said, nervously. "He'd come looking for me."

"Good to know," Edward said, winking at me and taking a step back from Lola. "Wouldn't want any trouble from the law."

"We're teasing you, honey," I said, sensing her anxiety rising to a level that was going to ruin the whole evening. "You're just adorable and anyway, maybe we can hang out again sometime, right?"

She nodded and looked at Edward. He took a seat on the bench across from us, relaxing his posture. "Don't let me interrupt you," he said, giving her one of his most endearing smiles.

"Edward, do you want to watch?" I asked and he raised his eyebrows and gave me a slight nod. She flushed again and Edward inhaled deeply, his eyes going black. Her scent did something to him. Something that I'd never seen before. She was like a weakness to him. This could prove very interesting, I thought and smiled.

"Come here, honey," I cooed at her, stretching my hand out. She took it and I pulled her close to me. I shimmied out of my jeans and stood there in just my panties and watched Edward over her shoulder as he nodded approvingly. "Let's get you out of this," I whispered to her, tugging her skirt down over her hips until she stood in front of me, naked except for the small swatch of fabric that barely covered her ass. I traced my fingers slowly down around the edge of her panties and felt her skin respond with goosebumps all up and down her legs. I dragged my fingers lower and felt her wetness as it seeped into the fabric. She moaned a little and looked nervously over her shoulder to where Edward eyed us, hungrily.

I kissed her then and backed her across the cabin, until she stood in front of him, her ass to him. He ran his hands up her bare legs and then rested them on her waist and she cried out at his touch, drenched between her legs. So he did something to her, too. Something I didn't do. I might have been more jealous, but I was so surprised and so turned on by her reaction, I just kissed her harder as he tugged her panties down to her ankles.

Before I even knew what I was doing, I was on my knees before her. Edward pulled her into his lap, her back to him, and he spread her legs before me. She moaned in pleasure and I positioned myself between her knees. She dripped onto my fingers, gasping as he fondled her breasts.

"I want to taste you," I said, kissing the soft flesh of her belly. She moaned louder then. "Is it okay?" I asked, knowing the answer, but wanting to ensure she was willing, knowing it was her first time.

"Yes, please," she panted. "Please."

I tickled the inside of her thigh with my tongue, spread her legs wide with my hands until she was whimpering and clawing at my hair. I felt beneath her to Edward, still fully clothed, his hard-on so extreme for a moment I worried he might break. This girl was like no other I'd ever brought him.

I felt high again as her scent invaded my senses and I let my tongue trace the contours of her flesh. She was on fire between her legs and she dripped her pleasure onto my cold, greedy tongue. I inhaled deeply as her blood rushed to wherever my tongue pleasured her, first slow and deliberate, then teasing and rough against the inside of her, seeking, seeking, searching for the places that would make her call my name. I pulled her clit between my lips, sucked it gently and then firmly and then roughly until she did cry out then, but it wasn't my name. It was his.

"Edward," she cried as she came, twisting and writhing in his lap. I looked up at her in surprise, saw her eyes were closed as she gripped his hands tightly, their fingers intertwined. He groaned into her neck and she turned in his lap and faced him, touching her brow to his like she knew him, like she hadn't just met him and hadn't just allowed herself to be tongue fucked by a complete stranger while in his lap.

Edward looked down at me, a cross between confused, overwhelmed and something I'd never seen on his face before. He was undone by this woman.

"Edward?" I said, a little startled by her clear preference for him, and what I feared would be his for her. He looked down at me and gave me an apologetic look.

"Come here, Mercy," he said. I crawled up onto the bench next to them and he kissed me tenderly on the lips, and then pulled me closer as he swept my mouth with his tongue, tasting her on me. Lola gave me a fierce look, one that actually made me nervous.

"You don't even know him," I said. "You've only just met. How can you possibly be jealous?"

"I'm sorry," she said, blushing. "I don't mean to be rude. I think I've had too much to drink."

"You're flagged, then," I said. "Now help me get him out of those clothes." Lola looked Edward in the eyes, and he stared back at her and I knew then. There would be no getting in between them. "Well, can I at least watch?" I asked him. He shook his head at me and I scowled. "Come on. I found her."

"Thank you for that," he said, running his nose alongside of hers and smiling. Her eyes were closed now, her face was calm and serious.

"It's her," I said, feeling a mixture of mild disappointment and wonder at what I was witnessing. "Isn't it?"

He kissed her softly and I could see her heart, inside of her body, swell and pump as his hands held her face to his. She was already in love with him. I could see it in her brain, in the rush of her blood through her body, in the way every organ churned and whirred with more life than any human deserved.

"Now tell me your name," he said, holding her face in his hands. "Tell me right now."

"Bella," she said, her eyes soft as her breath came quickly. He closed his eyes and lowered his head and she kissed him on the brow. "I know this sounds crazy, but you can keep me," she whispered it in his ear. "I don't want to go home."

"Bella," he said. "You're already home."