I wrote this for the annual Countdown to Halloween.

A huge thanks to Melanie for keeping me motivated when I was about to give up halfway through. This one-shot probably wouldn't have seen the light of day without her encouragement.


"Edward Cullen is totally checking you out," Alice informs me during lunch.

For a split second my heart soars. Then I remember that this is reality – not one of my many fantasies where the most beautiful boy in all of existence suddenly realizes that he's crazy about me.

"Nice try," I mutter and stab a piece of apple with my fork before popping it in my mouth.

"I'm serious," she insists. "Try taking a drink of your soda."

I stare at her.

"Here, use this," she says and hands me a straw.

I take a pull of the straw and Alice is practically bouncing up and down in excitement next to me.

"What was that for?" I ask.

"You should have seen his face," she grins. "He couldn't stop staring at your mouth!"

No freaking way!

I look down to hide my smile. I'm secretly delighted at even the off chance that Edward Cullen might be looking at me but I won't let Alice in on that fact. I don't know why I even bother trying to hide it. Alice knows that I've been in love with him for years.

"You're so full of it," I tell her after I've managed to suppress my smile.

"Take a look for yourself," she dares me.

I want to look. I want to turn slightly and stare at him but I know what will happen if I do. If he is indeed looking at me and our eyes meet then that whole 'deer in the headlight' thing will happen and I'll end up gaping at him like a complete moron and let's face it: That's just not attractive. And God help me, I want to be attractive to Edward. I want him to want me as badly as I want him. Of course, that will never happen. For one, Edward is entirely too good-looking to be boyfriend material. And the fact that he is the most popular guy at our school doesn't exactly help matters either. Finally, I am nothing like the type of girls that he prefers. I'm not tall, blonde and curvaceous, but rather a petite brunette who is seriously lacking in the boob department. See where I'm going with this?

"He's still looking," Alice says.

"Fine, let him," I say exasperatedly all the while wondering if maybe someone stuck a note to my back or if I have something in my hair.

What the hell is he looking at?

It's not like I'm a troll or anything like that. In terms of looks I'm fairly average and I have been called pretty by a few guys I've gone out with. But Edward only hangs out with the insanely beautiful girls at parties and he has never given me the time of day. Okay, that's not entirely true. We do talk a little. It's kind of hard not to when you go to a tiny high school like the one in Forks. But our previous communication has always been along the lines of "can I borrow a pencil?", "please pass me that slide" or "boy, it's really coming down out there, huh?"

Needless to say the last one was said by me. Riveting stuff, right? Yeah, it's really no wonder that he's never paid much attention to me. Except for the strange occurrence of him staring at me today, which I'm still convinced is because I probably look like a cow chewing the cud when I eat. He's always nice and polite, though. Sometimes he smiles at me when we pass each other in the hall. On those occasions I have trouble breathing afterwards and usually I run to the nearest bathroom to calm down and cool my burning cheeks with copious amounts of cold water.

"So we should talk about Halloween," Alice says suddenly.

"What's there to talk about?" I ask and try to sneak a peak in Edward's direction.

Green piercing eyes and a crooked smile is all I can see.

Holy fuck!

Somehow I manage to whip my head around before Edward sees the annoying blush that's now invading my face completely.

"What costume you're going to wear, of course," Alice prattles on, blissfully unaware of my scorching cheeks.

"I'll just wear the same as last year," I say and wave my hand dismissively.

"What?" Alice shrieks. "Bella, you can't!"

"Why not? It's not a big deal," I argue. "It's just a stupid party."

"Stupid?" a smooth-as-butter voice asks behind me.

Oh no! Why? Why? Why?

Of course its Edward's party I'm referring to and of course he happens to be walking by at the exact moment when I'm trashing said party. I duck my head and give Alice a desperate look that says 'help me out here!'

"Edward," she says with a sly smile. "Will you please tell Bella that she can't wear a boring costume to your awesome party?"

"So you don't think my party is stupid?" he asks.

I can't look at him so I simply shake my head.

"Well, that's good to know," he says smoothly. "What's the costume?"

"It's nothing," I squeak and hope he'll go away immediately.

"Nothing?" he chuckles. "I wouldn't mind seeing that. I bet you'd look good in nothing."


I whip my head around to face him, my mouth opening and closing of its own volition.

"I-I didn't mean it that way," I sputter.

"Pity," he says with a panty-dropping smile.

Then he leans down so that we're nose to nose.

"I guess you'll just have to surprise me at the party, okay?"

I nod dumbly and he smiles again. This is one of the longest conversations we have ever had and my heart is racing because his beautiful face is just a few inches from mine.

"See you later," he says softly. "And Bella - I look forward to seeing your not boring costume."

I stare disbelievingly at him as his hand rises up and he pushes a lock of my hair behind my ear. Logically, I know that he is actually touching me but it doesn't make any sense. I think I actually gasp or do something equally moronic when his fingertips glide over the skin behind my ear and my heart is now hammering so loudly that I'm sure he can hear it. Before I can say or do anything else he has turned around and is walking away quickly, his fists clenching and unclenching for some reason. Is it possible that he is as affected by what just happened as I am? Because even though our exchange only lasted a minute I am still just sitting there almost hyperventilating and completely flushed in the face.

"Holy shit," Alice whispers. "You two are so hooking up at the party."


"He was all over you, Bella. I've never seen anything like it," she says.

Neither have I.

The rest of the school day passes in a blur. I have no idea which classes I have attended and what the rest of the students have learned. I have learned three things today. Number one: I am head over heels in love with Edward Cullen. Okay, I already knew that so I guess it doesn't count. Number two: Edward is without a doubt the hottest guy on the planet. No, everyone who has ever met him already knows that so that doesn't count either. Number three: I don't have a clue how to make him mine. Yeah, that's not exactly news either. In conclusion: I have learned nothing and am in way over my head.

Alice drags me to her house after school saying that we have a lot to do before the party next week. What we're doing exactly she won't tell me and I go along because I still haven't got a clue how to deal with the new development in my relationship with Edward.

Relationship? Pathetic much, Bella?

Yeah, yeah. So it's not a traditional kind of relationship but we're making progress, right? Anyway, Alice leaves me in her room and tells me that she has the perfect costume for me. She comes back after a minute holding something very miniscule in her hands.

"Ta-dah!" she announces and throws it on the bed.

No way! There is no way in hell I'm wearing that!

I stare at the blue and white cheerleading uniform and then back to my best friend who is bouncing all over the place clapping her hands maniacally like one of those wind-up monkeys with cymbals.

"Are you high?" I ask her and point at the offensive garments.

"What?" she asks and takes a break from clapping. "It's perfect!"

"It's a cheerleading uniform," I say, although that's pretty evident.

"I know!" Alice says. "Do you know how much attention Rose got whenever she wore that thing?"
She has a point. Her older sister Rosalie did turn heads left and right at our school before she graduated three years ago. But that's because she looks like a goddess and I'm sure the uniform didn't really mean that much since men are still falling all over each other to ogle her wherever she goes.

"But Rosalie is a freaking knock-out," I argue logically. "I'm hardly cheerleader material. I'll just wear the ghost costume again this year."

Alice looks appalled at the very mention and I seriously don't get it. The ghost costume is genius in my book. It's super-easy to put on and five minutes into the party after the novelty of the costumes has worn off I can remove the sheet and I'll be wearing my own comfortable clothes. That's a win/win situation in my book!

"Bella," Alice says sternly. "You're got going as Casper the fucking friendly ghost!"

"Why not?"

"Because you almost have a date with Edward Cullen!" she yells at me. "He's expecting you to come and find him to show off your not boring costume and there's no way I'm letting you show up in a sheet."

"But," I start to protest.

"Come here," she orders and points to her computer.

She does a search and gives me a pointed look.

"This is not sexy," she says and motions to a picture of…yeah, you guessed it. Casper the friendly ghost.

"But this," she says and does another search, "is sexy."

I stare at the picture of a bunch of cheerleaders standing in a row.

Wow, bimbos on parade! I wonder if they're waiting in line for a brain.

"Trust me, Bella," she says sounding all wise and worldly. "This is what guys like Edward fantasize about."

"What do you mean 'guys like Edward?'" I ask defensively.

"Jocks," Alice says simply.

"Edward isn't a jock," I argue. "He's really smart."

I know this because he's in some of my advanced classes and I'm constantly amazed that someone so gorgeous can also be brilliant plus a nice guy to boot. Edward could easily be an asshole and people would still worship him in school. But the amazing thing is that he doesn't seem to fathom the power he holds over most of the student body. He's a genuinely 'down to earth' kind of guy and gets along with everyone. Sure, he parties a lot and yeah, he hooks up with a lot of skanks at said parties but that's the only negative things I can say about him. And maybe it isn't a lot of skanks. It could just be my insane jealousy talking. He's never had a girlfriend, a fact which I'm eternally grateful for, but I have seen him kissing a few girls like Tanya and Jessica. Needless to say, I had to leave the parties after witnessing that. And I may have gone home to cry and eat a bunch of junk before falling asleep queasy and miserable. Pathetic? Yes. Necessary? Definitely!

Come to think of it it's totally my own fault that I haven't talked to Edward outside of school. At the aforementioned parties he has smiled at me and one time he even raised his beer to toast with me. Of course I had to turn around to hide my face and when I looked at him again he was talking to some other girl who isn't a total idiot and probably returned the toast.

God, I suck!

"Yes, yes," Alice says patiently, bringing me out of my reverie. "Edward is the smartest most cutest boy ever."

She is clearly making fun of me and I roll my eyes even though she is absolutely right. He is all that and more.

"Look Bella," she continues. "There hasn't been a cheerleading squad at school since Rose graduated and believe me when I tell you that all the boys including Edward are disappointed about that fact. If you wear this you'll knock his socks off. Guys love cheerleaders."

"But that's not really who I am," I say.

"That's not the point," she says. "It's Halloween. You're just pretending for fun and it's a way of getting his attention."

"I guess so," I mutter.

"Why do you think I'm dressing as a Southern belle?" Alice asks with a smirk. "Everyone knows that Jasper Whitlock is really into all that Civil War stuff. I'm just doing it to attract him. It's not like he expects me to me Scarlett O'Hara all the time. It's just a costume."

"You have a point," I admit reluctantly.

"Of course I do," she says with a smirk. "Don't you want him to notice you at the party?"

I nod because I certainly want that.

"Excellent," she grins triumphantly. "For Halloween I'll be the belle of the ball, you'll be the sexy cheerleader and we'll both get our guy. Agreed?"

She holds out her tiny hand. I grab it and give it a shake.

"Agreed," I say with my heart in my throat.

The next week flies by quickly. Edward smiles at me every day and I'm getting more and more excited about the party. Maybe he really does like me? On Friday I spend all day at Alice's house in order to prepare for the party that night. My dad, Charlie, is totally cool with it since he doesn't understand what the big deal is in the first place and frankly I think he's just glad that he doesn't have to witness all the girly stuff that Alice and I do in preparation. I've never been much of a girly girl and I've never really shown an interest in hairstyles and makeup so it's pretty fortunate that I have a friend like Alice to help me get ready. She spends what seems like hours putting stuff on my face and then turns to my hair. I'm mildly appalled when she tells me that she wants braid it. My hair is in my own opinion my best attribute and I don't want to hide my curls like that. Alice and I come to a compromise and she settles for giving me pigtails. I figure that I can always take them out once the party gets going.

I'm about to change into the uniform when Alice stops me and pulls out a bag for me. I look inside and my jaw drops.

"What's this?" I ask, although I can see what it is. It's really sexy lingerie.

"You have to wear it, Bella," she says because she knows me well enough to anticipate my protests.

"Look," I say as patiently as I can. "It's not that I don't appreciate it, Al, but I really don't need this."

"Yes, you do," she grins.

"No one is seeing my underwear," I say firmly. "Even if by some miracle I get a chance to be with Edward there is no way I would ever let it get that far."

"I know that," Alice says and rolls her eyes. "It's not for him, it's for you."


"You'll automatically feel sexy just knowing that you're wearing something pretty underneath your clothes. Rose swears by it."

"I guess it couldn't hurt," I admit, since sexy is hardly a word I would use to describe myself. And like we established earlier, I want to be attractive to Edward. Desperately so.

I put on the underwear and thank my lucky stars that Alice had the good sense not to buy me a thong because that might have pushed me over the edge. I have to admit that the black lace hipsters are a lot nicer than my usual cotton panties and the bra fits perfectly. How Alice managed to get the size right I don't even want to speculate about. I dress in the uniform and am thankful that I can wear regular sneakers and won't be forced to wear heels all night. The skirt is a lot shorter than anything I have worn before and the top is definitely tighter. I am having a major case of cold feet as I walk into Alice's bedroom to face her scrutiny.

Oh, wow!

"Alice, you look incredible!" I exclaim, my own costume completely forgotten.

She is the epitome of a Southern Belle in her green gown with a matching bonnet. She looks like an extra from "Gone with the Wind" and will without a doubt win the prize for having the best costume at the party. And Jasper will cream his pants, for sure. He is such a history geek and is always talking about his family's involvement in the Civil War. His great-great and maybe another great-grandfather was a Confederate major or something like that and even though he was born and raised right here in Forks he still pulls out a Southern drawl once in a while. I think it sounds funny but Alice just about swoons every time it happens. I know that he will be all over her tonight and I am thrilled for both of them.

"So do you!" she yells and pulls me with her to the full-length mirror.

I stare at the two of us and we are practically unrecognizable. We don't look like two shy lovesick girls now. Alice is so demure and ladylike and I look…well, like the exact opposite standing next to her. The Lady and the Tramp.

"I can't wear this," I gulp.

"Why not?" Alice asks. "You look great."

I shake my head frantically.

"It's too much, or actually it's not enough," I blurt out. "Have you seen how short my skirt is?"

"Yes," she says slowly. "And have you seen how great your legs look?"

"They're so pale," I whimper.

"Bella!" she laughs. "It's October. Everyone is pale. You look fantastic!"

I take a few steps closer to the mirror and inspect myself more closely. My eyes look bigger somehow and my lips are more pink than usual. Okay, my face does look pretty good and my hair too. But the uniform is just so revealing.

"Bella," Alice says gently and places a hand on my shoulder. "I wouldn't let you wear that to the party if you didn't look great in it. It's not too revealing."
I gape at her. Can she read my mind?

"I know you," she smirks. "We've been best friends for ten years. Honestly, you look beautiful. Edward won't know what hit him."

I take a deep breath and look at myself again. I look like a different version of Bella. A sexier, sultrier version.

"Isn't it time to finally take a chance and go after him?" Alice asks and squeezes my shoulder. "Aren't you tired of waiting?"

I am tired of waiting. The crush I developed almost instantly when Edward moved to Forks three years ago has blossomed into love and in less than a year he could be out of my life forever when both of us leave for college. It is definitely time to take a chance. I nod and blink back a few tears before I turn and throw my arms around Alice's neck.

"I love you," I whisper. "Thank you."
"I love you too, you big crybaby," Alice sniffles.

We pull back and look at each other. Then we both laugh.

"Let's go get our guys, shall we?" she asks and links her arm with mine.

"Let's do it!" I reply.

The party is in full swing when we get there and people have really embraced the whole costume thing this year. Boy, am I glad I listened to Alice and didn't just wear the sheet as usual. My eyes dart around the Cullen's huge house, looking for the only person I really want to see. Alice is next to me, playing it a lot cooler than I ever could and says hi to everyone we pass as she pulls me over to the makeshift bar.

Fifteen minutes later I have downed my first drink, received five compliments for my costume by different guys who according to Alice were slobbering all over me, and made a very unsuccessful attempt of not frantically scanning the room for a mop of copper-colored hair.

"Relax, it's not he isn't going to show up," Alice says. "This is his house after all."

I don't know how she is able to remain so calm and collected. We haven't seen Jasper either and since he doesn't live here there is a very real chance that he might not be at the party. Suddenly Alice's eyes lights up and I know that she has spotted her guy. A surge of excitement rushes through me because if Jasper is here then Edward can't be far away. The two of them are pretty much joined at the hip, much in the same way that Alice and I are.

"Okay, I just saw Edward too," she says with her eyes fixed on the party going on behind my back. "Aaand…he just saw me. I think he's coming over."

Oh God, oh God. Just act cool.

I take a deep breath and prepare myself mentally as well as one can in this type of situation.

"Hi Jasper, Edward," Alice says.

I feel almost as though I have been touched by electricity when I hear his voice right behind me and start to turn around to face him.

"Hey Alice, have you seen B-"

Edward is staring at me with his mouth hanging open. And he just keeps on staring. His eyes sweep from my face down my body and back again several times and of course I blush under his gaze. It's getting pretty awkward just standing there while he gapes at me and I take a quick sip of my drink before letting out a high-pitched "hey" to both of them. He blinks, seems to regain focus and lets out a nervous laugh while his hand tugs at his hair. I have never seen Edward this flustered before and I am hoping that this means that he likes my costume.

"Alice, you look great. Really authentic!" Jasper says enthusiastically.

"You too, kind sir," she gushes back in a southern drawl, fluttering her eyelashes at him, and I finally register that he is dressed as the ghost of a Confederate soldier complete with pale make up and a bullet hole in the chest.

I guess some ghosts are acceptable as a costume.

I look at Edward again whose eyes quickly dart up to my face and he smiles sheepishly.

Oh my God! Was he looking at my boobs?

I am hardly blessed in that department but the tight top I am wearing emphasizes them rather well and it is certainly a change from my usual loose-fitting clothes.

I take in all of him with my eyes figuring that if he can ogle me I can certainly take a quick peek. Edward is dressed as a zombie and looks ridiculously cute considering that he's supposed to be all gross and corpsefied. He's wearing white makeup on his face and has dark circles around his eyes. His costume consists of a pair of jeans and a bloody t-shirt. Pretty innocent, right? Wrong!

The jeans are hanging almost indecently low on his narrow hips and the tight shirt is all torn up, revealing large parts of his naked chest and stomach underneath. I can see his abdominal muscles flexing as he moves and the trail of hair that descends into his pants. I suddenly imagine brushing my fingertips over the hair to feel its texture and blood rushes to my cheeks.

"Bella?" Edward asks and I tear my eyes away to look at his face.

He's smirking knowingly.

"So, do you like my costume?" he asks and motions to himself.

"Yeah, what did you use for blood?" I ask and run my fingertips over one of the dried red patches on his shirt.

Edward shivers lightly and his eyes seem to get a little darker as he gazes down on me.

"Corn syrup," he says and clears his throat.

"Cool, just like in 'Carrie'".

"You like scary movies?" he asks with a smile and seems impressed by this.

I nod and smile back.

"Especially zombie movies. Nothing's scarier than that."

"You'd better watch out for me then," Edward warns with an evil grin. "I'm hungry and on the lookout for some delicious brains."

"I think I'm safe," I quip and motion to my costume. "Cheerleaders like, totally don't have any."

I make a dazed expression and Edward laughs.

"I'll have to eat something else of yours then," he chuckles.

Oh my God!

The second the words leave his lips Edward looks stunned. Jasper howls with laughter and Alice gasps. Now, I may be inexperienced but even I know that Edward just made an unintentional reference to oral sex. His mouth opens and closes a few times and finally he mutters something about needing another drink before he hurries away.

"Edward, we're standing by the bar," Jasper laughs.

He turns to Alice.

"Save me a dance, darling?"

She nods eagerly and he follows Edward through the crowd.

"Did he really just say what I think he said?" Alice asks, completely rhetorically.

I nod mutely and down my second drink of the night. I have a feeling that I will need a lot of liquid courage if I am supposed to approach Edward. He will probably stay away from me now because he is feeling embarrassed, which he really shouldn't be. It was just a slip of the tongue, no pun intended, and I am sort of amazed that I wasn't the one who said something mortifying. That would definitely fit my M.O.

"He's acting weird," she observes. "He likes you a lot."

"You really think so?" I ask and stare in the direction he and Jasper left.

"Totally!" Alice says.

"Well, it sure looks like you roped Jasper in as well," I say with a grin.

"I know," she says smugly. "Let's go dance and wait for the guys to come back."

As it turns out, they take their sweet time whatever they are doing. Alice and I are back on the dance floor when I spot Edward again. At least an hour has passed and I was starting to worry that maybe he had left, even though that's a completely idiotic thought since this is his house. He smiles almost shyly when our eyes meet but doesn't try to approach me.

The next hour passes quickly. I drink more than usual and dance with a few different guys. I don't know why, really, but its nice being asked to dance even if I don't have the slightest interest in any of them. It doesn't take me long to realize that Edward is watching me. Every time I catch a glimpse of him he is staring intently at me with an indecipherable look on his face. I also notice that he always seems to have a beer in his hand and rejects any girl who approaches him. Yeah, I'm basically just watching him as well while pretending to have a good time with whomever I am dancing.

I am starting to feel the effects of the alcohol that I have had and it makes me pretty fucking annoyed with one Edward Cullen. What is his deal anyway? I dress up in this outfit for him and he won't even come over and talk to me? Does he really prefer to stare at me from the shadows like some creeper?

I am on the dance floor with Alice again and I decide to tell her that I am leaving when suddenly Jasper appears out of nowhere and bows gallantly before holding out his hand. Alice flushes and throws me an apologetic look before she accepts and they start dancing together.

At least one of us was successful.

Jasper spins Alice and she practically squeals with delight. Despite my dismal mood I smile because while it seems that my almost-date is a bust, at least my best friend is having a great time. I am about to leave the dance floor and go home when I sense him behind me.


His hands go on my hips and I feel his breath on my ear.

"Dance with me, Bella?" he sort of slurs.

My heart is pounding insanely fast and I feel a little dizzy but somehow manage to nod frantically. Edward spins me around and for a few seconds we just stare at each other. Then his lips turn up in a grin and I know how he found the courage to come back over. Edward is drunk. And I am…Well, I'm not exactly drunk but I can definitely feel the drinks that I have had during the night.

"So…Where have you been all night?" I ask a little harsher than I intended.

His face falls and he takes a step back.

"I can go if you want," he offers.

No way! Fix it, Goddamn it!

"No, I'd like to dance," I say quickly and reach my arms up to wrap around his neck.

"I noticed," he mutters as his hands find my hips again.

I know that he's referring to the fact that I've been on the dance floor pretty much all night with different guys.

"Well, it's not like you were there to ask me to dance," I snap.

"I know," he mumbles and pulls me a little closer. "Sorry."

"That's okay," I say and mean it. "You're here now."

The song that's playing is coming to an end and is replaced by an R 'n' B song. You know the kind I'm talking about. A sensuous hip-swaying 'bump and grind' kind of song that usually makes people dancing look like they are having vertical sex. And I am on the dance floor with Edward Cullen!


Edward seems unfazed and I decide to just go with it. I don't want our dance to end and start moving against him as well as I can. I feel a little awkward at first but when Edward smiles down at me and moves his hands to rest just above my ass I soon forget all my apprehension.

I can do this. I can be a sexy cheerleader with kickass dance moves!

Before I know it we're moving flawlessly to the beat of what has now become my new favorite song, as if we have been dancing together for years. Edward's eyes never leave my body or my face for even a second as I continue to sway my hips and shake my ass to the beat. It's intoxicating being this close to him and seeing the way he reacts to my dancing. I feel a lot braver now and turn my back to him while I keep moving. His hands are back on my hips and I reach my arms above my head to tangle my fingers in the hair at the nape of his neck.

I can feel his warm breath on the side of my neck again and without warning he suddenly pulls me back so that I am flush against him. He lets out a low groan that only I am able to hear over the music because his mouth is so close to my ear. And then I feel it. It's hard against my lower back and although I have never actually come into contact with one of them I know what I am feeling.

Edward's peen. Ho-ly. Shit.

My whole body tenses up and Edward's does as well. He is about two seconds away from bolting and there is no way I am letting that happen. I take a deep breath and move against him, making him hiss as his hands on my hips tighten their grip. I can still clearly feel it pressed up against me as we start to dance again and I can't stop myself from smiling.

Edward wants me. Like that.

Well, it's not really you he wants, now is it? It's 'sexy cheerleader Bella' he wants.

Shut up, annoying inner voice and let me enjoy this!

I know that I will probably never get another chance like this again and while I'm not going to actually touch it or see it, I still like feeling his hard on against me and knowing that he wants me.

Edward is breathing heavily behind me and his hands move around and splay out over my stomach. I let out a small squeak when I feel his fingertips snake their way an inch under my top. Edward lets out another low groan and moves his fingers gently across my naked belly. I have no idea what is happening to me. I have an overwhelming urge to grab his hands and run them all over my body even though we're in public! We need to stop dancing and grinding like this.

"Bella?" Edward says with a slight slur. "W-wanna come up to my room?"


I stop moving and drop my arms down by my side before I turn around to face him.

"Okay," I breathe out and try to keep the smile on my face pretty and not deranged since I am bursting with happiness.

He swallows a few times and then quickly grabs my hand and leads me through the crowd and up the stairs. He opens the door and once we're inside locks it. The sound seems incredibly loud and I jump a little. I can still make out the music from downstairs but it's muffled and seems very far away.

"Um, cool room," I say and look around. "It's really great."

I'm not just talking out of my ass here. Edward's parents are loaded and apparently they like to spend their money on their only child. His room is huge and he has a giant flat screen, an expensive-looking stereo and a king-size bed.

God, that bed looks inviting!

I shake my head and turn around to face him. He's still standing by the door with an unreadable expression on his face.

"Thank you," he says and runs his hand through his hair. "Yeah, I really like it."

Then…silence. We're both just staring at each other for what seems like a really long time and I have no idea what to say next.

"Um, you want something to drink?" Edward suddenly asks and motions to - and I kid you not here, a mini fridge.

"Sure," I say and try not to ogle his ass too much when he bends down and opens it.

He stands up again and now he's holding two cokes.

"Sorry. My parents won't let me have alcohol in there," he says with a shrug.

I have to giggle a little.

"That's okay," I say. "I live with a cop, remember? Charlie won't even allow alcohol in the house, period."

"Oh, of course," he says and walks over to hand me a soda.

I don't know which one to go for, and in my nervousness I sort of end up grabbing both sodas. And now I am also touching both of Edward's hands. I look up at him. His gaze is hypnotizing and I forget what I was about to say or do. All I can do is stare at his beautiful face.

He has a few freckles on his nose. I never noticed before. Oh, and his eyes have flecks of gold in them.

I register the sound of the two coke cans hitting the carpeted floor with a dull thud before anything else. But then I feel Edward's cold and slightly damp hands cupping my face and then…Oh God!

Edward is kissing me. Really kissing me. Not just a peck or a brush of his lips. We're talking teeth clattering, tongues battling and lips mashing together. It would seem that I am kissing him back just as eagerly. He tastes a little like alcohol but also like he recently had a sweet mint. He is freaking delicious and I suck on his tongue to get more of his taste. My heart is going a million miles an hour and I feel dizzy, but in a really good way. And then I moan. Embarrassingly loud and right into his mouth. Edward responds with a groan as his hands leave my face and slide down my front. Right over my boobs. It makes me moan again and I arch into his touch without really thinking about it. It just happens somehow. I suddenly register that we're moving and now I'm being lowered onto the bed by a panting Edward whose lips are attacking my neck. His much larger body covers mine completely and he sucks on my skin while he hitches my right leg up over his hip.

"Bella," he moans as his hand travels up and down my naked thigh.

The sound of my name from his lips makes my heart flutter. I suddenly notice that I haven't touched him at all yet and my arms are lying limply by my side. That's just all kinds of wrong and I immediately wrap my arms around him and caress the soft hair at the nape of his neck.

Edward lifts his head and looks intently at me. Both of us are breathing heavily and he never takes his eyes off mine as he slowly slides his hand up my thigh, over my hip and belly, only to slip it under my top. He hesitates just before he reaches my bra and bites his lower lip as if he's unsure if he should proceed.

Yes, pleeeease!

It's times like these that I wish I wasn't so damned shy and I could just tell the boy that I want him to touch my boob. But since I will never be brave enough to do that I give Edward what I hope is an encouraging smile. His lips curve up in a gorgeous grin before they are back on mine and I feel his hand move up to cover my breast. He plunges his tongue into my mouth and starts squeezing gently. I shift a little under him to lie more comfortably and this makes Edward lift my other leg up, effectively placing him in between them. And then he rocks his hips forward.

Oh my…Fuck!

I gasp into his mouth when I feel him grinding against me, all big and hard against my new hipsters and what lies beneath them.

"Oh Bella," Edward moans loudly and before I know it he is pulling up my top until I'm exposed to him.

His eyes dart back and forth between my boobs and I silently thank Alice for buying me the sexy lace bra that I am wearing. I know that I'm not blessed with an overabundance of curves but the way that Edward is staring makes me think that he likes what he sees. Suddenly he grabs my top and pulls it over my head which makes me feel a lot more exposed for some reason.

"Fuck, you're beautiful," Edward whispers and slowly pulls my bra straps down.

I can feel a blush spread from my cheeks and all the way down my neck and chest. Even though it's probably just Edward's beer goggles talking, his words still make me warm all over. He buries his face in my neck and inhales deeply while his right hand dips under the lace and palms my naked breast.

"You're so soft," he groans and rubs against me with his hips. "God, you're perfect."

I have no idea what to do. Edward starts grinding again and his hand squeezes and kneads underneath the bra. I never imagined that we would go this far but I also don't want to stop. He trails kisses down my neck and my fingers run through his soft hair as he descends lower still. Out of nowhere I feel something wet and warm on my nipple followed by sharp suction.

"Oh!" I gasp as the sensation hits me right between my legs.

I lift my head only to see Edward pull down the other cup of my bra and gently lick my nipple before he also sucks that one into his mouth. The look of almost reverence on his face and the way he closes his eyes to enjoy it more makes me pulse between my legs. I arch my back and practically push my boob into his face, but Edward seems to like that a lot. His tongue flicks over my hard nipple repeatedly and his hand attends to my other breast at the same time. And all I can do is moan and grip Edward's hair harder.

"Does it feel good?" he whispers and blows out cool air which makes my nipple even harder.

Our eyes lock and he smiles before tugging it gently with his teeth. Then he closes his eyes and starts sucking and licking again. Edward's hands move all over me while he basically makes out with my breasts and I'm secretly praying that he never stops.

I honestly don't know what has come over me. I have never ever felt like this before. What Edward is doing is so perfect and yet I want even more, and without realizing it at first I start moving my hips with his in a full-on dry hump. I am running my hands up and down his back but I need to feel his skin and start tugging on the hem of his shredded t-shirt. Edward lifts himself up immediately and whips it over his head.

Toned arms? Check! Chiseled chest? Check! Six-pack abs? Check!

Edward is beyond gorgeous and my hands are itching to touch him, but my shyness prevents me at first. I pull myself together and run my hands down his chest slowly. His skin is warm and smooth, and I'm amazed by the way his muscles ripple when he breathes. This isn't a boy. Edward definitely has a man's body with hard planes, sparse soft chest hair and as I discover by accident, sensitive nipples. He inhales sharply when I trace over them and presses his groin hard against me.

I look up at his face and the blatant hunger in his eyes consumes all my rational thought and I reach for the button on his jeans. My eyes never leave his as I pop the buttons of his fly. Edward looks flushed and his rapid breathing matches mine as I slowly dip my hand into his open jeans and palm his hard on through his boxers.

"Bella, oh fuck," he whispers and immediately starts rocking against my hand.

I give him a soft squeeze just to test it out. I have never touched a guy like this and I am both curious and a little scared. Edward groans loudly and lies down next to me on his side. His mouth is on mine again instantly pulling, sucking and licking and his hand moves back to my almost naked chest where he massages my breast and tugs my nipple gently.

I start rubbing my hand up and down the length of his hard peen which makes Edward's kisses even more frantic and his hand little rougher.

"Oh fuck, you're so sexy," Edward moans against my lips. "I want you so much, Bella."

Gah! I want him too!

I know that I am touching him like this because I have had something to drink. I would never go this far with a boy, not even Edward, if I was completely sober. It's not that I'm a prude, but I have always wanted my first time to be special. So many girls I know have done it at a party, only to regret it the next day. I don't want that for me. So far it has been super easy for me to keep that promise to myself since I've been in love with Edward since like, forever, and before tonight I didn't think I would ever have a chance to be with him. The few guys that I've gone out with were nice and all, but they weren't Edward and I definitely never felt the urge to sleep with any of them. I've only ever dreamed about doing that with Edward.

And now it is actually Edward who is kissing me and touching me in a way that makes me ache and throb between my legs, and I don't know what to do. I don't want my first time to happen when I have been drinking, but what if this is my only shot with Edward? He is gorgeous and popular, and he has never done the girlfriend thing. So I can't really expect anything to happen afterwards just because we hooked up tonight and he is the only guy I want to sleep with. I want my first time to be with someone I love and I do love Edward.

But he doesn't love you. You've barely spoken and you're actually considering having sex with him?

Once again the annoying voice inside my head tells me what I really don't want to hear, probably because it's the truth. I can't have sex with Edward. Not like this. It breaks my heart a little to admit this to myself and I reluctantly pull my hand away from Edward's peen.

"No, please don't stop," he begs and kisses me deeply. "Please baby, it feels…so fucking fantastic."

"Edward, we can't," I whisper and try not to moan when he gently sucks on my earlobe.

I am having the hardest time concentrating on anything except how awesome his hands and lips feel. My body definitely wants my mouth to shut the hell up and just enjoy this.

"Please," Edward says in a strangled voice. "I just want to touch you and make you feel good."

His eyes are pleading with me and he is still gently caressing my chest.

"We don't have to do anything else," he promises. "Just…please don't stop."

Cautiously he takes my hand and leads it back to the open fly in his jeans. He leaves it there and slowly slides his hand up my naked inner thigh. My heart is pounding so fast that I feel like I've just run a marathon. Well, not that I ever actually done that, but I can imagine that it's the same feeling. Edward's fingertips skim the hem of my underwear and I gasp a little.

"I only want to make you feel good," he whispers and kisses my neck while his fingers slip underneath the lacy fabric.

Suddenly I am beyond self-conscious again. No one has ever touched me down there except myself. What if Edward thinks it's gross or something? I can tell that I am really wet and, oh no, I don't wax or shave myself bare. Don't guys like that? The whole no hair thing, I mean. I trim a little and shave around the edges, so to speak, because Alice and I like to go swimming but I am nowhere near a Brazilian or whatever the hell they call that trend with the bald vag.

Thankfully, Edward doesn't pull his hand away and run screaming from the room when he feels my fur. He kisses up my neck and at the same second as he plunges his tongue into my mouth he also parts me down there and feels me.

"Oh, yes," he moans and dips his fingers lower to my entrance.

He spreads the wetness around a little and without warning his fingers move up and start circling the secret spot that has only ever been in contact with me and my showerhead. I moan. Really loudly, once again.

"Yes," Edward whispers and kisses his way down to my boobs. "Feel it, baby."

His tongue flicks over one of my nipples and then he starts rubbing me the exact right way.

How does he even know how to do that?

Do you really want to know?

I really don't, because then I have to face the fact that I am not the first girl who Edward has touched like this and I decide to drop the thought immediately. Instead I focus on his fingers that are touching me expertly and his warm mouth. I remember that my hand is just resting limply on top of Edward's jeans and I want to make him feel good, too. Knowing that we're not going any further than touching each other calms me and in an incredible act of bravery, and alcohol consumption, I reach into Edward's boxers and grab a hold of him.

"Fuck," he gasps and his hips buck forward.

His peen is scorching hot, or at least that's what it seems like to my inexperienced hand. It's also pretty big from what I can tell and the skin in surprisingly soft. I half-expected it to be a little slimy or something but it's all soft smooth skin over hard warm flesh. Not too scary at all. I trail my hand up the length of it until I reach the tip and…

Oh. It's a little wet. Is that normal?

Because of sheer fascination I touch the wetness with my thumb and move it back and forth.

"Ugh. Yes!" Edward grunts and thrusts himself into my hand.

Wow. I guess he really likes that!

I do it again and Edward shivers lightly. He removes his hand from me for a second and pulls his jeans and boxers down to his knees. I catch a glimpse of him, down there, before his mouth covers mine in a searing kiss that makes me dizzy and warm all over. He dips his hand back inside my hipsters, coats his fingers in more wetness and starts rubbing me again, this time a little faster and harder. It's completely mind-blowing!

"Edward," I moan loudly and my hips shoot off the bed as I push myself into his hand.

"Does it feel good, baby? Do you like that?" he asks and trails soft kisses from my ear and up to my mouth where he ends the journey with another deep kiss.

Oh! He just called me baby again. Why is that so hot?

"Fuck…Yes," I moan as my hand searches blindly for his hard on.

He sees what I am doing and immediately takes my hand and moves it down his stomach to where it's standing, all warm and hard and soft at the same time. I grab it with more confidence this time and start stroking it. I remember to use my thumb on the head which seems to be Edward's favorite thing because every time I do it he moans and thrusts his hips forward.

Our kisses become wilder and sloppier as we keep touching each other. Edward is thrusting into my hand, groaning loudly while he's rubbing my little nub.

And I'm just all over the place. I'm sure that from the outside it looks like I'm having some kind of seizure because I'm thrashing and thrusting my hips up even though it's not really something I'm doing consciously.

"Are you close?" Edward pants and sucks on my neck.

"Uh-huh," is all I can manage to get out because just then the sensations reach a new high.

Then a lot of things happen at the same time. Edward's peen swells and pulses in my hand and he gasps my name. I feel something wet land on my stomach.

Holy shit! Edward just came. On me!

Before I can start to contemplate whether or not I should feel grossed out he sucks down hard on my nipple and pushes against my secret place with the pad of his finger.

I'm hurled headlong into the most mind-blowing orgasm of my life and yell Edward's name loudly. It feels so good that I'm practically arching off the bed. But then…


Something is wrong. There's a burning sensation between my legs but I'm still so lost in my orgasm that I can't utter a single coherent word. Then I realize what's wrong:

Something is in me!

For a split second I panic because I think that we are having sex but Edward hasn't moved at all and I'm still holding him in my hand.

It's only his fingers that are inside of me, but why does it hurt?

I manage to moan in protest but Edward mistakes it for pleasure and I think he adds another finger because the pain increases drastically. Finally I gain control of my voice.

"Edward, stop. Please. It hurts."

My voice sounds so weak but it has the desired effect. In a second he is gone from my side and I'm able to bolt from the bed. I am really sore and grab a hold of the bed frame to steady my shaking legs. Edward is sitting up, still with his pants around his knees and also with a puzzled expression on his face. I grab my top and yank it over my head obscuring him from my vision for a few seconds.

"Oh fuck."

I hear him gasp and when I am able to see him again there is an entirely different look on his face. He's staring at his fingers and my stomach lurches when I see that they have red streaks on them.

My blood!

"B-Bella," he stutters. "Are you a…?"

I was. Am I still? Does this count? Did I just lose my virginity without having sex? And did I do it at a party with a guy who isn't my boyfriend and who has also been drinking? Yes, I did. And then I feel like shit. This is all wrong.

"Bella?" Edward whispers and my eyes meet his.

He is really pale and not just because he's wearing the zombie make up. His eyes are wide and his mouth is hanging slightly open.

"I gotta go," I manage to croak while I'm fighting a losing battle to keep the tears at bay.

I rush to the door, almost stumbling over the coke cans, and unlock it. I yank it open and rush out in the dimply lit hallway.

"Bella, wait!" I hear Edward shout.

No, no, no!

I run down the stairs as fast as my legs can carry me and into the crowd of people who are dancing, drinking and having a great time. On my way to the hall I catch a quick glimpse of Alice and Jasper on the dance floor. They are slow dancing despite the fact that an up-tempo pop song is playing and they're gazing into each other's eyes with goofy smiles on their faces. They look happy.

Ugly jealousy courses through me for a split second. Why couldn't that be me and Edward? Then I shake it off. Alice is my best friend and I'm glad that she's with Jasper.

I grab my coat and in a matter of seconds I am running through the cold night while the tears stream down my face. I am thankful for the sneakers on my feet and make it home relatively quickly. The house is dark and the driveway is empty. That means that Charlie is working which is probably a really good thing right about now. The last thing I need is to explain my teary eyes and disheveled appearance to my dad.

The first thing I do after I'm inside is find my cell phone and text Alice that I have gone home. I know that she will worry if she can't find me and I don't want anything to spoil her night with Jasper. After I lose my coat I walk up the stairs to my bedroom slowly and look at myself in the full-length mirror. My hair is mussed up, the makeup that Alice worked on for so long is running down my cheeks with my tears and the cheerleading uniform is sticking to my stomach because I didn't have time to clean off Edward's…stuff. I also have an ache between my legs that is only overshadowed by the pain I feel in my chest. What the hell happened?

You dressed like a slut and got treated like one.

I shake my head. I refuse to believe that.

But remember how surprised he was when he discovered that you are, I mean were, a virgin? He thought you wanted to have sex.

I feel like such an idiot. I went up to Edward's room with him dressed in a skimpy outfit after having rubbed myself against his hard on. And now I'm actually wondering how I've ended up deflowered with a load of jizz on my stomach? I look at my reflection and hate what I see. I quickly peel off the uniform and look at my sexy underwear with a grimace. It's mocking me. I'm not that kind of girl and I shouldn't have tried to be something that I'm not. I should have gone as myself and not tried to be some fantasy for horny teenage boys.

Inside the bathroom I sit down to pee and yelp loudly when it burns. I wipe myself carefully and there's a little blood on the paper which makes me tear up again. I step in the shower and wash myself gently while I wonder how this even happened. I was pretty sure that my cherry was un-popped, so to speak, since nothing has ever been up there, not even a tampon, but I didn't think that a guy's fingers were enough to do it. Apparently I was wrong. Edward does have pretty large fingers and I think he used at least two and quite possibly three so I guess it does make sense in some weird way. Still, it's not at all how I thought it would happen. I reach down and touch myself to survey the damage or whatever. I am tender around my entrance but at least I'm not bleeding anymore.

After I've finished my shower I dress in a pair of my regular cotton panties and my flannel pajamas and look at myself in the mirror again. I almost look like myself apart from the red eyes and nose that's swollen from crying. I sigh and climb into bed, trying my best not to think about the events that transpired tonight, but predictably I'm shit out of luck in that department.

Edward's lips, Edward's eyes, Edward's naked chest. The way he moaned my name, the way he kissed me. All of it was better than I ever imagined. I realize that even though it ended badly I can't regret going with him to his room and he really didn't do anything wrong. I know that it's supposed to feel good when a guy fingers you and it probably would have if I hadn't been completely untouched. Edward only did it because he thought that I would like it, and I ruined everything with my stupid overly-virginal vag.

God, I'm starting to sound delusional. As if a person can control something like that!

I know that's true, but I'm still horribly mortified by what happened and I'm worried that I've scarred Edward for life. He looked so shocked just sitting there with streaks of blood on his fingers and, oh holy fuck! I have to face him again on Monday in school. There's no getting out of seeing him unless I plan on playing hooky the rest of the school year, and that's not really a viable option.

I think I know what will happen. He'll start ignoring me. We didn't talk much before but now he'll never speak to me again. The thought brings fresh tears to my eyes. I had one chance with Edward and I blew it. I can never be the sexy, flirty cheerleader that he wants: The kind of girl who can just make out with him, have a great time and then re-join the party as if nothing happened. Even if our thing in his room hadn't ended the way it did, I know that it would have been awkward once we were done. I'm in love with Edward and I know that I would have expected something more from him. Maybe it's for the best that things ended so abruptly. At least this way I didn't have to watch him get dressed and walk downstairs without a second glance in my direction.

But would he really have done that? He was so sweet and sincere when we were together, and he didn't seem to mind that I didn't want to go all the way.

I just want to touch you and make you feel good.

Remembering his words makes me shiver. He wasn't just using me to get off or he wouldn't have done so much to make it good for me. Maybe there could have been more if it hadn't ended in such a huge cluster fuck?

I'll never know now.

I curl up in a tiny ball, hug my knees and sob quietly. Everything is ruined and now I'll never get a chance to kiss him again. I curse this whole stupid holiday which practically encourages people to dress up as something they can never be and lets girls like me think that they can get away with something like that.

Right. Blame Halloween. Projection, much? And you want to study psychology. Time for a new major, I think.

Just shut up and let me sleep, you fucking annoying voice!

I'm startled awake by a knocking sound coming from…my window?

What. The. Hell?

My room is on the second floor! Fear trickles up my spine as the knocking starts up again.

Fuck! What if it's a burglar? Or a serial killer? I am so dead!

Yeah, a serial killer who knocks? Seriously, aren't you supposed to be smart?

I feel calmer and roll my eyes at my own stupidity. I grab the mace that Charlie has given me and approach the window. The light from the lamp on my nightstand which I left burning tonight makes it difficult to see anything outside in the dark, but there is definitely someone there. It couldn't be Alice, could it?


I freeze completely when I recognize Edward's voice even though it's all muffled.

What the hell is he doing here?

"Um, can you please open the window?" he asks.

I quickly lose the mace and do as he asks. Now I can see him. He's perched on a thick branch right outside and clinging onto it for dear life.

"Why are you in my tree?" I blurt out.

"I, uh, I didn't want to knock on the door and risk waking your dad," he says and lifts his hand, probably to run it through his hair, before he realizes that he might fall if he lets go.

"He's working all night," I say. "The cruiser isn't here."


He looks embarrassed and mutters something to himself under his breath.

"Can…um, can I come in?" he asks cautiously. "Just for a minute."

I step aside and my mind is reeling. Edward Cullen is coming in through my freaking bedroom window! I glance around but breathe a sigh of relief when I see that it's pretty tidy for a change. Somehow Edward manages to climb inside without falling and closes the window again.

"Nice room," he says quietly.

That's a polite lie. My small room sucks compared to his, but I don't call him on it. He shifts his weight and just stares at me for a few seconds. He's wearing regular clothes now and his makeup is gone. He looks at my rumpled bed and clears his throat.

"Were you sleeping?"


"Sorry for waking you."

"That's okay."

And then it's awkward. We're not talking and Edward's eyes are anywhere except on me.

"Um, is the party over?" I ask, because the silence is killing me.

"I don't know. I looked for you everywhere and then Alice came and said that she got a text from you that you went home."

"Did you tell her why?" I ask.

I wouldn't be too upset if he did since I'll probably end up spilling everything tomorrow over ice cream and tears.

"No, of course not," Edward says with wide eyes.

More silence.

"Are you hurt?" he blurts out and motions to me with his hand. "I-I mean, did I…hurt you?"

He looks anxious and tugs his hair.

"No, I'm alright," I whisper. "It's…natural, I guess."

In three long strides Edward is in front of me, his hands grasping mine tightly.

"I'm so sorry, Bella. I didn't know. I mean, I didn't think that you hadn't ever…I wouldn't have if…if I had known. Please, I'm really, really sorry!"

I'm startled by his apology because he hasn't done anything wrong. I was the one who rubbed myself all over him and wore the sexy clothes, acting like the girls he usually hangs out with. Of course he wouldn't think that I was a virgin. This is Forks and there really isn't a lot to do besides getting drunk and laid on the weekends. Alice and I are the only virgins that I know of in the senior class. Well, I guess it's just Alice now.

"Please, can you forgive me?" Edward continues. "I didn't mean to. I'm so sorry that I hurt you. I just…I wanted to…touch you. But if I had known…Fuck!"

He releases my hands and paces back and forth.

"Edward, it's okay," I say, because I don't want him to feel guilty about this.

"No, it's not okay, Bella," he groans and flops down in my rocking chair. "You don't know how long I've…It shouldn't have happened the way it did!"

"It wasn't your fault. You didn't do anything wrong," I mumble and sit down on the edge of the bed. "I…I didn't think it could happen like that but I should have told you that I hadn't ever…you know."

"I didn't know either," Edward sighs. "I swear I wouldn't have been so…I mean, if I had known I would have been…gentler. At least I think I would have."

"I liked the way you were," I whisper and blush all over. "I liked what we did…um, until…you know. It was really…"

I don't really know how to describe it without revealing my feelings for him so I don't say anything else.

"I liked it too," he says and his eyes are all intense and seem to glow in the dimly lit room. "A lot."

My heart starts to beat really fast again and I squirm under his gaze.

"Does it count?" I ask out of nowhere.

"Does what count?" Edward asks and frowns.

"Um, what we did. Does it count?"

"Count as what?" he asks and leans forward slowly.

He seems a little wary but mostly curious since I'm not making a lot of sense.

"Am I still…We didn't do it, but…I'm not a virgin anymore, am I?" I ask and almost kick myself when I feel the tears well up in my eyes.

"I…I don't know," Edward whispers and comes over to sit on the bed next to me.

He hesitates for a second and then wraps his arm around me. "We didn't have sex so I guess you still are. Technically."

I nod and sniff, and I can't help but lean into his body just a little.

"Please don't cry," he whispers and rubs my arm. "Do you want me to go?"


I shake my head and lean into him a little more.

"Why are you here, Edward? What do you want?" I ask.

"You," he exhales.

Me? He wants me? What does that mean? He wants to have sex?

His body goes rigid the second the word leaves his mouth and his hand stills on my arm. I can hear him swallowing nervously and lean away to look up at him.

"I can't have sex with you," I whisper.

His eyes widen to the size of saucers.

"No! I don't want that! That's not what I meant."

"You don't want sex?" I ask incredulously because that has got to be a lie. Eighteen year old boys want sex. That is just a fact.

"No, of course I want to sleep with you," Edward groans. "I'd have to be both blind and fucking stupid not to want that. But I never meant for it to go that far tonight. I asked you up to my room to talk and, um, and maybe kiss a little, but it wasn't to have sex. You just looked so…hot, and I guess I lost control or something."

I flush all over.

"I'm not really like that, you know," I whisper. "It was just a costume and make up. That's not the real me."

He wants the sexy cheerleader fantasy, not me.

"I know that," he says softly and gazes down on me. "I like this."

He runs his hand over my damp curly hair and cups my face before brushing his thumb across my bottom lip.

"I like this," he repeats and tugs lightly on the collar of my flannel pajamas. "I like you, Bella. I have for a long time."

He looks away as if he's embarrassed. My mind and heart are going a million miles a minute. Edward likes me. Me. And he has for a long time? Impossible!

"You have?" I ask. "But…why haven't you ever…I mean, why now?"

"I just…I was sick of staying away. I just stopped hiding the fact that I like you and I knew that Alice would notice me looking at you. She's always staring at Whitlock and he sits next to me, so…"

I smile a little because that's true.

"I know that you probably won't go for a guy like me," Edward continues. "But I had to try and the party seemed like the perfect opportunity."
"What do you mean 'a guy like you'?"

"A jock," he says with a wry smile.

"You're not a jock!" I say because the word seems so laced with negative stereotypes.

"Okay," he nods. "But I'm not exactly going to an Ivy League school like you and your friends. I'll get into a good college, sure, but it'll be because of sports and not academic achievement."

I start to say something but he holds up his hand.

"I'm cool with that. I know that I'm not a genius and I love playing football and baseball. I tried to get your attention at parties for a while but you just never seemed interested, and I could see that the guys you went out with were really brainy ones. You're just out of my league, I guess."

I am stunned. Edward actually thinks that I'm out of his league. Clearly, it's the other way around. Being smart in high school isn't exactly the best way of becoming popular and that's just the way the hierarchy is. I'm a nerdy book girl who is admittedly headed for some prestigious university, but Edward is the most popular and handsome guy in school. He can get any girl he wants. I can't believe that he doesn't know that.

"I'm not out of your league," I blurt. "Not at all. It wasn't that I wasn't interested. I was just shy and stupid and I have this tendency to stare at you because I think you're really beautiful and then I forget how to talk and it's just horrible, and there are always girls with big boobs hanging around you and I hate them!"

I take a deep breath and then turn beet red. That was way too much information I just divulged.

"Beautiful, huh?" Edward teases gently and pokes my rib with his finger.

"Shut up," I mutter. "You know what you look like."

He chuckles and pulls me closer to him.

"Just for the record," he whispers. "I think you're beautiful too. And your boobs are perfect."

If there's a shade that's more red than beet I'm sure my face is that color right about now.

"So you wouldn't mind going out with a pretty dumb guy like me?" Edward asks, and I'm thankful for the change of topic.

"You're not dumb," I mumble.

You're definitely pretty, though.

"You're in half my advanced classes," I continue.
"Yeah," Edward laughs softly. "And I have to work my ass off to keep up with you and the rest of the brains. But at least I get to be your lab partner in Bio."


"Um, you do realize that you haven't answered my question, right?" he says after a few seconds. "I'm sort of dying over here."

"What question?"

"If you would go out with me?" He whispers and swallows audibly.

I stare at him and try to make sense of what's happening. Edward wants to go out with me despite the fact that I look like a mess and I am dressed in the least sexy outfit known to man. It doesn't make any sense at all but I'll be damned if I let that stop me. Alice asked me earlier if I wasn't tired of waiting and the answer was a resounding yes. I am more than ready to take a chance on this.

"Of course I will," I answer.

A grin spreads across Edward's beautiful face and his eyes light up.

"You will? Really?"
I nod and can't contain my smile. He turns towards me and cups my face in his large hands.

"You're so soft," he murmurs and strokes my cheeks with his thumbs. "Can I kiss you?"

I barely have time to say yes before Edward's lips are on mine. In comparison to our first kiss in Edward's room this one is slow and sweet, but the intensity hasn't dwindled at all. He buries his hands in my hair and I tilt my head to deepen the kiss when his tongue slides into my mouth.

"Oh Bella," Edward moans against my lips. "You don't know how long I've wanted this."
"Yes, I do," I murmur and kiss him again.

Before I know it we're on my bed completely tangled up in each other, kissing and moving against each other. I am thrilled to discover that Edward is every bit as turned on now as he was when I wore the cheerleading uniform. His hands slip up under my pajama top and I moan loudly when they come into contact with my apparently perfect naked breasts. Suddenly Edward pulls his hands away and pants into my neck for a few seconds before he rolls off me.

"What's wrong?" I ask, fear gripping my heart.

What if he's changed his mind about us?

"Nothing. Nothing is wrong," he says immediately and gives me a gentle kiss. "I just need to get home."

I can't hide the disappointment in my voice.

"I just don't want us to get carried away, you know?" he explains. "What happened in my room before I…um, well…you know. It was fucking awesome, I won't lie about that. I just don't want you to regret anything we do together."

"Okay," I nod. "You don't mind waiting? Because I don't think I'm ready to do everything just yet. I know it probably sounds stupid especially after what happened earlier…but I just always wanted my first time to be, you know, special. And I've never done anything like what we did tonight…"

I shoot Edward a quick glance and then look away feeling a little embarrassed

"Bella," he whispers and scoots closer to me. "We can wait as long as you want. I know I moved fast earlier but...I want to take it slow and uh, give you romance and shi- I mean, stuff. You deserve that."

He smiles sheepishly and I almost laugh because he's trying so hard and it's really adorable. If possible I fall even more in love with him.

"I want it to mean something if it happens for us. I really like you."

His eyes are big and sincere and he's chewing on his bottom lip. He seems almost more nervous that the prospect of having sex than I do, which I find a little funny because Edward is definitely experienced.

"I really like you too," I say, which is of course a gross understatement of my feelings.

Edward kisses me gently before getting off the bed and walks over to the window.

"You can use the front door, you know," I say with a smile. "My dad isn't home yet."

"That's okay," he grins. "It's more romantic this way."

Then he turns serious and holds out his hand to me. I walk over to him and he laces our fingers.

"Can I take you out tonight?" he asks. "Dinner and a movie in Port Angeles?"

I nod and smile while my heart swells in my chest.

I'm going out on a date with Edward Cullen!

We kiss again and I'm amazed at how each time is better than the last. I can't get enough of him and tighten my arms around his neck. Edward groans and pulls me flush against him. I can feel how much he wants me, the real me this time, and I know with absolute certainty that I am going to make love with Edward in the near future because I want him just as badly. But not tonight, though. Tonight I am more than content with simply feeling his arms around me and kissing his soft lips. After a long time we're finally able to pull away from each other and Edward crawls out of the window and into the tree.

"Happy Halloween," he says with a beautiful smile. "I'll pick you up at six?"

I nod eagerly and watch as he climbs down the tree and walks out of our yard. He turns and waves and I blow him a kiss before I realize just how cheesy something like that is. Edward doesn't seem to think so though, because he smiles widely and pretends to catch it before he runs down the street. I hang out of the window until I can't see him anymore.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

I launch myself onto the bed and squeal into my pillow. I have a date with Edward! Halloween just became my favorite holiday. Ever!

I hoped you enjoyed that.