SM Owns Twilight and all the characters.
This is a collab between myself and Robicorn. If you haven't read any of her stories, you should do that, after you review :) We are both posting on our accounts.
This story is really dedicated to HippieStarr. She asked for Taboo Teacherward.
This was pre-read by HippiedStarr and My2GalsPal. Really they do way more than pre-read and they fix mistakes too, so I hope between the four of us, nothing too bad.
But we're all human :)
Chapter 1: Captain and Strawberries
I sit on the beach, nothing underneath me but the sand. The air is crisp and smells of salt. The only sounds are the seagulls above and the crashing waves in front of me. It's twilight. The beach is empty, just like it has been for the past nine months.
The smell of the salt, the sound of the waves, and the feeling of the sand beneath my toes all mean summer is here, and soon the Sunseekers will be here too. They will crowd the boardwalk. They will take over the beach. They will come, they will go. For some it will be just for a weekend, others a week, maybe even the whole summer. They give this town life. They sustain my mom's livelihood. They support most of the local economy.
My mom owns Twilight Motel in North Wildwood. It's on East Spicer, just a block from the two mile boardwalk and close to Morey's pier, where I love to ride the roller coasters. We live here all year, in one of the two bedroom apartments. It's pink, and has these fake palm trees around the pool. There are no real palm trees in Jersey. The apartment is tiny, but it's home. It's just me and my mom anyway. My mom left my father in Forks, Washington when I was just a baby. She said she had dreams to live. I guess her dream was to run a motel, but I'm not sure.
I have an older brother, Emmett. He moved a few years ago, about forty minutes away in Jersey, with his wife Rosalie. They come every weekend. My mom makes sure there is always a unit saved for them. He is over protective. I used to look forward to his visits, until he started chasing boys away.
Today was my last day of school. I am officially a Senior. I have a feeling this summer is going to be great. Last week my best friend Jessica and I got fake ID's. I'm sick of hanging out on the boards listening to the tram cars. I want more excitement this summer. I want to live on the edge. I want to drink in bars. No more shady drinking under the boardwalk. No more house parties with kids renting housing for their last summer before college. I want to enter the doors I am told I can't go through for another four years. I'm nervous to use it, but I figure what's the worst that can happen? They tell us to leave? So we leave. No biggie.
I look forward to summers and meeting new people. Mainly, boys. I don't make many girlfriends. Two summers ago, I met Jacob. He was here for the whole summer. We had a great time together. When it was over he told me he'd call me, but he never did. Last summer, it was Alex. Same thing. I don't know that I like being a summer fling anymore. This summer, I don't want to get attached to one Sunseeker. I don't want to have to say goodbye. I don't want to hear empty promises of keeping in touch.
Boys at my school are scarce. There are three hundred and eight students in Wildwood High School. I've known the boys my entire life. When summer comes, it's like a whole new world, but during the school year, there's Riley.
Riley is popular, hot, and he likes me. It's not serious though. I think we both like the freedom and new experiences the summer offers. When people leave at the end of the summer and new friends become memories, I still have him. I have him to take me to stupid dances. I have him to hold my hand on group dates to the fifty's diner. I have him to help pass the time. It's convenience, not young love.
I stand up, brushing the sand off the back of my jean cutoffs. The season starts tomorrow. It's usually kicked off with what we refer to as Senior Week. Newly graduated high school seniors from a two hour radius come to Wildwood to celebrate. Some stay the whole summer, but most only stay the week.
All the underage drinking keeps the cops pretty busy. Most of the time, they just ask the kids to go back inside. They give them one chance, one reminder to keep their fun on the down low.
I plan on trying out my fake ID and staying far away from the trouble and drama of senior week. Staying away from all the Jacobs and Alexes and their empty promises. It would be nice to start my senior year without an aching heart. Without the distraction of will he or won't he call. I know by now that he won't.
Jessica and I are in my bedroom getting ready for our first attempt to drink in a bar. I wiggle into my skin tight white Capri jeans. I slip on my white and navy stripped tube top, smudge my black eyeliner a little, apply another layer of gloss followed by one last smack of my lips, and finally strap on my white, cork-wrapped platform sandals.
Jessica and I climb in my new car and head to Keenan's Irish pub. My mom got me an adorable, electric blue Mini Cooper convertible and I love it. Mom's new boyfriend, Phil, used to play minor league baseball. He got hurt, so now he manages a Mini Cooper dealership in Atlantic City. He swears we got a good deal on the car. I don't know anything about cars. What I do know is that it's so much better than driving our old beat up Chevy truck that is as old as my mom.
On the Five minute drive to the pub I experience things that remind me why I love the summer. I love the sound of the wooden roller coaster. I love the bright lights of the Ferris wheel. I love how the streets come alive. It's like a brand new place, renewed every summer.
Keenan's is a well known bar in the town. It has an outside deck, frozen drinks, good music, and a young, trendy crowd. I have no desire to drink in the corner bar with people like my mom and Phil. I don't think that would go over too well, anyway.
As we near the bar I tell Jessica to look the part. If they smell fear, we are dead in the water. We need to be confident. We need to act like we belong there. We approach the bouncer. He is big, but once he smiles at us, he isn't so intimidating.
"ID ladies," he smiles at us holding out his hand. I smile back and pull out the plastic card. He looks it over, and I can feel my heart racing. He hands it back, and waves me in. Victory. I wait for Jessica inside the door. She smiles wide when he waves her in.
The bar is packed. We squeeze through and wait behind some people at the bar. I'm not really sure what to order. I've heard my mom order Captain and Coke. I could try that. It has to be better than beer.
The bartender is swamped. People are just yelling out to him. I have no idea how I will ever manage to get a drink. Jessica pulls me down towards the end of the bar, where two seats open up. We sit down before anyone else can.
I slide a twenty on the bar, and wait for the bartender to notice us. I watch him work in awe because he has to be the most beautiful man I have ever seen. When he smiles, he gets these laugh lines on the corner of his eyes. He smiles a lot at the girls. He fist bumps a few guys. He runs his hands through his unruly hair, then the green of his eyes meet mine. I have been caught staring. He winks and he smiles. His smile is crooked.
I bite my lip, and he ignores the blonde who is trying to order shots. He comes toward us. "What can I get you ladies?" he asks.
"Um, Captain and Coke," I tell him.
"Midori and sour," Jessica pipes up. We both look at her oddly. "What?" she asks looking at us. I told her not to order something that screams 'I have never drank before in my life',but that is exactly what she did.
"You got it," he laughs. When he comes back, I sip my drink slowly. I am so afraid I am going to gag on it.
I try to mask the way the alcohol makes me shiver with the small sip. Of course Jessica is sucking hers down with no problem. He leaves two small plastic cups upside down, in front of us.
"Next round is on me, brown eyes," he says, leaning into me on the bar. He pushes off and goes to fill other drink orders.
"Holy crap. He is totally flirting with you, Bella. He is hot, too!" Jessica says.
"I know. I wouldn't mind if he filled something besides my drink order," I smile back at her.
The next few sips are much easier to swallow, and before I know it, Jessica and I are cashing in on our free round.
When our glasses are empty Jess and I start dancing, full of liquid courage. I feel hands on my waist from behind me, and I turn to see the bartender trying to get past me. I move against him.
"Excuse me," he requests moving past me with his perfect flirty smile. I watch him walk away, wishing he had stayed for a dance.
After a few songs we head back to the bar to get another round. More of those plastic cups are in front of our seats.
"I didn't get your name," the hot bartender yells over the music.
"Isabella," I tell him. I think it sounds more mature then Bella.
"Nice to meet you, Isabella. I'm Edward," he tells me. He offers his hand and I move to shake it.
"Having a nice vacation?" he asks.
"This is my home," I tell him. Now I know he is one of the Sunseekers, just here for the summer.
"Beach all year? Must be nice," he comments.
"Beach tomorrow," I tell him. I am drunk, and part of me wonders what the hell I am doing hinting for this twenty-something man to meet me at the beach.
"Oh? What street?" he asks, with this devilish grin. I panic a little. I won't be drunk tomorrow. I'm not who he thinks I am.
I hesitate, and he gets pulled away. He holds his finger up, nonverbally asking me to wait, then move to get a drink order for the blonde from earlier. He wants to know my answer.
He gets swamped again. I am thankful and disappointed at the same time. I would love nothing more than to kiss his lips, feel the stubble of his jaw against my cheek. I can't though. It would be wrong. I am seventeen. He is going to be gone in September...so maybe a little fib about who I am won't be so bad?
No I can't.
It would be really wrong...but in such a good way.
By the end of the night I realize there is no way I am going to be able to drive home. I'm not worried about my car. It will be fine parked here, but it's a long walk.
Edward calls last call, and I already know I will be throwing up tonight. I pull Jessica toward the door.
"Isabella!" Edward yells. To hear someone call me by my full name is odd. I'm used to hearing Bella. I actually insist on just Bella. He can't know me that way though. I turn and look at him one last time.
"Where you going?" he asks me.
"Turning into a pumpkin," I tell him. It's hard to walk away, but somehow I manage.
Once we are on the street, I tell myself to act sober. It would probably be safer to walk home under the boardwalk.
"You should have given him your number, Isabella," Jessica taunts as I pull her toward the beginning of the boardwalk a few blocks down.
"Yeah, I'm sure he'd love to hang out with a seventeen-year-old girl!" I tell her.
"Older men are sexy. He was sexy. Nothing wrong with a winter-summer romance or whatever the heck they call it," Jessica slurs a little.
"You mean May-December?" I laugh. "I think my mother would find something wrong with it...not to mention Emmett!" I remind her.
We go below the boardwalk, my arm linked with Jessica's. It's hard to walk in the sand. I stop and take off my platform sandals so I can carry them. The sand is cool beneath my feet, and I love the way the it feels. Gritty but soft.
"Isabella!" I hear my name again. I knit my brows together. He followed me. I don't know whether to thank the heavens or curse them.
When I see his green eyes and his swoon worthy smirk...I decide thanks are in order.
My first night at Keenan's bar was nothing like I expected. I expected loud and obnoxious. I expected flirty and annoying. I didn't expect some girl to make me fall ass over head in two seconds I saw her when she first walked in: long brown hair, short and petite, laughing with her friend.
As they made their way over to the bar, I tried to work quickly. I just wanted to talk to her.
I'm originally from Chicago but this place - Wildwood, New Jersey - was my new home for the summer. My family vacationed here every summer until my dad got too busy with work. I almost feel like I am home again here. It's been too long.
I just graduated with a teaching degree. The past few years my family has rented out our four bedroom townhouse but as a graduation present, my dad said my sister Alice, me, and her boyfriend Jasper could use the house all summer. It's supposed to be like a last hurrah before I truly become an adult, only it's not, because I went into teaching for the hours, not the pay. I took the job at Keenan's so I'm not broke or bored all summer.
I love it in Wildwood. It reminds me of all my childhood summers. I love the smell of the salt water, the taste of the fudge, and the fantastic pizza. I know I am from Chicago, and we have deep dish, but I think Mack's wins.
I use to spend hours on end in the boardwalk arcades. My mom used to yell at me for eating too much funnel cake and salt water taffy's. I would get belly aches every night.
I see her dancing as I head out to grab another case of beer from the back. I can't fight the need I feel to touch her. Is it weird that after our brief encounter I already want to be with her? Probably. I keep my eyes on her the whole night. She is a graceful dancer and a sight to behold.
After last call, I try to talk to her. I call her name and when I ask her where she's going she gives me some smart ass reply. I can't help but smile. I want to get to know this girl so I do what any normal, creepy guy would do. I follow her.
As she walks under the pier with her friend I call out her name. She turns around and looks at me, confusion on her face.
"Edward?" she questions. My name has never sounded so nice.
"You never told me what street," I say, a little out of breath.
She smiles, and her friend giggles.
"I'll just be over... yeah,"Isabella's friend points in the distance and laughs, then walks off.
Isabella nods, and turns to look at me.
"What's it to you?" she asks, twirling her hair.
"I really feel like going to the beach tomorrow and I think I've overstepped polite boundaries with my stalker tendencies, so you know...I'm just trying to avoid going to the same place as you."
She laughs and it's beautiful. Just like her.
"Well then, for your sake, East Spicer Street."
I take a step closer. "Really? Then I should stay away from East Spicer Street."
"Good. Then I won't be needing to call the cops," she says.
We stare at each other for a moment, and I know it's getting late.
"Will you be okay getting home?" I ask. She's tanked and I'm really worried about her getting home safely.
"Yeah, we'll be okay. I think I only have to worry about one stalker, and I think he's too pretty to go to jail," she says.
I smile, and nod. I step closer.
"Would you really think I was a stalker if I showed up at the same beach tomorrow?"
She blushes, "No."
"Good." I step closer, and I'm so close that I can smell her. She smells of Captain and strawberries.
"Do I get a time?" I ask.
"Noon," she whispers.
I'm so close that I could just lean down and kiss her if I wanted to. Man, do I want to.
But I decide not to. I push a strand of hair behind her ear and slowly move back.
"Good night, Isabella."
She waves, and bites her bottom lip. I turn and walk away.
The sun is shining and there isn't anyone on the beach not enjoying the great summer weather. I find Isabella without really having to look for her. She is sitting on the beach on a brown blanket, propped up against a log, reading a book. Her long mahogany hair is blowing in the wind. It's noon and I hope she hasn't eaten yet. I look down at the basket full of sandwiches and chips that I picked up on the way. I wonder if she'll think my impromptu picnic is weird or sweet.
The night before, I had to sneak in like I was fifteen again. I didn't want Alice asking me all kinds of questions. The woman has no clue what the word privacy means, and I honestly didn't know if there was anything to tell her. Just saying that I met a girl on my first night working would cause her to start planning first dinner dates, weddings, and all that nonsense.
I drop to my knees on the blanket next to her, effectively surprising her causing her to squeak
"Should I call the cops?" she asks, not looking up from her tattered book.
She smiles and finally looks up at me. I am fascinated by the light brown freckles scattered across her nose. Her eyes are so round, but she squints in the sun light to look at me. I can't believe how focused I am on her face, when she is in nothing but a bikini tied together by a few strings. Her sunglasses sit on the top of her head, and her lips look a little dried out, probably due to the fact that she licks them constantly.
"I hope it's okay that I brought food," I tell her showing her the basket.
"Oh, it's more than okay. Well, unless it's poisoned or a bribe."
"Hm, a bribe. Never thought of that one," I reply, pulling out the sandwiches.
For the next fifteen minutes we shoot questions back and forth at each other as we eat our lunch. I learn that she helps her mom run her hotel, that she has an older brother, and never knew her dad. Her mom is flighty and has a childlike personality. She is really more like a friend than a mother. Isabella also goes to community college at Atlantic Cape. She wants to have a career in art. I tell her I just graduated from college with my teaching degree with a minor in art. She tells me she can get lost in a good book and she can't remember how many times she has read Wuthering Heights.
When she talks about art, reading, or her family, I can see her passion for life. She talks a lot about art. How she wants to take art classes this summer. Maybe still life.
We've eaten and talked, and everything feels so comfortable. It seems like I've known her for more than fourteen hours. She isn't just a beautiful girl anymore. She is a beautiful, vibrant girl that I want to know.
We decide to take a walk on the beach. She tells me she collects seashells to make picture frames that her mom sells in the hotel gift shop. We've been walking for about five minutes when she suddenly stops and looks up at me. I feel like she's looking into my soul. She smiles, picks up a shell, and holds it out to me.
"It matches your eyes. Keep it." She says, taking my hand and placing the seashell in my palm. I put the shell in my pocket, and in a swift move, I take her hand in mine. She looks up at me and smiles. It tells me she's okay with this. We walk along the water, and she asks me how I like it here so far.
"Well, I use to come every summer. I've missed it, that's for sure," I tell her.
She keeps my hand in hers but walks slightly ahead. Suddenly she turns and walks backwards facing me. There are planes overhead advertising parties at local bars, dinner specials, drink specials, and parasailing.
She stops when I look up to read the newest banner in the sky. I keep walking though, and my arm slips around her small waist and I hold her against my chest. I comment on the dollar drink specials.
"I guess I should go there tonight then, instead of Keenan's," she shrugs.
"I think Keenan's is having an Isabella special tonight. Free drinks for captivating the bartender," I tell her.
"Is that so?" she asks.
"Yeah, but it's one night only, no rain checks," I tell her.
"Huh, well that's a hard special for a struggling college student to ignore," she says.
We start heading back to her blanket. There is a vendor nearby selling ice cream, and I buy Bella a strawberry shortcake ice cream bar. She gets a little on the corner of her mouth and I wipe it away with my thumb. I lick the little bit off my thumb.
She doesn't sit down, but instead pulls the blanket off the ground and hands it to me. "I hate when it gets crowded," she tells me. The beach is packed. Kids are running around, and mom's are trying to control them.
I follow her under the boardwalk, spread the blanket out, and motion for her to sit down. She sits crossed legged on the brown blanket licking the last of the strawberry ice cream off the wooden stick. I am jealous of the stick. She must have noticed me staring.
"You want to kiss me, Edward?" she asks.
"Why would you think that?" I retort.
"Uh, let's see, you followed me out of the bar, you stalked me onto the beach, and you just watched me eat my ice cream like it was the last coke in the desert," she says. She comes up on her knees and moves toward me on them.
"All I've been thinking about is kissing you since I met you. What's your point?" I ask her.
"So, kiss me," she challenges in a hushed voice.
I feel like a teenager. I have kissed plenty of girls. I don't know why I feel the need to wipe my palms off on my board shorts, but I do. It feels like slow motion as she leans into me. Her hand grasps the back of my head and her fingers weave into the hair at the base of my neck. She has a confident grip. She is in charge of this kiss, and I like it.
Her mouth meets mine, already slightly open, and her tongue darts out. She pulls it back quickly and I let mine dart into her mouth. We go back and forth like this. I am too overwhelmed to move my hands, so they stay planted on my thighs as she controls the kiss. I am afraid of what I will do if I touch her stomach. I might not be able to remove myself from her.
She stops the kiss. I feel a loss. "Wasn't so hard was it?" she asks, going back to her spot. It was nice to not have a beach full of spectators. This spot feels special with its peek-a-boo rays of sunlight shining through the boards, the faraway sounds of the people on the beach, and the waves crashing in the distance. All these things were happening around us, but here, under the boardwalk, we were alone. It was ours.
"It was decent," I smirk at her. She rolls her eyes. I move closer to her. She starts to read again and I rest my chin on her shoulder.I let my fingers graze her sides, and she glances up at me. I peck her lips. I wink. She blushes.
I steal kisses and touches the rest of the afternoon, but all too soon I have to get ready to go to work for my six o'clock shift.
"Will I see you later for the Isabella special?" I ask her. "I hear the bartender makes a mean drink."
"Maybe. I might have a few more stalkers to see tonight," she tells me. I lift her chin with my finger and kiss her one last time.
"See you later, Izzy," I tell her, confident she will walk into the bar tonight.
"If you're lucky," she calls out.
I can only hope.
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