So this was originally an entry for the Naughty or Nice Holiday contest sponsored by the Twi-Muses. It was selected as the Voter's Choice Winner! I've decided to expand the story due to popular demand. So if you've already read this, excuse the re-update! Enjoy the ride! It will be about 5 chapters!

Magnolia822 is joining me again as my beta. She's cool. You should read all her stories.

SM owns everything Twilight. I just make them text each other.

Black Friday.

I have no idea what possessed me to agree to this madness. Only Angela and her mind tricks could get me to even think this was a good idea. It's not like I had that many people to buy gifts for. I should've known that a day waking up at the ass-crack of dawn was not going to end least not without copious amounts of caffeine.

"Why did I even let you convince me to do this?" I whine as Angela hands me a coffee from the deli downstairs.

"Oh, silly Bella, you know darn well the best sales are today. There's no way I'm missing the opportunity to save a few bucks, especially since I'm trying to save money to buy a place."

"That's all well and good, Angie, but you know they have Black Friday sales online too, right? It's called Cyber Monday, and It's much safer than fighting with an 80-year-old grandmother over the last pair of leather gloves. It also means I could've stayed in my pajamas and watched Lost re-runs while doing it."

"Yes, but it wouldn't be as much fun. C'mon, B, live a little," she whines. "Getting the sale is only half of it, the real thrill is the hunt! Look, I'll sweeten the deal. How about we hit Serendipity 3 for lunch and dessert?"

I know she's trying to bribe me with my favorite place to eat. Sneaky bitch.

I lead out an exasperated sigh. " Ughhh. Fine."


"FINE. Lead the way, evil woman." She giggles as we walk into the freezing early morning Manhattan air. Angela will pay dearly for this.


Eight o'clock rolls around and we are already three hours into the torture that Angie likes to call shopping. I'm looking through about the tenth sale rack at Bloomie's, when I finally decide that whining and moaning isn't going to make the day go by any faster. I retrieve my Christmas list from my purse instead, choosing to scratch enough names on my list to make today's nightmare somewhat productive.

I have a couple of co-workers, family members and friends to shop for, but something tells me I won't find anything here that my dad, Charlie, will like. I make a mental note to look for some lures for his fishing obsession online later. As I go rummaging through my black hole of a purse to find a pen to add a note next to my dad's name, my phone vibrates, signaling a text message. Strangely, it's from an unknown number.

Hey. Just woke up. We still on for later? The Sleeping Beagle down on E 40th. 9pm.

I look at it for a moment, running through the list of people I know who might be texting me this early in the morning. Did I make plans with someone without knowing?

Angie briefly catches my expression, looking concerned. "What is it? Did something happen?"

"No, no, nothing. But I just got a text from an unknown number, look," I say, extending my arm for her to read the phone's screen.

"Hmm. Weird. Maybe you met someone, gave your number to them when you were drunk or something?" she remarks, grinning mischievously.

"Ha ha. Not funny. I seriously don't know who this is."

"Well, text them back, doofus." I widen my eyes at her and sigh.

"Ok, then. Here goes."

Who is this?

A response comes moments later.

Who do you think it is, ass? It's me. Are you still asleep?

What the fuck? My face must silently mirror my thoughts because Angie immediately grabs my phone.

"What the fuck?" Yes, Angie. Exactly.

"I have NO CLUE who this is. It's obviously a wrong number. Maybe I'll just let it go."

"No! Now you have to respond! Just tell them they have the wrong number or something," she advises as she returns to her hunt, sliding hangers on the rack loudly. I type a reply.

I'm going to ignore that insult and just tell you I think you have the wrong number.

Again, a response comes seconds later.

Who is this? U better not b fucking with me, Jaz.

Um, ok. Now I'm annoyed. But they asked for it. So I will fuck with whoever it is.

Who's Jaz?

Seriously, who it this?

Not Jaz. Thats for sure. I type as a small grin plays upon my lips.

Oh, shit. So I really have the wrong number? Are you sure?

Pretty sure. Don't know anyone who would call me 'ass' and I'm pretty sure no one calls me 'Jaz' either.

A reply doesn't come right away so I resume my shopping for another fifteen minutes before my phone buzzes again.

So what do they call you?

Are you kidding me with this shit?

Angie once again notices my silence and curiously skips over to meddle.

"What's going on, B? You still talking to that person? Who is it?" she asks, craning her neck to catch a glimpse of the messages.

"Apparently, this person doesn't take a hint." I say and decide to play along.

Usually "snarky."

Ah, interesting. R U of the male or female variety?


Angie laughs out loud, shaking her head. "Oh, Bella, Bella. Seems you have a text war on your hands. I have a feeling it's a guy."

"Why do you say that?"

"Oh, just the way he expresses himself. I don't know...just a hunch. Ask him!" she exclaims excitedly.

"OK fine. But go do your thing. I don't need you hovering. I'll just take a seat over here on the bench. Just come by when you're done. I need a break anyway."

"Ohhh, you're no fun! But fine, I'll go and try this stuff on and be back in about ten."

"Fine, go go!" I shoo her away with my hand. Let's to respond...hmm...

Why is that important?

Because I don't want 2 insult a woman. My mom taught me 2 b a gentleman.

Bingo. It's a 'he.'

I see. Well, since you've acknowledged you're a guy, I guess it's only fair to tell you I'm a girl.

Interesting. Well, since we're divulging info here, what's ur name?

Oh, not so fast there, cowboy.

How about you just call me "B"...u?

I guess that's fair. You can call me "E"

Ok, E. Have nothing better to do than to text a strange girl?

R u a strange?

I just meant that you don't know me. I'm a stranger.

That's false. I do know you, you just intro'd urself. U r "B." :)

Clever. -B

I've been called that before. ;) -E

Any other names ppl call u? :) -B

Several. But not ones I'd use in polite company. :) -E

I grinned uncontrollably. Who is this guy?

I C. That doesn't bode well 4 what my opinion of u might be. -B

Afraid not. It may take first-hand experience. ;) -E

Well, seeing how that's not happening, u'll have 2 convince me some other way. -B

Ok, what the hell am I doing? I roll my eyes at my lack of control when it comes to flirting. It's gotten me in trouble before. Seems like today's no different. I'd usually be more on my game, but given the fact I've been up since five in the morning, witty comebacks may take some time to formulate.

LOL ok then. Whatcha wanna know? -E

I think really hard about what I want to know for a few moments, then type.

What r u doing awake this early on a fri morning? -B

What n e other responsible adult is doing. working. -E

It's the day after T-giving...most ppl r off today. -B

I'm not most ppl :) -E

I'm starting to gather that. -B

Ha. So, u don't work? Or just not working 2day? -E

I realize I've been sitting on this bench for a while and check my phone's clock to see that it has in fact been about twenty minutes. As I look around to check if Angie's returned, she practically glides over and eyes me speculatively. She's got a huge grin on her face.

"What?" I ask.

"I've been watching you, girlfriend. You're face is priceless! What's this guy telling you?"

"Nothing. You know me. I'm just messing around. He's amusing, and it's taking my mind off the crowds right now. Are you done, by the way?"

"Yep. What do you say we make our way over to that electronics store? I want to get Ben something for his Wii."

"Yeah, let's go. I'm not going to find anything here for anyone on my list. Maybe I can get Phil something there with you." I'm sure Phil would love the new MLB game for his X-box. Why my mother married a guy fifteen years her junior, I'll never know. He's practically my age.

As we make our way to the electronics mega-store, my phone vibrates again.

Did I lose u there? Not wanna talk 2 me n e more? -E

Damn. I left him hanging earlier.

Sorry. Got sidetracked. I'm still here. -B

Where's here? U never told me if ur working or not. -E

Oh. I work, just not 2day. I'm shopping. -B

Black Friday, huh? Ur a brave soul. -E

U have no idea. This is not my idea of fun. -B

Really? Then what is? -E

I pause and reflect on his obvious innuendo. I shouldn't let myself get worked up by this guy. For all I know, it could be some college kid who roll-plays on the weekends and does online gaming the rest of the week, and who's closest relationship with a woman is on Facebook. But, at the end of the day, I realize this is just for fun and it's not like I'm ever going to meet this guy.

Wouldn't u like 2 know. -B

I would actually. -E

Too bad. That's privileged info. Ur not in my inner circle. -B

Hmm. And what must 1 do 2 gain access 2 the inner circle? -E

You'll know when you've reached it. -B

Well played, B. Fine, so when u do work, what do you do? -E

I work as an assistant designer for an interior design firm. -B

Ah. Creative. Somehow I imagined u as a teacher or something. -E

Y? B/C I have the day off today? -B

No, because I have fantasies involving naughty teachers. -E

THE NERVE of this guy. I feel like I should be offended. But oddly enough, I'm not.

Is that so? U have no idea what I look like. I could be a disappointment. - B

U could remedy that u know. ;) -E

I could, but where's the fun in that? -B

That's usually the response of unattractive ppl. -E

That's true. I guess you'll never know :) -B

:( -E

I giggle out loud and Angie arches a brow in my direction.

"You know this shopping stuff isn't really that much fun if your shopping partner doesn't participate," she says half-jokingly.

"God, Angie, I'm really sorry...I'm usually not like this. There's just something about this guy. The things he says just makes me want to know more. I'm curious. But, whatever. He can wait. You and I have a task at-hand. We are in what most guys consider their toy store, and if we can't find Ben and my step-dad something here, we won't find it anywhere."

"I know, right? I hate this place with a passion, but the newspaper inserts advertised a crazy BOGO thing with the Wii games. I figure I can get Ben his games here and maybe some accessories. I swear that boy turns twelve when it comes to video games," she muses.

I tell her we should split up in order to finish faster and I wander the aisles looking for Phil's present, when my phone buzzes again. Damn it, I left him again.

Ignoring me? Or did u just get trampled by crazed shoppers? -E

Sorry. I'm at the electronics store trying to decide on a gift for the men on my list. -B

U have many men on your list? -E

I do. -B

Any of those men husbands or boyfriends? -E

They r husbands & boyfriends... -B

:( -E

BUT, they're other ppl's husbands and boyfriends -B

:D -E

Hey, I just realized u never told me what it is u do? -B

I do many things. -E

OK. What do u do for a living? -B

I'm a graphic designer. -E

Really? Creative too! Have I seen any of ur work? -B

U know that logo 4 that film company that does all those vampire movies? -E

Yeah! U did that? -B

No. -E

Ur not well. -B

Haha. But seriously... U know that new sports drink that's all the rage lately? Powergade? -E

U didn't do that either? -B

No, that's mine. -E

Seriously? -B

Yep. -E

Impressive. So what, u work at a firm? -B

Sometimes. Mostly from home though. -E

So y aren't u sleeping in? I would if I worked from home. -B

I would normally, but I have a deadline. -E

So y r u still talking to me? -B

B/c ur much more interesting than what I should be doing :) -E

Angela meets me at the end of the aisle with several choices, asking for my help. She also notices my empty hands, save my blackberry, and narrows her eyes at me.

"Well, missy, I can see you're thoroughly distracted by Mr. Texty-pants. Why don't you just call each other and chat?" she asks. Yeah, why don't we call each other? It would be much easier. But something inside me is still a little scared to entertain the idea of speaking to someone who is basically a stranger. Carrying on a conversation over the phone would just kill the flow. Talk about Awkward.

No. Texting it is. I kind of don't want to burst this little flirting bubble we have going on and adding another element of hearing each other's voices could ruin the mystique.

I explain all this to Angie who totally gets it. She reminds me that she and Ben met online and spent three whole months exchanging emails before even talking to each other on the phone. So it's all good.

"So, shall we take a break? Maybe get some more coffee?" she asks.

"Sure. I could totally use more caffeine right now. Let's go."


About forty-five minutes later, we're sitting in a Starbucks, drinking our peppermint lattes, as Angie plans out the rest of our shopping expedition. The plan is to hit the bookstore for gift cards for our co-workers, then on to some lingerie store for a little present for her dear Ben. I decide it's a great idea since I always enjoy a little power-panty purchase now and then.

Just as Angie excuses herself to use the restroom, I check my phone. Four text messages! Jeez. Someone's a little eager.

What r u doing? -E

Did I say something 2 offend u? -E

Look, I get it if u think this is creepy, but I was hoping u were having as much fun with this as I was. Sorry. -E

Really...I'm Sorry. I'm sure ur busy. I won't bother u again. -E

Oh NO! I can't have him think that! God, I'm so stupid! I forgot to reply earlier yet again. I must rectify.

NO! I'm not offended! Plz. Sorry about that. Got caught up in all the holiday crazy. Forgive me? -B

A reply is seconds away.

*PHEW* It's ok. I was beginning 2 agree with all those ppl who call me names. Thought I might've scare u off. -E

LOL. No, I'm still here. Getting n e work done? -B

Not at all. Which sucks b/c I really gotta get this done before 2nite. -E

Oh, I'll let you do ur thing then, I don't want 2 bother. -B

No! Don't u dare! I spent the last hour wondering what I said 2 piss u off, which is the reason I couldn't focus on work. I actually work better when u text me :) -E

Oh really? Well in that case...what r u doing right now? ;) -B

Ha. I could answer that a number of ways, but the G version is taking a break and trying to tame the mess that is my hair. -E

Messy hair, eh? Is it nerdy messy hair, or I just got out of bed sex hair? -B

I have no idea why I asked that, but what the hell.

Just a few moments later, I receive a picture file he's sent me. I'm almost afraid of opening it. I don't know if this guy is some wacko crazy person, sending me pictures of himself naked or something. But he hasn't sounded crazy since we started texting so I bravely open the file.

It's a picture of his hair. It's sex hair, in all its messy, brown glory...and are those flecks of copper highlights? Wow. Don't know what the rest of him looks like but I'd love to take his hair out on a date.

I read the caption attached to the picture: What do u think? -E

Um, what do I think? I have no idea. And I have no idea how to respond other than to be perfectly honest.

Sex hair. Definitely. -B

So you approve? What about u? -E

What about me? -B

Well, it's only fair we exchange hair pictures, don't u? I mean, tit for tat and all of that :) -E

Oh, what am I dooooinnngg, I whine to myself.

"What did you say?" Angie replies, suddenly returning from her epically long restroom trip.

"What took you so long? Did you drown in there or something?" I ask sarcastically.

"No, dork, I was calling Ben, touching base with him. You still talking to that Mr. Texty Pants?"

Yeah, he just sent me a picture of his sex hair, look," I tell her as I show her the message. She grins widely.

"Wow, if the rest of him is that sexy, you've got yourself a winner. You ready to go?"

"Almost, he wants to see my hair, kind of like an exchange. Should I?" I ask nervously.

"Yeah, why the hell not? Might be a fun little game for the two of know, get to know you bit by bit. Who knows, you might end the night sending nudie pictures." She giggles at the thought and stops as if a light bulb has suddenly gone off in her brain.

"Hey, why don't I take the picture? That way it won't look stupid, and I can just crop your face out of the shot?" she asks helpfully.

"Yeah, why not. But no face, please. I'm not ready for all that yet."

She giggles again before taking my phone, focusing, and snapping a shot. She shows it to me and I'm impressed. It's strangely sexy: My hair is perfectly visible, along with a sliver of my pale neck as it slopes to my shoulder. It's almost artistic, really.

"Wow, Angie, that's actually pretty good. Thanks!"

She shrugs as we get up to throw our garbage away and head out again into the frozen tundra that is the city. E's been waiting patiently, no doubt worried once again that I might have chickened out of our little game. How wrong he is.

I attach the picture and type out a little caption.

I hope this suffices. -B

Seconds later, a response.

lkjhgs lkdfjgh lksjhdlf kgjh. -E

I laugh out loud as Angie turns and yanks the phone from my hand to check the message.

"Oh, that is awesome. I like this guy. He might be a horndog, but he's funny."

I get my phone back and respond.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? -B

Good. Very very good. I knew you'd be a brunette ;) -E

Why do u say that? -B

Because I prefer brunettes, and I was kinda hoping u were ;) -E

What if I would've been a blonde? -B

But u r not. So moot point. :) -E

Ok, well it's ur turn. Send me another picture. Rated G, plz. ;) -B

Srsly? OK...I'll play ;) -E

Soon, I get a picture message again. It's his foot, in old black converse. The message attached: U know what they say about big feet ;) -E

Big shoes? ;) -B

Haha. You're just a 'lil comedian, aren't u? -E

I look down at mine and smile. I quickly take a shot of my Chucks, and send it to him with the caption: We match. :) -B

Nice. A girl after my own heart. I was 1/2 expecting heels. -E

R U disappointed? :( -B


Good, because me in heels would b a hazard 2 every1 w/ in a 1 mile radius. -B

LOL. Wait, can we get something out of the way b4 going on? -E

Sure, what? -B

Age? U don't have to 2 me exact age...may b just a range? R U under 30? -E

Just before I type out a response, Angie stops to check out a shoe not my thing. I bow out and sit once again on a bench and reply. I mean, what if he's an old fart? But then again, are there a lot of forty or fifty-something men wearing Chucks? I have no clue, but I think they would look a bit ridiculous if they did. I hope he's not ridiculous.

R U under 30? -B

I cringe waiting for a response.

Yep. U? -E

I'm 25. U? -B

I promise...I can show u my birth cert. -E

I believe u ;) -B

Good. So where r u now? -E

Oddly enough, a shoe store. My friend's looking around. I'm sitting this 1 out. -B

Ok. How about another round of pictures? -E

Sure. Why not. -B

What would u like 2 c? Bear in mind, tit for tat. -E

Ok, stop saying tit, I'm not showing you mine. -B

LOL. As crushed as I am about that, I would NEVER ask 4 that. I'm a gentleman, remember? ;) -E

Ha. We'll c. How about eyes? The windows to the soul & all that. -B

He sends a picture and as I open the attachment I'm nearly floored. They are the most intense and beautiful hue of turquoise green I've ever seen. They have to be fake. They're framed by dark eyebrows and while normally I'm not into bushy brows, these belong there...and hey, at least he doesn't have a uni-brow. The whole look is sexy as hell.

After calming my breathing, which has unexpectedly sped up, I ask him.

Those r contacts, right? Like colored ones? -B, I've got 20/20, and I'm not vain enough to wear colored contacts. Y, u don't like them? :O -E

No no...Not that...just I've never seen eyes that color. No one's ever mentioned how strange the color is to you? -B

Strange? Now you're really hurting my ego there! I'm gonna cry. :( And, yeah, some ppl have commented, but I just brush it off... no biggie.

Oh plz don't cry! Strange can be a good even. -B

So you think my eyes are sexy? -E

Um..Yeah...they're beautiful, actually :) -B

Well, thanks. So where's ur picture? C'mon, don't leave me hanging ;) -E

I pause and think about what I'm about to do. But hey, you only live once, right? I flip my phone so that I can aim it to myself, but think twice. I'm never going to get the right shot, so I might as well enlist Angie's help again. I walk to where she's currently searching the sale rack and silently nudge the phone in front of her so she can see his latest shot. Her expression is priceless.

"Oh, my friggin' god, are you kidding me? His eyes, Bella! His eyes...they're like freakishly gorgeous. Wow. Are you sure that's him and not some other guy? You know, he might be just taking random pictures of other guys so you won't see what he really looks like."

"I suppose it's possible. But why would he go to all the trouble? He doesn't know what I really look like either. He might be thinking the same thing as never know. It's just for fun, so here, help me take a good pic of my eyes," I plead. She happily takes the phone and takes a shot.

"Perfect," she says with a smile, and hands it back to me to review. Once again, she manages to frame the shot just so, and I swiftly send it to him.

Wow. Windows to the soul, indeed. -E

My grin is involuntary and Angie claps her hands in response to my expression.

"Yeah! He loved it, didn't he?" she asks, knowingly.

"Um, yeah, I guess. He says 'windows to the soul, indeed.'"

And then Angie swoons. Yes, she actually fucking swoons. Sigh and all.

"That's so romantic. He certainly knows what to say," she replies, almost to herself.

I go back to the screen that's been making my day brighter...a lot brighter.

So, I guess you like the picture? -B

Like it? I LOVE ur eyes. I can stare at them all day. Send me something else. Anything. I want 2 C more of u. -E

Y not send u a pic of my whole face? -B

Well, u could. But this is more fun, no? It's like a puzzle. We're getting 2 know each other like this. -E

I guess that answers my question as 2 y we're not talking on the phone right now? lol -B

Exactly. We will...I promise. I want 2 hear ur voice. This is more fun 4 now. So what u sending me? -E

I show Angie his response while she slips on some brown wedges; she quickly takes my phone again, snapping away. I don't realize what she's done until I review the shots.

They're all of my lips. Different angles, some with more cheek or chin. I decide on one of just my lips.

Jesus. Ur going to give me a heart attack, woman. -E

I giggle to myself and reply.

Don't die on me. It would be a bummer since ur keeping me entertained ;) -B

Am I? I'll try my best, but ur killing me slowly. That's a srsly hot pic. I want 2 touch them. -E

Holy shit. We're entering the danger zone. Can I hang with the big girls? We'll have to see. For some reason, I'm a little turned on by what we're doing, and I don't want it to stop...but I really want to see his lips. So I tell him.

I really want 2 c ur lips, please :) -B

Moments later I see a picture that will surely send me to the hospital.

His lips. There is no way to describe them, not enough words in the English language to say all there is to say about this man's mouth. They're perfectly pink, plump, and one side is turned up into a sexy, lopsided-as-shit grin that I just want to kiss off of him. I actually want to lick my phone's screen. I have to sit down and compose myself.

Angie notices and sits next to me to view the picture. She tsks at it and practically moans, "oh, you're so dead, B. This guy's seriously hot. You have to talk to him. Call him. Like now."

"I can't. We decided we were going to do this like this. Little clues for each other or something. It's totally stupid, I know, but I've never had this much fun, and I guess I just want to enjoy it before the spell is broken and I figure out he's an asshole or something...or married."

Oh shit. I hadn't though about that. What if he's married? Or at the very least, with someone. What if he's a dad or something? Divorced and lonely? That last though isn't too bad. I mean, I like kids, I'm sure I could get along with his kid, or kids. It would suck if his ex-wife is some controlling bitch...I couldn't deal with that. I'd totally kick her ass if I had to.

I hear the clearing of a throat and snap out of my wild imaginings to find Angie staring at me, a look of bewilderment etched across her face.

"Bella, stop being stupid and over-thinking things. Just ask the guy."

Okay, I guess I can do that. But first, I must respond to the lips.

Wow. That's very nice. -B

I roll my eyes at my own stupid reply. You're such a moron, Bella.

U like? -E

Very much. Hey...I have kind of an important question 4 u. -B

Shoot. U can ask me anything :) -E

Are you married? Attached? Unavailable? -B

LOL. No, B. I'm not any of the above. Although I did just come out of a relationship a couple months ago. -E

He seems to be telling me the truth. If he wasn't he wouldn't have volunteered being out of a relationship to me. But still, I'm apprehensive.

"Angie, he says he's single, but recently out of a relationship."

"Okay, I'm sure he's being honest. Just talk to him some more. OOOH! Ask him to send you a picture of his hands! You can always tell a lot about a man from his hands," she says with widened and excited eyes. It's not a bad idea so I shoot him my next request after responding to his current status.

Oh, okay. Good 2 know :) -B

How about u? Anyone in ur life? -E

Not at the moment. There was a guy I went on a couple dates with, but nothing became of it. -B

Y not? -E

He was cute. But not 4 me. We're better off as friends. -B

I briefly think about my disastrous date with my co-worker's brother, Peter. Yeah. No, AT. ALL. We had tried getting closer on the second date: some touching and kissing, but we both weren't feeling it, and mutually decided it was for the best to end it.

I would say I'm sorry...But I'm not. His loss is hopefully my gain? -E

Asking me a question, is he? Hmm...

Possibly. Maybe u should send me another about ur hands? -B

I'm through being coy. Direct is best. I hope.

A few moments later, I open the next picture attachment to see a big...and I mean, BIG, hand, but with fine, elegant fingers that naturally curl, slightly hanging over his knee. He's wearing jeans, deliciously ripped at the knee. Just the thought of what those hands are capable of sends me into a tizzy. I show Angie the latest picture as she takes her shoe selections to the cashier. Her smile is wide, like she knew all along.

"He's a god. Plain and simple. You need to jump that, and soon."

"Angela Webber!" I exclaim in shock, letting out a strangled chuckle.

"Oh, what? I'm trying to get you some, my friend. Go and get some peen."

She says it so matter-of-factually that I giggle loudly. Angie follows suit seconds later and I'm sure we look like complete and utter psychos in the middle of a high-end shoe boutique. The sales ladies look on, not terribly thrilled or amused at our outburst. Once she's paid up, we quickly escape out into the cold air, immediately locating the gorgeous little lingerie boutique that Angie's been going on and on about.

I send a quick reply to E to tell him I'm still alive. Barely.

Ur hands are very interesting. -B

Interesting? I've never been told that. -E

Well they r. They're pretty. And long. -B

U have no idea how sexy it is 2 read that. -E

Sexy? really? How so? -B

Just the thought that ur looking at all the pics I sent u. Knowing ur eyes r on my fingers. God, the things I'd like a chance 2 do 2 u w/them. -E

Holy shit. That's a pretty bold move on his part. Not that I'm complaining one bit. His words are sending shots of pure electricity through my veins and down below and I instantly clench my thighs together. Angie must notice that I'm a little taken aback because she sighs exasperatedly and asks with feigned concern, "You alright there, Bella? Mr. Texty Pants swooning you to paralysis?"

I shake my head in an attempt to clear my brain, and stare at her blankly.

"Oh, God. Is it that obvious?" I grimace.

"Oh, honey, you're a total mess. You're frustrating the shit out of me. You know what I'm gonna say, but I think you're having too much fun with this, so I'm gonna keep my mouth shut."

We start browsing through the delicate lingerie that adorns the racks and my hand gently ghosts over the smooth, cool silk and satin. And I feel sexy just being among the outfits designed to make men drool and women feel beautiful and powerful. Just then, I have a burst of ingenuity and I believe my best friend can read my mind because she halts her movements, meeting my eyes. We both smile evilly as our mutual wheels turn.

Another buzz from my phone momentarily distracts me from my evil plan. Crap, I forgot to reply again.

Hey, I'm sorry if that was a little forward. I dunno what I was thinking. Forgive me, plz? -E

Aww. He thinks I'm offended again. At least he's showing a little vulnerability. Maybe he's not a total player. I ease his mind quickly.

Oh, no, don't worry...I wasn't offended in the slightest. On the contrary. -B

I C. So u like a little dirty talk? -E

Can't say that I mind it, no ;) -B

Where's my picture? -E

Dammit. I have to take a picture of my hands. I snap a quick one. I've placed my fingers gently on the little cleavage peaking through the top of my v-neck sweater. I'm cheating a little, giving him a glimpse of more skin. I think it will solidify the fact that I am not, in fact, offended. I send to him with a push of a button.

Damn. U r beautiful. -E

Aren't u supposed 2 be working? I hate 2 b the 1 distracting u from getting anything done in time 2 have some fun. -B

Oh, B, I love the fact that u r the 1 distracting me. But yeah, I guess I should get some work done. Hey...could I interest u in maybe meeting up where I'll b tonite with my friends? No pressure if u don't want to. -E

I think about that for a moment. Am I ready to meet this sex god in the flesh? I give him a tentative answer.

We'll see. C u later, tiger. ;) -B

Ur killing me, woman. xoxo -E

I put my phone away with a smile playing upon my lips and resume the task at-hand. I'm in one of my favorite places. Even though I'm not big on the whole fashion and shopping thing, I do love me some power panties, and I have a wide collection at home. But, a woman can never have too much lingerie, so I look around, selecting pieces to try on. Angie and I laugh and joke about some of the outfits that are a little too risqué for us, and we hash out our plan to finally kill Mr. Texty Pants, as Angie has dubbed him.

About thirty minutes later, I hear my phone buzz and pull it out of my purse. I open the unread message.

I miss u. -E

I thought u had work 2 do. -B

I can't concentrate. Ur in my head. I'm thinking of ways 2 meet u, 2 touch u. -E

Poor, E. I can almost imagine the pout. -B

And seconds later, a picture...his beautiful lips, in a perfect out. My heart stops and I almost faint.

Naughty boy. Ur not playing fair. -B

Never said I did ;) Where r u? -E

Shopping. -B

What r u shopping for? -E

Things. Would u like 2 c? -B

Sure. I love to c ur things. ;) -E

Oh, you will, E. Game on, baby.

I make my way to the fitting rooms with a stack of my favorite pieces and start to undress. Angie's in the next stall already in fits of giggles, since she knows what I'm about to do. Nothing every gives me more confidence in my female whiles than lingerie, and I know I always have the upper hand. I'm going to make my boy suffer.

The first number is a black silk slip, with just the slightest bit of gray lace trim at the edges. It's pretty tame. I don't want to kill him right away. Slowly. Yes. Slowly is better.

After arranging my boobs and material in all the right spots, I fluff my hair to give it the "just fucked" look and snap a full body picture using the reflection in the mirror.

Holy fuck. -E

I giggle.

U ok there? -B

Where the fuck r u? -E

A lingerie boutique. -B

Fucking hell. -E

Having a little problem? -B

Um, there's nothing "little" about my problem right now. -E

My eyes widen at the confession of his apparent arousal and it's got me a little hot and bothered too.

Um, I might need some help choosing something 2 buy. Mind if I run them by u? -B

Mind? I pretty much demand that u do... -E

Oh, this is way too much fun. I hear Angie's muffled voice. She's probably trying something on and talking through the fabric over her head.

"How's it going over there?" she asks.

"It's going. Seems he likes what I have on. Like really."

"Like really?" She laughs out loud. "Wow, this guy's got you speaking like a love-struck teenager."

"Well, let's just say he's making it hard for me to think coherently right now." That's an understatement, of course.

Angie laughs again, and roots for me. "You go girl. I won't interrupt you then!"

I change into my next little number. It's a black bra and panty set. The panties are low cut, lacey boy shorts, and the bra is a slightly padded demi-cup, giving me awesome cleavage. The whole getup contrasts nicely against my pale skin.

I snap another full body picture and send it on its way along with a caption:

U like? -B

Seconds later:

Holy Christ. Baby, let me call u plz, I need 2 talk 2 u...NOW. -E

Fuck. I sit on the small bench in the fitting room and take a moment to breathe a few cleansing breaths to calm myself. He wants to talk to me. Shit. I want to talk to him too, so bad. But I'm afraid the whole illusion will vanish in a puff of smoke if I hear his voice and it's not what I had envisioned.

"Angie, he wants to call me, what do I do?" I ask in a panic, shouting it over the fitting room partition.

"Oh, it's about time, woman! Let him! I'm on my way out anyway, I'll keep the sales lady occupied so you have some privacy," she announces. I can almost hear the playful smile on her lips.

"Thanks. I owe you a drink!"

"Oh, I think you owe me more than that, but a drink's a good start!" she says, her voice sounding farther away.

I type out a quick response. I'm so keyed up, I don't know what listening to his voice will do to me, but it's about time I take a chance.

The phone vibrates with an incoming call. I take a deep breath and answer.



There's awkward silence for a few moments. I can only imagine he's having the same issues with nerves as me. I decide to talk first.

"You didn't like the texting anymore?"

He chuckles lightly, the timbre of it sending chills down my spine- in a very good way.

"Let's just say it wasn't conveying what I really wanted to express." His voice is deep, with just the right amount of smoothness and Yes, his voice is sex. My nipples seem to agree since at the sound of his voice, they're standing at attention.

"Oh yeah? So what did you want to express?"

"Who are you?" What a simple question during such a hormonally charged moment.

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, what's your name? I really want to know. My name is Edward. Edward Cullen."

"Edward," I repeat, trying out the name to see how it feels rolling off my tongue. He likes it too, since I hear a slight groan on the other end. I smile.

"Well, Edward, my name is Bella. Bella Swan."

"Bella..." and I slowly die a slow, deliciously torturous death at the sound that voice repeating my name.

"It's a perfect name for you. Bella, you're driving me crazy with these pictures, you know that? How do you expect me to get any work done?" I hear the smile in his velvet voice.

"I don't. As a matter of fact I was hoping I could thoroughly distract you."

"You certainly succeeded." He laughs and then pauses before speaking again.

"Where did you come from? I mean, I was just minding my own business and you pop onto my screen and manage to discombobulate my entire life in a matter of hours. That takes talent, you know."

"You were the one to text me, remember?"

"Yeah, but I was trying to contact my buddy. It's seems like a wicked twist of fate that we should meet each other in such a non-conventional way. And then a few hours later, you're modeling incredibly sexy lingerie that I just want to rip off your body." His voice is suddenly gruff and heavy, laced with arousal that flows through the phone and causes certain "things" to happen down below.

"Oh yeah? That would be a shame though. Spending all this money on lingerie, to have it end up in shreds by your hands." As I mention his hands, my mind goes back to the picture he sent me of his long, beautiful fingers. Yes, I'd like his hands to do a lot more than rip my clothes off.

"I'd buy you all the lingerie you want, or I want...same difference." His voice is low.

"So which one did you like?"

"All of it, baby. I love all of it. But, I'd like to see you in nothing at all, if I really have my way. Would you let me?"

I let out an involuntary little moan as my hand finds its place on my stomach. I don't know if I'm trying to touch myself, or hold the butterflies in my stomach in a vain attempt at keeping them calm.

"Oh God, yes, I'd let you. You have no idea what you've done to me today. I can't concentrate. I've never done anything like this before..."

"Neither have I, seriously. I knew there was something about you...I knew it...even before the pictures. But, in those black panties and's a page out of my fantasies. Your body is exquisite. I'm pissed off that I'm not there with you..."

"What would you do if you were here with me?" I know it's a loaded question, but I don't have a lot of time, and I want to know if he's just talk or if he was serious about needing to call me.

"Fuck. My hands would be all over you. My mouth would fucking worship you..."

That did it. I'm done. He could tell me to jump, and I'd ask how high. I hum in pleasure as my hand creeps up to the crevice between my breasts. He's definitely happy about the sounds I'm making, judging by the feral groan on the other end.

"Shit, are you touching yourself for me, Bella? Where are you touching yourself, tell me, please." He practically whines and begs, as if in pain. I can also hear some rustling of papers and his deep pants. Could he be touching himself too?

As he says this my hand creeps under the lace covering my breast, and I caress and squeeze, my thumb grazing my hardened nipple over and over again, lightly pinching it with my thumb and index finger. This causes me to let out a throaty mewl, to which Edward responds.

"God, baby, please just tell me where you're touching yourself. I want to hear you."

"Ung...I'm touching my nipples."

I hear something fall with a soft thud on his end and wonder what's going on over there.

"Are you okay? Do you want to stop?"

"NO! No no no no...don't stop...Jesus, don't stop. Baby, that's so fucking hot...your voice, the sounds you're making...I'm almost coming just from that...Damn. Baby, I want you to move your hand down your stomach, can you do that for me?" His voice is breathy and bass. I can feel myself getting wetter by the second. I follow his orders.

"Ok, my hand's touching my stomach, I'm getting goosebumps from the sensation. It feels so fucking good, Edward. What are you doing right now? Are you touching yourself for me, Edward?"

"FUCK! I love it when you say my name, Bella. Yes, I'm fucking touching myself..." He trails off and I can hear the distinct sounds of flesh on flesh moving in rhythm, along with low grunts.

"Oh my God, that's driving me crazy, Edward. Are you thinking of me, baby?"

"YES! I'm thinking of you...FUCK! It's all I can think about! You're touching my cock, Bella...I can feel your warm little hand around me...God..."

This has to be the craziest thing I've ever done. It's so hot, though. It feels right that I'm doing this with him. At the sexy guttural sounds coming from him, my hand drifts down below, creeping underneath the lace of the panties until I reach my pussy. It's warm and of course, wet. I'm not surprised. I decide to tell him.

"Oh, Edward. That's so hot, baby. I wish I was there to hold your dick in my hand, to make you come because of me. My hand's touching my pussy, baby." My last words are almost a whisper since I'm suddenly aware of where I am. I try to keep my voice down. "I'm imagining that it's your hand touching my pussy...God, that's so hot."

"Shit. Are you serious?" He whines. "Fuck, I wish I were there, baby. The things I'd do to you...fuck. Baby, Are you close? I want you to come...make yourself come for me, Bella. I want to hear you..."

I moan in response, as my fingers find their way into me. I pump a few times and then move my wetness over my clit. My steady rhythm over the bundle of nerves quickly accelerates and I'm so so close.

"I'm so so close, Edward...Oh Jesus. Are you close?" I can hear rapid movement, and I can only imagine him getting himself off, and it just spurs me the fuck on even more.

"Bella...fuck...Jesus, Bella, I'm going to come, baby...come with me, say my name...I want to hear it!" And that does last press of my fingers against my clit, and I'm over the edge.

"Oh...Ohhhhh...ffuuuccckkkk...oh God oh God oh God oh God...Edward! Damn...shit!" I try to keep my voice down, but I'm failing miserably, so I bite my lip hard, trying to stifle my moans. I can hear him coming on the other line, and it's the sexiest fucking thing I've ever heard. I want this man. I want him.

After both of us take a moment to come down from our highs, I can hear his breathing slow until it's even and calm. I don't really know what to say after all this. What does one say after having phone sex with a complete stranger?

He's the first to end the silence.

"Are you okay?"

"Yes," I breathe.

"That...was just..."

"Incredible..." I finish his sentence.

"Better than incredible. Wow. The only thing I think that can top that is to have you here with me, and not let you go."

"I agree."

"Come see me tonight. I'm meeting up with some friends...The Sleeping Beagle. It's a cool little bar, I think I texted the address to you when I thought you were Jasper. Just...I just want to see you. You can even bring some friends with you. I don't want you to be creeped out or anything. Just...please say you'll come."

As I listen to his pleas, I change into my street clothes, and step out of the fitting room with the black lace panties and bra in hand. I'm taking both outfits, especially since I don't want the sales ladies to see any um...evidence of my activities.

I ponder his invitation before responding. I want to see him...badly. But is this crazy? I just had hot phone sex with someone I hardly know. What's his opinion of me? And even though he told me he's never done this before, how do I know he's telling the truth? He might be some sexual deviant, or a predator.

"Oh, I don't know. Um..."

"Look, I know it's a little weird, this whole thing. But I can't ignore this pull I feel toward you. Even just your words on the screen, your voice in my ear...there's something there, and you can't deny that you don't feel it too. Just...take some time to think about to your friends, see if they want to come along. No pressure...just...Bella, just give it a chance. If you're not interested, I'll let it go, and we'll go our separate ways. What do you say?"

He sounds incredibly sincere. And when he puts it that way, I find it hard to say no. I can ask Angie for her opinion...she'll know what to do.

"Um...ok, let me think about it. I have the address, I know what time you'll be there. I'll talk to a few friends and see if they want to come. I'll text you if I decide to go," I say as I bring my items to purchase to the cashier. Angie is there, leaning against the counter with a knowing smirk.

"Okay, that's all I can hope for. I really hope you make it. I'd love to see you, Bella. I'll let you go now...maybe I can salvage the day and get some work done. I don't know how I will though...I'll be thinking about you the rest of the's all your fault." He chuckles towards the end of his statement. I laugh with him.

"Well, maybe I'll see you tonight." Angie hears my response and raises her eyebrows, her eyes wide in shock. I mouth "later" to her, and she nods.

"Great. Bella, I've really enjoyed talking to you, and you know...the other stuff was pretty damn good too," he says, and I can hear the grin in his voice.

"Yeah, me too. I'll talk to you later, maybe. Bye, Edward."

"Bye, Bella."

I put my phone away and finish the transaction with the cashier. I can see Angie's bursting at the seams, just waiting for me to say something. I wait until we're out of earshot of the store employees.

"Okay. He wants to meet, for real."

She squeals and grins so wide, I'm scared her face will get stuck like that.

"Ahhh! I knew it! look thoroughly fucked, but I know that's not possible so did what I think happen in know...happen?" she asks expectantly.

"Well, if you mean we talked and got to know each other then..."

"Oh, stop it...SPILL!" she practically yells.

"Okay, okay, keep it down! Yes, we were kind of...talking dirty to each other and..." I mutter, lowering my head in embarrassment.

"And? And what? Tell me damn it!"

"I got off...well, we got each other off. There. I said it."

She looks like an escaped psych ward patient as she skips and jumps around the sidewalk, while tons of angry holiday shoppers whiz by her in a huff. She's in their way, but she doesn't care.

"Shit, you had phone sex. You lucky bitch. know you're going to see him tonight, right? There's no argument."

I turn my head to the side as I give her my best "are you serious" face. She's not having it, though.

"No complaints from you either. OOOH! You should wear whatever you wore when he saw the pics of you back'll drive him bonkers when he sees you."

"Angie, you're implying I'm going to see him to have sex...I..."

"Um, it could happen, Swan, if you let it. You should have some've been a bit down lately. And you haven't had a date or a good fuck in a long time..."

"Ugh, don't remind me..."

"Exactly, so there's no argument. You're going...but I'll go with you. And maybe you should call your co-workers. They're a cool bunch...we had so much fun with them the last time we hung out. Call them!" She's a mile a minute as she offers her vision of how the evening should go. I pretend to humor her, but I know she's on to something.

"I know I shouldn't go alone. Edward actually said..."

"His name is Edward?'s an old-fashioned name...but for some reason, when you couple that with all the pics of him, and his texts, it's kind of sexy."

"Yeah, I know...totally hot. But yeah, Edward actually said I shouldn't go by myself. He said he'd be there with a few friends, so..."

"Aww...see? He doesn't want to freak you out. Bella. Call it intuition, but I think this a really good thing. Call your friends, we're going...Oh, where are we going, by the way?"

"The Sleeping Beagle?" It sounds more like a question.

"Oh! I know where that is! I had to go with Ben a couple months ago to meet up with his friends! It's a great place to just chill out...not too loud...Oh, it's perfect, Bella, just perfect," she beams.

A couple of hours pass as we finish up our shopping, and I am thoroughly exhausted. Not that I really did much in terms of bargain hunting, but couple the huge crowds with a horny, mystery text messenger, and my head is spinning. When I return home, immediately drawing myself a hot bath. It's soothing and it gives me a chance to replay every text, every picture, every delicious sound of his voice. Remembering it thrills me and scares me all at once.

I must've dosed off a bit in the bath because the water is suddenly chilly against my skin. After dressing in my comfy robe, I lounge on my bed as I scroll through my phone for my co-workers' numbers. First up, Alice Brandon. She's one of the art directors at the firm, and always in a chipper mood. She's also one of the most creative cats I know and I adore her.

"What's up, Swan?" Her upbeat greeting always puts a smile on my face.

"Brandon, what's shakin'? What are you doing right now?"

"I'm currently trying my hand at some chocolate mint chip cookies. I've decided everyone's getting baked goods for Christmas...I think it's better than giving gift cards to everyone, what do you think?"

"I'm with you on that one. So am I going to be one of the lucky recipients?"

"Of course, my love. You always top the list! Whatcha up to? Had enough of the Black Friday bullshit yet?" she giggles.

"Ugh. You have no idea, Alice. Angie just dragged me everywhere. My feet hate her even more than I do right now. But listen, the reason why I'm calling is that I was wondering if you wanted to meeting up tonight? I'm meeting someone who's got a group of friends going as well, and I just thought maybe you'd like to tag along," I ramble.

"Ooooh! Who's this someone? Is it a guy? Please tell me it's a guy, because nothing personal, Swan, but you've been really a bit of a Scrooge lately, and you probably need a good..."

"ALICE! Just...yeah...just stop right there," I hastily interrupt her since the last thing I need is another person to tell me I need my pipes cleaned.

"Alright," she responds with a touch of song to her voice. "I won't say it, but you know what I's a guy right?"

"Yes, Alice, it's a guy."

"Where'd you meet? Do I know him?"

"No, I don't think you know him. Um...We kind of...met messaging," I finish the sentence in a mere whisper.

"You what? I don't think I quite heard you. It sounded like you said you met him through text messaging."

"Yep. You heard right."

"Are you serious? How did that happen?"

I continue to relay all the details of today's events, and I'm not surprised when Alice is thrilled. She's a hopeless romantic, and readily agrees to meet up. She helps me out and agrees to call Rosalie Hale, one of the senior designers we work with. She's a total bombshell of a woman. I'm almost afraid that if she goes, Edward will be all about her, and leave me in the dust. But, she's a good conversationalist, and I know she'll keep the awkwardness at bay.

I tell Alice to meet at my place half an hour before we have to go. Then I text Angie and tell her everything's set, sending her the address and time so she and Ben can meet us at the bar. My nerves are starting to bubble up in my stomach, so I make myself a hot tea and will myself to relax while I stare at my wardrobe.

What do I wear? What does one wear to meet the anonymous man you had phone sex with? I finally decide on black skinny jeans, coupled with black ankle boots and a deep wine-colored v-neck sweater. I keep my makeup and hair simple, and just when I'm putting on my coat and scarf, Angie texts me to let me know she's going to meet us there with Ben in fifteen minutes. Seconds later, there's a quick knock on the door. I greet Alice and Rosalie, who are smiling widely. They both gently push me back into the apartment; I have no idea why. They must see my confused expression because Rosalie sits me down on a stool next to my kitchen island, and speaks.

"So, Alice filled me in on what's happening tonight..."

"Nothing's happening tonight, I'm just meeting the guy in a public place in case he's pscyho."

"And you're smart to do that, but first, we're doing some pre-evening celebration," she announces as Alice opens and closes cabinets, pulling out three shot glasses. Rose raises her perfectly manicured eyebrows in question.

"There's some vodka in the fridge."

"Excellent!" Alice exclaims as Rosalie pours.

"To fuckhot phone sex and taking chances!" Rosalie toasts as we clink our glasses and drink.

"Okay, let's go! I'm dying to see this guy," Alice declares. I roll my eyes because I know tonight is just going to be total ridiculousness, and maybe...hopefully...the beginning of something interesting.


The facade of the bar is pretty nondescript and if you didn't know exactly what you were looking for, you'd totally miss it. I love these kinds of places. They're usually hidden gems among the flashy night clubs and Zagat-rated restaurants. As we climb out of the taxi, my nerves take over again. I'm about to turn around and get back in the cab in defeat. I can't do this. What if it's all a fantasy, and this guy is nothing like I had imagined? What if he is everything I've imagined and he doesn't want me?

Alice stops me by placing her small hand on my forearm. She looks at me reassuringly. "Bella, everything's going to be fine. We'll hang out in the back somewhere and you can look for him first before meeting him. We're here with you and we won't leave your side. Trust me."

Just as she says this, Rosalie looks back and smiles in agreement. "Yeah, and if he's psycho, I'll kick his ass. I've been meaning to put all those self-defense classes to good use," she grins evilly. It makes me chuckle and I steel myself to open the door.

We see Angie and Ben immediately. Apparently, they've already scoped out a good seat away from most of the crowd. The place is just awesome. It's reminiscent of some of the pubs I'd visited on my trip to the UK. It's pretty down to earth, with the constant buzz of voices and laughter filling the air.

We sit and order some drinks when the waitress makes her rounds. I nervously scope out the area for the shock of copper hair I remember from the pictures. It's hard to see, since it's so dark and there's a sizable crowd in the way. My stomach is in knots before my eyes freeze upon the form of a tall, messy-haired man, his back facing me. My arm shoots out sharply to grab Angie's. I'm frozen, not knowing what to do. Startled by my action, Angie quickly follows my gaze where they've found purchase.

"Is that him?" she whispers in my ear.

"I don't know. It looks like it." He's standing at the bar, chatting with three other guys. One is definitely there with a girl: she's cute, with dirty-blonde hair and a sweet smile. The man she's attached to is what I would call the All-American Boy: blonde hair and boy-next-door features. Next to him is another guy with shaggy blondish hair and a killer smile. The last guy is huge. He's taller than the rest, and is clearly ripped in all the right places. His face, though, is boyish with deep dimples when he smiles.

I'm shaken out of my analysis by Angie, who suggests, "Why don't you play with him a bit? You never confirmed you'd be here tonight, right? Just send him a text, mess with him. It will settle your nerves if you have the power in your hands."

Alice and Rosalie are looking at me wide-eyed, since they've now caught on to the scene before them. I take out my phone and do as my best friend suggests.

Hey there, stranger. What r u up 2? -B

I see the man before me take his phone out of his pocket and study the screen. I know it's him. it has to be. His face turns slightly to the side, giving me a glimpse of his profile. I'd recognize the strong jawline anywhere. I smile and wait.

Hanging out with some friends, waiting 4 u. :) -E

Waiting 4 me? How do u know I'm going 2 be there? -B

I don't. I guess I'm hoping? U coming? -E

Hmm...I'm not sure. What's my incentive? -B

I see the man before me grin the lopsided smirk that caused me heart palpitations in pictures earlier. I'm dying to just go over there and straddle the guy.

I'm in shock u'd even question the incentive. I want to c u. -E

Aren't u nervous about meeting? -B

A little. I'm afraid u won't approve of what you c, or who I am. -E

His look is serious, as one of his friends lightly pushes his arm to get his attention about something. He briefly looks up and nods a few times, laughing, then continues to stare at the screen, waiting for my response.

My girls are chatting it up, but they keep giving me side-glances, wondering what's going on. Angie looks over my shoulder sometimes to see how the conversation is going. Her smile grows wider as she looks up at him and then back to me. "Bella, he's hot. Like, really hot...and he's into to you...put him out of his misery and go talk to him. I'll go with you."

The girls and Ben nod and agree they'll join me too if I choose to make the walk. I have the best friends ever.

Oh, I don't know, I saw pictures, I approve so far. -B

Yeah, but what if it's not enough? -E

Well, I dunno what's going to happen to us, but I can tell you one thing... -B

What's that? -E

Those jeans and that grey sweater look really hot on you. -B

Edward lifts his head immediately, scanning the bar. Seconds later, he locks eyes with me, and I die a little.

His face, even from a distance in a dark bar, is perfect. It's like looking at a sculpture of a Greek god. His chiseled jaw frames his strong, masculine features. His lips, the same lips I had drooled over in pictures, are plump and tempting. His tall, lean body and broad shoulders do crazy things to my composure...he's absolutely gorgeous in every way.

I don't realize I'm grinning like an idiot until Rosalie sits next to me and reminds me to breathe. I shake my head a bit to clear the haze of lust in my brain and see that he's making his way over to me. His mouth is twisted into a sexy grin, and he's followed by his buddies. They seem to know exactly what's going on as they smile knowingly. But I don't pay attention to them because this sexy, beautiful man has taken control of all my senses, and I see only him.

"Hello, Bella." His voice, even over the noise, is pure honey and sex. Would it be too forward of me to just drag him to a dark corner and have my way with him right now?

"Hi." Of all the thoughts and possible responses going through my mind, that's the only thing that I manage to verbalize.

"You look stunning," he says.

"So do you. I mean, good. You look good too," I mutter.

At that moment, Rosalie saves the day. "Well, are we going to be introduced, Bella, or are you going to be rude and leave us to our own devices?" She grins, staring at Edward's burly friend, standing a bit behind Edward. I hurry to make introductions.

Everyone is good-natured as we introduce ourselves and start to talk. I learn that Mike is the All-American boy and the blonde girl, Jessica, is his fiancé. The shaggy-haired one is Jasper, and Alice already has him monopolized in conversation. And the big dude is Emmett. Rosalie sizes him up right away, and I'm not surprised when Emmett falls right into her hands like putty. She's gifted in so many ways, but her best attribute is her openness. Emmett would be stupid not to at least get her number.

While everyone chats, Edward hasn't taken his eyes off me. And I can truthfully say I haven't taken my eyes off him either. We're locked in this staring contest, willing the other to make the next move. It's silly really. Finally, Edward moves to sit next to me, leaning in close to speak.

"So, is it what you expected?" he asks.

"Well if you mean if I expected to be this nervous, then yeah," I smile.

"Is this crazy? I mean, is it crazy that I feel like I've known you a while already?" I ask, unsure of my emotions. The atmosphere around us is charged with an electric energy I can't quite explain.

He smiles in return, taking his hand to move a stray lock of hair away from my face and behind my ear.

hesitantly, Edward lowers his hand to hover over mine and looks at me in silent request. I oblige him and take his hand in mine. I immediately feel a wonderful warmth that seeps through our joined hands and travels through my entire body, eliciting feelings and sensations in places I need to keep under control. All the while, his eyes...His Eyes. They are possibly the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen, and they're currently trained on my every move. It's like neither one of us is quite certain if this is a dream or not.

"It's not crazy. This is new to me though, so forgive me if I'm not as talkative as I normally am. It's just I can't believe you're here, in front of me."

"Neither can I," I agree. "We have a lot to talk about."

He nods and smiles sweetly. "Yes, we do."

Over the next hour or so, everyone is in socializing mode. My friends and his friends are discussing everything from politics to their TV obsessions, and I can see Rosalie and Alice really enjoying themselves with the boys. Maybe this evening is a win for all involved.

Edward is wonderful. He's smart, witty, and we spend most of the time making each other laugh. It's all so natural. I feel at home in his presence. The rest of the evening is spent sharing light touches, good conversation, and flirting...a lot. At one point we kiss and it's perfection. His lips are soft, his tongue insistent, showing me how much he desires me by the simplest action of his mouth on mine and his hands cupping my face and hugging my waist.

By the end of the night, we're all a little on the tipsy side and giggling at the silliest things. Everyone has paired off after Ben and Angie bow out, followed by Mike and Jessica. We all make plans to hang out again as Rosalie and Alice exchange phone numbers with Emmett and Jasper, respectively. I excuse myself to use the restroom as Alice and Rosalie follow. After acting like silly teenagers in the bathroom, sharing gossip and squeals of delight, I exit first, since they actually have to use the facilities. Once I'm out the door, I feel strong hands and arms wrap around my waist and the heady scent that is now permanently etched in my mind surrounds me. I immediately relax against Edward as his lips gently graze the spot under my ear. The sensation is mind-blowing and wakens something up in me that makes me want to throw him against the wall and devour him.

He must have read my mind because he walks us over to the wall next to the door of the ladies room, spins me around until my back is against the wall, and does what I've been dying to do all night. Our mouths are connected, our hands roaming each other's bodies when my hands finally find a comfortable spot, entangling my fingers and pulling at the hair at the nape of his neck. His hands are splayed on my hips, flexing and gripping the flesh there. We both share moans and groans the moment I feel him, there. I grind against him slightly, and in response he leans his head against my neck and grunts against me. I may just die of lust right now.

"God, Bella...I want you so bad, you have no idea. I've been replaying what happened today over and over, and I want you," his desperation does something to my insides and I moan again against his neck.

"Me too...I want you...a lot...Oh God!"

"One day, soon...I'm going to fuck you. Do you believe that, Bella? I won't do it tonight. I want to do this right...but soon, baby...very very soon...if you'll let me," he grunts.

The admission that he's not planning to take me home tonight is slightly disappointing to my hormonal side, but the other, more romantic side of me is completely swooning at the idea that he wants this to be more about starting something, and not just about a one-night-stand. It makes me want him all the more.

At that moment, the girls exit the bathroom, coughing rather dramatically to announce their presence. We both laugh against each other's skin, and his hot, delicious breath sends chills through my body as I feel it blow against me.

"Okay, kids, knock it off, it's time for Bella to turn into a pumpkin. Say your goodbyes, we'll meet you outside," Alice announces as they saunter away.

Edward and I lean our foreheads together and kiss a little more before making our way to the exit to meet our friends, who are outside in the midst of their own make out sessions. I tap both girls on the shoulder and we say our final goodbyes as Edward flags down a cab for us. A gentleman too. How the fuck did I get this lucky?

"Call me when you get home?" Edward requests, eyes ablaze with longing and something else I can't name.

I nod silently and kiss him again. And as soon as the girls and I are in the cab, I get a text message.

U r beautiful. I can't wait 2 c u again. Call me when ur home. -E

I smile a goofy grin and look to my friends who have the same expression on their faces.

"Girls, I think we're in trouble," I finally break the silence.

They merely "mmhmm" in response.

As soon as I'm in my pajamas and in bed, I send him a text to tell him I'm home. I know he said to call, but I feel that it might be too late, and I don't want to risk waking him up if he's already sleeping. Then, my phone vibrates.

I smile.

I can't sleep. -E

Y not? -B

Visions of Bella dance through my head ;) -E

Cheesy. ;) -B

But effective? -E

Maybe. -B

I wanna c u 2morrow. -E

What did u have in mind? -B

Have breakfast w/me. -E

Eager, r we? -B

I'm not ashamed 2 admit it. ;) -E

The thought of seeing him again so soon both thrills me and scares the crap out of me. But the pull I feel with him is too much, and it ultimately takes little time to make my decision.

Ok. Where and what time? -B

There's a little place a few blocks from my apt. They know me there. An old married couple run it. Best pancakes in NYC. 9am? -E

Oooh. You had me at 'pancakes.' :) Meet u there? -B

Excellent. God, Bella. It's insane that I just met u & I want more. -E

His admission melts my heart.

Me 2. :) -B

I'll send u the address 2morrow morning b4 u leave. -E

ok :) -B

A few minutes pass and I think he's fallen asleep. I place my phone on my nightstand, setting the alarm to seven in the morning so I have enough time to get ready and cab it to meet him.

Just when my eyes droop closed, another vibration snaps them open again as I reach blindly for the phone.

Goodnite, Bella. Sweet dreams. I hope they're of me. ;) -E

G'nite, Edward. Dream of me 2. -B

It's a given. -E

Yep. I'll be dreaming of turquoise eyes, strong, beautiful hands, and lips that are at once sweet and dominant.

It might be a very merry Christmas after all.

A/N: Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for a teaser to chapter 2 very soon!