The Muses of ice and of fire

Are attendant on Stephenie Meyer

We disclaim to infringe on her talents and rights

We only intend to admire.


As Bella predicted, Alice was quite enthusiastic about the plan to take Nessie out drinking.

"We should go over there sometime this week and introduce ourselves," she said, talking at top speed. "And invite her here to get to know her. And we should all come over to my place and get ready."

"Easy, there, turbo," Bella said soothingly. "All in good time. First we have to see them interact together. Esme said that she likes him, but I don't think she's thought of him in that way just yet. We can't rush the process."

"Why not?" Alice pouted. "Life is short."

"True. But a little recon never hurt anyone."

"Okay, fine. But I'm going over to Carlisle's office after we close. You wanna come?"

"Can't. I'm going over to my coworker Rosalie's place this evening."

"Cool. She's the manager over there, right?" Alice got a faraway look in her eye. "Maybe she'd jump on board, too."

"Uh, I don't think Rosalie's the matchmaking type."

"Oh? What type is she?"

"The…um, the scary ball-buster type. I'm still kind of stunned that she asked me over. Most of the time she looks like she hates the universe and all its minions."

"Oh." Alice looked at her dubiously. "Well, good luck with that."

The shop stayed steady until six o'clock, ruining Alice's chance to swing by the doctor's office. So, when Rosalie called Bella at six-thirty, she and Alice were still closing.

"You ready, girl? I got nachos and tequila."

"Uh, I'm still at work. Would you mind picking me up here? You know where Ike's is, right?"

"Sho 'nuff. I'll be there in ten."

Alice was just putting away the mop bucket and locking the storage room when Rosalie pulled up.

"Wow," Bella said, peeking through the window.

"What?"

"Rosalie has…a hot car."

"Lemme see." Alice crowded up next to her. "Wow."

It was red. It was a convertible. And the little logo thingy on the hood said BMW.

Alice all but dropped to the ground, though, when Rosalie stepped out.

Bella was still laughing at her when she unlocked the door and ushered her out.

"Hey, Rosalie," she said, locking the door behind her. "This is my friend Alice. She likes your car."

"I like your hair better," Alice breathed. "Is it natural?"

Rosalie laughed. "Everything but the color. Nice to meet you."

"I would kill to play with your hair. It looks so thick and strong."

"You busy tonight? I'm giving Bella some remedial makeup lessons. We can make a thing of it."

Bella hid her surprise. Rosalie, who looked like Marisa Miller and acted like Lorena Helmsley, had done it again.

"Sure!" Alice all but jumped up and down. "Can we stop by my place and get supplies?"

"Make it fast, Tinkerbell. I gots no time for screwing around."

•••

An hour later, all three of them were well on their way to being drunk. Rosalie made some mean nachos for a white girl, but Bella knew how to make margaritas like a Latin goddess. After her second helping, Alice declared that she had a girl crush on Rosalie, Rosalie acknowledged that she might go lesbian for Bella, and Bella was laughing so hard that she fell off of the couch and was rolling around on the ground.

"Come on!" Alice jumped on Bella's back and pounded her shoulders. "You're supposed to say that you dream about feeling me up in the store room. That would make it…make it…a nice round…thing." She hiccupped. "You know, because I want Rosalie, and Rosalie wants you, and so… you want me!"

"No, I don't!" Bella gasped, giggling hysterically. "You will never have me, you pixie perv!"

"Admit it," Rosalie said, swigging on her margarita. "You'd go down on her in a heartbeat. I could tell the moment I met you. You crave pixie pussy."

"No! I crave Edward Masen pussy. I mean…Medward Asen…what's the opposite of pussy?"

"Oooh!" Alice rolled off of Bella and grabbed for the nachos. "What's a Medward Asen? Does it come in my size?"

"The only thing that comes in your size is Verne Troyer," Rose said majestically.

"I shall call her…Mini Pixie," Bella wheezed, and cracked up again.

"Shut up! Who's Medward Asen, you slut? Have you done him yet?"

"No," Bella sighed, looking up at the ceiling. "He doesn't know I'm alive. He thinks I'm radioactive waste."

"Well, if he thinks you're radioactive waste, then by default he must know you're alive," Rosalie said, sliding down onto the floor next to them. "Or at least that you exist. So that's a good thing."

"I try to keep my eye open for radioactive waste at all times," Alice agreed, nodding empathetically. "So he must at least know you exist."

"I'm Invisible Waitress Girl," Bella said mournfully.

Rosalie snorted. "Oh, whatever."

"He glared at me. And asked for a Sam Adams."

"There, you see?" Alice clapped her hands. "I would never ask radioactive waste for a beer! What if it was contaminated?"

"Shut up about the radioactive waste," Rosalie snapped. "Listen, Bellsie. I've had to beat the shit out of five different guys this week who asked me for your number."

"What? Why?" Bella gasped, sitting up on one elbow.

"Were any of them hot?" Alice inquired.

"No, they were all losers."

"Oh." Bella flopped back down. "See? I attract losers. I am a loser magnet."

"Better than being radioactive waste," Alice said.

"Shut up! The ones that I didn't beat the shit out of I told to grow a pair and ask you themselves. I pimp for no one." Rosalie stretched her arms above her head. "Jake's just the first of many, my girl. You mark my words."

"Speaking of," Alice said, "What have you heard about this Nessie chick, Rosie-posie?"

"Never call me that again. And I have not heard. Who is she?"

"Jake's true love," Bella sighed, her hand over her heart. "We're going to get them hooked up."

"I thought Jake was into you," Rosalie said. "Jackass. Is he playing you?"

"Nah, he's just confused and emo. We're going to bring her to the bar and get her drunk. Wanna play?"

"Sure. I'll fix the schedule so we're both off. Now, get in that bathroom and wash your face, bitch. It's makeover time."

•••

"Dude, Edward, I'm so in love. There's this girl down at that coffee shop who smells like sex and lattes. We gotta practice."

Edward snorted and continued tuning his guitar. "That's why we're here, son. Did you finish that song yet?"

"Yeah. It needs your magic touch, though. Gimme some of that twelve-string action." Jasper pulled out his own instrument and sat down on the couch across from Edward. "You recording this?"

"Sure." Edward noodled for a few more seconds, then, satisfied with his tuneage, set the twelve-string down on his chair and went over to power up his Mac to record their session.

"She heard us at that bar last week, and she liked us," Jasper was saying. "Well, at least she said she liked us. I turned up the Southern for her – she's got this adorable blush. I can't wait for this damn show. I might take up drinking coffee."

"Would you shut the hell up and tune? If you want to sweep this chick off her feet, we got some work to do."

"Sure. Fine." Jasper turned on his electric tuner. He hated that Edward could tune by ear. Fucking perfect pitch jackass. "She's got these brown eyes like a Van Morrison song –"

"Get to work!" Edward barked, picking up his instrument and sitting down.

"Jeez, what's your problem?" Jasper frowned at him. "Find out your crushie has a boyfriend?"

"No," Edward mumbled. "I went to the bar last night and she wasn't there. Jake sure was in a good mood, though."

"Jake, the owner? The one you saw flirting with her?"

"Yeah." Edward sighed. "All right, let's start with Satellite. On four."

They played and transposed and wrote a verse or two and played some more. It was getting near midnight when they called a beer break.

"So what does she look like? This mystery girl of yours?"

Edward sighed, leaning up against the kitchen counter and taking a long swig of his beer."'Bout five-five. Skin like silk. Great figure. Absolutely fucking fantastic ass." He held his beer up to his forehead, as if the cold glass would cool his lust. "I don't even know her name, but I have these fantasies about her. It's completely pathetic."

"It is. She cute?"

"Beautiful. But she doesn't show it off, you know? She wears these hot little fitted tee shirts that just hug her…" Edward groaned. "Except one time I saw her from far off, and she was wearing a tank top." He wasn't about to tell Jasper that he'd been spying on the poor girl through a telephoto lens. Jasper would kick his ass straight to Canada. And then he'd call Edward's mother, who would fucking castrate him.

"Huh." Jasper gazed at him steadily.

"What?" Edward asked nervously. Damn, if Jasper suspected he was a freaking stalker in training, shit would go down.

"Nothing." He cleared his throat. "You wrote that song about her, didn't you?"

Edward could feel himself flushing. "What song?"

"That Daughtry-sounding shit you played at the bar. The one in G minor."

"Dude, half of my songs are in G minor."

"You know which one I mean."

"I refuse to implicate myself. Come on, crack the whip,man."

•••

This behavior just screams "intervention."

Edward was developing a sore neck from the number of times that he had peeked through the viewfinder of his camera in the past week. A couple times a day. Sometimes a couple times an hour. But today was the first day he'd seen her since the night she'd spent passed out on her couch.

It was early in the evening. When he'd first looked, she was doing Pilates or yoga or some shit in the middle of her living room. She would stand straight as a board, then raise her arms over her head like she was about to jump off a high dive. Then she would do something that looked painful and debilitating, such as that crazy hold-her-foot-over-her-head thing that he'd seen her do the first time he saw her. Or she'd go into a deep lunge with her arms out to her sides, like she was getting ready to take flight.

It got really interesting when she moved over to the kitchen table and stood with her feet apart and her legs straight, then bent forward at the waist and rested her arms on the tabletop. She arched her back and stuck her ass out, and Edward nearly bit his tongue off, imagining standing behind her and pushing those tight black yoga pants down her hips and sinking himself down to the fucking hilt.

When she was done twisting herself into sexy little knots, she went and made herself some kind of stir-fry dinner, chopping and slicing and wokking stuff together, then sitting down on the couch and watching NCIS as she ate. When she was done she went and washed her dishes, then dithered around doing pretty much nothing – opening her mail and throwing most of it in the recycling, watering some plants, opening up a black laptop and messing with that for a while. She got distracted for an hour at nine o'clock when the Daily Show and the Colbert Report came on. He bolted into his living room and turned on Comedy Central, then tried to pay attention to the shows and watch her at the same time. She laughed uproariously at several bits.

Smart, good sense of humor, politically liberal. Limber like a cat. Shit, I am so fucked.

At ten, she turned off the TV and turned on a docked iPod for a while. She seemed to be very slowly working her way towards bedtime – she wandered into the bedroom and came out a while later in an adorable pajama set, pants and a camisole printed with some cutesy design he couldn't make out. Then she found her phone and plugged it into a charger. Then she wandered off and came back with her hair down, brushing it absently and then standing in front of a little mirror in the living room for a while, running her fingers through it, gathering it into ponytails in various places around her head, mussing it with her hands and scrunching it up. Then she brushed it again and put it back in the ponytail. Next, she wandered off into what he had identified as the bathroom and came back brushing her teeth. At this point she started dancing, doing a haphazard mambo around the living room, one arm in the air and the other on her toothbrush.

It was cute as hell, and so sexy that Edward felt sweat trickling down his temples. She looked so carefree and confident, completely at ease with herself and her little world. With no idea that creepy voyeur Edward was watching her every move.

She disappeared into the bathroom again and came out with her face looking shiny and damp. Now she turned off the iPod, shut off the lamps around the apartment, and Edward's last glimpse of her was as she switched off a table lamp, its golden light illuminating her face and form for a short moment before she was shrouded in darkness.

It had been over three hours that he'd watched her. His back and his cock aching, he flung himself into his armchair and rubbed his eyes, wondering how in the hell he was going to quit her. He couldn't keep doing this.

But he couldn't seem to stop.


In other news, I am getting ready to submit a prologue for a new story to the Fandom For Heroes Compilation, fandom4heroes . blogspot . com/. The story is called The Ghost of Cullen House and it's - surprise - an Edward/Bella romance. If you would like to read the prologue, please consider donating to this awesome cause to support men and women in uniform. The prologue will only be available in the compilation.

Happy Valentine's Day!