This story was written by the lovely Uhyesplease and myself, which was totally fun to do... we split POVs and just went bantering back and forth, so to say. Uhyesplease was channelling Bella while I was walking in Edward's shoes. We had a ball! And Onepushyfox was our kick ass beta – thanks so much, BB!
And... we just won JUDGES CHOICE in the contest! We won! SQUEEEEEE!
I'm With The Band O/S Contest via Wayward Pushers
Prompt Used: Quote #4
Word Count: 7050
Summary: Bella and Edward are arch nemesis fan club leaders for their favorite band. When they finally meet in person they end up becoming each other's biggest fans instead. Rated M for language.
Disclaimer: We do not own Twilight and/or any other Trademarked business/product in the story. The End.
That stupid bitch.
I glared at the laptop screen in front of me. I blinked a few times, took off my glasses and rubbed my tired eyes. It was my own fault, really. I never should have checked her blog before I went to bed. Now there was no way I would be able to sleep tonight. I snapped my laptop shut and briefly considered throwing it across the room.
She's not worth a Macbook. Chill the fuck out!
But really, she had no idea who she was messing with. After I had posted a long and detailed review of the Wolf Pack's newly released album, I Can't Control the Rage, on my blog, she not only mocked me openly, but called my review "amateur" and "clouded at best." Clouded? Amateur? She was just pissed off that my request for an advance copy of their CD was answered.
And yet she didn't even know the best part. Sam, the Wolf Pack's manager, had also included two tickets to the first show of their tour! I had planned on making that a later blog post, no need to rub in my good fortune and all, but her latest flame made me want to punch something.
Instead I flipped my laptop open, found my discarded glasses and composed an email. Yeah, it's possible I have her email in my address book. There was a time we were both friends. We used to IM and text every day about Wolf Pack, their music, the band mates, and our hypothesis on what happened to the old bass player. That was until she started up a fan blog to talk about her amazing backstage passes, and how she met the band and even let Paul feel her up. Skank.
As much as I appreciate your amazing feedback from my latest post, try not to let your jealousy shine through. However, you may find it even more difficult to keep the green monster at bay when I let my loyal followers know I also scored two tickets to the Wolf Pack's kickoff show at The Showbox in Seattle.
I hit the enter key so hard, it almost jumped out of the keyboard. Take that, bitch! I hope it gives you zits...
Ha! I bet she had a lot of pimples anyway. She was smart, admittedly, witty even. And she knew a thing or two about music, for a chick at least. Logically, she couldn't be pretty, right? Exactly. Think a fat little Miss Pimply with glasses like bottle bottoms who spends way too much time at her computer, drooling over every new picture of shirtless Paul behind his drum kit. Paul feeling her up? Yeah, right...
My Macbook signaled an incoming email. From wolfgirl23. I couldn't help my shit-eating grin... yup, that was quick. Like I said, she spent way too much time on her computer, poor thing. I clicked it open.
Hey howling -
Always so polite... LOL.
Front row tickets – wow, congrats!
I'll be watching you sitting below the salt then from my special place behind the stage, after I have my one on one interview with Jake before the show.
I know... right?
Oh, and I'm just now changing my twitter avi.
Check this out:
What do you think?
I was so determined not to click that link. Well, for about two seconds. I swear my finger just twitched on the trackpad, and a photo popped up. It was an autograph from Paul, written with a black Sharpie on... holy shit!
"Holy Shit!" a deep voice hollered behind me, making me jump in my chair.
"Fuck, Emmett, don't sneak up on me like that! I swear, one day-"
"Stop pissing yourself, little bro, and tell me who the fuck those luscious hips belong to!"
Good question. Paul's signature adored a stomach. A female stomach. A fan-fucking-tastic, female super-stomach with the cutest belly button I had ever seen. Not that I had seen a lot of female belly buttons to compare yet, but...
"That's a damn sexy belly button," Emmett approved. I guessed he could draw on quite a few comparative examples.
We silently stared at the screen for a minute in brotherly consensus. That girl's jeans hung low on her hips which were small, yet curvy. I involuntarily craned my neck in a silly attempt to peek down and behind the lower picture frame. Unfortunately my effort didn't provide the anticipated glimpse of what might be below the denim waistband. However, below my denim waistband, I started to feel an uncomfortable tightness.
"Come on, Edward, stop pulling your hair out and spill it already. Who is that?"
I stopped my hand mid-pull and faced up to the naked truth, no pun intended.
"I think it's wolfgirl23."
"No way – Wolfy?" Emmett boomed, "The fangirl? Damn, bro, she's hot. Didn't know you were online-dating a supermodel."
"She has pimples," I objected, stealthily adjusting myself in my pants under the desk, "And we're not dating."
"Well, then you're clearly missing out, Dude," Emmett chuckled as he left my room.
There was definitely no way I would be able to sleep tonight.
No fucking way!
I turned to see Angela make her way through the crowded hallway. Even though I'm not one of those super touch-feely girls, I liked it when she hugged me good morning.
"Did you get all your Calculus done last night? I got totally stuck on problem six..." Angela continued talking while we walked to class and honestly I tried to listen, but I couldn't help but think about the picture I sent Howling last night. I stealthily checked messages on my phone and still there was nothing. I smirked thinking that my proof of meeting Paul had finally shut him up, but still, I could feel something else, like apprehension, lingering and I wondered if maybe I pushed him a bit too far.
Of course he knew I had been asking the band, nicely of course, for a pre-listen of their new album and yeah, it burned me that he got it first. I wasn't trying to troll his site, I was trying to give a positive critique and then he had to wave his tickets at me! Dick! So I said to hell with trying to be nice and let him enjoy the news of my backstage passes and my signed tummy.
And yet, he didn't say anything….
Did he think I was disgusting?
"And then I tried to solve for the derivative of..." Angela continued, on a roll, as we plopped down into our seats. Sorry BFF, I'm still not listening…
Here's the thing, I had to end that friendship with Howling. Even though it made us mortal Wolf Pack fan enemies. Even though I missed our friendship. But it's what I get for being Bella, P.I. See, one night I was bored and online and I pieced together enough of what he said (where he went to high school! His last name! What a newb!) to find out who he actually was. Dammit – I was curious, okay?
And that's when I saw his yearbook picture.
He was gorgeous.
Drop dead, OUT OF MY LEAGUE gorgeous.
And I just couldn't talk with him like I had no idea he was this freaking supermodel/Abercrombie dream. We had just talked about possibly meeting up at one of their concerts in Seattle. He thought I lived in Phoenix, where my Mom lives, even though I actually lived here in Forks with my Dad. I've been online since I was twelve, so yeah, I lied. I'm not gonna risk friending some Dateline Paedi, that's for damn sure!
Until I saw his picture, Howling was my first choice to go to that concert and share my backstage pass, but I just couldn't do it. He was too hot. We would have met up and he would have ditched me for one of their fake-baked skanky fans. I was only kidding myself that I could be friends with someone who looked like him. So I decided to end our friendship instead and take Angela to the concert.
Even though Angela and I are besties, she isn't into Wolf Pack like I am it was a bit embarrassing to bring her. She kept telling Jake how great he was on drums (she just saw him sing and play guitar for an hour and half and she thought he was Paul!) and I felt like I was losing a bit of my 'Greatest Fan Ever' status by bringing her, but asking Howling was a no go.
And instead of being friends, we wrote passive aggressive posts and emails to each other. I'm sure I hurt his feelings then, but he would have only hurt me more later.
When he started his own blog, I thought the competition for best Wolf Pack fan ever was fierce.
After the Wolf Pack Fan Alert text I got during Calculus, it was only a mere fraction of what was to come.
Hey PackAttack Fans! Check out the link to enter our "I'm with the band!" internship! The top three vids will be selected to interview with the band and the winner will get to join in their Summer 20 City Tour! Good luck!
It took all my will power not to run out of the classroom and head straight home to grab my camera and start on this project. I had to win, just HAD TO!
The rest of the day went by in a blur. And as soon as I got home it was game time, my homework would have to wait. I jumped behind my desk, set up my laptop, found the link and memorized the rules of the contest. I sketched out ideas, scenes, and dialogue, trying to come up with the best representation of what The Wolf Pack meant to me. It wasn't just the music; it was them, the band, each member and their stories to bring them where they were today.
I actually forgot to check my email or blog for comments and messages and when I checked, I realized with a jolt that Howling wrote me back.
My dear wolfgirl23,
Nice picture. I had no idea you were a whiz at Photoshop as well.
Good luck with the contest.
You'll need it.
All my best,
So he did see the picture, and he thought it was Photoshopped? It was just as I thought; he figured I was some disgusting internet hag! I threw myself down on my bed and punched the closest pillow. Of course Mr. November would think I was lying! I couldn't believe it was just this morning I felt a twinge of guilt over ignoring him and letting our friendship fall into this back and forth childish fighting and picking at each other.
But my gut instinct was right. He was an arrogant asshole know-it-all.
And I was going to win this contest.
"Oh, you brought your guitar – cool man! You gonna play something for us?"
Not if you don't let go of my fingers real soon!
Jesus, that Sam guy applied a hell of a firm handshake. I bit back the 'ouch' and managed to answer through clenched teeth, "Yeah, that's the plan."
"Awesome, bring it on! The guys will love it. Anyway... welcome to the wolf den, and congratulations."
"Thanks, man," I said, very thankful indeed – if only for the fact that he finally released my tortured digits from his grip.
He grinned at me. "Well deserved, Edward, we had a ball watching your video. Those wolves... wow!"
Ugh... don't remind me.
I still don't know what had possessed me when I'd asked Emmett for help. But someone had to operate the camcorder, right? I had this great idea to film myself playing guitar out in the green - among wolves! Ok, they were actually sleigh dogs; I had borrowed our neighbor's four huskies. But they looked 'wolfy' enough for my mission. They were really nice doggies, and everything went fine. But then Emmett started bugging me to take my shirt off...
"What the fuck, Emmett?"
"Jeez bro, stop being such a pussy. Those Wolf Pack guys are half naked all the time, I already started wondering whether they own shirts at all. I thought you wanted this shit to be authentic. You want to win or what?"
He had a point; the shredded jeans and naked chests were kind of the band's signature look. Of course, they looked like a male models on steroids, whereas I... well, I'm lean, ok?
"Sure as hell I want to win, but-"
"Then you have to show your titties. Stat."
Emmett's face broke into a grin so wide, I thought his ears would fly off, and then he winked at me, "Because Wolfy won't!"
He definitely had a point. So I stripped off my shirt, and we started all over again. Apparently, my titty maneuver was quite effective; because husky Inu started to dry hump my leg in the middle of one of the best guitar solos I had ever performed. At the same time, his sister Polly jumped at a triplet I played on the high E-string, threw her head back and started howling as if someone had stepped on her tail. And she wasn't in tune, just saying. I bravely kept on playing, fidgeting awkwardly and trying to shake the horny dog off my knee, while Emmett laughed his ass off. Meanwhile, the camcorder kept on filming...
But what the hell – it was all worth it in the end, because it brought me here. Finalist! One of the last three. Oh, did I mention that wolfgirl23 was one of the last three too? Yup!
Ever since the day of the contest announcement, there had been a total radio silence between us. But when I saw her vid next to mine on the band's website, I almost choked on my Red Bull. I didn't know whether to love her or curse her. My dick had twisted in anticipation at the thought that there might some stomach to be seen. Or maybe even her... but nope. Emmett was right, no Wolfy boobs in her video. And no Wolfy belly button. No Wolfy at all.
But Kudos for her mad editing skills; her Wolf Pack tribute video was good enough to go onto MTV or some shit. Not that I would admit that openly. Nerdy bitch!
The third contestant, a guy named JamesTheJackal, had sent in a home story of sorts, showing off his CD collection and concert tickets, and his room which was plastered with Wolf Pack posters and merchandise. Pretty lame. That dude had no chance.
This showdown would be between me and Miss Stomach, that's for sure. And I wasn't taking prisoners.
"Ok, here's a room we've prepared for you guys," Sam informed me after a long walk through dark corridors. "Just make yourself at home, there are sandwiches and drinks and everything. There's even a guitar amp for you. Jake brought it in. We were actually hoping you would give us a live version of your video performance, you know. Oh and your competitors are here already. I hope you guys get along alright, and be nice to the girl, ok?"
And then he opened the door.
I think I'm going to throw up.
It was one thing to meet the band backstage after a concert, but it was entirely a different story to have to present something to them. And I'd be lying if I also wasn't nervous to finally meet King Hottie Dickhead as well. I had this crazy fantasy of pouring my drink over his head at the first ridicule or nastiness that came out of his mouth. And then, dripping wet, he'd have to take his shirt off like he did in his video and…
Pull yourself together Bella!
And really, dealing with asshat Howling was at this moment the least worrying problem on my radar. I peeked a quick look to the other contestant who had started off sitting at the other end of the couch. Yep, he had definitely moved closer. I reached down and pretended to get something out of my purse so I could put it beside me. That guy gave me the creeps. And his video was really lame too.
Suddenly he sniffed really loud. Huh? What a psycho!
"Wow," he whispered. I turned my head and he was right beside me on the couch. What the hell? And where did my purse go? "You smell delicious."
"Um, thanks." I'd never met an axe murderer, but I was definitely getting an axe murderer vibe from this guy.
"Your video was awesome, and I'm James by the way."
He held his hand out for me to shake it, and when I did he trapped my hand and wouldn't let go.
"I mean, I have to admit, Bella," he said, and sniffed loudly again, "That I'm surprised someone who made such a complicated video is as hot as you are."
I tried to subtly remove my hand, but he was having none of it. "Oh, thank you…I guess?"
"After this thing is over do you want to get some coffee?" His free hand opened his leather jacket to flash a silver flask at me, "Or maybe something a little stronger?"
He licked his lips and I thought I was really going to puke this time. I tried to pull my hand free again when the door opened. I turned to see Sam lead in a tall and lean…..Edward.
I mean, Howling. What the hell was wrong with me!
Howling had on tight blue jeans and an even tighter black T-shirt that showed off those mouthwatering pecs and wide shoulders. So maybe I watched his video a few more times than I should have. Sue me. Howling was a bastard, but he was a hot bastard. He was also carrying a well worn guitar case.
I felt James' fingers give way a bit and I jerked my hand free. My moment of freedom ended before I could even enjoy it because he threw his arm over my shoulders and pulled me in possessively. As much as I wanted to throw an elbow into his stomach and show off some of those defensive moves my dad had taught me, I was worried I'd create a scene in front of Sam. And Howling.
Before I had a chance to try, one of the side doors opened the whole band appeared. Jake confidently strutted in, wearing his trademark faded jeans and nothing else. He looked abstastic as always. He put his hand out to James, since he was closest to the door, and finally James let me go. I jumped out of the couch and moved away with even less grace as usual and tripped over my shoestring right into Howling.
"Steady there, Bella."
Wait, what? How did he know my name? Oh yeah. The contest entry. Get ahold of yourself.
His hands steadied me at my hips and unlike with James I felt a brief sensation of disappointment when he let me go. My brain tried to make some kind of witty retort, but I was rendered speechless. I looked up at him to see if he was going to say anything else, his voice was surprisingly deep and husky, but he was watching the rest of the band pile onto the couches. It seemed like they were our audience this time around.
Paul was sitting on the back of the couch, and he actually looked a little bit shy as he waved a hello to me. I waved back and felt Howling go very still beside me. I wanted to flatter myself and think that he was thinking about the proof of the first time I met Paul. If Howling knew that Paul was signing ALL the girls' stomachs backstage, I doubt he'd be jealous at all.
Quil and Embry sat next to each other and were the only ones wearing shirts. Of course, calling them shirts were a stretch. Quil's was a torn up, sleeveless T-shirt and Embry looked like he had on a leather biker's vest. There was a lot of smooth, brown skin sitting on that red couch.
I loved their music first and foremost, but all four guys were really easy to look at too.
"Ok, now that Edward is here, all of you will have a chance to show us why we should pick you for our merchandise coordinator internship. Remember, you will be going to all of our shows this summer and be one of the main contacts with the fans. You need to know more about the band and their merchandise than they do," Sam explained with a serious look on his face.
"My vote goes for the Hottie in the middle!" Embry whooped and nudged Paul.
"Quit running your mouth, bro," Paul said, and shoved Embry off the side of the couch.
"Hey," Sam yelled, "enough!"
James let out a chuckle and I could sense before I felt his hand go to my ass. I had no idea he had crept up behind me.
"I'll go first!" I said, stepping away from James' grasp and closer to Howling. "Ladies first and all, right?"
"Sure, Bella, that would be great." He turned back around to face the band. "Guys, you remember Bella, aka wolfgirl23, who made that fantastic tribute video?" Sam patted me on the back and took a seat on the adjoining loveseat.
I took a deep breath and began my well rehearsed speech on how long I'd been a fan, how much I loved their music, and what their songs and lyrics meant to me. I also talked about how amazing their philanthropic work was and how it would be a honor to work with them and help not only with their tour merchandising efforts, but also to help in any way with their charity work.
When I was done I smiled at everyone, including my competitors and had a seat next to Sam.
Both Howling and James made a motion to move forward, but Howling stepped back to let James continue.
Sam got up from the sofa to introduce James. "And next is James, also known as JamesTheJackel who submitted another winning video. Good luck, James." Sam sat back down next to me and we all looked at James.
"Yeah, thanks. Well, basically I'm your biggest fan because I've listened to your…." I wasn't sure what else James said because my attention got completely redirected to where Howling was. He had moved off to the side to set his guitar case down and take out the same guitar he had in the video. While James continued to talk he very gently brushed his fingers across the strings and softly tuned his guitar.
Even though he was as gorgeous, or more so than the picture, the arrogance I had expected from him wasn't there at all. Even thought he was concentrating on setting up his guitar and gear, there wasn't a single bit of hostility directed towards me. Had I broken up our friendship prematurely? Was I the asshole?
"So yep, that's why you should pick me over these losers," James said with a laugh and shrug.
My ears perked back up after the insult and James' attempt at some kind of joke.
Sam stood back up and waved James over to the seat next to me. Dammit! I started to get up to find a seat that was anywhere but next to that creep, but James sat down and put his hand on my knee before I had a chance.
"Do not touch her, or you'll find out who the real loser is."
James' hand twitched. My eyes turned to his voice. Howling to my rescue? What?
"What's that tough guy? Are you going to show me a lesson?"
"No," Howling answered back, "I'll show you to the door instead. Remove your hand from Bella's knee." He looked pissed off. That earlier concentration had turned to some kind of steely resolve. Howling was coming to my rescue!
Out of the corner of my eye, the entire Wolf Pack stood up and flanked either side of the love seat. I was surrounded by them, with Howling staring James down in the center. James let go of my leg and moved his hand to his own lap.
"Better yet, just get out," Jake stated, a fire in his eyes, and his mouth set in a hard line.
"James, I think that might be a good idea," Sam added. He walked to the door and opened it.
"What the fuck is this about? I have just as much of a chance as either of them!" He pointed at Howling, "And he hasn't even gone yet!"
Quil and Embry grabbed one of James' arms and pulled him out of the couch. Quickly they moved James to the door, his feet dangling and barely keeping in step.
"Read the fine print, douchebag! We are the ones who make the final decision," Quil growled.
"And the rules!" Embry laughed and pushed him through the door. "Do you think we should follow him out to make sure he doesn't steal anything or set the place on fire?"
"I'll do it," Sam said, "Edward – go ahead and set up; I'll be back in a few minutes." He looked at Jake, "If I'm not, I trust whatever decision you make."
Jake nodded at Sam who closed the door behind him, and then looked at me, "You ok? We don't tolerate that kind of bullshit around here."
"I, um," my voice cracked and I cleared my throat. "I'm just fine." I looked over at Howling, his eyes smoldering. "Really, I'm fine."
"Edward, you had a great video too," Jake said, "You planning on playing for us?" He motioned over to the amp. The rest of the boys sat back down on the couch except for Paul who sat down by me with a kind smile on his face.
"Yeah, just give me a few minutes to warm up?"
...or rather a few minutes to cool the fuck down again!
I was on the verge of reaching boiling point when the boys eventually moved that prick out of my sight, luckily – for him! I had almost lost my shit when he put his dirty paws on my wolfgirl's leg. Yes, my wolfgirl! We've been online friends, after all. He had no business here, ok?
I needed to calm down. No way I'd be able to produce anything near a decent guitar riff right now, what with my hands sweating and shaking like this. I wiped the palm of my left hand on my jeans while desperately trying to order my still clenched right hand to fucking relax already. That stubborn thing finally obeyed, but only after I promised it a chance at James' jaw later. I wiggled my fingers a few times with relief, and when they asked me if they would also get a chance at Bella's stomach later, I told them to shut the fuck up because this was not the time!
Yeah, I had an internal convo with my body parts, so what? It worked, ok? I'm a guitar player; my hands are kind of used to having free reign, if you know what I mean. These hands are pretty independent; I guess I've spoiled them rotten. So I couldn't really blame them for wanting to give that dickhead's teeth some crescendo treatment. And certainly not for the idea of improvising a tender little solo on that pretty... ah, fuck!
As I went down on one knee to get my guitar back out of the case, I glanced over at Bella. She looked so small, all alone in that big love seat. Her eyes – those big brown eyes – pierced right into mine, and they were even bigger now if that's possible. I had probably creeped her out, judging by the way she was biting her bottom lip.
Biting. Lip. Ah... double fuck!
Suddenly, my rebellious hands weren't the only part of my physique I needed to keep in check. They must have conspired with my dick to raise a mutiny, because there was something rising for sure. I quickly whipped on the guitar belt, glad that my Fender Strat was covering my crotch now.
Why did she have to be so damn pretty? No matter how much I had wished for that stomach to be actually hers - until now I had been sure it was just some nameless model's belly or simply a Photoshop trick. She wasn't supposed to be gorgeous too, for crying out loud.
But she was. Pretty and smart. When she gave her speech in front of the band, tough and confident and with the determination to win this fucking thing oozing from every pore, while her well-worn red chucks made those little squeaking noises on the linoleum covered floor... I swear, that was the sexiest thing I'd ever witnessed.
"Hey, you ok, man?"
I looked up to see Jake holding out a guitar cord to me. Shit! I suddenly remembered the reason why I was here.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Thanks."
I took the cord from his hands, and he gave me a brief nod. "Ready when you are," he said and walked back to join his band mates. I noticed Sam had already returned, too. Jeez... how long did I zone out here?
Get a grip, Cullen!
Easier said than done. When I tried to connect my guitar to the amp, I missed the jack socket a few times because I was still so agitated. And then, out of nowhere, there were fingers gently prying the plug out of my shaking hand.
"Let me do this," Bella was kneeling next to me... adept fingers, big brown eyes. "Please? It's just I have a thing for electric guitars and all…"
Words failed me for a moment, and I just gaped at her. Was she serious? Or did she just say that to spare me the embarrassment of accepting her help? I mean, I was at a point where I doubted I would ever manage to get that damn thing plugged in by myself at all, to be honest.
I watched in awe as she adjusted the plug tip at the socket and then used her thumb to ease it in ever so slowly. All kinds of inappropriate associations flooded my mind in a hot rush, stirring another mutiny of extremities.
"There you go," she whispered, looking up at me from under her lashes. And as the cord eventually connected with a quiet click, my dick was giving a standing ovation.
"Thank you," I croaked.
"No, thank you," she answered pointedly, and leaned in a little further to add, "Blow them away, Howling Six String!"
And as she did so, I finally got to read the print on her tee shirt. The white line of letters, too small to decipher from afar, was now right before my eyes:
"Where words fail, music speaks"
Those letters performed a gentle decline in the middle of the sentence whereas the first and last word were deliciously emphasizing the soft mounds of her breasts. In fact, the 'W' and the 's' stuck out as tiny summits of their own. But it wasn't just that she wasn't wearing a bra that made me gasp.
"You have a quote from my blog header on your shirt?" I asked incredulously.
She blushed in the cutest of ways and giggled, quite musically, "No silly, it's a quote from Hans Christian Andersen. Now play!"
And then she winked.
I think that was when I fell for her. Hard. Beyond help.
Suddenly I didn't care any more about impressing the Wolf Pack – more than anything, I wanted to impress Bella. I didn't give a fuck about winning the contest, I wanted to win her! Badly!
When she walked back to the loveseat, I turned the amp on and rose to my feat. Facing my audience, I cleared my throat and decided to wing it. "Well, my plan was to perform a song I had written about the band. It's a kind of a Wolf Pack anthem, and I'd be glad to play it some other time if I was given the opportunity. But in the light of the recent incidents...I hope you'd forgive me if I played something else. I'd like to dedicate this song to the amazing girl who I'm sure has made a hell of an impression on you guys and should win this contest anyway. So... yeah. I wrote this song just recently, and it's called "Wish I knew you better".
In the second before I closed my eyes and stroked the first chord, I saw Bella's jaw drop. Where words fail, music speaks, I thought. Then I started to sing...
I tried really hard to berate myself for falling for him. But I knew in my heart of hearts that I stonewalled him all those months before because I had feelings for him. It's not that I have a bad dating history. I have no history. It seems that boys and I just don't get along. I'm not the pretty one, the cheerleader type, or even the drum major in marching band. I am the wallflower, the math geek, the lone cymbal crasher on the 50 yard line that the boys don't see. And I liked Edward, Howling, whatever. He was cool and nice, and fun to chat with and I thought he was one of the social outcasts like me. Until I saw his picture.
Him as boyfriend material?
So I hid behind my alter ego, decided to go after the Wolf Pack myself as their super fan and shut him out.
It was childish, I guess, but I was just trying to protect my heart.
But meeting him in person, interacting with him for real, it wasn't the same snarky Howling I was used to. It was the Howling I had called friend. And yet, even back then when we used to talk every day, I felt there was something else too. Seeing him in the flesh showed me it wasn't just friendship drawing me to him, it was something else, a feeling that pulled at me from the inside out. And when he came to my rescue from James the creepster, it broke down that last little bit of resistance. I wanted to be his friend; I wanted to be more than his friend too.
I sat back down the couch and soaked in his smile. I was stunned that this song was dedicated to me? Me?
Girl, I don't know your face
But I often picture it at night
Girl I don't know your name
But I whisper it in the morning light
With my heart I know you quite alright
Still I wish I knew you better
Yeah I wish I knew you better
Wish I could tell you how I feel,
not in a chatroom, but for real.
Wish I could give you just one kiss
for real, not in parentheses.
With my heart I know you, just like this
Still I wish I knew you better
Girl, I wish I knew you better
I had never had anyone write a song about me. I looked around at the Wolf Pack to see if they were into this, or maybe it was just me. But Edward was good. Really good. Paul was moving his head to the beat and even Jake had a smile on his face. Embry and Quil were the most still I'd ever seen them. I hadn't noticed that Sam had slipped in the room as well. But he was looking at me, not at Edward. I could feel the color in my cheeks bloom bright red.
My head snapped back to look at Edward again. He was playing a sweet instrumental break which brought me back to earth again. My mind flitted back to Sam; he had that look on his face, like he knew something I didn't know. Maybe Edward had won this thing after all, by taking the risk of singing from his heart, and not just for the band.
It was really great, he deserved it.
On the last chord, Edward hummed the melody and I heard a tiny break in his voice. It should have felt awkward to stare, after the song he shared, but I couldn't take my eyes away from him. It wasn't until Sam coughed that I realized once again we weren't the only people in the room.
"Wow, Edward, that was fantastic," Sam announced while walking up to clap Edward on the back. "Really, great job!" He turned to the Wolf Pack and pointed to the door they had walked in from, "Guys, let's head to the green room to pick our winner."
"Sam, I really don't think it's any competition," Jake's voice boomed from the couch.
"Yeah, we don't need to talk about it," Paul chimed in, "Ok, Pack, on the count of three, announce it."
The Pack chanted in unison:
I jumped up from the couch. "No fucking way!" I shrieked and jumped into Jake's outstretched arms. "Really?" He hugged me tightly and quickly I realized that he was really warm and really kind of naked. I heard a clicking sound and let go of Jake when I figured out it was coming from Edward unplugging his guitar.
God, could I be any more rude and unfeeling? He just spilled his guts over there for me and I here I was still thinking of the contest.
I turned to the rest of the band and gave them quick hugs. Sam shook my hand and told me he would call me with an itinerary and send information for me to sign. The band left the room before I was ready to face what was behind me.
It was so quiet, was he still there?
I turned around and Edward was sitting on the arm of the couch, with the biggest grin on his face.
"Congrats, Bella. You deserved it!"
I fought the urge to twirl my hair and instead played with the hem of my shirt. "Thanks, but really – your song was amazing."
"You think so? Well, thank you," he said, looking a little sheepish. Now he was getting shy all of the sudden?
I walked over to him and tried to gather the courage to be truthful and honest with him. I owed him this. I'd been a complete jerk and assumed the worst about him. I mean, how hard could it be to tell him I had a crush on him for the past year and had quit talking to him because he was out of my league and I liked him-
And then he kissed me.
One second he was over there, with his guitar on, and the next minute he was in front of me, I mean, he was smashed up against me, his lips pressed sweetly on mine and I couldn't breathe.
Holy shit, am I hallucinating?
But I wasn't because I could feel his cool hand cup my blistering hot cheek, and his lips moving with mine while his tongue tenderly swept over my top lip, and then my bottom one. Suddenly I had to open my mouth, not to breathe, but because I wanted to taste him too. A hallucination wouldn't make my heart beat so hard it felt like it could fly out of my chest or turn my legs to jelly. I knew it was real because we both broke the kiss to gulp in some air and I heard words begin to pour out of Edward's mouth.
"Oh God, I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself. You were standing there looking like you were going to pass out and all I could think of was kissing you. Bella, I just had to kiss you."
All I could think of was how much I wanted to kiss him again, but I was pretty sure I couldn't stand up anymore. I sat down on the nearest thing which happened to be his guitar amp. "Play something else for me. Please, Edward?" My heart was beating faster than that time Angela dragged me out to run in a Charity 5K. I needed to buy some time. "Anything, maybe that song again?"
He nodded his head yes and swung his guitar back from his hip and plugged it in.
"It sounds better amplified, so…"
I realized I was on the amp and started to stand up.
"No, no! You can sit there, it's fine," he said quickly, a small smile starting at the corner of his mouth. "Yeah, just sit there, ok?"
"Ok," I practically whimpered. I hope this would give me a chance to get my breath back.
As soon as he strummed the first chord I realized I was in trouble. There was no way I would get my breath back.
"Relax, Bella…just relax."
He started to sing and I willed myself to relax while the vibrations through the amp pummeled my body. I tried to play it cool while he continued to sing to me. But oh-dear-God I could feel it right there! Maybe he didn't know what was happening? But I realized the growing smile on his face grew even wider the more I squirmed.
Edward knew exactly what he was doing.
It should have pissed me off, probably, but he was singing my song after all.
These good vibrations were for me. So I enjoyed them while they lasted…
Hint: If you want to see Paul's autograph on Bella's stomach... the link mentioned in the story is working, just saying. ;-)
You can read all the other great entries of this anonymous contest here at ffnet:
I've also entered in the wonderful Cherry Exchange contest which is all about the how's and when's of Edward and Bella popping each other's cherry – you know you want to read that, right?
THe contest is here on ffnet: community/The_Cherry_Exchange/85263/99/0/1
Watch out there for me, or go to my profile to find the story. I wrote my little heart out with this one... *sniffles*
Judges' decisions will be anonymous (that's why I can't name the title here), but the public voting is open and author's names are mentioned. Voting starts December 1st.