Good Luck Kiss
My Fandom for Preemies contribution
A/N: Sorry this took so long to post. It took me a little longer than I expected to write the second half. But it's done and complete now. This is just a quick, cute, little story with a little drama at the end. I hope everyone who read it in the FfP compilation will come back to read the second half.
Thanks goes out to bzeemomof4 and mama23keiki for helping me out with this story. I love you both so much, no matter what.
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight or the characters involved.
Personal Note on Fandom for Preemies: First off I wanted to say how thankful I am to the people who put this fundraiser together. I think it's a wonderful cause and I'm proud to be a part of it. Premature births and miscarriages have been something I've seen in my family many times. I myself suffered a miscarriage at 11 weeks. It was the most devastating thing I've ever had to go through. I commend any and all who have been touched by prematurity or miscarriage, in any way and survived it.
I dedicate this story to the children in my family, who were lost to us by a premature birth
Jonathon, Marcus, Timothy, Kaleb, Kasey, Kalaya, and the numerous unnamed babies lost through miscarriages.
And the ones who survived, after being born prematurely
Kevin, Jon, and Andrew
Good Luck Kiss
"Let's go," my brother, Emmett, called from the car. He honked a couple times trying to hurry us up. "We're going to be late for this game if you girls don't hurry up."
"We're coming. Stop being such an ass," I yelled out the window. He laid on the horn, pissing me off even more.
The three of us sighed, glancing around the room at each other. This is what we get for living with him.
My best friend, Alice and I, along with my brother and his new wife, Rose, lived together in a fairly large apartment in downtown Seattle. It wasn't exactly the easiest arrangement considering my brother had to live with three girls, but he very rarely complained.
"Come on. How long does it take to put lipstick on for a fucking baseball game?" he whined, leaning against the door of the bathroom where the three of us were crowded in. Did I mention he very rarely complained? He did have his moments.
"Babe, stop being a baby," Rose scolded. "We'll be ready in a few more minutes." He huffed, crossing his arms while he watched us finish.
"Do you think I should change my outfit?" Alice wondered.
"No," Emmett answered. "You all look fine. Jasper isn't going to care what you look like. He's going to care more about you being there to support him."
"I agree, Alice. Jasper's not going to care. Let's go before he thinks you stood him up," I suggested.
Rose sprayed her hair one last time, and Alice stuck the last earring in her ear. I had been ready for a while but pretended to be fixing my hair for the hundredth time just to fit in. I wasn't a prissy girl at all. Growing up with Emmett and my dad prevented me from being a girly girl. I was very much a tomboy and never had a problem with being who I was.
Finally, we left our apartment and headed towards Everett, Washington.
Alice and Jasper had been dating for about six months now, and Jasper just recently made the local minor league baseball team. To say he was excited would be an understatement. This was huge to him. We all couldn't be more proud of him. We've attended as many games as possible. Alice never missed one even if no one came with her. He didn't always get a lot of playing time, but we were there supporting him anyway.
We pulled into the parking lot and rushed to the gates. We were running late, and Alice always liked to blow Jasper a kiss before he started. She said it was for luck. Even if it was sort of disgusting to watch, it was still cute.
We took our seats just as they were beginning the national anthem. Right on cue, after the national anthem was sung, Jasper looked up to our seats and Alice blew him a kiss. He smiled bashfully and ducked into the dugout. It was their normal routine.
The first half of the game was rather boring. We got more entertainment from the jumbotron with some of the players auctioning themselves off for charity. All the proceeds of the auction, as well as T-shirt and hat sales for the night went to charity. Some of the guys' speeches were funny. They talked about where they were from and what they liked to do for fun. Some made a big joke about it, saying things like they have never gone out on a date or never kissed a girl and wanted someone to buy them to fulfill this mission. I think we all knew most of them were lying, but it was still entertaining.
"I think we should buy one of these guys," Emmett announced.
We all began laughing at his suggestion.
"Are you planning to go on a date with some guy behind my back?" Rose mocked.
"No, I'm thinking we could buy a date for Bella."
"What!" I sputtered, spitting some of my soda out.
"Come on, Bella. You need a guy in your life. You're twenty-three and have never been in a serious relationship. What if you meet mister right from buying a night with one of these guys?" Emmett asked.
"First of all, Emmett, you're insane. Second, I'm not going to meet mister right from a blind date. I'm not doing it and in no way are you going to be able to convince me to bid on one of those guys," I replied angrily.
It's true, I've never had a serious relationship with anyone, but mostly it was my choice. All the guys in high school were immature and only wanted one thing which I wasn't willing to give them. Once they realized that, they stopped asking me out. In college, I was more focused on practicing for concerts, so I didn't have time to date much. Recently, I was accepted into the Seattle Orchestra. It was a huge accomplishment and something I was extremely proud of. It's what I loved to do, and I was so happy to be part of it. Guys were the last thing on my mind.
"It might be good for you to get out for a night, Bella," Rose added.
"Yeah, you know, most of the guys on the team are really nice. I could help you pick one out," Alice suggested.
"You are all insane. I'm not going on a blind date with some random guy who's auctioning himself off. Let's drop this before I get angry."
They dropped it, and we enjoyed the rest of the game quietly. When Jasper was up to bat, we would all cheer and call his name. Alice was the loudest. We knew he got a rush from the recognition.
"I'm going to get something to eat," Emmett announced. "Does anyone want anything?"
"Buy me some ice cream," Rose ordered.
"I'd love a bottle of water," Alice added.
"Bella, what about you?" Emmett asked.
"I'm fine, thanks," I answered.
It took him forever to get back. He said the line for the ice cream was extremely long since there were only two people behind the counter. He missed most of the second half due to waiting in line for Rose's ice cream.
After the final play and the team losing, Alice headed down to the locker rooms to wait for Jasper. It was a typical ritual at every game. We would head home while Alice would wait for Jasper with the rest of the wives and girlfriends outside the locker room. He always needed coddling after a loss.
It was a late game, so by the time we got home I was exhausted and headed straight to bed. I had a rehearsal the following day, and I wanted to be well rested for it.
Days later, as I was practicing, my phone began to ring. I checked the caller ID and didn't recognize the number. I considered ignoring it. If it was something important, they'd leave a message. However, I was always getting calls from random people who would inform me when my brother got hurt on the job, so I decided to answer it, just in case. He worked in construction, and for whatever reason, he was always getting hurt. Sometimes I wondered why he still had a job.
"Hello," I answered.
"Uh… I'm looking for Isabella Swan," the voice informed.
"This is her," I replied. I was pretty sure this was going to be one of those calls about Emmett being hurt. They always started out this way. I always wondered why they didn't call Rose. She was, after all, his wife now.
"Hi, my name is Edward Cullen," he greeted. "Apparently you bid on me in the auction at the last baseball game, and you were the winning bidder."
"There must be some sort of mistake. I didn't bid on anyone."
"The paper I received said an Emmett Swan paid on behalf of Isabella Swan. The bid was paid this morning, and I was passed on your name and phone number. I'm supposed to take you out as part of the terms you, or I guess Emmett, paid for," he explained.
I sighed, closing my eyes in frustration. Internally, I was planning Emmett's death. I couldn't believe he did this to me.
"Look, I'm really sorry, but I had no idea my brother did this, and I warned him not to do it in the first place."
"It's only one date," he interrupted. "It's for a good cause, and I'm required to take you out in acceptance to the donation. I'd hate for the charity to lose some of the proceeds they received at the game because someone refused to go on a date with one of the players."
"Fine," I agreed reluctantly. "When and where?"
"Tomorrow night is good for me if it works for you," he suggested.
"Tomorrow night is fine."
"Where should I pick you up?" he asked.
"I'll meet you wherever you plan to take me," I insisted.
"Okay, um…meet me at Il Terrazzo Carmine around seven. I'll be wearing my baseball cap, so you know who I am."
"Alright, I'll see you then." I hung up the phone, infuriated with my brother. I couldn't believe he went behind my back to do this. He was in big trouble when he got home.
Alice brought Jasper over later in the day to find me scrubbing the bathroom floors.
"Oh no, what happened?" Alice asked.
"What do you mean, what happened?" I asked in an angry tone. I had my suspicions about whether or not Alice and Rose were in on this too.
"When you're mad or upset about something, you clean like a mad woman. Something must be up."
"Did you know anything about this guy Emmett bid on at the game?" I asked.
"He bid on someone?" she asked in a shocked tone.
"Yeah, he did. The guy called today, and I have to go on a date with him tomorrow night. I'm not happy about this at all. I can't believe he did this to me. I'm seriously considering breaking his arm."
"Come on, Bella. It's only one night. I'm sure you'll have fun," Alice assured.
"Who did he buy for you?" Jasper asked.
"Uh," I thought about it for a moment, trying to remember the guy's name. "Edward something."
"Edward Cullen," Jasper clarified.
"I think that's what his name was."
Jasper and Alice smirked, giving each other a look.
"What?" I asked, concerned by their looks.
"Nothing," Alice assured, trying to hold the smile back.
"No, something's up. What's wrong with him? Does he have a third eye or something?" I asked, terrified he had something wrong with him.
"Funny, Bella," Alice mocked. "You'll like Edward. He's really sweet. He's a little shy but really nice."
"Yeah, I think you two will get along great," Jasper added.
I didn't believe either of them. Something was up.
Moments later, I heard Rose and Emmett walk in. I met them out in the living room, with my hands on my hips, waiting for some sort of explanation from my brother.
"Hey, Bells. Did you have any interesting phone calls today?" he asked, holding in the chuckle. Everyone else in the room laughed.
"Funny, Emmett. Did you forget me telling you I had no intention on bidding on any of the guys?"
"You didn't bid on any of them. I did," he corrected.
I glared at him. "Then you can be the one to go on this date. I'm not going." I turned around in a rush and walked to my room, slamming the door behind me.
I felt so betrayed by the people I trusted the most in my life. I couldn't believe they were all cracking jokes at my expense and pretending like this was perfectly fine. I'd never been on a blind date before and the thought of meeting a stranger for dinner was making me sick to my stomach. It didn't matter if they all thought he was a nice guy or not. The fact of the matter was I didn't know a thing about him. I'm a shy person by nature and according to Alice he's pretty shy too. What are we supposed to talk about during dinner? I think we'll probably both sit there for two hours in an awkward silence.
The following night, Alice and Rose took to picking out my dress and fixing my hair and makeup. I felt like they were going way overboard just for a simple date, but they insisted I give them free reign to do whatever they wanted.
Alice picked out a short, strapless, dark blue cocktail dress which was a little too revealing for my taste. Rose pinned my hair up on the sides and curled the ends in ringlets down my back. At least they listened to me when I asked them to go easy on the makeup.
"Edward likes blue," Alice informed. "He also doesn't like girls who where a lot of makeup. We need to keep you as natural as possible, but still highlight your features."
"How do you know so much about what he likes? And why exactly are you telling me all this? It's not like we're going to see each other after tonight. This is a onetime thing, done only for charity," I insisted.
"You never know, Bella," Rose said with a smile. I rolled my eyes at both of them. All I wanted was this night to be over, so I could go back to being myself – simple, plain, harp playing Bella.
As soon as they released me from the room of torture, I went to sit in the living room until it was time to leave.
"Where is he taking you?" Rose asked.
"Il Terrazzo Carmine," I answered.
"Wow, he's going all out, isn't he?" Jasper commented.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Il Terrazzo Carmine is a very expensive restaurant. On our salary, I'm surprised he can afford something so nice," Jasper explained.
"Why is he going all out?" I wondered.
"He probably wants to impress you," Alice answered. "He's the kind of guy to do the grand gesture to peak your interest."
I rolled my eyes and sighed heavily. "If any of you think this is going to go any farther than tonight, you are all very much mistaken. I'm only doing this because it's for a good cause. After tonight, I'll probably never talk to him again."
"Like I said before, we'll see," Rose pondered.
"Cocky ball players are not my type," I insisted.
"Hey, I resent that comment," Jasper complained.
"As do I," Alice agreed. "Jasper is not a cocky ball player and neither is Edward."
I wanted to scream at all of them with their silly little hints of something more happening tonight. Nothing was going to happen. Baseball players, especially ones I didn't know, were not my type.
"Are you ready to go?" Emmett asked. I nodded my head, trying to push the nausea away.
I climbed in the car and Emmett drove me across town to the restaurant.
"Once I call, you better come get me. I don't want any excuses, making it possible for him to give me a ride home. I'll give him two hours tops and then I'm leaving," I ordered.
"If you call, I'll come straight over," Emmett promised. "Have fun and don't be such a stuck up bitch to him."
"Excuse me?" I asked with a raised eyebrow.
"You've been a little ungrateful about this whole thing. I spent a lot of money to get you this date. The least you could do is be nice to the guy. It's not like he asked for this either, but he's being a good sport about it and treating you to a very nice dinner. Smile and talk to him. Don't act like this is the worst thing to happen to you."
I smiled condescendingly. "Are you happy now?"
"He's going to hate you."
I rolled my eyes. "I'm sure he will." I opened the door and climbed out.
"Bella," Emmett called. "Relax."
I took a deep breath and walked to the door. At the hostess' podium, I told her who I was meeting and she led me through the crowded room towards a table in the far corner. I spotted his baseball hat instantly. He stood out like a sore thumb. As soon as he saw me, he stood to his feet. I could tell he was nervous. The hostess placed two menus on the table and left.
We stood there in an awkward silence for a moment, glancing back and forth from each other. He quickly removed his hat and placed it on the table.
"I'm Edward," he introduced, extending his hand to mine.
I shook his hand and smiled up at him. "Bella."
We stood for another moment, trying to decide what was next. He sighed and shook his head before walking over to the other side of the table and pulled out my chair. "Sorry," he apologized.
"It's fine. Thank you," I accepted, taking a seat across from him.
He walked back around to the other side of the table and sat down. I could feel his eyes on me, which made me a little uncomfortable. I picked up the menu and held it up in front of me to hide from his gaze. I studied the menu while I peaked over the top of the menu to look at him. He was a decent looking guy. He wore a pair of slacks with a dark button up shirt and tie. There was a tan leather jacket hanging on the back of the chair. He had dark bronze hair and bright, green eyes. There wasn't a third eye at least. He studied his menu the same way I did, and on more than one occasion, he caught me looking at him. I knew every time he caught me, my cheeks were probably turning bright red from embarrassment. At one point, I was sure I heard him chuckling.
"Good evening," the waiter greeted. "Can I start either of you off with a glass of wine?"
"I would love one," I quickly replied.
Edward ordered a glass as well, before we ordered out entrée. He also ordered the specialty antipasto platter to start us off with.
"Are you sure this isn't too much?" I asked after the waiter left with our order. "Jasper said you guys don't get paid much, and this is a pretty expensive restaurant."
"Don't worry about it," he insisted.
"Okay," I said quietly under my breath. I was glad I hadn't eaten at all today. I didn't want to waste any food, considering he was paying quite a bit for it.
"How long have you been playing for the Aquasox?" I asked, trying to start up a friendly conversation.
"This is my second year," he answered.
"Did you play in high school and college?" I asked.
"Yeah, I've played since I was really little."
"Did you always want to be a ball player for a living?"
"Pretty much," he replied.
The conversation went dead again. I didn't know what else to talk to him about, and he didn't seem very chatty anyway.
"So, you know Jasper and Alice, right?" he asked. Finally, he spoke without being prompted.
I smiled. "Yeah, I've known Alice since we were kids. We've been inseparable for most of our lives. Jasper is much like a brother."
"Do you have any brothers or sisters?"
"I have a brother, Emmett. He recently got married," I replied. "What about you? Do you have any siblings?"
"No, I'm an only child."
Dead silence again.
Thankfully the drinks and antipasto platter came out to distract us from mundane conversation.
The waiter explained what was on the platter. There was fresh mozzarella with basil and tomatoes, smoked salmon, and calamari. I sipped my wine before gingerly poking a mozzarella and tomato, placing it on my plate in front of me. Edward followed suit and added a few things to his plate.
The mozzarella and tomatoes were really good, as was the salmon. I was a little nervous about trying the calamari. It really didn't look appealing to me in any way.
"You know you can have more if you like," he informed. I glanced up at him, knowing what he meant. He wanted me to try the calamari. I gave him a weak smile, reaching over and taking the calamari on my plate. I sat it down in front of me, staring at it in horror. Calamari was squid. I couldn't fathom eating squid. I didn't want to be rude though. I sucked it up and cut off a small piece of the squid. I raised it to my mouth and stuck the piece in my mouth. I wanted to gag as soon as I put it in my mouth, but I tried really hard to chew it up and not look like a complete idiot.
Suddenly, Edward began laughing hysterically. I glanced up at him with questioning eyes.
"You don't like it do you?" he asked. I shook my head, unable to talk with the squid still in my mouth. I'm sure I had the goofiest look on my face from trying to chew this thing.
"Spit it out, please," he urged. I quickly grabbed my napkin and spit it out into the napkin. I was sure he probably thought I was the most repulsive person he's ever met. You don't spit food out into a napkin on a date, yet I just did.
"I'm sorry," I apologized.
"For what?" he asked, laughing at me.
"I'm sure watching me spit it out in my napkin was pretty disgusting to watch."
"Actually, watching you put that thing in your mouth was more disgusting than watching you spit it out."
"Then why did you make me eat it?" I asked.
"I didn't make you eat it. All I said was you were welcome to more. You're the one who chose to put the squid on your plate."
"I didn't want to be rude and not eat. This food is expensive. I don't want it to go to waste."
"Like I said, don't worry about it," he insisted with a smile.
"Well, since I had to suffer through eating that, I think you should too. It's only fair," I dared, grinning at him.
He glared in a playful way across the table. He picked up the largest piece of calamari with his fingers and popped it in his mouth. I watched in horror as he chewed it up and swallowed. I playfully gagged after he was done.
He laughed. "I think I have one up on you. I actually swallowed."
"You can remain on top for all I care. I'm not putting that thing back in my mouth."
"Are you not fond of salty things?" he asked, laughing.
"Not things that have a head I have to look at," I replied.
He smirked. "So, if your eyes were closed and maybe if it's dark, you'd consider swallowing something salty?"
Realizing how this conversation sounded, my face heated up in embarrassment.
"I think this conversation is getting a little inappropriate, don't you?"
He was still trying really hard not to laugh.
"We're only talking about squid, right? How is squid inappropriate?" he asked, still smirking.
I bit my bottom lip, trying not to speak anymore. It seemed like everything I said was wrong.
"When's your next game?" I asked, changing the subject.
"Tomorrow," he laughed.
He reached for the antipasto plate and placed it at the edge of the table which I was grateful for. I didn't want to look at the calamari anymore.
"What do you do during the off season?" I wondered.
"Whatever I can find," he replied. "Typically, I work odd jobs around the city. It's hard to keep a job when you need about five to six months off. The coach doesn't like us working any other jobs during the season. Occasionally, if I can make it work, I still umpire for high school or middle school teams. As long as it doesn't interfere with practices or games, it doesn't seem to be a problem."
"When did you know being a baseball player was what you wanted to do with your life?"
"When I was five," he answered.
"Really? Five years old and you knew?"
He nodded his head and hummed a response. "My dad took me to my first Mariners game, and I knew this is what I wanted to do."
"Your parents must be really proud," I theorized.
His face dropped, and he had a sullen look about him. "I'm sure they would if they were still here," he stated.
"Oh my God, I'm so sorry," I breathed in regret. I placed my hand on his, squeezing lightly in sympathy. I watched his eyes focus in on my hand covering his. I left my hand on his for a few seconds more before removing it. I didn't want to make him feel uncomfortable.
"It's alright. It happened a long time ago. I was only ten."
"What happened, if you don't mind me asking?"
"Car accident," he replied matter-of-factly. "It was a head on collision and killed them both instantly. It took me a long time to get over it. I was supposed to be in the car with them. It was right after a championship game, and they wanted to take me out to dinner to celebrate, but I begged them to let me go to a friend's house instead. They gave in and later that night my Grandma showed up at the door." He laced his fingers together over his plate and furrowed his brow. I could tell he was uncomfortable talking about this. "I don't think I'll ever forget that night. It's definitely the hardest thing I've ever gone through."
"I'm so sorry, Edward. I can't even imagine what you went through losing both of your parents in such a horrendous way."
He took a deep breath and looked up at me with a smile. He was trying to push the thoughts away.
The food was delivered moments later, making the uncomfortable moment a little less tense.
"What did you get again?" he asked, staring over at my plate.
"Uh, the chicken filled with ricotta & spinach butter," I replied.
"It looks really good and smells good too."
"Do you want to try a bite?" I offered.
"Sure," he accepted with enthusiasm.
I cut off a large bite, stabbing it with my fork and leaned across the table, feeding him from my fork. I had yet to try it, but the look on his face told me it must be really good.
"Damn, I should have ordered the chicken. That's really good," he declared.
"As long as it's not calamari, I think I'll like it," I laughed. I cut off a piece and tried it. It was good. I don't think I've ever tasted anything so good before.
"Can I ask you some questions now?" he wondered. I looked up at him, waiting for him to ask.
"What do you do for a living?"
"I normally don't tell people what I do on a first date," I explained.
"Why is it something bad?" he wondered. "You aren't a stripper or a drug dealer or something, are you?"
I scoffed at his question. "No, it's nothing like that. I just don't like telling people right away what it is I do."
"Okay, tell me about your family then?"
"Well, I already told you I have a brother. My dad is the police chief in Forks, Washington. We grew up in Forks with my dad. My mom remarried a few years ago and lives in Arizona now. I don't see her much anymore."
"No reason really," I replied. "It's just hard to get down there now that I'm on my own and need to support myself."
"Why did your brother buy me for you in the auction?" he asked. My face turned red again.
"During the game, we were getting a kick out of the videos of the players who were auctioning themselves off. Some of the videos were quite funny. Then out of the blue, Emmett suggested I go bid on one of the guys because I needed a guy in my life. I refused and told them all to drop it. Thinking back, I'm pretty sure when he told us he was going to get something to eat is when he did it. I was actually very mad at him after you called."
"Did you not want to come?"
"Honestly, no. I thought you were going to be some cocky ball player who talked about how great you are all night."
He laughed. "I might be cocky in some ways but not when it comes to playing ball."
"Too much information," I laughed.
"You take everything I say the wrong way," he accused, laughing at my insinuation.
"Yeah, I don't think so."
We laughed together, trying to take bites of our food in between laughing.
"Are you still wishing you didn't have to come tonight?" he wondered nonchalantly.
"No," I answered with a smile. "I'm glad I did." He smiled in return, looking down at his plate bashfully.
We finished our meal and he paid the bill. I tried to offer to help with the bill, but he refused. He walked me outside, and I realized I hadn't called Emmett to come get me. I pulled out my phone, preparing to call him when Edward interrupted me.
"I'm not ready for this night to end just yet," he informed. "Would you like to go somewhere else with me?"
"Sure," I accepted with a smile. He walked me over to his car, which was a silver Volvo, and opened the door for me. I climbed in the passenger seat, and he ran across to the driver's side.
We drove across town to a batting cage. At first, I thought he was kidding. This wasn't exactly what I had in mind for continuing the date. I still followed him in though. He paid for two rounds and picked out a bat. I felt very out of place in the dress I was wearing.
"Do you want to go first?" he asked as he shrugged out of his jacket.
"No, you go," I insisted.
I watched as ball after ball came flying towards him. One after the other, he smacked them across the field. He was fascinating to watch. I could see the passion he had for the game. While he was hitting balls, I felt my phone vibrate with a new text. I pulled it out of my purse to see who it was.
-It's 9, and I haven't heard from you. Do you still need me to get you?-
-No, I'm fine -
I typed out the message quickly and placed my phone back in my purse.
Once he finished, he reached out his hand towards me with a smile on his face. I looked at him skeptically.
"I don't think I can do this?"
"Of course you can," he assured with a smile. I took his hand and he pulled me into the cage.
"The balls move so fast," I worried. He laughed.
I smacked him across the chest. "Who exactly is taking everything the wrong way tonight?" I accused.
"Touché," he argued.
"I thought so."
"Come on," he urged. "I turned down the speed so the balls won't move so fast." I glared up at him. He handed me the bat and showed me where to stand. "Place your feet about shoulder length apart." I did as he said. He stood behind me and wrapped his arms around me. He placed his hands around mine and guided me to where I was supposed to hold the bat. I had butterflies building in my stomach as his hands clasped around mine and his warm breath hit the back of my neck. Hitting a baseball was the last thing I had on my mind. My heart was pounding with anticipation. He moved in closer to me. The warmth of his body pressed up against mine. Before I could even think about anything else, a ball flew towards me. I squealed in fear and closed my eyes. Edward guided my hands, and even with my eyes closed, he made it possible for me to hit the ball. All I heard was the smack of the bat and directly after, Edward laughing hysterically next to me.
"Shut up, it's not funny. I'm not very good at sports. I never have been," I argued.
I dropped the bat at my side and stood over the plate in irritation while he continued to laugh.
Suddenly, the look on his face changed from humor to fear. "Bella watch out!" he shouted. He didn't even give me a second to comprehend what was happening before he flew at me and knocked me to the ground. I felt the whoosh of the ball against my head. It barely missed hitting me.
I looked up into Edward's green eyes wanting so badly for him to kiss me. He stared down at me, breathing heavily. I could tell he wanted to kiss me, but for whatever reason he wouldn't. He rolled to his back, sighing in relief. We laid on the ground, trying to calm down from this scary experience.
"Bella, you can't stand over the plate when the machine is running okay," he informed.
"I'm sorry. I didn't know."
"It's alright. It just scared me. You could have been hit and seriously injured. I'd rather not spend the rest of our night together in the hospital."
I remained flat on my back, too afraid to move. I watched as all the balls went flying over me and hit the back wall. I assumed all the balls were gone when Edward stood up. I sat up on the ground, dusting myself off and trying to fix my hair as best I could. Edward extended a hand to help me up. I took it and pulled myself to my feet.
"Are you alright?" he asked in a soothing voice.
"I'm fine." I walked out of the cage and sat down on the bench. Edward cleaned up the area and grabbed the bat. He picked up his jacket off the bench and reached for my hand. He placed his jacket across my shoulders before he led me out of the batting cage and walked me to the car.
"Maybe the batting cage wasn't the greatest idea," Edward reasoned, sitting in the driver's seat with his hands in his lap. I could clearly see he was still shaken up by what almost happened. I think he was more worried about it than I was.
"Edward it's okay. I didn't get hurt. I'm sorry I wasn't paying attention."
"You don't need to be sorry. It was my fault. I shouldn't have been laughing," he interrupted. "It's the most important rule in baseball: never take your eye off the ball. I guess I was having too much fun to realize I still had to pay attention.
"It's not a big deal. I'm fine, you're fine. Let it go. I don't want this to ruin our night together," I insisted.
He looked over at me with a forced smile and nodded his head.
"Are you willing to go somewhere else with me?" he asked. "This place, I promise is a safe zone…at least I hope so."
I giggled, nodding my head. "I'd love to go somewhere else with you."
He started up the car and drove out of the parking lot.
Moments later, we pulled into an apartment building. It was very tall and looked like an older building.
"What is this place?" I asked as he helped me out of the car.
"This is where I live," he answered.
Even though I knew I probably shouldn't be going to his apartment, I still continued to walk next to him. Right now, I would probably stay the night with him. I started running mental notes in my head. Did I shave my legs? Of course I did. I am wearing a dress. When's the last time I had a pedicure? Two weeks ago. I should be okay. What about breath mints? Did I have any in my purse? I was pretty sure I did. Butterflies were building in my stomach at the thought of what I was about to do. Was I really going to sleep with a guy I've only known for a few hours? This was so bad. This was not me. But I really liked him—much more than I ever thought I would.
"If you think I'm going up to your apartment so you can ravish me, you are very much mistaken," I teased. Even though I intended to say it as a joke, I really was curious if that's what he planned to do. I needed to be prepared.
He chuckled. "As appealing as that sounds, I'm not, for two reasons. First, I live with two other guys from the team, and we wouldn't have any privacy. I definitely don't want you to meet either of them just yet. And second, I'm not that kind of guy."
"Then what are we doing?" I wondered as he opened the main doors to the building.
I followed him to the end of the hall and into the elevator. Once we reached our floor, he led me down another hallway and into a small dark room. I got a little more nervous being in here with him than I did at the thought of going up to his room. He grabbed my hand and led me up on a box and out a small window along the wall. There was a ledge to step out on and a narrow path leading onto the roof. We were up so high I could look down and see all the cars and the beautiful lights from the city. It was breathtaking. I could feel the warmth of Edward's body behind me. I wished I had enough courage to lean back against him. I wanted him to put his arms around me and hold me close to him while we looked out on the city. Unfortunately, neither of us touched the other.
"This is where I come before every game. It's like my meditation spot," he explained. "I lie on the floor and stare up at the sky. Something about the cool breeze and the distant sounds of the city down below calm me. It's even better at night because sometimes I can even make out the stars in the sky."
"It's beautiful up here," I admired. I expected him to be looking out at the city like I was, but when I turned around his eyes were fixated on me. I ducked my head and smiled bashfully.
I heard his feet move from behind me. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched him walk over to the middle of the roof and lay down. I walked over and joined him on the floor. We stared up at the sky, breathing in the cool summer air in silence. It was one of those moments where silence worked perfectly and wasn't awkward. It was peaceful.
I heard my phone vibrating in my purse again, so I took it out as quietly as possible without interrupting the moment.
There were three missed texts. One from Rose saying I told you so. One from Alice saying she's glad I'm having a good time and can't wait to hear all about it. The latest one was from Emmett who was starting to get worried and wanted me to call him.
-It's already eleven. Are you sure you're okay? Call me ASAP.-
I sighed at my brother's overprotective behavior.
"Is something wrong?" Edward asked, breaking the silence.
"No, it's just my roommates. My brother's starting to get worried. I need to call him real quick to reassure him I'm fine."
"If you need to go, I can drive you home," he offered.
"No, I don't need to go yet. He just needs to hear from me directly. I'll be right back."
I stood to my feet with phone in hand and walked to the edge of the building. I dialed the number and waited for someone to pick up.
"Hello," I heard three voices say in unison. I rolled my eyes realizing they had me on speakerphone.
"Hi, I'm just calling to let you all know I'm fine, and I'll be home in a little while. There's no need to check up on me. I'll have Edward give me a ride home after we're done."
"What are you two doing?" Rose asked suspiciously.
"He brought me back to his place."
"What?" Emmett shouted.
"Relax, Em. We're actually not in his apartment, we're on the roof. It's amazing up here, looking down on the city. I'm having a really good time with him."
"Aww, our little Bella is falling in love," Alice cooed.
I laughed. "Alice, calm down. It's only a first date. I'm not falling in love. I don't even know if this is going to go any further than tonight. All I'm saying is I'm having fun," I clarified.
"Well, be careful. I don't want to get a call from the police informing me some maniac psycho pushed my little sister off the top of a roof to her death," Emmett warned.
"Who exactly paid for this date?" I accused. "I believe if I get shoved off the roof, you have no one but yourself to blame."
He didn't have any way to dispute since he knew I was right.
"Just be careful, Bella," Alice warned.
"I'm fine, really."
"Then get back to your date. We'll hold Emmett at bay," Rose assured.
I hung up and walked back across the roof to lie next to him again.
"Is everything alright?" he asked.
"Yeah," I assured.
We lied on the ground, staring up at the sky for a while longer, not saying a word. I could tell he enjoyed the peace and quiet of the night.
"Can I ask you a question?" I wondered.
"Are you wondering if I'm planning to shove you off the roof?" he countered.
"What… Did you… Were you eavesdropping?"
He turned his head to look at me with a smirk on his face.
"It was kind of hard not to hear," he replied. "I'm glad you're having a good time though."
"I am," I declared.
"So, what was it you wanted to ask me?" he prodded.
"I was just curious why you signed up to do the auction? I mean I know it's for a good cause and all, but knowing you're a minor league baseball player, and you don't make a lot of money, why take someone you don't know to such a fancy place for dinner?"
"Did you not like the restaurant?" he asked.
"I didn't say that. I just think you probably spent at least a hundred dollars tonight. I expected some cheesy, burger joint or something much cheaper. Why did you take me to a place I don't think you could afford when this was all supposed to be for charity?"
He sighed. "To be honest, I didn't want to do the auction. It's not my thing to take strange girls I've never met out on dates. It wasn't required for us to sign up, but if you weren't married, or have a steady girlfriend, it was highly recommended you sign up. In other words, if you don't sign up, expect to have some repercussions for it. It's not like I didn't want to help out in raising money, it's just not me." He paused for a moment before speaking again. "Although, once I found out it was you I was taking out, I was actually really glad I did it."
"Wait, what do you mean once you found out it was me? I've never met you until tonight. How did you know who I was?"
"I've seen you a few times in the stands with Alice. We all know Alice," he laughed. "I finally got up the nerve to ask Jasper who you were. I tried to make it sound as nonchalant as possible, but I think he could tell I was interested. He tried to talk me in to asking you out, but I'm not the type of guy who can walk up to a girl I've never met and ask her out. When I was given the information about who I had to take out, I had every intention of taking the winner to a chain restaurant and trying to make the best of it. But when I saw it was you, I wanted it to be special. I wanted to impress you. At first, I wondered if maybe you had been admiring me from a far as well and that's why you bought me." He turned his head back up to the sky, looking away from me. "I guess my theory was wrong since your brother is the one who bid on me for you."
"Edward, I wouldn't doubt if my brother and Jasper, maybe even Alice and Rose, set us up."
"You think?" he questioned, turning back to me with a raised eyebrow.
"I'm almost positive they did with the way they've been acting," I answered. "I'm also very glad they did."
He smiled a huge, bright smile. He down cast his eyes bashfully. I wanted him to kiss me, but he wouldn't. It seemed pretty obvious he liked me. I was definitely trying to make it clear I liked him. Why wasn't he kissing me? We'd had a few perfect moments during the night, yet he still hadn't. Maybe he didn't like me as much as I thought he did.
"How many girls have you brought up here?" I asked, trying to make friendly conversation.
"None," he answered. "You're the first."
"Why am I the first?" I wondered.
He shrugged. "I thought you might get the same peacefulness I get from being up here."
"I think I do. I like it up here, especially with you."
We stared into each other's eyes. I could tell he was contemplating kissing me or not. I watched him wet his lips and glance back and forth between my eyes and mouth. Just when I thought he was going to, I felt a drop of rain on my face. I looked up at the sky, as did Edward. Within seconds rain began pouring down on top of us. Edward hopped to his feet and helped me to mine. We ran across the roof, hand in hand, towards the small window.
Edward crawled through the window first and put his hand out to help me. I took his hand and placed one foot through the window.
"The step is right below the window," Edward guided. I felt him place his hand on my hip to support my way through the window. I placed my foot down on the edge and crawled into the darkened room. I held on to Edward's shoulder to support myself down.
As soon as I was on solid ground, I felt Edward's hand hold my hip a little tighter. I heard his feet rustle below us as he moved closer to me. I looked up into his eyes, through the dark, hoping he was finally doing what I wanted him to do. He cupped the side of my wet cheek with his hand and leaned in nervously. I parted my lips, silently letting him know it was okay. His lips were millimeters away from mine. I could feel his nervous breaths against my mouth. I tilted my head, giving him better access. Very gently, his lips pressed against mine. It was a sweet and simple kiss. It wasn't enough for me. I leaned in to him and claimed his mouth with mine. I moved my lips with his and wrapped my arms around his neck. I felt his arms snake around my waist, holding me flush against his body. I moaned into his mouth as our kiss continued to become more and more intense.
The kiss broke when it became necessary for both of us to breathe. My eyes remained closed as I breathed him in. He smelled of cologne and rain. I liked his smell. He leaned his forehead against mine, loosening his grip around me slightly.
"I hope that was okay. I've wanted to kiss you all night," he admitted.
I opened my eyes, meeting his. "It's more than okay. I've wanted you to kiss me all night."
We both smiled and leaned in to kiss some more. I liked this small, dark room now. I had no idea how long we remained embraced in our kiss, but it definitely didn't seem long enough. Eventually, he did insist on taking me home so my brother didn't come hunt him down.
We pulled up in front of my apartment building, and he opened my door to help me out. We slowly walked up to my door. I honestly didn't want the night to end. We lingered on the steps for a few moments, neither of us willing to say goodbye.
"I had a really good time tonight," I revealed, breaking the silence.
"I'm glad. And thank you," he said.
"For what?" I asked curiously.
"For being a part of one of the most amazing nights of my life," he declared.
I felt my face heat up from embarrassment. I couldn't stop smiling.
"I'd really like to see you again. Would it be alright if I called you?" he asked.
I smiled. I was elated he wanted to see me again. "Of course you can," I replied.
He leaned in to give me a goodbye kiss. I held onto his shirt, making it last just a little bit longer.
I watched as he walked back out to his car and drove away before I went in the apartment.
I couldn't keep the goofy grin off my face as I made my way through the door. It was late, and I expected everyone would be in bed by now. Unfortunately, they were all sitting up waiting for me.
Alice took one look at my face and started in on her commentary.
"Oh yeah, she's in love," she decided. "Emmett, you owe me twenty bucks."
"Whatever, you don't even know anything. How do you know she's in love?" he argued.
"Look at her face, babe. There's no doubting it," Rose added.
"You are all crazy," I declared.
"I want to know everything," Alice urged, skipping across the room and pulling me over to the couch.
I told them as much as I could remember. It was all so fresh in my mind, and I was filled with a rush of excitement and anticipation; it made it hard to remember everything. I talked about the food and the batting cage fiasco. Then, I told them about the roof and the kissing.
Alice and Rose both awed and oohed as I told them about my night with him. Emmett remained stone faced as I talked.
"He said he wanted to see me again and asked if he could call me," I added at the end.
"Ha, right there," Emmett announced boisterously. We all turned towards him with questioning eyes. "He's not perfect after all. Whenever a guy says he's going to call, he very rarely does and if he does, it's days later. Watch, he won't call."
"Oh shut up, Emmett. Why can't you be happy for your little sister?" Alice countered. "Can't you see how happy she is? Why ruin her joy by saying some jackass thing like he's not going to call? I think he will call. He's obviously very captivated by Bella, and she deserves to have a nice guy in her life."
"He's a ball player. They're all the same. They bed women in every city they visit. It'll get even worse if he moves up to the majors," Emmett argued.
"I resent that comment, Emmett. Jasper is a ball player, and he's nothing like what you described. He doesn't bed women in every city. I'm all he needs. I get the feeling this Edward guy is much the same way."
"I don't want my little sister to get her heart broken when this guy decides to not call her back, or worse."
"Just leave her be. If she wants to see Edward again, it's entirely up to her."
"I think she needs to kick this guy to the curb before it gets too serious, and he hurts her. I only bought the guy as a joke and for a chance for her to get out of this house. I never expected she'd actually fall for the guy."
I was just about to scream at both of them for attempting to make decisions for my life when my phone rang. Everyone in the room froze. It was really late, who would be calling me this late?
I dug my phone out of my purse and checked the ID. I bit my lip to prevent from smiling when I saw the number appearing on my screen.
"It's him," Alice squealed.
I shushed all of them and answered the phone.
"I couldn't wait," he admitted. "I wanted to hear your voice again."
"Really?" I breathed, smiling a big goofy grin.
"Am I coming on too strong by saying that?" he wondered nervously.
"No, I'm glad you called."
"I was curious if you planned to come to the game tomorrow?"
"I don't know. I haven't talked to anyone about whether or not we planned to go," I answered.
"I'd really like you to be there," he confessed.
"I'm sure Alice plans to go. I'll tag along with her."
"Good. Maybe we can get together after the game?" he wondered.
"Sounds great," I agreed. "I'll see you tomorrow."
"I'm looking forward to it already. Goodnight, Bella."
I hung up the phone, smiling with anticipation. I couldn't wait to see him again. I looked around the room at three curious faces.
"So…" Alice urged.
"He wants me to come to the game tomorrow. Are you planning to go?" I asked.
"Naturally," she answered.
"Is anyone else going?" I asked, looking at Rose and Emmett.
"I think Emmett and I will skip this game," Rose announced, shooting a warning look at Emmett. "You girls have a good time, and we'll see both of you tomorrow night." Emmett huffed, in frustration, before Rose took his hand and led him back to their room. I knew he was only being the protective brother, like he always has been, but I like Edward and I don't want him to sabotage anything with him.
"Hey, Emmett," I called down the hall towards him. He stopped just at their door and turned around to look at me. "He has a name. It's Edward. I'd really appreciate it if you stopped calling him 'the guy'." He clenched his teeth and nodded his head.
Alice and I stayed up a little longer discussing my night with Edward. She was so excited for me. She had all these plans of the four of us double dating. I kept insisting I wasn't sure where our relationship was going, or how long it would last, but she was so confident it would turn into a long term thing. Deep down I was hoping the same thing, but I didn't want to get my hopes up.
The next day, while everyone else was out at work, I spent most of the day practicing my harp and thinking about Edward. He made it really hard to concentrate.
By mid afternoon, Alice had us both decked out in jeans and team t-shirts as well as a team baseball cap. I felt sort of silly, but Alice insisted we needed to show our support to the team.
"Why didn't you dress like this for last game?" I asked as we drove to the stadium.
"Sometimes I do, but last week I knew Jasper and I were going out after the game, so I had to look cute."
"You don't plan to go out tonight?" I wondered.
"He mentioned going back to his place afterwards. I might not be home tonight." She glanced over with a grin on her face.
I rolled my eyes at her.
"What are you and Edward doing after the game?" she asked.
"I don't know. He just said we would get together afterwards."
She hummed in response in a knowing way. I knew what she was thinking. I shook my head at her and turned away. If she only knew what I almost considered doing last night. She'd probably kill me if she knew I was seriously considering sleeping with him on our first date.
Once we reached the field, we found our seats right up front and sat down waiting for the players to come out and begin warming up.
"So have you and Edward come up with any secret gestures for during the game?" she wondered.
"Alice," I began, irritated by the question. "We've only had one date. Coming up with secret signals for each other was not part of the night's conversation."
"I was only curious. It's pretty obvious you are completely into him. From what I hear from Jasper, he's really into you too. He tries to hide it, but Jaz says he's an open book. He wears his heart on his sleeve."
"Is it too obvious I like him? I don't want to scare him off if he thinks things are going too fast."
"Bella, did you not hear a word I said? He likes you just as much, if not more, than you like him. I don't think he's going to think you're moving too fast. I just want you to be careful. Don't do anything you aren't ready for."
"Alice," I warned, rolling my eyes again. "I'm not a little girl. I don't need you to give me the talk about protection and being careful."
"I'm only saying be careful. I'd hate to see what Emmett might do to him if he ever crossed a line with you." We both laughed at the thought. Emmett would probably kill him if Edward ever tried anything I didn't want him to.
Moments later, the players came running out on the field. A few people in the crowd cheered and clapped. Alice grabbed my arm, pulling me to my feet and began screaming at the top of her lungs while clapping. She glanced over at me with a look of 'why aren't you doing the same'. I clapped and scanned the field for a familiar face. Alice elbowed me and screamed again. Reluctantly, I joined in and cheered at the top of my lungs. I felt really stupid. Everyone around us was staring. Even some of the players on the field were looking up to see what the commotion was. I'm sure I was bright red.
I noticed a couple men run out to the outfield and point us out to another man.
"Jasper's pointing you out to Edward," Alice informed.
"How can you tell?"
"Jasper is number 63, right there." She pointed him out to me. "And Edward is number 18."
"Who's the other guy with them?" I wondered.
"I think that's James. He's been on the team for quite a while. If I remember correctly, he's one of Edward's roommates. He's a little egoistical. I don't care for him much."
I watched Edward out on the field while he practiced. I wanted to give him some sort of little gesture. I couldn't blow a kiss. That was Alice and Jasper's thing. Plus he'd probably be a little freaked out if I did. I couldn't come up with anything else. I could wave, but that seemed too simple. I could salute, but he'd probably think I was strange. Why would I salute him?
Instead, as they came running in after warming up, I just smiled. He probably couldn't even see me smiling. He never looked up as he ran in to the dugout. My heart sort of sunk when he didn't acknowledge me at all. I watched as Alice and Jasper did their typical thing. I was just about to sit down and get comfortable for the game when suddenly I saw someone running up the path along the front of the stands. I glanced over at Alice, who also noticed, but didn't know what it was all about.
I leaned over the railing and looked down. I realized it was Edward, and suddenly my heart wasn't sinking, it was flying. I didn't really understand what he was doing though. He stopped in front of me and pulled himself up on to the railing. I looked into his eyes with a questioning look.
"I was kind of hoping I could get a good luck kiss," he revealed.
I smiled, placed my hand against his cheek, and leaned in for a quick kiss. When we parted, he was smiling a triumphant smile. I heard many people around us clapping and cheering. It was embarrassing. He jumped down and ran back towards the dugout. I sat back down next to Alice who stared at me with a raised eyebrow.
"Looks like things are more serious than I thought they were," she accused. I licked my lips, still able to taste his lips on them, and smiled. Thankfully, we had to stand for the national anthem, so she couldn't pressure me for anything more. I think she knew I wasn't going to tell her much anyway.
As the game progressed, they pulled ahead by a couple points. Alice and I cheered as much as possible for them. I caught Edward looking up at the stands periodically during the game. He would always smile up at me with a bashful grin.
At the end of the game, they won by three points. It was one of those nights they set off fireworks afterwards. As much as I liked watching the fireworks, all I really wanted to do was be with Edward. I wanted to congratulate him on the win. He did amazing during the game and definitely seemed to have some confidence in his playing. I was so proud of him.
Alice grabbed my hand and led me out of the stands once the fireworks were over. She led me around to the back where there was a small door and a very large man guarding it.
"Where are we going?" I asked, nervous about where she was dragging me.
"We're going back to the locker room to wait. All the wives and girlfriends go back."
We stopped in front of the man standing at the door with a clipboard in hand.
"Hi, Felix," she greeted.
"Evening, Alice. Are you going in?" he asked.
"Yes," she answered. He looked over at me. "This is Edward's girlfriend, Bella. I'm sure she's on the list."
"Alice," I whispered. "I'm not his girlfriend. We've only had one date."
"And tonight will make it two," she pointed out. Felix scanned the clipboard. I didn't think I would be on the list. Why would I?
"Bella Swan?" he asked.
"Yep, that's her," Alice answered.
"Go ahead ladies." He stepped aside and let us in the side door. I was still a little baffled by what happened when we made it to the back and sat down on the bench in the hall.
"Did he really put my name on the list?" I asked.
"Sure looks like he did. I'd say since he put your name on the list and went out of his way to publicly kiss you for good luck, you're his girlfriend," she declared.
I got a knot in my stomach at the thought. It wasn't because I didn't want to be his girlfriend. It was because I'd never really been a girlfriend to anyone. This was all knew territory.
"Who's this, Alice?" A tall, red-headed woman asked.
"Hi, Victoria," Alice greeted. "This is my best friend, as well as Edward's new girlfriend, Bella."
"Really?" She asked unconvinced. "I was under the impression Edward didn't date during the season. He likes to focus on the game and the game only."
"Well, maybe he hadn't found the right girl until now," Alice argued. I could tell there was some hostility between the two of them. I was curious to know what it was about.
"Even still, knowing Edward the way I do, it won't last."
"Maybe you don't know him as well as you think you do," Alice countered.
"We shall see, won't we?"
"Yes, we shall."
She narrowed her eyes at the two of us before flipping her fiery red hair over her shoulder and walked away.
"What was that about?" I wondered.
"She's James' girlfriend. James has been here for so long, so she thinks she's queen bee. She thinks she knows it all. In reality, she's clueless about everyone here. She's just nosey and wants to know everyone's business. Personally, I think she's jealous. James is sort of an ass to her, and he treats her like shit most days. James has watched so many players move up to the majors while he's still stuck in the minors. He takes it out on her."
"Does he hurt her?" I gasped.
"No, not that I know of anyway," she assured. "It's more like he treats her like his personal assistant than a girlfriend. I've heard he's cheated on her numerous times, and she pretends like it's not happening. He's just an all around jerk."
Jasper and Edward walked out of the locker room laughing about something. Alice ran across the room squealing as she jumped in Jasper's arms. He caught her and swung her around, kissing her all over the place. I glanced over at Edward who slowly walked over to me. He looked nervous. Or maybe it was in reaction to my own nervousness. Alice telling me she thinks Edward considers me his girlfriend was still a little unnerving.
"Hi," he greeted.
"Hi," I said in return.
He leaned in and wrapped his arms around me. I hugged him back, breathing his scent in. He smelled like he just took a shower. Being in his arms made all those fears I was having seconds ago disappear. I didn't care if he considered me his girlfriend or not. I wanted to be.
"Thanks for the luck," he whispered.
"I had nothing to do with it. You were amazing tonight. I'm so proud of you," I whispered in return. His hold tightened around me.
"We're out of here," Alice announced behind us. Edward released his hold around me and turned us around to face them. "I'll see you tomorrow."
She came over to me and hugged me tightly. "Have fun tonight," she whispered in my ear before breaking away and walking out with Jasper. Edward and Jasper gave each other the typical male nod of acknowledgement.
"Are you still up to spending the night with me?" he asked, turning his attention back on me.
I wasn't quite sure how to respond to his question. My mouth opened to answer, but nothing came out.
"I didn't mean it that way," he clarified, shaking his head. "I only meant to ask if you still wanted to spend some time together tonight. I'll take you home afterwards, I promise."
"I'm up for whatever you want to do," I agreed.
He nodded his head, relieved I wasn't backing out.
We walked out of the building and out towards his car. He opened the door for me before throwing his stuff in the back seat. We headed out on the road, still fairly quiet.
"Are you hungry?" he asked. "I was thinking we could go get something to eat."
"Please, but make it somewhere close and fast."
"Are you ready for the night to be over already?" he wondered, playing it off as a joke, but I could tell he was sincerely concerned.
"I didn't mean it like I wanted the date to end. I just haven't eaten all day, and I'm starving," I clarified.
Oh," he laughed. "Why haven't you eaten all day?"
"I've been nervous about tonight and what this is between us." I figured getting it out in the open was probably the best thing. The sooner I knew how serious he was about us, the better I'd feel.
"There's no reason to be nervous," he insisted, disregarding my entire comment about what this was between us. "It's going to take a little longer to get to where we're going, but the food will be ready by the time we get there."
"Where are we going?" I asked.
I could see him smirk in the faint light of the car. "You'll see."
We rode in relatively comfortable silence. I was a little concerned about where we were going. All I knew is we were traveling north along the main highway.
After about a half hour of driving, we pulled up in front of a small house in Mount Vernon. Edward turned off the car and got out, coming around to open my door for me.
"Where are we?" I asked.
He placed his hand on the small of my back and guided me up to the door.
"This is where I grew up."
We walked right through the front door without knocking.
"Gram," he called.
"In here." I heard a voice reply from the kitchen. We walked towards the kitchen and instantly I was engulfed in the smells of delicious food. My stomach growled with hunger. I didn't think it was loud enough for Edward to hear, but when he chuckled, I knew he'd heard.
"Welcome home, Edward," the woman in the kitchen greeted, giving Edward a huge hug.
"Hi, Gram," he greeted in return. She pulled away, looking him over at arm's length.
"You're too thin. It's a good thing you came home. I need to feed you and send you home with some leftovers."
He sighed and rolled his eyes. I tried to hold my giggles in, but failed. She turned towards me and gave me the once over.
"When you said you were bringing your girlfriend over for dinner, I didn't realize she would be so beautiful," she admired.
I blushed at her words. Edward cleared his throat in nervousness. "Gram, this is Bella. Bella this is my grandma, Esme."
"Hello," I squeaked. I wanted to sound so much more sophisticated and proper, but all I could get out was a hello.
"She's adorable, Edward." Esme wrapped her arms around my shoulders, hugging me to her. I was a little caught off guard.
"Gram, we're both starving. Is dinner about done?" Edward asked, trying to break the tension.
"Oh, yes of course. Follow me," she instructed.
We followed her into the dining room where an older man was already sitting down.
"Edward, my boy," he greeted in a boisterous voice.
"Hi, Grandpa." Edward walked over to him and leaned down to give him a hug.
It looked as if the man couldn't see since he never looked directly at Edward.
"Grandpa, I want you to meet someone." Edward turned towards me and held out his hand. I took his hand and he led me closer to the man. I noticed he picked up a thick pair of glasses off the table and slipped them on his face. Edward placed my hand in his and the man squeezed it gently. "This is Bella. The girl I've been telling you about. Bella this is my grandpa, Carlisle."
He squinted up at me, through his thick glasses, and smiled. "She's beautiful, Edward," he remarked aloud. I knew I was going to start blushing again. "You picked a perfect bride."
I choked at his comment. Edward laughed. "I did, didn't I?" Edward agreed. I looked at him with questioning eyes. Edward took my hand away from Carlisle's and guided me over to a seat at the table. He pulled my seat out for me before sitting down next to me. As Esme began filling the table with dishes of delicious smelling foods, Edward leaned into my ear.
"My Grandpa is beginning to show signs of Alzheimer's. He gets confused easily. It's easier to play along than to try and explain because he ends up getting more confused if you try. Sorry if he made you feel uncomfortable," he explained quietly.
I turned my head towards him and smiled. "It's okay," I assured. At least I understood now and didn't feel like I was missing something.
"Everything smells great, Gram. Thanks for doing this," Edward marveled.
"You know I can never deny you anything. I'm just glad you decided to come home for a visit and bring such a beautiful girl with you," Esme reasoned.
"Gram," Edward warned. I giggled at his obvious embarrassment.
"How long, have you and my son been married now, Elizabeth? Don't you think you need to have a child by now? I'm not getting any younger. I'd like to have some grandkids, you know?" Carlisle informed.
I glanced at Edward, hoping he had some way to help me out.
"You're an impatient, old man," Edward evaded the question.
"How about you eat, Carlisle?" Esme cut in. She began filling his plate with food, and Carlisle seemed perfectly content to eat and avoid all conversation from there on.
The food all looked so good. Esme had fried chicken which smelled amazing, scalloped potatoes, corn on the cob, homemade bread, and even an apple pie. I didn't want to look like a pig, but the thought of eating home cooking was too tempting. I filled my plate and dug in. I couldn't contain myself. It was all so good.
"So how long have you two known each other, Bella?" Esme asked.
"Only a couple days," I answered.
"Really? That's all? You two seem so comfortable with each other. I would have guessed you've been dating for a while," Esme observed.
I glanced over at Edward who had a grin on his face while he ate. "I think maybe it's because we're both very similar."
"Well, to make any good relationship work, you need to like the same things. Are you a baseball fan?" she asked.
"Yeah, I guess. My best friend's boyfriend plays on the same team as Edward. We go to most of the games."
"Is that how you two met?" she wondered.
"Um…" I began, looking to Edward for help.
"Gram, don't you think you've asked enough questions?" Edward cut in.
"I'm only curious about how serious things are between the two of you."
"Like Bella said, we've only known each other a couple days."
"Alright, I'll stop," she gave in. "I do need to say though, I don't think I've ever seen you so happy, Edward. I like it," she confessed.
I smiled at her comment. If I made him happy then I was glad.
"How'd the game go today?" she asked.
"It was good. We won," Edward replied.
"It wasn't just good. He did amazing tonight. He had three really good hits. One of which would have been a homerun if it wasn't for the other team catching it right at the fence line. He was part of a triple play. He caught two fly balls. He was on fire tonight," I bragged.
I noticed Esme shoot Edward a knowing look. I turned to Edward, who sat there with a huge grin on his face, watching me talk about him.
"Has Edward told you how long he's been playing ball?" Esme asked. She didn't wait for an answer before telling me all about it. "He was about five years old when he decided he was going to be a baseball player. He's won so many awards over the years. You should show her after we're done eating."
"I'd love to see them," I agreed.
"What is it you do, Bella?" Esme asked.
Edward laughed. "She hasn't even told me what she does. I don't think she's going to tell you, Gram."
"You don't even know what she does for a living?" she asked in astonishment.
"It's just something I don't share with people right away. I've learned in the past most people are either intimidated or turned off by it," I explained.
"Oh, I don't think you could intimidate Edward. He's head over heels for you. Nothing you do will turn him off," Esme insisted.
I heard Edward sigh in embarrassment again. I actually enjoyed watching him get embarrassed. It made him seem more real and loveable. I liked how he chose to bring me here to meet his family for our second date. It made it even more apparent to me that I was important to him, and he wanted me to know him completely.
After dinner, Edward took me into his childhood bedroom and showed me around. There were trophies and awards everywhere. He had posters of great baseball players from the past all over his walls. By his bed was a picture of him as a child, holding up one of the larger trophies. I could tell it was him. He still looked exactly the same as he does now. I walked over and picked up the picture. Beside him were two people, I assumed were his parents. The three of them looked so happy, and you could see the pride they had in their son written all over their faces. It broke my heart.
Edward walked up behind me, looking down at the picture. I leaned back up against him, not afraid to do so anymore.
"Is this your parents?" I asked.
"Yeah," he answered, softly. "This was the last picture taken of us before they died. This was at our championship game, and we had just won. Like I said before, I was supposed to go with them, but I begged to go to a friend's house instead."
"I'm so sorry, Edward." I placed the picture back on the nightstand and turned around to look at him. I could see the pain in his face. I wished there was a way I could take his pain away. I placed my hand on his shoulder, rubbing it lightly. He slowly moved closer to me, placing his hand on my elbow. I glanced up at him quickly before ducking my head again. He gently pulled my chin up and leaned in to kiss me. I parted my lips against his, letting myself enjoy everything about his kiss. He pulled me closer to him, wrapping his arms around my waist. I twisted my fingers in his hair, pulling him closer to me. Our lips moved together in our passionate kiss. He moaned into my mouth and lifted me off the floor. I wanted to wrap my legs around him and have him carry me to the bed. However, I was reminded we were in his grandparent's house when Esme walked in.
"Are you two ready for dessert?" she asked, walking in. "Oh… I'm sorry… I—"
Edward placed me back on my feet and broke the kiss. We both cleared our throats and wiped our mouths.
"I'll just leave." Esme walked out of the room with a grin on her face.
Edward and I looked at each other and started laughing. He took my hand, leading me over to the bed and sat down, sitting me on his knee.
"I'm sorry about that. I don't think my grandma thought she would catch us kissing in here. It's not something she's ever caught me doing before."
"It's okay," I assured. "Can I ask how many girls you've had in your room?" I was curious, but I didn't want it to come off as I was jealous in anyway. I think I failed in my attempt though.
"None. You're the first," he answered.
"Seriously?" I was shocked by his answer.
"Yeah. I've never brought a girl home to meet my grandparents."
"Then why did you bring me on our second date?"
"Because…you're special," he admitted. "I want to share everything about myself with you. I want you to know who I really am and where I came from."
I looked deep in his eyes, seeing how sincere he was being. I was pretty sure this was his way of telling me this was more than just a couple dates to him.
"Am I moving too fast?" he worried. "If I am, just tell me. I don't want you to get freaked out or think I'm pushing too much. I just really like you, and I'm the type of person to go after what I want and not wait. I don't like to wait for anything. I mean, you never know when life will end and waiting for the right time or a better moment seems pointless to me."
I pressed my finger to his lips to stop his rambling. "You aren't moving too fast. I'm not getting freaked out by anything." He smiled against my finger. I pulled my finger away and kissed him once again.
Eventually, we joined Edward's grandparents back in the living room and had a piece of the best apple pie I've ever had. I was almost tempted to ask for a second piece—it was so good. Esme talked so much about Edward as a child. She showed me adorable pictures of him from when he was a baby and all through his high school years. I really liked Esme. She was funny and sweet. She definitely loved Edward.
By the time we left their house, I had promised Esme and Carlisle we would be back as soon as possible. It was only a half hour drive from where we lived; there was no reason we couldn't go back to visit.
"Are you sure you're not freaked out by what happened earlier?" Edward asked again during the drive back to Seattle. "I know it's hard with my grandpa thinking we were married. He always thinks I'm my dad and I guess tonight he thought you were my mom. I'm really sorry about the grandchildren comment he made. Like I said, he's showing a lot of signs of Alzheimer's. And the comment my grandma made about you being my girlfriend, you don't have to be if you don't want to. I mean, I want you to, but I don't want you to get freaked out by it either."
"Edward," I interrupted. "I'm not freaked out by anything. Stop being paranoid." I reached over, slipping my hand in his. He accepted my hand, squeezing it tightly. He raised my hand to his lips and kissed the back of it. I smiled and rested my head against his shoulder as we drove.
He dropped me off at my house, giving me a pretty passionate goodnight kiss. I was really tempted to invite him in to meet my brother and sister-in-law, but I didn't know what type of mood Emmett would be in, and I didn't want my brother to scare him off.
"What are you doing tomorrow?" I asked.
"Um, hopefully spending the day with you since I don't have a game," he answered.
"I was hoping you would say that. Can you come by tomorrow around one? Everyone will be gone for the afternoon, and I want to show you something."
He smiled, tightening his grip around me. "I'll be here."
We kissed one last time before he left for the night.
If I was serious about him and wanted to be his girlfriend, he needs to know who I am. He's shared so much of who he is with me, and I haven't told him much about me. However, the thought scared me to death. Would he accept me for who I was? Would he still want to be with me? Would he be intimidated or turned off like everyone else I've ever tried to get close to?
There was only one way to find out. I had to be honest with him and hope for the best.
Second half should be up by the time you're done reading this.