Pick A Pic Challenge
Title:The Nearness of You
Penname: Lo21
Banner: #56
Rating/ Disclaimer: M for LEMON..only one. Darn!

Summary: Bella had a rough start to life, but even though she has reason to be sad or angry, she is not. Happy-go-lucky in her day-to-day life makes her a people person but she still doesn't have the courage to tell her friend and co-worker Edward how she really feels. Maybe today will be the day she does something about it.

To see all the stories that are a part of this contest please visit: www .fanfiction-challenges. blogspot. com

A/N: My first ever one-shot. A/H Bella and Edward.

Twilight/Twilight characters belong to Stephenie Meyer.

You know the drill... Read. Comment. Enjoy!


Bella

I was born into this world premature; a tiny baby girl, forced to be born at 28 weeks. My appearance in the world much too early to begin. I never met my mother and she never met me. Riding as a passenger in her sister's car they were hit head-on by a car that was traveling the wrong way on the highway. Her sister, Violet died on impact. My pregnant mom, Renée barely survived the impact of the crash. She held on for us both in the ambulance until the hospital when I was delivered by Cesarean section. My mom didn't have the strength for herself to make it out of the hospital alive, but I like to think she did the best to help me make it out. The wrong-way driver also was instantly killed. He was not a drunk driver, but an older man in his eighties, driving late on a rainy night and confused. I have reason to be angry or disturbed, to have taken a dark path in life because I didn't have a chance to meet my mother. I'm not. I don't blame the man for what he did. His family lost a dad, a grandfather, a brother. Life can be mean, cruel, unfair, but it also brings us closeness, family, love. Not a day goes by that I don't think how brave my mom was in her final moments. She was my hero for continuing to breathe, for letting her heart beat so that mine could continue. How did I survive a fatal crash that left three people dead?

If I can help it, I use my gift of life to live as full and happy as possible. The only thing I haven't found is love.


I stretch my body over my queen-sized bed, starting each morning by looking at the picture of my mother, and my dad Charlie. The wedding photo is in a simple silver frame on my three drawer nightstand. I can't help but smile widely at them both. They look so perfect together. I really wish I had met her or she had met me. I find features of myself in her almost daily, the way her smile is, the freckles across her nose, her chocolate brown eyes and long brown hair.

The sky is dark on this December morning. Low forties for the high? Check. Chance of rain? Double check. It is raining already. Snow? Likely. This is typical winter weather here in Seattle and having lived in Washington my whole life, I can't say this is surprising. At 6:30 a.m. I'm getting ready for a brand new day, I'm energetic, ecstatic, and nervous to start my new career. I slept a total of three hours last night, my mind running wild. As I'm finishing drying my hair from the earlier shower, I hear the cell phone on my dresser ring. I take a look at the caller ID,grinning widely. Today is the day I will be making my debut as reporter for KONO News, Seattle.

"Good morning Bella, It's a big day for you today. You ready?" Edward says sweetly into the phone.

"I'm so excited, Edward, oh my gosh, this is going to be so fun."

"Can you believe that after all the time interning and doing all the crap, like filing and being a food runner, that we are finally going to be the ones doing the fun stuff?"

My eyes are big, my voice confident, "Yeah we'll be chasing the stories and getting into the action. I cannot wait. I'm still getting ready but I'll see you there at eight!"

"Just wanted to wish you luck this morning and I'll see you then."

I hear the smile in his voice over the phone as we hang up. He's probably just as excited as I am. In fact, I know he is just as excited as I am. We have been going over and over our notes for my debut in front of the camera. I hang up the phone and do a little jump, skipping to the mirror to finish applying my makeup, adding extra blush and curling my long hair. I have had the biggest crush on Edward since the day we met and we will be working together all day. We both came on as Interns last year and we did behind the scenes stuff like helping with coordinating scripts, research on stories, and light clerical duties. Today, I'll be making my debut for a taped report on the homeless population of Seattle, while Edward will help me edit the story and prepare it in time for the five o'clock news airing.

I arrive at work, my car is parked and the rain has made way for some snow flurries lightly flying in the air, nothing too bad weather-wise. I look toward the sky looking just admiring how beautiful it looks. I know some people cannot stand all the snow, but it is just important to me as sunshine. I get out of my car, making my way into the building to meet up with Edward and the boss to go over the details of my first report today. My leather briefcase is in one hand, my bright red umbrella in the other as I make my way slowly towards the building being careful not to slip in the parking lot. I'm wearing a new power suit outfit and I feel confident.

"Good morning, Jessica, I'm so excited for today!" I say to our boss as I walk into the office. The office is empty I see I am only the second to arrive. I am always early, I like having the extra time to get prepared, clear my mind and feel settled before diving into my work.

"Hello Bella, good morning! Once you get settled in and Edward arrives, please grab your notes and meet me in my office."

"Sure thing. I haven't seen Edward's car in the parking lot yet, but I'll get him and meet you here as soon as we review the notes."

I head to my desk, I'm about twenty minutes early so I turn on my computer and start gathering my notes for the day. I'm shuffling through the paperwork; my nose in my notes, making sure everything is perfect. I feel a hand on my back several minutes later. I may or may not have jumped at the feeling of the hand pressed on my back.

"Oh!" I heard no movement, no other noises but the shuffling of my papers and clicking of the mouse on my computer.

"Sorry Bella, didn't mean to scare you, just came over to say hi."

Edward's piercing green eyes look back at me, I take in the rest of him, his white dress shirt and skinny green tie looking fantastic and fitting perfectly over his obviously toned long body. His bronze hair is a messy yet controlled chaos. I'd really, really like to see how he looks without that shirt. And his pants. I'd really like to run my hairs through that hair. I blush at my own thoughts, feeling the red rise to my cheeks. A shy smile comes from Edward seeing me blush but the smile reaches his eyes, he is such a genuine nice guy.

"Edward. You might want to give a girl some warning, instead of sneaking up on me like that," I smirk as I talk.

"I didn't hear your footsteps in the hall; you are being quite stealthy today." A nervous giggle escapes.

"Oh come on, I did not sneak up on you, you were just engrossed in your notes."

I'd like to be engrossed in something else of yours.

At least ten times a day, I have inappropriate thoughts of this beautiful man before me. I've never the courage to say anything to him. He is my friend, and I'd hate to lose him if he doesn't feel the same about me. Even if I did have the courage, he doesn't have problems meeting women, he is gorgeous. He could have any woman he wanted. It is hard to believe that he is single. He has a great career ahead of him, but says he doesn't have time to date.

This doesn't stop women from freely throwing themselves at him. Just last week, a group of us from the office got together for drinks and the women coming up to him were all perfect looking and extremely confident. I remember joking at him at the attention he gets and he looked embarrassed. He'd joke that they all seemed shallow, had no depth and I'd do my best to show that everyone can be a good person if given an opportunity. I wonder if pointing things like that out actually caused me harm. I would love to have a relationship with Edward, but I just don't have the courage to risk losing him as my friend.

I am happy and healthy and alive and I know that I will find my love one day. I try to talk myself out of seeing Edward as being more than my friend. I wonder if having a romantic relationship with a co-worker would be a good thing anyway. Don't people always say you shouldn't be involved with someone you work with? He is friendly and flirty towards me and I'm the same to him, but I must not read too much into it. If he is choosing to remain single, it must be for a reason.

Snapped back from my mini day dreaming session, I remember that we have to meet with Jessica.

"Oh yes, that reminds me...go grab a chair, we need to review our notes! We've got a meeting session with Jessica."

"Yep, let me drop my stuff off at my desk and I'll be right back." He turns to walk away and I watch him leave. He turns back mid-stride after about four steps and pauses before asking,

"How do you manage to be so energized in the morning?How much coffee have you had?"

I flash him my brightest smile and say, "who needs coffee when it is so beautiful outside? But...you can grab me a cup of coffee if you are offering."

He stares at me curiously, "It is beautiful outside? it's just another typical gloomy day."

"Everyday is a beautiful day... so Edward, I hope you have a beautiful day."

He runs his hands through his hair, smiling back and he looks like he is going to say something back, but doesn't. I love it when he puts his hands in his hair. I watch him leave my sight and I turn around and sigh to myself.

He comes back a few minutes later with two cups of coffee which I thank him for. I take a sip and it is perfect just as always; he knows me so well. He leaves to bring a rolling chair over to me and we review the notes and questions I have prepared. His knee accidentally bumps into my knee at one point, we are sitting so close together. He apologizes but I wouldn't mind another accidental touch. His head is only inches from mine as he takes up my personal space reviewing the documents and making suggestions. My heart beats a little faster. If only he could inch just a little bit closer, his plump lips could be all over mine. I could have sworn that at one point he sniffs my hair, inhaling my scent in a long breath before talking about the story.

My imagination runs wild at the thought. He asks me a question and I have no idea what he said.

"Are you ready?" he asks me again.

"Yes! Let's do this."

He gives a silly thumbs up and a great smile and he rubs my shoulder in a friendly manner as we get up and head into Jessica's office. Jessica tells us that as planned we will be visiting the shelter to speak with some of the people out there. We go over the questions I'm set to ask and I feel well prepared and excited. Edward and our camera man will be coming with us to get the video and interviews done. Edward is not doing any of the on camera stories, he is strictly behind the scenes in editing, but as we are both newly hired and no-longer interns, Jessica thought it would be a good experience to start off with us working closely until we get the swing of things.

Besides not having my mom, I had a fairly normal childhood and got a scholarship to the University of Washington with my good grades from high school. I met my boyfriend during college, Jacob. But as is life, we grew apart and ended things about a little more than one year ago and a few months before I started interning here at the station. Jacob and I had a great relationship and didn't end on bad terms. I don't waste my life dwelling on the bad things, he made sense in my life and I don't regret the lessons I've learned from him. Since meeting Edward, no other man has come even remotely close to him as a total package. His career goals, humor, tenderness, and his sexy not-even-trying good looks. He is smart and career driven but he can be fun and silly. He is a perfect balance of a man. He will make some woman very happy someday. I can't help compare him with other men I've dated. But, we are only friends. I have to keep reminding myself of this.

Finally, around 9 A.M. we are on our way to the shelter with our cameraman, Emmett and Edward and me in the station's white SUV. We have a friendly conversation about me on the way over. Edward and Emmett each are teasing me about not only tripping over my words but also about not tripping over my heels during the interviews. I look down at my three inch black platform pumps and start feeling the butterflies in my stomach. I have had many unfortunate incidents where I have been walking and have tripped over my own feet. I laugh at the stories and memories they start bringing up. Edward reminds me of the story of me at our first get together as an office group. The very first time I went out with some of the people from the office we were all at a bar and I managed to knock over my drink and trip on the carpet. No one ever has to know that the reason I tripped was because I saw a woman touch Edward's shoulder and I clipped a bar stool, catching the carpet with one of my heels and knocking the drink out of my hand. They all thought I was drunk but I was perfectly fine. I also just seem to trip on flat surfaces—often. Since that day, they know this is true. I'm clumsy.

We make it to our destination and get right to work. I have some basic interviews for the workers many of them volunteers and get some information about how many people make it into the shelter and what they do about overcrowding. Emmett films me as I have the discussion with the workers. I see Edward in the background taking notes and smiling as I do my best to keep myself professional. We have to do several takes, but I catch on quickly. Once we have filmed that aspect of the story, we tour the facility where I stop and point out some of the rooms with the beds and the cafeteria area. Finally, we head over to interview a single mother with her two elementary aged kids and get her thoughts and story down. It is a sad situation, but we have a nice conversation and she says she is grateful that she has somewhere to be. Once we have everything filmed we head back to the station where the flurries are now coming down at a good rate. I hope that it doesn't cause to much of a mess on the road. Once we are parked at the station we make a game plan. With a good mix of flurries and rain, Emmett makes a run for it as Edward helps me back by linking arms with me and sharing an umbrella so I don't lose my balance making a run for the door. The rest of the day goes on, I work with Edward about the story and how I'd like the story to present itself. He heads off by himself to get it edited while I work some more on upcoming story ideas.

We have long hours in this career field but I love it. It is challenging and fun and you get out into the world and see things and make other people see things. It makes me happy. At five and six, I'm able to see my story and I couldn't have been happier at the way it turns out. Edward and I see it together and we high-five each other. I tell him we are great team and he agrees. Jessica is very happy as well, she gives some feedback on the story, being very encouraging. She likes the way the emotions played out on film, loves how my personality shines through and again thought I presented great questions. She compliments Edward on putting through the story in a compassionate way and says we have both done an excellent job. As we head out, Edward whispers into my ear that he thinks we should celebrate after work. I happily agree to drinks at our favorite bar.

At the end of the day, we meet up with each other and notice that the weather has cleared and it's just a chilly night, but no accumulated snow, just slick roads. Edward walks with me to my car and we both notice at the same time. My car is not there. I look around wide-eyed, see some shattered glass in the parking space where my car should be. My mouth almost drops to the ground.

"My car! What in the world. Was it stolen?" My heart beat is pulsing, I've never been a victim of theft. The sunshine that usually generates from my body, my glass half-full view outlook in life seems to take a turn. I can't help the frown that comes out. Edward looks over at me, concern on his face. He grabs my hand, pulling me into him, protective, warm.

"Do you know your license plate number? Let me call the police and get this reported."

I nod, thinking to myself what am I going to do without my car? How long has it been gone?

He gets on the phone, passing me the phone so I can report my license plate number and I relay the information on the year, make and model of my car. I tell them I'm not sure when it was taken and the last time I had seen it. Edward's hands are comforting as he rubs my shoulders and back. I shiver in the cold but feel the nervousness push from my body. We wait for the police where they give me my case number and what I need to do to report it to my insurance company. Edward stays with me during the entire thing. I thank him when the police have come and gone. He offers to drive me home.

All the time that we have been friends, we've always gone out places but he has never been to my house. I offer to show him around and say we can have some drinks there. He agrees. We enter my apartment, Edward looks a bit timid and it brings a smile to my lips. He looks around my place taking it in, I usher him in and show him around. I point out the different rooms as he nods politely. I feel a little self-conscience when I point towards my bedroom. If only he knew what I did in there with him in mind. He comes back to life, he is himself starting to joke around and I put on some music while I get some wine. I pour wine into two glasses and join him on my sofa as we go over the day's events. After the work business is out of the way, we talk some about my car and how I'll deal with getting to work. I tell him I'll take the bus, it's not a big deal and I'm sure if my car isn't found I'll get a good amount from my insurance company. He offers me a ride to work and tells me I have a great outlook on life and never seem to be angry or mad. There is music playing softly in the background as we sip our drinks.

The conversation flowing freely, we have great chemistry. I decide to share with him the story about my mom and how I always try to live a happy, healthy life for her sake. There is a bit of awkward silence for a minute when I turn to look at him, he says no words. He grabs my arm, pushing me towards him in a hug; I feel his heart beating as he grabs my fingers and links them together with his. I look down to see our fingers linked together, then I look back to him. Does he feel it too? He looks to me with those perfect green eyes as he begins to speak.

"Bella, you are beautiful woman inside and out. You have been a great friend, you are always so happy even when your day should have been ruined. You are a breath of fresh air, I look forward to seeing you every day at work, I want..."

He pauses for a moment, as I look at him, my heart racing and my face blushing, unsure of where the conversation is headed. He continues.

"I want to…I just…can't hold back anymore. I don't know if this is right or if you'll feel the same. I can't find a more perfect girl than you are. I know that I want us to be more than friends, and I can't keep pretending that I want you only as a friend. You mean much more to me. So much more. I feel like I have to say something or I won't be living a true life."

He looks at me then releases my fingers, as if he is prepared to be let down, he looks away. I look at him shocked. I touch his jaw, bring him back to face me. This is what I had no courage to say for myself.

"Thank you for saying that to me, you have no idea how much that means to me. You have no idea how long I've wanted to say the exact same things to you. You make me smile, I've never encountered anyone like you. You have become my best friend, and I thought that by expressing my feelings I would scare you off and lose you and I couldn't chance it. I maintain happiness in every other aspect of my life, but I never had the courage to express my feeling towards you. You are sexy both inside and out."

I grab for his fingers linking them again to me, my braveness building up. I'm shocked that these words are spilling from my lips. This gorgeous man says he wants to be more than friends.

I feel the electricity running between us, the air has shifted and the music that is playing in the background is perfect. I hear the lyrics standing out, Norah Jones' "The Nearness of You:"

It's not the pale moon that excites me
That thrills and delights me, oh no
It's just the nearness of you

It isn't your sweet conversation
That brings this sensation, oh no
It's just the nearness of you

He leans over cupping his hands on my face, we look into each others eyes. He leans into me, my eyes shut and his lips are on mine, I feel him taking my lower lip, softly, slowly. My lips match his softness, the carefulness of his lips as I feel it deeply. It means so much more to me than some casual kiss. He pulls from my lips and continues introducing his lips to my face by kissing my nose, my forehead, then my cheek. He looks at me as if to ask if he should continue. I say yes with my eyes and do the same to him, devouring his lips first. We are studying each others expressions on our faces, the longing and the times we had to be careful not to ruin our friendship.

When you're in my arms and I feel you so close to me
All my wildest dreams came true

I take the lead, I want him. I want him very much. My lips find a way to his neck where I smell his scent before placing a kiss. I want him to feel how much I want him. I make my way back to his lips, I start slow then speed the intensity of the kiss, my hand grabbing into his hair, I straddle his lap for better access. His tongue asks for permission to enter my mouth, and I gladly accept inviting him to explore my mouth. We share deeply, almost telling stories with our lips and tongues. I grab for his shirt and lift it up, wanting to feel closer to him.

There is a momentary break in our kisses as I undue his tie and unbutton his shirt as I pull it off his muscular shoulders tossing it onto the sofa. I let my eyes and fingers explore his body. My lips move back to his neck where I suck and kiss gently. His hands are on my waist, but they head north and my blouse is the next item off on the sofa. My body tingles as I feel his hands on my body, where I have always fantasized them being. He pulls my head back to his mouth as his hands go to the back of my lacy black bra and it is off. The laundry pile growing on the sofa. His hands go towards my breasts as he massages them then takes turns with his mouth sucking each of them delicately and then harder with more force. I moan in approval. I run my hands through his hair and on to his chest and back. Yes. Please continue. I don't know if I say that in my head or out loud. But he hears me loud and clear.

I need no soft lights to enchant me
If you'll only grant me the right
To hold you ever so tight
And to feel in the night the nearness of you

There is still too much clothing on us. Shoes are tossed. Hands grab for fabric and layers of clothing. I reach for his belt and unzip his pants as he lifts up to help me bring them down and off. I see his soldier saluting me through the fabric of his boxers. I waste no time and grab it through his boxers, as he moans my name. Somehow my skirt and stockings come down. I cannot remember how they end up on the floor. The movements are fast, we both have want in our eyes, desire on the brain. I can't remember my name as soon as he applies pressure to my black matching panties and I feel the warmness, my body ready and willing to allow him access. The area is sensitive with the pressure he is rubbing on me. A little teasing pressure, he takes my hand and leads me into the bedroom and pulls me to my bed. He pushes me gently on my back onto the bed and lies gently on top starting again from my lips down to my breasts, his hand bringing my panties down. He feels me as they slide down with his hands squeezing my butt. He pushes his hardness to my sweet spot teasing me and I have to move the last obstacle between us as I bring his boxers down. I grab onto his dick, pumping it, feeling it grow. We explore each others bodies with kisses and touches. His body really is a temple.

"Bella, I'm going to make you feel good." It is a fact, not a general comment.

He slips one finger inside of me, pumping my body slowly, my body aches for more. I gasp at the newness of his long finger playing inside me. I push up against the pressure he applies wanting more as I feel another finger enter. I beg for more.

"Oh God. Edward, please, please. I want you in me. Please." I stretch out the word please, I've never wanted anyone so much. With the words, he slowly eases out of me, leaving me whimpering at the loss. He brings his lips to the now empty area and starts the process over again, kissing me, sucking me allowing his tongue to feel the wetness in between my legs to explore me. He pumps his tongue the same way his fingers once did.

"Damn, Bella, you are so wet. I want to get you good and ready." He grunts, growls, he is enjoying it almost as much as I am.

I'm ready.

"I..I..want you Edward," I growl in between the movements. He leaves me momentarily as he lines up to my entrance and pushes gently into me. I feel my body stretch to meet his length and girth. He is a big boy. Once he is fully in, he starts off slowly, almost too slowly building the tension, moving his body to meet mine. I whimper at the slowness. I Want. No, need for him to make me feel good. He is on top of me with a steady slow pace. My arms grab for his back, wanting him to move harder, faster. I tell him, how I want it. It increases as I feel him start a steady speed the pleasure building, we both are grunting. I want him. We don't want to come too early. He looks into my eyes, and I do the same with him. He has one hand on my breasts, massaging it. I bring my other up massaging the other. With my eyes rolling back, I grip tighter onto his back and shoulder and grabbing his firm ass, wanting him as close as possible. My lips reach for his and we kiss as he fills me with pleasure. He releases my hand from my breast and links it with my hand. I have never felt more connected to anyone.

We shift and now I'm on top controlling the tempo and I tease him to start off with. My body is up and I ride his dick by slowly going up and down then rocking with him laying down. He holds onto my hips and breasts as I start going harder. He pushes himself up so he is flush with the back of the bed in a sitting position still with me on top. He guides me and we go up and down together. We are in perfect position for kissing and connecting. He goes deep inside of me. He watches me visually for a few, my breasts jumping up and down, I lean back a bit letting him stretch me. He moans my name and I do the same, moaning for him. He and I both moan almost at the same time. He grabs my face and I slow down the temple as we start kissing. We let throaty moans out each and I feel the explosion nearing.

"I'm going to come, Edward," I moan out. He tells me he is ready, he grabs me and goes hard into me, making us ride the wave of ecstasy. We let our body's do the work and we both come together.

"Fuck! Edward, oh yeah..." My body rocks with the intensity of the feelings. This is not sex. This is love. It feels different when you are in love. And I'm sure I'm in love with my best friend.

My orgasm seems to keep going as I hear him coming. Back to back orgasms? Yes. It is possible and I've never experienced anything like that before.

"Bella, Bella! Oh God Bella!" He rides his orgasm out and I enjoy the fantastic facial expression and enjoy that I helped cause that for him.

Our bodies are super sensitive and exhausted. We lean into each other but we still have the strength to kiss each other roughly one last time. I cannot get enough of his sweet kisses or the passionate ones. I slowly get up from his lap, my heart is beating swiftly as we collapse onto the bed. I roll into his body and he clutches me. We both smile. I lean my head to meet his chest and hear his heart. "That was amazing," he tells me.

"Edward, you were fantastic, I have never experienced an orgasm quite like that."

He smiles lazily as we just listen to silence and our hearts. The tempo of his heart seems to be matching my own. My eyes close. I feel safe in his arms. I feel a shift in the bed as he brings me to himself even closer, if that is possible. He kisses my forehead.

"Please don't go," I say. It is said with double meaning. I don't want him to leave tonight or any other time. I want him, always. He seems to hear what I'm thinking.

"I will always be here for you, you had my heart the moment I met you, Bella."

And I know he will. My heart sings for him. There is something different about Edward. Who cares if I shouldn't be dating my co-worker? Who cares about my stupid stolen car. We have both confessed to having feelings for each other and it just feels right. I felt the words and I felt his heart. I now know his body and he knows mine. I know we will be alright, we have been friends for one year but I already know he is everything I've wanted.

I bring his lips back to mine, wanting to feel them back on mine. I kiss him, wanting him to feel my next words,

"Edward, you can always have my heart, I trust you with it."

As I drift off to sleep I can't help but think that tomorrow no matter the weather, it will be a bright, sunny day. That's how my heart feels right now.

He stays the night in my bed, our arms and legs entangled at various times. In the morning, I wake up to his body and I watch him lightly snoring. He is beautiful even when sleeping. It wasn't a vivid dream. This is real life. I kiss his cheek and he wakes up with a sleepy smile. I feel his body react and his eyes look deeply into my own. I can feel his soul through his eyes.

With a mischievous smile on his face, I'm pulled into his naked body roughly and I cannot hold back a giggle as his beautiful, long fingers reacquaint and reconnect with my body. His lips draw near.

I welcome them.


**Thank you for taking the time to read my story! What did you think? If you liked it, or even if you hated it, please comment, I'd love to hear from you.** It was fun writing it because I'm working on a much more serious Bella/Edward story at the moment.

If you didn't already guess...yes morning sex was coming. :)

Also-since it was asked, Charlie wasn't in the car accident, but he is withdrawn as a parent, he couldn't stand that Bella is always so optimistic and happy, she reminds him too much of his wife and the loss that he has experienced. :(

Favorite/Alert me as an author, and check out my new story: Bad Dreams & Sad Things now live as of January 2, 2011!

With love from Texas,

-~*Lo*~

Follow me on twitter: twitter dot com / lori2150