ALL TWILIGHT CHARACTERS BELONG TO SM. THE STORY IS MINE.
I owe special thanks to Shandi Cullen1978 who has been beyond awesome in looking over this chapter.
M S CAROL
Damn it, I thought as I made my way to the line for the California Pizza Kitchen in the airport.
I had been stranded in New York for more than 2-days trying desperately to grab a flight back to Seattle to spend New Years Eve at home.
I pulled my iTouch out of my pocket trying to listen to music, hoping it would make the time pass but the poor thing had finally died. And trying to connect it to my computer for a re-charge would be useless. It was just as dead. And seeing as there was no electrical outlet left unused at the airport, I was officially suffering from technological separation anxiety.
I was hungry, cranky and in no mood to deal with anything, especially long lines at the terminal. In other words, I was like most passengers in any airport having a horrible time.
What ever happened to having fun at the airport? It used to be exciting to get on a plane. There was an unspoken promise for adventure, a frontier to something grand and even life changing. People would dress-up, attendants would smile and the flight captain would have that cool voice that would announce to passengers "clear skies ahead."
God, I feel old.
Still in line, I tried my damn best to keep to myself. No need for weirdos. I was doing a pretty good job of minding my business, trying to ignore the wallowing of my stomach when two women in front of me complaining about something. They were complaining about someone who cut in front of them. I rolled my eyes.
All I wanted was to do was go home and sleep. It wasn't like there was anything interesting to do when I got there. I had become one boring girl in the past couple of years. Alice even said it herself, I did a complete 180 after grad school. I used to be crazy and the things I did, well I'd rather not speak of that, but now I was almost mourning the fun me. I was constantly drained by my books, trying to finish my PhD and move on to become a full fledge adult with no need to rely on my parents.
Tonight was supposed to be nice. Go home, make dad some enchiladas and fall asleep on the couch as we watched the New Year ring in. Yet, dad wouldn't be home. Our plans had come all crashing down when his boss called him for an extra shift.
Oh well, I guess some pizza from Pina's will do.
"Hey," said a thin blonde. "You clearly cut in front of us."
At first, I thought she was talking to me but that obviously wasn't the case. She was addressing the guy standing in front of her who was wearing a light gray V-neck sweater as well as a blood-red cap.
He turned around and they gasped.
I gasped. He was the most beautiful person I have ever seen. He was probably a model with such a long slim-built frame, beautiful jaw line and being so tall. I couldn't see his eyes because they were covered with a pair of shades but I had a pretty good feeling they were just as beautiful as the rest of him.
"I'm sorry girls," his voice filled my senses and all I wanted to do was sit next to him and hear him talk…just hearing it would be enough, no need to actually listen to what he was saying. He could read the phone book to me and I would find it the most beautiful reading ever. His voice reminded me of invigorating cold mornings and delicious cups of coffee. I am sure my brain would not normally associate his voice to food but I was hungry… for more than food it seems.
PhD students can rival monks at this point with their lack of sex lives. At least this girl can.
The women giggled. The tall redhead played with her hair and stepped closer to him.
"Oh, it's okay," she smiled. "Just an honest mistake, right."
Feeling ever hungry and cranky, I rummaged through my bag to find anything to munch on while I waited for my turn to order.
"Figures," I mumbled to myself as I shoved the candy in my mouth. "They see a pretty face and they let him get away with anything."
I rolled my eyes at myself, a lack of sugar in my system always made me so mean. Hunger was an all-consuming thought in my brain at this point.
I heard a chuckle and looked up. He was looking at me. And after a few seconds, a big smile sprang across his face. Aside, from feeling caught red handed, I was utterly entranced and mortified. He heard me call him pretty. Fuck me senseless, why can't I keep my mouth shut?
He turned to the ladies with a satisfied smirk. His skin looked translucent against his brown shades.
"I think you two are right," he said. "I probably did cut in front of you."
He let them move ahead of him and turned to me with an ever-curious expression on his face.
"Hello," he said. It sounded more like a question, as though he was trying to figure something out through his greeting.
I looked around me. Oh crap, I think he is talking to me.
"I'm Edward…" he said. "You are?"
Trying to muster some form of control, I took a deep breath.
"I'm Bella," I responded.
"Bella?" he asked, extending his hand out for me to shake.
I heard a huff coming from behind him. The two girls were giving me death glares as they walked away with their order of salads.
"I think it's your turn to order," I said to Edward.
"Oh, you're right," he agreed. "Be right back."
He walked away from me and my eyes on their own accord traveled to his butt.
Wow, he has a beautiful behind. I would love to give it a good pat.
I felt the blood rush to my face. I needed to get out of there before I mauled him. I was feeling hungry. All types of hungry.
But I can't go, he wants to talk. But what am I going to talk to him about? I have nothing to offer. God, I am so damn boring. What am I going to tell him? Hmmm…welll, I can tell him that I'm a PhD student with no sex life and hungry as hell. So screwed.
Feeling this little tiny nagging feeling in my gut that I was not in my right state of mind, I walked away from the line and into the women's restroom.
I sat in the stall, feeling like a stupid little coward for leaving and not even saying bye.
Well, what was I supposed to do? I thought. Besides, I have been in this airport for two days. I'm not as some say very pretty looking or nice smelling. And he…God he is so opposite.
As I walked to the sink and washed my hands, I looked in the mirror and brushed my hair. I didn't think I would see him again but just in case God sent me another guy my direction, I didn't want to look like a bum.
I added a bit of gloss to my lips and used a bit of eyeliner to make my eyes look less tired.
As I finished applying make-up, my stomach grumbled. I would have to make do and buy a little snack from a shop.
I strolled to a convenience store, opened my purse and sighed. Being a college student did not leave me much money to buy anything aside from the basic things in life. I bought myself two Hershey's kisses and a bag of apple chips.
Not a big meal but I will just have to tough it out, I thought.
Sitting on the floor of the airport by a foundation beam, I ate my chips and read a discarded women's magazine.
Ten ways to make a man worship you!
The O in the O Spot! OH YEAH!
Winter Fashions that will make you look 2 sizes smaller.
I sighed. Just the same shit, re-packaged and re-published.
Honestly, couldn't they come up with something more interesting, I thought.
I checked my watch and looked at my ticket. Alice, my former college roommate and best friend, was a flight attendant and she had offered to get me a cheap rate. The downside was she hadn't told me people could easily bump me around, depending how full everything was because I was not a priority client.
"I can't wait to just smack her," I whispered to myself.
My plane finally arrived and it was time to board, but like before I had to check-in with the clerk at the front to see if there was room for me.
"Oh dear," said Ryan a sweet attendant who apologized profusely when he couldn't get me on any of the planes the day before. "I swore I saw you here yesterday morning. You didn't get on any of the flights in the evening, huh?"
I shook my head.
"You must be utterly exhausted," he concluded.
"A wee bit," I confessed. And stinky. And hungry.
"Well, not to worry," he whispered. "A whole high school was supposed to go to this concert in Seattle for New Years and at the last minute they canceled. So, you will be able to get on for sure."
I took a big breath of relief.
"God Ryan you are officially my favorite person," I said and then yawned.
He chuckled and took my ticket
"No worries," he replied. He looked at me and winked. "Here is your seat number," he said as he handed me a stub.
"How can I ever thank you?" I replied.
"No need to thank me," he insisted. "You deserve a little bit of holiday magic, Bella."
I cocked my brow.
"Come again?" I asked.
"You deserve a bit of magic in your life. Come on, time to go." He whooshed me away. "Life awaits for you."
I walked down the long connector to my plane, feeling a warped energy around me.
"How did he know my name was Bella?" I thought aloud. My ticket obviously said Isabella.
I shrugged, maybe I had been tired and told him without thinking.
When I got on the plane the flight attendant escorted me to a seat in business class. The chairs were so wide and comfy looking.
"Wait," I said. "I'm supposed to sit in economy."
Shut up, my brain said. These are so much better then second-class.
She looked at the stub and shook her head.
"Nope, this is your seat: Aisle BC, seat B," she said. She took my small backpack without even asking if it was okay to take it. "Have a nice flight," she said.
I sat in my seemingly comfortable chair and closed my eyes for a second.
"Excuse me," I heard a familiar voice.
I opened my eyes and there he was, Edward.
"I'm seat A," he said with a lopsided grin.
My mouth was wide open.
"Umm…yeah…of course," I whispered. I stood up as he passed by me, his body brushed against mine. He smelled divine, like Old Spice and cinnamon.
He sat next to me, still wearing his hat and shades.
Odd, why won't he take them off? It's not even sunny outside.
"You left," he said simply, a tinge of disappointment in his voice.
"Yeah," I replied. "I…I just suddenly didn't have a craving for pizza anymore."
"That's too bad," he said as his hands searched for his seatbelt and brushed against my hand, which tingled with the sensations of his touch. "I actually had bought you a slice."
If my stomach could talk it would have been screaming at me for making it lose out on a hot meal.
I looked down and sighed.
"That is too bad," I answered. "I really am sorry that you went through that trouble for me."
He leaned back in his chair and tilted his head.
"So you don't remember me, huh?" he asked, his voice playful, but again a bit of disappointment in it.
I turned to him.
"What?" I asked.
"Belly Bella," he said sweetly, as though it was an endearing nickname. "You don't remember me."
My face became flushed. There were only two boys who called me by that name.
"Eddie?" I asked. No it can't be him. He doesn't' even look like him. But fuck, I mean the last time I saw him we were in a kiddy pool and we...oh God. I remembered it...I kissed him. It was an innocent kid kiss. I mean, it wasn't a big deal, we were just little kids after all. Oh man, how old were we…we were like what seven, eight or something.
He chuckled, I guess noticing my memories floating back to me.
"I knew it was you," he smiled with satisfaction.
I covered my face, feeling embarrassed.
"Oh dear God," I uttered. "I'm sorry, I did not recognize you."
"It's okay," he shrugged. "I know that I look different."
Different is an understatement. When you left you were a cute kid, now you are a god of a man.
"You on the other hand…" he continued and tilted his head as though observing me through his dark shades. "…still have the same baby face."
I bit my lip, feeling the blood pool in my cheeks. Edward as a boy had always had an effect on me. As a kid, I just liked being around him and when he moved I thought he had abandoned me, so I never asked what happened to him. I eventually got over it and he faded into memory. But now, here he was only a few seconds in my life and the same magnetic effect and pull said that I just wanted to be around him again.
"You must think I'm so rude for leaving you without even saying goodbye."
He shook his head.
"You're just cautious of strangers," he countered. "No hurt feelings. I am just glad we get to sit together."
I smiled, thanking Ryan for giving me this little reunion with my childhood friend. The gift was better than any Christmas present.
"So, what brings you back to Seattle?" I asked. "I thought your family moved away."
"We did. We moved a lot," he said with regret in his voice. "I don't know if you remember, but Dad was in the military and he tended to move us around, but we moved back a year or two ago. I have been out on…business a lot so I don't get to go home as often. How about you?"
"Umm…parents divorced," I said. "Moved to Arizona when I was 10 then Florida for a while with mom. But, I couldn't handle the humidity so I moved in with dad for High School, went to college in California and now I am in New York for a PhD program."
"Wow, you have done your fair share of moving around, too. I'm surprised we hadn't seen each other before. What are you studying?"
"Applied Mathematics." I closed my eyes waiting for a snort or something to poke fun at my nerd status.
"Wow, that sounds pretty cool," he admitted. "Not everyone has the stamina for math. It will give you a lot of opportunities, I bet."
I sighed, enjoying the sound of his supportive tone.
"Yeah, well it's a good field, but there are not many women in it," I confessed. "And, I am not complaining or anything, or accusing anyone of sexual discrimination, but it's not easy when you are the only girl in the boys club. You are either not taken as seriously and can't build as many connections or they see you as…well you get the idea."
He shook his head sharing my disapproval, but then a shift in his movement reflected a thought. He smiled, satisfied with the response he was about to give.
"I think it's to your advantage that you are not like everyone else," he said encouragingly. "I am sure you compete with the best of them. Your uniqueness should be what makes you stand out, not what pulls you behind."
You should see all the guys in my class, they call me a mathematical anomaly. I do kind of like the title.
"What do you do?" I asked, feeling at ease with him. He made me feel like we had been friends for years. "For business, I mean?"
He looked around, as if he was searching to see if anyone was listening to us talking.
"Do you listen to rock music?" he asked, as though it was fifties and rock music was considered evil!
"What is this rock music you speak of?" I joked.
He scrunched his face and we both just laughed.
I rolled my eyes, smiled and nodded. "I do, quite a lot actually."
"Well, I'm in the music business," he replied, his voice softer than normal.
I tilted my head and leaned into him.
"Is that why you are keeping your hat and shades on?" I whispered.
I leaned back in my chair and watched as a tiny blush ran up his neck.
He reached up for his shades and pulled them down a bit. Just like I remembered, one of his eyes was a dark green while the other was a golden brown. I smiled, I always did love his eyes.
"There is the boy, I knew," I said without thinking.
His eyes were like liquid pools of green and brown. There was so much capacity for love in them.
Any woman would be lucky to have him.
"If I remember correctly, you asked me if I had two different color eyes because I was an alien?" he whispered, as we both strolled down memory lane.
The memory caused me to snort. I covered my mouth and giggled. Suddenly, the quiet tension had been diffused.
"No," I said. "I think I said your eyes were out of this world. It was supposed to be a compliment."
He gave a big, goofy grin, which melted my insides.
"So, rock business, huh?" I tapped my chin.
"I'm surprised you haven't heard of us," he whispered again as though trying to keep the conversation private. "My band…that is, I mean we are still fairly new in the mainstream but we do have a following. And our recent music video is getting played everywhere."
I channeled the music portion of my brain and nothing came to mind, then again I didn't have a TV and my computer just couldn't keep up with modern software.
Can't even play HULU. God, I miss watching 30 Rock.
"Well, you see this PhD program I am in…well it basically leaves me with no life," I informed him. "I don't even watch TV anymore or go to the movies. I do, however, listen to music through the radio when I can. And my roommates' boyfriend tends to download a bunch of music onto my iTouch. So there is a chance I could have listened to you guys. If your group is good that is. I have high standards, I'll let you know."
He smiled and cocked his brow.
"I don't know to be offended, or to be very concerned about your lacking social life," he countered.
I gasped and punched him lightly on his arm.
"That hurts my feelings," I said as I pressed my hand to my chest. "Right here."
We couldn't stop laughing, it was so good to see him so happy.
God, my sides hurt from laughing. This feels so good.
"So, what is this new song that you say is the bees knees these days," I said.
"Bees knees, huh?" he smiled. "Come here," he said in a whisper. "I'll sing it for you."
He leaned into my ear and all the hair on my neck stood up. He was intoxicating my senses.
"You'll be the end of me.
Because I love you achingly.
So, I wont give up.
I'll pursue you until you're mine.
So give into me. Tell me I'm your one.
And I will give you everything.
I won't walk away this time."
I closed my eyes, taking in every word. His voice was already beautiful, but when he sang...it was powerful enough to make anyone squirm in pleasure. Feeling his voice, combined with the lingering smell of his breath and scent caused a strong reaction in my lower abdomen, which made me feel hot all over.
I took a deep breath trying to get control over my senses. He hadn't moved. I didn't want to move, but I did. I moved away.
"I've never heard of that song before," I admitted, trying to get some balance. "But, it sounds beautiful."
His lips were slightly parted at this point. I watched as he swallowed.
"Its something I am working on," he confessed as his voice shook a bit. "No one has heard it yet. You are the first person I have shared this with."
"Thank you," I smiled and leaned back into my chair, replaying the song and the sound of his voice again. Suddenly, I knew immediately who he was. His voice had been my long time companion for years. But I had known him by another name.
"Oh God," I said. I turned to him and reached for his shades slowly. hesitated for a brief second, waiting for him to protest but it seemed he would let me. I slowly pulled the shades down a bit, looking for his eyes. He looked vulnerable and my heart thudded a little harder.
I leaned into him, knowing privacy would be an issue here. If the others found out who he was it would be a pain for the next few hours, dealing with over eager fans.
"You wear contacts for the public," I whispered. "You wear black contacts."
"I thought you didn't see me on the TV," he whispered back and looked around and then turned back to me. I felt his mouth, so close to my neck.
I shook my head.
"No but," I swallowed. "The album cover is a picture that has three rows, each row with a pair of eyes. You're…" I took a deep breath and mouthed the name belonging to the voice of the man who spoke to me through his music. 'Masen'
His lips curled up into a smile.
"Yes," he whispered. "Masen, lead singer of Melody."
His hand touched my mine as he pushed his shades back up.
"Oh, I am sorry," I said while moving away, we had been so close to each other.
"It's okay," he replied.
"Passengers, this is your captain speaking. It is now safe to walk around the cabin. Our team will be serving drinks and food shortly."
Food, I thought. My mouth watered and my stomach grumbled.
"Hungry?" he asked.
"A constant state in my human condition," I replied.
It's either hunger for food or for your voice.
Minutes later, we finished a tiny sandwich with some fruit.
So much for good airplane food, I thought. Would sure have loved that pizza.
The attendant picked up our food and left.
"God, I feel full today," he pointed. "Must have been that extra slice of pizza."
"Ha…Ha," I said sarcastically.
He rubbed my hand. I relished the feeling.
"I would like something sweet though," he said.
Something sweet? I thought.
"Oh, I know," I said without thinking. "Would you like a kiss?"
His lips parted a bit and I closed my eyes, realizing what I had said.
"I mean a Hershey's kiss, I bought some in the store."
God, I'm stupid.
"Sure," he said. "I…would love a kiss."
I nodded and reached for my purse and pulled out a tiny kiss in its innocent shiny silver paper.
I watched as he opened the noisy wrapping and entered the chocolate in his mouth and for a moment, I was envious of that tiny sweet morsel.
I almost didn't want the flight to land. It had been great to be chatting with him on the ride home. I didn't want to say goodbye.
Walking down the stairs of the airport, I felt this need to ask him for his number.
No, not a good idea to ask, I told myself. He has the whole world at his feet. He would probably think it was weird that you asked him for his number.
I reached for my bag, but he stopped me.
"I got it," he said.
"Are you sure?" I asked. "It's kind of heavy."
He shook his head and lifted the bag up and down. "Light as feathers."
Walking down the stairs, I looked for the familiar shuttle bus line.
More freaking lines to wait in!
"Is your dad picking you up?" he asked.
I turned around, feeling an ache that we were about to say goodbye and I would probably never see him again.
"No, he works late tonight," I admitted. "I'm taking the shuttle home."
He adjusted his hat and looked liked he was pondering his thoughts. We just stood there as all the other passengers moved around us, eager to get to their families, so they wouldn't be alone.
"So, you're going to be alone on New Years Eve?" he asked giving me an incredulously look.
I shrugged. "No big deal. I have done it before. And to be honest, I am looking forward to going home, taking a shower and going to bed."
He shook his head. "But it is a big deal," he said as he walked in a different direction. "You shouldn't be alone."
"Hey…Edward," I scurried after him. "The shuttles are the other way."
"Sorry, Bella," he said. "But after chatting with you today, it has come to my attention that you need to get out more. A night staying alone at your dad's house, well it's wrong. You should have a night out. My brother is throwing a party tonight. And I would really love it, if you would join us."
I felt a tinge of panic and excitement. I wanted to see his world and yet, I was afraid he would soon grow tired of me.
He walked five steps ahead and turned.
There was a magnetic pull inside my chest that was pulling me towards him.
"Come on Bella," he grinned. "Come home with me."
My heart sighed.
So what is ahead for these two...I wonder...
Give me your theories and your thoughts...
Thank you for reading. Please leave me your feedback.