She thought that by now she would be used to the smell of stale beer and cigarettes. But as she sat lightly peeling at the label on her beer she could barely contain her shudder. Another dive bar, another gig, just part of being with Edward. His music was his life, he had made that perfectly clear from the beginning. She met Edward when she was eighteen. Her and her best friend Alice had snuck into a dive bar in Seattle that Edwards band had been playing at. He saw her from the stage and she felt like he was singing to her all night. After his set he had jumped off stage just barely taking time to remove his guitar and prowled towards her. He had put a hand on her hip and backed her towards the bar in a way that was far too familiar and should have repulsed her, she had been hooked. It had taken him months to figure out that she was barely legal and when he had he had thrown a beer bottle and growled to "get the fuck out." She had cried for a week before she received a text message that simply read, "Amigos 10pm." She showed up for his set and had gone home with him, six months later and she still hadn't left yet. When she had gone to her dad's to pack a bag he had screamed not to come back, she didn't bat an eyelash. Being with Edward was like breathing, but breathing on a brutally cold days, each intake burned your lungs, but the alternative was death.
Watching the stage now she was just as enthralled as the first night as she watched his fingers dance along the strings and his eyes scrunch as he wailed out the lyrics he had written. She was sitting at a round table with Alice, who had started dating Jazz, Edward's drummer. Bella frowned when her view was obstructed by two men sitting across from them at their table. The men started running the usual game and Bella rolled her eyes and snorted when Alice openly laughed at them. Clearly they weren't getting the hint and each scooted closer to the girls. Bella gave the blond one a funny look when he started whispering in her ear something about his name being 'James' and how much he'd like to buy her a drink. She was trying to lean away when she bumped shoulders with Alice who was clearly trying to do the same. Bella's jaw dropped when she felt the mans hand stroking her bare thigh. She turned to tell him off, when there was the tell-tale screech of the wrong chord. Bella quickly squeezed her eyes shut before turning towards the stage. Her eyes opened in time to see Edward yanking the plug from his amp and tossing his guitar to the bass player before stalking towards their table. Bella jumped to her feet and held both hands in front of herself, ready to make excuses. He just shot her a look that had her stumbling into her chair and away from the table. Alice looked between Bella and Edward alarmed before turning towards Bella and walking to her. Bella was watching with a stricken look on her face as Edward grabbed James' shirt and hauled him to his feet. Edward was wearing a grin on his face, but his eyes were cold as ice. Bella knew the look well and started to step forward to diffuse the situation. Edward shot his cold eyes towards her, which had her freezing in place and lifting a shaking hand to her mouth just as Edward's fist plowed into James' face. Bella shut her eyes and slid boneless onto a stool near the bar. She heard Alice gasp next to her and she was beyond mortified. When she opened her eyes again, James' friend was hitting Edward from behind. As Edward rounded on him Bella saw Jazz approach and toss the friend off of Edward. Bella breathed an internal sigh of relief until she saw James lift her forgotten beer bottle and strike Edward from the side. She surged to her feet fearing that Edward was truly hurt, only to see Edward turn with the same ugly grin on his face, looking beyond dangerous with a line of blood coursing down his temple. She saw James stumble back, clearly not expecting Edward to still be standing. By the point an all out brawl had begun in the dive bar, the testosterone was overwhelming. Alice dragged Bella by her elbow out the door to the cars. Alice was trying to shove Bella into her car when she stopped suddenly. Bella looked over her shoulder to see Edward standing a few feet away looking at her with a hard stare. He looked so menacing with blood on his face and knuckles that Bella shuddered. Alice looked back at her and started trying to put her back in the car.
Edward stepped forward and grabbed Bella's arm and yanked her to him. Alice went wild then, screaming at him to unhand Bella. Jasper came into the scene then and pulled Alice to his truck and put her in the passenger seat with her screaming at Edward the whole time. Jazz looked over his shoulder one time and connected eyes with Edward before shaking his head sadly and getting in his truck to drive away. Bella could see Alice screaming at Jazz now in the car, but she closed her eyes and took a deep breath before turning to Edward. She opened her mouth to try and apologize or make an excuse, anything to stop what she was dreading happening next. He simply clenched his jaw and said one word, "don't."
With that Edward stalked to his car and yanked open the driver's side and got in. It was clear she was to follow him, and really she never considered not doing what he wanted. On the drive to Edwards apartment Bella continually snuck glances at him. She shuddered at the sight of his clenched hands on the steering wheel, they were in a white-knuckle grip with ugly lines of blood smeared across them. His expression was grim and he was concentrated on the road with a glare that told her it was best not to breathe, let alone try and talk to him. Edward pulled into his parking lot and strode towards the door, not even checking to see if she was following, he knew she was. She hesitantly stepped through the door that he had left open and saw that he was nowhere to be seen. She glanced at his tattered sofa and the coffee table covered with empty beer bottles, and sat down to wait. She heard the shower start and let out a relieved sigh, he was trying to calm himself down. Bella rose and quickly began straightening up the living room. She carried the empties to the kitchen and grimaced when she saw the dishes in the sink, and quickly started on those. She was rinsing a plate when she felt him at her back. She jumped slightly and dropped the dish into the soapy water. His hand was at her hip and his breath was on her neck. Her eyes drifted shut as he swept her brown curls to the side and ran his nose up the column of her neck to her ear. Her grip tightened on the side of the sink as goose bumps broke out on her delicate skin.
"You're mine. No one else fucking touches you. Ever." Edward's raspy voice growled in her ear. Bella gasped in shock at the contrast of his words to his actions. Then suddenly her back was cold and she was alone in the kitchen.