A/N: With my thanks to those folks who enjoyed the oh-so-light and oh-so-sweet one-shot I wrote for Faceless Girl, here is a follow-up.
The setting sun over Manhattan glinted strikingly on Edward's skin, sending up an explosion of peach-tinted rainbows that hit the plate glass and the ceiling. Isabella traced the exquisite cut of his nose, the tantalizing invitation of his lips and watched his fingers move with mysterious precision over the keys of his BlackBerry – all with her eyes. She would never grow tired of her visual surveys, she believed. Especially when he was just a bit undone from business attire. She found the lack of tie but the presence of the dress shirt and trousers to be most appealing.
He felt her languid inspection, undoubtedly, and smiled as he made a final tap to the small keys in his hands before sliding the device into a pocket. "What has you looking so pleased with yourself, my love?" he asked. His grin was topped by eyes that were growing gradually lighter. Adapting to her animal-blood-only diet had not been easy for him, but he was trying. Because he had hated, he said, to see her saddened when he came home with crimson irises. Just now, his expectant gaze was a darkish brown. Quite attractive with his pale skin and vibrant hair.
"These are for you," Bella said with a smile, waving a white box under her mate's chin. Her mate. That he was her mate still amazed her. Alice had not disappointed.
Edward slid the box from her hand and caught her body against his own, kissing her soundly on the top of her head before sliding his lips to her skin and tracing the line of her face. "Hmmm, these are for me, too," he reminded her before claiming her lips with his.
. . .
Mary Alice Whitlock had practically vibrated in excitement, though her words were almost prosaic. "Isabella. I have found the man I believe to be your mate."
That the petite woman had communicated this without fanfare only solidified the veracity of it, to Bella's mind. "A man? A human...?" she had inquired, looking at Mary Alice via the webcam. "That seems...unlikely."
Mary Alice had rolled her eyes and tossed up her hands. "No! He's one of us. Younger than you, but he manages a tight portfolio."
"Do you have a picture?"
Mary Alice held up an eight-by-ten glossy that looked as if it were used by a movie studio. Rakish hair, a jaw that could cut granite, piercing burgundy eyes, and lips that made Isabella moisten her own just to look at them.
She hadn't said a word before the mate-finder bounced in earnest, causing her laptop in Denmark to bounce as well. "Jasper will bring him and this will be amazing!"
. . .
Well, it had been. Not just the physical bonding but the joy she had found in the vampire that was her true mate. He made her laugh, respected her opinions and, of course, managed her finances in such a way that was already bearing fruit. Subtly, but still.
"So...what's in the box?" Edward murmured under her ear.
She shivered with the sensation. "Why don't you open it and see?"
He grinned and let her go just enough to employ both hands at the ribbon that was the box's only wrapping. "Nå da, min dejlige makker, jeg vil."
Bella was still learning Danish. "What?"
His talented fingers untied the bow. "Well then, my lovely mate, I will," he said in translation. And he did.
Isabella waited and was not disappointed.
His jaw dropped open and he practically incandesced in obvious delight. "Fremragende! Just what I always wanted!" Two plastic-coated cards were in his hands. "Passes to ComicCon in San Diego! I love you!" he shouted, loudly enough to rattle windows.
Bella laughed and kissed his jaw as he stared, eyes wide and laughing, at her gift to him. "As soon Mary Alice told me you were a Trekkie, I had to get these."
If possible, his face lit up even more as he whispered, "You're a Trekkie, too?"
She smiled, thrilled once again that hers was the one mind closed to him. "You'll have to wait and see my costume."
"Cosplay! You do cosplay?" Edward said, picking her up and spinning her around the living room, careful not to hit her head on the overhead lighting fixtures. She kissed him, he dropped the passes to the sofa, and they were lost in one another for the next twenty hours.
No costumes were used in this form of play.
"No, I'm not showing you until we get there," Bella informed Edward as they packed. In separate rooms.
"I can hear sliding fabric. Sounds like polyester." She heard him chuckle. "Mine's got a great deal of latex."
"Latex? Sounds...questionable, Edward."
"You won't recognize me."
Bella grinned at her white gown and patent leather boots. "Oh, you'll recognize me. I guarantee it."
"Are you wearing something from the original series?" he asked, sounding as enthusiastic as a boy.
Isabella chuckled herself. "It's from the original," she assured him. Episode IV, A New Hope. She wasn't going to tell him which series, after all. Even if she was learning Klingon, it didn't mean she was dressing as one. "So have you been to something like this before?" she wondered conversationally.
"No, but I've watched coverage on the Internet. What about you?"
Her grin was fierce, as she poked her head out the bedroom door to share it with her mate. "Oh, yes. We'll be there for four days, and most everything is indoors. There're skylights in places, but the light's diffuse, so we shouldn't have a problem."
"I won't have one anyway. My skin doesn't show."
Interested, she flashed to his side. "Oh?" He held up a breastplate. "Of course you're a monster," she said with a delicate snort.
"Close your eyes," Isabella insisted. In the South Tower of the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina, she had already helped him into his costume. They had partaken in some quick "cosplay" of their own with her as the helpless human before the might of a Klingon Warrior.
Isabella loved playing with her mate. Indeed, her existence had been far too serious before Edward entered into it. She checked her appearance in the bathroom mirror, picked up the blaster she had bought at the last Con she had attended, smirked at her reflection and joined Edward in the bedroom.
Posing with all due effect – she did enjoy this, truth to tell – she did her best to look like Princess Leia did in the corridor standoff against the storm troopers in Episode IV, A New Hope. Her own lush hair in the famous "cinnamon roll" style, a white gown that covered her from neck to ankle and – because she liked being authentic – minimal undergarments. "All right," she said, making her voice Leia-husky, "you can look."
The enormous Klingon on the hotel bed – with ridged forehead, ample nylon wig, a long mustache and the heavy breastplate and brown-cloth costume all the way to the clunky boots – opened his brown-lensed eyes and gaped. "Leia!" Then, he rose to his feet, towering over her even more than usual with the heavy footgear and head-piece. "I thought you were going to show up as, oh, a Trekkie, too?" He stared at her costume, walking around as she posed for him.
"Oh? They show a lot of skin, those First Generation Star Trek uniforms, you know."
Edward smiled, the expression strange on his latex-coated features. "Well, you could have gone with Seven of Nine." His voice was suggestive, sexy, intimate.
She shivered. Even through the contact lenses, his eyes burned for her. Her body responded, predictably, and he pulled her close.
"Oh wow! A Klingon and Princess Leia!"
"Oh, man! I gotta get a picture. Can you...?"
To be mischievous, Bella and Edward embraced one another in front of camera-toting convention attendees. Flashes were making the pavement bright even before the sun was in the sky.
"I totally can see someone writing a crossover story."
"That would be awesome!"
They were the odd couple of the pre-dawn hours. Unlike other badge-on-lanyard wearing folks, they hadn't brought any food or water, but no one seemed to notice. Upon gaining entrance to the enormous, plate-glassed building, Isabella's chief amusement was in watching her Trekkie mate contain his enthusiasm for others of his proclivities. The two of them were invited to participate in a parade and each had numerous photo opportunities.
They were even interviewed.
That evening, after the doors to the Convention Center closed for the night, the two of them walked back to the Marriott. Hardly the only ones doing so in costume, they were content to hold hands and maneuver carefully through the thronging masses of humanity out looking for Chinese take-out or a plate of pasta.
Once in their tower suite, Isabella put out the Do Not Disturb sign on the hall-side of the door. Edward, still practically bouncing – quite a difference from the urbane financier she met months ago – set aside their bags of souvenirs ("What? It would look odd if we were not purchasing things," he has protested when she laughed at him.) and wrapped her in his arms.
"This was the second-best day of my entire existence, my love. My mate."
"Second-best?" she teased, entangling herself as closely as she could around him.
His hands skimmed her body over her costume. "The best was that gilded hour in which we met."
She lifted a brow at him. "I can hardly remember," she claimed loftily. "I suppose I should peel you out of the Klingon façade so you might remind me?"
She did and he did and the wet trail that led from the bath to the bed dried completely before her memory had been fully "restored."
A/N: Thanks for reading!