Disclaimer: Although revised, all characters are the intellectual property of Stephenie Meyer, author of Twilight Saga
A/N:The beautiful thing about fiction is that it is usually based in truth . . .
All the 14th to Come
Valentine's Day and I have a love/hate relationship.
As a card caring member and president of the Hopeless Romantic Club, Valentine's Day is our number one holiday. For me it is like my birthday, Christmas, Mother's Day, and Easter all wrapped up into one beautiful day. The world has commercialized it into stuffed hearts and gunk filled chocolate, but for me it was so much more. It wasn't about the materialistic things, the flowers, or anything like that. It was about that one day (other than maybe an anniversary) where you could be sappy and corny and wear your heart on your sleeve, and for twenty-four hours it was okay. Of course you should do those things everyday, but on that faithful February 14th, no one judged you for it. Yet there was one catch to the day:
It kind of helped if you have a significant other. That is where the hate relationship comes into play.
For as many Valentine's Days as I could remember, I had been single. Now when I was five years old and happy to get a piece of chocolate and a kiss on the cheek from my father, Charlie, being in a committed relationship meant as much to me as the square root of pie. Yet, now as a grown woman with a ticking matrimonial clock, being single on Valentine's Day is like being all dressed up with no wear to go. I had been in a few committed relationships, or at least committed on my part, and yet every Valentine's Day I was still single. Now all I get is a piece of chocolate, a slightly skewed heart made in an art class, and three kisses on the cheek; one from each one of my sons, Jason, Jasper, and Jacob. My relationship with their father, Sam, began to dissolve the first time the home pregnancy test said yes. What kept him around for the rest of that time is still a mystery to me but we were over now. I've known for a long time that we were not Cupid's match and I finally let him go after years of lies, cheating, and forgotten Valentine's Days. It was for the best. I don't know if the kiss from my children was a step up from my father, or a step down.
You would think old St. Valentine and I would be best of buds, and he would put in a good word for me with Cupid, since I have been preaching the gospel of Love Day since I was like ten years old, but yet here I am another year older, still single and on my favorite day of the year. I wasn't giving up hope though. Love was going to find me and one day soon I would be the one in my office grinning from ear to ear when the 1-800-Flowers man bring me a dozen red and white roses with a sappy card. All the ladies will swarm around my desk asking who the lucky guy was and I will willing share my Valentine's Day plans with them.
This was not that year . . .
"Rose, I am so not feeling going to a club on Valentine's Day. That seems so . . . tacky," I said to my sister who was on the phone, a part of the three way call between myself, her, and my best friend, Alice.
Any year Valentine's Day happened to fall on a Friday (or Saturday) as was the case this year, the two vixens would kidnap me and drag me to some overly crowded club. I wasn't much of a clubber and being groped by a man smelling like he wore menthol as cologne, was not my idea of the way to spend Sweet Heart's Day. I could complain all I wanted to, but I did usually have fun eventually, my sisters always being such a riot, but this year I just wasn't feeling it. My decade long relationship with my children's father was officially over, and I was feeling more depressed than I had in years about being single on my favorite holiday. Cupid had over looked me again.
"Come on Bells. You know you will love it and we always have fun." Alice jumped into the conversation.
"Don't y'all have plans with Tyler and Leah?" I was reaching for anything to avoid that night. Alice and Leah had been together for over six months and Rosalie and Tyler had been dating for over a year. Two couples in pretty deep relationships should have loads of plans for a day designed with them in mind. Yet these two wanted to spend it in a smoke filled bar?
"Leah is coming with us," Alice said.
"Tyler is going out with his boys. He will probably end up there to, but we have plans on Saturday."
Rosalie wasn't big on Valentine's Day. Her stand was to be showered with gifts every single day and twice on birthdays.
"I don't have," I began to say.
"Don't even try it, dad and Sue are keeping the boys. Sue is even going to pick them up from you this evening when she get off work."
My kids were my ace in the hole: "No Baby Sitter" Plan always worked!
Damn Rosalie for getting to the parental before I did. I was out of ammo. My simple desire to sit at home and eat a gallon of Strawberry Ice Cream with sprinkles, while watching the Twilight Saga or the Criminal Mind's marathon wasn't going to get these two off my back. Hell when you can't beat them . . .
"Fine. Ugh! Y'all do this to me every year." I was defeated. "One of these years I am going to have some guy who is going to be madly in love with me and save me from this hellish tradition you two have started. Either that or grow a set and tell you heffas no."
Going to a club with them was like a red carpet event. I got pulled into the game of trying to out dress them so that I wouldn't fade into the background of our little trio, but I would always lose. Rosalie was sure to wear something painted on and Alice would only be barely legal in her ability to cover "the girls." I could only come close when it came to the skirts; I could wear skirt and heels every day, and all night, with out being uncomfortable, but I did try to leave something to the imagination.
I hung up the phone still trying to find some last minute reprieve from the night, but kept coming up blank.
I pulled into Rosalie's drive way, dressed but in need of some make up and a beautician's touch to my hair. There were perks to having a sister with a license to style. I wore my above the knees dark blue skirt with bronze colored metal rivets along the side and my black halter top. My black stiletto boots, which stop at my knees and gave me an extra three inches to my already five foot six inches frame, were in my hand ready to be zipped on. I was casual for what I was sure the girls were going to wear.
I used my key to go straight into the house and found Rose still walking around in her underwear set and Alice still wearing her polo shirt with her jobs logo and blue jeans. Leah seemed to be the only one completely dressed and ready to go. I knew we weren't going to be leaving until about ten o'clock but they were no where close to being ready to go and it was already after nine.
"Seriously y'all? This is why I hate going out with you two."
"Oh chill chick," Rosalie said shooing Alice out of her make shift beautician's chair, after putting a final touch on Alice's top flipped curls. "Come sit so I can fix you up. We will be leaving in no time."
Sure enough we were leaving an hour later, dressed to kill. I insisted on us taking my Laredo since it was roomier and would avoid us from having to squeeze into either one of their two doors. My true reason being that it gave me the excuse to be the designator driver, and they wouldn't make me drink like a fish. I was upset about being single, but I wasn't trying to drown my issues.
We parked a block away from the club, Shaken Not Stirred, and did our walk down the dark downtown street. The horns were blaring and the cat calls started as soon as we stepped away from the car. It was slightly degrading but an ego boaster at the same time. Shaken Not Stirred was our usual spot and therefore standing in line was not necessary. The door man slapped on our tab bracelets and sent us on our way to dance, drink, and be merry.
The night began with a shot of Patron at the bar and our cat walk around the inside room where mostly hip hop, rock, dance hall, and pop music was played. We scooped out a few other friends and I was thankful I wouldn't be the fifth wheel to this carriage. One more shot of Patron and the dance floor was the destination. As Rhianna's Rude Boy pounded out of the speakers my body couldn't help but sway to the beat. The vibration in my chest combined with the calming effect of the tequila was hypnotizing me. Besides a cooler or two, I was done with drinks for the night so I stood back dancing to the thump of Gucci Mane, Ludacris, and Chris Brown.
Time did its on thing as I enjoyed the company of my friends and all of their significant others. Maybe it was the night club, or that I just had an excellent group of people with me, but I didn't feel out of place at all; until the first slow song came on.
"All right. Let's show Valentine some respect. Grab your S. O. and get on the dance floor. It's . . . time . . . to slow it . . . down," the DJ bellowed out from his hidden location above the dance floor.
As instructed everyone grabbed a hand and took their spot on the dance floor. I was left sitting alone. I stood up and made my way to towards the bathroom. I didn't have to go but I had to get away from the sight before me. It looked like everyone in the club was dancing with someone but me. Monica's Angel of Mine poured from the speakers and suddenly I had the urge to have something stronger than the wine cooler in my hand. The bartender poured me a Cranberry and Vodka and I made my way to a table, away from dance floor and the harmonic sounds of Monica. Cupid was definitely in the building, but he must have run out of arrows before he got to me.
"Being in there got a bit over whelming for you too?" The voice came from the man standing in front of me. I was so lost in my thoughts of revenge against Cupid I didn't see him approach.
"Yeah, I guess it did," I said looking back down at my half empty glass.
"Excuse me for being forward, but surely you are not here alone, are you?" The question took me by surprise, forcing my eyes to look towards him. In a brief twenty second time lapse I could see how handsome he was with his green eyes, bright even in our dark corner, straight lines and clean cut face, and slim build. What can I say, it's a gift I have.
"Not quite. I am here with my sisters and some friends, but no one to dance with. I could say the same about you."
"Same for me actually. I am here with some frats but didn't find out their wives were going to meet us here until it was too late." I had a laugh at his expense. His friends were as bad as my sisters. "At least I made you laugh. May I join you?"
"Sure, why not." I extended my hand to him. "Isabella."
"Edward," he said pulling my hands to his lips, kissing my knuckles softly. Let the flirting begin.
"So Edward, do you always spend your Valentine's Day with frat?"
"No, I prefer not too actually, but they kind of drug me out this year. Apparently, I am not allowed to mop around at home alone."
"Why are you moping?" I asked as the DJ switched to Tyrese's Sweet Lady.
"I broke up with my girlfriend a month ago," Edward said hesitantly. I kicked myself for not being smart enough to know that is the only reason a person would be moping around on Couple's Day.
"Sorry. I just left my boyfriend a few weeks ago, too. I know how you feel." He showed me his, it was only right for me to show him mine.
"Sorry to hear that."
The music circled us for a little while, neither one of us knowing how to crawl out of the awkward moment we created.
"Jell-O shot?" The lady wearing a Shaken Not Stirred shirt said standing before our table.
"Yes. Four please," Edward said paying the waitress. He slid two of the red small cup molds shaped as hearts in honor of the day in front of me. "Shall we drink to relationships gone, lessons learned?" We touched our plastic cups and took down the sweet and sour combination. The Gin coating the Jell-O burned on its way down.
"Wow," I said shaking off the instant intoxication. "What's the second shot for?"
"A toast to new love that is surely to come," Edward winked at me just as we tossed back the second cups.
The gin must have already been working on Edward, in combination of whatever else he had to drink, as he missed his mouth almost completely forcing him to catch the red Jell-O heart in his hands and popping it in his mouth at the second attempt. We were both in a fit of giggles.
The music finally picked up again, ending the love making that was going on in front of us on the dance floor, but Edward and I were in no hurry to go back to our friends. Though we were both inebriated far more than I had intended to be, we were having some very deep conversations about love, life, and everything in between. We had moved from our table to one of the empty couches were we sat closer and closer with each passing moment. Silence fell between us again when the slow jams began to play. Edward had moved his back to be leaning against the inside corner of the love seat, and I was leaning into his arms. Edward wrapped his arm lightly around my waist as his right hand was loosely lying in mine. It was warm. It was comfortable. It was intimate. Edward and I were in our own little bubble. Had I not been drinking so much I may have been aware when it was in danger of being popped.
"Bella? Girl, what the hell? We leave you alone for ten minutes," Rosalie said. A wide eyed Alice was at her side.
I jumped up from my position on the coach, slightly stumbling. I had unintentionally pulled Edward up with me, who was now trying to straighten out his shirt and clear his throat.
"Girl, we have been looking all over for you, but I guess you were in good hands," Alice was staring directly into Edward's eyes. I think it was a physical response to flirt when intoxicated estrogen came into contact with intoxicated testosterone.
"Hi, I'm Edward." Alice and Rosalie each waved and looked at me questioningly.
"Edward, this is Rosalie and Alice, my sisters."
"Dude, do you do anything small, you bagged three in one night? My dude," a booming voice came towards us.
I dropped Edward's hand, slightly irritated by who I could only assume to be one of his frat brothers. Edward quickly took my hand back, giving me a hurt and confused look at the same time. He held my hand more securely and placed his other hand back on my waist. My sister didn't miss a moment of it. I was going to get seriously ribbed when we got into the car.
"Isabella, this is Emmett one of my frats." Edward was shaking his head at Emmett trying to signal him to do something. Who the hell knows what?
"Ugh, yeah. Nice to meet you Isabella. Eddie we were about to split. Are you ready?" Emmett drug out the question looking back and forth from me to Edward.
"We were ready to go to Bells," Rosalie said drawing my attention back to them.
"Oh, okay. Just give me a minute. I'll meet you guys out front," I said arching my eyebrows to my sister. They should have known better.
"Yeah Em, I'll meet you all at the car."
With that the three intruders left, leaving only Edward and I, and the awkward moment together. It was then I noticed we must have been in our world for an extraordinary amount of time as a lot of the patrons were leaving the club.
"Can I walk you to your car? Are you okay to drive?" Edward asked me sounding oddly concerned for a person I had only known for a few hours. But I guess after snuggling for hours we were closer than people who only knew each other for a hours.
"Yeah, I liked that."
Rosalie, Alice, Leah, and Tyler were all standing outside waiting. When Alice saw me walk out still holding hands with Edward she began to walk, Rosalie following her lead. Edward and I didn't talk on the one block walk to my car but he didn't release my hand either. When we made it to the car, I tossed Leah the key so she could let everyone else in.
"May I have you number? I would love to call you tomorrow," Edward said finally releasing my hand.
"Yeah, I liked that." We exchanged phones, entering our number in the others mobile before handing it back. Edward's frat brothers were parked in ear and eye shot of my car and had no qualms about making fun of Edward.
"Sorry about that," he said nervously. He was even more handsome when he blushed and fidgeted.
"Don't worry about it. If it is any consolation as soon as I get in this car I will be assaulted with questions about you." We both laughed.
"Talk to you tomorrow?"
"I can't wait," I said breaking the number one rule: never let them see you want it. I leaned forward placing a kiss on Edward's cheek, which thanks to my three inch heels, put me at the perfect level. Edward didn't release my hand until I was seated in the driver's seat, ready to pull off.
He stood in that spot of the parking lot watching as my car drove away. I continued to look at him through the rearview mirror until he was out of sight.
"Okay what the hell was that?"
"Who the hell was he?"
"I say Bella, hooked up at the club! All hell is about to freeze over."
You gotta love sisters.
Our party of three turned into a caravan of three cars. There were also three cell phones going, everyone trying to agree on where we were head to eat at almost three o'clock in the morning. IHOP, duh!
We all pulled into the deserted parking lot of the restaurant vacating our cars at the same time as another group of cars pulled in. I lingered behind as I was the only one not clenching onto the arm of a significant other. Just when I thought this early morning breakfast was going to be nothing more than me watching my friend feed each other and play kissy face, I was saved by an angel.
"I was hoping to see you again soon," the voice said right behind my ear.
I slowly turned to see the same radiating green eyes I had left, unwillingly, in a parking lot.
"It doesn't even surprise me to see you here. I don't know why I did even ask if you wanted to join us." Edward and I stopped walking allowing the others to go ahead of us. Edward and I stood outside talking, ignoring the text and phone calls from our friends just on the other side of the gray wall behind us.
"Would you like to get out of here?" Edward asked almost too low for me to hear.
I was shocked but intrigued at the same time. Always the responsible one, one night stands were not my thing. I wanted a relationship, not just sex. Yet on that lonely night all I wanted was someone to be there for me.
"Yeah, why not. Why don't you follow me?" I climbed back into my Laredo sending the girls a text apologizing for my departure. Leah and Tyler were there and would get them home safely. I wasn't looking forward to whatever they were going to say to me, but I should have known they would only have something smart to say.
"Don't hurt him girl!" Rosalie said. "Don't do something I would do," Alice text followed immediately after.
We pulled into my apartment and I was both anxious and ready. I waited outside the car until Edward joined me at my side. He was as much a ball of nerves as I was. I took his hands in mine, staring into his eyes. The nervous smile he gave me brought out my own. Our hands stayed locked until we were behind the door.
"Make your self at home," I said as I removed my jacket and shoes, turning on the lamp. "Can I get you something to drink?"
"No, I'm fine. Thank you. I guess I should say I don't normally do things like this." Edward walked towards the kitchen where I disappeared.
"Yeah, me either."
Edward walked closer to my body leaning on the counter. He pressed his body closer, begging me for permission with his eyes. We met each other halfway as our lips connected again in a slow kiss. As the kiss increased in passion and intensity, hands grew more comfortable, leaving from their position at our sides and finding landing on the other's body. The feel of his lips on my skin ignited my long neglected desires. I was instantly lost in the feel on his hot kisses on my lips and neck. He slid his hand down my exposed back and shoulders. I pulled his shirt over his muscular arms, exposing his toned chest. His skin, warm to the touch.
"My last name is Swan by the way."
"Isabella Swan. Masen, Edward Masen," Edward said, kissing me between each word.
"Nice to meet you."
I tugged Edward to the bedroom, wanting to feel him closer, skin to skin. Edward pulled on the string holding the halter top to my body. As the cotton shirt fell away, it was replaced with the heat of Edward's breath. Nothing but the sound of discarded clothes, heavy breathing and moans filled the house.
"Damn, you feel so good." Edward said as he pressed our naked bodies closer, pushing us onto the bed. Edward controlled every moments of our bodies. He licked down my body marking every inch of my chest with his hunger and need. He slid his hand between my legs fulfilling the need of my body.
"Yes! Please don't stop." My body arched in pleasure.
Edward hands pushed further into my core. I could feel my release creeping through my body looking for its escape. I reached for the night stand pulling out a condom, hurriedly rolling it down Edward's engorged length. He growled at the feel of my hand stroking his member, in desperate need for the friction. His body vibrated against mine as I continued the menstruation, watching his head fall back on his shoulders.
"I want to feel you in me. Please, Edward. Take me," I whispered seductively into his ear, biting the lobe of his ear. Edward hands tighten on my waist and thigh. He clenched his eyes closed trying to control his body. I could feel his strength as he moved my hands from his cock as he slid it into my hot sex, slow and steady, sending his name soaring from my lips.
"Fuck! So tight and hot. Need . . . more," Edward let out in a breathless pant. I could feel as he tried to maintain control, but I didn't want controlled. I wanted to feel the unadulterated animal I could feel in each of his trust. That I could hear behind each throaty moan he released.
"Edward, I want you. All of you." I pulled his face to mine, connecting our lips again, wanting him to feel all the passion behind it. I was giving him permission to lose control. Edward heard what I needed, understanding the consent he was being given.
Without more words, Edward took over my body, thrusting deeper, and eyes never looking away. He was staring just as deeply into me as his length was driving into me. I was falling over the edge all too soon wanting to never end our connection.
"Yes, Isabella," Edward moaned in his own prayer as he pressed his forehead to mine, basking in his own release.
Edward removed his grip from my thigh, but leaving his body on top of mine. The weight of his body on mine was comforting. I wrapped my arms around his neck in an attempt to keep him there. Edward pleasured my lips with more passionate kisses, sliding his tongue in and out of my mouth. The feel of it all, the orgasm, the passion, the heat, was so overwhelming to my senses I could have lived in that moment until the end of time. To my dismay, Edward moved from his position above me, but as he covered his naked body with the rumpled and discard sheets of the bed he pulled me to his body.
My companion turned me to face him, and I was struck speechless by the passion that was still there in his eyes. He pushed my massive disarray brown hair away from my sweaty face and behind my head. He continued to run his fingers over the contours of my brow, nose, cheeks and lips as if he was trying to memorize the contours of my face. The electricity of his touch both excited and calmed various parts of my physical and mental needs. The scent of our sex lingered in the air and on our bodies, and I wanted to be closer to him.
We didn't speak any for the rest of the . . . morning. I didn't want to change anything in that moment. Another Valentine's Day came and went. I wasn't where I wanted to be as far as love and relationships, but I wouldn't change anything about that night. There was no telling what I was going to wake up to, an empty bed, a cold shoulder, never see or hear from Edward again, but it didn't matter to me right then. I had what I wanted, even if only for one night. I lived only in that moment. Sleep finally claimed me as Edward continued to stroke my face and hair.
I sat at the table sipping on my vanilla coffee. It was a romantic's favorite time of the year, Valentine's Day. I had already received my gift from the boys. Jason, my oldest made me a mosaic picture of a heart in red and lavender plastic and presented it with his usual heart shape box of chocolate. Jasper made for me a bouquet of flowers made from wire hangers and recycled plastic soda six pack rings; that were spray painted red. Then there was my youngest, Jacob, who was so proud of his photo frame made out of painted Popsicle sticks. But of all the gifts they presented, my traditional kiss on the cheek was the best part. The boys were away with my dad and Sue.
My cell phone rang, and it was the call I was waiting on. It comes every year, be it on my office phone or my cell phone.
"Morning ladies. Happy Valentine's Day."
"Happy Valentines Day Bells," Alice and Rosalie sang out in unison over the phone.
"Alright ladies what spot are we hitting tonight?" Rosalie jumped right in with the reason for the conference call.
"I vote Shaken Not Stirred. No need to rock the boat," Alice said.
"Sorry ladies, I am not going" I had never been so happy to tell my sisters no.
"Aww, come on Bells? This is our tradition. Don't flake on us." Alice started whining.
"No, no, no. I'm sorry you two are just going to have to go without me."
"Boo, you suck lady." Rosalie complained. "Why? Why won't you come with us?"
"Because she has other plans this year, ladies. You all will have to have all he fun without her this time," the love of my life said over my shoulder.
Edward wrapped his strong arms around my waist as he kneeled beside the chair. He pulled my face softly towards him, placing his lips on mine, never hesitating to take a simple morning kiss deeper.
"Morning, love." His sultry voice still caused my stomach to flip after all this time.
"Hey! Hey! Hey! We don't want to hear all that," Alice teased.
"Edward just doesn't want Bella to go 'cause he is afraid some other gorgeous guy is going to catch her the same way he did."
"So right you are Rosalie. So Bella will talk to you two later. Much later."
"By chicas," I sang.
"Bye Bells," Rosalie and Alice screamed simultaneously just before Edward hung up the phone.
Edward took my now unoccupied attention and continued the kiss that was so rudely interrupted by my sisters.
"Have I ever told you how much I love February 14?" Edward stood me up and pulled me into his steel chest; my favorite place on Earth.
"No, I don't think you have. I thing maybe you should show me. Over and over and over again."
Edward carried me into the bedroom, where we stayed well until February 15th.