A/N: This was my entry in the Love Is In The Air contest and it won 2nd place! Woohoo! Thank you to everyone who checked out the contest and voted. I had so much fun writing this. I will be receiving a banner for it and once I do I'll post it to my blog : )
Disclaimer: Twilight belongs to Stephenie Meyer. The lines of poem quoted belong to John Magee Jr. and the poem is called "High Flight"
"Here." I popped up from my seat and hurried over to the desk. The woman looked me up and down and handed me an identification card. I sighed and clamped it onto my shirt.
"You'll want to go down this hallway here. Mr. Newton's office is on the right. Welcome to Kennedy Space Center." She stamped some paperwork and went back to her computer.
"Bitch," I mumbled under my breath. I passed through a set of doors and into a long hallway. There were about ten different "doors on the right" and I wondered if the secretary enjoyed torturing people with less than helpful directions.
I stumbled along, reading each of the names on the door. I reached the very last one just as it opened, so far unsuccessful in my search for Mr. Newton and his door on the right.
"Yeah, yeah. I'll be there." A man stepped outside of the office, a pair of aviator sunglasses covering his eyes. Even through the darkened lenses I could see his eyes flicker towards me as I peeked at the name on the door.
He smiled and held the door open for me. As I passed I glanced at his identification badge long enough to gather his name was Edward. It struck me immediately that he didn't look like a typical NASA employee. Tall, bronzed skin, messy auburn hair. He looked pretty young compared to the middle aged bastards I'd seen before. He belonged in the pages of fucking GQ than the hallways of KSC.
I peeked my head under his arm and knocked on the door. "Mr. Newton? I'm Isabella Swan. I'm supposed to start work today."
"Yes." Mr. Newton stood from his desk. "Miss Swan. Please come in." He glanced at Edward. "That will be all Cullen."
Edward laughed under his breath and shot me another look before he left. I closed the door behind him and took a seat.
"I assume you've read and signed all the necessary paperwork?" Mr. Newton asked. I nodded. "Your background check ran through fine so you should be all set. I'll give you a little tour of the main spots you'll be touring and send you home with a packet of information for you to memorize. Being a tour guide is all about being able to answer any and all questions people might have so make sure you know your stuff. We'll put you out for your first tour tomorrow. Sound good?" He stood.
Mr. Newton took me through all of the hot spots for tours like the Astronaut Hall of Fame, the Observation Gantry and the Gravity Simulator. He also took me by some of the more official places like the control room, but said that only VIP guests got to come back here.
"Who are VIP guests?" I asked.
"The president, celebrities…certain investors. For the most part you'll be working with tourists and school groups. Now most tours will come with the option to have lunch with an astronaut. For that portion direct your group to the cafeteria and once you check in with the astronaut you're free to have your lunch in private if you choose. The lunches usually last about forty-five minutes."
He walked me back to his office and gave me a stack of papers full of statistics and history about the Space Center and NASA in general. I grabbed a large cup of coffee on the way back to my place since I knew I'd be up all night studying this shit.
I was exhausted the next day. I'd spent all night highlighting, reading and making flashcards with all the important points. I might have to carry some around just in case my brain malfunctioned during a tour.
I had the group from hell for my first tour. There was a retired couple, Nan and Pop, from Kansas. They wore fanny packs and insisted on taking a picture with me at every stop. There was a family from Michigan with three small children. Two of them were unfortunately members of the Leash Kid Club and the third didn't stop crying for one second the entire time. Then there was a bored teenager and her over ambitious brother who seemed intent on proving he was smarter than me. How the hell am I supposed to know that John Glenn's middle name was Herschel? That wasn't in my papers. By lunchtime I was exhausted and ready to quit.
I led everyone to the cafeteria and looked around desperately for my astronaut. Mr. Newton said to look for the blue jumpsuit with the NASA logo and I didn't see it.
"When do we get to have lunch with an astronaut?" Someone asked from the back of the group.
"As soon as I find them…" I said, tapping my foot as my eyes swept the room again.
"Well lucky for you I'm here," the voice called again. There was a collective gasp from the group as they turned around. Nan snapped a picture. "My name is Edward Cullen and I'm your astronaut in residence for today's lunch."
"Fuck," I whispered. Edward stepped through the group, clad in the famous blue jumpsuit. He stepped next to me and smiled.
"How's everyone doing today?" He asked. They all cheered in response. "Well that doesn't surprise me because Isabella here is one of our best tour guides. Feel free to go through the line and get your food. We'll be at this group of tables over here." He pointed to the corner of the room and the group finally dispersed.
"What an eclectic group you have there," Edward said. He smiled at me and ran his fingers through his hair.
"No shit." I crossed my arms blushed, wondering if I'd been too forward. I didn't want to get in trouble for patronizing the customers on my first day. "I didn't know you were an astronaut." I bit down on my lip and smiled.
"Youngest….and best looking one in NASA." He winked as an escaped leash kid ran up and tugged on his jumpsuit.
"Mr. Astronaut Man how do you go pee pee in space?"
I held in my laughter as Edward bent down and patted the little boy on the head. "Very carefully my man. Let's go eat huh?" He stood up and turned back to me. "I'll see you around Isabella."
"Bella," I said. "Call me Bella." He nodded and led the little boy to the table.
I grabbed some food and retreated to the employee lounge to call Alice while I ate.
"So how's it going?" She asked.
"It sucks ass. Except for some good eye candy."
"Really? I thought all astronauts were like….old."
"Not true my friend. This guy is gorgeous." I took a bite of my sandwich.
"Like Ben Affleck ala Armageddon?"
"Oh God. Ask him if you can blast off his rocket."
"I just may do that…" I joked. I took another bite of my sandwich as the door swung open. Edward walked in and smirked at me. "Houston we have a problem. I have to go." I quickly hung up and cleared my throat.
"Hey," Edward said. "I think they'll be all set to finish up their tour in ten minutes or so." He wiped his hands on his jumpsuit and sat down beside me.
"Thanks," I said softly. "Aren't you supposed to sit with them?" I nodded out to the cafeteria.
"I'd much rather sit in here with you if you don't mind."
"Okay." I set my sandwich down. "So do you volunteer for this or do they assign you?"
"It was kind of like my…how did they put it…community service? Apparently I have a smart mouth and this was my punishment."
"And do you think you have a smart mouth?"
"I don't know if it's smart, but it's definitely talented."
He was flirting with me. This fuckhot bastard of an astronaut was flirting with me in his little blue jumpsuit.
I glanced out the door and noticed the group was starting to get restless. "I...I should go," I stuttered. I chanced a smile and threw away my trash before rushing out to the group.
The next few weeks flew by in a flurry of questions, dates and whiney children. If anything, this job was seriously making me question my want to be a mother someday. Edward and I would pass each other in the hallway or run into each other in the cafeteria and there always seemed to be that sexual tension between us. One time I swear he even did an unintentional boob graze on purpose. I'll admit that I flirted back, but that's all it ever was. Well that and my nightly fantasy about his moon rocks.
"Are you sure you're alright to stay by yourself Bella?" Mr. Newton poked his head inside my little cubicle.
"Yeah I'm fine. I just have to finish up this incident report." Every time some kid sticks his finger in a socket we have to fill out a ten page incident report. I swear he barely felt a shock.
"Alright well the security guard is at the front desk if you need anything. Have a nice weekend."
I glanced at the clock and texted Alice when I realized I wouldn't be able to make it out tonight. It was almost ten already and I still had to go back to my place and get ready.
I finished up my paperwork and shut off the light before I left my desk. When I reached the hallway, I heard the faint sound of music coming from the opposite direction. Who the hell was still here?
I stumbled towards the music and realized it was coming from the control room. I knew I wasn't authorized to go in there, but I could at least see inside from the large window that overlooked it from the hallway.
There were rows and rows of computers below me. The room was mostly dark, except for the various buttons and screens. The floor to ceiling screen at the front was showing…David Bowie.
"Ground control to Major Tom!" A muffled voice said from behind the glass.
I squinted down into the room and finally saw him. Edward was sitting at one of the computers, his fingers drumming lightly on the keyboard with the music. A pad of paper sat beside him and I noticed there was a pen sticking out from behind his ear. Before I could stop my hand, it reached up and knocked on the glass. Edward spun in his chair and smiled at me. He took the pen from his ear and started towards the door. He popped it open and peeked his head out.
"Good evening Miss Swan," he said. He bit down on the end of his pen.
"Mr. Cullen." I glanced at the control room. "What are you up to?"
"Just working on some stuff. Studying."
"You still have to study?"
"I'm training to take a trip in a couple months so I have to keep up to date."
"Where are you going?" I asked.
"Well we're going to fly down to the Keys and then maybe make a stop at the moon."
I blushed. "Of course."
"Do you uh…want to come in?"
"I don't want to bother you, I just heard the music."
"You won't be a bother at all. I'd like the company." He held the door open for me and I stepped inside. I pulled one of the chairs from beside his station and sat down.
"So…have you been to the moon yet?" I asked.
"Uh no," he laughed. "This is my first actual mission."
"Have you been at NASA long?"
"Not too long. I mean I did a double major at MIT, engineering and math. Then I logged flight hours for a couple of years and finally ended up here." He tapped his pen on his desk.
"What are you working on?" I scooted closer and tried to look at his screen. He laughed and blocked my way.
"Now that's confidential information, I don't know if I should be showing you all that…"
"Oh sorry." I started to push away, but he grabbed my arm.
"If you promise not to tell, I'll show you." He leaned down to me. "Do you promise?" He cocked his eyebrow and smiled.
"I promise," I whispered.
He slowly slid away from the computer and revealed his screen.
"Tetris? You're playing fucking Tetris?" I laughed and punched him in the shoulder.
He smiled and leaned back in the chair, spinning lightly from side to side. He brought his pen back up to his lips as he stared at me. I felt a little self-conscious, but I didn't look away. He held me right there with him in an unbreakable hold.
His legs snaked around my chair and pulled me towards him.
"What are you doing?" I asked. I glanced down at his fingers as they came to rest on my thighs.
"Experimenting," he whispered. He smirked and laughed a little under his breath as he moved closer. He paused for the slightest moment and brushed his nose against mine before he kissed me. He brought one of his hands up and softly threaded his fingers through my hair, tugging slightly to tilt my head back.
"And what are your results?" I mumbled against his lips.
"Still waiting on the subject." He smiled and dropped his lips to my jaw.
"I think she needs to test it out some more." I snaked my arms around his neck and pulled myself onto his lap. He wrapped his arms around my waist and pushed my hips against his. I whimpered as his tongue dipped across my collarbone and lingered on the sweet spot of my neck.
His fingers ghosted up my ribs and brushed across my breast before he dug his fingers lightly into my flesh. I arched my body into him and moved my hips against his once more. My breath hitched in my throat when I felt him fumbling for the button of my jeans.
"Edward…" I smiled. "Don't. Someone could see." I wriggled against him despite my protests.
"There's no one here." He quickly undid them and maneuvered his hand inside. I bit down on my lip as they brushed against my underwear, skimming the most sensitive part of me with devious perfection.
I glanced up at the large window above us before I allowed myself to give in completely. He worked his fingers against me and as I was on the brink of my release, I happened to catch some movement out of the corner of my eye.
"Shit!" I whispered. I froze as I watched the security guard walk down the hallway in front of the window. All it would take is one tilt of his head and I'd be caught with my pants down. Literally.
Edward laughed and moved his fingers again. I narrowed my eyes at him when he did it again and closed my eyes to keep myself from screaming out. I leaned down and rested my head on his shoulder. I forced myself to bite down on his shirt when the waves of pleasure cascaded through my body.
He kissed my neck pulled back, his eyes wild with excitement. "So...do you want to see my rocket?"
I tried to stutter a response, but he didn't give me the chance. He stood us up from the chair, buttoned my pants and grabbed my hand. He typed in a few things on the computer, shutting everything down. Once he was finished he pulled me towards the door and out into the hallway.
"Where are we going?" I asked as he toted me along.
"We're going to see my rocket."
"Couldn't you have just shown me in the control room?" I mused.
"No silly. It's too big."
I swallowed hard and shut my mouth, slightly terrified and slightly intrigued by this new information.
We came to a room I'd never been to before and he swiped his I.D. card.
"What is this place?" I asked as he opened the door.
"I could get in a lot of trouble for this." He stepped inside and flipped on the light.
I realized instantly that the room was a lot bigger than I was thinking it was going to be. It almost looked like a warehouse of some sort, except instead of boxes and crates there was an actual rocket ship laying horizontally in the middle.
"Holy shit…" I whispered. "Is this?"
"Yeah. My taxi to the moon." He smiled. "Come on I'll show you." He pulled me over to the rocket, which was propped up off the ground. Edward grabbed a tall staircase along the way and wheeled it closer to it. He went up before me and unlatched the door. He turned back and helped me inside before dropping in behind me.
"Wow. This is amazing." I looked around, taking in all the different spaces and nooks. I walked slowly towards the front of the ship and spotted a row of seats for them to sit in. There was also a lot of buttons and screens for things I knew I'd never be able to comprehend.
"Take a seat," Edward said. I cautiously sat down in one of the seats and leaned back. He sat in one beside me.
"Don't you get scared?" I asked.
"Being in space. I mean it's a long fall back down."
"Yeah but you'd probably get incinerated before you hit anyway and if not it'd be one hell of a ride," he joked.
"Oh good," I laughed.
He started showing me all the buttons and what everything did up front. It was kind of nerdy…okay really, really nerdy, but I thought it was sexy as hell. I found myself watching his fingers as they grazed over the different buttons or focusing on his mouth as he spoke.
I leaned over and waited for him to finish. He eventually turned towards me and smiled when he saw I was so close.
"And um….what does this button do?" I reached down and poked the button on his jeans.
"That's a dangerous one," he smirked.
"I think I might like a little danger," I whispered. I inched forward and pressed my lips to his. My finger traced along the buttons of his jeans and I whimpered when I felt him hard beneath them. I slowly undid each one, almost like I was unwrapping a birthday present with excruciating pace.
He hummed against my lips as I pulled them away and started kissing down his jaw and neck. His head fell back against the seat as I crawled from mine and made my way to him. Once his jeans were undone, I slipped my hand inside his boxers and pulled them down enough to expose him.
I wrapped my hand lightly around him and looked up to see if this was okay. He placed his hand on top of mine and started moving them up and down against him. I watched his face as we worked together, bringing him closer to his release. I bit down on my lip when he groaned and threw his head back into the seat again.
"Fuck," he whispered. I smiled and brushed his hand away as I leaned forward and grazed my tongue across the tip. He hissed as I traveled up and down his length, swirling my tongue back and forth across him. "God that feels amazing."
I took him in my mouth and worked him up and down until I felt him hit the back of my throat. I fought back my urge to gag and slowly brought my lips back up, popping off the top.
"Almost there," he said as I returned my attention to him. He reached down and pulled my hair over my shoulder so he could watch me. I took him in one last time, humming against his skin. He let out a strangled breath and I felt him convulse against my tongue.
I pulled back and crawled up his body, stopping short of his lips. I hesitated, unsure if he wanted me to kiss him. He answered me when he pulled my face to his and pressed his lips to mine. He pulled away and nibbled at my neck as his fingers gripped around my thighs.
"Shit! Get down!" He tensed and dropped us both to the ground.
"What is it?" I asked.
"Security guard." He quickly did his pants back up and listened outside. I jumped as the light in the warehouse shut off. He looked at me and smiled in the darkness. "I'm sorry I panicked. Are you okay?"
"I'm fine. Are you…I mean was that okay?"
"It'll sure give me something to fantasize about during the trip." He grinned and popped his head up. "I think we're okay." He stood up and helped me up before we crept out of the ship and left the warehouse.
Edward walked me out to my car and opened my door for me. He closed my door and lingered outside my car a moment before knocking on my window. I rolled it down and waited for him to say something.
"Um…" He leaned down and smiled. "Will you go out with me? Like on a date?"
I blushed and inched closer to him. "Yes. But just so you know I'm not easy so don't think you're getting any action," I said sarcastically. He kissed my cheek and I rolled my window back up. I waved to him as I left and immediately called Alice to do post-blow job gossip.
A week later, Edward took me on our first date. He refused to tell me where we were going, other than instructing me to wear layers just in case it got chilly. He picked me up from my place, where Alice was waiting to scope him out.
"Oh my God….definitely better than Ben Affleck," she said, pulling back the curtains as he drove up.
"How do I look?" I ran my fingers through my hair.
"Why are you so nervous?" She asked.
"I always get nervous for first dates."
"Sweetie you two have been fooling around all week, I don't think this counts as a typical first date."
I rolled my eyes and went to answer the door. I opened it and smiled as soon as I saw him, which had become a normal reaction as late.
"Hey," he said. He leaned in and kissed me. "Are you ready?"
"Uh huh…" Alice's arm appeared from beside me with my jacket and she pushed me out of the door.
"Who was that?" He asked as we started back towards his car.
"My friend Alice. She was just…helping me with something before you showed up. She was just leaving."
He helped me into his car and we started driving. I wasn't sure if we were at the hand holding stage yet which is ironic considering we seem to be going backwards in the physical aspects of our relationship, but I didn't want to be weird about it.
"Are you going to tell me where we're going yet?" I asked.
He eventually pulled off on a deserted looking road and parked the car on the side. I narrowed my eyes at him as he got out of the car and grabbed a blanket out of the back.
"Come on then," he said. I got out of the car and hesitantly followed him through the trees. We eventually came to a small clearing and he laid down the blanket and patted the space beside him.
I sat down and stared at him until he turned towards me.
"What?" He asked.
"What is this? What are we doing here?"
"Wait for it." He leaned back and looked up at the sky.
"Okay." I mimicked his position and sighed. Nothing happened for about ten minutes and I was beginning to think this was a wild goose chase.
I gasped as a flash of light shot across the sky. And then another. And another.
"Amazing," I breathed. I almost felt him smile beside me as he took my hand in his.
"Edward?" I turned towards him.
"I never asked you why you wanted to be an astronaut."
"Is this you asking me?" He turned on his side.
"I guess so." I did the same.
"I was about five or six…" He traced his fingers up my arm and caressed my cheek. "It was the anniversary of the Challenger Explosion and they were replaying all these things from it on television. Reagan had read part of this poem by John Magee Jr. called "High Flight." He leaned forward and gently pressed his lips to my neck.
I was about to ask him about the poem, but he interrupted me.
"Oh I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth…" He whispered. "And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings. Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds." He kissed me. "And done a hundred things you have not dreamed of." I brushed my finger across his lip as he read the rest of the poem. "…The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
put out my hand, and touched the face of God."
He wiped a tear that had escaped from my eye and kissed me again.
"Thank you," I said.
We laid there for hours underneath the meteor shower, completely entwined in one another. I fell asleep in his arms and woke up as he placed me back in his car. I asked him to stay when we got back to my place and he did. He slept soundly beside me and we spent the entire next day together.
Edward's schedule became a little hectic the next few weeks and months as he prepared for his mission. He'd been able to get me some backstage seats to some of the training so I could watch him bounce around in the zero gravity room or walk around in his astronaut suit. We'd sneak into the conference rooms a few times every week to escape work for a few moments with each other. My tours started getting easier and easier, maybe because I actually had something to look forward to at lunch. Edward started offering to do the tour lunches and I always sat with them, instead of alone in the staff lounge.
As his trip crept closer, I started to panic about missing him while he was gone. It was a short trip in NASA time, but he was still going to be gone for while. In addition to a collection of data and evidence from the moon, they were stopping at the space station to refuel and pick up a few astronauts who were on their way home. They were estimating the trip to be about two weeks and that was if the weather cooperated.
The day of the launch I didn't get to see him very much because he was busy preparing. All of the loved ones were kept in a small room that made me feel claustrophobic. They finally told us we could see them and I bit nervously on my nails as we walked.
We were led out to an open hanger where they were being prepared to board the ship. Edward spotted me right away and slipped away from his attendants.
"I miss you already," I said, jumping up and wrapping my arms and legs around him.
"I miss you already too." He kissed me and spun me around.
I pulled back and took his face in my hands. "If you aren't careful up there I swear I'll kick your ass."
"Yes ma'am," he laughed. "I'm so excited baby." And he was. I could see it in his eyes. This was his dream and I was honored that I got to see it come true for him.
"Astronauts!" A loud voice boomed from the front and I knew it was time for him to go. He kissed me one last time and put me down.
"See you soon?" He said.
I swallowed hard as a large lump formed in my throat. I knew exactly what it was that was lodged in there. We hadn't said it yet. The "l" word. We'd been dating since that night and for some crazy reason we hadn't said it yet. I think we both knew it deep down, but it was still left unspoken. And I didn't want him to leave without knowing.
"Edward wait!" I screamed. I ran over to him and took a deep breath. "I love you."
He smiled. "I love you too."
"Yes really." He wrapped his arms around me and buried his face in my neck. "To the moon and back baby."