Ficawesome Gift Echange- TAKE 2
Written for: Kyndall ~ Celesticbliss
Written By: Jessica ~ dolphin62598
Summary/Prompt used: Strangers Meet in a Public Setting –Lust at first sight
If you would like to see all the stories that are a part of this exchange visit the facebook group: Fanficaholics Anon: Where Obsession Never Sleeps. Or visit the C2 (just remove the spaces) http : / www . fanfiction . net / community / FAGE_2 / 89748/
A/N: It's been a long time since I posted anything, but I'm glad to be back in the game! Kyndall I hope you enjoy what I came up with! Thanks to Clarisa for her awesome beta skillz!
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight or the characters-just the plot!
Impatient drivers pressed on their horns as traffic moved at a snail's pace down the interstate. Living in a beach community and near a Naval Base really added to the population of Virginia Beach, but Bella Swan wouldn't have had it any other way. She rolled both windows down in her BMW Z4 and smiled brightly at every irritated driver she passed.
She spent her drive thinking about merchandise in her boutique and where she could move certain pieces in the front window to further entice customers. Her boutique was steadily growing and she was to the point now that she had to hire a few people to help her in the store. Selling vintage clothing and period pieces was something she had always dreamed of doing. Ever since she was a little girl and her parents let her watch Marilyn Monroe on the big screen, she couldn't stop devising plans to own a business that replicated the look and feel of the pin-up girl.
The road to success hadn't always been easy for Bella though. She used all of her savings to pay for college so she had the knowledge to open a business, but once she graduated and had nothing but her measly apartment to show for her effort, there was no bank on the planet that would lend her money to start a business. It wasn't that she had bad credit- she had no credit and no one wanted to take a chance on her. So she busted her ass waitressing and bartending at an oceanfront bar and grill.
Aside from being smart, Bella was also observant. For six years, she listened to extremely corny and terrible pickup lines fall from men's mouths. She spent many nights cringing at some of the drunken words that floated from the inebriated male species. Many times, she was thankful that she was not on the receiving end of those words, but couldn't help feeling bad for the poor women that had to be subjected to the torture of lame attempts from the men to get laid. The women would end up flocking to her at the end of the bar to exchange stories of the most pathetic lines they had ever heard. After some time Bella had regular women patrons that would come in just to see her. She gained several friends and successfully introduced a couple of those women to men that weren't so desperate or constantly drunk. Many of those relationships were still going strong to this day.
It was on a particularly busy night that another business idea blossomed. If she could introduce some of her women friends to guys that she knew were decent, why couldn't she be a wing woman? She set out to help the men of Virginia Beach and their lame attempts at scoring a date with an attractive female.
After weeks of spreading the word, she had received several calls asking her for help. She would let the guy pick a meeting location where they would discuss the entire process and she laid the ground rules and informed them what they should and shouldn't do. From there they would go to the bar of his choosing and she would set her sights on groups of women in the bar as soon as they entered. She was proud to report that almost every time she set out to help, a guy ended up with a phone number or maybe two and the promise of a future date. It left her feeling giddy and happy until she would step foot into her empty condo. Then feelings of desolation would wash over her slowly as she settled in for the night and counted her earnings. Everything she had been doing was to save for her boutique and she couldn't let anything, including a relationship, stand in the way of that.
She sighed as she parked her car in the front of her shop. Finding a man for herself was the last thing on her agenda. Now that her store was doing well she focused on honing her skills in the wing woman department. She could afford to be more selective about the men she took on now.
A small grin graced her face as she entered the quiet shop. She enjoyed being in the shop alone early. While she took pleasure in helping her customers find the perfect piece, she was also delighted to be alone in the quietness of the morning hours before the hectic day took hold.
She set her iPod into the iHome behind the front counter and the hard, grinding sounds of Nine Inch Nails filled the air. Her head bobbed along as she flipped through her messages and checked her email. With only an hour left before she opened for the day, she set to work rearranging her front window.
As she was placing a new corset on the first mannequin, a black Chevy truck pulled up next to her car. She had to chuckle at the contrast of the lifted tuck with the large tires sitting next to her tiny car. Seeing such a tall truck with such large tires was a regular occurrence at the beach. Four-wheel drive was essential to drive on the sand.
She eyed the driver's seat, but couldn't see anyone. The windows were tinted so darkly that she doubted anyone could see through them. She immediately worried for the driver's safety and wondered how they hadn't gotten a ticket from the police yet.
Her musings were cut short as the door opened and a tall man jumped down from the truck. She could feel her jaw relax and drop open as she gazed upon the man standing in front of her shop. He was glancing up at the shop name before he spotted her in the front window and grinned.
In all her years' bartending and throughout college she could not recall seeing such a handsome man. His lean, muscular physique was more than enough to drool over, but once you added in the piercing green eyes and light brown hair, she was practically speechless. His grin was a little lopsided, lifting his mouth more on one side than the other, but it was a perfect flaw and only added more to his attractive qualities.
She snapped out of her staring trance as he stood on the other side of the glass and knocked. Her cheeks immediately heated as she quickly looked down.
"Can I come in?" he asked. His voice was muffled from the glass, but the smooth and deep tone weren't masked. She bit her lip and hurried over to the door to unlock it.
"We don't open for another half hour," she blurted as she opened the door.
"Are you Bella Swan?" he asked, ignoring her statement. She nodded, her brows knitting together in confusion. She couldn't possibly imagine what this man would want with her.
"I've been trying to track you down for days," he admitted with a warm smile. "Can I talk to you for a minute? I promise I won't keep you long." He lifted his hand to his chest as if he were making the promise right from his heart.
"S…sure," she stuttered as he glided past her and into the store. She locked the door behind him and turned to take in his appearance. Black board shorts, black flip-flops and a blue Billabong shirt covered most of his body. The tone of his muscles that stretched across his clothing hinted at him being a surfer.
"What can I help you with?" she asked quietly while approaching the counter to turn down her music.
"Great choice in music," he complimented her with another smile showing his white teeth.
"Uh…thanks," she said as she further quieted the Three Day's Grace song. She fidgeted as her stomach knotted, waiting for him to announce the reason for him tracking her down.
"So…I hear you're a wing woman?" he said quietly while looking at the glass-enclosed case below her front counter. He was eyeing a vintage belt buckle and she was glad his attention was not on her as she visibly deflated.
"Yeah…I mean, yes. I've helped several men score dates by being a wing woman. Are you in need of my services?"
"I think I am," he nodded. "It's kind of last minute though. It took me forever to find you."
"Okay," she drawled as he finally looked up at her.
"I have a party to attend tonight and I'm almost positive that the girl I want to approach will be there. Will you accompany me?"
"To a party?" she asked in disbelief, wrinkling her nose. "That's not typically how I work," she pointed out.
"I am aware of that, but this won't be much different than a bar. There are going to be tons of people there and there is only one girl that I'm interested in."
"Why don't you just talk to her then? Isn't someone that you know?"
"I don't know her," he shook his head, "not really. I'd like to know her though and I just lack the courage to talk to her myself. I need a buffer. I'll pay you double," he offered.
"That's not necessary. What time does this party start?"
"It starts at nine tonight and it's on a farm down in Pungo."
"Okay, did you want to meet there?" she asked wrinkling her nose further. Pungo was considered the country and she hardly ventured out there. She preferred to stay within the Virginia Beach city limits, but a job was a job.
"No, I'll pick you up," he stated. His tone of voice offered no room for compromise.
"Uh…I don't think that's a good idea. Suppose you hit it off with this girl and you want to take her home? I'll be the third wheel," she pointed out.
"I'm hoping we hit it off," he trailed off as he stared out the front window. He shook his head as if snapping out of a trance before continuing, "I'll pick you up. The name is Edward, by the way," he added with a smirk.
She nodded reluctantly as she wrote down her address and cell number for him to take. He murmured his thanks before winking at her and disappearing through the front door.
Business first, business first, business first, she chanted in her head. She had no time for a relationship nor did she really want one. Although Edward was gorgeous, she wasn't looking for anything right now.
~*~ S ~*~
Edward Cullen smiled in victory as he got into his truck and drove down to the beach to meet up with his clients.
The elusive Bella Swan had been mentioned by many of his friends in passing. Her name was becoming quite popular among circles of single men in Virginia Beach. He never asked about her, but often wondered whenever he heard her name what kind of woman she could be to want to help men obtain phone numbers from the opposite sex. He had resignedto the fact that she was perhaps a lesbian.
One evening about a week ago though, sent his head spinning and his sense of direction skewed. He had accompanied several of his friends to a bar on the oceanfront to watch a hockey game. After several beers, he had to use the facilities and on his way back to his place at the bar he overheard his friends whispering about Bella.
"That's her," Mike stated. "Riley showed me a picture. She must be helping some poor guy try to land a date in this very bar."
Edward inquired as to whom they were talking about and when they pointed Bella out he felt his heart stop. His blood slowed and the noise in the bar disappeared. He felt as if he had tunnel vision and could only see her. She was a goddess with her long black hair, painted red lips and smoky eyes. Her skin was flawless as her petite frame looked so delicate as she shot a game of pool with her client. Her eyes were constantly moving around the bar as she scoped the area.
Edward decided in that moment he had to know her, but he felt it unprofessional to approach her while she was on the job so to speak. He had no proof that she was working, but felt it would be a better choice to wait and speak with her at another time. One thing was certain though-he had to know her. He was certain just from looking at her that she was interested in men.
The urge to know her had been building. He wasn't sure if it was the mystery behind her name or the fact that he had been feeling so empty and lonely lately. Initially, he hadn't been interested in dating as he spent his mid-twenties going on as many dates as he could trying to find the one. He had given up long ago and resolved to stop looking so hard.
He spent several days trying to gather information on her by contacting his friends, but no one really knew that much about her or how to contact her. It was only when he turned to the internet that he discovered she owned a store called Cherry Blossom and it was just down the road from where he lived.
Approaching her store was much harder than he had anticipated. He even had to sit in his truck to calm his nerves for several minutes before he could get out. He didn't notice that the parking lot was empty aside from one small car and was too busy looking at the sign above the door to notice Bella in the front window.
Movement caught his attention from the corner of his eye and he snapped his head to the front window of the store. Bella was even more beautiful than she was a week ago. Once she let him into the store, he had a hard time forming words and keeping his eyes from roaming her body.
She had on the most sinful outfit. Her black shorts were very short and silky and sat high on her hips. Her abdomen and chest were covered by a blood red corset and her long, lean legs were encased in fishnet stockings. Her shoes were what had him panting though. The spike heel and platform sole lifted her several inches. She was almost as tall as he was. In that moment, he was thankful that his fashion vocabulary had been built up by his mother and sister. They had schooled him in fashion at a young age, albeit reluctantly, but now he couldn't have been happier that he recognized her look as a modern pin-up girl. He would definitely pin her picture up in his room. He couldn't wait for this day to be over so he could seduce Bella Swan.
The office where he did the majority of his work was right on the beach. He enjoyed his job and he liked the people that he worked with.
"Did you land the date?" Emmett his coworker sauntered into his office with a grin. He knew that Edward was tracking down Bella this morning and he was more than a little interested in finding out how that went.
"She thinks she has to help me with another woman," Edward admitted. His good mood fleeting as the words left his mouth. He wished he had the courage just to ask her out, but he backed out at the last minute.
"Did she set the ground rules?" Emmett chuckled as he took in Edward's defeated appearance.
"No, what do you mean?"
"Conner hired her about a month ago. He said he desperately tried to get into her pants, but that's her first rule. She doesn't date her clients," Emmett lifted his eyebrows waiting for Edward to acknowledge the information he had just provided.
"She didn't say anything about rules," Edward said quietly.
"Well you might get lucky, but according to Conner she's pretty hardnosed about her rules. You should have just been up front with her," Emmett scolded him before leaving the office.
"Fuck," Edward swore under his breath while pressing his face into his palms.
~*~ S ~*~
Bella's day passed by in a flash and by seven in the evening, she was closing up shop and heading home. She wondered what she should wear to a party in the boonies. The remaining two hours before Edward was scheduled to arrive she spent primping and grooming. She finally settled on a blue summer dress with flip-flops. It wasn't her normal attire for going out, but she was unsure of what to expect at this party. She tied her hair into a knot at the side of her head and adorned her ears with large hoop earrings.
At five minutes to nine, there was a knock at her door. As she slowly swung the door open, all of the air left her lungs. She didn't think it was possible for Edward to look even more attractive than he did that morning, but she had been proven wrong. He had on straight leg jeans with black flip-flops and a black short-sleeved button down shirt. His hair looked darker and was loosely styled into a faux-hawk. He was most definitely drool-worthy.
"Bella," he grinned, "are you ready to go?"
"Let me just grab my bag," she stated quietly as she turned and ran back to her room for her small clutch that she would be carrying.
"You look beautiful," he told her as she approached him. Her cheeks tinted the lightest shade of pink as she looked down.
"Thank you," she mumbled. She was having a hard time understanding why this man was affecting her like he was. She hardly ever blushed anymore and considered herself a confident woman. Other clients that had approached her often told her how beautiful she was, but she was sure to let them know that she was off limits. She was only accompanying them as a tool to help them obtain a date with a quality woman.
Bella gasped as Edward put his truck into gear. "Ground rules," she spit out.
"What?" he asked, confused.
"I have ground rules," she stated while looking out the side window.
"Oh?" he questioned, bracing himself for her rules.
"First, I'm not your date. I'm merely a tool to help you get the one you want." She nearly choked on her words. "Second, don't act like an ass. I will approach the woman or the group she's with and start a conversation. If things go well, I'll nod my head for you to come over. If I shake my head, do not approach. If she's interested and you head over once conversation starts, I'll slip away. That's when you should really concentrate on not acting like an ass. You don't need to use any cheesy pickup lines; just be yourself and ask about her and most importantly, listen to what she has to say."
"O…okay," he murmured. He wanted nothing more than to just skip this whole party and take her to a secluded place to talk to her, get to know her. He lacked the confidence though and was now panicking as he realized he had no prospect in mind. He only wanted Bella.
Several moments of silence passed as they approached the party. Edward parked the truck and hurried over to the passenger side of the truck to help Bella out. He chuckled as he found her sitting on the edge of the side of the seat dangling her feet towards the step bar on the side of the truck.
"How in the hell do you get in and out of this thing?" she asked in a huff.
"You're a lot shorter than me," he pointed out as he lifted her effortlessly from the truck. His arms stayed wrapped around her a beat longer than was comfortable, but Bella couldn't find a bone in her body that cared. Edward's masculine scent along with his hard body pressed against hers sent her heart racing.
"Let's go get your girl," she whispered as his arms dropped from her waist. He nodded and led her into the field towards the music and large crowds of people.
"Beer?" he asked as they approached a large barn filled with people. Bella nodded and started scoping the crowds just as she did when she was working a bar room.
"Is she here yet?" Bella asked, her eyes flitting from one woman to the next trying to pinpoint exactly who Edward could be after.
"Uh…oh…no," Edward stammered. He knew he was going to have to think quickly if he wanted to divert Bella's attention.
"Come on and meet some of my friends," Edward offered, steering her away from the keg and towards a group of guys standing just outside the barn.
"Eduardo," Emmett laughed as they approached the group. Edward rolled his eyes and slugged Emmett in his bicep.
"This is Bella," Edward introduced her to the men. Everyone nodded and one guy in particular was ogling her. She could feel his eyes tracing up and down her body causing her to shiver in disgust.
"You own Cherry Blossom?" Emmett asked.
"Yeah," she nodded. "Opening that place was a labor of love," she giggled and sipped her beer while glancing around the field.
"Bella," Conner called as he barreled over from the barn. "What are you doing here?"
"Hey, Conner," she smiled and hugged him. "I'm helping Edward out," she said quietly.
"Really?" he asked, looking at Edward in disbelief. "You're helping out the guy that has women practically throwing themselves at him?"
"Shut up," Edward groaned. "Women do not throw themselves at me."
"Hey, Edward!" A group of blonde girls bounced by, giggling and waving as they passed.
"Case closed," Conner laughed.
"I don't want any of them," Edward whispered. Bella was sure he hadn't intended for anyone else to hear that.
"Will you excuse us for a second, gentlemen?" Bella said and grabbed Edward's arm dragging him away from the group.
"What's going on?" she hissed.
"Nothing." He held his hands out in front of him in a gesture of surrender.
"Why did you hire me?" she asked.
"To…help me," he stuttered, unhappy at his failing plan.
"Help you with what?"
"There's a girl I want to approach, but I'm petrified she's going to reject me," he admitted.
"How can you lack confidence?" she asked him in awe.
"She's just so beautiful and I feel like she's out of my league."
Bella winced as a sharp pain shot through her as the words left his mouth. She nodded and they walked back to the group. "You've got to point this girl out to me, Edward," she stated as the guys laughed at a dirty joke that Emmett had told.
Edward sucked his bottom lip into his mouth and chewed relentlessly on the delicate skin. He picked the bitchiest girl he knew in the crowd and pointed Bella in her direction. He assumed she would shoot Bella down. Then he could focus all of his attention on Bella.
"Carmen," Edward said in a low whisper. "She…she's the one with the dirty blonde hair." Bella nodded and took off in Carmen's direction. She wanted to get this over with so she could go home and end the night alone.
"Bella," Edward called out as she was hurrying across the field. She looked back over her shoulder and furrowed her brow at the expression of terror on Edward's face.
"I'll be right back," she mouthed and nodded reassuringly as she approached Carmen. She took in Carmen's appearance as she got closer, looking for anything she could talk to her about as an icebreaker.
"Hey," Bella smiled at Carmen and the small group of girls gathered in a circle. "Sorry to crash your conversation, but I had to find out where you got those shoes," Bella exclaimed pointing to Carmen's heels. She wouldn't be caught dead wearing kitten heels with feathers, but obviously, Carmen thought they were a good choice.
Carmen narrowed her eyes causing Bella to flinch slightly. She wasn't planning on Carmen being a bitch and she couldn't see Edward with someone like her, but truthfully, she hardly knew Edward; he could prefer high maintenance sluts.
"You couldn't afford them, Blossom," Carmen snapped as the girls around her snickered.
"Wow, okay…thanks for that," Bella snarled resisting the urge to pull Carmen's hair and smack her in the mouth like a sixth grader.
"What do you want, Bella Swan?" she rolled her eyes and huffed.
"Well, I wanted to know where you got your shoes, but obviously they're too expensive for me, so never mind."
Bella was trying very hard to resisthitting Carmen as she scrunched her nose slightly.
"Bella," Edward called frantically as he neared the group.
"Edward," Carmen screeched excitedly. "Did you send Blossom over here to get my number?"
Bella rolled her eyes as Carmen's expression brightened.
"She's all yours," Bella whispered as she retreated into the barn and towards the makeshift bar in the back corner.
"What can I get you?" a blonde haired surfer-type asked from behind the bar.
"Cosmo, please," she nodded and sighed wondering if she could catch a ride home with anyone here.
"Uh…how about tequila?" the guy asked.
"Yeah, whatever," she replied as he slid a shot glass towards her.
"Do you have any lemons?" she asked. He smirked and passed her a bowl with lemon wedges.
"Salt?" he asked. She shook her head and downed the shot before sucking on the lemon.
"Ick," she coughed.
"Sorry, it's not top shelf," he chuckled. "I'm Jasper," he smiled and stuck out his hand for her to shake.
"Bella," she offered as she lightly grasped his hand.
"What brings you here tonight, Bella?"
"Business," she replied vaguely. "I'll have another," she added tapping her shot glass.
The second shot didn't go down well and she grimaced, knowing that she'd regret her actions the next morning.
"You don't look like a Pungo type," Jasper laughed. He was usually very good at calming his inquisitive nature, but for some reason she was drawing the questions right out of him.
"Yeah, I'm not," she smiled and pushed her shot glass towards him again.
"Is this your first time at a party like this?" he asked as she threw back her third shot.
"Yes, I'm not much for parties. I'm more of a bar girl," she laughed. "That sounded bad. I mean if I'm going to party it's at a bar."
"No offense, but you definitely throw the 'bar' vibe," he chortled.
"Totally not," she hiccupped and realized that country music was blaring from somewhere in the barn. "Do they play anything else in this place besides country?" she blurted without thinking.
"What would you like to hear?" he asked with a small smile.
"Anything but this," she pursed her lips and furrowed her brow. "It's so depressing. All they sing about is dogs and pick-up trucks."
"How's this?" he asked as the music abruptly changed to an Usher song.
"Better," she grinned, "although it's not my first choice."
"You're hard to please, girl." Jasper's expression was serious, but the mischievous grin that graced his face discounted his solemn features.
"I don't think I am," she said incredulously.
He shook his head, filled her shot glass again and watched as she threw it back quickly before shoving a lemon in her mouth.
"So, Jasper, tell me about yourself. What brings you here?" she rested her chin in the palm of her hand as she leaned against the makeshift bar.
"Well sweetheart, I'm a Pungo resident, born and bred," he grinned as he looked up at her from under his lashes. She bit her lip as his face was suddenly cast in an attractive light. Not that he wasn't good looking, but he just wasn't her type.
"I'm a surfer on the weekend and a worker during the week."
"Wow, that's so much information. Please, no more," she laughed as the music changed to Kesha. "Omigod!" she exclaimed. "I love this song."
Wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy
(Hey, what up girl?)
Grab my glasses, I'm out the door, I'm gonna hit this city
Before I leave, brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack
'Cause when I leave for the night, I ain't coming back
She swayed to the music as she bobbed her head. As the tempo picked up her hips moved in sync. One secret that she had that almost no one knew about her was that she loved to dance. She would blast music in her condo and dance any chance she got. Her mother forced her into dance classes as a child and it was something that she ended up enjoying and sticking with throughout her teen years.
Ain't got a care in world, but got plenty of beer
Ain't got no money in my pocket, but I'm already here
And now, the dudes are lining up cause they hear we got swagger
But we kick em to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger
Jasper laughed and rested his forearms on the bar as she danced around in a small space. She was really good although he wondered if songs like this were her guilty pleasure. He doubted that there was much of this type of music on her iPod.
The music changed to another country song and Bella froze looking up at Jasper as her face bloomed with a reddish tint.
"Oh god," she whispered with wide eyes. "Please tell me no one else saw that."
"Just me, sugar," he laughed. "You're really good though," he nodded and smiled.
"Maybe you should just leave the country music on," she pointed out as she sipped a fresh beer he had sat in front of her.
"We'll see about that."
"Bella," Emmett yelled from across the barn, "you got anymore of those moves?"
She turned and looked at Jasper with horror written clearly across her face. "Liar," she hissed.
He held his hands up and shook his head. "I wasn't paying attention to anyone else," he admitted.
"Yo, Jas, give me some Bottoms Up," Emmett hollered as he made his way across the barn. "Come on, girl," he grabbed Bella's hand.
"It's mister steal yo girl," Emmett crooned as he twirled Bella around. She giggled and spun around as he belted out the lyrics.
"You know what it is, girl, we back up in this thang," he sang with a wide grin as Bella dropped low to the floor and slithered back up his muscular frame. She was in no way attracted to Emmett, but she had to admit it felt good to dance with someone else.
"My vision's blurred, my words slurred. It's jam packed, a million girls and I ain't tryin' to lead 'em. We drunk so let me be your alcohol hero." Emmett squatted down and rested his arms on his thighs as he sang.
Bella laughed at his antics while the song played on and he sang. She danced around, not caring who was watching or what was going on around her. When Nicki Minaj started singing, Bella stopped moving as the words poured out of her mouth. Emmett's mouth dropped open as she recited the lyrics word-for-word. Applause broke out around them as they sang the last part together while dancing around each other.
"Edward," Carmen shrieked as the song ended, "what the fuck?"
"Uh-oh," Bella giggled drunkenly, "trouble in paradise."
"Huh?" Emmett looked at her, confusion clear in his face.
"Edward and Carmen," she nodded with widened eyes. The alcohol was starting to take effect as she swayed slightly.
"What about them?" Emmett asked.
"That's who I was helping him with," Bella yelled. She thought she was whispering, but her words were boisterous.
"He doesn't want Carmen," Emmett admitted. "Oh…uh…I mean," he stuttered, quickly trying to backtrack. He shook his head at Edward's idiocy. Why he wouldn't just tell Bella that he really wanted a date with her was beyond his reasoning.
"Who does he want?" she asked skeptically.
"Nope," Emmett shook his head. "You'll have to ask him," he whispered as Edward approached them wearing a murderous expression.
"What are you doing?" he hissed, looking at Emmett.
"Uh…having a good time?" he stated as a question because he wasn't entirely sure what Edward was talking about.
"Bella," Edward turned to her and attempted to smile, but it came out as more of a grimace.
"Yes?" she asked, taking large gulps of her beer.
"Are you ready to go?"
"Sure," she shrugged and turned towards Emmett, "thanks for that; you have no idea how much I needed it." She reached up and hugged him tightly before rounding the bar and hugging Jasper as well.
Edward was infuriated. It took him long enough to talk his way out of a date with Carmen and the entire time he'd been trying to free himself from her clutches, he'd had to watch Bella chatting with Jasper. As if that wasn't bad enough, Emmett had to drag her onto the dance floor and force her to dry hump him. He'd felt like an ass. His lack of trust in himself had landed him in a very sticky situation.
As they walked towards Edward's truck, he had to steady Bella by holding her elbow. He wasn't sure how many shots she'd done, but she was quite inebriated.
"How am I supposed to get into that truck?" she asked as she looked up at the door. He had the door opened and was lifting her into the passenger seat before she could protest.
"Just like that," he grinned and closed her door before rounding the truck to get into the driver's side.
"So drunk," she whispered as he got into the truck. "I think that Jasper guy slipped something in one of those shots I took." She was only half-serious because the short conversation she'd had with Jasper reassured her that he wasn't that type of guy.
"I doubt that," he said and glanced at her. She was already passed out against the window. "Bella," he called, but she didn't respond.
Edward warred with himself as to what to do. He knew where she lived, but doubted that she'd wake up long enough for him to get her keys. After two or three miles, he'd decided to take her back to his apartment.
Getting Bella out of the truck was much easier than he'd anticipated. Her body was petite and light. Getting into his apartment wasn't as easy though. He'd struggled with his keys and then focusing on not slamming Bella's head into the door or the walls proved to be quite difficult.
Gently he laid Bella on his bed and removed her flip-flops. She hadn't woken once or even stirred. Assuming she'd be in pain in the morning, he'd set out a glass of water and a bottle of ibuprofen.
Edward sat at the side of the bed staring at Bella for the longest time. He should have felt strange about watching her sleep, but he couldn't find it in himself to get up. Her features were so enticing he felt hypnotized. He tenderly swept the stray hairs from her forehead and caressed the apple of her cheek with his thumb.
Finally, Edward forced himself to leave her side and settled in on his couch. He could have slept in the spare bedroom, but he wanted to be as close to Bella as possible and the spare bedroom was further than the couch. He slipped into a fitful slumber having trouble shutting his mind down for the night.
~*~ S ~*~
Bella roused slowly from sleep. The first thing she noticed was the relentless pounding in her head. She closed her eyes quickly trying to shut down the hammering in her brain. When she opened her eyes again several moments later, she was fraught with panic. She was not in her own bed and this room was definitely not hers. She fought through the pounding, trying to remember the events of the previous evening.
She remembered helping Edward, meeting Jasper and Emmett and dancing. Oh god, she thought. Color immediately flooded her face as she remembered dancing with Emmett. She promptly reminded herself that she would probably never see those people again. It would be a day too soon if she ever saw Carmen again.
Now that she'd recalled the night before, she was still left wondering where she was. Her eyes flitted around the room looking for clues. Once they landed on the glass of water and bottle of painkillers, she sighed in relief. She greedily gulped the water and swallowed four pills.
She entered the hallway realizing that the only way she was going to discover where she had spent the night was to get up and move about. Amateur framed photographs of the ocean lined the hallway. The apartment was nice and masculine. Clean lines and minimal clutter. Whoever lived here was definitely organized.
She found the bathroom and used the facilities quickly. She utilized the toothpaste sitting on the counter with her fingertip. It wasn't a toothbrush, but it did the trick. Her mouth felt much better. She never could stand the gross, cottony taste after drinking all night.
As she tiptoed down the hallway towards what she figured was the living room, she could hear quiet snores. A tuft of brownish-reddish hair stuck up from behind the arm of the couch. She breathed a sigh of relief as she realized that Edward had housed her for the evening. Her relief was short-lived as panic once again set in. She couldn't remember how he got her here and she worried that she embarrassed herself.
She searched for her purse and flip-flops, finding them by the front door. Casting one last longing glance at Edward's gorgeous body sleeping soundly on the couch, she frowned. She could feel the connection and the spark between them and wondered what could have been if they had met under different circumstances. She blew him a silent kiss and exited his apartment.
Looking around outside of his apartment, she realized that she wasn't that far from home. She ran her fingers through her hair trying desperately to tame it so she wouldn't look like she was doing the walk of shame before she started walking home.
The short stroll home went by quickly as the sun shone brightly upon her. The day was going to be warm and for that she was glad, although she had nothing planned except sitting at home, alone.
~*~ S ~*~
Edward awoke in the late morning, groggily looking around the living room of his apartment. Seconds passed before he remembered bringing Bella home with him the night before. His eyes flew to the bedroom door and noticing it was still shut, he breathed a sigh of relief.
He happily set about making breakfast. Knowing how brutal tequila hangovers could be, he started a pan of bacon and cheesy scrambled eggs. The smile that spread across his face was wide and excited. Once he had breakfast plated, he headed to the bedroom. Slowly, he opened the door, not wanting to wake Bella up abruptly. His face fell as his eyes frantically raced around the empty room.
"Bella," he called, hearing only his echo in response.
He stomped through the apartment looking for her. By the time he'd reached the spare bedroom, he knew she was gone. He took a chance and looked out his front door, but saw nothing aside from passing cars.
He slammed the front door and muttered a few curse words before retreating to the kitchen and tossing the breakfast he'd made.
"Emmett," he hissed into his cell phone.
"What's up dude? How'd it go with Bella last night? Or did you go home with Carmen?" he chuckled.
"I brought Bella to my place last night because she passed out as soon as I got her into the truck. I couldn't make myself go through her purse to find her keys. So I set her up in my bed and slept on the couch," Edward relayed.
"So why are you calling me? Shouldn't you be trying to get it on? Make her breakfast in bed, dude," Emmett huffed. He swore Edward was dumber than a box of rocks sometimes. Especially when it came to women he liked.
"Yeah, I did that. Except when I went to serve her breakfast in bed, she was gone. I have no idea when she left," he sighed in defeat.
"You know where she lives?"
"Go get her. It's the only way, man. You gotta tell her that you want a date with her. Be honest."
Edward was silent for a moment, absorbing Emmett's advice. "You're right," he finally replied, rushing into his room to find a change of clothes.
"Right on. Text me later and let me know how it went," Emmett said before he hung up.
Five minutes later Edward was driving down the road to Bella's apartment. He didn't know how she would receive him, but he didn't care at this point. He just wanted to be with her and spend time with her.
~*~ S ~*~
Bella spent the remainder of her morning blasting hate music that she could violently clean her condo to. Godsmack was currently singing about crying like a bitch as she bopped her head while dusting her end tables. She was thankful that her neighbors were rarely home as it afforded her the opportunity to listen to whatever she wanted at avolume level that was pleasurable to her.
She didn't hear the knocking coming from her front door at first. During the pause of one song, she thought she heard something, but wasn't sure so she continued with her cleaning. When the knocking turned into full-fledged banging, she rushed to the door and flung it open, ready to berate whatever solicitor was on the other side.
"Edward," she breathed in surprise. Shock raced through her system as she absorbed his defeated features. "What are you doing?"
"Can I come in?" he asked timidly. She nodded and opened the door wider to allow him entrance. She pulled the remote for her iHome from her pocket and lowered the deafening volume of her music.
"What are you doing here?" she asked again as she led him to her couch.
"I…you weren't…you left," he stuttered. "I made breakfast, but you weren't there," he said while staring at her coffee table.
"Edward," she sighed. "I…I didn't want you to have to take care of me. I'm a big girl and I figured that you had plans with Carmen. I didn't want to intrude."
"Carmen is a bitch," he blurted and snapped his head up to her his eyes widening as if he couldn't believe he'd just said that.
"Okay," she nodded, not exactly disagreeing with him. "Then why did you want to date her?"
"I didn't want to date her. I just used her because I thought she would put you off and I could have you to myself for the rest of the night," he admitted sheepishly.
"You…you wanted a date with me?" she asked in disbelief. He nodded his head. "Why didn't you say something?"
"Bella," he started shifting his body so he was facing her. "I've heard so much about you from so many guys and for so long now. I know how you work and I was petrified that if I didn't approach you with work, you'd immediately reject me."
"Edward," she paused looking down at her hands. "I can't be in a relationship right now. I have to focus on my work, my business." She looked up at him with sorrow melting through her body. "I find you incredibly attractive, but you're right. I would have rejected you," she stated simply.
He sighed and nodded reluctantly. He stood, reaching for her hand and pulling her from the couch. "I can't go before…" he trailed off as his eyes dropped to her lips. Unconsciously his tongue ran across his lips as he leaned in. He knew he couldn't give up without a fight. As his fingers crept up her arms, it felt like static electricity was surging from his fingertips. Her skin was just as soft as it looked. As he reached her collarbone, she let out a tiny moan. His eyes snapped up to hers just as they closed. Realizing that the timing was perfect, he leaned in and crushed his lips against hers.
Bella felt as if a million tiny nerve endings had come to life with Edward's touch. His fingers were just as gentle as his lips. His taste was indescribable, but she could already tell that it was addicting. As his hands came up to cup her face, she reached her tongue out tentatively. He responded in kind letting his mouth fall open slightly allowing their tongues to dance.
Edward felt as if he were in heaven. Her taste was intoxicating and as their kiss lingered his fingers inched back towards her hair, tightening their grasp, desperately holding onto her.
Bella reached her hands up and wove her fingers through his hair causing Edward to groan and break their kiss. She concentrated on running her fingers through his soft hair as he pressed kisses to her neck and jaw.
"You're stunning," he whispered as he reached her ear, "so fucking beautiful."
"Edward," she groaned and tugged his hair slightly pulling his lips back to hers. Before she could comprehend her movements, she was leading him to her bedroom. She was trying desperately to turn her mind off. For once, she didn't want to think. She just wanted to feel.
Edward walked with her slowly, never removing his lips from her skin. He feltif he moved the wrong way, he'd wake up from this dream. He wasn't sure how far things would go, but he was willing to take whatever he could get. The next thing he knew, Bella was pushing him down onto her bed as she removed the tiny tank top she was wearing. He cursed at the sight of her bare breasts.
"Damn," he whispered harshly. "Fuck," he spit as he pulled her towards him and devoured the valley between her breasts. He worked his way to her rosy, pink nipples, biting, sucking and savoring every inch of her skin that she would allow.
"Edward," Bella cried out as he squeezed her sensitive flesh. Suddenly one of his hands had trailed down her stomach and found its way to the crease of her cotton shorts.
"Oh, you're so warm," he panted as he pushed her shorts and panties down her legs.
"Too many clothes," she mumbled as she tugged as his shirt. Edward grasped his shirt from the back and pulled it off in one fluid motion. He stood and tugged the button on his shorts, dropping them to the floor along with his boxer briefs.
"Damn," Bella repeated his curse from just moments earlier. His body was cut, but not in an overly muscular way. His erection was standing at attention, long and hard. She reached out and grasped his length, stroking lightly.
He bit back a groan as her hand wrapped around his length. His breath was coming in short bursts as he reached out to stroke her cheek with his thumb. He couldn't wait a second longer; he had to have her and he leaned in and captured her lips again as she continued her caressing.
As their tongues danced together, he pushed Bella back on the bed situating her head on the pillows. Breaking their kiss, he let his fingers dance down around her breasts and further until he reached her folds. The heat was emanating from her center and he knew she was wet for him.
"Mmmmm," he moaned as his fingers slipped through her folds and into her opening. She arched her back and groaned as he pumped his fingers in and out of her.
"Edward," she cried out. "Please…Edward," she begged, barely able to open her eyes against the sensations raking her body.
"You ready, baby?" he asked in a whisper. She nodded frantically holding her breath as he entered her slowly.
"Oh god," she wailed as he filled her completely. He thrust shallowly at first testing her limits. When she wrapped her legs around his waist and squeezed, he picked up his pace.
"You feel so good," he gasped as his eyes connected with hers. She grinned and laughed as his fingers tickled her side. "So good," he mumbled before the smile dropped from her face and he leaned in to kiss her again.
"So good," she agreed, squeezing her legs in a silent plea to speed up. She arched her back again as he hit the magic spot inside of her with every downward thrust. Her fingers dug into his shoulders as her arms coiled with tension. She could feel everything in her body tightening and as Edward lowered his hand and pressed on her clit, she exploded. It felt as if a thousand pounds of pressure had been relieved. The damn that had been building for so long now had finally broken free.
Edward was dumbfounded watching Bella's orgasm consume her. Her whole body tensed and released as he drove into her relentlessly. She squeezed him repeatedly, which was drawing him closer to his finish much more quickly than he would have liked. A deep, guttural sound bubbled up from the pit of his stomach as he growled through his release. His back arched and his head dropped forward in the most intense orgasm he'd ever experienced.
"Shit," his breathing was labored as he collapsed next to Bella.
"Mmhhmmm," she moaned incoherently as she rolled into his side and tucked her head under his chin. She drifted off to sleep almost immediately and Edward followed shortly after that.
~*~ S ~*~
"I wasn't looking for you," Bella stated as she chomped on a slice of pizza from the takeout box.
"I wasn't looking for you either," he nodded, taking a bite from his own slice.
"Yes, you were," she laughed. "You tried to approach me for weeks."
"That's not true," he said appalled. "I'd seen you a few weeks before I found your store," he corrected.
"Still," she giggled.
"He had it bad for you," Emmett chimed in from the chair across the living room. "In his defense though, he wasn't looking for a relationship when he first saw you."
"Yeah, well neither was I," Bella huffed. "I'm glad we found each other though." She grinned at Edward who smiled crookedly in return.
"I'm oddly…" he paused searching for the right word, "relieved."
"Relieved?" Emmett asked.
Edward nodded, smiling a small smile while keeping his attention on his slice of pizza.
"What does that mean?" Bella asked, her curiosity getting the best of her.
He sighed, reluctant to expand upon his answer. "I can stop looking," he admitted quietly.
"Oh," Emmett said in understanding and then chuckled. "I knew she was it," he nodded and grabbed another slice of pizza.
"Huh," Bella asked still utterly confused. She hated when people spoke in code.
"Don't worry about it, baby. You'll find out one day. Probably soon," Edward said and unleashed a devilish grin.
"I don't like being left in the dark." She narrowed her eyes.
"It's not bad," he pouted slightly. "I promise." He lifted his hand to his chest just like he had all those weeks ago when he showed up at her shop. She resigned to trust him just as she had since the first day they had met. She didn't realize it then, but her heart gave in to him much more quickly than her brain.
Although her business was important, her life was just as important, and what good was having a successful business and career if you didn't have someone to share it with? It was pointless and she knew that now.
"You're giving up being a wing woman," Edward stated nonchalantly.
"You think so?" she asked as she looked at him and cocked one eyebrow.
"No, I know so." He turned to her and smiled as she sighed and rolled her eyes.
"I am," she admitted with a nod. "I have a reason to come home at night now," she laughed, hoping she wasn't making a mistake on their serendipitous encounter.
A/N: Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed!