There are so many people who need to be thanked for helping this story come to be. First, azucena, for placing the generous bid on me during the Fandom Gives Back last year and giving me the extra time to make it something I could be proud of.

Secondly, to A Cullen Wannabe, for being the amazing beta that she is and returning this to me as quick as she did.

Next, to my WC ladies, who have fostered this story and given it the love it needed.

And last, but not least, to all of you who are about to read it; thank you for everything you've given me in the last year and a half.

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Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

This story contains erotic at your own risk. If you can't buy a pack of cigs, click the 'x' up top.

Ruby Lips and Words of Want


My friends have officially lost their minds. There is no other explanation for the text I received five minutes ago from Emmett.

Fuck the bar; we're going to Poetry Slam at The Slaughtered Lamb tonight. 8pm, don't pussy out.

I was still shocked when my phone started ringing; I looked to see that Jasper was calling, probably to question the text from Emmett as well. "Jasper, I think Emmett's finally coming out."

"What are you talking about?"

"Poetry Slam? I though you guys were on a crusade to 'get my dick wet' as Emmett put it, so how is that going to happen at a poetry reading?"

I could hear the eye roll on the other end of the line, before he responded. "Edward, I've been to this place on Poetry Slam night. Granted, it was an accident my first time, but even Emmett liked it. So come on, stop being a bitch and go for it."

I grumbled my acceptance and then got off the phone so I could continue working. I enjoyed my work at the modeling agency and when I was younger the allure of beautiful people made it easy to fall into bed in the beginning, but I grew tired of the purchased perfection. Jasper said I grew a conscience, Emmett still says it was all the fake tits, but in reality, it was just exhausting being with someone who wasn't real.

Everything about the people I worked with, both models and agents, was fake. Nails, hair, teeth, boobs, ass, it was all picked out of a book. The intercom buzzed, which confused me because I didn't have any appointments for the next hour. "I'm sorry Edward, but Jessica Stanley is insisting on seeing you."

I groaned before answering Alice. "Send her in."

Jessica Stanley had been one of my first clients, but before that, she was one of my first mistakes. I'd met her at my last job, working with famed photographer Riley Biers as a 'talent wrangler' which meant that I basically kept the models from ruining their wardrobe, hair and make-up, and then made sure they were on-set when Riley needed them. Jessica had just started out and we began seeing each other. It hadn't lasted long, but six months after I'd been made an agent at Makenna Modeling Agency, she waltzed into my office and I took her on as one of my clients.

In the early years, she made good money and was professional at all of her jobs, but recently, she fell into the party lifestyle and made some very important people in the industry leery of working with her. This was no doubt her monthly visit to bitch me out for not getting her work.

The door swung open and Jessica came stumbling into my office in her four-inch heels, looking like she hadn't been to bed in a week. She looked emaciated and her hair was flat and thin. There were dark circles under her eyes and she trembled like a leaf. I knew things were bad and since her manager had quit after her last public outburst, I was the only person who stuck by her. I knew that if I quit the cops would find her dead in a hotel within a week. It wasn't a happy thought, but a part of me felt a small bit of responsibility towards her. Luckily, she also listened to me.

"Edward, I need you to get me a gig!" Her whiny voice was grating on my last nerve.

"No one will work with you, Jessica. You've become a problem and none of the designers or photographers want the hassle."

She huffed. "It wasn't that bad at the last shoot you booked me for."

"Jessica, you jumped into the pool in a $10,000 designer gown." I still couldn't forget the screaming phone call that followed her last shoot three weeks ago.

"Edward, I need a job. I…I don't…I don't have a place to live." She burst into tears, collapsing onto the rug.

"How is that possible? You're under lease until October!"

She looked down as she answered me. "I got evicted."

"What? He can't just throw you out without any reason. I'll call him right now and get this all straightened out."

She jumped off the floor and ran to me where I already had the phone in my hand. "Edward, wait! He did have a reason. I haven't paid my rent in three months."

"Jessica, how could you…you don't have any money left, do you? That's why you need me to get you work, isn't it?"

Jessica started crying again and for a moment, I saw a glimpse of the girl I'd met when we were both just starting out. "I'm so screwed, Edward. I don't have anything, and I'm so hungry. I haven't eaten in days. I can't do it anymore Eddie. Please, I need you." I looked at her and picked up my phone so I could call Alice in the outer office.

"Alice, I need you to cancel my appointments for the rest of the afternoon, and Alice," I heard the click of her picking up the phone so I could ask for the number of a high-profile rehab center without anyone else hearing it.

Collecting my things, I brought Jessica out to the parking garage and helped her into the front seat of my Navigator. The windows were tinted as dark as it was legal to have them, so we could hopefully get around without anyone getting wise. I drove over to her apartment and locked her in the car, making the trek to her landlord's room so that I could clear out her stuff. He wasn't in the mood to deal with Jessica's bullshit, but after I paid the three months of rent that was due to him, he let me in to collect her things.

Walking into the apartment, it was hard to believe that anyone lived here. Squalor was a polite way to describe it, with cigarette burns in the furniture and more liquor and beer bottles than evidence of food. I called a service that cleaned up apartments and explained the situation, offering to pay handsomely for their discretion and telling them that the apartment should be completely empty, as it had been when Jess moved in.

I collected the few things that were salvageable and informed the landlord that the apartment would be cleaned and emptied by tomorrow and that he could keep the two month's deposit for breaking the lease if he stopped the eviction proceedings. When he was finally convinced that as her agent I was truly acting on her behalf and that this was the last he'd be hearing from her, he agreed, calling to stop the eviction as I headed back down to my car.

Throwing her few belongings into the back of my trunk, I called Alice so she could have someone at one of the boutiques pull some clothes for Jessica; I couldn't drop her off to rehab looking like she did with only two tattered tank tops, a pullover and a pair of bleach-stained sweats. When I walked to the driver's side, I could see Jessica lying with her eyes closed and my mind went to a very dark place. Thankfully, as I opened the door her peaceful snoring started to echo through the car, bringing with it, a little relief. Driving around as I took care of some other business for Jessica, I used the car's hands-free set-up to call the rehab facility while Jessica slept soundly beside me. They told me to bring her straight in, while she was still willing to come, that way they could work on detoxing her before she started to have second thoughts.

The girl at the boutique had my purchase all ready for me when I arrived, and with a swipe of the card, I was ready to make the drive out to Malibu. The drive was peaceful, and when we made it to the place Jessica would be spending the next three months, which was the length of time she asked for, she was awake and a little afraid. "Edward, how can I afford this?"

I turned to her, not sure how she would take this news. "Jess, when you started acting erratic, and weren't listening to me or your management team, they opened a separate account for you, in your name. When they quit last month they gave the checkbook to me. It has enough money to cover rehab, the back rent and the cleaning of your apartment and everything else. I used my checkbook for the rent, but everything else has been your money, and you're going to write the check to them, and then I'm taking it back with me and it'll be waiting for you when you get out of rehab. Now, I'm trusting you with this, instead of saying that it's taken care of. I need you to get better, Jess. For your own good."

"How much do I owe you?" She looked so small and broken, so I nodded to the checkbook, where I'd already written in the amount. She quickly filled in the rest of the information and then signed it, handing it to me, before we got out of the car. I walked her in, the bags of clothes in my hands as we met with the admissions counselor.

An hour and one tearful good-bye later, I got back into the car and drove down to In-n-Out and grabbed something quick to eat before arriving at The Slaughtered Lamb. This was practically where Jasper lived at this point. He spent so much time there searching for up and coming artists, we'd meet him to hang out for open mic nights, but why we were here for a poetry slam was fucking beyond me.

I slipped past the line and into the club where Jasper and Emmett had their usual table. The waitress came over and took my drink order as the Emcee jumped up on the stage to call our attention.

"Hey everyone, if I could interrupt your drinks for a second, I'm Tyler C and I'm your emcee for the evening. We're about to get started here, so let me set it up. Eight people signed up for this evening, we've got four regulars and four newbies up here for our first round. We've got five judges sitting in the house, who'll judge the poets, the top and bottom score for each performer gets dropped and the top four go on to round two. Same thing happens in round two, leaving us with the top two poets of the night to face off for the money. Your servers will be going around with the tip jars throughout the evening, so please, be generous because the top poet of the night gets to take home those tips. Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. Tonight, we're starting with one of our vets; she's a sweetheart and a fucking wordsmith. Please welcome to the stage, Bella Swan."

I looked over at Jasper and he was laughing, having gotten used to Tyler C's style of emceeing. I was still shaking my head when I felt Emmett's mammoth hand smack me on the arm as he pointed to the stage. I turned and nearly lost my shit as this girl got onto the stage. She was a petite woman, with soft curves and long wavy, coffee colored hair and warm cinnamon eyes. She stepped up to the mic and looked up as she began speaking. Her lips were pouty in the way that every one of my clients wanted, but not perfect either. There were a million things about her that were perfectly average, but that was what made her so irresistible.

I watched her lips dance behind the microphone as she weaved her first poem. The poem was interesting, but Bella Swan was far more enticing. When she left the stage, was the first moment I became aware of just how turned on by her I was because I was hard enough in that moment to cut glass. The other performers were okay, but it was clear that she was walking away with the money tonight.

The second round started and Bella was one of the top two performers, so she made it to the final round. I caught the waitress' attention and as she brought me another round, I pulled two $100 bills out of my wallet and threw them into the tip jar on her tray.

Her eyes bugged out of her skull, as did the two sets sitting next to me. Emmett started mumbling something about paying her in advance, but all I did was punch him and wait as Tyler C came up to announce that Bella was the winner.

Bella jumped up and hugged a leggy blonde and a few other people at her table before taking the stage and waving to the crowd and then climbng down to collect her envelope from the bartender. Seeing my opportunity, I readjusted myself and walked over to get myself another drink.

She was leaning over enough to give me a nice shot down her shirt as I walked up and told the bartender to put her rum and coke on my tab along with another whiskey for me, before turning to her. "That was impressive, your poems were different, but that's what made them really stand out."

"Thanks. Do you come to the slam often?" She smiled up at me just as our drinks were delivered.

"No, my friend brings us here for the open mic nights because he's looking for musicians, but I'm not sure why he thought about coming here tonight. I'm glad he told me to come out, because it was definitely worth it to meet you, Bella."

A blush colored her ivory skin as she sipped on her drink. "Now, I'm at a distinct disadvantage here, because you know my name, but I don't know yours."

My jaw dropped slightly as I realized she was absolutely right. "I'm sorry, I'm Edward Cullen." I extended hand to her and she shook it willingly.

"It's nice to meet you Edward; I hope to see you back here again soon. If you don't mind though, I've got an early morning and I should celebrate with my friends before I head home."

She was about to walk away, but I blurted out before she could leave. "Could I get your number before you do?"

"Maybe next week. Goodnight Edward." Her lip curled up a little and I couldn't help but smile back as I told her goodnight.

I walked back to our table and sat down for a little while, sighing that I hadn't gotten further with her. Emmett sat down a minute later, smirking like a fool, but I was still trying not to look like I was staring at the way her dark wash jeans hugged her ass, or remembering the soft feel of her shirt from when I'd brushed up against her arm.

I must have sighed again, because Jasper waved his hand and caught my attention. "Something's up with you. What's going on?"

I sighed again and emptied my glass. "I dropped Jess off at Promises this afternoon."

"Seriously, I know she was causing problems, but rehab?" Jasper whispered the last word and I shook my head.

"She put her rent check up her nose."

Emmett groaned and looked over at me. "I don't understand why you still put up with her. You're too damn sentimental."

"She was one of my first clients, I remember her when she was off the bus from Washington State. I can't just leave her alone to OD, because she was so close."

"Yeah Emmett, he's decent. Don't give him shit for it." Jasper nodded and I appreciated his defense.

"Okay, I'm heading out, here's for my share of the tab. Talk to you tomorrow." I pulled out some cash, put it on the table and then walked out with one more glance towards Bella's table.

That night, I got back to my house and settled into bed. Unfortunately, I found myself staring at my ceiling imagining Bella Swan's lips hugging the microphone, but it didn't last long. Soon my mind had her sucking me off and my hand went to work on my problem. I hadn't jerked off thinking of a real person since high school, but I'd be damned if that image wasn't going to help relieve me. It was shameful how fast I came, but after that, I was able to get to sleep, only to have Bella spend the night starring in my dreams.

I woke up the next morning and started my daily routine. By 8:45, I was sitting at my desk and placed a few calls to handle the things I'd pushed aside yesterday to take care of Jess. Alice had rescheduled most of my appointments, but some of the calls had to be done personally.

My phone buzzed at 11:45, informing me that Emmett had finally joined us in the land of the living.

E, you better dust off that A- in poetry class from college, because you're gonna need it!

A little worried about what the hell he meant, I was about to call him when my phone rang. "Hello?"

"Hi, is this Edward Cullen? I'm Emcee Tyler C from The Slaughtered Lamb."

"Yes?" I cringed hearing him actually refer to himself like that offstage.

"I was calling to let you know that you were one of the people picked for next week's Poetry Slam."

I groaned and tried to worm my way out of this. "You know, I don't think I'm gonna be able to do it, maybe another time."

"Oh, come on, I know Bella is a little intimidating to go against, but we need a guy to take back the title. This week's topic is erotica, so have fun with it. Catch you a half hour before the show next Thursday!"

The phone disconnected before I could tell him no and I was now officially screwed. I'm sure I could get a hold of him at the club, but a small part of me wanted to get up on the stage just to see if I could impress Bella with my poetry…but erotica? I groaned again as Alice walked in.

"That doesn't sound happy?" She handed me some paperwork and I began to look through it as I answered.

"Jasper brought us to a Poetry Slam last night, and Emmett in his infinite fucking stupidity signed me up for next week. How in the hell am I going to come up with three erotica poems by next Thursday?"

Alice gasped before peals of laughter erupted from her perfectly made-up face. "Erotica? Oh Edward, I'm sorry." She laughed a little more and then regained herself. "Did he know what the topic was?"

"No, they just told me when they called. I have to get this done though, and they have to be good."

"What do you care?" She knew me enough to know there was something more that I wasn't telling her.

"The girl who won last night, she was hot and I want to impress her."

"Didn't you do a good enough job last night?" She was fishing, but if I was going to get her help, she'd need to know everything.

"I didn't sleep with her last night, though it wasn't for a lack of trying. She was just so different than what walks in here every day. She was like a good girl or something."

"You mean you're actually going to chase her? Edward, I haven't seen you this into someone since…" Alice let the reference to Jessica drop, but she was right, Jess was the last time I dated a girl who is real, or at least, who started out that way.

I spent most of the afternoon looking over the various contracts to make sure that there weren't any major changes that needed to be hammered out before contacting someone in legal to go over them with a fine-tooth comb.

Around 4:15, Alice came into my office with a brown paper bag and a smile. "You're going to love me so much."

I looked up at her with my eyebrow quirked, slightly worried about what she had done to make her worthy of love this time. "Enough not to fire you for leaving my reception area unattended for an hour?"

Her eyes rolled as she took my appointment book. "I was at the bookstore getting you something for your little problem, and I ran into the most beautiful woman on earth. Her name's Rosalie Hale and she's coming in to see you. You have an opening on Wednesday, so I'll schedule a test shoot for Tuesday. Trust me, you'll buy me a Porsche, you'll be so thrilled."

"Does she have any representation?"

"No, she came out here to go to college and did a few school plays, but never pursued it. She told me that she'd thought about modeling, but didn't know how to get her foot in the door. I mean, look at her!" Alice held out her phone to show me a picture of the woman who was quite stunning. I was surprised that Alice was so excited about this possible new client, or that she'd managed to go undiscovered in a town filled with people trying to make it, but I wasn't going to fight it. I let Alice set up the appointments and then started up my browser as my thoughts went back to the poetry I was supposed to come up with.

I typed in a site I knew a little too well but found it blocked. Something that wasn't the case this morning. "Alice?"

The intercom buzzed, so I picked up my phone hoping for an explanation. "Erotica isn't just about sex, Edward. It's about desire. The act itself is all about the buildup. If you're going to beat this woman, your three poems have to shock the audience a little. They're going to expect you to give porno cliff notes, so use some of that charm and the book sitting on the edge of your desk and create some allure. You can write about sex, but make it sensual. Besides, you shouldn't be looking at porn at work, it's cliché."

I picked up the brown bag she had left on my desk to find a book of erotic poetry. "How did you know I needed three poems for the poetry slam?"

"While I was out I called Jasper to ask what you had to do. I needed to know how this thing worked. Now write something that will drench every panty in the club. I'm going to make a few calls and then go home for the weekend, do you need anything else?"

"No Alice, have a good weekend."

"You too, bossman." I laughed at her nickname for me and started flipping through the book. There were a lot of poems in here that didn't mention any type of sex act at all. I knew I wanted these poems to speak to Bella, so I decided to start with one that described how different she was from the women I see all day, and why that was what made me want her so much more.

I went home around a 5:45 and with my poetry book in hand and spent the weekend trying to write something. It was pitiful to see how many crumpled up pieces of paper littered my floor as the poems either ended too tame to be considered erotica, or too graphic to be any good. I wanted to make it past the first round, so to do that it'll be strategy as much as it is the poem itself. This had me really excited though. Then, finally, the first poem started come together. It hinted at desire, but if nothing else, it would let her know that I was interested in her and I could do the rest after the contest was over. I went to bed that night feeling better that I had at least one of the poems done.

I got into the office and tried to settle into my morning, but on the radio during my ride in, I heard the one thing I'd hoped to avoid for at least a little while. It seems that one of the patients at Promises on their way out snapped a picture of Jess on her way to a morning session and the biggest story of the day was the news that model Jessica Stanley was in rehab for her coke and alcohol addiction. I was just hoping that this news wouldn't reach her right away, if that were possible.

My morning was spent trying to wade through all the bullshit this created, especially since I was the only person left on her professional team. I contacted the PR person for the agency and they helped me craft a statement and I called the rehab, but they told me that Jessica wasn't able to talk until they had her detox completed and had her in a better place. I knew that she trusted me to keep her career alive, so I went ahead and released the statement.

Once it was confirmed that she was in rehab, the phone began ringing off the hook and Alice managed to politely tell everyone from ET to TMZ to fuck off. Looking for a distraction, I pulled up the first poem and tweaked it a little, before opening a new document. I needed something and this was just the ticket. I tried to move onto something a little more suggestive from the first one. I had spent the first one thinking of her understated beauty in a city and industry of overt sexuality, but now I really wanted to go for it…so to speak.

I played with a poem a little but ended up deleting it before the day ended, secretly hoping that some A-List star would go out without any panties on today so their crotch shot would become a bigger story than Jess so I could resume business as usual tomorrow.

Tuesday started with a morning meeting, which thankfully went as planned and by lunch I was going over contracts like any other day, the Jessica mess having died down because the agency was stonewalling any inquiries with a sound 'no comment'.

With the insanity calmed for a minute, I had a little time between when I would get the photos from the test shoot and my dinner meeting, so I started flipping through the poetry book again. I noticed that some of the poems focused on specific acts or body parts, romanticizing it and using details while not being too specific. Thinking back to Bella last week, the thing that stood out more than anything else was her mouth. The way it danced behind the microphone, or opened wide in surprise when she beat out one of her other competitors, or the sly smirk while we spoke at the bar before she walked away, daring me to come back another week if I was really interested. If she only knew.

The rest of my afternoon moved quickly, with a few bookings for other clients, and by 3:30, I had Rosalie Hale's test shots in front of me. I had to admit she was a knockout, photographing extremely well, and there was an air about her that would do better with high end products and editorials, she definitely wasn't a Covergirl type of model. I studied the different looks they tried her in and made some notes before heading to my dinner meeting. On my way out the door, I knocked on Alice's desk and whispered 'nice catch' so I wouldn't disturb her phone call.

My meeting was long, but I landed a big account for Katrina so the torture was worth it. When I got home, I opened my computer and remembered the thoughts I'd been having earlier about Bella's mouth and continued writing. My first poem had compared her to the looks and personality of women like Rosalie, who were made to live in LA and were a dime a dozen in my life.

I also thought about the people I've seen in the last few years and realized that the last real person I'd dated was Jessica. This city swallowed her whole, but I could tell Bella was different, stronger than Jess. Any woman who had porcelain skin in the land of the spray tan definitely cared more for herself than her image.

It was a few hours later, as I lay in bed that I realized just how much Bella was starting to mean to me, without another word spoken. She was more than a chick I wanted to bed. I could have meaningless sex any night of the week with my looks if I wanted to, but she was the type I'd stay to have breakfast with.

Waking up Wednesday, with my second poem behind me, and having it come much easier than the first, I felt better about having two days for my final poem. I got into the office in enough time to make a few phone calls before Ms. Hale was supposed to arrive.

The buzz of my intercom alerted me to time so I finished my call and told Alice to send her in. She walked in wearing jeans and a t-shirt; thankfully, she knew how to dress for one of these meetings. "Ms. Hale, I'm Edward Cullen."

"Please, call me Rosalie. It's nice to meet you."

I nodded to the chair across the desk and pulled up the proofs from the disc I'd been given yesterday. "Rosalie, you're 27, if modeling was something you were serious about, how come you're only pursuing it now?"

She shifted and took a deep breath before speaking. "I'm beautiful, but I was always told that it took more than looks to make it. I tried it in college, but after too many people told me that I'd never make it I started looking for a real job, then I met your assistant and she told me that I carried myself like a model. She told me there was an air about me, but I was somehow still accessible. That's why I'm here. People assume that I'm an ice queen, but if I'm marketed right, then I could finally have my dream."

Her answer surprised me, but not in a bad way. She did fit the bill of an icy bitch, but even in these first few minutes I could see that it wasn't entirely true. She was just thick skinned. "Very well. Now, I've been looking over your photos, as well as talking to the staff from the shoot. I was pleased with what I've learned, with one exception. Are you comfortable with people seeing you in your underwear after just meeting them?"

Rosalie gasped and crossed her arms across her chest, pacing the room in an impressive pair of heels. "What are you, some pervert? I'm not going to strip down for you?"

"Wait…what? No. I'm just trying to get an idea of what types of jobs I could send you on. Please sit down and I'll show you what I mean." I pulled up the photos I'd put in a separate folder on my desktop as I explained to her what I'd meant. "In these photos you were completely at ease. You had attitude and spirit, but there was still that hint of mystery about you." I continued through the selected shots of her clothed and into a few of the bathing suit shots. "Even here in the bikinis, you seem okay because if you bought this in a store, everyone at the beach would see you wearing it, but when you get to the shots from the underwear modeling, you become timid. See it, right there, the light that made those last pictures come alive is gone. Vulnerability is fine when it's in small doses, but if you're not at ease it'll translate to the photo and a designer won't want to use you. That's fine if we know it, you just won't model undergarments, but if there was something more to it and you could grow to be okay with that, then I'd want to know that as well. I have to know who my clients are so I can market them. The fact that you jumped to that conclusion makes me think that we'll stay away from it, for the time being. I hope that clears up the reason behind my question."

"It does, thank you." She moved from the spot she'd stood in during my explanation and sat in the chair that she had been sitting in before her accusation.

We spoke for another 20 minutes about what she was interested in getting from a modeling career before I told her to expect a call from Alice in a few days. I'd want her to work with us so that she'd be ready for her first go sees, then we'd get her under contract and I'd have a new client to work into the scene.

I worked through the afternoon and was surprised when Alice told me that Jess was on the phone.


"Hey Edward, they said you tried calling the other day?"

I swallowed past the lump in my throat as I continued. "Yeah, I wanted to make sure you were settling in okay."

I heard her deep breath and didn't know what had her upset until she spoke. "When did the news break? The morning you called?"

"How did you know?"

Her laughter was short, but it was a sound I hadn't heard in a while. "You never could lie to someone you cared about. Was it a complete disaster?"

"It was handled. You don't worry about that, just get better, okay?"

"I will. How are you Edward, besides putting out all the fires I've started?"

That made me laugh because she'd started a few literal fires in her days, as well as the metaphorical ones I was still dealing with. "Can you believe I'm going to be performing at a poetry slam tomorrow?"

"Who is she?"

"Who?" Jessica's thought process was always dizzying, but today it had me all over the place.

"The woman that you're trying to impress. You only make an ass of yourself for the sake of a girl."

"You know me well, Jess. She's one of the regular performers. She flirted with me a little but just walked away, and I'm not used to chasing."

"It'll do you some good. Look I have to go, but you break a leg tomorrow and I'll meet you and Miss Poetry Slam when I have my three-month chip."

It made me smile to think of Jessica sober and ready to move on, but also that she expected Bella to be around in three months. "You take care, Jess. I'll see you when you get out."

My phone call from Jessica was a nice end to my day, so after stopping to pick up some take out, I settled in to write my last poem. I was most worried about this one and it was evident that it would make or break my chances with Bella. I just hoped for the sake of my sanity she'd be flattered and not skeeved out.

I woke up the next morning, grateful that I had to babysit one of my newer clients at her shoot, because it meant that I was out of the office. I uploaded my poems to my phone and used the guise of working to memorize them. I'd always been good with remembering things, so most of my day was spent working on delivery and trying to figure out what in the hell I would wear. That particular question was answered by my clairvoyant assistant as she sent me the picture of the clothes she'd had delivered to my place.

I showered and tried to control my hair as best I could, actually getting it tamed before buttoning up the blue Armani shirt and True Religion jeans she'd left. Slipping on my dress shoes, hoping to make the outfit look a little nicer, I grabbed my wallet, keys, and phone and was out the door.

I arrived right when I was supposed to and checked in with Tyler C before Alice's gasp let me know that my cheering section, or lynch mob, depending on how you looked at it, were here. "What am I going to do with you? Come over here."

She dragged me down the hallway that lead to the bathroom and told the guys to grab a table. Her hands were instantly in my hair, fucking it up, until she got frustrated and moved down to attack my top few buttons. "Of all the days to try and not look like you stuck your dick in an electrical outlet, you pick today. Whatever it is you do to look like a hobo from the eyebrows up, do it now."

She gestured wildly towards my head and I ran my hands threw my hair half in frustration and half on her instructions. "Alice, what in the hell is up with you?"

"Your hair, gives you a perpetual freshly fucked look; you're reading erotic poetry tonight, that'll help your cause. The open buttons will help hint at what's under the shirt and those jeans hug your cute little ass like a second skin. She won't be able to resist you. Now all you have to do is impress her."

"Thanks short stack."

She smacked my chest and walked past me and back into the seating area. "Whatever, you're gonna be going on last the first round, so remember if you hang out here for the first couple, make sure you come find us in between acts."

Part of me wanted to hide out, but I didn't know when Bella was up and I had to see her go up. About five minutes before the poetry slam began; I walked out and was happy to see that my drink was already waiting for me. I took my seat and downed the drink, gesturing to the waitress to bring me another.

My new drink was in hand just as Tyler got up onto the stage. "What's up, I'm Emcee Tyler C and tonight is a very special night. We have a lot of different themes, but we don't ever have a more interesting response than we do when the erotica theme comes around. Tonight we have some newcomers and our favorites ready to leave you all hot and bothered. Our judges are in their seats and as always, we start at 8, work our way down to four, then after the second elimination, the final two go head to head for the tips and the title of poetry slam champ. Now, let's get the evening started with our first slammer, Mike Newton."

As I sat there and listened to the awkward and creepy poem, I was happy that I wouldn't have to hear him get back on the stage. The next three performers weren't anything great either, but as soon as they called Bella's name, I focused on the stage. I hadn't noticed where she was sitting before then, but I was glad I hadn't, because I would have been in trouble. Stepping up on the stage, she was wearing a curve hugging blue dress, with ruffled capped sleeves and a v-neck that hugged her cleavage perfectly, the panels of the front were just enough detail to make it interesting, but not distracting. It was the type of dress I'd see my models wear and not notice much, but on her, it was the sexiest thing I had ever seen. She stepped up to the mic and after a deep breath, she began.

His movements leave me speechless
I'm breathless under his expert touch
The combination of tongue and fingers
Overwhelms me from the start
Gentle caresses with light flicks
Tender kneading and languid licks
Hard and soft
North and South
Each move has me guessing
But never question
My god of pleasure is never challenged
He is given free range
And my body's his instrument
To play as he pleases
The tip of his tongue dancing over my nipple
She's standing at attention
Crying out his name
And then he's found his moment
So he claims me as his
My master, my lover
My man owns my heart
And its lovingly cared for
Till the world falls apart.

The fire in her eyes as she finished sharing the poem had me readjusting myself and thinking of everything I could to fight this hard-on. I was done for, now all I had to do was hope to make it two rounds, so she could hear my second poem. It took me forever to get the order down, but in about 10 minutes, I was about to see just how well I'd done.

I was next up, when I felt Emmett smack me. "Fucker, why are you muttering about Tyra Banks?"

Alice burst out laughing and then bit her cheek to try and calm it down. "He has to be sporting wood, because he says nothing is more of a turn-off than Tyra Banks talking like anyone cares what she has to say."

Alice talking about my dick got me soft in a second. "Thanks Alice."

Tyler was back on stage, getting ready to announce me. "Okay, the last person coming to the stage tonight is one of our few brave men, and a newbie to boot. Please welcome Edward Cullen to the stage!"

There was a decent amount of applause, and plenty of cat calls, but my eyes were focused right on Bella as I crossed the stage and began.

Each day's filled with fakeness
Acrylic nails and dyed hair
Expensive clothes
Thick perfume chokes me
But then you walk in
And shatter my senses
Jeans have never been sexier
A clean face so serene
Sublime in simplicity
It pulls me to you.
In my world
you're an anchor,
holding me
firm in reality.
It's been so long since I've craved,
but I crave for you now.
Need the honesty
your soft curves contain.
The spark of banter
your wit evokes,
I've never sparred
with someone so worthy.
I could spar with you for years
if it meant I was yours.
With your jeans on my floor
Your clothes in my drawer.
I sell sex appeal
but none can touch you.
If your allure could be bottled
Mankind would be doomed.

I saw her chest heave with the breath she'd been holding and her teeth sank into her bottom lip. Her eyes were wide in shock, probably astonished that as I looked around the room, her seat was where my focus stayed. I got down and ignored my table as I chanced a glance at Bella, only to find she'd followed me to my seat.

I saw Tyler walk along the wall from the judges to get up and announce who would be going on. "Well, damn that was a hot first round, but it's time to see who has the scores to show us more. Moving on to the second round, in no particular order, are Tanya Denali, Demetri Volturi, Edward Cullen, and Bella Swan."

I fist bumped my boys and then looked over to see Bella raising her glass, so I joined her in a silent toast while Tanya Denali took the stage. I'd ignored her the first time she performed, but this time I wasn't as lucky. She was more breathy moans and whispered come-ons than real poetry, and her male counterpart followed, making it pretty clear that it would be Bella and I in a battle for the title. With another introduction, I was back on the stage, ready to show a little depth.

An imperfect bowtie

Calling without words

Lusciously soft and pink, no red

As her teeth bite the flesh.

I rescue the prisoner,

My thumb stroking it gently

Her lips open to surround me,

Taking my digit inside.

Leaning in slowly

To claim them as mine,

My lips brush hers briefly,

With feather light kisses.

Needing more of her,

My tongue traces her lips

A soft gasp gains me entrance

To that beautiful mouth.

Our tongues dance together

Her hands find my hair

My whole body's alive

With the fire she's started.

Passion consumes us

Our bodies pressed close

Still so much to discover

This is just the beginning.

We break apart, gasping,

But don't dare move away

I dip my face lower

Sucking her lip in between mine.

Our attraction is clear

In each peck we exchange,

As they turn into more

And the time for thought ends.

We are lost in the moment

One well worth the losing

If this kiss is the start

Of much more to come.

Bella was out of her seat before I even left the stage, brushing past me on her way up and waving Tyler off, she wasn't going to prolong this. She started speaking as soon as the clapping died down.

I turn to see you
A smile on my face
You're where you reside
On my left side
A slow, gentle touch
Caresses my skin
You hum in contentment
As our ritual begins
An attentive lover
Who knows all my needs
Sensing when to push harder
And when to recede
Inching closer to me
I shiver with anticipation
Feeling you stroke me
My minds in a daze
Entering slowly
I rise to meet you
Finding our rhythm
As I call out in praise
You know what I like
Giving your all
Crying in pleasure
Only seems to spur you on
The tension builds faster
I know the end is near
I reach down to help you
As the tremors begin
I relax into the mattress
My energy spent
Yet I smile again
Aware of where we stand
No pillow talk here
I know better than that
With the turn of a knob
There's silence again
The nightstand drawer opens
And you rest safely there
Until next I come calling
For woman's best friend

As soon as she finished, she winked in my direction and exited the stage. I just sat there slack jawed…did she just recite a poem about her vibrator? I needed to know this woman. Bella and I were going to talk after this foreplay. It didn't take long for Tyler C to make his way back to the microphone.

"After that impressive round, we have two standout slammers who are going to the final round. So fill the tip jars for Bella and Edward! Bells, you're the reigning champ so it's your call, do you want to go first or second?"

"First!" She yelled from her seat, walking to the stage and taking the mic off the stand to deliver her final poem of the night.

Hands trailing down my spine
Goosebumps in their wake
Breath caressing my cheek
His words in my ear

Lips assaulting mine
Tongues fighting for dominance
Moans getting lost
In the caverns of our joined mouths

Fingers grow bold
Clawing; groping, massaging
Buttons are undone
As clothes drift to the floor

His eyes are hungry
They burn through my body
Leaving me wanting
I'm begging for more

His tongue is sublime
As he samples my flesh
I live in sensations
That are all together new

He fills me suddenly
Stealing my breath
I'm lost to his body
As the pleasure builds

I'm moving with him
Each stroke of his met
So overwhelmed
That I can't find the words

We're growing close now
Our bodies both falter
The ecstasy palpable
As we fall over the edge

A tangle of limbs
Collapsed on the bed
Content to remain
For the rest on the night

Damn…she was either trying to kill me, or embarrass me with the rock-hard cock I was about to walk onto stage with. There was no way to kill it that quickly. My phone buzzed and I read the text Jasper sent me.

Alice and I had sex on your desk last week…I'm pretty sure I cleaned everything up.

"You two are like his and her towels, you know that? A perfect fucking pair of sexaholics nuts sent to drive me to drink."

"Says the guy reciting erotica in a crowded bar." Jasper remarked as Tyler called me up. It took me a few seconds to center myself as I prepared myself to lay it all on the line.

I see the way you look at me
Like you've already seen me bare
Yet your eyes betray the façade
As you see me standing here
Your tongue darts out to wet your lips
I feel the pull to you
You could daydream till forever
And not know all I want to do to you

Your body's clad in lace and silk
That brushes against my chest
I slide my hand up to the clasp
Revealing you at last
My mouth finds yours
Legs circle my waist
As I carry you away
Into the ecstasy that awaits

My Goddess of the stage has come
To give me a single chance
More's at stake than just tonight
And this time I cannot wait
It's your words that haunt my days
While you face fills my dreams
I'm not used to the chase, you see
But for you, I'll play the game

We fit together perfectly
Just like I knew we would
You meet my movements
Tit for tat, in and out
Your presence gives you confidence
Which quickly spurs me on
To be someone worthy of
The woman for whom the moon was hung

My approach this time is different
Softer, but bolder still
Because there's no bravado left
I'm open to your will
Give me the opportunity
To prove how true I am
I'll show you every side of me
And only scream your name

The crowd roared as I stepped down and went back to my table. My knee was bouncing because I really couldn't tell which one of us was going to win, but I really just wanted to get it over with so I could talk to her. The game had been fun while it lasted, but the time has come for action. I was about to tackle Emcee Tyler C to get the results already when he got up on the stage with a huge smile on his face. "It seems we've found a new king! Tonight's winner, by a very close vote, is Edward Cullen!"

I stood at my seat and turned to face everyone as their applause continued, but as I turned to find Bella, she wasn't at her table. I was disappointed that she'd bailed so quickly after finding out she lost, until I heard the voice that had lived in my dreams all week speak right behind me. "Congratulations."

I spun around and smiled, looking at her before I took the drink she was offering. "Thanks, do you know if there's somewhere we can talk here?"

"I know just the place." I followed her as she walked past the bar, where I picked up my envelope and then down a small hallway to a poorly kept room. "What is this?"

"The greenroom. They use it more on open mics, but I hang out here from time to time. It's easier to hide when no one knows where to find you." She winked and then sat on one of the couches, motioning for the empty seat. "So you wanted to talk?"

I nodded nervously and sat close to her on the tiny piece of furniture. "Yes. I don't know how to say this without it ending with a restraining offer, so I'm just going to put it all out there. Those poems, they were real. I've thought about you more than I've ever thought about any woman. I've never actively chased someone, but you had me so mesmerized that when I found out my friend Emmett signed me up for tonight, part of me was happy to have a chance to impress you. I don't really even know you, but you're the most interesting person I know. From the past two times I've seen you perform I already know that you're funny, smart, witty, and ballsy as hell. I want to get to know you better, and I want you to know me better. I guess what I'm saying is I'd like to take you out sometime."

"Do you always ramble like this, or is it just me?"

I stared at her with my jaw unhinged as she winked and pushed my mouth closed. "Just you. Is that a yes?"

She lunged forward and captured my lips in a searing kiss, my whole body short-circuiting at the current that her touch caused before she pulled away. "It's a let's go back out in public before we get carried away. There's plenty of time for that later."

The two of us walked back to find that our friends had combined themselves at Bella's table and I almost dropped dead when I saw a very familiar face wink at me before she hugged Bella. "So, Bella, what do you think of the agent with a heart of gold?"

"You two know each other?" Bella and I both said at the same time.

"After you two left last week, Emmett starting hitting on me and we realized that we had you two in common, so we started talking. When it was obvious you both had a thing for each other, I wanted to make sure that Bella wasn't getting involved with a jerk. Emmett got Alice to set up my sting operation, and he was totally professional. Plus, Emmett and Alice both told me about what you did for Jessica Stanley, and anyone who is that nice to an ex without getting anything in return has to be a decent guy."

"I'm so confused." Bella was still looking around the table and I sat down pulling her into my right leg, her legs between both of mine and her side against my chest.

"Rosalie came in as a prospective client. I'm an agent at Makenna Modeling Agency, and obviously it was more about making sure I wasn't a creep or a slut than it was about a real interest in modeling."

Rosalie, Bella and I all laughed at her antics and then settled in to talk amongst ourselves. It seems there was a little spying on both sides, but neither one of us was really upset about it because all they'd done was proven our instinct right.

As the night progressed and we grew bolder. Bella was pressed against my chest as she kissed me again, my hand finding the base of her skull as she ran her hands over my chest and shoulder. It was getting to the point where I knew I had to make my move; the tension between us was like another person in the room, pushing us closer together.

"You want to get out of here?" I whispered against her lips.

"Your place or mine?" She breathed across my face.

I thought about it, trying to remember if I'd picked up my clothes when changing before realizing that I really didn't care. "Mine. Let's go."

Taking her hand, we ran out to the parking lot and got in my SUV. The cross town drive had me nearly driving off the road a few times, as Bella's left hand took up residence on my leg, running a circuit from my knee to my groin. On one particular pass, she slid further down and cupped my junk, a curse falling from my lips as the car lurched forward.

"Sorry." She giggled, looking anything but.

"You're not, but neither am I. Do you think you can hold off until I've got the car parked?"

"You better speed home." She whispered, her words going straight to my dick and causing my foot to inch downward on the gas pedal.

Finally making our way through the insane LA traffic, we pulled into my driveway and I flew around to Bella's side of the car, but I wasn't fast enough as she was already closing the door and reaching for my hand. Jogging to the front door, I got it opened and locked again before attaching my lips to Bella's once again.

Her fingers worked on my shirt as mine found the zipper on her dress, pulling it down to reveal only a thong underneath. I moaned out, "You're trying to kill me," before kissing her again.

With one good tug, my shirt fell off my shoulders and down my back as we tried to climb the stairs. Our eagerness got the better of us as we tripped up the stairs, my full weight landing on top of her. "Are you okay?"

"Perfect," she responded as she bucked up into me, her heat searing through my jeans.

Not wanting to waste another moment, I lifted her and carried her to my bedroom. I placed her on the bed and kicked off my shoes, undoing my pants and taking them and my socks off while Bella sat up, her legs hanging off the foot of the bed. I stared at her for a moment before dropping my boxers, enjoying the satisfied look on her face at what she saw. I stalked towards the bed, pushing her up the mattress as I settled between her legs. Our eyes met for a moment before my fingers found the sides of her thong and tore it off her. Her eyes widened as I lowered my face to center. Running my tongue along her, she moaned, giving me all the encouragement I needed. Taking her clit gently between my teeth, I teased her until a few moments later when she called out for me to stop.

"What's wrong? Is this going to fast? Do you not want to do this?" I was freaking out that somehow, I'd scared her off, but the smile on her face gave me a little hope.

"Oh, I want to do this, but get up here. It doesn't seem fair for me to have all the fun." She ducked down to lick the tip of my dick and then pushed me onto my side. "It's more comfortable this way."

We both lay on our sides, facing each other, about to begin the hottest fucking thing I'd ever been a part of. I'd never known a woman who was into doing a 69, but it seems Bella might just teach me a few things. Lifting her leg over my head, I started pleasuring her again as I felt her mouth surround me. She knew what she was doing, which made me grateful but at the same time pissed at whatever guy had the chance to teach her this much. Any resentment to the unknown lucky bastard from her past left my mind as she became more aggressive in her attention. She used both her tongue and teeth to tease my length and as I became more enthusiastic in my attention to her, she hummed around me and I almost lost it right there. As it was, I wouldn't hold on very long, but any attempt to warn her went disregarded until finally my work brought her to her peak, the half-screamed moan that vibrated around me in her mouth sent me over my own edge, as she swallowed every bit of it.

We came down from the heights together as I held her close, knowing that I'd need at least a few minutes to recover. She trailed kisses along my neck as we lay there, my need for her barely sated as we trailed our hands wherever they could reach on the other. "That was amazing, I guess Rosalie does know what she's talking about."

"What do you mean?" I was looking down at her as she blushed a little.

"I kind of wanted to impress you, so I asked Rose for some pointers. I wanted this to be a night we'd both remember."

"Bella, you impressed me the first minute I saw you. You didn't need to do anything. Was she the one that told you it was more comfortable that way?"

Bella giggled and nodded. "Yes, why?"

"Because the thought of you doing that with some other guy had me ready to find the guy and hit him."

I felt Bella snuggle closer to me as she whispered, "Guys tend to get intimidated by how intense and take charge I am. It's kind of a relationship killer."

My hand started stroking her back as I spoke into her hair. "I don't think that'll be a problem here. I like that you're that enthusiastic; it's nice to have a woman know what she wants and how to get it. Any man threatened by that isn't a real man."

"Does that mean this wasn't all about the thrill of the chase?" Her eyes were hopeful, like she thought that tonight may be our only time together, suddenly her trying to impress me was making more sense.

"I'm not the catch and release type. Especially when what I caught is this special."

Before she could respond, I leaned down to kiss her, pouring every bit of desire I felt for her into it and was completely overwhelmed when I felt her do the same. The kiss became needy and when we broke to fill our burning lungs with air, I rolled to the nightstand to get a condom.

Once I was ready, I rolled over and settled between Bella's legs. "Go out with me tomorrow night. We can grab dinner and get to know each other better."

"That sounds nice." She said as I slid into her, sheathing myself in her warmth.

I held still for a moment, and then began thrusting back and forth into her. Her eyes rolled back into her head as she moved beneath me, and we worked to find our rhythm. Bella's hands clawed into my back as we pushed forward, the slow beginning building faster as our passion took over.

"Oh god, right there…oh Edward!"

Rolling back and forth as each of us needed to feel some control of the moment; I finally let Bella stay on top, loving the view of her riding me hard. She ran her hands up my chest and over my shoulders as she felt her orgasm building.

"That's it…let go. I want to feel you squeeze me. Make me cum with you baby."

My words seemed to give her the last little nudge she needed as she called out my name, her back arching up as I grasped her ass and thrust up, my own orgasm taking over. When the tremors subsided, I ran my hands up Bella's back, holding her in place for as long as I could before we had to clean up.

After that chore, we both climbed back into bed, me in pajama pants and her in one of my old t-shirts. Pulling her to my chest as we settled in to sleep, I smiled, thinking of just how much I'd won tonight.