Disclaimer: I don't own the song or the Twilight franchise!
My body fevered as I approached the door that would surely lead me into my personal inferno of hell. I felt the urge to pull at the collar of my shirt as I appraised myself in the darkened glass of the bar. My fingers found purchase in my messy, auburn hair as I took in my distressed jeans and well loved navy converse shoes. Maybe I should have dressed up… maybe I should go just turn around and go home.
"Ugh, you are such a pansy! Get your ass in there!" I sneered at my reflection. Apparently pathetic had replaced Anthony as my middle name. Edward Pathetic Cullen; yep, It pretty much summed me up at the moment.
It was the same internal argument each week. To go or not to go. To endure hell inside a dingy country western bar, or to endure hell alone, wondering who she was with and what she was doing. In the end, enduring hell in the bar was a lot less painful that the fantasies my overactive imagination derived.
With a deep breath I opened the door, instantly assaulted by loud country music. Tonight will be the typical medley of heartbroken ballads and wishes for something more. In short, tonight, the story of my life will be played out in song, over and over again. I pushed my way through the crowd to our usual table, avoiding the leers of women clothed in scantily clad daisy dukes and flannel shirts. The overwhelming smell of Chanel and cheap Polo was nauseating. Although, I couldn't distinguish the cause of the nauseous feeling from the odor or the extreme stress this night brings each week.
I kept my eyes glued to my shoes, careful not to make eye contact with the wannabe Barbies. When I finally looked up, green met mocha brown in a sea of heavily intoxicated, overly hormonal "barbies" and my heart melted. My body gravitated toward my personal hell, or the greatest love of my life, the terms are really very interchangeable, depending on the situation.
Bella. She has been the object of my affection for the last four years, but I was secured in the dreaded friend zone… the sleep-over-casual-cuddler-dance-and-grind type friend zone. I was secured in the kind of friend zone that leaves a man utterly confused yet wanting a little bit more. I was embedded in the kind of friend zone that happens to be my personal torture and safe-haven. I was a walking contradiction. I loved and hated every minute of it.
I looked beyond her to see our friends looking on semi-amused. Al winked at me, Jazz and Em wearing twin smirks. My eyes moved to Rose, who was in the midst of sharing some sort of a silent conversation with Bella, who was leaning against my chest, gently playing with my fingers. After their "conversation" ceased Bella looked up at me with a soft smile and gently pulled my arm toward the dance floor. The music flowed as we found our natural rhythm. Her eyes met mine and she stretched up to connect her lips with mine, her hands trailing up my chest and to my face, lightly stroking the day old scruff. Our lips moved softly together, creating a unique dance of their own. It isn't the first time our lips have connected, but each time we kissed, I could feel my heart skipping beats and an electric current running through my veins. If only she felt it too…
I continued to kiss her enthusiastically, my fingers caressing her heated cheeks. Not wanting our moment of complete bliss (for me anyway) to disappear, knowing well enough it would be over soon and she would be off to find her next conquest. I was just a pawn in her games, someone to help her grab the attention of other men. My heart broke as I recalled all the times I watched as she left hand in hand with some one-night cowboy as I left for home alone. In reality, I could have any woman in this place; hold Rose, Alice, and Bella. Other women didn't hold my interest; it felt too cheap to take someone I didn't care about home to dirty my sheets. Minutes flew by and she finally broke the kiss to take a breath, her soft lips never leaving my heated skin. My breath came out in short gasps as electricity surged through my extremities. This wasn't the normal going about things I was used to. Usually the mode of business was a few short kisses with her arms slung sloppily over my neck, a mischievous smile, one slow dance… and she was gone. My mind raged as she trailed her way from my ear to my lips. Before they connected, she whispered my name, reverently. Almost like a prayer. She continued her assault on my lips, the world ceased to exist as soon as her tongue darted out to tangle with mine. It was just me and her, Bella and Edward, spinning around the dance floor. Her hands rested softly on my cheeks. I let my mind drift to future thoughts of dating, weddings, and having a family. 3.5 kids, a SUV, white picket fence…the works. Not that I have thought of it before…really, someone will be coming to cut my man-card in half at any time, if I don't knock it off.
Begrudgingly, I broke away, resting my head on top of hers, still lost in twirling around the dance floor. I could clearly read the expressions on most peoples' faces. The envy of women and men who wanted to take either of us home tonight, the smirks on our friends' faces. The quiet smiles, speaking of well wishes, from the married couples who frequent country night at this podunk bar. The knowing looks…they kill me, because they couldn't be farther from the truth.
I think back on all the conversations I have had in years past. All of our friends swear, to me anyway, we make the perfect pair. They know how I feel, not because I told them, but because apparently I am not discrete at all. I try to convince them, it's just dancing. A little fun on Friday nights, it's nothing…to her. But then tonight, she changes the game. Has me second guessing all I have ever believed. The feather light touches, longing looks and sighs, the intense kissing…my mind swirled with uncertainty as I let out a heaving sigh…I was up creek without a paddle. I was totally, irrevocably lost. And true to my nature, I both loved and hated it.
I felt a kiss pressed into my chest, and lifted my head once again to meet the dark brown eyes of my love. She pressed her lips to mine once again, her velvet tongue running along my bottom lip, begging for entrance. My eyes fluttered closed as fireworks exploded and my body throbbed with electricity. My heart thumped against its cage, threatening to burst. I couldn't take this anymore. I almost felt sick as I broke the heated kiss one more time, smiling sadly down at my love. I had to get the words out. I had to tell her. I had to risk it all, my friends…my best friend. My mouth felt dry, I suddenly needed a stiff drink, recalling that I had yet to consume any liquid courage. My heart continued to thump in an angry rhythm against my ribcage.
"Bella?" I cringed at the rough tenor of my voice.
"When you kiss me like that…" the words catching in my throat as I fought them out. "I think you mean it like this…" as I wove her hand in mine and pressed it over my erratically beating heart. "So… if you do, baby, kiss me again."
And she did.