A/N: The Polyvore set for this story is here: http : / www (dot) polyvore (dot) com /cgi/set? id = 29583519 (Take out the spaces, and replace (dot) with actual dots.)

Thank God for the mighty MadamThang! She pre-read and beta'd, saving me from drowning in unnecessary commas and accidental capitalizations. If you've never read her story "Picture This", you should. In the story, Edward is a hot young actor and rising star, and Bella is a talented celebrity photographer with a secret.

Reviews are appreciated. :-)


A Day at Magicland

"So...that's why the Seahawks have a good chance of making it to the Super Bowl this year" Bella's attention shifted back to her companion just in time to catch the tail end of his football rant.

She had to stifle her yawn and instead, forced herself to smile, nod and say, "Oh, that's cool" in response. In all reality though, she didn't give a rat's patoot about the Seahawks' chances at the Super Bowl.

She almost wished her dad, Charlie, was here so she could escape the sports talk altogether and let he and Mike go at it.

Michael "call me Mike" Newton was her date today. Not two weeks ago, her college roommate Jessica had excitedly informed her that the "totally hot" super jock Newton had been asking around about her, and had even approached Jessica to ask if Bella was currently seeing anyone. Jessica had been that certain Mike was on the verge of asking Bella out, and eight days later, he did.

Bella had seen Mike around campus. He seemed to be popular (as local sports figures usually were) and he was also really good-looking in a blonde, blue-eyed, "I drink milk" sort of way. He also seemed jovial and polite when they spoke, so she decided to give dating him a try.

Now here they were, on their official first date, going to spend the day at Magicland theme park. When Mike had asked Bella where she would like to go, the idea instantly popped in her head.

Bella had not been to Magicland since she was fourteen and had been dying to go back again for years now. Something always got in the way however: she lived too far, it cost too much, nobody wanted to go with her, another destination won the majority vote and she was overruled...etc.

That was the primary reason she had woken up earlier than usual, almost giddy with excitement. She'd whipped together a comfy-cute ensemble that would be amusement park appropriate, yet still fun and feminine just in case she took a big liking to Mike.

She wore her slightly faded boot-cut jeans that managed to be comfy while still making her butt look like a tempting little peach. On top of that she wore her snug-fitting lavender Tokidoki brand unicorn tee, along with her lavender and white Converse to complete the look. She tossed her phone, keys, credit card, petty cash, lipgloss, and driver's license into her little white crossbody mini bag and put her hair up in a ponytail so it wouldn't be in her face all day.

She took a dorky self-portrait of herself in the mirror with her phone to memorialize the occasion, and she was in the process of slathering her fair skin with sunscreen when Mike knocked.

As they began their car trip, she quickly found that there would be no awkward silences or dips in the conversation. She hadn't been able to get a word in edgewise since they got in the car. Mike's babbling was constant but good-natured, even if the topics were shallow. Bella wrote it off as him just being one of those people that simply run on at the mouth when they're nervous.

Soon enough, they saw the exit sign for Magicland and turned off the highway. Bella felt her toes curl in her shoes with childlike glee when they came up to the huge sign spanning the entrance to the massive Magicland parking lot.

Since they had arrived early, the lines to buy tickets weren't terribly long and Mike told Bella more about himself while they waited to pay. She found out his parents had a chain of sporting goods stores and he was very proud of that fact, which explained why he had such an expensive SUV and perfect orthodontic work.

That's why, after finding out how loaded Mike's family was, Bella was taken aback when Mike paid for his own admission ticket...then stepped aside to wait for Bella to pay for her own. With the expectant look on Mike's face and the impatient look on the face of the woman in the booth, Bella moved up quickly and whipped out her credit card, glad she'd thought to bring it with her.

Mike grinned in a friendly way and offered Bella his arm as they entered the park gates.

Excited by the festive sights and sounds around her, Bella eagerly opened her visitor map as they walked. Just up the hill and to the right was The Revolver, an older but thrilling looping roller coaster, and one of Bella's favorites. However, when she pointed it out to Mike, he looked immediately pale at the sight and sound of a car full of screaming passengers passing through the giant loop.

"Erm...you know...the Grand Carousel was always my favorite when I was a kid. See..." he pointed at the map. "It's just a ways to our left...we should hit that one first." Bella was slightly disgruntled, wanting to hit the big rides first, but who was she to deny a guy his nostalgia?

When they got to the carousel, it looked boring as hell and was packed with mostly tiny kids and their suffering parents. "Um, Mike, I think I'll let you go ahead...I want to check out the map a bit more so we know where we're headed, okay?" Mike's brow furrowed a bit. "But, who's going to take my picture then?" he asked. Bella couldn't tell whether he was kidding or not, but then he relented with a sigh. "Never mind, we have all day to take pics." he conceded, and moved into line.

Bella shook her head a bit, bewildered, then unfolded the map and looked it over a bit more. To her great dismay, she saw that some of her favorite rides weren't even there anymore: Magic Beaver Tales, Wheefall, Centrifuge and The Mystery Pagoda!

She huffed in disappointment, and then slipped into a nearby souvenir shop to check out the merchandise. The hats, t-shirts, stuffed toys, and even the bumper stickers were massively overpriced!

When she came back out, Mike was just dismounting his trusty steed and heading for the ride exit. She met him there and he was beaming. "Did you watch me, Bella?" he asked eagerly. "Oh yeah," she lied, "You looked...um...great up there."

They saw a slight commotion up ahead. "Oh man! It's the Jolly Jungle Gang!" Mike whooped excitedly and did a dorkrun towards the small crowd of kids, parents, and costumed characters.

The Jolly Jungle Gang was from a popular kids' cartoon show that had been on in the mid-1990's. They also happened to be Magicland's mascots, because the company that produced the show also owned Magicland. The main characters consisted of Larry Lion, Ginny Giraffe, Emma Elephant, and Gary Gorilla.

Bella stood where she was as Mike made his way closer. She unfolded the visitors' map again and tried to figure out which rides and attractions were closest to their current vicinity.

When she looked back up a moment later, Larry Lion was looking directly at her and standing quite still. Of course, with the costume's huge fake eyeballs, she couldn't be absolutely certain he was looking at her specifically, but he seemed to be.

It unsettled her a bit.

Mike was sort of hopping from foot-to-foot like he had to pee as he waited for the group of kids and their parents to disperse.

"Hey Gary!" he yelped in a high tone of excitement. He waved his arm frantically at the costumed gorilla as though he couldn't be seen, even though he was only three yards away from the character.

"Bella! Hey Bella!" he turned towards her and fumbled with his cell phone, practically bouncing, before handing it to her. "Take a picture of me with these guys, okay?" Without waiting for her answer, he plunged ahead and got in between Gary Gorilla and Emma Elephant, who posed dutifully next to him as Bella snapped away.

Still grinning like a nut, Mike then wedged himself between Larry Lion and Ginny Giraffe, hugging onto them like they were long-lost relatives. After the second photo in that configuration, Mike turned to the faux feline and said laughingly, "Hey... Larry...does it hurt when I do this?" and promptly jerked the costume's long lion's tail with both hands, guffawing.

Larry moved away, put his paws up to his face in a gesture miming, "Oh my", and then shoved at Mike in a seemingly playful fashion. He must not have known his own strength, though, for Mike went flying backward and hit the dirty concrete footpath with a loud smacking sound.

Mike looked torn as to whether he should keep grinning or get pissed as Larry made soundless motions of apology and began to help Mike to his feet. Larry slapped at Mike's clothes as if dusting him off, but did so with a little more force than necessary for the task.

Mike looked confused for a second and then said, "Oh Larry, dude...you always were 'The strongest cat in the jungle!'"

Bella couldn't believe that Mike was such a cheeseball that he actually quoted Larry's motto from the old television show like that. Larry and Ginny Giraffe held their big costume bellies and did a silent pantomime of jolly laughter.

Mike was happy again, and then beckoned her over. "C'mon babe, you need to get your picture taken, too."

Bella bristled a second at the "babe", but knew it would be pointless to try and decline so she dutifully handed Mike her phone and posed between Larry and Ginny.

As Mike snapped the first pic, Bella felt Larry's huge, furry palm creep down her back until it was cupping her left ass cheek! Just as Bella gasped and turned to look up into Larry's face with an expression of shocked indignity, Larry turned his big head, frozen in a plastic grin, towards hers. Mike snapped the photo, and the moment was captured on Bella's phone for posterity.

It looked like they were about to kiss.

It looked like a demented prom photo.

It kinda looked like bestiality porn.

Bella briefly imagined some kind of serial rapist or child molester under that furry suit, behind the smiling mask, and shivered in revulsion.

Another group of kids rushed up, claimed the characters' attention, and the incident was over and done with. Bella and Mike moved on.

After dodging a few more of the "good" rides, which Mike wanted to "save for later", they came to the outdoor arcade, which housed all of the carnival games.

For an arm and a leg, one could try their luck and maybe win some cheap junk. It reminded Bella of that line from "The Jerk", where Steve Martin had a job at a booth and implored passers-by to "Step right up, and win some crap!"

Mike grumbled at the prices of the games and tried to lead Bella away, but she hesitated.

"Oh come on strong man, don't you want to win your date a teddy bear?" asked Bella. She batted her lashes cartoonishly in good fun, but Mike just balked. "Not at these prices", he grouched.

Just out of sheer stubbornness, Bella headed towards the Balloon Dart game with Mike trailing silently behind. "My mom used to be really good at this game", she said more to the game attendant than to Mike.

The young guy behind the booth looked bored. "Two darts for a dollar" he muttered. "Two pops wins a prize..."

Bella held back a wince at the price gouging and gave the guy two dollars from her purse. He dutifully laid down four darts and stood aside while Bella aimed, biting her lip in concentration. The first dart missed by a mile. The second dart popped a yellow balloon. The third dart bounced off one of the under-filled balloons, and the fourth one popped a blue balloon.

"YES!" Bella jumped up and down and clapped.

"Cool," Mike said.

Bella looked at the array of prizes and then pointed. "I'll take the stuffed Emma Elephant with the pink bow around her neck" Bella said to the man.

The guy in the booth rolled his eyes at her ignorance. "No you won't. That's a forty-balloon prize."

Bella's mouth dropped open in shock as she quickly did the math. "But that would mean it costs at least twenty bucks!...and that's provided they pop a balloon with every single dart!" she griped.

The guy simply shrugged and absolved himself by saying "I don't set the prices, I just work here, lady."

"Okay..." she sighed, "What prize does two balloons qualify me for?"

"A keychain" he answered, and gestured to the wall behind him where they hung.

They were fresh out of Emma Elephant, so that left Gary Gorilla, Ginny Giraffe, and Larry Lion. Remembering with a snort how Mike got totally owned by Larry earlier, she nodded towards those and the guy handed her one.

"Here you go", he said "They cost five bucks in the gift shops, so consider yours a bargain."

She pursed her lips at the guy and she and Mike departed.

Mike had to pee. While he was gone, Bella bought herself a three-dollar cotton candy. She sat on a bench and mouthed at the delicate and pricy spun sugar. When she looked up, she noticed that Larry the Lion from earlier was standing a few yards away. Once again, it seemed like he was staring straight at her. She looked back for a few seconds, then turned away and went back to eating her cotton candy self-consciously.

When she looked up again, he was still there...only a bit closer. As if sensing her discomfort, he gave a friendly wave. To placate him, she gave a quick wave back and then turned her focus to clipping her new lion keychain onto her purse so it would dangle like an ornament. When she looked up again, Larry's back was to her, and he was posing for pics with an entire Asian family. I must just be paranoid, she thought.

When Mike emerged, he had a smile on his face and moved to take her hand. "Long line for the johns", he said.

Oh God, please let him have washed his hands!

Bella didn't feel she knew or liked Mike well enough to hold hands with him, but she didn't want to hurt his feelings, so she made the excuse of throwing away the cardboard cotton candy handle to extract her hand from his warm, sweaty grip. Turning around, she found Larry was staring at her again.

"Oh, it's my pal Larry again!" Mike enthused, waving at him. "Should we take more pictures?"

"No!" Bella said quickly. "I think we got enough the first time."

Mike shrugged and they moved on around the bend where they found the Racing Rapids ride. Bella whooped with utter joy, and when they got soaked, Mike complained bitterly about the possibility that his letterman jacket would be damaged by "toxic water" from the ride.

Waiting outside the ride's exit ramp was that creepy cat, Larry.

Watching her.

She shuddered, tried to ignore him, and kept walking while Mike grumbled and shook out his precious jacket.

When they arrived at the section of the park called Harvest Hollow, they paused to look at the map again. Harvest Hollow was the more shopping-oriented part of the park. There were "old-time" artisans that sold homemade candles, wood carvings, pioneer and western-style clothing, and took sepia-toned photos of visitors in period apparel. There was also a bakery/candy shoppe where they sold freshly crafted pies, candies, fudge, and other treats.

Looking around, Bella was deciding at which shop she might like to start when Mike whined out, "I'm hungry". This was the first thing they'd agreed on all day and Bella's stomach grumbled with her own hunger.

They wandered towards Mamma Mary's, which was a cute little sit-down restaurant that offered a full chicken dinner and a live Bluegrass band that played while you dined. It seemed like fun and the smell of the food emanating from the place made Bella's mouth water. Unfortunately, Mike declared the food "too expensive", and steered her to the corndog stand instead.

The "cheaper" food wasn't much more affordable, though. Really - how the heck was an average family with a couple of kids supposed to be able to afford the sixty-buck general admission, a ridiculously expensive Coke and hot dog, and a souvenir?

Bristling at Mike's cheapness, Bella waited for her corndog and lemonade to come up at the window before she declared that she would pay for it herself. She meant to embarrass Mike for his lack of chivalry at the chicken place and wanted to cause him to feel ashamed, but instead he shrugged, watched her pay, and then paid for his own corndog and cherry Icee when they were ready.

As Mike was spreading a copious amount of mustard on his dog, he beamed at Bella appreciatively. "I just love you modern chicks" he began, pausing to sip at his Icee. "So determined to pay your own way in the world. It's admirable, ya know?"

With that, he looked her up and down, pausing a while at her chest before looking her in the eye. He took a savage bite of his corndog as he leered and then growled and wagged his eyebrows at her.

She supposed he was trying to be sexy. It was merely revolting.

"Wanna bite of mine, baby?" he asked, a smarmy look on his face.

Bella shuddered lightly, repulsed at the thought, and then took a big gulp of her lemonade. "No thanks" she replied, not looking in his direction. "I'd rather bite my own meat..." she muttered under her breath.

That was when Bella saw it...the sign.

In giant, flashing red letters it read:



World's Longest, Fastest,

Wooden Roller Coaster

"Oh my God!" she screeched, her mouth gaping in awe, her eyes watering from being open so wide.

"What?" Mike asked, confused by her rapt expression.

"I have to go on Colossal!" she answered, eyes still fixed on the sign. She could see people rushing excitedly into line under the sign entrance, and beyond that, she saw a car full of screaming passengers dipping down the first sixty-foot tall drop.

"I don't know...it's a really long line..." Mike whined at her shoulder.

"Mike, come on", she begged. "I haven't gone on any of my favorite rides, yet!" She hoped her ploy would work, even though the slight whining felt beneath her.

Mike eyed her chest again. "Well...I guess it would be okay..."

They quickly finished their dogs and drinks, and after tossing their trash, Bella half-dragged him into the line for Colossal. While there, Mike regaled her again about his general awesomeness, along with sharing the finer details of the sporting goods industry. When they finally boarded a coaster car and strapped themselves in, Bella looked over at her date to find him pale and sweating.

"Hey...are you okay?" she asked, laying a hand on his arm in concern.

He snapped at her "Of course I'm okay! What kind of wuss do you think I am, anyway?"

She jerked her hand back. "Sorry, I just thought you looked a bit...nervous."

Mike scoffed, "Listen baby, I face huge defensive linebackers every single game, and you think I can't handle a little roller coaster?"

With that, the ride jerked forward and they were on their way.

Bella screamed with euphoria throughout the ride, her hands thrust in the air and eyes watering. She had a huge-ass smile plastered on her face and her ponytail whipped in the breeze like a banner.

Mike was oddly silent. His hands held a white-knuckled death grip on the bar in front of him, his eyes were squeezed tightly shut, and his jaw was clamped down hard. He didn't open his eyes until a few seconds after they pulled into the station.

Bella was on such a big high, she didn't notice anything amiss until they got back out onto the footpath in front of the entrance. After they walked a few dozen yards, Mike started complaining.

"I think I hurt my back, going over that last hill. It was kind of...jolty" he said with annoyance. "If I can't play this season because I'm sidelined with some kind of freaky thrill ride injury, those Magicland assholes will be hearing from my dad's lawyer" he grumbled.

And then, without any warning at all...Mike did the Technicolor Yawn. A multi-hued stew of bright red slushie, brown and pink corndog, and yellow mustard made an explosive appearance all over the concrete and splattered Bella's Converse in the process.


UGH! Bella backed up quickly, her hand over her own mouth in surprise and disgust.

Mike scowled up at her through the puke. "See what you made me do!" he accused her hoarsely.

But he wasn't quite done. He bent over once again.

"Bllrrruuptt!" More spew flew.

People walking by gawked and made faces and sounds of disapproval. A few young dudes laughed and pointed.

Mike looked up through watery eyes and moaned, "Why did you insist on going on that stupid ride?" Before she could respond he added, "Could you at least get me a napkin or a paper towel or something?" He whined like a little girl who'd been pushed off of her tricycle.

Bella couldn't believe he was actually blaming her for his wimpy stomach! She looked around for any nearby napkins or drinking fountains, and spied a set of restrooms nearby.

"In there." she pointed, "There's water and paper towels to clean up with." He followed her gaze and hurried over. "Wait for me here" he called over his shoulder, pointing to the space outside the men's washroom doorway.

There was no way she was going to stand close enough to smell the stale urine and listen to him barf again, so she walked in a circle around the immediate vicinity and redid her messy ponytail so that it was smoother. She sat down on the edge of a fountain and sighed, looking into the water at all the coins people had tossed in. Some day of "fun" this was turning out to be. She wished she'd never laid eyes on Mike Newton.

Maybe she could fake a migraine and convince him to leave early? It wasn't like she'd be ruining his fun, seeing as he didn't seem to be having any. Perhaps when he re- emerged he'd feel so sick that he'd suggest leaving himself, she mused. Looking up again, she found none other than Larry the Lion standing there, not far from Mike's puddle of puke, staring at her.


"Oh...that does it!" she thought, "Enough of this shit!"

Bella practically leapt to her feet and stormed towards him, hands in fists at her sides.

"You!" she yelled. "What is your damn problem, CREEPER!"

He stood there in leonine shock, his large, blank, plastic eyes goggling at her unblinkingly.

"I seriously doubt that Magicland pays you to lurk around, molesting and stalking park visitors!" she continued heatedly.

He raised his faux-fur covered paws in some sort of pleading gesture, but Bella was on a roll. The remembered stench of Mike's hot vomit was still stinging her sinus passages and making her bitchy.

"Look, buddy...I am currently on the date from hell with some douchebag that I never want to see again as long as I live. The last thing I need is some psycho in a lion costume breathing down my neck and trying to put his dirty paws all over my ass!" she fumed.

"So, if you would kindly take a hike, I can get back to trying to salvage whatever fun I can out of the crappiest date of my young life." she finished.

She was all out of breath from her tirade and glaring a death stare at the creepy cat. She stood there, arms folded across her chest and left foot tapping as she waited for a response.

Suddenly, he reached up and pulled his costume head off.

Bella's narrowed eyes turned as large as saucers as she took in the face beneath.

Pale, creamy skin was the background for a set of reddish, full lips, a semi-Roman nose, high, chiseled cheekbones, and deep-set emerald eyes which in turn were set off by heavy brows and a fringe of dark lashes. His jawline was strong, sharp, and added just the right touch of masculinity to balance out his pretty features. His hair was a sweaty, disheveled mess (she guessed it was hot in that costume on a sunny spring day), and was some unique reddish-brown color she couldn't quite name.

Bella gaped, gazed, gawped, gawked, and otherwise...stared.

Then he spoke.

"I...uh...um...I'm so sorry." His voice was like melted butter on top of melted chocolate on top of melted honey...or something. He dipped his head in shame, partially obscuring Bella's view of his magnificent puss.

After a couple of seconds, he cleared his throat a bit and continued. "I don't usually do this kind of thing...It's just...well, you're the most beautiful girl I've seen in like, ever."

At that, Bella turned the color of a cherry Icee.

He shuffled his foot - or "paw" sheepishly - and then went on. "And that guy you're with...you didn't really seem to be having that much fun with him...and he seems like kind of a prick, if you don't mind my saying." Bella snorted lightly in agreement. "Well anyway, I was hoping to get you alone for a minute so that maybe I could talk to you - just talk, you know? - and well... I guess... see if there was any chance I could maybe ask you out sometime?"

He finally raised his head to look her in the eyes, and when she didn't speak he took it the worst way.

"Um, and I know this costume makes me look like a complete tool..." he blushed a bit, "But I just love making all these kids happy, you know? I thought it would also be good experience seeing as I'll be going into teaching in the fall...I'm going to be teaching music, you see. Well - guitar and piano - plus I compose...um, anyway, you don't want to know all that." He laughed a light nervous chuckle at himself, looking away, and ran a furry paw through his sweaty locks, making them stand up all over. He was still the hottest guy she'd ever seen...by far.

Say something, Bella!

She tried her best, but all that managed to tumble out of her gaping pie hole was, "Um...er..."

Oh that's good, Bella... you're so fucking eloquent...

The beautiful lion-man sighed. "No, that's okay. Please don't say anything. I've bothered you and humiliated myself enough for one day..." With that, he put his costume head back on, and turned away, broad shoulders sagging as he headed back the way he'd come.

His tail dragged, and even his mane seemed to droop in defeat as he slumped away.

Bless his sweaty little head.

Bella was jolted back into action at the sight of him leaving.

Don't let him go! Her brain screamed.

"WAIT!" she called out as he disappeared around the corner of a nearby lemonade shack. He didn't reappear.

He's getting away, you dumbass! GO after him!

Bella bolted after him, forgetting all about Mike and his bathroom adventures.

When she rounded the corner however, he was gone...lost in the crowds, or maybe ducked into some employees-only door or something.

You lost him, fucktard! Good job!

Bella sighed mightily as she flung her loser ass down on the nearest bench.

Great. He's gorgeous, likes kids, teaches AND composes music...and you let him escape without so much as a name.

"BELLA?" she heard Mike calling her and reluctantly turned to see him a few yards away, searching the crowd. His letterman jacket and t-shirt were wet in a couple spots, but at least the puke was no longer visible. She sighed again and dragged herself up just as he spotted her.

"There you are," he said. "I thought I told you to wait by the bathrooms for me," he pouted.

Bella could only shrug in response, but Mike looked like a man with a plan.

"Hey, I've got a great idea! Lets go on those bumper cars over there!" He nodded over her shoulder, where there was a sign that read "Bumper Bash".

"Okay, sure." she said without any enthusiasm. Mike didn't seem to notice as he pointed her in that direction with his arm around her shoulders. She twisted out from under his arm and ran ahead of him, pretending to have a sudden burst of excitement.

The line was short - this being one of the least popular and least thrilling rides in the park - and Mike yelled, "I get the red one!" as he made a dash past a chunky little boy before unapologetically diving into the car that the kid was headed for.

"That's ok, I want the blue one." Bella said only after Mike was belted in. It was no coincidence that the blue car was the car furthest from Mike.

"Rollin'" by Limp Bizkit thundered out of the overhead speakers at a deafening volume as the cars went into motion and everyone started steering. Mike whooped and crashed full-force into the back of a car driven by two little girls, cackling like a fiend. Bella, meanwhile, steered into a twenty-something dude and a middle-aged man before smashing into a scary-looking chick with full-sleeve tattoos.

After making her way around the small driving arena, Bella noticed no one was coming near her. She wondered if maybe she was being too rough for people's liking, and turned around to survey the scene. Strangely, it looked as though all the other cars were in a huge circle facing inward and repeatedly backing up and crashing forward into something at the center.

As she steered her little car closer, she saw the top half of Mike's head in the very center of the circle, and he was being violently flung every which way as he screeched out "Hey!" and "Whoa!" and "What the fuck!"

Bella threw her head back and roared with laughter as he was attacked by the mob. A minute later the cars and music were shut off and people exited through the turnstiles as the pimple-faced kid in the booth said over the mic, "We hope you enjoyed your ride on the Bumper Bash. Exit to your left and please enjoy the rest of your day at Magicland."

Mike was livid and more than a little dizzy as he staggered towards a bench and sat. "What the hell is wrong with those crazy people? I swear it seemed like they were all trying to run into me!" He put his head in his hands and gripped his hay-colored hair in confusion.

Bella saw a potential opening. "Um, Mike...maybe we should just leave now." Mike looked up in surprise. "I mean, you aren't feeling so well...what with the...stomach upset and the jolt your back received on Colossal." She tried to sound sympathetic to his plight.

He seemed to be considering her suggestion, yet she could see reluctance, too.

"Anyway, I think I feel a migraine coming on." she threw in for good measure.

He sighed and then nodded. "Okay sweets, I suppose we can call it a day."


"Plus, I'm hungry again...We can drive through Mc Donald's on our way home" he said, perking up a bit.

"Yum," Bella thought sarcastically. She glanced at her phone which read 4:17 p.m.

She and Mike made their way back around the path and through the crowds toward the front gates, and Bella scanned the whole route for her long-lost lion, but he never reappeared.

They finally trudged through the exit, above which read:

Thank you for visiting Magicland!

Come Back Soon!

"I don't think so", thought Bella sardonically.

After what seemed like a long hike back to where Mike parked his SUV, he came to a sudden stop at the back of the vehicle and Bella ran right into his back. Her eyes had been on the ground and her mind on her lion.

When she looked curiously into Mike's face, she saw that he was looking at her the way he had at the hot dog stand.

Like a lecher.

Oh crap, she thought...don't tell me he's thinking...

"Bella, enough of this playing around...I've been dying to kiss you all day and I know you want me too" he rasped lowly, standing way too close.

"Uh...Mike, I think you may be getting your ...er...signals crossed" she sputtered out, not knowing exactly what to say.

She backed away.

He moved closer.

She tried to turn and head for the passenger-side door and he grabbed her arm, stopping her.

"C'mon babe, you don't have to play hard to get just to spare your rep. There's no one out here to see you." At this, he glanced slyly around at the rest of the lot, and then continued. "You know you wanna ride the Mike Train." His hand began to rub her upper arm in a sickly intimate way. "All aboard, baby" he quipped, leering stupidly.

Bella was stunned briefly into silence. Was this asshole for real?

He placed his other hand on her, now holding her by both arms as he leaned in. Bella guessed that his expression was meant to be sultry, but he just looked really constipated.

Ignoring her attempts to pry his hands off of her body, Mike moved one hand to her lower back and the other to the back of her neck. His lips parted and he pulled her closer to the moist, red, gaping maw that was his mouth. Randomly, Bella was reminded of the Sarlac Pit from "Return of the Jedi" that Jabba the Hutt tried to have Luke Skywalker fed to.

"Eeww!...oh HELL NO!" Bella blurted out, as she placed both her hands on his chest to push him away, simultaneously leaning back as far away from him as she could.

Suddenly - from out of nowhere and so fast it was nearly a blur - came a large, furry fist. The fist connected soundly with Mike's jaw and the dickwad flew backward, landing hard on his ass for the second time that day.

Bella gasped in surprise, and then turned to see none other than the lion-costumed hunk she thought she'd never see again. He was standing over Mike's prone form, a look of fury on his handsome face as he glowered down at her date on the ground.

"Didn't anyone ever teach you how to treat a lady, you sleazy little dirt bag?" he hissed down at Mike.

Bella looked at Mike and could practically see little cartoon birdies flying in a circle around his head, and then she turned back to her unexpected savior.

A petulant part of her wanted to snark, "Hey, I could have handled him...I didn't need your help" but she swallowed her rebellious feminist instinct for once and decided to show her gratitude instead.

"Thank you Larry" she said in a quiet voice.

"Actually, the name's Edward" he replied with a shy grin and a flash of green eyes.

"Even better" she replied, smiling back beatifically.

As they both ignored Mike, Edward added with a bashful expression, "So...if you're quite finished with this guy, how about you let me take you to dinner?"

Before she could respond he continued, "Something more substantial than hot dogs and cotton candy?"

That was when Mike finally spoke up in a sneering voice, "You can have her. She's nothing but a damn little tease anyway." He added, "I shoulda asked Jessica out instead...her tits are bigger."

At this Bella turned to Edward and said, "Excuse me a sec" and walked toward where Mike sat. Amazingly, he held out his hand, expecting her to help him up.

Instead she moved up between his parted legs, pulled back her right foot, and let fly...kicking him square in the fruit bowl.

The noise he emitted was like the scream of a dying yak.

"You stay away from my friends, you pathetic little loser" she growled.

Edward burst out laughing.

Damn! Even his laugh was attractive!

Bella grinned at him broadly. "Dude, I have wanted to do that all damn day!" she fairly hooted.

He held up his paw for a high-five, then put his costumed arm around her shoulder and led her to a nearby silver Volvo, where he held the door open for her to get in.

As he swiftly removed his costume and stored it in the trunk, Bella texted Jess:

Dte wrkd out better than I could've dreamed. Dnt wait up!

XO - B

When Edward got into the driver's seat, he was clad in a pair of jeans and a white rumpled t-shirt. "Sorry about my...um, attire" he said, looking embarrassed. "Your underneath clothing gets a bit sweaty and rumpled after being worn under that costume all day..."

"You look good to me" Bella said, and he smiled sweetly in response as they pulled away and headed out...leaving Mike to writhe in the parking lot.


A/N: This little fic was inspired by three things:

1. An actual date I went on once with a total jerk. I never knew I could go to Disneyland and NOT have fun until I went with his sorry ass. The scene where Mike gloms onto the costumed characters really happened (I have the pic to prove it!). Except, it was Chip and Dale...and they didn't have the guts to shove him down and pwn him. I guess they didn't want to get fired from their illustrious jobs. He got all pissed-off, sulky, and vengeful at the end of the evening when I refused to let him kiss me. I may have named Gary Gorilla after him.

2. I always wondered who exactly was underneath those costumes...it could be anybody- male, female, a serial killer, a child molester...and here we hug all over these strangers, and encourage our kids to touch them and be touched by them...*shudders*

3. A loving, if bittersweet tribute to the So. California amusement parks I adore and grew up going to: Disneyland, Six Flags Magic Mountain, and Knott's Berry Farm. Bittersweet because the last two have lost so much of their former glory by taking out wonderful rides and attractions that were traditional faves, changing too much in negative ways, and now even have problems with gang members and other crimes plaguing them of late. As for Disneyland, it's become more expensive than average people can afford, and also replaced some fabulous rides with shitty ones. *sigh* Nothing gold can stay.

Limp Bizkit: Rollin' ("Bumper Bash" song):

http : / www (dot) youtube (dot) com / watch?v = RsXEbqS7cpE (Again, remove spaces and replace (dot) with ".")