"Showers to Flowers" O/S Contest

Number of Picture Chosen: 1

Title: Baja or Bust

Word Count: 5397

Rating: T

Pairing: Bella and Edward, Emmett and Rosalie

Summary: Six college kids go away for Spring Break.

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

I stare at Alice, one of my two room-mates. "Are you shitting me?"

"Of course not, Bells." She rolls her eyes. "Jasper and I were supposed to go to Baja with his brother, and their best friend, but my parents won't let me go alone with three guys. Jazzy refuses to go without me and since it's his birthday this week his parents bought two more tickets so I could invite a couple of my girlfriends."

Jasper is her long-time, long-distance boyfriend. They both grew up in Texas, but her parents moved their family to a small town on the Olympic peninsula in the middle of her senior year of high school. They applied to lots of the same colleges, but he got into UCLA and her parents can't afford for her to go to an out of state school so, when she got accepted to UW, she had to go there. I know they miss each other terribly and she hates that she only gets to see him during the holidays and in the summertime, but this year they'd had plans to go to Mexico together for Spring Break.

"You're offering me a trip to Baja…just so you can hang for a week with your boyfriend and his brothers?" I ask incredulously.

"Yup! Well actually, it's him, his older brother, Edward, and their best friend, Emmett." Alice says.

"Whatever! I'd love to go for the vaca! I've always wanted to see Mexico." I nod enthusiastically before getting attacked by an utterly depressing thought. "But my dad will have a fit if I ask to go to Mexico with you and three boys… How can we spin this, Ali?"

We brainstorm for a few minutes when she hugs me and laughs out loud. "I know; I'll invite Rose to go too! She and I have gotten really close since the beginning of the year and you're always telling me that the Chief loves her like a second daughter. He'll say yes in 3.5 seconds if he knows all three of us are going!" Alice beams at me as I call our other room-mate and the girl I grew up thinking of as a sister.

After I explain the situation to her, she squeals into the phone. "BAJA OR BUST, BABY! When are you asking Charlie?"

"I guess I'll call him now." I tell her.

"You might need me to help talk him into it. I'm on my way home now, anyway." She says. I can hear the excitement in her voice.

After we hang up, I grab some paper and try to work up a script. I want to sound like I know what I'm talking about and like I have all the answers to anything he can ask me. That's when I pick up the phone and dial.

It rings three times before my dad picks up his end. "Hi, baby-girl! How are you and Rose doing down there?"

"Well, Daddy, we're good…" I say. "But we'd be even better if you'd give us your blessing to go on a trip for spring break!"

He chuckles. "Where do you want to go, Bella?"

"Baja, Mexico…" I say innocently.

"Mexico? Why do you want to go to Mexico when you could come skiing, with me and Sue, in Canada?" He asks.

"Daddy!" I whine. "We want to go where it's warm!"

Rosalie rushes into my room and grabs the phone from my hand putting him on speaker. "Pleeease, Charlie? I've always wanted to see Mexico!"

We hear him sigh. "Oh, alright; if it means that much to you, you can go…"

We laugh and squeal.

"On one condition!" He says. "I want all the details, girls. That means I'll need your flight information, the names of who you're going with, the name and phone number of your hotel and you have to call when you get there."

"DEAL!" We shout into the phone.

Alice rushes in with our tickets, at this point so I grab them and say, "Got a pen, Dad?"

"Oh, so now I'm not 'Daddy' anymore?" He jokes. "Yeah, I've got a pen. Why?"

"So I can give you the info you asked for, silly!" I laugh.

"You've got the tickets already?" He sounds alarmed, so I tell him Alice's story, which calms him down…a little.

"Ok, so it'll be me, Alice and Rose, plus Jasper and his older brother, whose name is Edward, and their best friend, Emmett. I don't have the name of the hotel yet…so I'll call you when I get it, ok, Dad?" I ask, cringing.

"BOYS, Bella? You really think I'm going to let you girls go to Mexico with a bunch of BOYS?" He's getting enraged now. "And what did Rose's mom have to say about this plan?"

"I haven't called her yet, Charlie. We figured that if you said 'yes', she'd be ok with it too." Rose bites her lip.

We only hear him growl.

"Charlie, please don't worry about them! Jasper is my boyfriend and Edward and Emmett are good men; very responsible. The Cullens have known them a really long time." Alice interjects. "We're flying into LAX in four days and the guys are going to pick us up there to drive the rest of the way in a reliable car. There's no hotel, by the way, we're staying at the Cullen's summer home and I can't wait. It's not going to get crowded like a hotel would. Jazz told me that each of the guys has their own room and there are lots of guest rooms."

"They'd better stay in their own rooms." Charlie says fiercely. "I'm not happy with this, Isabella."

I can practically see his pissed-off frown, but I look at Alice. "I'm sorry, Daddy… Please don't say 'no'!"

"Yeah, yeah, I knew it. I'm 'Daddy' again…" He sighs and grumbles. "I haven't said 'no' yet, Bells…keep going."

I take a deep breath and read him the info. "It's flight number 807. We're flying first class!"

"Wow, that's generous." Charlie says, shocked.

She shrugs. "Jasper's family is treating because it's almost his birthday. I didn't think anything of it."

"Do you know the phone number there, Ali?" I ask.

"Of, course," She proceeds to rattle off a long string of numbers. "Is that everything, Charlie?"

He sighs. "I think that's it, Al. Thanks."

"No problem, Chief. If you need anything else, just give me a ring." Alice waves at the phone and starts to leave, but Charlie suddenly calls her name.

"Hey, Alice?" He says.

I wince, knowing what's about to happen.

"Yeah, Chief?" She asks, meeting my pained eyes.

"I want to talk to Jasper and Edward's parents." He says.

"Sure, Chief; no problem!" She says rattling off another number, this time with a Texas area code. After he finally hangs up, she turns to us. "Get your passports updated, gals!"

"Oh, shit! I forgot about that!" Rosalie says running for her small combination safe.

"Don't bother, Ro, he's going to change his mind. He's going to talk to the guys' parents and take back his permission and there's nothing we can say or do! You know it and I know it." I rant.

"Relax, Bells! Esme's cool; I swear! I told Jasper how protective the Chief is, and he promised that if I talked you this far, his mom would take care of the rest. So, update your passports and start packing… 'cuz it's Baja or bust, BABIES!" Alice screeches as she dances around the room.

Rose joins her while I am not so easily persuaded. I humor them and pull out my passport and other paperwork that might be needed. Only two hours later, when Charlie and Sheila, Rose's mom, call us, am I truly convinced.

"Hello?" Rose says, answering our dorm phone. "Mom, Charlie…? Hey, let me just get Bells on the line." She waves me over and pushes the speakerphone button.

"Hi, Daddy; hi, Sheila; how's everything?" I ask.

"We've spoken to each other, Isabella, and we've spoken to Esme Cullen, the boys' mother. I'm satisfied that you'll all be safe with these boys." He declares. My jaw drops as he continues. "I also had the pleasure of speaking to Carlisle, their father, and one of the boys in question, as the Cullens gave me the number for their sons in LA."

My jaw moves but nothing comes out. I'm thoroughly shocked by this turn of events.

"Bella, Rosalie… next time you each call your own parents or arrange for us to be together when you call. Charlie and I may not be a couple of any kind, but we refuse to allow you to play one against the other. Do you hear me, girls?" Sheila says.

"Yes, Ma'am. We're sorry," Rose and I reply in stereo before breaking into giggles. We've always been able to do that. You'd be surprised how many times we 'jinxed' each other when we were little.

"Well, now that that's settled, make sure your passports are in order and have some fun down there." Charlie replies. "Also, make sure you've still got your pepper spray."

Rose rolls her eyes.

"I'd hug you if I was there, Daddy! Thanks so much!" I yell into the phone as they hang up.

"Oh, baby-girl, I'd hug you too… I'll miss you. Be good." Charlie says as they hang up.

I squeal with the girls and run for my paperwork. Seeing that it's all in order, I recall that my mother Renee had taken me to Greece for a summer retreat last year. "I'm all set, guys; look!"

"Great! Let's see what we've got to bring and what we need to buy!" Alice says bouncing toward our closets.

An hour later, Alice is online buying our bathing suits and sundresses and everything else she thinks we need for our trip, while Rose and I lay down on my bed. "I can't believe that she's going strong, Bells! I'm exhausted!"

"I know, let's just go to sleep and leave her to it. Ali, remember the $200 limit I gave you! If I charge any more then that for one trip, Dad will have a fit!" I yawn the last bit and lay my head down after her wave of acknowledgement.

The next few days pass quickly and it's suddenly time to go to the airport. James and Laurent, our gay friends from Chicago are taking us.

"C'mon, Bella! The guys are waiting for us!" Rosalie nags me. "Alice is already in the car! Hurry up!"

I run down the stairs and roll my eyes as I see James still putting the luggage in the back of his van. "You had to use the van because of Alice's luggage right?"

He laughs. "Surprisingly, no! I just have to pick up a piece of furniture after we drop you girls off."

"Hey! I'm not THAT bad Bella!" Alice protests.

I chuckle and get in beside her. Laurent is in the front and Rose is on the other side of Alice. I doze on the ride and Rose helps me wake up with a pinch to my arm.

"OW! Rosie! That wasn't very nice!" I yell.

"Well it's time to check in and go to our gate. I thought you'd want to be awake for that. Silly me!" She teases. "C'mon!"

I grumble and pout but follow her into the terminal with my luggage in tow. We check our suitcases and grab our carryon bags for the plane. Once we reach our gate we send Alice up to the counter to ask about boarding.

"The lady said first class boards first, then business class and then coach. We should have about an hour before we board. I'm so excited!" She bounces in her seat. "I feel like every second brings me closer to my Jazzy!"

I giggle at her and have a vague sense of anticipation. I hope I eventually meet someone just as great as Jasper. The man is sweet as sugar and handsome as hell. Chivalry is his middle name and I can't help but envy Alice just a little. I settle in to read a little but Rose soon brings me a cup of black coffee to wake me up. Just as my story gets interesting, we're called to board the plane. Finally I'll get a bit of shut-eye. I don't actually doze off again before we take off, but by the time we land at LAX, I'm rested and refreshed.

Rose and I follow Alice off the plane and down the long passage to the luggage pick-up area where she runs at full speed toward a group of three HOT guys. "JASPER! Baby, I missed you sooo much!" She screeches, jumping into one of their arms.

The guy's got a huge smile as he catches her, swings her around and kisses her deeply. "I've missed you too, Ali-cat! It's so good to have you in arms reach, babe!"

The other two guys hug her too as Rose and I walk up. Looking up at us, one of them says, "Hello, what have we here?"

"I'm Bella…" I say.

"Rosalie…" Says Rose. "And, you are…"

"I'm Emmett and this here is Edward." He points to himself and the other guy before reaching out a hand to greet us.

"Hi, Edward," I smirk.

"Hey… Let's get the luggage, shall we?" He says grabbing Emmett and pointing to the conveyer belt that was assigned to our flight.

I point out my bag and Rose's while Jasper just grabs Alice's. Emmett has found a luggage cart and they load our stuff.

"The van we were going to use broke down, so we'll be in two separate cars." Jasper informs us. "I'll have Alice in my car and you girls will be with E and Em."

"Ok, that sounds fine," I say as we walk through the lot. "Are we leaving right away or can I change somewhere?"

"Uh, we'll stop at our place for an hour or so, if you want." Jasper suggests. "You can shower, there, and get into comfortable clothes for traveling."

We all agree and get into their little blue car. Edward drives and they rearrange the luggage between the two cars. Rose showers first because she insists on blowing out her honey-blonde hair. I'll just blow out my bangs and throw the rest of my brown mess into a bun, so I'm next. Alice's hair is short and she can get away with letting it blow in the wind, so she agrees to go last. Once I'm dried off I pull out my bikini; it's black with silver and white embroidery on the cleavage. My jeans go on over my bottoms and then I throw on a sweater. I don't want to get a chill from the air conditioner, do I? Rose is wearing her yellow bikini and standing with the guys as I walk out to join everyone by the cars.

Emmett is showing Rosalie the car we'll be in. "I know it sounds lame, but it's called a Twingo."

"You're kidding, right? This is not really a Renault, Twingo!" She says.

"It is, actually…1993 mint condition. It's got a sunroof too." Emmett goes on.

"My uncle had one of these! I loved riding in it." Rose said. "Can we open the sunroof on the ride?"

"Definitely! Edward, this is a woman after my own heart!" Emmett laughs. "So who's driving?"

He chuckles. "It's only about a six to eight hour drive and the girls don't know the way so it's just us. I'll drive first and then you can drive when I get tired."

"Deal," Emmet yells. Then they slap each other 'five'.

Rose and I get into the back seat while Emmett takes the front passenger seat.

Jasper starts his car and then, seeing Alice on her way out the door to the apartment, goes to help her. He locks the doors and puts her bag in the back seat. She whips out her camera and takes a picture of the guy's apartment building. He grabs it from her and takes one of her standing in front of the building. They jump into the car and pull away from the curb.

"Bells, look," Rose says pointing at the car in front of us. "Ali is standing up and taking pictures of things. Let's give her something to take a picture of!"

I look up as Emmett opens the sunroof and stands up. Rose stands behind Edward, so I stand too, taking off my sweater for a while. We all start waving our hands around and Edward sticks his right hand out his window. I see Alice snap the picture and wave back at us so I sit and settle in for the trip. Edward asks us all what we want to listen to. I let everyone else choose because I like almost everything.

Around seven hours later, I wake up from a nap to see a grand estate house with beautiful scenery. Before I fell asleep, Edward had been telling us about his family. His dad is a top surgeon at LA General Hospital and his mom owns her own interior design business. While not millionaires, they do very well for themselves. His uncle Pete is in the stock market and very successful at what he does. I guess that explains how the Cullens own three houses, six cars, the apartment building where the guys live and a yacht. This house is gorgeous!

"Thanks, Bella; let me show you to your room." Edward smirks.

I bite my lip. "I said that out loud, didn't I?"

He chuckles and nods pulling my bag out of the trunk. We walk up the steps and I watch as he pulls out a surfboard key-fob holding the key to the door. He lets me into a room on the first floor and sets down my bag. "Yeah, so…this is yours. Rose is going to be next door and Alice is down the hall; she's sharing with Jazz." He grins shyly. "The pool is out back and the beach is just beyond that. I promised your dad we'd take good care of you, so please don't leave without telling someone where you'll be?"

I smile and thank him falling onto the big fluffy bed as soon as he's gone.

Rose walks in and screeches with me. We start figuring out what to wear to dinner and clubbing for the evening. "I think Emmett likes me." She says. "He keeps talking cars with me and it's so rare to find a guy who's not intimidated by a girl who knows cars."

I nod. "I'll bet he fell in lust at first sight!"

She slaps my shoulder as Alice joins us.

"Rose, I think Emmett likes you!" She says. "I'm so excited! He was trying to wheedle info about you out of me. What kind of car do you drive at home… what movies you like…what books you read…oh wait, that was what Edward asked me about Bella!"

My eyes widen. "Are you kidding? Edward likes me?" I ask.

"Bells, he was texting me for the whole time during Emmett's turn driving." She squeals. "I always knew you and I would be like sisters!"

"C'mon, we need to get ready!" Rose says.

"But, I wanted to lay out in the sun for a bit!" I complain.

"Bells, there's plenty of time for that later! We need to make an outstanding second impression." Rose insists.

I roll my eyes and go with it. Alice does my hair while Rose does my make-up and, when they've finished with me, I get into my chosen outfit and look in the mirror. They look at me too and grin widely. I sit on the comfy chair with a book and wait for them to be ready. We all walk down the hall and are met with stares, but nobody says anything, so we pile into the car and into a small cantina. I show my ID for the drinks I order. I've been 21 for about six months now, so they don't give me any problems. Alice is of age but nobody ever believes her so she doesn't bother to try. She just asks Jasper to order for her. Rose just turned 21 last month, so she's living it up like me.

A man with tanned skin and large muscles come up and hits on me. Edward glares but I just brush him off. He doesn't even speak English!

We are all up and dancing when the music becomes slow. I sit at the bar and sip my margarita while I watch Jasper take Alice in his arms. He winks at Emmett who blushes and stutters his way through an attempt to ask Rose to dance.

Edward sits next to me. At first I think he's about to hit on me but he starts to talk. "Bella, I know we just met, but…I have this strange feeling about you. When you talk, I find myself dying to hear every word. When you slept, in the car, my eyes were drawn to your face; you looked angelic. The talk your dad had with me made me think you'd be some princess-type…some prima-donna with a bitchy attitude and trust fund. You're real, though. You're lovely and down to earth. You've got a great smile and I really want to get to know you over the next week."

"What about when we're at separate schools again, though, Edward?" I ask, sighing. "I know it works out for Jasper and Ali…but if we get to know each other and like what we find out…will you really be able to be faithful to a girl who is two and a half states away?"

He grimaces. "I know you're probably right, but I don't care. Look, it might not even get that far, ok? What if we start finding out things that make us better off as friends then lovers?"

"I don't know, Edward. This sounds like a bad idea." I take a deep breath and, seeing his crestfallen expression, I decide that I need to take a chance and see what happens. "Oh, Edward…ok, let's try it."

Over the next few days, Edward and I hang out by the pool and on the beach while the others separate into couples. When we go out to dinner and bars or clubs, the two of us gravitate toward each other's side. Before I know what's hit me, we're friends… We drink and dance together and one night… two nights before we're going home… after being saved from a few random Mexican muscle men by Edward …I find myself in his arms. I'm a tad bit tipsy and my verbal filter doesn't seem to be in good working order. My brain and heart have melded, bypassed my good sense, and gone straight to my loose lips.

"We're going home in a few days, Edward…I don't want to! I'm going to miss this so much…the beach, the pool, the sun… being part of this fabulous group of friends…" I turn to face him and he has to catch me as I almost fall down. "You…"

He smiles softly and tucks a strand of hair behind my ear. "What about me?"

"You're sweet and kind… beautiful. You're not like other boys." I tell him. "I'll miss you…"

"I'd be disappointed if you didn't, Bella-love." He sweeps me into his arms and takes me back to the house.

As he lays me down on my bed, I whisper 'thanks' and close my eyes. The next morning, I wake with a splitting headache and a vague memory of the night before. Beside me, on the night table, are two Tylenol and a glass of ice water. After taking the pills and looking around, I see Edward asleep on the recliner across the room. I lay back and try to sleep more, but it doesn't work. My eyes won't close again. I get up and go over to Edward. Shaking his arm, I call his name and ask what he's doing here.

"Don't you remember? After you said you'd miss me, you asked me to stay." He says. "I promised not to leave you alone…"

"Oh…Thanks, that's sweet." I tell him awkwardly. "Are you comfortable? We could lie on the bed…"

He smirks and follows me back to the bed where he proceeds to tuck me back in before climbing into the other side. "Bella, can I hug you?"

I smile shyly and nod as he opens his arms. I feel warm and safe and my headache seeps away slowly as he cradles me there.

Our private little world is shattered, moments later, by Rose and Alice. My BFFs want to discuss details and hang-over food but I just want to be back in Edward's arms for the precious little time we have left here in paradise.

He leaves me with them to go and see about breakfast.

Alice tells Rose and me that Jasper has been talking in terms of lifetime commitments but has yet to pop THE question.

Rose tells us how Emmett has been attentive and romantic over the past few days. He's even asked her to video date him until he's free to visit whenever he wants to.

I tell them how I think I'm falling for Edward and how sweet and heroic he was when I was being bothered by those stupid men who'd been hitting on me even though they didn't speak English.

They can tell that I'm not happy about this though, so, Alice tells me how alike Jasper and Edward can sometimes be. Then she informs me that she thinks a long distance relationship will work between us like it has with her and Jazz. She thinks we can handle the pressures of that sort of thing…

I don't, but I remain stoic, as she and Rose smile at me and go to their own rooms so I can be alone to think. There's a chance he doesn't feel the same way about me as I do about him…but there's also a chance we can do this…isn't there? Going through the pros and cons in my head, I make the difficult decision. I took a chance on him once; I can't help but do it again. Running into Alice's room, I tell them quickly of my resolution and they help me form a plan.

Breakfast and lunch pass uneventfully as we all hang out by the pool. As Jasper and Alice gather everyone's plates after lunch, Emmett asks if we're going out again.

"I was hoping I could talk you all into staying here. It's our last night and I want to cook for all of you." I smile. "After dinner, we could play board-games or go in the hot tub… or even walk down the beach…?"

"I don't know about staying in after, but dinner by you sounds like a great way to wind the week down, Bella." Jasper smirks and points at Emmett and Edward. "And I've had the pleasure of tasting her cooking, so we're definitely NOT going to turn down this offer." The other guys put their hands up in surrender.

"I'm not going to fight you on this, Jazz. In fact, I'll offer my assistance to our chef." Edward says.

I grin playfully. "It's always helpful to have an extra pair of hands…but if you get in my way, you're on cleaning detail later."

He laughs loudly and offers to take me to the market.

Once there, we quickly find everything I'll need for the meal. I put Edward in charge of the salad. Thankfully he uses bottled water to rinse the veggies and then cuts them up for me. I make a special blend of chicken and peppers with cheese, taco seasoning, rice and beans. Then I break out the tortillas and call our friends to dinner.

Edward watches as I lay the tortilla out and spoon the mixture into it before folding it over and covering it with more cheese. He places the salad on a smaller plate and gives it to Rose…ladies first and all. When we all have our dishes, I discover that Rose and Alice made margaritas while we were busy. At the end of the meal, Emmett declares me his favorite cook of all time. Jasper and the others sing my praises as well. Alice and Jasper decide to go for a walk on the beach while Emmett and Rose go dancing after dinner.

Edward and I are alone for the first time all day.

"Edward, do you really think it'll work?" I ask.

"Do I think what will work, Bella?" He sighs.

"Us…" I bite my lip. "Don't you see how much work Alice and your brother have to go through just to stay together?"

"Anything worthwhile takes work, Bella… We just have to ask ourselves if this…" He waves between the two of us. "Is worthwhile… My answer is yes."

"Mine is too, Edward, but you're a man in your prime are you sure you want me tying you down?" I ask.

He raises an eyebrow. "I think I might enjoy that actually."

I giggle and roll my eyes. "You know what I mean! You're young and you could be out playing the field."

"Bella, if I wanted to 'play the field' I would be at a club with Em and Rose right now… but I'm here with a girl I like that seems to like me." Edward says uncertainly. "I've enjoyed my time at the bars and on the dating scene, but what I've been looking for in those random encounters…I think I've finally found it in you. We get each other, Bella. We like to stay in once in a while, even though our friends like to go out all the time. We like music and a good book, while they like dancing the night away."

I can't argue with his combination of logic and feeling. "Edward, I think we should give this a try."

"Really?" He asks hugging me. "Oh, Bells, you won't be sorry, baby."

I hug him back and laugh as Alice and Jasper rush into the room and hug us both.

"Jasper proposed!" Alice yells.

"Alice said yes!" Jasper shouts.

We all fall on the couch laughing. Emmett and Rosalie come in the front door and pass right by us. They're so absorbed in each other that they don't even say 'hi'. Jazz and Ali go to their room and I hear Em and Rose in hers so I go to Edward's room and we spend the night kissing and holding each other.

The next day we all pile into the cars and travel back to reality. I take the front seat with Edward this time while Em sits in back with Rose. The guys take us right to LAX for our flight. At the gate, we all agree to keep in touch often and visit when we can.

Edward whispers to me, "By the way, love, I graduate just weeks before you do. How about the guys and I come up to celebrate with you?"

I stare at him. "You mean…"

"Yup, we only have to spend three months apart… I can't believe it never came up." He says with a smile.

I glare. "Me either!"

"C'mon, Bells, we're boarding!" The girls say pulling me onto the boarding ramp.

"I promise to see you soon, Bells…and call often!" Edward yells.

I run out and kiss him hard and intensely on the mouth. As soon as I hear the cat-calls and whistles of our friends, I pull away saying, 'you'd better' and walking back toward my girls. We find our seats and my phone jingles. Glancing at the call id screen, I answer it. "Edward; did you miss me already?"

"Yes, but that's not why I called." He says. "Nice exit, tease!"

"I thought so…you know, if you'd told me you were graduating soon, I might've been more receptive to your advances." I smirk.

"Oh yeah? So we could've ended up doing more then just making out?" He asks.

"Yeah!" I reply.

"So…What are you wearing?" He asks.

I laugh and hang up. Ali and Rose look over at me. "Baja or bust, Baby!" They hi-five me and laugh.