AN: This is an excerpt from my new OS Yes! It's part of the awesome Fandom for Sexual Assault Awareness Fundraiser. If you haven't already done so, please, please, please consider donating to this great cause. I spent my college career organizing Take Back the Night, and this fundraiser is near and dear to my heart. They're accepting donations through 5/31/11. Go here to donate: ( http : / fandom4saa . wordpress . com / ) A reminder that anyone who donates $25 or more gets their very own A Man of Few Words outtake. I will accept teams . . . Thanks for reading!
"Hi. My name is Bella, and I'm not sure why I'm here. All I know is that I saw your poster today, and I felt like I had to come."
Sweet jeebus, I feel like a failed alcoholic. Now that I'm here, I don't recognize any of these faces, and I'm ready to sneak out as soon as I can.
I'm this close to making a break for it when I hear the person on my right chuckle. I turn to give him a dirty look but stop when I see how gorgeous he is. It's ridiculously unfair for someone that pretty to be a boy.
"That'sokay, Bella. Most of the people who showed up are really just here for the free pizza."
"Well, there's that too," I quip. "I was just trying to be polite."
"Ahh, the truth comes out." He laughs again then he holds out his hand. "I'm sorry. I haven't introduced myself yet. I'm Edward."
I stare at his offer like a moron for a few beats, admiring his hand and its shapely fingers. Even they're attractive, god help me. Edward looks uncomfortable and starts to move his arm back when I reach out to grab it, lose my center of gravity, and fall forward, accidentally grazing his groinal region instead. His whole body jerks back in response.
Shit. I'm the perv who came to Students Stopping Rape meeting to eat their food and grope their members. I'm pretty sure this could not have gone more poorly. Oh wait. There it is. The worst part. I feel my face burn tomato-red. Awesome.
"Oh, god. I'm so, so sorry. I really shouldn't be here. I was just leaving—"
"Edward, are you scaring off potential new members again?" A woman with caramel-coated voice and hair to match steps beside him.
"No, Esme. I swear. There was just a misunderstanding." His hand is in his hair mussing it more than it was before. It's a quite a feat.
"He wasn't. I just remembered I have some homework I forgot about." I can't look either of them in the eye as I'm saying this obvious lie.
"It happens." She shrugs. "I'm Esme, the Rape Prevention Program coordinator. It's good to see some new faces in here. Edward's is beginning to bore me." She laughs at her own joke.
"How?" I blurt out. If I had a shovel, I'd be in the back burying myself six feet deep. Instead I get to watch how much more uneasy I just made Edward. He's never going to want to see me again. After this, I'm not I'd want to see me either.
She raises her eyebrow at me, but doesn't comment. The silence stretches out between our awkward gathering until I have to say something, anything.
"I've really got to get going," I mumble.
"The library waits for no man, eh?" Edward asks.
"Or woman," I answer snidely, as if I really have no control whatsoever over my own mouth.
His eyes snap to mine, as I'm cursing myself for being so quick to speak. He smiles at me. His teeth are blindingly white and perfectly straight, of course. I had to wear braces for five years and still wear a retainer in my sleep so my snaggle teeth don't shred the inside of my mouth.
Edward's voice interrupts my train of thought, when I realize I've been staring at him. He sounds uncomfortable, probably because after acquainting myself with his man-parts, I'm now looking at him like he's the last slice of cheesecake at an all-you-can-eat buffet. "Um, we'll see you next week? Same bat-time, same bat-channel."
If I wasn't so concerned with getting the hell out of there, his adorkableness would make me want to stick to him like an unwelcome magnet. I'm pretty certain the last addition he needs in his life is an accidental crotch-grabbing, embarrassingly clumsy, fork-tongued second-year such as myself.
"Sure, sure," I reply, anything to get out of here faster.
"Great!" Esme beams at me. "I look forward to getting to know you."
I faintly hear Edward say, "Me too" before I throw my grubby pack over my shoulder and head out of the small office like my ass is on fire.
I vow to never step foot in there again, so help me.