Hello, pretty ladies :-)

Ok, what's this? This is a little something (ok, not so little) that I came up with after a night of checking out weheartit (I swear that place is the devil) and blah, blah, blah, a little pic inspired this story. You can find it on my profile.

My O/S 'Warm Nights' was born out of insomnia, this one was born out of distraction for pretty things, lol.

Because I can't say it enough, many thanks to my beta Songster for betaing this and for reading all my words and rambley emails.

As usual, I don't own Twilight, SM does.

Ok, let's see what the hell is it that I'm talking about here ...

O~o~O~Always You~O~o~O

God, this tie feels so tight. I can't believe I agreed to this thing in the first place. I mean, a suit and a formal dinner? I'm twenty one, I don't want to think about dressing up just yet. Or ever, really.

I find my keys and enter the apartment. The second I open the door, I notice the stillness of the place and the blue morning light filling the small room. In only a few minutes the light will be warmer and the room will be bathed in life. A sunny day would be nice after all these days locked in here studying.

It's not unexpected to find the apartment like this, really, since it's six in the morning and I don't think my roommate is still up or waking up any time soon for that matter. It is Sunday after all.

I head for the kitchen and set what's inside the paper bag I've been carrying in the freezer. This will be great later on if we indeed have a sunny day. Ok, even if we don't.

I turn and walk down the hallway to my room; I really want my bed right now. But as I pass the room next to mine, I can't help but slow down and try to listen in for any noise or movement from within. It's what I always do when I pass it. The door is halfway open and when I peek inside, the sight makes my heart beat faster and stronger, just like every single time I see her.

Bella. My best friend.

She's sitting by the window, reading. Always reading and getting lost in those words, I wish I was able to get that kind of reaction from her. She, getting lost in me, the way I do with her.

She's wearing a cotton nightie and is surrounded by books, well, surrounded is putting it lightly, she's more like buried in them. I swear sometimes I think she'd get rid of the bed if that meant she'd have more space to put more books. I caught her measuring it one time.

The morning light is starting to shine a little brighter now and soon enough, this place will be a freaking oven.

This is the only place we were both able to afford. Hot as hell in the summer, and fucking freezing in the winter. But it's ours at least.

I remember when we first moved in here, two years ago, after a year of living in the dorms. The second we were able; we moved the hell out of there. Neither of our parents said anything about two nineteen year olds living together. Why would they? We've been friends since we were five and I've always taken care of her and she of me.

We have each other's back.

I'd been sitting here in this stupid park, in this stupid town because that's where my Mommy sent me and my sister Rose. She's sitting on a bench with a book, but every time I move, she watches me like Mommy does when we go to the park: like a hawk, I once heard her say to Daddy. Too bad Rose doesn't want to play with me like she does. I heard Mommy tell Daddy that she's a teenager now going through changes. I keep watching her to see what she meant. Is Rose gonna get wings or maybe a tail? That would be so cool! Like a dragon!

Mommy said that she was busy making sure the men that brought our things from our old house didn't screw things up or she'll have their balls for dinner. I didn't know what that meant. Why is she gonna eat footballs for dinner? I don't want to eat that. She also didn't want Daddy to know we might be eating balls, because she said I shouldn't repeat the things she said.

Grown ups are weird.

I didn't want to be here, I just wanted to go back to our old house, with my tree house and my swing set . My Daddy was a doctor there and my Mommy made me cookies when I was good. She said we had to move because now Daddy was going to make people feel better in another hospital.

But people get sick where we lived too. I remember one time when Bobby Miller had the flu and then our entire class got sick after that. Why couldn't Daddy take care of them? There are other kids who would get sick.

I just don't understand. I wanna go home.

I feel my eyes burn, like when I'm gonna cry. But only girls cry, I shouldn't cry.

"You have pretty hair." A soft voice says to my right.

I look up and there is this girl staring down at me. She has pretty hair too.

I rub my eyes and look away. Only girls cry.

"Um ... thanks? My aunty Lola says that it looks just like my Mommy's when she was little." I like that my hair looks like my Mommy's hair, she's pretty, but I don't like that I have a Mommy's hair.

"Are you the new kid? I heard my Daddy tell my Mommy a new family was moving here and they have a girl and a little boy."

"I'm not little! My Daddy says I'm the right size for my age." Now I'm mad. She saw me cry and she called me little. She's pretty but I don't like her. But she's pretty.

"Well, I'm little too, see?" She spins and her red dress looks like a bell around her. Like one of those flowers my Daddy takes my Mommy sometimes when she tells him he has to sleep in the doghouse. I don't understand why she tells him that. We don't even have a dog.

"Yeah, I guess." I go back to burying my feet in the sandbox.

"Don't be sad, when we grow up, we'll be the biggest of the biggest… you'll see. Like my big brother Emmy. Over there." She smiles and I see she's missing two teeth in the front. Just like I am!

I see where she points and there is a big boy there with my sister. He's a giant! I'm gonna be that big? Maybe he ate all of his veggies, like Mommy says.

"I'm not sad because of that. I'm sad that I won't see my friends anymore. I don't have any friends here." I feel more tears in my eyes. Stupid tears.

"Oh." Her face looks like she's thinking about something really hard. Her nose gets wrinkled and the freckles there move when she does that. She looks funny.

"Oh! I know!" She yells. "I'll be your friend. I don't have too many, but they can be yours too. They're nice. We can run, and we can play and chase frogs by the river. It's fun, even when my Mommy says I should be careful. But I'm a big girl now. I'm five." She shows me her hand, moving her fingers.

I'm five too! She's big, just like I am. We can be friends.

"Ok." I stand up and then I remember what my Mommy always says about being polite and introduce myself to new people. I always have to do that when we go to the hospital to visit Daddy.

"Hello, my name is Edward Anthony Cullen. Nice to meet you." And I hold my hand to her, because she has to shake it. All grown ups do.

She looks at it and giggles. And she's even more pretty when she does that. I wanna make her do that sound again.

"Hello, my name is Isabella Marie Swan, but everyone calls me Bella. I like it better like that, but Daddy says Isabella when he's mad at me." Bella moves her hand and shakes mine. She has soft hands, like Mommy's, but different.

"Soooo, where are those frogs you talked about?"

We've never been apart ever since.

She hears when the floor makes a noise and turns her face to me, giving me a tired smile. She still looks so beautiful though, no make-up on, her hair flowing in crazy waves down her shoulders and back, her eyes tired but excited at the same time. She must've been reading a new book. Her eyes always get that way when she's discovering something new.

"Edward, you're back! The date must've been pretty great if your getting home this late ... or early, should I say?" She sets her book down and gives me her complete attention. I can never get her attention when she's reading, but the moment she knows I need to talk, it's like I'm the only one on her mind.

I wish that were true, but I know better. I know her boyfriend, Jake, is the one occupying her mind and her heart. That thought makes me lose my breath.

"Not bad, but not my scene. Little food on the plates, stuffy people tryingto dance around us, rich men talking about how they made their millions. All I was thinking about was how to bribe the chef into making me a cheese burger and eating it in front of all those skinny women." I grin and so does she. She knows I would've done that.

"But then they would've jumped on you, trying to get to the burger and who knows, they might've missed and gotten your arm or leg. I didn't spend an hour convincing you to go to that dinner for you to come back without legs or arms. Then who would get the cereal from the top shelf, Mister?"

"Right, the cereal. We can't have that, God knows you need your sugar fix, otherwise you turn into a bi-" I don't finish my sentence because Bella throws one of her books at me. At my face to be exact. Thank God I have good reflexes.

"Hey, don't mess with the pretty. I need my face intact you know." I pout.

"Shut up, you big baby. Now come sit here and tell me everything."

I go to her, taking my jacket, shoes and tie off, leaving them near the window. The damn thing was choking me once again.

I sit across from her and watch her get settled to hear about my night.

Sometimes it was strange, this friendship we have. We've been friends for many years, the best of friends. She knows me more than anyone else and I know her, but when it comes to dating, things are ... strange.

At times I get the impression she doesn't really want to hear about my dates, that they even hurt her, but that's probably because Idon't really want to hear about hers. It's too painful to hear about her attraction to other guys. To hear her soft laugh through the wall at night, knowing that someone else is making her feel like that.

But I'm still there for her after her dates, because she wants me to be.

"Edward, come on." Bella whines as she tries to pull me to Mike's house.

His parents are out of town, so of course he has to throw a party. Good luck cleaning up afterwards.

We were all invited and Bella convinced me to come with her. I couldn't let her come alone and have some of our classmates hit on her. Douchebags.

"Why are you in such a hurry anyway? The house is just there." I point to the noisy place.

"Because if you don't hurry, we'll get there when the party is over and I didn't get all pretty to miss it." She says very low and calm. She's pissed.

Pretty? She's beautiful. She's always been beautiful, my best friend, but lately she's beautiful in a whole different way. She has more curves now and her legs look longer and smooth. It drives me crazy when she wears shorts. Her hair is more shiny and wavy and her lips are becoming fuller. Redder.

Fuck. I'm getting hard again.

Another new development when we're together.

"Alright, alright. But I don't know how great you think this party is gonna be, Bella. I mean, we are talking about Mike Newton here. The guy who ate two pounds of marsh potatoes on a dare and threw up on Mr. Banner. Our principal. In the cafeteria." That had been a fun lunch.

"Maybe, but there will be other people there that could make it a good party." She rolls her eyes. "Besides, on Monday everyone will be talking about it. Don't you wanna at least know what they'll be talking about?" She does have some kind of a point there.

We get to the party and some seniors are already drunk. Why she wants to hang out with them is beyond me.

People are dancing, dry humping, drinking, wobbling and some full on throwing up in the rose bushes. Fantastic, Mike's Mom will be thrilled.

"Bella! You came!" We turn and Jessica is walking – ok, stumbling - towards us with a guy on her arm.

"Hey, Jess." They start talking and I lose interest when they start gushing about this hot guy Jess saw earlier. Geez, your date is right next to you.

I tell Bella that I'm gonna get us something to drink and head to the kitchen. The moment I enter, Tanya is right next to me. Where did she come from?

"Hi, Edward. Glad you could make it tonight." She says in a low voice and moves in a little too close for comfort, wrapping her hand around my arm.

"Yeah, I came with Bella. How are you?" I turn to try to get some sodas or something with not so much alcohol. God knows what they might've put in these things. I also want to get away from her.

"Bella? Oh, your little friend over there. Nice of you to come with her." She says it in a way I don't like. Like Bella is a charity case.

"Actually, she's the one who dragged me here. So, I came with her."

Tanya narrows her eyes while looking at Bella, and man, if looks could kill. A second later she turns to me and is all calm and sweet. What the hell is wrong with her?

"Oh, well. Thank God for Bella then. But you don't have to worry about her now, she's with Garrett. Maybe we could-"

I stop listening to her, because the second she said Garrett's name I turn in that direction.

True enough, Garrett, Mike's cousin, has an arm around Bella's shoulder. Some other girls had gathered around Bella and Jess and even some guys as well. But Garrett and Bella are the only ones I see. I want to punch him.

I leave Tanya behind and take the drinks with me.

"Oh, 're back! We ran into Garrett. You remember him, right? Mike's cousin. He's a freshman in college now. He was telling us about college life."

Yeah, a college freshman hanging out with high school freshmen. You're pretty cool.

"Really? Why are you not at some frat party or something? Aren't college parties supposed to be amazing?" I feel a jab against my side and I see Bella glaring at me. I look at her innocently.

"Yeah, I got tired of that for a bit. There's always a party next weekend if I want to go." Yeah, sure.

The guy starts telling college stories and it's getting very difficult not to roll my eyes every two seconds. We get it, college is hard and has great parties, ones you are not attending. Now shut up and stop touching Bella.

At one point he asks Bella if she wants to go for a walk. This is it, the moment she'll tell him to take a walk by himself.

"I'd love to Garrett." She doesn't even hesitate. Is she serious?

"Bella, I don't think this is a good idea." I tell her while grabbing her arm.

"It's ok, Edward. We won't be too far and you should go and have fun. Tanya's been eyeing you since we got here." She smiles, but I know her, the smile doesn't reach her eyes. Then she leaves.

What the hell just happened?

As I see her go, it suddenly dawns on me that this is it. This is all we'll ever be. Friends, best friends at that, but nothing more. She can date whomever she wants to and apparently, she has no problems with me dating as well.

I don't know when exactly she changed from being my best friend to something more, but now I see that whatever I might want it to be, it's never going to happen. I'll never know what could've been. We'll continue to be just friends.

I leave with Tanya's number that night and after I take Bella home I lay on my bed for hours, never finding sleep. Bella seemed hesitant on our way back, even though she reassured me that nothing had happened with Garrett beyond kissing. I felt a strong pressure in my heart at hearing that. She kept pushing me to go and date Tanya, saying that she was great and pretty.

I should've told her that she was more beautiful than Tanya, than any of the girls at the party. But I didn't.

Yet, it was all I could think about when I was making out with Tanya in my car the following week.

I had been dating Irina, this beautiful Russian girl, for the past month. She's tall, with legs that seem to never end. Blond soft hair and the most intense blue eyes I've ever seen. She's smart and funny and a pleasant companion. She comes from money and in her case, it makes her very extravagant. Everything has to be big with her. Big parties, big gifts. All paid for her Daddy, a guy that seriously scares the crap out of me.

We have fun, but now I'm tired of all that partying. I just want a nice night in, having pizza and watching a movie, but Irina loves to party. Once, she even took us to New York on her private jet for some club opening. Really? Who lives like that? I sure as hell don't. It's just too much. And last night, at the launch of a new brand from her Dad's company, and later at her place, proved that much.

"Ok, Irina looked beautiful and you could tell she belonged in that world. Her father introduced me to his friends and they were pleasant enough. We wouldn't want to be rude to their boss daughter's date, now would we?"

"Of course not. What would proper society think about that? And did you behave? You didn't make those weird jokes you make when you're nervous, right? Didn't pull at your tie every two seconds? Didn't make bathroom trips every time someone said something you wanted to punch them for? You didn't-"

"Geez, woman. Give me some credit, why don't you? I was the perfect gentleman. Mom and Dad didn't raise me in a barn."

"Ok, ok, don't get all angry at me. Esme will be proud when I tell her. I already sent her pics of you in a tux." She says all proud of herself, I don't know why, it's not like she dressed me. Well, she did pick out the suit and helped me with the tie and ... Shit, she diddress me.

The thought of Bella and my Mom hanging out and talking about me, and boy there was a lot of that, makes me smile. When we were sixteen, Bella's Mom, Renee, died in a car accident. A hit and run that was never solved. It was so painful to see Bella after that, so consumed by grief. There were days she just stayed in bed under the covers and cried, others she would sit by the window of her bedroom to look at the garden she and her mother planted. She sat there, her look fixated on those flowers, for hours.

I was there as much as possible. Taking her something to eat, reading her favorite books, holding her while she cried or just sitting next to her in silence. It took a long time, but she made it; she fought to get out of that hole and come back to us. Not the same of course, but a Bella who would laugh and make jokes and plan for the future.

My Mom took charge as well and became her confidant. Every time Bella needed to talk to someone and she felt she couldn't talk to me, she'd go to Mom. Their bond was amazing; it truly was like Mother and daughter.

Of course, that also meant that two of the women who knew me the most in the world got together and exchanged notes.

Awesome years.

"Great, if she likes the pics, she'll have me wear a tux every time I go to dinner with her and Dad." I grumbled. It was a real possibility.

"Oh, shush. You looked handsome, but you still haven't told me why are you coming home at this hour?" And for a split second, hurt crosses her eyes. Maybe she doesn't want to know, maybe she's asking more out of obligation than anything else. I don't know.

Great, now I'm seeing 'looks'. I must be really desperate and reading too much into this.

"Ok, after we left the party, Irina took me to her apartment. A nice penthouse Daddy paid of course. It was then that the girl kind of ... transformed."

"Transformed? What do you mean? She turned into a pumpkin? A were-wolf? Her nose grew and she got warts on it? I bet-"

"Jesus Christ, Bella. Will you let me finish my story? You always do that. Then I get sidetracked and never finish the damn thing, or when I do it is anticlimactic."

It's hard to keep the smile from my face. Even though what I said is true fifty percent of the time, I wouldn't change it for the world. I loved how Bella's mind worked, always making up stories.

"Ok, ok. I'll be quiet."

"Good." I give her a stern look, but she knows I don't mean it.

"As I was saying before being rudely interrupted, we were at her place making out and stuff, when she started to transform. She was sweet and then all hot and then it's like she was possessed. She wanted me to take control of the situation, which I didn't mind at all, but then she wanted me to, um ... spank her and reallytake control." God, I'm blushing.

"And did you?" She looks amused. I should've kept walking to my room.

"Yeah, what the lady wants, the lady gets." I wink at her. I hope at least I look confident.

"Ew, Edward. I don't want to hear all of the details." She scrunches up her nose. "But continue." And she's back to curious and amused.

I can't help but laugh. We've always been very open about our relationships - as hurtful as that was at times - except for very intimate details. We truly know way too much about the other.

"Ok, so I spanked her but that didn't seem to be enough for her. She kept asking me to spank her harder and she started speaking in Russian, screaming and making these cat-like noises? I didn't know what the hell what's going on. I just wanted to get laid, not star in a home made porno."

I don't know what happened to her, we've slept together before. Maybe that odd mix the barman gave her had cat hair.

And now it's Bella's turn to laugh. Damn her.

"Animal noises? Did youmake animal noises as well? You know, to keep up with the theme ... when in Rome."

"Right, Bella. She was some kind of cat and I was her prey. A mouse?"

"Do mice make some kind of sex noise? Aren't they kind of quiet? You're not quiet in bed. We share a wall, I should know." She winces when she says that.

Great, now I'm a mouse. A loud mouse.

"Yeah, I'm definitely not a mouse. Why are we talking about mice? You're sidetracking me again!"

"You started it."

"Whatever. As I was saying, she kept on making all these noises and wanting me to spank her. My hand was getting tired and sore and I thought at any second someone would call the police or PETA and have me arrested. I can't go to jail, Bella, I'm too pretty."

"Yes, you are. You'd be someone's bitch in the first day." I nod.

"It just wasn't sexy at all. While I was spanking her, all I could think about was that I needed to pay cable bill on Monday, so I started doing the math."

"Oh, you're right. I'll give you my part today, gotta go to the ATM later."

"Ok." Jesus Christ, we have ADD.

"At one point, her screams got high pitched and that scared the crap out of me, so much that I stood up from the bed and ... dropped her." To say that Irina was surprised, is putting it mildly.

"You dropped the Russian cat to the floor? Ok, now PETA really hasto intervene. What did she do?"

"What do you think? She got super mad and started cursing at me in Russian again but then, strangely enough, that got her more turned on. Maybe she thought it was part of the game? Or it was some kind of Russian mating ritual? Anyway, she started taking off her clothes after that."

"God, Edward, this only happens to you." Bella shakes her head. "Remember that girl with all those stuffed bears in her bed?"

"God, don't remind me. She refused to remove them from the bed because she didn't want to make them feel neglectedfrom pushing them aside. Because having sex right in front of them is not weird enough." I had to do the deed with my eyes closed to avoid their shiny beady eyes staring at me.

"So much therapy was needed."

"Yeah, for me, her and the bears."

"Ok, so moving on. Irina's naked in front of you. Now you go ahead and sleep with her, right?" Even though I know we're joking around, she looks a little off.

"Um ... " I turn my head to look out the window. People are starting their day this early, even though it's Sunday. What the hell is wrong with them?

"You didn't sleep with the naked, cat sounding Russian girl?" She looks shocked. Imagine how I feel, Bella.

"I couldn't! It was all too weird. I like some kinkiness here and there -"

"- or down there more like it." She interrupts. I just glare.

"- but this was too much. Also, I was afraid that her Dad might show up at the apartment; she still lives with Daddy. He looked like he belonged to or ran the Russian mafia or something. He would totally shoot first and ask questions later, and thenyou'd never get the cereal gatherer back."

"You truly are something, you know. Something that should be studied, but something alright." She's smiling, amused at this stupid situation, but sadness is making its way to her face more clearly now. Even like that she looks beautiful, with the light filtering from the window. How did I become so lucky to have her as my friend?

"So what did she do when little Eddie there didn't answer her nature call?"

"She was pissed and this time, that didn't turn her on. She kicked me out of her place. Until that point I hadn't even taken my jacket off." I shrugged. It was an embarrassing night, but I didn't care about not seeing Irina again. It was fun while it lasted.

"Where did you go after that? That sounds like it happened hours ago."

I knew she picked up on that. I also knew that only one word would explain everything.


"I'm hungry, Edward, and thirsty." Bella whines next to me.

We're walking, trying to find a cab home in the middle of the night. We had been dancing at a club, using our fake IDs for the first time, and it had been hot as hell in there. How she danced with those damn shoes, I have no idea.

"Well, that happens when you dance like crazy, Bella. How many guys did you dance with?" It had been torture seeing her dance with them. Their hands on her hips, her sides. Their lips on her neck. I had to distract myself by dancing with some girls as well.

"Three guys, Edward. You make me sound like some kind of loose girl. And how about you? I saw those girls' wandering hands going south of the border." I shuddered. One girl wanted to get frisky, but her hands just felt wrong on me.

"I can't even remember her name, but that move killed whatever mood I was in up until that point."

We keep walking, not many people around us. I just want to get to the dorms. I didn't drink that much, so I can still walk straight and think clearly. Bella? Not so much.

"Where are those damn cabs? I wanna go home, but I wanna eat first." She keeps whining. She looks adorable.

Maybe I drank more than I thought.

"I don't know what to tell you. There were plenty of cabs an hour ago when I wanted to leave, but nooooo, you just had to stay." She had been talking to this guy and looked like she was gonna leave with him, but he gave a weird vibe, so I stayed close. The second the guy pushed her against the door near the exit, my fist was on his nose.

"Yeah, yeah. The guy was an ass. And he cried like a little girl when you punched him. I could never be with a guy who doesn't know how to take a punch."

Duly noted.

We keep on walking until Bella stops dead in her tracks.

"What's wrong? Are you feeling alright? Are you gonna throw up? Because I don't wanna smell like vomit all the way home, Bella-"

"No. Food, I smell food." She keeps on walking, now with a purpose. I know what happens now.

Ever since we were little kids, Bella has had an incredible sense of smell. She knows if someone changes shampoos or perfumes; she caught on to my smoking, even when I brushed my teeth like ten times; but most importantly, Bella can find the best restaurants blocks away. It was rather comical actually. She almost looked like those cartoon characters when they floated following a scent.

We always joke that if we ever get lost on a desert island, we'd be a great team. She would track and I would hunt. We would rock at extreme reality shows.

I follow her and sure enough, two blocks away, we find a diner. Shelly's.

Bella doesn't even stop to see if I'm following; she knows I am. The place looks like those old time diners, with booths and a long counter. There are not many people sitting there and they don't seem shady or anything, it seems like they are just people looking for a 24 hour place to eat.

Our kind of people.

The scents coming from the kitchen are my undoing and never in my life have I thanked the Lord more than now for Bella's freakish sense of smell.

A waitress approaches to ask us for our order. She is in for a treat.

"Hi, there. My name is Shelly. What can I get you?"

Not a second after she finishes, Bella is ordering. She barely looks at the menu.

"Hi Shelly, I'm Bella and this is my friend Edward. I'll have a double mega burger, with tomatoes, bacon and mayo. An order of chili, a large order of curly fries with some extra spicy dip on the side, a big Coke - no ice - and for dessert, I'll have some apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top." She doesn't even blink.

Shelly just gapes at her. She only got to opening her notepad before Bella talked.

"I know, Shelly. The girl can eat." I shake my head.

"Now, as for the human at the table, I'll have a chicken salad sandwich, a Coke - large - and a sundae for dessert. 'Cause, ice cream, who can live without it."

"Wow, you guys can eat. I'll be right back." Shelly leaves and I'm pretty sure she's doing the math to see if they have enough food for tonight.

"I think we scared her," Bella leans in and whispers.

"I know, but it's better that she knows what she's getting herself into from the start. You know we'll be coming back here again." We haven't even had the food, but I know we'll be back. Bella knows it, Shelly does, even that weird guy in the back knows it.

"Good point. She saw us at our worst. It doesn't get any worse or more disgusting than this ... for the most part. We'll see how she handles it when I'm on my period."

Oh, her mood swings. It's the reason why delivery guys at 'Gino's pizza' fight for our route one week a month.

"That will be the real test, alright."

After Bella pretty much inhales her food and has another serving of apple pie and half my sundae. Really, where does she put all that food? Shelly comes to talk to us. We find out she's the owner, hence Shelly's, and has been there for nearly fifteen years. She's really nice, kind of cool and, as of today, our provider.

Yep, we'll be coming back.

"Ok, Shelly we have to go now. My sugar rush is going down and I'll be crashing at any second now. You don't wanna see that, I don't want to taint your excellent impression of me," Bella says, yawning.

"Yeah, the image of you inhaling your food. That's pretty excellent."

"Oh, stop it you two. Now go, but come back whenever you want." I'm pretty sure she'll regret saying those words in the future. She pats our cheeks and gives us some fries for the road.

I am in love.

Bella falls asleep on the ride back to the dorms with a french fry sticking out of her mouth.

"Oh, Shelly. So your date did end up with some sugar on top."

"Yeah, she gave me some of that awesome apple pie, she even covered the ice cream with some caramel sauce."

"What? She never does that for me." Now she's pouting.

"That's because I'm her favorite. Besides, sometimes it looks like you'd eat her hand off if she even tried to go near your food. You're scary."

"I am not, I resent that. It was my sense of preservation that found us Shelly, you know. You should kiss the floor I walk on." I wanna kiss so much more than that, believe me.

"Pfff. Sense of preservation? We were a cab ride away from home. We were not going to die out there. Although I do thank your freak of a nose for the finding. That's all you'll get from me."

"Whatever. You'd miss me if I died of hunger, Edward. Just don't tell people that. Tell the world I died saving a baby or something."

"Right, because the world would believe me. It's much more likely that you'd die choking on a baby carrot than saving an actual baby. Although the thought of you and vegetables is just about unheard of."

"Vegetables? Those things accompanying my meat? They're side dishes, Edward. Meant for cows, cows that then taste delicious." God, she looks like she's getting hungry. I'm suddenly scared.

"Easy there, Bella. I left some of Shelly's apple pie and ice cream in the kitchen. She says hi." Her eyes suddenly shine. It's like I told her faeries exist or something, which is fitting, the way she eats is just not real.

"I love Shelly. I want to marry her."

"You could in some states. But all that constant access to food? You'll be a ball in a year or so and die trying to reach the ketchup bottle. Then who would believe you were saving a baby?"

"True. I don't want to die just yet. I have so much to read and to eat still, Edward. Dying just won't do."

"Really? That's your gold? Not find happiness? Form a family? See exotic places? Write a novel? You're weird."

"You're weirder for hanging out with me. I was born this way, you decidedto follow this craziness."

"That's true. Maybe I should go and ask those teddy bears for their therapist."

"Maybe they use a Care Bear therapist. They're happy enough."

"I can't believe we're talking about this." I shake my head. Sidetracked again.

"You started it, so I'll finish it. I'll be the voice of reason here."

"God help us."

"Ok, so you went to Shelly's and spent the entire time there? Why didn't you come home after your date? zoo visit? Whatever the hell that was you had last night." Now she looks kinda hurt, maybe I should'vecome home after that, I just had too much on my mind.

"I dunno, I felt weird. I just needed some comfort food, I didn't expect it to be this long."

"Hi, Edward. What are you-" Shelly greets me and stops when she sees my face.

"What happened, sweetie. Are you alright?" I sit in front of the counter and she pours me some coffee and serves me apple pie. Caramel sauce. Bella will be jealous.

"I had a bad date, that's all."

"A bad date? This seems like more than that, dear." Ah, she picked up on that.

"I don't know Shelly. I'm just tired. Tired of going out with these women and then nothing more happens, but then again, I don't want more to happen. They all feel ... wrong." I sigh. I truly am tired.

Shelly is silent for a while and I've been staring at my coffee all this time. Maybe she thinks I'm a whiny little boy.

I see her hand halting the drumming I've been doing without realizing.

"Then who feels right?" She asks so gently and serious. It's not very often that she's this serious, we usually just joke around. Shelly, me and Bella.


Her touch feels nice and soft and warm. Even when she passes the ketchup bottle, those few seconds our skin touches, all I want to do is hold her hand in mine. Run my finger tips over her knuckles, trace the lines of her palms ...

"Then there's your answer." Shelly says softly.

Shit, did I say that out loud? From the looks on Shelly's face, apparently, I did.

"It's not that simple, Shelly. She's my best friend and she doesn't see me that way, never has. I can't risk what we have if she doesn't feel the same. I can't lose her."

This is what's been holding me back all this time. I've been close to kissing her or asking her for a chance, but then something always comes up. I have a girlfriend, she has a boyfriend. The timing is always wrong.

"And then there's Jake, her boyfriend. She's taken, Shelly. I lost my chance." I sigh and rest my head in my hands. Jake, the boyfriend. I can't stand the guy and he can't stand me. The only bad thing is that it hurts Bella that we don't get along.

"Are you sure about that? You've been friends forever, Edward. She would never throw away years of friendship like that. If you feel this way, you should talk to her, see what she feels as well. You're making a decision for the both of you and that's not fair to her either. As for Jake, well, I don't think she'll marry the guy and I have a feeling that there is more to this." Shelly's face looks knowingly at me. Could she know something I don't?

"Go to her, Edward. You might be surprised."

She hands me the apple pie and ice cream and sends me on my way, on my way to my Bella.

"You felt weird? What do you me-" She's cut off by the ring on her cell phone. A message, probably from Jake.

She doesn't make a move to retrieve it.

"Aren't you gonna see who is it from?" I don't want our time together to be interrupted, but if it's Jake, she'd want to speak to him.

She stares at it and shakes her head. She looks kind of sad.

"What's the matter, Bella? Did something happen? Did Jake do something to you? 'Cause I swear-"

"We broke up last night." Now she's the one staring out the window.

"Oh." We talk for hours about the silliest things and when it comes to the big issues this is all I manage? Way to crack under pressure.

Wait, is she sad about the break up? Of course she is, she likes him, maybe even lo-. I can't even think of the word. She has to follow her heart. I can't believe the words that are coming out of my mouth next.

"Maybe you should give each other some time to think and then talk again. You were great together and I'm sure things will be ok in no time." Every word feels like a cut to my heart.

She looks at me then and her eyes are no longer sad, they look angry as hell. Is she mad at me?

"I'll have you know, Edward, that he took me to dinner last night and the entire time, I just felt out of place. I knew he liked me a lot, but the more time we spent together, the more I wanted to get out of the relationship. I felt trapped and that was not fair to Jake, so Ibroke things off." Her hands were gripping the book in her lap furiously.

"So, no. We won't be getting back together, Edward." She turns her head to the window once again and I can see her trying to fight some tears from falling. That always happens when she is beyond upset and this time it's directed at me.

"Why do you do that, Edward? Why do you put me first? Why do you push me? Am I so revolting that you can't stand the thought of me?" The tears are finally falling.

"What? No! What are you talking about?" I truly can't understand. I ache to touch her and hold her at this moment, but she's on the other side of the windowseat and it might be a bad move to go to her right now.

"It's you, Edward. It's always been you." She turns her head to look at me and there is so much sadness in her eyes, almost like she gave up. On me?


"No, please listen to me." I nod.

"For years I've been feeling like this, like you are more than just my friend. I've accepted the fact that you don't feel the same way and moved on, but apparently, I haven't moved on. Do you have any idea how much it kills me when we talk about dating? The thought of you dating breaks my heart and the thought that you don't care that I date others also kills me."

She's been feeling the same way I have?

"But I can't anymore. I can't pretend to be nonchalant about who you date, or hearing how intimate you are with them and just wishing it was me that makes you feel that way. Nor can I stand just how damn supportive you are and how you encourage me to date, when all I want to do is sit at your side and I read while you compose. I can't."

Have I been thatblind? Apparently yes, I have. But so has she. She hasn't seen the way I look at her, how I clench my teeth when I see other guys touching her in ways I want to.

"Bella, I-"

"All I've ever wanted to do was this." And she moves towards me, over the books between us and stops for a second before pressing her lips to mine.

Bliss. That is all I can think about. How soft and full her lips are. How warm and sweet her mouth feels. The second the shock of feeling her lips on mine wears off, and I realize that this is really happening, I start to move my lips against hers and hold her head with my hands.

When Bella notices that I'm kissing her back, she moans softly, which drives me crazy and all I want to do is keep kissing her so she'll do it again. Those sounds, her scent and the feel of only her lips make me want to do nothing but hold her tightly in her bed of books and spend the rest of the day - maybe our lives – there, eating Shelly's apple pie until we burst.

And kissing, lots and lots of kissing.

She moves her body closer to mine, now straddling me and I move my hands to her sides and back. I've always wanted to do this and always hated that other hands touched her skin.

Her tongue is hot in my mouth and I can't help but suck it. She moans some more. I nip at her full lips and I wonder if we ever have to stop doing this. Surely not.

She finally retreats so we can breathe. I guess we had to and what a new breath it is.

"I've wanted to do that too for so long, Bella. I can't believe you had the guts to do it first." I pant. Our foreheads and noses are touching and the light coming from outside is stronger now. How long have we been here?

"You have?" My silly girl, but then again, I have been a silly boy as well.

"Yes and I plan on doing that many, many, many more times in the future." I punctuate every word with a kiss to her nose, cheeks, forehead, lips. My God, her lips.

"So, you've liked me for a long time?" And because I'm a moron, of course I ask that, because apparently it's not clear after her kiss.

"Yes, but when I saw that nothing would happen between us, I decided that you being happy makes me happy as well, so if dating is what you wanted, then I'd encourage you." Her eyes look pained and I know they mirror mine remembering all those times I let her go with someone else.

"God, we are such idiots. I felt the same way; I just didn't want to ruin this. Us." So much time wasted.

"Speak for yourself on the idiot part, Mister. I was just waiting for the right time."

"The right time was after my date with catwoman and your breakup with Jake?"

"Don't question the method, Edward. Or these will be your last kisses."

"Yes, ma'am."

We start kissing again and soon enough, we are having a full on make out session. Sitting here by the window is becoming really uncomfortable, I think I have a dictionary pushed against my kidney. The fact that she's sitting on my lap makes other parts uncomfortable as well. Also, it doesn't help that her nightie is riding up.

Oh, Sweet Jesus.

I try to move to my left, but then Bella does as well and next thing I know, we fall to the floor. Well, I fall on top of some book, big surprise there, and Bella on top of me.


"Oh my God, Edward, are you alright? Did you break anything?" She saw me cry one time when I was five and suddenly she thinks I'm fragile.

"I don't think so, but you know what really hurts?" I point to my cheek. She kisses it softly.

"Where else?" I point closer to my lips. She kisses there as well.

"Where else?" I don't get a chance to point to my mouth, when her lips are making contact with them. Oh, I'll never get tired of this.

"Is that better?" Bella asks while she runs her mouth down my jaw and neck. What did she ask?


"Seems you hit your head as well." She giggles against my neck. The vibrations of them cause my skin to shiver.

We lay there on the floor for I don't know how long. I like feeling her warm body at my side, running my hands on her body, she running hers on mine. Kissing every once in a while or looking at her with new eyes.

I have to make up for lost time now. The touching will be epic.

"I'm hungry," I say after after a while.

"Didn't Shelly feed you? I thought I was the insatiable eater here." I know she's teasing, but I'm hungry, dammit.

"Yes, she did. But my body needs more food. As much as I love your kisses, they have no nutritional value." I can just feel her rolling her eyes at me.

"I have some Snickers bars in my bed-side table. You know I need them when I have the munchies."

I had forgotten about those. She always has so much candy in her drawer, it's like a mini Willy Wonka factory; I expect Oompa Loompas jumping out of there any second now. I've often found her passed out after a sugar rush in the morning with candy wrappers all around her and stuck in her hair. One time, a Milky Way bar melted on her cheek. I teased her that it looked like she fell on dog poop.

She ate my dessert for a week after that.

"The munchies? Do you even know what that is?"

"You know what I mean. I get super hungry after a marathon of all night reading. Books are my drug of choice, Edward. Don't mess with an addict," she says matter-of-factly.

"Oh, ok. I thought maybe you were smoking pot. That would explain a lot, you know."

"You, ass." Bella laughs and swats my chest.

"Admit it, you love my ass. Is nice and firm."

"I can't deny that it is. Now that I have a full access to it, I'll have to investigate more."

God, she's killing me.

I kiss her hard this time, letting her know the way she affects me and I know that I do the same to her. It's getting so hot in here and I don't think is just because of the sun.

"Likewise," I mumble against her lips and roll us over until I'm hovering over her.

We'll never leave this floor.

She's been my friend for so long; I can't even imagine my life without her anymore. She was there when I had no friends and was the new kid with the weird hair color. I was there when her Mom died to hold her tight. We went to proms together and then to college. We've seen each other's ups and downs. She knows me better than I know myself sometimes.

Of course, it's always been her. Always her.

"Soooo, where are those chocolate bars you talked about?"

The Beginning ...

And there ya go. Not smutty or anything, just plain ol' happy. Hope you liked it.

Thanks for reading, sweeties :-)