Fan Fiction, Sex Gods and Single Girls

A/N: Sorry for the delay. I was working to get Indelible updated and this chapter and the next needed quite a bit of editing and reshuffling.

Back to the dream date picnic… This is fluffy, but it might be their first real date without any interruptions. Or maybe not.


Chapter 59: Just B-ing & E-ing

Edward's sudden playful attack on the picnic blanket had Bella giggling in surprise. His mouth was on her neck and throat, assailing her with tickly kisses, soft chuckles, and growls of pleasure. Bella grabbed his head, her fingers threading through his hair in a conflicted attempt to push him away, while pulling him closer.

He loves the picnic! He loves the picnic and he loves…

Don't even think it!

Edward lifted his head, looking down at his pretty and pink-faced, giggly girlfriend. The music had changed and the current song had caught his attention.

"Is this the playlist I made?" he asked, stroking a thumb over her cheekbone.

Bella looked into vivid green eyes in his flushed and smiling face, his hair a delicious mess from her grasping hands. Leaning into the warmth of his palm against her cheek, Bella smiled.

"No. Some songs are from that playlist. You heard Dreams and now Strawberry Fields Forever, but you'll have to wait and see what else I chose and figure out why."

He grinned, intrigued. She'd obviously picked up on his musical message at the barbecue, when he'd let her know he had a real interest in her. Now he was left wondering what her musical message might be.

Maybe she feels like I do? Maybe she's in…

In love? Really? After three days of dating? Just keep your trap shut! She'll think you're nuts!

As Bella's fingers combed his riotous hair back into place, Edward's gaze flickered over the picnic scene.

"I can't believe you thought to do all this," he said with a smile.

She shrugged, smiling back. "I think it turned out to be a good idea. We couldn't very well roll around on the floor of a restaurant with you mauling me, like we can here in my backyard."

Edward laughed, his eyebrows twitching devilishly above his flashing green eyes, leading Bella to believe there would be additional rolling around and mauling at some point. "I'm sure you're right. Most restaurateurs wouldn't go for this type of rolling-and-mauling behavior in their fine-dining establishments. And now I understand why you dodged my question about having reservations. This was a wonderful surprise, Bella."

"I'm really glad you liked it. I felt so sneaky all day. And your reaction was priceless. You looked stunned."

Edward chuckled, kissing her soft lips. "I most certainly was."

He pushed up onto his knees and pulled Bella upright. Moving over to the spot she'd set for him on the blanket, he heard the slow guitar intro of Samba Pa' Ti begin playing. The desire in the notes seemed plucked straight from his very heart, as he recalled teaching samba dance steps to his adorably hesitant, blushing dance partner at the barbecue. He watched as she settled herself near the picnic basket, her lovely face lit up from the glorious gold of the setting sun.

She glanced over as she opened the picnic basket, her brow arched in playful challenge. "How well do you remember the promised menu?"

Edward chuckled. "Is this a pop quiz, Miss Swan?"

Bella laughed and nodded. "It's a five point quiz but your grade is riding on this. Let's see how well you paid attention, starting with...the beverage."

Edward pursed his lips, though he felt rather confident, having pondered this potential picnic when she'd described it to him at the barbecue.

"Lemonade," he said. But his smug little smirk faltered as Bella pulled out a bottle of wine and a corkscrew.

"No, you were right!" She laughed at his suddenly blank expression. "You earned a point. I just felt wine seemed more appropriate for a twilight dinner picnic."

His grin returned as he reached for the bottle and corkscrew. "Thank goodness. For a moment I thought I'd bombed the first test question."

He looked down at the bottle's label. "Hot to Trot red blend?" Looking up, he smirked. Wickedly. "Hot to Trot?" he repeated, cocking a cocky brow. "Seriously? Is this picnic an elaborate ruse to get me naked?"

Bella's mouth fell open and then snapped shut. Edward burst into laughter as she blushed mightily, prompting Bella to roll her eyes.

Oh my god! He gets far too much enjoyment out of doing this to me! What is so thrilling about making me blush?

"Edward! The wine was on sale!" She picked up her napkin and threw it at him. It hit him in his chest and fell to his lap as he continued laughing, his eyes sparkling.

"Sure, it was." He nodded as he tossed her napkin back. "If that's what you want me to believe."

He began opening the bottle, unable to contain his smile. She was just so delightful when she got all flustered. He was tempted to lunge at her again. And roll around on the ground some more. And maybe maul her. Certainly maul her.

Christ…she's just so cute. She has no idea how lovely she is.

"I'm just teasing, Bella. You're fun to tease, but you know I love…"

Whoa! Watch it there! We decided to hold off on that declaration, remember?!

"…teasing you," he finished softly.

That was a close call, Cullen! Just try and stick to the plan, will you?

He regrouped, pouring wine into their glasses. But when his eyes flickered to hers as he handed over her glass, he realized she'd gone quiet. He was suddenly concerned, wondering if he'd gone too far with his teasing.

Bella looked at her wine, swirling it around as she turned his words over in her head. At his "I love…" her heart had skipped a beat, imagining how it would sound, followed up by "you."

Oh. My. God. Isabella Marie! You were hoping for an 'I love you?' What are you thinking? You've been his girlfriend for all of two days!

Two and a half.

Fine! Two and a half days! No one falls in love after two and a half days! And don't you dare tell him you're in love with him already! Do you want him to think you're crazy? Just try to be normal!

Edward cleared his throat, his voice softer as he held out his wineglass, wanting her to know how much he appreciated her efforts. "Here's to you, Bella, for making our first picnic a very surprising possibility."

Bella pushed her thoughts aside and smiled, touching her glass to his. "And to you, Edward, for making picnics a probability." She shot a glance at the basket he'd bought, and Edward tipped his head in acknowledgement.

"Do you realize we've toasted to something every time we've had dinner together?" she asked after they'd both taken a sip.

"Maybe it always seems like a special occasion," Edward offered, gazing steadily at her.

Special, indeed.

She smiled and nodded as she took another sip.

Definitely special.

Cake's Love You Madly had begun playing and Edward recognized it as another song they had danced to on the night of the barbecue. Bella had skipped quite a few songs on Edward's playlist, but it suddenly dawned on him that she had chosen songs reflecting more intimate moments they'd shared.

Unless she's just trying to say she wants to love me madly…or she wants me to tell her I love her madly.

But we're not doing that tonight, are we, Cullen?

No. I know…I'll wait.

Seriously, did you just sigh like a girl?

"So…um…what do you think?" Bella asked.

"About what?" he asked.

The wine? Us? You? I love the wine. I love us. I love…

Oh, for fuck's sake…give it a rest!

"What do you think...my chances are of getting you naked tonight?" Bella replied, her fingertip tracing along the rim of her glass. Her expression was an adorable blend of embarrassment and pride, knowing her out-of-character, sort-of-salacious statement had caught him off guard.

Edward laughed out loud, the tips of his ears going slightly pink. Shaking his head, he exhaled a low thrumming growl, his lopsided grin back in place.

Seriously, Bella? Just say the word! Getting me naked won't be a problem.

Altering his position to get a little more comfortable—since getting hard wasn't a problem either—Edward cleared his throat, fixing Bella with a sexy grin.

"Well, you didn't have to go to all this picnic expense and effort if getting me naked was your goal. And if you intend us to actually eat our picnic dinner, rather than get completely sidetracked, you should probably refrain from cultivating thoughts of nudity in my mind." His eyes glinted, an eyebrow twitched wickedly, and his nostrils flared ever so slightly. He chuckled at her wide-eyed look and once-again-pink face.

Damn, she's cute.

Damn, I'm hard.

Bella took another drink of her wine, convinced the comments he'd just made pretty much insured they would both be contemplating each other's nudity throughout dinner. Taking a deep, calming breath, she tried not to imagine dining al fresco with a naked Edward Cullen. Or all the delicious mauling and rolling around that would go with that.

Gah!

Get that glorious image out of your head and get back to the previously scheduled picnic!

"Why don't we get back to your quiz?" she suggested. "Do you remember what we're eating?"

He chuckled at her abrupt segue, but he could use the distraction if he was going to eat dinner at all comfortably in the snug jeans he had chosen.

"Okay, let's see…I'm thinking there must be some turkey sandwiches?"

Bella reached into the basket, withdrawing two sandwiches in plastic wrap. "Turkey, lettuce, tomato, bacon, avocado and mayo on squaw bread," she announced, handing over his sandwich. "Your score is two for two. Next?"

"I'm pretty sure you mentioned potato chips and veggies." He chuckled, catching the small bag of kettle chips she tossed to him, tearing into it as she opened a plastic container of vegetables and a smaller container of dip. He grinned proudly. "Yes! Two more correct answers."

"You're four for four, now. One more to go. Final question, Edward Cullen: What's for dessert?"

There was a cocky smirk on Edward's face. He had this pop quiz in the bag.

"Well, the strawberries, obviously..." He nodded toward the glass bowl. "And I'm thinking there's probably whipped cream to go with them… But I seem to remember you promising...cookies?"

"Ta-da!" Bella exclaimed, pulling a plastic bag of freshly baked cookies from the picnic basket. "Quasi-homemade Chocolate Chip Brownie cookies."

Edward grinned. "Is quasi-homemade an actual cooking term?"

"If you start with a brownie mix but turn it into cookies instead of brownies, it is."

"Okay." Edward chuckled. "You're the chef and English teacher, so I'll trust you on that."

"Aaaand…" Bella drawled as she reached back into the basket, pulling out a canister of whipped cream and waving it at him. "Not only did you earn a gold star on your picnic quiz, but you got an extra credit point for mentioning the whipped cream."

Edward grinned. "Well, I'm a serious student. I've been paying close attention to you." His expression softened slightly. "Everything looks great, Bella. Thank you for making all this."

As they started on their sandwiches and side dishes, Edward realized another song from his playlist had begun. Picking up the wine bottle, he refilled their glasses as he listened. He liked One and Only, and certainly appreciated Adele's voice, but what he recalled most fondly, was that this particular song had given him his first real excuse to hold Bella close in his arms for several minutes. And certainly Bella recalled that. His eyes met hers and he smiled.

"What?" she asked, noticing the soft look in his eyes.

He shook his head slightly. "Just enjoying the music, picnic, and the company, of course."

Bella smiled happily. "Good. I'm enjoying this, too."

They ate and drank in comfortable, companionable quiet for a few minutes, just listening to the music.

"You downloaded this?" Edward asked in surprise when the slow, instrumental version of Little Wing, began next.

Bella nodded. It was an important song. The first of their first-date-songs. "This was on your iPod when we left for breakfast on Monday."

Edward nodded, his mouth curving into a boyish smile. "Emmett kept referring to you as Little Swan, which made me think of Little Wing, which in turn made me think of Little Swan…you know…you. So I'd been listening to this song the night before, after walking you home. And kissing you for the first time."

Bella's breath hitched in her throat. She didn't know what to say to Edward's uber-swoony admission, so she just blushed and smiled dreamily back at him, ridiculously pleased, knowing she'd been on his mind after that kiss in her garage. He had certainly been on her mind…

After his lips had been on hers…

And his tongue had been in her mouth…

Bella was now staring at Edward's mouth with soft and unfocused eyes. And Edward noticed. And thought about why she might suddenly look like that while looking at him. And his mouth turned up at one corner in a little crooked grin, causing Bella's eyes to shoot to his and send her mouth babbling.

"Anyway…um...yes...I searched and downloaded it...this song. I didn't know why you'd been listening to it…but I liked it…um…yeah." She nodded for emphasis.

Edward smiled. "Well, speaking of this song and that particular morning…" He shot her a cocky smile. "I think your housekeeping playlist is up next." Bella's mouth opened in surprise as Edward began elaborating. "I think you put together a playlist of our songs—music that was playing when we were doing something together. And they're in chronological order—just like the commemorative chronological playlist I made for the barbecue." He paused, smirking, already certain of his powers of deduction. "I'm right, aren't I?"

"Yes, you are!" Bella laughed. "That's really impressive!"

He grin widened. "Let me show you something funny…" Reaching into his pocket, he withdrew his own phone, tapped the screen a few times, and held the phone out to her. "Here, take a look."

Bella took the phone, her mouth pulling into a wide smile as she stared at a playlist. Scrolling up, she saw that it was the one he'd made for the barbecue, but he had added to it. As she scrolled down, she saw Little Wing and all the housekeeping songs she'd downloaded for him after their breakfast date. Scrolling farther, she discovered he had added the songs from the night she'd been to his house for pizza: Burning Down the House, Mr. Big Stuff and the Mr. Big Stuff Remix.

"We did the same thing!" she exclaimed, laughing and looking up in surprise. "You added the same songs I did!"

Edward chuckled, nodding, and extending his hand for the return of his phone. But Bella had just noticed another title.

"Wait…why did you add this Lumineers song?"

"Oh, uh…" Edward cleared his throat. "It was playing the other night, and the lyrics made me decide to take your spare key and go after you when you bolted—you know, when I told you I was reading your fanfiction."

"Oh." Bella's voice was soft. She nodded, feeling slight, lingering embarrassment about her rash reaction that evening. But then she smiled. "Well, I'm glad you decided to come after me."

Edward nodded, smiling warmly. "The evening turned out quite nicely after all."

"It did," Bella agreed, looking back at his phone. She was just about to return it to him when she burst into a sudden laughter.

"What?" Edward frowned.

"I just noticed another song here…Van Halen's Hot for Teacher..."

Instantly, Edward looked adorably sheepish. "Give me my phone!" He chuckled as he snagged her wrist, pried his phone from her hand, blushing faintly all the while. At least she had pinked up too, but damn, she was quite pleased with herself for that discovery. He rolled his eyes, huffing amicably at her proud smile, and stuffed his traitorous phone back in his pocket. "That song was for your first morning off to work. You just looked… Well, you know... You looked… Oh, fuck it... You looked hot, okay?! Satisfied?" He grinned crookedly.

"Yes!" she laughed, her brown eyes twinkling.

Edward thought I looked "hot." Me… HOT! And now he's just sooo freaking embarrassed and cute and HOT!

They resumed eating, finally, as Bella's housekeeping playlist started in the background.

"I'll be right back," Bella said, standing, once the sun had fully set and the sky had darkened to the purple shades of twilight. "I'm going to turn on my patio lights." Edward nodded, admiring her retreating form as she walked across the lawn. Reaching inside the sliding door, she flipped the switch. "Is that enough light or should I get candles?" she called out.

"That's good. I like how those star lights look. I might have to get some, myself!" He smiled at her soft laugh and patted a spot nearer to him on the blanket, once she returned. As she sat down, he pulled her dinner plate closer and then handed over her wineglass.

"You want to hear something kind of strange?" Edward asked, listening to the music. Bella nodded as she chewed a bite of her sandwich. "I didn't mention it that day we went to breakfast, but those housekeeping playlist song titles seemed to match the events in my picnic dreams. That's why I wanted to download…"

"Wait…back up…you said, dreams?" Bella asked. "As in…plural? The picnic dream is a recurring dream?"

Edward nodded. "Yeah. I've had the same dream a couple times now, but it sort of…evolves…each time."

Bella's brows knit together. "So, there's more you remember? Besides me sitting on your blanket with the picnic basket?" She swirled a carrot stick in the dip and Edward nodded as he picked up a cherry tomato.

"Yeah. These dreams are always pretty vivid."

"Tell me what happens." Bella pulled her knees up, wrapping her arms around them.

"Well, it always starts the same..." He pushed his plate to the side and stretched out his long legs. "It begins with me walking through a dark forest but it gets lighter and brighter as I go. Finally, I come to the edge of the forest, where it meets a meadow filled with wildflowers and strawberry plants. I swear, I've even smelled them—though that was probably from the scent of someone's shampoo and body wash on my pillow." He paused to wink at her, laughing out loud when she giggled at her own ridiculous behavior.

"Anyway, when I look out over the meadow, there you are, sitting on this very blanket, with a picnic basket—much like that one." He gestured toward their basket. "I stand in the shadows at the tree line, just watching you for a moment. You don't know I'm there—your head is turned away, like you're watching something in the distance. You have on a white, summery sundress and a big floppy straw hat, but I can't see your face at first—or your hair—it's tucked up inside the hat. But then you reach up, pull the hat off, and your hair tumbles down around your shoulders. You smile then—but not at me—your eyes are closed and your face is tipped up to the sun. But you look so pretty and I know you're smiling because…you're just happy."

"I am," Bella interjected, smiling pointedly back at him.

Edward smiled. He was pretty damn happy himself these days. "I am too."

"So, anyway," he continued, "you turn your head and finally see me, and you give me this big, beautiful smile and you wave. Then you wave me over to join you. So I do. I walk out into the meadow and this completely serene feeling washes over me, as I join you in the sunshine."

Bella had been watching him, listening raptly, but as he paused for a drink of his wine, she did the same. She smiled to herself, thinking how idyllic his dream sounded, and she felt warm inside. That warmth was undoubtedly partly due to the wine she'd been consuming, but knowing Edward had dreamed of her while he'd slept, also fueled her internal glow.

"Oh!" Edward suddenly blurted. "I was going to tell you about how the songs tied in... Remember the first housekeeping song was Snakecharmer?" Bella nodded. "Well, I thought it was as though you were charming me, the snake, out into the meadow to you..."

"You're not a snake!" Bella shook her head reproachfully.

"Well, you're an English teacher, surely you can appreciate a metaphor—and keep in mind, I had no control over my subconscious use of metaphors." He grinned as Bella chuckled.

"Anyway, with that first song, I was thinking you were the little Snakecharmer out in that meadow. "Through the Trees was the next song, and I'd come through the trees to find you. Then Reaching Out to You followed, and you reached out, beckoning me join you. Isla del Sol made me think of us in the middle of that sunny meadow, on this very blanket. It was our own little island in the sun. So, do you see what I mean? Isn't it strange how the music sort of matched my dreams?"

"That is a bizarre coincidence." Bella nodded. And then she shot him a wry grin. "Maybe it's like our sweatshirt kismet... Maybe my mom put those songs together because I was destined to meet you one day, and I would need the musical accompaniment for your recurring dreams of us."

Edward laughed. "Damn! I bet you're right! What a tangled web destiny weaves!" He picked up the wine bottle and poured the rest into their two glasses.

"So, wait…do we have our picnic in your dream then?" Bella asked.

"No. We've never gotten around to the actual picnic. The basket is just…there…waiting." He smiled. "I guess I'll have to wait and see…assuming the dream recurs yet again."

"So, is that where the dream ends? With you joining me on the blanket?"

"No, there's more. I'm carrying a package in my hand when I walk out into the meadow."

"What's in the package?" Bella asked curiously.

"I don't know." Edward shrugged.

"Well, what becomes of this package?"

Edward grinned, his eyes twinkling. "Well, in the dream, you ask what it is and I tell you it's a surprise and that you have to work for it." His grin broadened and he waggled his brows suggestively.

Bella giggled. He looked silly, sexy, and maybe a little flushed. The wine might have been making him a little hotter than his normal heat...or hotness.

"Well, so what do I have to do to get your package?" she asked, smiling.

Edward's eyes widened and he burst into guffaws, as Bella belatedly realized how she'd framed her question. She pressed her hands to her face, giggling in embarrassment and feeling her face heat in her hands. Edward's laughter continued as his arms wrapped around her, scooping her up and pulling her giggling body onto his lap.

"Honestly, Bella…" his low and sexy voice chuckled in her ear. "You don't have to do much to get my package, but jeez…you really have a one-track mind, don't you? You're all hung up on the whole Hot to Trot, getting-me-naked, getting-my-package situation, aren't you? If you're that obsessed, just say the word and I'll accommodate you."

Bella pressed her face into his neck and cackled. "Oh, my god!" she cried breathlessly. "You know that's not what I meant! How old are you? Thirteen?" She could feel him shaking with silent laughter as he held her.

Good. Freaking. God. You may never live this one down, Isabella Marie!

After a moment, Edward attempted to lift Bella's face away from his neck. His laughter had ebbed, but she sensed the ridiculous grin she would find on his face. It might have been hard to see her face, with the patio lights to her back, but Edward would still know, gleefully, that she was blushing up a storm.

"Look at me," he cajoled, with a definite smile in his voice.

"No!" she whined, burrowing her still-hot face into the crook of his neck.

"Yes!" he chuckled, prying her face away from its sanctuary, so he could see her. Her eyes were closed and she shook her head as best she could, sandwiched between his warm hands like it was. He kissed her nose and she opened a single eye to peek at his face-splitting grin.

"You always say the most entertaining things, but that's one for the record books, love." He pulled her mouth to his, before she could say another word or duck away to safety, and he kissed her thoroughly…distracting her thoroughly…from her very thorough embarrassment.

"Do you want to hear the rest of the dream?" he asked after their mouths finally parted. "There's not much left to tell." He smiled at her, smoothing her hair back.

"Just the part about me working to get your package?" Bella asked wryly. "And no, you perverted adolescent, I didn't just say 'working your package!'"

Edward snorted a laugh and kissed her smiling lips. "Yeah, that's pretty much it, but it's my favorite part."

"I'll just bet," Bella said dryly. "Go on, continue. I'm all ears."

"Well, so you ask what's in the package and I tell you it's a surprise, and that I can't just give it to you, you have to earn it. But I'm teasing—even in my dreams I seem to enjoy teasing you." He smiled. "Anyway, the next thing I know, you're throwing yourself at me and you're laughing, pushing me back until I'm lying on the blanket, squinting up into the bright sunshine and I'm laughing, too. You settle yourself over me, smiling as you put your hat back on, so it's shading my eyes. Then you lean down, and you're just about to kiss the hell out of me…and that's about where I woke up." He chuckled as she rolled her eyes. "What? I'm just telling you how it is!"

He wasn't actually telling her how it really was, in the most recent installment of the dream. It actually had included her working his package yesterday morning, when he'd awoken to a deliriously exciting sexual crescendo, all because she was indeed working his package. That was probably best left unsaid. He didn't want Bella to think his idyllic picnic dream had turned into a porn film in their meadow. And it was probably best that he avoided contemplating thoughts of how she had touched him—in that dream and in reality—her hand trailing down his chest, to his navel, and then to his groin, pressing against him, freeing him from the confines of his pants, and then stroking his…

Damn. I'm hard.

"Well…I can see me doing that," Bella said, interrupting Edward's personal pastoral porn film in the meadow.

He blinked, looking at her pretty, smiling face, hoping he hadn't been reminiscing out loud about that stellar wake-up call. Moving her slightly away from his groin, he struggling to think where their conversation had left off, before he'd become so distracted.

"You are well worth the kiss, dream state or otherwise, so I can see myself kissing the hell out of you," she said.

Besides rescuing him from his confusion, her simple, unaffected words pleased him.

"Well, I certainly want to be well worth the kiss."

"You are—despite the occasional lapse in behavior, like guffawing at my embarrassment and delighting in my blush."

He chuckled and gave her a soft smile. "Anyway, that's pretty much all I remember. I guess that's actually quite a bit. I don't usually remember much of what I dream." He took a drink of his wine and watched her over the rim of the glass, suddenly remembering something he wanted to ask.

"Speaking of dreams, I'm quite curious myself..." He gave her a pointed look but Bella just stared back blankly. "I received a PM today from an author on the Star-lighted site, with a reference to some wild dreams she'd had about a certain neighbor…"

"Oh! Oh, no! Nope! We're not going there!" Bella laughed, realizing what he was talking about. "There's no way you're getting that information out of me tonight, Edward!"

"Don't you think that's unfair?" Edward asked with a pout. "Here I am, plying you with alcohol, hoping to loosen up your tongue and get you talking. I've told you my dreams and yet you refuse to tell me yours. How is that fair?"

Bella giggled. "Your dreams were sweet. Mine were…they were too…" She caught herself before she said anything too informative.

"Wild?" Edward asked with a ridiculously wicked grin. "You should tell me, so my mind doesn't run amok." His eyes were dancing.

"No way!" she giggled as she stood up. "And now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll get us another bottle of wine. Would you like more?"

"So you're trying to get me more Hot to Trot?" he asked, quirking a brow at her.

Bella laughed at his double entendre as she headed toward the patio. "That's exactly what I'm trying to do!" she called over her shoulder.

Edward smiled as he watched her heading for the house. He felt warm from the wine he'd had and thought she was maybe starting to get just a little loopy. She was adorably funny and sweet…and damn, but she had such a perfect little behind!

He sighed and ran his hand through his hair. There was still dessert to be had, and since she had taken the time to make everything, he wanted to take the time to enjoy it. He told himself he could refrain from mauling her until later. For now, he could at least help clean up the remains of their dinner before they had dessert. And so he gathered their trash, the empty vegetable and dip containers, and their dinner plates, and he headed for the house.

The bottle of wine was on the counter in the kitchen but Bella was nowhere to be seen. He was just about to call out to her, when he heard the distant flush of a toilet and realized she must have made a quick detour.

He stepped back out onto the patio just as the music paused on the speaker. Take Me Out to the Ballgame began playing instead. It took Edward a moment to realize it was a call coming through on Bella's cell phone, plugged into the iPod jack and speakers. He turned back toward the patio slider.

"Bella?!" he called out. "Your phone's ringing!"

But Bella didn't hear him. She was standing at the sink in the bathroom, washing her hands, completely lost in thought.

As she'd headed into the house, dodging Edward's questions about her wild dreams of him that first week—before she really knew him—her mind drifted to scenes of those dreams. To domineering Black Silk Pantward, speeding along the highway at night, with her at his side, wrists and ankles bound. And then artistic Pianoward, serenading her in his living room and sexing her up atop the piano, while Ethan Collins and Pat Robinson engaged in their own artistic endeavors nearby. Of course there was also the dream about his home office as a Blue Room of Lewd Behavior—complete with a quartet of achingly handsome, cranky and dominant men—all of whom looked nearly identical and equally delicious.

Seriously, she had been reading far too much fanfiction erotica. That was for certain.

But maybe that was because her real life had been so very lackluster.

But luster wasn't lacking nowadays. Now there was luster and lust aplenty.

Having real Edward Cullen in her life was far less elusive than an erotic dream or fanfiction novel. He was real, live, masculine mass and muscle and manhood. He was corporeal and compelling, intriguing, inviting and inspiring. He was loving and loveable and...

Loved.

Bella's eyes darted to her face in the mirror.

Should I tell him?

It's too soon! What if he doesn't say it back? Do you want that?

She shook her head at her reflection and turned to dry her hands.

Exiting the bathroom, Bella returned to the kitchen, where she heard Edward's voice, speaking conversationally out on the patio.

Peeking out the sliding door, she realized he was on the phone.

But it wasn't his phone. It was hers.

All too quickly, it became clear who the person on the other end of the line was, and Bella's mouth dropped open in horror even before Edward turned, smiled, and mouthed the words, 'It's your mom.'


A/N: Oh dear... This could be interesting.