Your Pen Name: ***
Your Beta's Name: ***
Your Story Name: Reminiscing
Song that inspired you: Talk Dirty To Me-Poison
Summary: When Edward moves in across the hall from Bella, can they keep things strictly neighborly?
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or any of its associated characters. They belong to Stephenie Meyer
I stand up with my glass in my hand, take a look around the room and sigh. I will never forget how I got here. It started on a Saturday morning years ago….
The pounding on my front door was equal to the pounding in my head. I stumbled off the couch and over my loafers to get to my door. I couldn't see anything through the peep hole and debated whether I even wanted to bother opening the door or not. Before I could make my decision, the pounding stopped. So I limped into my kitchen to grab some Gatorade and aspirin.
Plopping onto my couch, I picked up my cordless phone. The first person I was going to yell at was my Madonna loving best friend for plying with me so many California Coolers last night.
The machine picked up, so I left a message.
"Rose, you whore. I am like totally hung over. I am blaming you. Call me."
I struggled out of my fishnet top and pulled off my bleached out jeans, as I had passed out fully clothed last night. I was contemplating between a shower or bed when the pounding at my front door happened again. I could only wish for it and my headache to go away forever. Curious, I hobbled back to the door.
This time when I looked out, I could see the back of a pretty tall guy maneuvering something through the hall. New neighbor, I thought. Just as I was about to move away from the door, the guy in the hall turned my way, causing me to suck in my breath because he was totally rad looking.
I ran back to my cordless and dialed my partner in crime, Alice.
"Hello?" I could hear how tired she was but I forged on anyhow.
"Oh my God, Alice! There is the hottest thing I have ever seen moving in down the hall and I don't know what to do…"
"Bella? Aren't you too hung over to even be awake? Jeeps girl, you are probably dreaming." Alice yawned. "Really? A cute boy right next door? Imagine the possibilities! I will be over in a few."
More exhausted than I thought, I dozed on the couch again, only waking when there was a knock on my door. What now, I thought. I looked through the peep hole and saw the top of Alice's head, so I opened the door to let her in.
"B, go put something on, I don't need to see you like this," she said, waving her hand at me. I looked down and shrugged. I forgot I was now in a bra and panties, so I scooted down the hall for my robe.
"Did you see him, Ali? He looked pretty tall and had a very nice jaw line, green eyes and reddish brown hair. Coffee?" I headed into my tiny little nook to start a pot of coffee while thinking about licking new neighbors face.
"If you think he's that nice looking, maybe you should welcome him to your neighborhood, if you know what I mean." She laughed and nudged my side.
"Do you think I should invite him to the club the next time we go?" I wondered if he would even go.
"Def. Have you heard from Rose?"
"No, last I saw of her, she had her tongue down that guy Emmett's throat. Maybe that's why she isn't answering her phone today."
Rose, Alice and I have history together that started in junior high. We're never out of communication for long. I poured us each a cup of coffee and curled back on the couch next to Alice.
"How's Jasper?" Jasper was Alice's on again/off again fuck buddy. They were really good friends and really into each other but unwilling to progress past the friends with benefits stage. It was funny to see as they were always together.
Alice shrugged and changed topics. "Did you want to head to the mall? I want to buy the new "Nasty "cassingle by Janet Jackson."
"Sure." I downed the coffee and headed to my room for clothes. "Hey Ali, do you want to catch a matinee while we're there? 'Top Gun' is out and I would love to stare at Tom Cruise this afternoon." I struggled into some black spandex leggings that I paired with a white tank top and a black cardigan.
"Ooohhhh. I love Tom. Movie it is. Should we call Rose and invite?" Alice asked.
"You can try, are my plaid Chuck Taylors out there?" I grabbed lace edged white socks out of my drawer, heading to the bathroom to do something with my hair. Big sigh over the sight of it, it was still a mess from all the hairspray the night before, so I brushed it out and stuck a banana clip in it, creating a side ponytail.
Alice was holding the phone in one hand and my chucks in the other. I grabbed my hi- tops from her and sat on my chair to put shoes and socks on as she left Rose another message. Alice hung the phone up as I grabbed my purse, keys and pushed my RayBans to the top of my head.
"Ready?" We headed out the front door. I felt someone come up behind me as I was locking up.
"Hi. I'm Edward, your new neighbor." I turned around to see a very handsome man with his hand out ready to shake. Alice stepped up to him.
"I'm Alice, but I don't live here, she does." She nudged me.
"Bella. Welcome to the neighborhood," I said as I shook his hand. He almost seemed hesitant to let it go, but I pulled my hand away. "It was nice to meet you, Edward, but Alice and I are on our way to a movie. Maybe I'll see you later?"
"I certainly hope so, Bella!" Edward yelled out to us as we stepped into the elevator. Alice and I exchanged looks and I grinned like the Cheshire cat.
After the movie, Alice and I stopped to eat at Little Caesars before we headed back to her apartment for a bit. She had a message from Rose on her answering machine demanding we check in with her. Alice called her back while I went to grab us some drinks. This was funny as Rose was always the hard to reach one.
"Everything okay in Rosalie land?" I asked as I handed Alice her Wild Berries wine cooler.
"Just as we suspected, she has been with Emmett. She is still with him as a matter of fact." Alice smirked as she went over to the radio. The opening lines of "Sledgehammer" came barreling out of her speakers as we settled in for a chat.
"So Miss Bella - care to talk about the new hottie that lives next door? Let's start with how convenient it is that he is right next door, shall we? Just think of how fast the booty call answer would be."
"Give it a minute, Alice, please. I just met him two minutes ago." But I was smiling when I said it. "He is cute, isn't he? I wonder if he would come out with us next Friday night if I asked him. Should I ask him to?" I took a sip of my drink and pondered Edward. He seemed to like me.
"I can't believe we are even drinking right now, considering how I felt this morning."
I shrugged and downed the rest of my cooler. "Well Ali, I am outta here." We hugged goodbye and walked the five blocks to my apartment, thinking dirty thoughts about my new neighbor.
When I got to my lobby, I noticed boxes stacked in the corner next to the elevators. Assuming they were Edward's, I grabbed one to be neighborly, or so I told myself. I hit the button for my floor and heaved the box onto my hip.
I exited the elevator and ran straight into someone's chest. Said person grabbed my arms just as I crashed into them. I immediately felt foolish and looked up sheepishly, to see Edward holding onto me.
"Oh my God! I am so sorry, Edward. I should totally watch where I'm going. Oh, here." I shoved the box at him and tried to get to my door. I hated that he made me feel like a thirteen year old at a Duran Duran concert.
"Bella, where are you running off to?" He let go of my arms and looked into my eyes. This was a bit difficult for him as he seemed to be at least two feet taller than me.
"Are you helping me move in?" he asked.
"Maybe," I replied coyly.
"This looks like one of my boxes."
"Could be." Awkward party of one.
He smiled slightly. "What an awesome neighbor you're turning out to be. Come get a beer." Before I could reply, he grabbed my arm and pulled me into the mayhem of his apartment. 'Interesting' flashed through my mind.
"Guys, this is Bella, my new neighbor," he yelled as we entered what would be the living room area of his apartment. "Bella, these are the guys; Jacob and Paul."
"Umm, hi guys," I said and shook their hands.
"Bella, huh? Is that short for anything?" Paul asked.
Jacob chimed in before I could answer."Is it short for Annabella, like that hot chick from Bow Wow Wow?" he asked.
"Eww, Jacob, she's like fifteen." The word gross flashed across my brain. "It's short for Isabella," I said as Edward handed me a Molson. I opened my beer, took a long swig and looked around Edward's apartment. He had the same layout as mine.
"How come your colors are different than mine?" I asked him.
He shrugged. "Last renter liked these, I guess. So Bella, we're getting ready to go and find a pizza joint, wanna come?" Edward asked.
"Oh, um. I would but I already ate with Alice, plus I got hammered last night so I just want to veg in front of my tv tonight. Maybe we can go for food some other time, though? "My mental telepathy was chanting 'Please say yes, please say yes, please say yes' in his general direction.
"Of course we can, I know where you live." He smiled and winked at me. "Let me get your digits, though."
We exchanged phone numbers and I excused myself to take a hot shower and crash on the couch.
That night I had some interesting dreams starring Edward.
I had just settled in for the new Mike Hammer on Wednesday night when my phone rang. Usually Alice and I watched this and Magnum PI together via the telephone.
"I just snuggled with my blanket, Alice. Are you ready for some tv trash talk?" I pulled the blanket up to my shoulders.
"Hi Bella. Actually it's Edward, not Alice. I wanted to know if you had already eaten. I'm sorry I didn't realize how late it is already," he gushed out.
"Oh Edward, hi. I hate to admit it, but 8pm on a Wednesday with me in jammies is a normal occurrence. If you don't mind some manly tv shows, you are more than welcome to join me?"
"Manly tv?" He laughed, "What are those shows?"
"Mike Hammer, Magnum and then the Equalizer," I responded.
He laughed again. "Let me get into my jammies and I will be right over. Should I order a pizza or Chinese for us? Oh, and do I need to bring anything else?"
"Chinese sounds good, thanks - have them deliver to mine, though. I currently have Wine Berry coolers, Budweiser, water and Five Alive in the fridge and a jug of Riunite Raspberry wine. If none of that is up your alley, you can totally bring whatever over."
"Ok, see you in a few, Bella."
Crap, I took a look around my apartment wondering if it was clean enough. Oh well, it was going to have to be. I threw some of my shoes down the hall to my room and called Alice to give her the heads up to not call me.
I let Edward in when I heard his knocks on the door. I tried to suck down my nerves but it had been a very long time since I had even let a guy into my apartment. I looked down at my REO Speedwagon shirt and plaid pajama bottoms as I answered the door, wondering if I was being too comfortable.
Edward had been leaning against the doorjamb and semi stumbled in when I wrenched the door open. The sight of him in plaid jammie bottoms and a concert t-shirt relieved me. He headed to my kitchen like he owned the joint to put away his beer.
"A six pack? How long do you think you're staying?"
"One never knows, Bella. The Chinese should be here in a few. Bottle opener?"
I pulled the one off the fridge and handed it to him. After putting it back he perused the photos I had of me and the girls out and about. The doorbell rang, signaling dinner's arrival so I showed him to the couch to get comfy, and paid for the food with his money.
He already had his feet up on the coffee table when I sat next to him. It didn't bother me in the least that he made himself comfortable. I handed him a plate and some Chinese, and we both dug in right as the opening scene for Mike Hammer began.
"So Bella, what do you do when you aren't snuggled up watching Stacy Keach?" Edward asked. We were half way through the show and our bellies were full. He looked over at me, seemingly very interested in my answer.
"I'm an Elementary School Art teacher."
"Wait a minute - you teach art? To kids? Little ones? So you are known as Miss…..I don't know your last name," he laughed.
"It's Swan," I replied.
He reached his arm over and gently slid his thumb up my neck. "Pretty Bird, I can see the correlation."
"What about you? What does Edward whatever your name is, do?" I asked, trying to cover up the tingles his thumb had left on me.
"I, uhh, work over at Cullen Company, the PR firm. My last name is Cullen," he said quietly.
I guffawed. "Nepotism? Nicely done, Cullen!"
"Not nepotism, I swear. I don't want to do PR. I'm in the mailroom and on occasion I can fetch coffee." He seemed a bit shy about it, so I decided to drop it.
"Are you ready for Magnum? Or do you need to go?" I wanted him to stay; I felt really comfortable having him here.
"I'm game for another show as long as we can keep up the stimulating conversation," he said as he put his arm on the back of the couch across my shoulders.
We spent the next hour watching tv with his hand barely grazing my shoulder every now and then. On the commercial breaks we learned more about each other. He was a fascinating man and seemed interested in me as well. This was a rare occurrence to date so I was relishing in the attention and the comfort. When Magnum ended, Edward got up to leave, so I walked him to the door.
"I had a very nice time hanging out with you, Miss Swan. Maybe we can do it again?"
"Alice, Rose and I have a standing Saturday night thing down at Rat's club. Would you like to join?"
"I wouldn't dare intrude on 'girl' time." He looked almost sad as he said it.
"You wouldn't be," I rushed out, "Jasper comes along and I'm pretty sure Rose will bring Emmett this week too."
"Ok then, it's a date. I'll get with you before Saturday so you can tell me the details," he said, kissed me on the forehead and crossed the hall to his apartment.
I stood in my doorway mesmerized by the feel of his lips before shaking it off and closing my door. Edward Cullen was fast becoming the main character in my fantasies.
The rest of the week was like Groundhog Day. Get up, go to work, teach more crafts than art to kids, and go home. I did spend a fair amount of time talking to Rose and Alice about Edward. Something about him made my belly flop. I was really looking forward to Saturday night and had picked out my outfit already.
On Friday night, I turned down Rose's invitation to get snockered on peach schnapps and decided to hang out in my apartment jamming to music while I cleaned.
I was currently in the middle of my most awesome air guitar/head banging solo. Just as I jumped in the air shouting, "CC, pick up that guitar and talk to me, "in my best Bret Michaels, someone tapped me on the shoulder, causing me to jump about ten feet straight up.
"Fuck me!" I yelled as I caught my breath. I turned to find the trespasser to see a very amused Edward standing next to me. Too late to be embarrassed.
"Bella, are you air guitaring to Poison?"
"Why yes, yes I am." I stuck my tongue out at him. "I'll have you know that I am excellent air guitarist, as well as head banger."
"Do you have this album or is it the cassingle?"
I strutted over to my cabinet and opened the holy grail of album collections so he could see. "Album, baby. I love music." He immediately came over to peruse my collection.
"Beatles, Clash, Sex Pistols, Poison, Def Leppard, Alice Cooper," he trailed off. "Jeez, Bella. You have great taste in music. "
"Well, let's not go that far; I do have some Joy Division, Human League and New Edition in there as well. I'm very eclectic." I shrugged. "So what can I do for you and why did you barge into my apartment, huh?" I poked him in the chest; it was a nice chest.
"I was knocking on the door but of course, you didn't hear me. So I tried the knob. Bad Bella leaving your door unlocked, by the way." He grabbed the finger that was poking him and kissed the tip of it, causing me to gasp.
"What are you doing?" I asked as I pulled my finger back from him.
"Just saying 'hi'." He smirked. "So what are the deets for tomorrow night? Are we going there together or am I meeting you there?"
"We tend to leave here around nine if that works for you? Or you could meet us there. Did you invite Paul or Jacob?" I was unconsciously rubbing the tip of the finger that he kissed.
'I can meet you there. Is it close enough that I can walk to it?"
"Yes, it is. Hence the Sunday morning hangovers I tend to deal with." I smiled.
"Works for me. I'll see you tomorrow night," he said. "Oh, and Bella, your finger isn't the only place on your body that I intend to kiss." And he sauntered out my door.
Oh my God! Paper bag, please. This man was going to cause me to hyperventilate at every turn.
I ran to phone Alice on the situation, and over her screeching we came up with the best outfit choice. She was even going to lend me her green heels. Beer in hand, I plopped on the couch. I could hardly wait for tomorrow night.
I had just plugged my curling iron in and was about to blow dry my hair when the unimaginable happened.
I ran to the phone to call Alice. "Emergency! I am out of Aqua Net! Can you please bring me a can on your way over? You know I can't curl my bangs without it!"
"Calm down, woman! I will get there earlier than originally planned. Are you set on mousse and everything else?"
"Yes, I'm fine. Just out of hairspray. Thanks, Alice." I made kissy noises at her and got back to work on myself. I was lucky enough to have natural curl to my hair. Rose visits her hairdresser every six months for a perm. All I have to do is add mousse to my hair as I blow dry it. My bangs, on the other hand need the hairspray/curling iron bit in order to make them stand up the way I want them to.
I was still in my robe when there was banging on my door. As I knew it was Alice, I yelled out for her to simply come in.
She barreled into the bathroom with two cans of Aqua Net. "Crisis averted." She said as she handed me one of the cans. "Rose is right behind me, so she can help with your bangs if you want."
I smiled, if there was one thing Rose was really good at, it was getting the perfect curl out of some bangs. I looked up as she entered the small bathroom, forcing Alice out. She had decided to curl her front bangs against the brim of her fedora.
"Nice hat, Rose. How long did it take you to get it just 'so'?" I smiled.
She stuck her tongue out at me and got to work. "Sit down and hand over the curling iron so no one gets hurt, B." She pushed me onto the toilet lid so she could reach my bangs. "Did you mousse the bulk of your hair or scrunch spray? "
"I moussed, Rose. Get to banging!" We all laughed as Alice burst into song.
"Bang a gong…get it on….Ooh Bella, are you gonna bang Edward's gong?" She asked.
"Yeah, who is this mystery guy? Fill me in please." Rose demanded as she pulled my bangs straight up and sprayed them, wrapping the barrel of the curling iron around them.
"He is way tall, Rose. Like at least 6'2". He has brown hair that has shades of red in it under the lights and the brightest emerald green eyes ever. It's like looking at a leprechaun!" I sighed and noticed Rose and Alice looking at each other out of the corner of my eye. "What? Am I not allowed to find a guy hot or something?"
"Of course you are. It has just been awhile since someone took your fancy. I say enjoy!" Rose said as she sprayed my bangs one more time. "Get dressed, beauty."
I air kissed Rose so I didn't leave my lipstick on her cheek and headed to my room to dress. I had decided on my denim skirt, a green tank top and black tights. Alice handed me her green heels and I was ready. Funny thing is I wasn't even nervous about this. I already felt very comfortable around Edward.
The three of us were standing at the corner of the bar sipping drinks when some greasy guy came up to harass me.
"I think you need to be dancing with me," he said.
"I think you need to get away from me," I replied as I turned my back on him.
Just as he grabbed my elbow, Edward came over to hug me, forcing greasy guy to let go and wander off.
"Hi, pretty bird. In the immortal words of Poison, 'I never seen you look so good'," he said as he kissed my forehead. "Where are Alice and Rose?"
"They're dancing. See the very tall blonde out there? That's Rose. Alice should be nearby. Jasper and Emmett should be here any minute. What are you drinking?"
"Molson," he said to the bartender. "Did you need another of whatever you're drinking?"
"No, thanks. Here come the girls." Rose and Alice came over to the bar so I could introduce Rose to Edward. She looked him up and down then smiled at me. That is the Rose USDA Approval sign. Jasper and Emmett made their way over and introductions happened again.
The rest of the night was a blur filled with fun and good music. We danced to everything from "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" by Wang Chung to "West End Girls" by the Pet Shop Boys. Edward and I even slow danced to "Crazy for You' by Madonna. It was while we were slow dancing, that Edward leaned down to kiss me. His lips were soft with just the right amount of pressure and I didn't want to let go.
We ended the night after that, coupled off for our walks home. Edward paused outside my door to kiss me again.
"I had a very good time tonight, Bella. I hope to see you during the week again. Even if it is just in jammies for tv watching." He kissed me one more time, then pushed me into my apartment and shut my door.
The weeks sped by with Edward and I spending a lot of time together. We would watch tv together at least one night a week. The first night we spent together was a complete accident as we had fallen asleep on his couch while watching Miami Vice. After a few weeks of this, we would spend the night together on Fridays and Saturdays. The relationship was going really well, and it felt as if we had known each other for ages.
The first time we made love it was a completely sensual experience. He took my body to places I had never been before. It was hands down the best experience of my life. I knew that night that I had fallen in love with him. We exchanged 'I Love You's' the next morning.
We spent Christmas with Emmett, Rose, Alice and Jasper (who had officially become a couple) for a very low key exchange of presents. Edward replaced my Look What the Cat Dragged In album as I had played mine so much, it warped! He also got me some Bon Jovi and Motley Crue, as Poison opened the door to hair metal for me.
New Year's Eve was spent in Edward's bed drinking and watching the ball drop in Times Square. We stayed there for days.
In the spring, Edward and I made the decision to move in together so we got a new place that was closer to where Rose and Emmett were living. The four of us would have dinner together one day a week. Every other Saturday it would be the six of us as Alice and Jasper would join us. Cooking together as a group was always a challenge as none of our places could accommodate that many people, but we did it anyway.
Time moved along and next thing you know, Edward and I had been together a year! We went out to dinner for Chinese then met up with the rest of the gang at Rat's. It was all very reminiscent of our first week together. Except for when he proposed to me at our front door.
"….. And in conclusion, I want to thank Rose and Alice for planning this surprise anniversary party for us. Emmett and Jasper, may the rest of your lives be filled with as much happiness as we have experienced. So let's lift our glasses and celebrate!"
Edward stood next to me as we clanked our glasses together.
"Happy 20 year anniversary, Mrs. Cullen"
"Happy 20 year anniversary, Mr. Cullen. I love you!"
Endnote: Please leave a review. Thank you for reading. Voting begins 11/1/11.