o0 The Devil in Disguise 0o
. . A Hunk O' Burning Love . .
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"I'm telling you. I'm marrying that guy." Rosalie said through the phone.
"What the fuck Rose, you've known him for three days?"
"I know, but it's just faith Bella. There's no other explanation. I love him."
"Again, what the actual fuck Rose. Three days? Aren't you getting a little ahead of yourself? And how do you even know if he's a good guy. He hangs out with James! Remember him, the one that dumped me because I wouldn't sleep with him?" Bella said to her best friend as she tried to keep her brush between the outlines of her toenail.
"Oh Bella, he's not like that at all. If you'd just meet him, surely you'd see what I see. Hey, why don't you come to his soccer game with me? He's coaching a soccer team for little kids down at the sport park at 5th Avenue. Come with me."
"I don't know."
"Please? We'll go out for ice cream after?"
"You're bribing me huh, see what kind of influence he has on you."
"Strawberry cheesecake with chocolate sprinkles?" Rosalie offered Bella's favorite flavor.
"Fine." Bella huffed, as she sat up to examine her finished toenails. "I'll meet him."
"Yay, you're the best. So, I'll give you a call about how late we're going to meet, okay?"
"All right, talk to you later!"
Just as Bella started on her pinky fingernail, her phone rang again.
"Hello?" She asked, the phone between her shoulder and chin.
"Jasper is amazing!" Her other best friend squealed through the phone.
"Oh lawd, not you too Alice!" Bella said as she momentarily gave up doing her nails.
"He's so fine Bella, you have to meet him."
"Okay. When?" She sighed, not even putting up a fight anymore.
"Saturday, down at the sport spark at 5th."
"Let me guess, he's coaching a soccer team for little kids down at the sport park?"
"Yeah, how do you know that?"
"No you goof." Bella laughed.
"Ahw, okay. Anyway, we're going out for ice cream after, my treat."
"Strawberry cheesecake with chocolate sprinkles."
"You got it."
"Great. See you Saturday Ali."
"Yes, Saturday! Bye."
. . .
Edward leaned back in his office chair, staring at the ceiling. He had not planned on Bella being inside his head for the past eighteen hours. And yet…
He sighed and rubbed his face a little. Last night he had decided to call the whole thing off. He freaked out when she brought up the bet, but for some reason she thought it was just about asking her out and the bet was for ten bucks. She'd probably hit him in the balls if she ever found out what the bet really contained.
The door opened with a bang and Emmett walked in.
"I met my wife." He said as he plopped down on the couch.
"Your wife?" Edward asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Future wife. She is it, I know it."
"And who is she exactly?"
"Uh, Rose of course." Emmett gave Edward the 'what are you, stupid?' look.
"I'm guessing that's the blonde one?"
"Yup. And she's coming to the game Saturday, so you are meeting her."
"Do I have to?"
"How do you know she's even right for you. I mean, she's hot, can't deny that, but for the rest, you don't know anything about her."
"Fuck yeah, she's hot. But it's more than that. After the bar, I took her home and we talked for a long time. Don't know why, but she just gets me. Plus she likes cars."
"Hmm. Need to see it to believe it."
"That's what I'm telling you. This Saturday." Emmett smiled and leaned back.
" So how about you? Got anywhere with Bella last night?" Emmett waggled his eyebrows with a goofy smile.
"No, and not planning to." Edward sat, sitting up straighter.
"I don't know, it's not right. When I agreed to it, I just thought I'd take her out, take her out again, have a nice night somewhere along the road and cash in with James."
"So why don't you. Nothing wrong with that."
Edward shook his head, his fingers rubbing his chin.
"Nah man, she got screwed over by someone, and she seems pretty hurt by it. I'll feel like a shithead if I follow through."
"Dude, it's ten fucking thousand. Just tell her about the bet, see if she wants to split. You're not going to let that asshole win are you?" Emmett asked with wide eyes. "Lie if you have to."
"Just forget about it ok."
"Whatever dude. You're fucking stupid." Emmett said as he got up from the couch.
"Right, later Emmett." Edward called after him as he left his office.
"Satuday!" Emmet hollored from the hallway.
. . .
It was a sunny day that Saturday, so Bella opted for a light sundress. Despite being tired of hearing her friends blabbering about their prospective husbands, she had a fluttering in her stomach and a spring in her step.
"You're awfully smiley today." Rose commented. "Expecting to see a certain someone?"
"Don't know what you're talking about." Bella answered even if she might have thought about the possibility that someone she recently met and held connections to friends of friends could be present at the soccer practice they were currently about to attend.
"You sure about that?" Rosalie continued, arching an impressive eyebrow as they walked through the park gate.
"Ahw Rose don't tease her like that." Alice chastised her friend.
"Just saying." Rosalie smirked.
As they walked further into the park the shouting of the children became louder.
"Can you see Jasper anywhere?" Alice asked straining her neck to see further down the path.
"Settle down Ali, you can't even see the field yet." Bella chuckled.
"Can we just hurry? We're already late." Alice whined.
Rosalie and Bella laughed at expense of their impatient friend, but picked up their paces anyway.
The bleachers were only half full and the girls found a nice spot in the middle with a good view on the game.
"Look at him, he's so good with children." Alice sighed.
Bella's eyes searched the field and instead of Jasper she found Edward standing slightly bent over, hands on his knees for support, talking to a little boy who appeared to be crying.
"Hmm." She commented on Alice as she watched the interaction.
" I know right," Rosalie said. "Seeing Emmett with all these children makes me spontaneously ovulate. I wonder when they take a break."
"Keep it in your pants Rose."
Bella's eyes were still trained on Edward and his interaction with the little boy. The kid was wiping his eyes with the sleeve of his shirt, nodding to something Edward said to him.
Edward gave him one sharp nod and then straightened up. He ruffled the boy's hair and walked him over to the bench.
A harsh elbow in the ribs distracted Bella from what was going on down at the sidelines.
"Ouch! What was that for?"
"Nothing." Alice smirked.
Bella huffed and tried to follow the game. Spending nights with Charlie behind the sports channel taught her something but this was really just a bunch of kids running after a ball and poking each other's eyes out. How Jasper kept up with the chaos was beyond her but he managed to be a good referee.
After some time a sharp whistle signaled the end of the game and about thirty sweaty children covered in grass stains and mud reunited with their parents or wandered off to the dressing rooms.
"Rose, Bella, Alice, come down here." Emmett yelled from the field.
At hearing Bella's name Edward's eyes zeroed in on the bleachers, catching Bella's gaze in the process. A grin appeared on his face as he saw her stumbling down the aluminum stairs. Such a clumsy girl.
Edward walked over where his two best friends were awaiting their girlfriends. Girlfriends?
As Alice threw herself dramatically at Jasper and Emmett made an ass grab at Rose, Bella stood awkwardly to the side.
"So." Edward said to her as he came to stand beside her. "We meet again."
"It seems so."
"Couldn't stay away could you." He said with a smug grin.
"Pshh. I got bribed into coming with these two."
"Keep telling yourself that darling. You look nice by the way."
"Thanks, so do you." Bella replied, liking Edward's casual look.
"So, I'm not particularly in the mood to watch them getting it on. What's the plan?"
"Well, they promised me ice cream, so I guess the ice cream parlor?"
"Oh I do agree with that."
. . .
With ice cream cone in hand and Edward at her side, Bella followed one of the paths deeper into the park. Rose and Emmett had strayed one way, Alice and Jasper the other, effectively leaving Bella and Edward alone by themselves.
Rose and Alice both owed Bella ice cream but she was kind enough to share with Edward.
"So what did you think about the game?" Edward asked with a sideway glance as he took a lick from his cone.
"It was fun." Bella replied with a smile. "Little wild though."
"Yeah." Edward grinned. "They don't really get the rules yet."
"Ah well, I didn't get it either at first. Only after spending night after night in total concentration behind ESPN with Charlie is how I got the hang of it. But seeing as their attention span is like one of a banana fly I guess you're in for a tough season with those little nuggets."
Edward laughed. "Yeah, well, I don't mind. It's fun to be around them."
"How did you came to be a weekend soccer coach anyway?"
"Emmett's nephew used to play here. They needed a new coach around that time and Emmett dragged us down with him. So yeah, here I am."
"Hmm, that's nice."
A moment of silence followed and Bella started nibbling on the cookie part of her cone. The cookie was coated with chocolate on the inside and Bella made a mental note to remember this parlor. They knew their stuff.
"So, uhm… Who's Charlie?" Edward asked after a few minutes.
"Uh, my Dad?"
Edward's eyebrows lifted in surprise. "Your Dad?"
"No nothing, I was just wondering."
"Yeah I know it's a bit weird to call your parents by their names. But well, it's what it is." Bella shrugged.
"How come you call them by their first names?"
"Uh, well, my mom had this weird hippy thing going on where she raised me to call her Renee. Whenever she talked about Charlie, she never called him Dad, always by his name. So it kinda stuck.
Edward hummed. "Po-tay-to, po-tah-to, I guess as long as he is your father for all intense and purposes…"
"That he is." Bella smiled. "Hey look at us Cullen, we're already talking backgrounds. Wanna know about my mother too?"
"O, please do tell."
And so Bella launched into the story about her mother and how she lived with her in Arizona, how her Mom met Phil, how she moved in with her Dad in Washington and how her Mom now had a house right at the beach in Jacksonville and that the palm tree's name in the back yard was Frank but that Bella knew he only really responded to the name Elvis.
They had found a secluded little meadow and set down right in the middle.
"So, how about you? Did your parents have a hippie phase too?"
"Ha no. Well, yes, in the sixties maybe" Edward laughed, "but not recently no."
"Oh come one, what are they like?"
"Well Mom is the kitchen type. She likes to bake and cook and cook and bake. We usually invite Emmett over when she's on a role again, because well… You've seen Emmett. But she's really sweet and caring and has her own little things going on, like she's a designer and I'm helping getting her started and stuff. And my father is a doctor, head of surgery actually."
"Ooh fancy." Bella waggled her eyebrows. "Do golden hands run in the family?"
"Well, I didn't get the color but my hands do have all kinds of skills." Edward smirked back. "Grampa Cullen was a pianist and he kind of passed it on to me."
"You play?" Bella asked surprised.
"Yeah, not like magically good or something, but I can play."
"What kind of stuff do you play?"
"Little bit of everything. But I like classical the most."
"Ok wait one second." Bella said and dived into her handbag. Searching through her stuff she found the ipod she was looking for. She detangled the earbuds and offered Edward one.
"Here, can you play this one?" Bella asked as she scrolled through her playlist.
Edward secured the earbud in his ear and concentrated on the soft tones that started to play. The first three chords were enough for him to know this was Debussy, his specialty.
"Claire de Lune." Edward smiled.
"Is that what it's called?" Bella asked.
"What, you didn't know?"
"No, I found it by accident but it didn't say what it was called. I liked it so much I just kept it."
"Oh, well this is Claire de Lune by Debussy."
"Can you play it?"
"Yup." Edward grinned.
Almost, almost, the words 'maybe you can play it for me sometime' escaped Bella's mouth. And then she remembered there wasn't supposed to be a next time. So instead she just smiled.
They fell silent, just listening to the music.
Bella closed her eyes and lifted her face up to the sky, feeling the sun on her skin. The soft tones of the music were tickling her ears, the smell of the grass, the clear blue sky, the musky scent of the man sitting next to her, those were all elements that she knew if she'd ever came across them again it would bring her back right to this moment. It was just that kind of a day, and that kind of a moment.
Bella had her eyes still closed and Edward took the opportunity to study her. The fair colour of her skin, the shape of her lips, her chestnut brown hair, the soft curve of her neck. James was an idiot for letting go of something so beautiful, so gentle, so fragile. The way she looked right now, Bella looked like one light breeze of air was enough to make her vanish as if she was never there. Just a figment of the imagination. Edward felt the urge to touch her, to make sure she was there and she'd stay there. Involuntarily the pinky of his hand touched hers.
Bella's eyes opened slowly. The sun shone directly into her face and it made her irises light up in the oddest shade of brown. Conflicted Edward's gaze drifted from her eyes to her mouth and back. He shouldn't. He didn't want it. But he couldn't help himself. Like a bee drawn to the honey, Edward's lips were drawn to Bella's. Inching ever so slowly he bent forward. The coordinates were specified, the destination was in sight, the journey almost completed, lips opened and-
"Holy mother of fu…"
Bella's head turned to the right and she pulled the ear bud out.
Edward turned his head as well to see what she was looking at.
A little boy was standing at the edge of the meadow, half covered in the shades. It was Andrei. He was watching them in complete silence.
Edward let out a deep breath, ditching his ear bud as well. The magic of the moment was gone, however Bella's lips were still there in the corner of his eye.
"It's just Andrei. His parents probably forgot to pick him up again."
"Wasn't he the boy you were talking to during the game?"
"Yeah. He tripped and hurt his knee."
"Is he ok?"
"Yeah, it was nothing. Wait here I'm going to get him."
Edward got up and walked over to the little boy in the shadows. Bella couldn't really hear what they were saying but with small steps and his eyes fixed on Bella, the boy followed Edward to where she was sitting.
The boy kept standing in front of them, even after Edward sat down.
"Come Andrei, sit down with us." Edward said, patting the ground next to him.
"Hi Andrei, I'm Bella." Bella said, holding out her hand for him to shake.
The boy just stood there, looking at her hand.
"He doesn't speak English very well," Edward said.
"He's from Russia. Lived there with his grandmother while his parents looked for work here. He and his grandmother flew in just a few weeks ago. He's shy, but he'll warm up to you." Edward smiled.
"Come on Andrei, sit down." Edward repeated.
Hesitantly the little boy sat down.
"I'm Bella," Bella said again, smiling.
"Hi," Andrei whispered and looked down.
"Andrei, do you know where your mom and dad are? Mama e papa?"
The boy shook his head.
"They forgot him again. Seriously I know they love him but this is kinda sad. I'm going to call them." Edward said and dug is phone out of his pocket. Scrolling through his contacts he found the number he was looking for.
"Mr. Ivanov?" Edward asked when someone picked up.
"Yes, this is Edward Cullen, Andrei's soccer coach. I'm calling because I have Andrei here with me. Practise ended about forty-five minutes ago and nobody picked him up yet."
"Yes, I see. How long until you can be here?"
"Right. See you in half an hour then. Bye."
Ending the call, Edward explained to Bella.
"He got held up at work. He can be here in half an hour. What do you say to another strawberry cheesecake with chocolate sprinkles?" Edward grinned.
"I say yes please!" Bella grinned back.
"Come on Andrei, let's go get some ice cream." Edward offered him his hand.
"I say yes please." Andrei repeated Bella's words in a shy voice and took Edwards hand to get up from the ground.
Edward laughed and ruffled his hair.
"Oh he's a cutie." Bella smiled as Edward helped her up as well.
"Thank you Miss Bella." Andrei said.
"And polite too. Oh dear, I'm afraid you're making me blush, I haven't met a gentleman like you in quite some time." Bella said as she fanned herself.
"Hey!" Edward protested.
"Will you escort me to the ice cream parlor Mr. Andrei Ivanov?" Bella said, ignoring Edward.
Andrei's cheeks turned slightly pink and just with a nod he offered his arm to Bella, and so they marched away. Edward was left shaking his head at the odd duo walking in front of him.
. . .
"Is it good Andrei?" Bella asked. They got their ice cream and walked back to the field sitting down at the deserted bleachers.
"Yes Miss Bella, I like it." He said around his triple chocolate strawberry cone.
"I think your nose likes it too, it's covered in it." Edward laughed and handed him a tissue.
"I think Miss Bella's nose likes ice cream too." Andrei smiled, a mischievous glint in his eyes.
"You do have a little something there, darling." Edward laughed again, handing Bella a tissue as well.
Bella glared at him playfully as she took the tissue.
"I think Edward's cheek likes ice cream too, don't you Andrei?" Bella asked him.
Andrei looked at her curiously.
"I've got ice cream on my face? Where?" Edward asked as he started patting his face.
"Oh, it's right about… there." Bella said and smeared ice cream all over his right cheek.
"What the-", Edward started
Andrei let out a boyish giggle.
"You missed a spot back there," Edward charged and smeared his lemon cone on Bella's face.
"No, don't!" She yelled as he came at her again.
Andrei was doubled over in laughter when a voice called from across the field, stopping the three in their actions.
"That's his father," Edward explained to Bella.
"Oh shit, I've got ice cream all over my face." Bella said while trying to wipe it off but actually making it worse.
The man came jogging across the field towards the bleachers. When he reached them he said something to Andrei in Russian before addressing Edward and Bella. The boy stood up to stand next to his father, quietly licking his ice cream.
"Hi, I'm sorry I'm so late." Andrei's father said to them. His accent was heavy.
"My work, my boss, I was caught up in it. It's no excuse but I couldn't help it."
"No problem." Edward said. "Just, maybe for the future you can give me a call if you're running late again? I found him today wandering in the park."
"Yes, of course. I'm so sorry. Thank you for taking care of him, and for the ice cream."
Mr. Ivanov placed his hand on Andrei's shoulder, squeezed it and said something in Russian.
"Thank you." Andrei said as he looked up from his cone.
"All right, we'll be going then. Sorry for the trouble."
"No problem. See you next week. Bye Andrei." Edward said.
"Bye and bye Miss Bella."
"Bye Andrei." Bella smiled.
The two turned around and once again Bella and Edward were left alone.
"He's cute." She said.
"He has a little crush I believe." Edward smirked.
"And you still have ice cream on your face."
"So do you."
"Shit really?" Bella started wiping her face again.
"No." Edward smiled.
Bella didn't get to finish what she was saying because Edward, against better judgement, finally gave in and kissed her. Startled she let him and when she felt the heath of his mouth and his demanding lips, she melted. She almost dropped her cone when she tried to wine her arms around his neck to pull him closer.
When pulling back for air, Edward looked back into Bella's dark eyes, is breathing labored.
He smacked is lips together. "Hmm, chocolate."
Bella mimicked his action. "Lemon."
"More." Was Edwards one worded response and he leaned back in for another taste.
A helpless moan escaped Bella as she felt Edward's lips back on her hers. The softness of her skin and her floral scent drove him crazy. The little sounds she made, her lips… All he wanted was more.
"Would you let me take you out again?" Edward asked between kisses.
"Is it another bet?"
"No." Edward answered.
"Tomorrow, seven thirty?"
"I'll come pick you up."
"Yes." Then Edward went in for a long one. Pulling Bella against him with one hand and caressing her neck with the other. Sucking softly he ended the kiss.
"Please?" He asked, staring into her eyes, melting her soul.
"Okay." She responded breathlessly and rather helpless.
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A/N: So, I must apologize for the late update. I do have the intention of finishing this, so not to worry. Thanks for staying with me!