(This was my donation for the Fandom for Texas Wildfire compilation, Enjoy...)


"Winning is like sex, the more you do it, the more you like it."

~Felix Sabates


~._. FTW ._.~

I feel the hum, the roar of the crowd.

The stadium simulates a rocket ship just before take off, a deep rumble, a contained energy.

That buzz, it becomes a fog all around me, I can't help but breathe it in. Absorb it. It fuels me. The roots of my hair tickle and the pads of my fingers pulse. My body is electric. I can't stand still, bouncing from toe to toe.

I grip the handle of my pom poms, the plastic ribbons shake in each of my hands. I rub the two together, trying to expel some of my vigor.

But it builds anyway.

The squad lines up in the tunnel under the stadium that leads out to the football field. We make three lines. Our uniforms skimpy and tight. Our shoes white as the day they were bought. Our hair bouncy and shiny. Some of us have red W's painted on our cheeks, others a tattoo of our team mascot, a wolf.

We are so ready to do this.

The pyrotechnics just outside the field goal line explode into a series of booms, and the crowd somehow gets louder.

Then the fog machine at the tunnel's entrance clouds our visibility and that's our cue.

We run out on the field, our pom poms high in the air. The stadium erupts in a chant of "Wolves, wolves, wolves," with a spine tingling howl at the end before they begin all over again.

The university's band starts playing our fight song. We dance and cheer to the words as we lead the crowd in singing along with the song.

The smile on my face, it's genuine.

I love this.

Even though I know we will lose, I love game days.

~._. FTW ._.~

"Have you heard the news?" Jessica asks as we sit at the after-the-game party.

"Probably not," I answer because I loathe gossip.

"The Wolves are getting a new quarterback. Supposedly, he like, got in all this trouble at his old school, like big trouble with the law. And he, like, got kicked out I guess or lost his scholarship or something, so he's transferring here and, ohmygawd, from what I've heard, he's like a total babe. Like a major one."

Just her talking annoys the piss out of me.

I stand up, looking for my friend Alice, or even Rose, or anyone to get away from Jess. I spot them both coming out of the bathroom. I practically run in their direction.

"Can we leave yet?" I whine as I join them. At parties after the team loses, all everyone does is get so drunk, they'll soon be passing out, or puking all over place, or both.

No, thank you.

For the past two years the Wolves have been rebuilding their football program. Mere weeks after the 2007 season, when the Wolves had ended with a perfect record and a national football title win, scandal rocked the university. Illegal recruiting, payouts, athletes with failing grades, and attendance infractions were just a few of the allegations brought against the school.

Nine months later all charges were dropped after the investigation found no proof of foul play, but by then the damage had already been done.

A whole new coaching staff had to be hired and an athletic program rebuilt. Two losing seasons had followed.

When all that first happened, I was a senior in high school, and had already signed on with a full cheerleading and dancing scholarship to attend North Atlantic State. Besides, their cheerleading program kicked ass, we didn't need a winning football team to prevail.

"I wonder what this Cullen guy'll look like?" Rosalie jabs me with her elbow. Every season, she and Alice try to hook me up with numerous football players, and after more failed dates than I care to count, I was over it already.

"No telling." I shrug.

They just don't get it. I've come to realize that I want more than just a hot body, I want to date a guy with feelings, and a heart, and a brain. A nice looking guy with a smart brain is so much more important to me. Although I have to agree, most football players bodies are too fuck hot to ignore, and watching them play football is one of my favorite things to do, I just don't ever think it'll go past that. They are purely eye candy, sweet and tart dipped in chocolate, the best kind of candy there is.

Anyway, if my friends want to settle with their dumb football player boyfriends that's their prerogative. I'm still on the lookout for THE ONE.

My one.

~._. FTW ._.~

I stand stretching in the practice gymnasium. NA State is known for it's awesome facilities, the cheer and dance squad has a private gym with a spring loaded floor for tumbling, it adjoins the indoor practice field for the football team. With only a wall of glass between the two, we often get a bird's eye view of their practices on rainy days.

Of course, that also means that they can watch us practice, if they don't get caught by their coach that is. Coach Aro is one mean man, we often hear him yelling through the plexi-glass and concrete. He's a legend in his own right, he's known for turning team's losing programs around.

It's undecided if his streak has run out or not.

~._. FTW ._.~

We take a break while Ryan, our choreographer, resets the music. I use the time to get a drink of water and adjust my ponytail.

That's when I see him, the new quarterback. Jessica's description of him was like saying the sky is sort of blue, or the ocean is kind of deep and wet. Sometimes, there just aren't words specific enough to describe such beautiful things.

The sky. The ocean... Edward Cullen.

His hair is this odd color, not exactly brown or not really red, but a burnt mix of the two and where it's damp with sweat, it's darker and clings to his face.

He's shirtless and absolutely magnificent. His body is cut and built and lean and mouthwatering. Not too big, not too small. My fingertips long to trace the muscles as they ripple and tighten. Every single one, like an anatomy lesson.

He's wearing simple black shorts that hang loose on his hips. I can't see the specifics of the body hair on his chest or his stomach, only the darkening of his skin that seems to tease me. I don't even see a band of proof of boxers or briefs at his waist either. Is he seriously letting the goods hang?

Just... Wow.

His calves, they're meaty and defined. Gorgeous. I can only imagine his thighs are just as sexy. Damn shorts blocking my view.

To top it off, the sheen of sweat that covers his bare skin, causes him to sparkle under the fluorescent lights. Each movement, each step, each breath illuminates with a glow that mesmerizes me.

He grips the ball like it's nothing, his long fingers curling over the pigskin. He looks out over his teammates, surveying the field, commanding, standing tall.

He rares his arm back, his bicep round and taunt, then his arm flings forward releasing the ball. It flies and spins down the field with a perfect spiral landing exactly in the intended receiver's hands.

I glance back at Edward expecting to see the smug look on his face like every other cocky quarterback I've ever watched.

But I don't see that because he isn't smiling. His forehead is wrinkled in worry and he looks… upset? He rubs his hands together as the coach comes over and pats him on the shoulder. They walk away, out of my visibility.

I'm confused. His throw looked good to me.

"He's yummy isn't he?" Lauren asks as she and Jessica join me at the water cooler.

"I don't know who you're talking about." I lie and turn to walk away.

I don't play those games. I don't vie for attention of football players. Never have. Never will. Not in the same way they do anyway.

Now what was it I said I wanted other than a hot body in a guy?

~._. FTW ._.~

I watch Edward Cullen every chance I get. I've seen a ton of football in my life, but when it comes to watching some one play football, he's a master of the game.

His running game is better than his throwing game. Not that he can't throw it, he will, every chance he gets. But when you see Cullen tuck that ball into his side and take off in a sprint, you know miracles are about to happen.

That's just the way he plays.

He can roll off a line of defensive men as if they're standing there merely for show. He can escape a tackle like his body has been coated slick with oil, and he can read the field as though he's been shown the future.

He's amazing.

~._. FTW ._.~

The next Saturday, Edward doesn't get to play in the game, he's still considered a red shirt, so until the college clears him to play, he has to stand and watch.

And from what I can tell as I watch him as he watches the game, he doesn't like it that we are losing, again.

I don't have any classes with him, and as of yet, he hasn't been attending the usual parties where the football players have been. I know because the cheerleaders always follow the football players. We go hand in hand. It's just the way it is.

But he has stirred up this college with excitement. The guys can't wait to watch him play and the girls can't wait to get in his pants.

Regretfully, the gossip mill spills that he has a girlfriend back home, hence why he hasn't been hooking up with randoms.

Honestly, it doesn't matter to me much. I get enough enjoyment out of watching him practice and I'm positive that when he finally gets to play, the world will fall even harder in love with the game of football and with Edward Cullen.

~._. FTW ._.~

Friday afternoon, the cheer squad primps in the bathroom in the auditorium, there's a pep rally for tomorrow's homecoming game.

Tonight, there's a bonfire by the lake. This by far, is one of my most favorite weekends of the football season.

The best news of all is that at tomorrow's game, Cullen gets to start, and for the first time in years, the North Atlantic Wolves are picked to win.

The cheer squad takes the floor, rousing up the crowd. It's hard to explain how powerful I feel while I cheer. The attention I get, it's simply mind numbing. Knowing that thousand of eyes are on me and my body and my moves.

It's just so sexy.

Especially the eyes of one certain guy. I've never wanted anyone to watch me the way I want him to. It's like I need it. I want him to watch me.. want me, even if it's just a little, and I don't exactly know why.

But on a day like today, with all of us students packed in this small space, with the shouting and the music, it's impossible to find him. To verify that he even knows I exist.

The fast pace of the pep rally doesn't help matters either. The whole squad is on and the off the stage before we even have time to breathe and enjoy it.

A few of us are also on the dance team. I do both because it gave me more scholarship funds. It also means double the practice and the workouts, but I don't mind that much, it keeps me in great shape.

We don't change out of our cheer uniforms, they've been coordinated to match the dance costumes, and all we have to do is space ourselves within the group to blend.

I like dancing, almost as much as cheering, but it's much more exhausting.

While the coach is still speaking at the podium, the dance team lines up on the stage below him. Coach Aro begins to introduce his starting offensive. He says his name and Edward steps forward, I swear the roar of the student body sways the walls. Or maybe that's just me unable to stand still.

Cullen throws his hand up in a shy wave and my heart lurches up in my throat. He's so humble and so… so real.

His smile is crooked, his eyes are narrowed in wonder, he nods his head in approval and instantly, the crowd gets louder.

He steps back in line beside his teammates, tucks his hands flat in the front pocket of his jeans, and the coach introduces the next player over the screaming.

But I've found him. That's all I need for now.

I think this is a called a crush, just a little one anyway.

The dancers start to spread out and line up in our spots and for a second, I have to take my eyes off him to check my surroundings.

Then when I look back up, he's looking at me. Right at me. I feel his eyes taking me in. Honing in on me. There's this burn that covers my skin, like I stayed out ten minutes too long in the sun.

My mouth falls open slightly as I try to take in more air. The excitement has me practically gasping. The rise and fall of my chest is almost distracting.

I still want him to watch me dance.

More than anything.

The music begins. We freeze until the eight count. Then my body takes over dancing the steps as though I'm a robot being controlled by a remote. I don't even have to count to keep up. I know with each thump of the bass where my foot will land. Each hip-hop lyric that spills from the speakers my legs and my arms will move like second nature.

I roll my hips, twirl my hair, pop my arms, and extend my legs at each exact time.

My routine is flawless.

And when it's over, when we jump up from our ending spot, his eyes are still watching me and the power I have, it's multiplied tenfold.

~._. FTW ._.~

I see him at the bonfire, he stands cool and casual among his teammates. A can of Coke, not a cup of beer, rests in his fist. I watch as he sips, his lips curl, his throat swallows.

I feel like a stalker.

He doesn't say much to anyone. He just stares straight ahead at the fire, nodding when spoken to, throwing up a wave when addressed.

He seems quiet, another plus in my book.

Female after female approachs him. I can tell some are friendly and harmless, while others are so blatantly obvious, it makes me sick and green. They lean in, their skanky claws splayed on his rock hard chest, their lips too close to his ear. They dangle their bait, but he never bites.

Not even once.

He doesn't even seem to be hungry.

Maybe he does have a girlfriend.

~._. FTW ._.~

Edward plays one hell of a game. Perfect even, but a fumble by one our offensive backs gives the other team the ball with only a minute left in the game.

That results in them scoring a touchdown in the last few seconds, beating us by three points.

I feel so bad for Edward. He deserves better. He deserved that win.

As soon as the buzzer sounds the end of the game, he jerks off his helmet and stomps toward the locker room.

I watch him leave the field, his ass tight and round in those football pants. He has such a nice ass.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love football?

~._. FTW ._.~

That night I make an appearance at the after party, but I don't see Edward, so I quickly leave.

The next week at school, I keep an eye out for him. I take new routes on campus in between my classes to see if I can find him. I linger outside of my buildings hoping for a peek at him. I scan all the crowded spots while crossing my fingers, but with no luck at all.

He's such a mystery.

Maybe that's why I can't get him off my mind.

~._. FTW ._.~

Saturday's game is a late afternoon away game, but it's only a two hour drive, so that means we'll be put on buses, granted they are very, very nice buses.

The dance team only performs at home games, but the cheer squad always travels with the team, and I'm super excited for this away game.

See, when we travel by bus or plane, they split the team up. Since we will be traveling by bus today, some of the football players and cheerleaders will each be on one of three buses. That way if there was to ever be an accident, a whole team wouldn't be lost.

I just know he'll be on my bus. I always ride on what is considered 'the quiet bus.' The offensive coach and our star running back, James usually rides this bus, so I'm sure Cullen will too.

I recline my seat back, headphones on, blanket thrown over my legs, and wait.

The players soon start to load. I sit in the middle of the bus and everyone spreads out, picks a seat, and gets comfortable.

I watch them as they pass by my seat, some saying hello, or waving. I wave back, smile, nod my head. Then he comes into view. He slowly walks the aisle. His tall form rising over the seats as he makes his way toward me.

He sees me. His eyes rake over me before they narrow and he frowns.

He makes me feel vulnerable and bare.

Dejected.

I raise my eyebrows in question and then lower my sunglasses. Dismissing him the best I can.

I've waited all week to see him, ride this damn bus with him, and then he looks at me like I disgust him. Whatever.

It hurts, more than I care to admit to myself.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see him throw his duffel back one seat behind me on the opposite side of the bus.

I will not turn and look.

I will not turn and look.

I will not turn and…

Damn.

I look.

He already sitting, his headphones on, relaxing back in his seat with his eyes closed.

It's going to be one long ass ride.

It takes all I have not to turn my head and glance at him every five minutes, I want to, so bad. Sometimes, out of the corner of my eye, it seems as though he's looking my direction, or right at me. That makes not giving in to looking him even more difficult.

But somehow I do it.

~._. FTW ._.~

We lose again, but not because of Edward. He does everything so right, calculated, perfect. It's the other dimwits on the field who keep fucking up.

We lose by five points, so close, but a loss nonetheless.

Instead of staying the night, we board the bus to go back home. It's near midnight when we finally get going.

Everyone is in a somber mood, not much being said around the bus.

I cover up again, relax in my seat, and watch the movie that being shown on the small screen above my seat.

I feel the change in the air while he stirs through the darkened bus. No one has their dome lights on, everyone is asleep or watching the movie.

But I see him moving around on my right side.

He needs to be still, he's distracting me.

Once again, I will myself not to turn and look.

I don't know where I find my willpower.

Then he just appears and slowly slides into the empty seat beside me.

The air around me charges and pulses.

I'm shocked.

He doesn't say anything as he sits down.

All I can do is look at him. His face so close, closer than he's ever been. Illuminated only by the changing glow of the television set.

I rest my turned head on the rise of the tall seat, he does the same.

I look at him as he... looks at me.

For the first time ever, I get to examine those eyes, but what I find isn't so pretty. I see a storm raging there – dark, powerful, damaged. Lost even.

His pupils are dilated and black. His eyebrows are wild and shadowing. They cower over his eyes, somewhat shielding, but not completely.

His eyelashes are long and curled, framing those eyes, trying to hide the storm.

But I see it anyway.

"What happened to you?" Spills from my lips in a rolling whisper, I didn't meant to say it out loud.

Instead of answering me, he shakes his head in slow motion, his eyes blink long and hard, and then he turns his head forward to watch the movie.

I'm drowning in a sea of confusion, I want him to talk to me, about something, about anything, but I don't want to run him off either.

I mean, he's right here. I can feel his body heat. When he exhales, I inhale, and we trade air. His long legs are centimeters from mine. We're sharing an armrest for goodness sakes!

I glance down at his hand and his long fingers, one small part of his complete football masterpiece.

I get bold, I reach down to the arm rest, I pick up his hand with both of mine. His head snaps around to see what I'm doing. I chew on my lip with nerves.

I examine his hand with my fingers, slowly tracing the outline of his fingers one at a time, the knuckles and the tips, even the edges of his fingernails. I turn his hand over, rub over his palm, flex his thumb.

He's still watching me, he probably thinks I'm crazy.

But he doesn't pull his hand away.

So I continue to study it. "I've never held a million dollar hand before," I quietly state.

He huffs, "What?"

I place my hand up to his, palms open against the other. His is twice the size of mine. "Your hands. Some day when you get drafted into the NFL, they'll make you millions."

I pull his hand back toward my lap and continue to laze my fingers over his soft skin. I use my fingernails to scratch over the stray hairs on the backside of his knuckles. I trace the blue veins on the back of his hand.

He never once looks away.

I think he likes it.

"Do you really think so?" He flexes his hand and turns it over. I begin to caress his palm again.

I shake my head, "No, I know so. Ever since the first time I watched you practice, I knew you were different. You really are, Edward, you're an expert of the game."

"Sometimes it doesn't seem that way. I think maybe sometimes, the game plays me." His voice is unsure and sad. I don't look away from his hand, I'd rather not get lost in his storm right now.

"Only if you want it to. Just don't let this team pull you down. Keep playing just like you are, maybe soon enough all these guys will catch up with you, and be a little more supportive."

I swear I think he smiles, just a little, but I'm not looking at his face, so I'm not sure.

"Cullen, come here." Coach Aro calls out for him from the front of the bus.

A pang of disappointment cuts through my chest even though his hand is still in mine.

I bring his hand up to my lips, I kiss the inside of his wrist, just barely and then I turn his hand over and peck the backside of his hand. He stays so still. "Be careful with these," I say afterward. Then I swallow hard and try to smile.

I release his hand. My own falling the short distance to land in my lap, now lonely and cold.

Bare.

I watch as his hand immediately goes to his mouth. He rubs his mouth against the back of his hand, almost like he's transferring my kiss to his lips.

I think about admitting to him there's more where that one came from, but he walks away before I get the chance.

I spend the rest of the trip lost in a haze of Edward Cullen and the memory of his hand in mine.

~._. FTW ._.~

The next few days I'm keenly aware that he's nowhere to be found.

I chastise myself. In reality, he's nothing to me. I don't even know that he's my friend, and certainly not my boyfriend, but neither stop me from craving his presence.

Tuesday night, while we're in the athlete's dining hall, Rosalie's complaining about Emmett McCarty again. They hook up at least once a week, but neither are willing to commit to the other. So every time she hears of him speaking to, hanging out with, or screwing some other girl, she gets all pissy.

She always tries to come up with some elaborate plan to make him jealous in return.

"What do you think I should do? Or whom, I guess I should say?" She asks with a raise of her eyebrows.

I refrain from rolling my eyes at her.

Just about then, the place falls into a hush with the slam of a door, it's Edward. He's here. He's never eaten in here before. Never.

He looks around, before slowly making his way to the buffet table.

Whether I want to or not, I'm now on alert of everything that's happening around me. The way some of the other cheerleaders begin to whisper to each other and speak his name. How a few of the football players walk up to talk to him as he fills his plate. How everyone watches him, just like I do.

"Maybe I could use him," Rosalie says of Edward, and instantly I see myself pushing her out of her seat and clawing her eyes out.

"I'm just kidding, Bella!" She laughs thinking she's funny, when clearly she's not. "I've noticed the goo-goo eyes you give him, I wouldn't do that to you."

She stands and walks to the garbage can and I try to get my breathing under control. I'm not so sure I wouldn't put it past her.

He carries his tray toward the center of the dining hall. I'm not even sure he saw me sitting here. He gets stopped by a few of the players. For no real reason at all, I feel panic rising up from my gut. Would he want to sit with me? What if he doesn't? Does it really mean anything?

I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I'm being such a moron. He's just a guy. Another pain in the ass football player. No different from all the others.

When I open my eyes, I see him being led away by James, toward the table where his teammates are.

He spreads his legs and straddles the seat, placing his tray on the table in front of him. Then as he sits, he looks up at me. Our eyes meet and lock.

He is so intense.

I smile at him, he may be just another football player, but something about him puts me in a tailspin. I can't deny that for sure.

I want to know more.

And when he smiles back at me, I realize I may be further gone than I thought.

~._. FTW ._.~

Saturday's game is six hours away, so this time, it's a plane ride to the game, then a bus trip home.

As much as I love cheering and sports, I now have a new reason to watch football, and that's Edward Cullen.

I dream of him on that field. My dreams are so specific and vibrant. I can always see him so clearly, while the rest of the details of my dreams are blurry and dull.

His eyes, his hands, his smile, his forearms, his calves, his ass in those tight pants.

Good dreams, real good dreams.

Rosalie yells at me to save her a seat beside mine on the plane while we're checking our bags, but as soon as I board the plane, I see her sitting with Emmett. I flip her off and find an empty seat.

Bitch.

I dig around in my bag for some Dramamine, I prefer to sleep on this trip, I take the pills and then stuff my bag back in the overhead. I sit back down in my seat and the air around me suddenly crackles, that could only mean one thing.

He's close.

Real close.

He sits down beside me.

Beside me.

Me.

He drops his bag in the floor beneath his legs. He unzips it and pulls out his iPod and headphones. I watch every move he makes, I really am weird.

He stands to put his bag in the overhead, beside mine I might add. His arms reach up easily, but as he does, his shirt rides up and shows off his happy trail, I almost melt in my seat. His abs... his skin... his trail leading to ...

I've never been this attracted to a boy. Er, a man.

Ever.

He's wearing his team sweat pants, so once again, his junk is right there, in touching distance. I look hard, really hard, willing an outline to come into view through his red pants.

I have to stop.

I am a stalker.

I choose to focus my attention out the tiny window at the concrete below us.

Then just as quick, he leans over to look out the window beside me, he is so close...

I turn my face to his, my nose is practically touching his cheek. I think I hold my breath.

Then he turns toward me, and I'll be damned, our noses are touching!

"Hey," he says in this breathy way that sends his used, sweet air all over my face. I want to sniff it up like cocaine, but I don't.

Instead, I smile and and nod my head, "Hi."

He sits back down, still close, but not as close.

Beggars can't be choosy.

I'll take what I can get.

We settle into our seats, we both put our headphones on. He keeps looking at me with goofy grin, I kind of want to kiss it off his face.

I can't help but smile back at him.

The plane takes off.

I take a deep breath and relax back into my seat, then I feel a plop in my lap.

It's his hand.

He wants me to.. touch him again.

Wow.

Sure.

My pleasure.

And I do, even when Emmett turns around backwards in his seat to talk to Edward, and Edward leans forward a little, I keep his hand in mine. Touching, teasing, caressing.

It's sort of perfect.

But then my motion sickness pills kick in and I can't hold my eyes open for much longer, but I don't let go his of his hand.

Not for anything.

~._. FTW ._.~

The noise around me gets louder. I begin to stir and open my eyes.

Edward is leaning toward me, he's all I see. His fingers are brushing my hair away from my face and my headphones have been pulled off my ears. "Wake up, sleepy girl." His voice is low and scratchy.

I smile at him, that seems to be all I ever do.

"We just landed. We'll be getting off soon."

I giggle at his innuendo, and he grins and winks. But I see him glance down to my lips and it stops my heart for a second.

"Cullen, just wait til…" Emmett starts talking to Edward and he quickly turns and stands to grab his bag out of the overheard.

I pause just for a second and soak in the past two minutes.

He gives me so much with so little.

"Bella Swan, you better spill right now. Tell me all about you and Cullen!" Rosalie yells as she gathers her things.

I knew this was coming.

"Rose, there really isn't much to tell. We sit and I... hold his hand." That sounds way worse than it is.

"Yeah, right. Em told me the other day that Edward was asking about you, but I didn't think much about it, but now I see it. I think he's got the hots for you."

I follow Rose as we exit the plane and pretend that what she just said doesn't matter, even though it causes my blood to speed through my veins.

"Bella's finally gonna get her some, Bella's finally gonna get her some," Rose skips and chants down the hall.

I swear sometimes friends are overrated.

~._. FTW ._.~

The game goes into overtime. It's the most exciting game I've ever witnessed.

That is until I see Edward get blindsided, fall to the ground, and not get up.

We all take a knee as the crowd falls into a hush.

Tears sting my eyes and all I want to do is run out there to him.

I hear a few of the girls whisper out my name trying to get my attention, but I ignore them.

After a few minutes of the trainers and coaches hovering over him, I see him slowly sit up.

I've never been more relieved in my life.

I swipe my tears away, as I watch them put him on a cart and drive him off the field.

All the excitement and joy is sucked right out of me.

I worry about him and if he really is okay or not, but I have a job to do. So I finish the game with the squad, just like I'm supposed to.

We lose, but I don't care.

I have this pull to march right into the locker room and find Edward, but I know it'd be useless. I'm not allowed in there.

So I go through the motions of showering, changing, and packing up my stuff. Light food is brought into our dressing room, but I'm not the least bit hungry.

I just need to know he's all right.

~._. FTW ._.~

When I board the bus, he's already there, sitting in an aisle seat. I have no idea if he wants me to sit beside him or not, so I take my time approaching him.

His eyes are closed and his head is leaning back and resting on the head rest.

I tell myself that I'll only pause in the aisle for a brief minute and if he doesn't acknowledge me, I'll move on.

But I don't even have to think about it because as soon as I'm close to him, he reaches out and grabs my wrist, pulling me into his lap.

My bag drops to the floor and my arms go around his shoulders.

He holds onto my waist, anchoring me to him, his face buried in my hair.

"Are you all right?" I ask as I grip his shirt tight.

He nods his head.

He slightly releases me and I slide into the empty seat beside him.

He tucks my bag under my seat. He unfolds a blanket and throws it over both of our laps, covering our legs.

I sit as close to him as I can.

His hand is on my knee under the covers. I feel the heat off his skin as it penetrates through my thin yoga pants and up my leg, effectively scattering all over me and setting my body into a smoldering fire.

"What happened?" I ask as I curl my arm around his elbow. My fingers immediately start to trail up and down his bare forearm, and I don't ignore the way his skin breaks out in goosebumps by my touch alone.

Score one for me.

"It's nothing. I was just knocked out for a second. The doc's checked me out good, I don't have a concussion or anything." He says it so calmly.

"It wasn't just nothing, Edward. I was worried about you." I squeeze his arm.

"You were?" One side of his mouth curls up and his eyes twinkle.

I nod and pout a little.

"You shouldn't worry about me." He squeezes my thigh in return. He moves his hand up and down my leg with the slightest of movements, to my knee and then up just a little to my thigh and then back down.

It's so, so minor but it feels so, so major!

I pull away a little and look up at his head. "Does it hurt any?" I use my free hand to rub over his scalp.

He hums, "No, they gave me something for pain." He closes he eyes as I knead through his hair. "I feel even better now." He smiles big, his pretty teeth show, his lips pull tight.

"Good." I continue massaging his head for a little while longer until my arm feels like its going numb from holding it up.

It's late and we should both try and go to sleep, but for once Edward seems open with me, so I press for more.

"Will you tell me what happened at your last school? What was this big scandal I've heard so much about?"

He takes a deep breath and releases it out in a sigh.

"Haven't you heard the story already?" he asks with a frown.

"I haven't heard if from you." I raise my eyebrows.

"You really want to know?"

I nod.

He looks away and seems to debate to talk to me or not. Then I see him take a deep breath. "Well …there was this girl, she was a cheerleader," he pauses and looks straight at me, I pretend I'm not phased... nope, not at all.

"I was the second string quarterback and she was dating Jacob, who was the starting QB, but he sucked. I mean, he really did. His father pulled some kind of alumni bullshit to get Jacob a starting spot on the team. But anyway, she started hitting on me. I knew she was supposed to be his girl, but I played her little game for awhile. Then things just got heavy and weird. She was too clingy and persistent, I didn't even like her that much."

Edward shifts down in his seat a little, stretching out his legs. "It came down to Jacob lost his starting spot at the same time someone told him I was fucking his girl. But I wasn't," he adds real quick.

"Anyway, he came after me, I'd been drinking some and I knew he was one strong fucker, he would have done some damage had he got his hands on me. I hit him in the knee with a wooden baseball bat before he had the chance. Fucked his knee up. I'll never forget that sound of bone crunching, it still haunts me."

Edward looks up at me, he looks so regretful. I twist in my seat and pull my knees up, leaning into him and wrapping my left arm slightly around his middle.

I lay my head on his shoulder and he continues, "Come to find out his bitch girlfriend said I had raped her and that's why he was coming after me. I had charges brought against me for battery and rape. My mom practically disowned me, but my dad, he helped me the best he could.

"We went to court and I had luck on my side. Some of the girls on her squad had overheard her talking shit. She wanted a boyfriend that was going to going to eventually get drafted, a meal ticket. She realized Jacob wasn't that guy, so she set her sights on me. Then I wouldn't give it up, so she tried to ruin me. The rape charge was dropped, but I got probation for hitting Jacob and was banned from playing Division 1 football ever again, they say the rest is history."

I feel so bad for him, I don't even know what to say.

He lifts his arms high above his head and stretches, my fingers suddenly feel bare skin as his shirt rides up. Smooth, naked skin right above the waistband of his sweats.

I take advantage and begin to trace back and forth, I feel his abs tighten and jump under my touch, he even moans a little.

His arms fall and his left goes around me, effectively pulling me even closer to him.

I splay my hand flat on his stomach. I extend my neck and get as close as I can to his ear, "Do you mind?" I ask as my lips graze the shell of his ear.

He groans again and shakes his head.

I snuggle in close to him. He tugs the blanket up higher to cover us more. I let my fingernails scratch over his stomach, loving the reaction I'm getting from him.

Then, I'm surprised when he starts talking again.

"Now you know why I wanted to stay far, far away from any and all cheerleaders... including you. I tried, unsuccessfully it appears."

I laugh, "I'm glad you failed at something."

He looks down at me, I look up at him, and it just seems so right to be here in his arms, so easy and even though it was his body and his looks that first attracted me to him, I really think there is the possibility of something more between us.

"I'm not her, Edward. I think it's safe to say I'm nothing like her, either. Don't push me away, you have to at least give me a chance." I sound like I'm almost begging.

"I think I already have." His fingers curl tighter around my waist. "There's just something about you, I can't get enough."

I nod, "I know exactly what you mean." I notice my breathing has accelerated. "But I heard you have a girlfriend back home, is that true?" I have to ask.

"No, that rumor was my dad's idea, he said it would help me keep the girls away and I'd be able to simply concentrate on my studies and football."

Yes!

After that, I try to relax. I lay my head back on his chest and I focus on the feel of him under my fingertips. The dips and the swells, the soft skin stretching over hard muscles. Such a contrast, such a work of art.

I feel his lips on the top of my head, his breath heating my scalp. He's breathing hard, too. "That feels so good." He says so quiet that only I can hear him.

I know it's too soon, I know it may make me look like I'm easy, but I want to make him feel good, so I make him an offer. I look up, place my lips against the skin of his neck, "I can make you feel even better, let me touch you." I slowly ease my hand down lower to cover the bulge that's already prominent, even from the outside of his sweats.

Against my lips I feel his Adams apple descend and then rise as he swallows slow and hard.

He nods, just barely. I kiss his neck, a small closed mouth kiss. Then I resume my spot snuggled against his chest.

His hand rubs up and down my back before he inches his fingers under the waistband of my stretch pants and lower until his whole hand has disappeared from sight.

He squeezes and kneads the cheek of my butt through my boy short underwear. He must have electricity shooting from his fingertips because the tingles radiate out and zip to all the places in my body that matter.

The places that have been longing for him.

I graze the outline of his length through his cotton pants, up and down, up and down. I watch the movements of my hand from the outside of the blanket. I notice that he has slipped off his shoes, and his toes curl with each pass of my palm.

I slink my hand up, letting my fingertips tease his skin right at the top of his pants before dipping them down to just underneath his waist.

I lightly scrape through the soft hair that's scattered below his belly button.

It's almost two in the morning, but plenty of people are awake on the bus. I think it makes this even better and, honestly, I don't care who knows.

My hand moves down, deeper into his pants, then it's skin on skin, confirming he is a commando type of guy. He's really hard and a little wet on the tip. His cock is like satin covered steel, thick and heavy. He's not abnormally big, but there's no doubt, he's packing. I fist his length, moving up and down, slow and teasing.

His mouth is still pressed against the top of my head. His moans are deep and long and they get lost in my hair.

I circle his head with my thumb, tracing his slit, spreading his precum. He curses and tenses. I'll probably have bruised fingerprints on my ass tomorrow, but it'll be worth it.

I start to pump him, slow with a squeeze and then speed up just a bit. He thrusts up in my hand and I begin to imagine how good it will feel when he's buried deep inside of me.

"Shit, Bella," he groans as he swells in my hand.

I turn my face back to his neck and lightly nibble and kiss on his skin. At the same time I increase my speed and pressure.

I know he's close. I can tell by the way he's breathing and the way he's gripping my ass.

"Don't stop," he quietly moans right before he stiffens and explodes all over my hand. I slow my hand but keep kissing his neck.

"Fuck baby, that was good. It's been awhile."

I can't help but giggle.

"Hang on," he reaches under our seat and pulls out a small towel that must have been stored in his duffel bag. He hands it to me and I carefully pull out my hand and wipe it off.

"I'm going to change, I'll be right back." He grabs his bag again, and heads toward the small bathroom in the back of the bus.

As I sit and wait on him, my guilt kicks in. This is so unlike me. I haven't even kissed the guy or let him take me out on a date, and I've already jacked him off.

He sits back down beside me and feel the need to explain myself. "Edward, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have, I mean. I don't usually do that so soon, -er ever, I mean. I've done that before. Shit." I exhale a deep breath and start again.

"Please don't think less of me or that I'm easy, because I'm not. Really. I'm not that type of girl, Edward, I..."

He cups my face and kisses me. Long. Soft. Wet. His tongue traces my bottom lip before switching and doing the same to the top.

I get hungry and soak in his taste. I'm not even aware if I'm breathing or not.

Too soon for my liking, he pulls away and tips his forehead to rest again mine. He shakes his head back and forth, "I'm not that type of guy either, Bella, and I don't think any less of you. If anything, it makes me want you more."

"Good," I answer with relief.

"Now, are you ready to get some rest, or do you need me to take care of you?" He raises his eyebrows once and grins this wicked grin.

"I think I can wait," I whisper even though I'd rather get all up in his lap five minutes ago like the slut I say I'm not.

He kisses my nose and covers us up with the blanket again.

I think this is one of the best bus trips ever.

~._. FTW ._.~

The next week, Edward and I talk at least once a day. I find out he's some kind of genius, and his classes are all way over my head. If he's not at practice, or eating, he's studying. He is a quiet guy, and not really the partying type, like me.

He has a photographic memory which has helped him through the years over excel in his studies and at football. He can learn a complete playbook within an hour.

He's passionate and romantic and every day that I spend with him, or talk to him, I think I fall a little more.

It doesn't take long for the word to spread that I'm dating Edward.

~._. FTW ._.~

Early the next Saturday, hours before game time, Edward is stressing out. He feels the pressure because the Wolves haven't won a game yet with him as their quarterback.

I sit with him in the workout room, watching him lift weights, but not sure what to tell him about his worries.

I still love watching him play, and I'm super excited for him to take me out on a real date. We haven't had much time alone, and we won't have until football season is over.

I think I can wait.

"Edward, you know you're doing the best you can out there. Just do what you got to do. Just go for the win."

He laughs at me. "I wish it was that easy, Bella." He walks over to me and kisses the breath out of me like he always does so well.

"It is that easy," I giggle. "Just go for the win. Just do it."

"Gah, you're awesome baby. Thank you, now go get ready to shake your ass out there. That's my favorite part of the week."

I stand and kiss him one last time before I head off to the cheerleaders locker room.

I saunter over to the door, swaying my hips the way he likes me too. "Good luck today," I say with a wink.

"I'll be watching you," he yells as I shut the door.

I smile to myself as I think, 'same here.'

~._. FTW ._.~

Six hours later the North Atlantic Wolves beat the number two ranked team in the nation with ease. Edward gets carried around the field on the shoulders of his teammates.

As the celebration continues on the field, his eyes keep darting back to me. My smile is so wide, my cheeks ache.

"You did it," I mouth and point at him.

"Only because you told me to," he answers.

I laugh and shrug.

Later that night at the after party, I'm sitting in his lap and I remember what he said. "What were you talking about?" I ask.

"I did what you told me to do. I went for it. I didn't over think it. I just..," he shrugs, "I went for the win and it worked."

"I knew you could do it," I say right before I kiss his cheek,

He tightens his hold on my waist, "Well, if anyone asks, I'm crediting you for the win. You're my good luck charm, so you know what that means right?"

I shake my head, "No, what?"

"I got to keep you with me always," he whispers in my ear.

"I think that can be arranged." I gush because yeah, that sounds like a perfect game plan to me.


A/N:

Beegurl13, twilly, and foundmyedward were my help with this one shot but I take credit for any and all errors. Thanks for your help girls! *mwah*

Beegurl13 also made me a kick ass banner, but because FFn is all sorts of FAILsauce, I can't post it here. I'll link it on FB & later there will be a link on my profile!

Will I expand it?

I say with enough love, I'll expand anything!