AN: Thanks to the brilliant DreamOfTheEndless and babylopez2008.
This is the OS I donated to Fandom 4 Texas, which I wrote especially for my beta's birthday (babylopez2008). She kindly let me donate it.
There are approximately 365 ceiling tiles in this room. Yes... I am bored enough to count them. I thought it would waste more time than it did. I must be a quick counter.
I sigh in frustration after removing my pen from my mouth. A trait of mine it seems. I think I ruin all of my pens this way. I'm lucky that none of them have exploded on me yet. That could be embarrassing.
Okay, Bella, now is the time to focus.
I swear this library is more of a hindrance than a help. I guess I'm distracted too easily. Other people seem way more interesting than studying English Literature. Maybe I should have majored in Psychology. Then again, maybe I should get myself a life so I'm not here studying on a Friday night.
It's not like I don't have any friends. Alice is great. She's my roommate. But lately she's been pretty attached by the hip to her boyfriend, Jasper. Usually I wouldn't mind, but I've been a little lonely I guess since breaking up with Jake. I didn't exactly feel comfortable being with Jake in that way. To me, he's more of a brother than a boyfriend. We were best friends, but then he went and told me he loved me. At the time I thought there wasn't any harm in giving us a shot. I can see now just how big of a mistake that was.
We were together, on and off, for about six months. Every time he tried to get closer to me, a little more intimate, I would freak out and feel totally uncomfortable around him. That's why we were so on and off. I would immediately put distance between us whenever that happened. He was persistent though, almost like I couldn't get rid of him. That made things worse for me of course, but I couldn't find it in myself to say no to him.
Then when we were finally intimate (after a lot of alcohol on my part), I had a full blown panic attack. I couldn't stop crying. After two pumps, he left my body and tried to console me. So I guess technically I'm still a virgin.
That's when we finally ended things, or I did. He accused me of seeing someone else behind his back. It got a little messy and I haven't seen him since. That was back in January when I went home to visit my father in Forks. It's mid February now.
Wait... what's the date?
I scramble through my rucksack hanging from the back of my chair and find my diary. I flick through the pages until I fall upon today's date; Valentine's day.
Well, gee. That sort of explains the type of people that are in here tonight, and the fact that some of the guys have glanced my way a couple of times. I wouldn't mind, but they look a little... creepy to me. What a way to advertise that you're single though; in the campus library on Valentine's night. It's safe to say that there's no one interested in dating me. It's probably too soon after Jake anyway. Though there is this guy. Everyone has a little crush, don't they? Well he's it for me. Tall, muscular biceps, perfectly messy bronze hair and green eyes. He even has a nice amount of facial hair, you know, a five o'clock shadow. He's in one of my classes. We sit along the same row, though at opposite ends. I always try to get there a little earlier just so I can watch him walk through the door. That's probably quite sad of me, but I don't care. Just seeing him brightens up my day.
The truly sad thing though is I can't bring myself to confront him. There's no way I have the guts or the confidence to ask him on a date. I can picture it now. I'd stumble through my sentences due to the nerves I'd have, and he'd laugh at me and tell me he has a girlfriend. That's just how it is, isn't it? All the good looking guys have a girlfriend. If not then they're probably gay.
A girl can dream though.
"Right," I say out loud. "Focus." Of course, I don't say this too loudly. I don't want anyone to think I'm crazy.
I spend the next hour struggling through the text I have to read, trying to make notes on it as I go. By the end of the hour, my eyelids are drooping. This is sending me to sleep.
I decide that what I need is caffeine. Luckily enough, there's a coffee shop just outside. I debate with myself for a second about leaving my stuff behind, but decide that it's safer to take it. I was raised by a cop after all.
I quickly pack up my notebook, text book and chewed up pen. I haul my bag over one of my shoulders and make my way to the nearest exit.
As I leave the building, I notice just how cold it's become since arriving. I zip up my hoodie a little higher and walk to the coffee shop next door. A couple are kind enough to hold it open for me just as they leave the shop. I thank them but they don't acknowledge it. Probably too loved up as they gaze into each other's eyes.
It makes me feel a little ill.
I swing my rucksack around so I can access it. I unzip it and root around for my purse.
And that's when it happens.
"Shit!" a male voice exclaims after I walk into what feels like another body.
No... this isn't happening to me.
The hot guy. Here. Covered in hot coffee. Because of me.
I quickly forget about my purse and dump my rucksack on the floor as I rush to find some napkins. He brushes himself down as I retrieve some from a nearby table.
"Here! I am so sorry," I say as I walk back over to him. I try not to look at his face. I can feel my eyes sting a little with tears. I'm so embarrassed that I bet my cheeks are bright red from blushing.
I forget that I have dropped my bag on the floor, and because I am me, I trip over it. The one thing stopping me from falling is the guy I just covered in coffee. I can feel his hands on my hips as he grabs on to me and straightens me up. The napkins I was getting for him are now on the floor.
I should have stayed in the library. No, I shouldn't have gotten out of bed this morning.
"Hey," he tells me, "don't cry. It was just an accident."
I didn't realise I was crying. I wipe away the few tears that have collected and try to smile.
"I'm sorry," I say again.
His hands are still on my hips. His fingers grip a little harder. I focus too much on the feel of him touching me that I don't notice his blinding smile until he stops.
"Oh!" He looks down at where his hands are. "Sorry," he says sheepishly.
All I can do is smile in return.
"Uh... I'm Edward. Have we.. have we met before? I feel like I might know you." He holds out his hand for me to shake it.
"Bella," I squeak out in reply. I take his hand, shake it once and quickly let go. "I think we have a class together actually." We totally do, but I'm not going to admit to that.
He smiles at me again. "Yeah," he replies. "Is it classic literature?"
Oh my God, he's noticed me.
"That's the one... Can I... can I buy you a drink?" I ask. I realise that we're sort of stood in the way where we are. And I do owe him something for inadvertently pouring coffee all over him. "Or, uh, do you need to go home and change?"
"Oh, it's no problem." He then proceeds to take off his sweater, revealing a little stomach hair in the process.
Don't stare, Bella.
I quickly divert my gaze to the window to my left.
"I'm, uh, just going to grab us something to drink," I say. "Why don't you grab a table?" I pick up my rucksack from the floor, still not looking at him.
And then I realise. I'm probably keeping him from something, or someone. He's just trying to be polite.
"Actually," I say, backtracking. "You know what, I'll just leave you to it. I've already taken up too much of your time."
I turn around and begin to walk away.
"Hey," he calls out. "Please, let me get you something to drink." He closes the distance between us. "We could talk... about classic literature."
I can't believe it. He wants to spend time with me? On Valentine's day?
I giggle a little at the ridiculousness of it all, but it comes out sounding like a snort. Please tell me he didn't notice.
"Uh..." He looks down at his feet. I bet he's trying to hide a smile.
I'm so embarrassed.
"I'm just going to leave. It's safer that way-" I tell him.
"Bella." The use of my name stops me mid sentence. "Please just... take a seat."
Is he begging me to spend time with him? I think I just melted into a puddle of goo.
I manage to nod. Once he's satisfied that I'm staying, he turns around to head to the counter. I breathe out deeply and look around. Luckily there aren't too many people here to have noticed the scene that we caused. It also means that we have our pick of the tables. I walk over to the one next to the window and place my rucksack down before taking a seat.
I notice there's a Valentine's themed menu on the table. I quickly pick it up and throw it on the floor underneath my seat. I don't want to make this situation any more awkward than it is. The table is covered in confetti hearts and cupids. It's like Aphrodite threw up in here. I try to scrape as many as possible to one side. I decide against pushing them on the floor. Knowing me I'd trip over them or something. Plus I don't want someone else to have to clean up my mess.
"Here," Edward says as he places a large mug on the table in front of me. "I didn't know what you'd like so I guessed." He takes a seat opposite me. "Hot chocolate. You looked like you could do with warming up."
"Thank you," I reply as I wrap my hands around the mug. I look down a little to hide the blush that I expect to be there.
"You're blushing." My head snaps up at the sound of his voice. And of course my cheeks heat up even more.
"Sorry, I can't control it." I try to make a joke.
He called me cute... well, my blush. That's a part of me, isn't it?
"Uh, sorry. I probably shouldn't have said that," he mumbles.
"Because you have a girlfriend?" I blurt out. My eyes go wide after realising what I said. Edward laughs though.
"No, I just don't want to make you feel uncomfortable."
"You didn't," I reply quickly.
We stare at each other, neither of us saying a word. When I start to feel a little awkward under his gaze, I pick up my mug and take a sip.
"Mmmm." I can't help the little moan that escapes from my lips. What? I like chocolate.
"I made the right choice then?" he asks me.
"Yes, thank you." I place the mug back down onto the table. "How much do I owe you?" He looks at me blankly. "Uh, for the drink."
"It's on me."
"It's on me," he repeats. "For taking up your time. It's the least I can do."
"But... but I covered you in coffee."
"Yeah, but I wasn't looking at where I was walking either. Kind of stupid of me when I was the one with the hot drink."
His admission makes me smile. It lightens the mood a little.
He continues, "So, you don't have any plans for tonight either?"
"No boyfriend waiting for you somewhere?"
"Ah," he says before the silence falls.
I sigh. "Sorry, I'm not trying to be awkward. I'm just a little out of my comfort zone," I admit.
He looks a little hurt as he asks me what I mean.
"Well.. it's just that.." I debate what to tell him. I don't want to sound like an idiot. I know that's unavoidable though.
"I make you uncomfortable?"
"No!" I know uncomfortable. I just have to think of Jake and I'm reminded of it. "Why are you doing this?" I ask.
"I don't understand..." He does actually look confused too.
"Why are you being so nice to me?" I ask quietly. I fight with my eyes to keep my gaze focused on him.
"A guy can't be nice to a beautiful girl?" He laughs.
"Oh..." He's making fun of me. I get it now.
He moves his mug to one side of the table before reaching over and taking my hand in his.
"Bella," he starts. "You are beautiful, you know. I have to admit that I lied a little earlier. I knew who you were straight away. I've known since the beginning of the semester who you are... I've just never been able to introduce myself before."
I feel as if the wind has been knocked out of me.
"Why?" I have to ask. "I'm just... I'm just me."
He holds onto my hand a little tighter.
"You fascinate me," he admits. He chuckles quietly. "Sorry, that probably sounds weird..." He releases my hand from his own. I stay quiet and wait for him to continue. I don't have to wait for very long. "Do you want to know how I knew you'd like a hot chocolate? It's, uh, the only thing I've seen you eat. I guessed you might have a sweet tooth."
Thinking back on it, there have been times when I've sneakily tried to eat a Hersey's bar in my classic literature class.
"And I sort of knew you'd be at the library tonight. I was just on my way over when we bumped into each other. I guess I didn't want to be alone on Valentine's night."
Great... I've attracted a stalker. Though I don't think I really mind. He's just too pretty for me to care.
I ask anyway, "How did you know where I'd be?"
"You have a pattern... every Friday, around the same time... there you are." He waits for me to say something but I can't. "Have I freaked you out? Please just know that I only did it because I didn't know how to approach you. I'm sorry I did, but it was the only way I felt... close... to you."
"You want... to be close to me?" He nods slowly. "Are you being serious? I'm not on Punk'd or anything, am I? No one's going to jump out at me with their hidden camera?"
"Why are you doubting me?"
"Well.. look at you!" I gesture to him in all of his glory. "And then look at me."
"I'm looking," he replies. "You don't see yourself very clearly, do you?"
I shrug. It's not like I was fishing for a compliment; just stating the obvious.
"You are perfect to me, Bella."
I'm stunned by his words.
"Here," he continues as he grabs an unused napkin from the next table over. He pulls a pen out from his pocket and begins to write on it. Once he's done, he pushes it towards me. "It's my number," he says as I stare at it.
"Why are you giving it to me?"
"I thought maybe... you'd like to go on a date... or something. It's up to you."
He stands from his seat and smiles down at me.
"It was a pleasure to finally meet you, Bella. And sorry again if I freaked you out. I know I probably came on a little strong. Sorry."
He looks at me one last time before walking away.
What the hell just happened?
I turn back to the napkin he left behind. It looks like a real number. All of the digits are there. Should I try to call it now?
Maybe I should wait until I'm back at the apartment. That way no one can see me when it goes wrong and I'm humiliated.
I stand up, not bothering to drink any more of my hot chocolate which has now gone cold. I bend down to pick up my rucksack. Just as I stand up straight and put it on, I hear my name being called out from behind me.
I turn to see Edward.
Did he forget something? Maybe he's changed his mind and wants his number back.
He stands before me, looks into my eyes and leans down toward my face. His lips find mine instantly. They're soft, his breath is warm... and the kiss is perfect. Just like him.
All too soon he pulls away from me.
"I had to do that," he says. "I would have regretted it if I didn't... happy Valentine's day, Bella."
He leaves quickly, leaving me in a haze. I don't want him to go, but by the time I realise that he has already gone.
I start to walk quickly out of the coffee shop but then remember that I have his number still clutched in my hand. I find my cell phone in my pocket and punch in the number. After several rings, it finally connects.
"You can't just leave me after doing something like that!" I shout into the phone.
"Bella?" his voice asks.
At least I know now that it's definitely his number.
"Yes," I reply, suddenly sounding a lot quieter.
He's silent for a moment. All I can hear is his breathing down the phone. Finally he says, "Are you free tonight?"
I laugh a little. I think he already knows the answer to that.
"Sure," I say, feeling a slightly giddy.
"Can I take you out for a drink?"
I laugh. "Didn't we sort of just do that?"
"Ha, good point. Dinner then?"
I think about it for a second. I think I'd be foolish to say no.
"That sounds... great," I reply. "On one condition," I add.
"No more creepy stalker stuff, alright?"