So I came up with this idea for a one-shot one night back in February, sleeping under my desk because the DFW area had been practically shut down by snow, all the while listening to Nastasha Bedingfield's new CD. I could have never have imagined that while the idea was birthed during a horrible winter storm that it's being donated to help those who lost their homes due to the Texas Wildfires that were sparked by this summer's horrible drought.
I want to thank all those who donated to help my fellow Texans rebuild. I know our state is called the Lone Star state, but knowing that people, complete strangers all over the world, cared to reach out in our time of need, it is such a heartwarming feeling. So thank you, from Deep in the Heart of Texas!
PS- Happy New Year! May it be one filled with joy, love, and happiness.
Special Thanks to the following people: ManhattanSoWrite, for being an awesome beta at the very last minutes, I raise a glass of Manhattan to you; IllicitWriter for designing once again a terrific banner! I must remember to send you cookies!
Banner (replace the (dot) with a .): http:/1(dot)bp(dot)blogspot(dot)com/-Do8V6IGlvjA/Tq-FvCpTHHI/AAAAAAAAC48/LOKS0izTgbA/s1600/Touch(dot)png
Playlist: "Touch" by Natasha Bedingfield; "Into You" by Fabolous
By Nollie Marie
"I was tryin' to cross the street
When I tripped and spilled my coffee
On a man who yelled at me"
I sighed as I prepared to take a sip of my Starbucks non-fat, no whip cream Doubly-Chocolate Chip frappe with an extra two-pump peppermint. I let the peppermint soothe me as I closed my eyes, waiting for the light to change.
It was Monday morning, and the only thing that helped me get through today, let alone a good step for the rest of the week, was my normal Starbucks drink. The staff at the Starbucks two blocks from my Chicago apartment knew me by first name and always had my drink ready by twenty till eight.
I stood a second too long on the street corner and was hustled by other pedestrians trying to cross the street. I glanced up and noticed that the red hand was flashing on the crosswalk. Shit!
I hurried across the street, cursing my weakness for the peppermint. I always relaxed when I smelled it, which is partly why I had peppermint oil in the diffuser at home. The first thing I wanted to smell when I got home from a stressful day at work was not yucky leftover Chinese food that I forgot to take downstairs to the dumpster. I partly blame my mother for this habit. She read somewhere that peppermint helped for things like headaches and mental clarity. I always had peppermint gum in my packet when it came to test days in high school.
I managed to walk across the street with little to no problem. Or so I thought, as I took a step onto the curb. I had this weird sixth sense when it comes to approaching accidents. When I was six and just learning how to ride a bike, I knew before I even put my foot on the pedal that nothing good would come out of that event. I broke my arm when I panicked, not remembering how to stop.
Today, I knew that my footing wasn't square when I put weight on it and twisted my ankle. I threw my hands out, my cup flying out of my hands, as I tried to brace myself. The concrete stung badly against my palms and my ankle was throbbing slightly. I hated hells for this very reason.
"Jesus fucking Christ!"
I squeezed my eyes closed. I knew that tone of voice. It was a seriously pissed off tone, and that person yelling was mad at someone else. Namely me.
I glanced up and knew I was in trouble. My drink spilled down the front of his white shirt under his unbuttoned black suit jacket - an ugly brown smear attaching to his stomach. His nicely defined stomach, I noted with a swallow. Stop it Swan! This is not the time or the place to be eyeing deliciousness.
"I am so sorry," I stated repeatedly as I pushed myself up, my palm hurting more. I dug around in my purse to find something, anything to help. "Here, I have a napkin somewhere."
"Don't bother," he said as he glanced down at his shirt. "It's ruined now."
I heard a faint beeping sound and watched as he pulled out his cell phone from his pants pocket.
"Shit! I'm going to be late for work now," he said as he turned and walked away.
"Hey wait," I said, trying to catch up with him.
"Hi Mary, it's Edward," he said, talking into his cell and ignoring me as I had to jog to keep up with him. "Yes, I am going to be late this morning. There was a minor accident with my wardrobe. No, no I'm fine. Mary, has my nine o'clock arrived yet this morning? Oh, he's been waiting in the lobby. Well, could you please inform him that sadly I am unable to be there by nine and reschedule Mr. Arturo for another morning? No, that will be all Mary, thank you. See you in a few hours."
I finally caught up with him at the next street corner, panting slightly. He inhaled deeply and turned around to look at me.
"I am really sorry about your shirt," I said. "How could I make it up to you?" I really hoped I didn't have to pay for his dry cleaning, though it would be fair.
He was able to answer the question when my phone rang; it was Rosalie, by the sound of the ring tone. I blushed at the racy song she chose and answered quickly.
"What's up Rose?" I said, covering my other ear so I could hear her better.
"Hey bitch, I'm having a party tonight. You have come. Oh, and bring someone, or Alice just might set you up."
I sighed, closed my eyes, and tilted my head back. Rosalie Hale had been my roommate for two years. For the most part, she was cool and pretty protective over her friends and family. When I first meet her she was a real man hater until she hooked up with my physical education partner, Emmett McCarty. Emmett had the biggest soft heart; it didn't take long for the cold Rosalie Heart to melt. Now she was a little more enjoyable to be around, even defending me when Alice got it into her mind that I needed a man, despite her psychologist of a husband saying otherwise.
"Yeah, I'll be there," I said. "It's at our apartment?"
"Yep, seven o'clock sharp," she said.
"Alright I'll be there."
"Don't forget a date, Missie."
"Yeah, yeah. I'll find someone to bring," I said, opening my eyes.
"Okay, see you later then."
"Ciao," I said, hanging up.
"A friend?" the stranger, Edward, said, glancing at me with his hand that was empty in his pocket.
I glanced back at him and nodded.
"Hey, do…do you want to come to a party tonight?" I asked, grasping my phone to my chest.
There was a look that passed over his face, and I prepared for the rejection.
"Gonna party all night till the sun comes up
Cuz it feels like the world disappears around us"
"I thought you said that you couldn't make it," I shouted over the loud noise. It was a typical party being thrown by my dear friends. Loud music, dancing, awesome drinks, and even a few munchies in the kitchen.
"I got out of work early," he said, smiling, leaning down to give me a kiss on the cheek.
I closed my eyes savoring the feeling of his lips on my skin.
"Oh and I brought this," he said. I opened my eyes and see him bring out a square box. How did I not see a bulge in his jacket pocket?
"What is it?" I asked, lifting it above my head as though I could see through it.
He laughed and said, "You'll have to wait and see."
Lowering it, I gave him my best 'you have got to be kidding me' look. He just laughed again. I could have stood there all night in the front hallway, listening to his laugh, and never would have noticed anything around me.
"But I was supposed to fall
It seems that spilling coffee
Was no accident at all"
"Damn Alice with her stupid party ideas," I muttered under my breath. When I had told Alice that I wanted to through my own party two weeks after her own, I thought it would have been simple. I would have gone to Wal-Mart and picked up a few bottles of soda, along with some chips, dip and a few cleaning supplies. But no, Alice couldn't accept a generic party. Instead, it was a chocolate theme party. She left it up to me to get the best chocolate around: Godiva.
I did not know that Godiva even had chocolate liquor. In fact, I didn't know there was such a thing as chocolate liquor. It revealed how limited my liquor knowledge is outside of Jack Daniels and good old tequila.
I shuffled the three bags of chocolate liquor and fancy chocolate cookies from the famous chocolatier. I so wanted to eat one. The only Godiva chocolate I knew were the little gems that someone left in the generic candy bowl at the reception desk. I knew someone else left them there because the receptionist was too cheap to leave expensive candy on her desk. Needless to say, there wasn't any there when I left her desk.
I reached my truck, cursing Alice again for the number of bottles I had to get, and then cursed the fact that I didn't change out of my work clothes before I running errands. Now my feet were killing me in these three inch heels. I managed to get all my supplies into my old beast of a truck. Still dependable, though it ate up a lot of gas to get me anywhere. All of my friends repeatedly warned me that I needed to get something more dependable and something manufactured within the last decade.
"Finally," I sighed, closing the door to the beast once the last bag was in the cab. Resting my chin on the roof of the rusty red truck, I noticed a dress across the street.
I generally wasn't the one who noticed clothes, leaving that to Alice and Rosalie. In fact, I didn't like shopping for clothes; I generally had to be dragging kicking and screaming when I did. I was always prepared though when I did, wearing simple things I could get in-and-out of easily like a tee, a skirt, and flip-flops or flats.
In order for this dress to capture my attention, it had to be pretty special. It was a strapless white dress with black lace over cut with an empire waist leading down to a hem at the knees of its plastic display model in the boutique store. I could see myself wearing it in a heartbeat, so I knew I had to get it. Alice and Rosalie would be proud of me.
I fought with the beast to open the front passenger door again so I could grab my purse. Once I had the door opened, purse in hand, and closed it again, I made my way across the street to get that dress.
However, fate hates me. I was nearly across the road when I felt my ankle rotate slightly. I tried to catch my balance on a silver Audi and red Porsche as the heel broke from my shoe. My arm slipped off the Porsche, and I knew I was going to hit the pavement.
Instead of finding hard ground, I felt two arms grasp my arms near my armpits. I thanked the heavens I remembered deodorant this morning as my savior lifted me from the ground.
"Why do I have a funny feeling that falling is something you are used to?" a male voice said, chuckling at the end.
I opened my eyes that I didn't realize I had closed. It was him, the guy I dropped my coffee on two weeks ago.
"At least I didn't have coffee this time," I joked sheepishly.
He threw his head back and laughed. I smiled slightly, taking him in. He was wearing another black suit, though this time his jacket was buttoned. He must have been on his way home, too.
"So where were you going before your heel broke?" he asked me once he was done laughing. "I could help you there since I don't think your left right shoe is wearable."
I glanced back at the black heel that was laying on the ground and then the heel-less shoe still on my foot.
"Just to the store behind you," I said, pointing at the window and the awesome dress that was displayed. "I want that dress."
He glanced at it and then back at me. "I think it would look good on you," he said, causing my cheeks to go bright red.
"Thanks," I whispered.
He helped me walk over to the store, where once inside I kicked off both shoes so I could actually walk. I ended up buying the $200 dress and a pair of flats that actually matched the dress and of course were something I could actually walk in. I put the flats on so I could walk by to my truck. Edward, being a gentleman, walked beside me. I think he was making sure that I didn't fall again.
"Throwing another party?" he asked, noting the three bags on the floor of my cab.
"Yeah, a chocolate themed one, so I went to Godiva for liquor and cookies."
He smiled. "I'm sure that will be one tasty party."
I chuckled, putting the dress bag into the passenger seat. "You're probably right," I said, closing the cab door. I glanced back at him. "Hey, you're invited if you would like to come?"
"I would be honored," he said, surprising me.
"Cuz you're here right now
Sitting on my couch
Funny how it all works out"
"I did not know you knew how to dance," I huffed, smiling as we sat down on my empty couch.
"Well, if you call grinding my front side to your backside, then sure I know how to dance," he laughed.
"Hey, I'm serious," I said, tucking my left foot underneath my right leg, turning to look at him. "I use to take ballet; I know crappy dancing from awesome dancing."
"You took ballet and you still have balancing issues?" he teased.
"Hey, I didn't say I was any good. I did say I know crappy dancing from awesome dancing for a reason. Generally, I was the crappy dancer."
He laughed. I liked listening to his laugh, even over the loud music pulsing in the other room. It was soothing and relaxing, totally masculine. It did things to me.
"My mother and father had their 25 year wedding anniversary about seven years ago, and they renewed their wedding vows. I surprised my mother by taking some ballroom dancing so I could dance a mother-son dance."
"That was really sweet," I said, smiling at him.
"Yeah, but that also means that I'll know how to dance when it comes to my wedding."
Hmm, being married to him, I really liked that idea, I thought, smiling back at him.
"I'm sure your bride will be very surprised to see you ballroom dance," I teased.
"I'm sure she will," he teased back, smiling.
"Every choice we make
And every road we take
Starts a chain reaction"
"God Bella," Rosalie groaned, "I can't believe that you haven't tapped that hot piece of meat yet."
I blushed. "We said we're taking it slow."
"Geez, taking it slow does not mean slower than two snails in a race," Alice teased.
I threw a pillow at her, but of course my aim was off and it sailed over her head and hit the wall.
"We're serious Bella," Rosalie said, sitting down on my bed with me. "You've been dating how long?"
I shrugged. "Two months."
"I think it's more like three months if you count their interactions before hand," Alice said, teasing me again.
"Don't make me throw another pillow at you," I warned her.
"You'll miss by a mile."
"Don't tempt me."
"Children," Rosalie said, smirking.
"Guys, just because we've been seeing each other as a…couple now for two months does not mean that we need to be intimate right away. We like getting to know each other, and when the time is right, then we'll be ready."
"Aw!" Rosalie and Alice whispered together.
"That's so romantic," Alice said, grasping her hands together over her heart.
"So sweet…I think I'm about to barf," Rosalie said.
I rolled my eyes as the two of them giggled at their theatrics. Just then my phone rang. I sprung from my bed and grasped it from my nightstand.
Edward. I smiled.
"Oh, I know that face," Rosalie teased.
"It must be lover boy," Alice crooned.
I rolled my eyes and flipped them off before answering it.
"We're both affected
When we least expect it
And then when we touched
And it all connected"
I rested my head on his shoulder, and breathed in his musky, masculine scent. I closed my eyes and listened to the slow song played by the band. It was so sweet, and it was our song.
We came to a slow stop as the last notes played. I raised my head and look straight into his eyes. He smiled and brushed his fingers across my cheek.
Our family descended upon as we walked back to the table. I accepted the hugs from them all, grasping the necklace that was given to me a long time ago in a square box.
"It's time for speeches," Alice said, going into her party planner mood.
"Alice, relax," I said, giving her a hug. "You've done a wonderful job, now just relax."
Her husband rubbed her shoulders, soothing her with his touch.
"I want to go first," Garrett said.
"Hey, I wanted to go first," Rosalie said, glaring at Garrett.
"I'll play rock, paper, and scissors for first dibs on the mic," Garrett said, smirking.
"Oh you're on," Rosalie said.
"Go babe!" Emmett cheered her on.
Edward just laughed while I shook my head at the display of Rosalie throwing a fist to Garret's scissors.
I glanced up at the beautiful man behind me as he wrapped his arms around my waist. He smiled and kissed my forehead.
"I love you, Edward Anthony Cullen," I whispered as Rosalie claimed victory.
Edward touched my chin and raised it up to give my lips a kiss. "I love you too, Isabella Marie Cullen," he whispered back and gave me a kiss.
"When we dance
And we laugh
And we touch (touch, touch)"