AN: Because I have an unhealthy love for Sleeping Beauty and Disneyland…and of course Twilight. It's the most fluffy thing I've written, but it was for a good cause. Enjoy!
"The happiest place on earth, my ass," Alice grumbled, pushing open the door of the lounge. She tore off her wings and plopped down on the couch beside me. "Why do I have to be the fucking fairy?" She looked to the side and noticed me sitting there. "Hi, Edward."
I raised my hand in a silent greeting before returning to my paper. Alice's annoyance with her character wasn't that uncommon, and we'd all learned to ignore it over the years.
"Someone lost all their pixie dust today," Rosalie cooed, coming out from one of the dressing rooms, having just put on her costume. She walked over to one of the mirrors and began twisting her long blond hair into a tight bun so that it would all fit under her wig.
"I will take this wand and shove it up your Beauty ass so that you never wake up," Alice said, jabbing her wand in Rose's direction. I stifled a laugh. The two of them were close, almost like sisters, and their constant bickering was almost a comfort in this hectic place.
The door opened and a head of blond hair poked through. "Disney flavored insults. I must be in the correct place," he said. I grinned.
Rose and Alice looked up at the new arrival. "Can I help you?" Rose asked coolly, placing a hand on her hip.
"He's with me!" I shouted, jumping up and running to the door before the girls could attack. They didn't take well to newcomers most of the time. "Guys, this is my friend Jasper. Today's his first day."
Jasper smiled. "Ladies," he drawled in his Southern accent. I rolled my eyes at his obvious attempt to flirt. Rose just looked him up and down once before she shrugged and went back to putting on the rest of her costume.
Alice jumped up and stuck out her hand. "I'm Alice, resident Tink. Sleeping Beauty over there is Rose. She's a bitch to everyone, so don't take it personally."
"Damn straight," Rose muttered. "Where's Jessica?"
"Right here! Sorry!" Jessica came running in, pushing Jasper into Alice, who let out a little giggle. Jessica Stanley was one of the makeup artists who worked strictly on face characters. "Pocahontas was starting to look like Meeko. Had to change her eye liner."
Jasper stood next to me, just taking in all the sights before smiling at me. "So, what'd they give you?" I asked, walking back to the couch and sitting down. I wasn't due to start for another half hour but got in early because traffic was a bitch.
Jasper looked down at the papers in his hand. "Umm, Flynn Ryder. Which one is he?"
"Who is Flynn Ryder?" Alice gasped, seeming a bit appalled at Jasper's lack of knowledge.
Rose laughed. "You work at Disneyland now, big boy. You better get your shit together."
"Wait!" I yelled, standing up. Everyone paused and turned to look at me. "You're Flynn Ryder? An actual person? You didn't even audition for that! What the hell? I've been here three years and I just got promoted to Tigger!"
Jasper shrugged. "I don't know, man. This is what they gave me. Said I had a charming personality."
I stomped over to the coffee pot and hastily poured myself a cup. I couldn't believe this. A face character! Jasper was a freaking face character! Deep down I knew I shouldn't be upset at him; this wasn't his fault. When I had gotten him the audition, we were looking for a Woody. Jasper was tall and lean, fitting the profile perfectly, and he needed a job.
"You all right, man?" Jasper asked quietly, walking up next to me.
I sighed, running my hand through my hair. "Yeah, sorry, I didn't mean to just lash out like that."
"I know. And I honestly didn't know."
I nodded, turning to face him. I opened my mouth to say something when I caught movement out of the corner of my eye and I froze.
"Am I late? Did I make it?"
Bella Swan. The star of my many daydreams. The one woman I had been in love with since I first saw her two years ago when she tripped on her costume and fell right into my arms…or the arms of Sully, who I was portraying back then. It was no wonder that she got cast as Belle.
"There you are sweetie! Right on time." Eric Yorkie emerged from one of the back rooms carrying Bella's costume. Bella smiled, her cheeks still slightly flushed from rushing to get here. She walked over to Eric and kissed him on his cheek. I won't lie, I was jealous, even though I knew his tastes ran to the more masculine side.
"The 5 was stopped, and it seems like all the tourists have caught on to this back roads thing. Nothing was moving," Bella was explaining as she dropped her purse next to Alice.
Jasper nudged me in the side. "Is that her?"
"Shh," I hissed, glancing around quickly to make sure no one heard.
"Dude, seriously, you're like a girl. Is that her?"
"Dude, seriously," I mocked in a harsh whisper. "Shut up-"
I turned toward the voice, my heart hammering. "H-hi, Bella." She smiled sweetly up at me before glancing at Jasper. "Oh, this is my Jasper. I mean, my friend Jasper." I could feel my cheeks flushing as I tried to form words.
"No, he had it correct. I'm his Jasper." Jasper stuck his hand out, giving me a wink. Bella laughed as she grasped Jasper's hand in hers.
"So, I hear you're our new Flynn Ryder. Watch out, your Rapunzel is a bitch."
I laughed at that one because I couldn't agree more. Lauren was possibly the biggest bitch this side of Oz. It didn't help that I refused to acknowledge her constant flirting. How many other ways can I say, I'm not interested?
"Bella, hun, let's go. We gotta get you photo ready." Eric ran up and began pushing Bella toward the dressing rooms. He threw a glance over his shoulder at me. "And you too, Edward. You're on in 15."
I looked down at my watch. Shit! When did it get so late? The next few minutes were a blur to me as I grabbed my giant, orange, furry costume and quickly pulled it on the best I could. I stepped out, looking for someone to help with the back and saw Mike Newton lounging on the couch. I groaned internally.
"Cullen, there you are! It's you and me again today, buddy. Need some help there?"
I didn't say anything as he helped zip up the back of the costume. Mike was one of the handlers, meaning he basically walked around with me and controlled the crowd during photo ops and autographs and things like that. He wasn't that bad of a guy, he just, I don't know, tried too much.
"There you go, all set." Mike patted my shoulder. "You look grrreat!"
"That's Tony the Tiger, you idiot," I muttered as he ran to the corner to retrieve the Tigger head. I took a quick drink of water, finished putting on the rest of my costume and followed Mike down the long hallway to the park. I had been hoping to catch a glimpse of Bella before I left, but I knew that the princess costumes took more time to put on.
I paused before that infamous line on the floor. The one that once you cross, you are to not break character no matter what. I bounced from one foot to another, making sure all my limbs were loose, and willed myself to clear my mind. Taking a deep breath, I stepped across the line.
"Tigger! Mommy, look! It's Tigger!"
I turned toward the voice and waved. The little girl squealed and barreled at me. Thankfully, she was only about three years old so I barely felt it when she wrapped her tiny arms around one of my legs.
"Would the little princess like a picture with Tigger?" Mike asked, stooping down so he was eye level with the little girl. She nodded and quickly moved so she was standing next to me. I maneuvered myself so I was kneeling and wrapped the little girl in my arms. She squealed again, and I heard the clicking of the camera. I gave her a little pat on her head and she ran off to her parents.
It was 4:30 on a Saturday and the summer heat was beating down on me. The park was insanely crowded, as usual, and today I was posted at the head of Main Street. Waves and waves of people came by. People of all shapes and sizes passed in a blur as I remained in character, dancing around with little kids, just trying to make their day special.
I felt a pat on my shoulder and turned to see Mike. He gestured his head to the right and I knew it was break time.
"Okay, kids. Tigger's overdue for some grub. But don't worry, we'll be back a little later." A few kids groaned, and I made sure to wave at them as we passed, even blowing kisses to the babies. Once we were back in the hallway and almost to the break room, I peeled off the Tigger head and breathed in deeply.
Mike was shaking his head next to me and I gave him a questioning look. "Even with that huge head on, you still just know when you cross the line," he explained.
I shrugged. "I guess I've just grown accustomed to it at this point."
"I'm gonna go get some pizza. You want anything?" Mike asked as we stopped in front of the door.
"No, thanks. I'm good." He gave me a nod and bounded down the hallway.
Pushing open the door with my shoulder, I tossed the Tigger head in the direction of the couch and breathed in a deep breath of air-conditioned air. A small "oomph" came from the corner and I turned to see Bella holding my discarded head.
"Oh shit, Bella! I'm so sorry. I didn't think anyone was is here," I babbled.
She chuckled and placed the head on the couch. "Its okay, Edward. Luckily your head is soft."
Her eyes flashed to mine, and I watched as her cheeks began to fill with a lovely shade of pink. It took me a moment to realize why she was blushing, and then I realized what she said.
"I didn't mean…I mean, your head…" Bella was blushing furiously now as she grappled with her words. I couldn't do anything but stare…and thank the Lord that I was wearing a Tigger costume. Bella bit her lip and closed her eyes. Taking a deep breath she said, "Are you on break?"
"Um, yeah. You?"
She gestured down at her outfit. "Obviously," she laughed.
Duh. Had I taken one look at her outfit I would have known. From the neck up, her make-up was still in tact and her hair pulled back for the wig. From the neck down she was dressed casually in black capris and an oversized Winne the Pooh t-shirt with Winnie hugging Tigger.
I smirked. "Nice shirt."
"Thanks," she said quietly, looking down. She fingered the edge of the shirt, biting her lower lip. I couldn't figure out what she was embarrassed about. "Rose gave it to me kind of as a joke. It's comfortable," she quickly added, as if she needed to explain herself.
She quickly sat back down on the couch, busying herself with the cap on her water bottle. I shook my head and grabbed a water from the mini-fridge. I motioned to the seat next to her and she nodded, scooting over to allow me to sit. For a few minutes, we both just sat there staring straight ahead. Every so often, I could see Bella looking at me out of the corner of her eye but when I turned to look at her, she quickly looked away.
I felt so stupid. The first time that I finally had her to myself, and I couldn't think of one damn thing to say. "Stupid," I heard myself mutter.
"I'm sorry?" I looked up to find Bella staring at me, a questioning look on her face.
Shit."Um, I was just thinking about how stupid, uh, some people are. You know, like guests...here at the park?" That last part was said in the form of a question as I gauged Bella's reaction.
She looked at me for a moment and then sighed. "I know what you mean. Today, a little girl put her gum on my dress. Hence why I am out of it at the moment."
Bella out of her dress, definitely not a vision I needed right now. I shook my head in a sad attempt to clear it. "Gum, wow, that sounds like fun." I took a sip of my water. "At least you don't have to walk around with Mike all day. He keeps making these stupid jokes that only he thinks are funny. Luckily, he can't see my expression under the costume."
Bella laughed, nodding. "He's a trip. I've never seen someone so excited yet just so…" she trailed off as she tried to find the words.
"Dumb?" I asked, smiling as she just laughed harder. "At least he's not in your ear all day asking, are you ok? Do you need anything? Are you feeling a little crazy? Remember what happened to Pluto!" I was laughing as I shook my finger at Bella, trying to mimic Mike's voice but failing miserably.
Bella's hand flew to her mouth. "Oh my God, I'd almost forgotten about Jared and his freakout."
"How could you forget? It's all over YouTube," I asked in mock disbelief as Bella laughed harder.
"Disneyland does not promote molestation!" we shouted in unison, collapsing back onto the couch as our laughter overtook us. After a few moments, our laughs turned to small giggles until we were both smiling and trying to calm our breathing. Bella smiled up at me and I took a sharp breath in, not realizing how close we had become. Our foreheads were almost touching as we both lay back against the couch, our bodies angled toward each other.
"Do you know if anyone's heard from him?" Bella asked.
I shrugged. "I'm not sure. I know I haven't. But then again, we weren't really that good of friends."
"Yeah," Bella said softly, an almost wistful sound to her voice. I watched as she took her bottom lip between her teeth in an almost nervous gesture. I wanted nothing more than to take that lip between my own and…calm down, Edward.
"How come you never go out with us?"
I was too busy watching her mouth move that I didn't hear her full question. "What?" I asked dumbly, blinking down at her.
Bella fidgeted, looking down at her hands. "I mean, like, after work and stuff. A bunch of us always get together and get food or something, sometimes a movie or bowling. But I've never seen you there." She looked up then and her cheeks were tinted a lovely pink shade that I knew wasn't her character makeup. "Why?"
She'd noticed I wasn't there? Did that mean she was looking for me? Did she want me there? This time it was my turn to fidget. "Umm, I don't know. I guess I never really knew if I was invited or not," I answered honestly.
Bella's eyebrows furrowed. "Of course you were, I mean, are. Everyone is."
"Oh," I let out a nervous chuckle. "I guess I just didn't know," I repeated quietly.
"Well, now you do," Bella said, her voice almost as quiet as mine had been. "I think it would be really nice if you joined us."
I felt myself drawn to her, this invisible pull that was gravitating me toward her. Was this a moment? Were we having a moment? Was I over thinking said moment? Was it just my imagination or were our lips closer than they were a minute ago to each others? I could feel her breath on my face as the invisible string pulled tighter.
"There you are!"
Bella and I snapped apart, jumping to opposite ends of the couch as Rosalie walked in.
"Are you okay? What happened? Emmett said you had to cut your shift short or something?" Rosalie asked as she sat directly between Bella and I.
"I, uh.." Bella was avoiding looking directly at Rose, but I could see her profile and knew that she was blushing again. Was that because of me?
Rose seemed to finally figure out that I was in the room as she looked from me to Bella. A sly smile formed at her lips. "Did I interrupt something?"
I wanted to scream yes at her, tell her to go away, but Bella spoke up just then. "No! no of course not. W-we were just talking," she sputtered out, her hands twisting in front of her. I just stared at Bella as Rose quirked an eyebrow at me.
"Mh-hmm, sure. Not gonna touch that one. Anyway," she turned back to Bella. "What happened to you?"
Bella stood up and walked over to one of the make-up chairs. "Rose, I don't know what Emmett told you, but nothing happened. A little kid decided I was a better receptacle for her gum than the trash can. I had to come back here to change dresses. Since it was so close to my lunch, Sam said just to stay off."
"That's all?" Bella nodded. "Oh, Emmett said Lauren told him..." she stopped herself as we both looked at her. "Wait, enough said. Never mind."
"Ah, so here you are," Eric exclaimed, breezing into the room with way too much flare for someone that claims to have a dick. "I've got to get the two of you parade ready!"
Next to me Rosalie groaned. "Is it that time already? I feel like I just sat down."
"Well, uh, technically you did," I pointed out. Bella coughed and I looked up to see her turn away, hiding a smile behind her hand.
Rose glanced at her friend then turned back to me. "Funny. Now be a good kitty and go play with some yarn," she said sarcastically as she stood up and walked over to Bella.
"Tigger's a tiger," was my lame comeback and I groaned internally, laying my head against the back of the couch.
"Edward?" I looked up and saw Bella standing by door to the dressing room, Rose stood impatiently next to her. "You should come tonight." She gave me a little smile before grabbing her dress from Eric and heading into the other room.
The moment they were gone, I gave a little fist pump into the air. There was no way I was missing tonight.
Jasper and I walked into the the Denny's later that night and didn't have to look far to find the group. Actually, we didn't have to look at all. They were the loudest ones in the otherwise quiet restaurant, taking up the two giant booths in the far corner. When I had mentioned coming out here to Jasper, he informed me that Alice had already invited him and he just assumed we were going. Nice to see he was fitting in so well.
"Jasper! Over here!" Alice was practically bouncing in her seat as she waved us over - just in case we didn't see them. Jasper immediately slid into the booth next to Alice while I stood nervously to the side, not really knowing what to do. I didn't see Bella at the table and was unsure of where to sit in the now crowded booth.
"Are you taking our orders or are you joining us?" a sweet voice came from behind me. I turned and saw Bella standing there, a smile on her lips.
I laughed nervously, running my hand on the back of my neck. "I didn't know where to sit." Jasper, Alice, Rosalie, and her boyfriend Emmett were all in one booth, while Eric, Jessica, and a few people I didn't really know occupied the other.
"Emmett, scoot your big ass over," Bella said, nudging his shoulder with her hip.
Emmett looked up, "For you, babe, anything." He winked and slid closer to Rose, who glanced at me before scooting closer to Alice, making more room.
Bella slid into the booth and patted the space next to her. "There, problem solved."
I smiled and slid in next to her. She picked up the menu that was in front of her and opened it, placing it between us. We chatted a bit over what combo to order when the waitress appeared.
"I'll have the pancake grand slam, please with scrambled eggs and turkey bacon," Bella said decidedly, closing the menu. She saw me looking at her with amusement and shrugged.
I laughed and turned to the waitress. "I'll have the same but with regular bacon, please." I looked back at Bella. "I'm not too sure about that turkey bacon of yours."
"It's delicious. You're missing out," she replied before joining in the conversation going on at our table.
"Snow White!" Alice exclaimed. "I've always wanted to be her."
"First off, Snow White is hardly ever showcased. Second, you're still too short. Ow! Did you just kick me?" Alice didn't respond, just struck her tongue out. Rose reached under the table to rub her leg. "For me, it would have to be Meg."
Next to me, Bella choked on her water while Emmett beamed at his girlfriend. Jasper and Alice were both laughing. I leaned over to Bella and whispered in her ear. "What are we talking about?"
She turned to face me, her face just inches away. "What character we would be if we could actually choose our own."
"Meg?" I asked. "From Hercules?"
Rose just shrugged. "What can I say? Bitch had attitude."
"Which means you would be perfect," Bella said, winking at her friend.
Rose lifted her glass in mock salute. "Damn straight."
"I would be Gaston!" Emmett declared with a nod of his head. Everyone just stopped and stared at him. "What?"
"Gaston? Seriously?" Rose asked.
Emmett nodded. "Yeah, dude knows who he is and isn't afraid of it. He's not dancing around in tights singing about love and dreams. He's good looking and wants the hottest girl in town."
I had to hand it to him, his reasoning was sound...for him. Emmett didn't work as a character like the rest of us. He was security for the park and damn good at his job. I didn't really ever hang out with him outside of work, but from the little interaction we did have, I liked him.
"What about you, Bella?" Emmett asked.
Bella placed a hand on Emmett's arm. "As much as I would love to be Belle to your Gaston, I've always wanted to be Aurora." Everyone, except Jasper and I, murmured their acknowledgement. Apparently this wasn't a new thing.
"Really?" I asked.
Bella nodded. "She's my favorite princess and I've always just wanted to be her... just for one day. But in the blue dress...not the pink one. No offense, Rose." Rose held her hands up in a 'none taken' gesture. "Besides, she gets the best prince." I must have looked shocked because she gave me a questioning look.
"You're up, Edward," Alice said, and I tore my gaze from Bella. Across the table, Jasper was smirking at me because he knew my answer. His eyes were practically dancing with amusement as everyone waited.
"Damn, that was fast," Emmett suddenly exclaimed as our waitress appeared carrying a tray of food. The previous conversation was forgotten as everyone began passing around plates trying to figure out who ordered what. I was pouring syrup over my pancakes when a piece of bacon slid onto my plate. I looked over at Bella.
"You have to at least try it," she said smiling.
Because there was no way I could say no to her, I picked the small piece up and took a bite. It wasn't horrible. A slightly different texture than what I was used to and not greasy.
"It's not bad," I agreed. "I still prefer mine, though." Bella just laughed and reached across me, taking the syrup I was just using.
Conversation flowed easily between the two booths while everyone ate. Before I knew it, it was two A.M.. Bella let out a yawn next to me and I nudged her shoulder with mine.
She nodded. "And my feet hurt. And I'm getting cold. I left my sweater at work. And I think I ate too much."
"Wow, someone's quite the complainer."
She playfully swatted my arm. "Leave me alone. I'm sleepy, remember?"
Without thinking, I shrugged out of my hoodie and draped it across her shoulders. Bella gave me a surprised look, but didn't say anything as she slid her arms through the sleeves and zipped up the front.
"You're not cold?" Bella asked, snuggling into my hoodie.
Warmth spread through me at the sight of her in my clothes. I shook my head, not trusting myself to speak. Our bill came and the next few minutes were a mess of hands as everyone tossed in money.
"So, I'll see you tomorrow?" Bella asked, and I swore I heard hope in her voice.
I smiled, pushing open the door and letting her walk out first. "I'm on at 4."
"Good. Then I'll see you tomorrow." She linked her arm through Rose's and headed to the parking lot. Right as she was about to turn the corner, she looked over her shoulder. "I'm glad you came, Edward."
"DONALD? I'M DONALD?"
"Alice, we have no one else. We're in a bind and we really need a Donald for this dinner." Alec, one of the supervisors, was practically begging. "Seth broke his leg and we can't get hold of Brady. This is a big client. Please."
Alice didn't say anything, just crossed her arms over her chest in a huff. Alec sighed, placing the Donald costume next to her and walked out. Jasper sat next to Alice, wrapping his arm around her shoulder. When did they get that close? He just started yesterday.
"It was either TinkerBell or Dot from a Bug's Life and now I get Donald. I hate being short," Alice grumbled. Jasper leaned over and whispered something in her ear causing her to giggle.
"Well, that didn't take long."
I whipped around and saw Bella standing behind me in her full Belle costume. She was breathtaking. I blinked, forcing myself to focus.
"Oh yeah, it's weird though, right?" I asked. "I mean, they just met yesterday."
An expression passed over Bella's face that I couldn't read. "I don't think so. I think it's sweet. They've obviously hit it off and instead of beating around the bush, staying in this weird friend territory, they're doing something about it." Bella looked at the two of them on the couch before looking back at me, then without a word she turned and walked over to an empty mirror.
I gaped after her, trying to process her words. Was she talking about me? About us? I watched Alice and Jasper on the couch, their heads tilted together, whispers exchanged between them. They looked happy together. I was glad for Jasper, but also a little jealous. He made it look so easy. I turned and looked over at Bella and taking a deep breath, I made up my mind.
"Do you need help?" I asked, walking up next to Bella. She threw me a grateful smile and grasped my outstretched arm as she stepped into her Belle shoes. "Bella, do you wanna go out with me Friday night?"
Her grip on my arm tightened as she stumbled a bit. I reached out my other arm to help steady her. My heart was pounding as I waited for Bella to answer. "Bella?"
She looked up at me and a smile broke across her face. "Yes, Edward. I would love to."
We stood there grinning at each other like idiot for I don't know how long. Bella said yes. We were going on a date. Bella and I.
"Okay, Edward. You and I have got a dinner to dance through." Alice said, patting me on my back at the same time the door opened and Jacob Black walked in, holding his Beast head under his arm.
"Hey Bella, you ready to go?" he asked, completely ignoring everyone else in the room. Jake did nothing to hide his feelings for Bella. He'd been trying to get her to go out with him since he started here six months ago.
I heard Bella sigh. "Yeah, I'm ready." She turned around, catching my eye and smiling. "Friday night, right?" I didn't say anything, just nodded. She winked at me and pushed past Jake. I tried to hold back my laughter when I saw Jake's expression, but once he was out the door, it came out. Alice leaned against the make-up chair, watching me with an amused expression on her face. Still chuckling, I picked up my outfit and walked into the dressing room.
The day passed in a blur of conga lines and birthday celebrations, but all I could think about was Bella and Friday night. I wanted everything to be perfect. Alice and I were heading back to the dressing room when she cornered me in the hallway.
"Okay, look Edward. Bella is my best friend and she's been waiting for you to make a move since like forever, so now that you have, finally, by the way, I'm just going to tell you that you better not hurt her."
My mind was reeling as I tried to take in everything Alice was saying. Bella had been waiting for me? I shook my head. Now was not the time to deal with that.
"Alice, we haven't even gone out yet."
"I know. And speaking of that, where are you taking her?"
Alice gave me a slight push on my shoulder. "Come on, you can tell me. Then I can tell you if your plan is good or not. You do have a plan right?"
I rolled my eyes. "Yes, Alice. I have a plan. And no, I'm not going to tell you." I pushed off the wall and headed toward the dressing room, leaving Alice behind me.
I did have a plan in my mind. One that was going to take some help pulling it off. Once I was changed out of my costume and walked out into the park heading toward Tomorrowland. I spotted Emmett near Space Mountain and hurried toward him.
"What's up, Edward?" he asked when he saw me.
"I need a favor."
"We're going to the park?" Bella asked as I pulled my car into the Mickey & Friends parking garage.
"Yeah, is that okay?" I was suddenly nervous. Was I stupid to think that she would want to come here on her day off?
"No. I mean, yes. I mean." She paused, taking a breath. "Yes, it's okay. I haven't been here when I wasn't working in forever." She was a quiet for a moment as I pulled into an empty spot. "What are we going to do here?"
I shut off the car and turned toward her. "Something you've never done before." She gave me a confused look, and I just winked at her. I had spent all week planning tonight, calling in tons of favors just to make everything perfect. Now here we were, boarding the trams that would take us to the park. We chatted nonchalantly about nothing as we headed toward Downtown Disney. Once the tram came to a stop, I jumped off and turned back to her, holding out my hand to help her out.
Her hand slid easily into mine, and I couldn't hide my smile as our hands remained entwined during our walk toward the main entrance. Instead of heading directly toward the main gate, I gave her hand a slight tug and led her to guest services. Bella didn't ask questions as we waited in line. Instead we people watched, laughing at some of the things people wore to the park. Who wore high heels to a theme park?
"Next," a voice called.
I walked up to the window with Bella at my side. I had to let go of her hand while I removed my wallet from my back pocket, pulling out my drivers license.
"Edward Cullen. I have reservations for two at Club 33." Bella let out a little gasp next to me as I signed the paper to receive our tickets. Smiling, I turned to Bella. "Ready?"
She nodded, still looking slightly surprised. I took her hand in mine again and maneuvered through the Friday evening crowd. We walked down Main Street and headed toward New Orleans Square. Pushing past the line at the Blue Bayou, I came to a stop outside a door marked with a 33 next to it. It was slightly hidden and you probably wouldn't notice it unless you knew exactly what you were looking for. I pushed the button on the intercom and said my name. The door opened, and I pulled Bella through. I could see people outside trying to get a look in as the door swung shut.
"Would you like to take the stairs or the elevator?" the woman who let us in asked.
I looked at Bella, whose eyes were wide with excitement. I gave her hand a gentle squeeze. "I think we'll take the elevator."
The lady nodded and opened the door to the French lift. I followed Bella inside, waiting as we were locked in. With a small jolt, we began to rise. Bella ran her hand along the walls, admiring the build.
"Walt saw this in a hotel he stayed at in New Orleans. The hotel wouldn't sell it to him, so he had Disney engineers build him an exact replica," I explained as we came to a stop at the top.
"It's beautiful," Bella whispered.
The doors opened and we were greeted by a hostess holding menus. "Right this way, Mr. Cullen."
Bella was practically giddy with happiness as we followed our hostess down a hallway lined with old pictures of Walt and the park. We turned right at the end of the hall, passing an old fashioned piano and chaise lounge before entering the dining area. I placed my hand at the small of Bella's back as I guided her past the beverage bar on my right and the desert bar on the left to a small table in the corner which overlooked New Orleans Square.
"Edward, this is amazing," Bella said, her eyes roaming around the room. "How did you...? Are you a member?"
I shook my head. "I wish. My uncle, Carlisle, is. He got us the reservation."
"Well, please tell him thank you for me. This is just...I can't believe I'm here. I've always wanted to come here."
"Yeah, I know." Bella shot me a questioning look and I shrugged, sheepishly. "I overheard you talking with Rose one day. You mentioned that it was on your list of things to do."
Our waiter appeared to take our drink order and we began to look over the menu. "Everything sounds delicious," Bella said. "What are getting?"
"I was thinking about the New York Prime Strip." Bella didn't say anything, just hmmed and went back to her menu. I watched her over the top of my menu, noticing the way she would bite her lower lip as she thought.
"Have you two decided?" our waiter asked, placing our glasses of wine before us.
I looked at Bella who nodded. "I'll have the New York Prime Strip," I said handing him back the menu.
He turned to Bella. "Can I get the Grilled Chinook King Salmon, please."
"Of course. Would you two like any appetizers? Perhaps our Field Green Salad with a lemon vinaigrette?"
"Please," I said, and then turned to Bella. "I mean, if that's okay with you?"
"Yes, that sounds delicious."
"Very good." The waiter gave a curt nod and went to turn but Bella stopped him.
"Excuse me," she began, a slight blush tinting her cheeks. "I was just wondering, how do you get those Tinker Bell things?" She pointed to the table across from us where a little girl was drinking from a cup that had a flashing Tinker Bell attached to the top.
"The toppers? Those come with our children's beverages."
"Oh, well, thank you." Bella leaned back in her chair looking a little crestfallen. I couldn't have that.
"I'm sorry," I said to the waiter, catching his attention one more time. "Is there anyway we could get one? I'll pay extra."
"Edward, you don't have to do that," Bella protested.
"Of course, sir. I will bring one over."
"Thank you." Smiling, I turned back to Bella. "Don't worry about it."
The waiter returned a few seconds later and clipped the Tinker Bell to Bella's wine glass. I would have bought a hundred more Tinker Bell's just to see her smile the way she did when the plastic toy began to glow a bright green.
"I feel like everyone is looking at me," Bella said in a hushed tone.
"Well, in all honesty, you do have a glowing green toy on a wine glass." Bella laughed, agreeing with me.
"So, Edward, tell me about yourself. I mean, I feel like I don't really know you even though we've worked together for a few years. You're like a mystery."
"A mystery? Really?" I asked, wiggling my eyebrows playfully. "I kind of like that." Bella giggled, slapping my hand with her napkin.
"Ok, um, let's see. I was born in Chicago, moved out here for college, currently living with my aunt and uncle instead of the dorms to save money, and spend my days bouncing around in a Tigger costume. Not much to tell really."
"Thank you for the Cliff's Notes version," Bella teased as our salads arrived. "Chicago, huh? I've went there once when I was about seven. I don't remember it much, but I'd love to go back now that I'm older." She held up a forkful of onions and I nodded. Reaching across the table, she dropped them onto my plate.
"It's a beautiful city, especially in the springtime."
"Do you miss it?"
I shrugged. "Sometimes. I miss my parents mostly. I'll tell you one thing, I don't miss the below zero temperatures."
Bella groaned. "Oh, I don't think I could handle that. I'm too much of a California girl."
"Are you from here then?" I asked, realizing I actually didn't know that much about her life either.
"I am. Born and raised in So Cal. My parents divorced when I was younger and my dad moved back to Washington, which is where he's from. So I've spent summers and holidays up there, but other than that, I've never lived anywhere else."
"How about traveling? Have you visited many places?"
"Not as much as I'd like. Rose, Alice, and I went to Cancun a few summers ago. And I've been to Hawaii and Canada, but nowhere really exotic. How about you?"
I scooped my tomato onto her plate as I answered. "I've been to Mexico as well. Went with Jasper one year. Um, let's see, spent a summer in London and have been to Ireland to visit some relatives, but that's about it. I'm trying to save right now to go to Italy next summer."
Bella sighed, dreamily. "I've always wanted to go to Italy. It's at the top of my travel list."
I wanted to drop everything and invite her to go with me, but I figured that would be to forward. "I'm sure you'll get there."
We spent the rest of the meal just getting to know each other better. I was fascinated with every detail of her life I was glimpsing. The way her eyes lit up when she talked about the future, the love in her voice when she spoke of her friends, how animated she was as she described her scatter-brained mother. Every little bit helped piece together the puzzle of Bella. I chuckled to myself when I remembered her telling me I was the mystery.
"How's your salmon?" I asked, cutting into my steak.
"Delicious," Bella answered. She cut off a small piece with her fork and held it up to me. 'Want to try?"
I blinked, slightly startled, but quickly regained my composure. My fingers brushed hers as she handed me the fork and I heard her breath catch. I looked up, my eyes locking with hers as I tasted the food she offered. Her gaze never left mine and I felt something stir inside me. Was Bella as attracted to me as I was to her? Suddenly, I felt a little bold.
"Now, it's time for you to get a taste." Using her fork, I cut a piece of my steak making sure to get a little of the mashed potatoes with it. Leaning over, I lifted the fork to her mouth. Bella closed her eyes as her lips wrapped around the fork. She let out a little moan, and I felt myself harden. A piece of mashed potato sat at the corner of her mouth and I dropped the fork on the table, using the tip of my finger to wipe it away. Her eyes shot open, and I was instantly lost in the emotion I saw there.
"You, um, had some..." I trailed off as we both leaned toward each other.
"How's everything over here?"
I had never wanted to kill someone more than our waiter right at that moment. Reluctantly I pulled away from Bella, turning my head to look up. "No, we're good thanks." He just nodded and cleared our plates.
Bella smiled sheepishly at me before leaning back in her chair, tossing her napkin on the table. "Ugh, I'm so full."
"Well, you better make room. We still have to hit the dessert table," I teased while mentally trying to calm my heartbeat down. "Did you want to go outside for some air?" I gestured to the balcony.
"Are we allowed to?"
I laughed. "Yes, we are." I stood up, holding my hand out to her. She slid out of her chair as I pushed aside the sheer curtain and opened one of the doors leading out the balcony that wrapped around the club. We could see all across New Orleans Square from our positions.
"Oh, look," Bella exclaimed, pointing down at something. "Just in time to see Tiana."
Jazz music filled the Square as people stopped to line the streets, watching as dancers flooded in. Bella leaned against the railing as I, in another moment of bravery, stepped up behind her, placing my right hand next to hers. Bella leaned back against my chest, her fingers wrapping around mine on the railing. I sighed, breathing in the scent of her. Boldly, I placed my left hand up on the rail, encasing her within my arms. We stayed like that as we watched the performers down below until they disappeared out of sight and the crowd dispersed. Bella shifted in my arms, turning around until she was facing me.
"This is really nice, Edward. Thank you."
I reached up and tucked a lock of hair behind her ear. "Don't thank me yet. I've still got one more surprise planned."
Her eyes widened as she looked up at me, tilting her head to the side. Praying that this time I wouldn't get interrupted, I slowly leaned down and lightly brushed my lips against hers once, twice, three times before pulling back. Bella's eyes were still closed, her face flushed, and I took a minute to admire her beauty. A few moments later her eyelids fluttered open and a shy smile played on her lips.
"That wasn't the surprise, by the way," I joked, my voice barely above a whisper.
Bella let out a laugh, sliding her hand up my arm. My skin tingled with electricity where she touched me, even through the light layer of my shirt. Taking a deep breath as if to steady herself, she wrapped her hand around the back of my neck and guided my mouth back to hers.
"Well, it was a nice surprise either way," she whispered against my lips.
"You're not even going to give me a clue?"
I chuckled. "No, Bella. Now quit asking and enjoy the fireworks." She stuck her tongue out at me before turning back to the evening's festivities. I tightened my arms around her waist, pulling her closer to me.
After our little kissing fest on the balcony, we couldn't seem to stop touching each other. It was like we had this need to be in contact at all times, which was completely fine by me. As we watched the closing fireworks, I replayed the evening in my mind. We had spent close to three hours in Club 33, most of it on dessert thanks to Bella's need to try a bite of every single choice offered. I didn't mind though, it ended up working out perfectly time-wise since I needed to wait until the park was closed for my final surprise. After dinner, we walked around the park, riding a few rides and saying hi to some friends. We got a few surprised looks from some coworkers as we walked around together, but Bella just ignored them.
"You're all set," a voice whispered from behind me, and I gave a little jump. Looking over my shoulder I saw Emmett give me a thumbs up before disappearing into the crowd.
I could feel the butterflies welling up in my chest as the fireworks came to a close. Everything about tonight was building up and I just hoped that Bella didn't think I was lame or cheesy for what I had planned. We spent the last hour before the park closed just walking through the shops, trying on silly hats and such. Finally, it was time.
"Edward? Where are we going?" Bella asked as I guided her through the exiting crowd. "You do know we're going the wrong way, don't you?"
"We're not leaving," I stated simply.
"What? But the park's closed." I didn't answer her, just continued walking. Bella kept up her questioning until I stopped in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle where Jessica was waiting for us.
"Jessica, what are you doing here?" Bella asked, obviously confused. "Edward, what's going on?"
I placed a kiss on the back of her hand. "Just go with Jessica. For now," I added upon seeing her face. "I'll be right here when you get back. I promise."
"You owe me, Cullen," Jessica said with an amused expression on her face as she grabbed Bella's arm and began to lead her away.
"Remember, no wig!" I shouted at their retreating figures. Jessica just waved her hand over her shoulder.
Once I could no longer see them, I took off running in the opposite direction. There was more than one dressing room for cast members to use when getting into their costumes, and I quickly headed towards one that I rarely used. Eric was waiting for me with my outfit laid out.
"Let's get you princified!"
Thirty minutes later, I was standing back in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle, shifting impatiently from foot to foot, twiddling the rose I held between my fingers. I could see Emmett off to the side, hidden slightly by the trees, waiting to give the signal of Bella's arrival. I owed him big for this, as well as Eric, Jessica, and Sam, one of the park's sound engineers.
Suddenly music filled the empty park, a few workers stopped and looked over, trying to see what was going on. I looked to my left and saw Bella walking down the path toward me. I couldn't see the expression on her face just yet, but I took the time to admire her in the blue dress that she now wore. Jessica had thankfully listened to me and forgone the wig, letting Bella's own hair flow over her shoulders.
Taking a deep breath, I walked down the little path, meeting Bella in the circle at the base of the castle. She froze when she finally saw me, eyes grazing over my outfit. Giving her a low bow, I held out the rose.
"Bella, would you please honor me with a dance?"
Right on time, the opening chords of "Once Upon a Dream" wafted through the speakers. Bella didn't say anything, just nodded, placing her hand in mine. I pulled her close to me, wrapping one arm around her waist, while the other held onto her hand with the rose. Slowly, we began to move with the music.
"I can't believe…how? I mean, how did you? It's even the blue dress."
"I called in a few favors," I answered. "Do you like it? You mentioned that you always wanted to be Sleeping Beauty, so I just thought…"
Perfect. She said it was perfect. I knew I was smiling like an idiot, but I didn't care. We danced around the courtyard, our gazes locked on one another.
"You make a very dashing Prince Phillip," Bella said as I twirled her around. "Cape and all."
"Hey," I said, flipping the cape over my shoulder. "The cape makes the outfit."
"Oh no," Bella giggled. "I believe the tights make the outfit."
This time I blushed. "Truthfully, they itch a little. I don't know how Garrett does it."
Bella laughed as I spun her around, letting her dress flare around her like a wave. "You look beautiful," I whispered in her ear as I pulled her back in.
"Thank you, Edward, for everything. Tonight was amazing."
"It was," I agreed. "I just wish I would have asked you sooner."
"I don't," Bella said, quickly continuing when she saw my face. "No, I mean, yes, I mean." She paused, taking a deep breath. "I just think that everything happened at the right time, you know?"
I looked into her eyes and knew instantly what she was talking about. "I do."
She looked relieved at my answer before a coy grin lit up her face. "However, now I'm anxious to see what else you have up your sleeve."
I laughed. "Oh, don't know if I can top this."
"I'm sure you'll think of something."
"I'm sure I will," I answered, slowing us down. I brought my hand up to gently cup her face before capturing her lips with my own. Bella sighed into my mouth and I used the moment to slide my tongue against hers. Kissing Bella was heaven and something I knew I wouldn't tire of anytime soon. Wrapping my arms tightly around her, we stayed that was as the final notes of the song played out.
AN: This was my contribution to the Fandom4Texas compilation. Thanks to everyone who donated. I have many friends who live in Texas and were affected by the fires. It's great to see the fandom come together for such great causes.