Disclaimer: Twilight character names belong to Stephenie Meyer. All characterizations, plot lines, backgrounds and details belong to the respective author. No copying or reproduction of this work is permitted without express written authorization. ©2012 chartwilightmom. All rights reserved worldwide.
A/N: This is my entry for the FWAR Musical Cues II contest in which I won 1st place! Thank you to all that read and reviewed and voted for me!
Check out all other entries! http : / / www . fanfiction . net / u / 2455894 / FreeWriters_One_Shot_Contests
FWAR (Free Writers And Readers) is a great reading and writing website, full of all different fandoms and tons of original fic.
I encourage you all to check it out: http : / / freewritersandreaders . ning . com /
I really loved writing this one and really wanted to share it with all of you.
Thanks to shpwhitney for pre-reading and cheering me on. And huge thanks to maxipoo1024 over at Sparkly Red Pen on welding her red pen on this.
Theme: Musical Cues II
Story Title: Etched
Beta: Sparkly Red Pen ~ maxipoo1024
Word Count: 3779
FWAR pen-name: chartwilightmom
Song link: http: / / / WORUU6
Song Title: Stereo Hearts
Artist: Gym Class Heroes/Maroon 5
The smell of vinyl gives me a hard on.
What? Don't look at me like that.
I love vinyl.
Okay, at some point it might border on unhealthy.
It's not the material or the physical product.
It's what's on the vinyl…the music.
All a part of my life.
I never intended on writing music for a living.
Most of my teenage years were spent fiddling on the piano or guitar and acting emo. Consumed by my emotions and love for music, I took to writing everything down and was able to cultivate it into a music career.
And there was a certain muse.
Nevertheless, here I am in a large city—a city littered with plastic people, false wishes, and wolves in sheep's clothing—writing lyrics for a major record label.
In such a city, I find only one place to give me peace...a record store.
A record store? Yes, a record store complete with vinyl stocks, album covers and rows and rows of well loved albums.
And yes, I might be turned on from the moment I walk in the door…don't judge me.
My fingers graze alone the long line of alphabetized rows, itching to stop and search for something that isn't in my collection.
Today, I find myself stuck in the jazz section. Something about the beats heat my blood and push words through my head and onto the paper.
It is the middle of the afternoon, only a few customers are scattered in the store, the staff work on stocking and preparing for the evening and weekend.
There is a bin marked "new," and I make my way to see what might have come in since I was here last. As I take a few steps toward the bin, I see a young woman squatting down at a pile of records on the floor.
Her back is too me, sun kissed skin exposed from the open back of what appears to be a delicate sundress. A unique shade of light green, it's sleeveless with the back draped open in a V. The way her hair is pulled back and tied in an intricate way is as unique as the color: deep brown with highlights of red and blonde. A few tendrils escape and gently graze her neck.
As I take another step, I see a tattoo dipping in and out from the fabric of her dress, playing a game with me, enticing me to learn and decipher what it says.
The ink is colorful, greens and blues, contrasting to her skin.
Another step closer and I begin to focus in on the ink that has been etched onto her skin: ivy with words following the path of the greenery.
On the next step, as the words come into focus, I can tell that they aren't just any words...but lyrics.
Curiosity gets the better of me, and I take another step closer to this woman's ink as it pulls me, coming near her personal bubble.
Make me your radio.
My breathing stops. The words, they aren't just any lyrics.
Those are my words, my lyrics.
My heart for her.
"Excuse me, do you know if there are more of these?" she asks, turning around and holding up an album towards me.
My mouth opens in attempt to force air into my mouth. Help me continue to live should be its function.
Instead, I am stunned.
My body starts to function just as her name falls from my lips. "Bella Swan."
"You don't work here, do you?" she asks.
I shake my head. "No."
"Oh." She turns back to the bin and goes back to her digging but continues talking. "I didn't know you lived in the city."
Standing there watching her, my feet won't move but somehow my brain works and words come out of my mouth.
"I live here." My eyes move along her back, focusing on the words on her skin.
"You live here? In the record store?"
"Um, no," I say, shaking my head. "I live in the neighborhood."
She flips through the bin quickly, working her way to the end, but continues to talk. "That's great. I never see anyone this far from Forks."
My mind wanders and I can do nothing but stare at her, my thoughts drifting back to high school where I first met Bella.
It isn't a complicated story.
It was past the middle of our senior, shortly after Valentine's Day, and word of a new student joining our small population filled the hallways. In English class, the empty seat was soon filled by Bella, the daughter of the town sheriff. Newly relocated from sunny Florida, she was undoubtedly the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. Her bright character was a refreshing change to the dreary and stark grey girls of Forks.
She was sweet, friendly, and was easy to talk to; our friendship was instant and natural. She had been traveling with her mom and wanted some roots to finish school, having been home schooled for most of her high school years. Her mother, Renee, had been everywhere from Phoenix to Juno. She finally had enough after spending six months on a boat in the Caribbean.
She was a free spirit, and I was instantly smitten.
How could anyone be anything but?
Before long, she shared my group of friends, joined us at the lunch table, and hung out in the hallways. We were always with a group.
The situation was simple; graduation neared and we were going in separate directions. Sure, I would have liked to pursue something with her, but it wasn't the right time.
I thought once she was on her path in life, I would move on, my fascination dissolving with her memory.
Neither time nor distance erased Bella from my mind.
She has and always will be there.
The girl that got away.
Or so I keep telling myself.
Bella stands in front of me, the girl from high school and the same girl I can never stop thinking about. She's the reason behind the emotions that spill from my heart and head on to the paper.
Can I sound any more like a cheesy love song right now?
But Bella isn't the girl from high school anymore. Now, her body is filled with the sensual lines of a woman. Her makeup is painted on in natural colors, browns and peaches surrounding her deep brown eyes, her hair a reflection of her natural free spirit.
And the desire to touch her is greater than ever. The feelings that are always in my head that I deny still having, come flooding back.
"Edward?" Bella's soft voice brings me back to the present. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm sorry. I was just thinking."
"Thinking about what?" The sparkle in her eye as she turns to face me is blinding.
"Um..." my words fail me "...work."
"Oh." She looks disappointed, almost like she is expecting me to say something else.
We look at each other, and everything in me wants to confess that she has never left my thoughts since the day she entered my life.
That she has inspired each and every lyric and note that I have written.
That the words etched on her skin are my words…for her.
But I stand there still speechless.
Without speaking, she gathers her stack and makes her way to the checkout.
What the hell, man! Get in there.
It takes about two seconds for me to start to follow her, the question coming out of my mouth without permission from my brain.
"Bella, do you want to go get some dinner, catch up?"
She stops in her tracks, turning to look at me.
"That's if you'd like." I hope she says yes. If anything, I need to find out why she chose those lyrics for her ink. Could she possible know?
Her eyes give me the once over, and I can tell her mind is working, figuring out if I am worth her time.
"Yeah, I can catch up."
After a suggestion for a neighborhood diner and an awkward walk in partial silence, I find myself sitting across from Bella.
"So, tell me what you have been doing since graduation? What brings you to the city?" Can I kiss you now? Do you feel my heart beating? Do you know how much I think about you?
"I went to NYU, graduated, and have been moving around since."
"I spent some time in Europe, on the West Coast, and down South. No where special."
Without skipping a beat, she throws questions right back at me.
"How about you? Did you pursue a career in music?" she asks.
"How did you know I would chose music?"
She blushes slightly before answering. "Um, I heard you play guitar and piano a few times in school, and I figured someone who played with that passion would make it their path in life."
She nailed it right on the head. But I never had any clue that she heard me play.
"I did, pursue music."
"A music career?"
"Something like that." I take a deep breath, sharing a part of myself with her that I have longed to for years. "I write music and lyrics."
"Really? That's great, Edward." The smile on her face makes me wonder if she knows of my chosen career.
Our food arrives and we continue talking, the conversation smooth as the beat that sits in my head. The couple of hours that we've been talking feels like we never lost time with each other.
This is how it was with her when we were in high school. Bella was very easy to connect with, and there was always the pull to be near her. There was a need to be close to her everyday. Like my body somehow knew my craving for her. We had classes together, we hung out after school, and we were as close as two people could be without being a "couple." There was never a lack of things to talk about, hearing of her life and travels were completely fascinating to me.
I longed for more, and there were times I thought she wanted the same thing: an innocent touch, always finding a way to sit next to each other, the one time she licked her lips as she looked at me.
But we only had a short time before graduation. Time ticked loudly, more like a hourglass, the sand slipping away from us rather than time marching forward.
Each moment I spent with her, talking or just in her presence, I soaked in. She affected every part of my head and heart; my pulse quickening whenever she was near. I could remember when my writing started to have words of love and hope and promises along with the woes and heartache of an emotional teenager.
It wasn't until I was given an assignment in Lyric Writing class that things started to come together for me. My memories formed a rhythm in my heart and combined with my words to form the song that got me to where I am today.
And now, the awkwardness from earlier is gone; left is the steady beat of my heart, keeping time with her.
This melody was meant for you.
"Did you know there is a concert in the park?" I offer, not wanting my time with her to end. I still need to find out why she has chosen to ink herself with my words that are hers.
She needs to know my heart is hers.
Picking at napkin, Bella stops the flow of our conversation by not bothering to respond to my suggestion. Her gaze falls down, following her fingers as they shred the paper.
"Bella, is everything all right?" Every ounce of me is scared that she is going to say she made a mistake accepting my invitation, or that she has an excuse to leave.
"No," she starts, "it's just...um."
I find myself even more nervous as she pauses. Does she have a boyfriend? Did she notice me watching her and thinks I am just a creep? "What?"
"Why did you hate me so much in high school? I mean..." she pauses, taking a deep breath. "...why didn't you ask me out?"
Shit, I wasn't expecting that.
The bluntness of her questions shocks me, the thought of finding out why she has my words on her skin almost forgotten.
"Um, I didn't hate you, Bella." If anything, you inspired me.
Bella and I look at each other, my mind filtering through those short months that we knew each other.
We became fast friends, and yes, I had a never-ending crush on her, but I knew back then if I pursued her, I wouldn't had survived letting her go.
"You did." There is hurt in her voice is evident. "I can't think of any other reason for you not asking me out. All the flirting, the instant connection...didn't you feel the connection?"
"You..." I start, ignoring the mouth filter. "Inspired me."
"Me? Inspired what?"
Silence lingers between the two of us, tension pulsing like a beat from one of the hundreds of songs I have written.
"Come with me to the concert." I don't wait for a response but throw money down on the table, grabbing her hand and pulling her out the door with me.
As she walks beside me, our hands still linked, my mind tries to formulate what I want to say to her, how I can tell her everything.
Before I know it, we have arrived at the park. The sun sets, casting a warm and comfortable hue of colors along the sky and back dropping what appears to be a lovely evening.
There's an open stage in the center of the park. Patrons and music lovers surround us on all sides, resting on picnic blankets, folding chairs, and dancing. Smiling faces adorn everyone. Heads bounce to the beats; bodies sway to the rhythms.
The stage is nothing more than a wooden platform with four posts on the corners, strings of lights draped in between them, giving off a soft light illuminating the performers.
The beat comes from a trio on stage, comprised of a trumpet, a guitar, and a snare drum, floats through the air, causing a smooth vibe.
We are at the edge of the crowd, still hand in hand as we come to a stop. Doing what feels right, I pull Bella into my arms and begin to dance slowly with her.
I want to tell her so much, how coming into my life has affected me and caused me to write more and more. I need to tell that the feelings I could never express have become lyrics.
The very same that etch her skin.
Her head comes to rest on my chest, our bodies closer than I could have hoped to ever happen.
Surely she must hear it, my heart.
My nerves flare, worried that she will realize how much it beats for her.
"Your heart, it's beating so fast," she says, wrapping her arms tighter around me. "Are you ok?"
"More than okay."
"Hmm," she hums, settling in closer to my body.
"Is that a good 'hmm'?"
The song ends and only seconds later the next one begins.
"Your heartbeat is so...comfortable."
I laugh, not really sure how to take her compliment.
"I'm serious, Edward. I could stay here forever and listen to your sound."
Wrapping my arms around her body, wishing more than anything we were at my loft, alone and in my bed. I absorb the memory and fantasy before speaking.
"Bella, why did you get your tattoo?" My fingers linger, ghosting along her back against the ink. Her skin is warm and soft. I only hope to have the feeling committed to my memory for the next words I will pen.
"Because they speak to me. I heard the song and I couldn't get it out of my head."
"So you decided to ink your body with the lyrics."
"Do you know who wrote the song?"
My breathing stops. She knows.
Bella pulls back, looking up at me. "Edward, did you write those words? The words that make me feel alive every time I hear them? Did you write the beat that makes me want to turn it up so loud that everyone knows it's mine?"
Her gaze is locked to mine as my heart beats rapidly and wildly at her words.
Time is lost as we stand there, our movements slow to the music, if there even is any. My mind takes in what she has said, what it means.
"Edward, tell me. Tell me that I'm not crazy for thinking that you wanted me, too. I needed to connect with you in some way to keep you with me. Etching your words on my body, it has been the only way to have that."
Wanting to be as tender and gentle with her as I can, I place my hand on her face, my thumb caressing the soft skin on her lips. "It's all for you. Every. Last. Word."
My lips find hers, remaining gentle but firm. Her hands move along my back, her fingers digging into my shirt. My other hand comes to the other side of her face, holding her as we continue to kiss.
And then, like so many times I have thought about her, the music thumps through my head. The beat is loud, as loud as my heart pounding. Every word I have written, and all those that I have yet to write, come to life.
Our passionate kiss ends with multiple soft kisses and our bodies wrapped tightly against each other. My heat is beating out of my chest as I feel a matching beat coming from Bella.
"Thank you, Edward."
A laugh rolls out before I can stop it. "What are you thanking me for? You are my muse."
She sighs and rests her head on my chest again, our bodies moving once more to the music flowing from the stage.
Bella moves quickly and kisses me deeply again, before resting her forehead against mine. "Edward, will you sing to me?"
Knowing that my voice isn't the greatest, I hum the tune for a minute and sing the words of the chorus softly as we dance.
"My heart's a stereo. It beats for you so listen close. Hear my thoughts in every note. Oh, Oh. Make me your radio. And turn me up when you feel low. This melody was meant for you. Just sing along to my stereo."
As the words fall from my mouth, I am reminded how much they are hers, how much this is my love song to her.
And now she knows.
My arms tighten, pulling her closer to me, my head buried at her neck as I hum the tune. When I finish, my lips touch her soft skin, the words I just sang to her vibrating around us. Having more confidence in myself, in what is happening between us, I take her by the hand and lead her from the park.
Still holding Bella's hand, I pull her closer to me, pinning her against the now closed front door of my loft. "I want to see it. I want to see my words on your skin."
Wordlessly, she pushes me back before stepping around me, walking further into the loft. Her hands move to the back of her dress, her nimble fingers working the zipper at the base of her back. As she flicks off her heels, her dress starts to fall then pools on my floor, leaving her naked expect for her lacy boy shorts.
My vision is locked on the tattoo adorning her right side. Closing the distance between us, my hands reach out and touch. Starting at her shoulder blade and winding down to her right hip is an intricate vine made up of greenery formed in the shape of musical notes. As if reading the notes on the pages, my fingers touch each one, learning how my words are weaved throughout.
Her giggle breaks my concentration, and I look up to see Bella with her head turned, peeking over her shoulder.
Instead of replying to the playful look and the beaming smile, I simple grab her by wrapping my arms around her whole body and lifting her up off the ground. Her arms are locked in front of her naked chest, her giggles filling my quiet loft as I make my way to my bedroom.
She calms as I set her down, our heavy breathing and my heartbeat are the soundtrack of the room. Bella turns her body, dropping her arms, revealing herself to me.
The beauty of her body should be enough to take my breath away, but what is etched right above perfect breast on the left hand side steels it.
A single musical note...an eighth.
My fingers ghost along the black ink, tracing before finding their way to the swell of her breast, dipping, and finally palming her pert breast, which fits perfectly in my hand.
"Edward." My name falls from her as a moan.
Seconds later, we are locked in a passionate kiss, her arms wound around my neck, my hands roaming her back, heat passing in between the two of us. I don't recall how my clothes are removed from my body or how her boy shorts end up on the floor with them, but the next thing I know, I am reaching for a condom only to have her take it from me and roll it on.
Begging for air after long lasting kisses, my lips never leave her skin. We work like a beat in a song together as we become intimate. Her hand grips me, guiding me to where she wants me. My hand joins, spreading her lips, a single digit slipping into her core only to find wet heat.
As I enter her, my eyes lock with hers, all silent words, only the beats of our hearts as we move together...in stereo. Time is lost, but not the beat; it speeds up and peaks. We both tumble and descend as the beat slows.
With Bella in my arms, she rests her head on my chest, her hand running traces of doodles over my heart.
"So this is mine now?" she whispers.
My hand covers hers, stilling it over the beating muscle. "My heart is your stereo—forever."