Entry #17 - AH

Truly Anonymous Twilight O/S PP Contest
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Title: Blame it on Cabo
Picture Prompt Number: 43
Pairing: Bella/Edward
Rating: M
Word Count: 9, 863
Summary: "Bella Swan is sent to Cabo, Mexico for her peace of mind, but when she meets a young man on the beach, she gets more than she expected." AH
Warnings and Disclaimer: Rated M for language and sexual themes. SM owns Twilight.

BLAME IT ON CABO

"Nobody told me paradise could be so muggy," I complain internally as I turn slightly, reaching towards my drink, hoping to get some relief from the iced alcoholic goodness.

After fighting to get the straw in my mouth, while surreptitiously scoping out any possible audience to this idiocy, I manage to finally take a sip…only to hear that heartbreaking slurping sound of an empty glass. I keep viciously sucking in denial, hoping that with determination that I can magically get a refill without having to remove my ass from this beach chair.

To my crushing devastation, I get nothing but more mocking slurping sounds issuing from the bottom of my tall pink glass. Even the damn ice has melted in this heat. And to be honest, when the chips are down and your drink is empty, the little umbrella sticking out is neither as cute nor cheerful as it once was when you first saw it sticking out of a freshly-made chilly Malibu.

I glare resentfully at the depressingly-empty glass and plant it back into the sand next to me, out of sight. It's a safer alternative to what I want to do, which is pitch the godforsaken thing towards the ocean, where it can sail into oblivion, tropical mini umbrella and all. But, of course, with my precision, or lack thereof, the only result of me tossing the damn thing would be a new black eye for some poor stranger and a fun new lawsuit for me.

As if I need more bullshit legal drama.

I'm ruefully aware that my mood is the complete antithesis of what one should have while sitting in the sun on a beautiful beach at a wonderful resort. And I have tried really fucking hard to see the beauty and the wonder here, but it's like the black clouds of my life from back home followed me onto the plane, to my first class seat and all the way through my five-star hotel, just to settle here with me on this beach.

And now I'm surrounded by the warmth of the sun, the salt of the ocean, and the spice of the tropical air…and all I can think is I either want another goddamn drink or an express ticket out of this dreadfully breathtaking place.

But I know that can't happen. I can't go home. And I know I truly don't want to fuckin' be there with all the stares and the not so whispered whispers. I still don't know what's worse; the looks or whispers of inappropriate amusement at the expense of my newly fucked up life or the eyes that I've been unfortunate to meet that have pity for poor ol' Chief Swan's daughter in them.

So home is out for now.

But as miserable as I would be in Forks, it's this place that I can't stand, even though it's not the resort's fault whatsoever. It's just me and my warped way of thinking, since I'm not exactly a happy camper, and haven't been one in a while actually, the last thing I really want is to be sitting on a beach alone while the entire populace surrounding me frolics in the sunshine with big cheesy ass smiles on their faces.

Correction: the last thing I want is to be sitting here on the beach, full of happiness and sunshine, alone and sober.

Remembering my oncoming sober status nearly makes me growl in aggravation. I'm firm in the resolution that while I'm here and made to suffer through the motions of attempting to have fun, I will do it with dry eyes and a consistently full glass.

After another ten minutes of scanning the area for the nearest waiter on the beach, things are looking bleak.

Now, I know that I could just head over to the small, yet oh so convenient bar set up a few feet from where my butt is parked, but it's the principle.

"What principle?" you may be asking.

If I were good and drunk, I'd probably be able to tell you.

Resisting the urge to scream and hoping to get a dutiful waiter's attention, I renew my search for a stray server on the beach. I was not moving from this chair until I was sufficiently drunk enough to fall off of it.

As I'm not really a loud drunk, or loud at all really, the chances of me screaming for a mojito are about slim to nil.

But for every minute I don't see someone with the ability to freshen up my glass, I get closer and closer to breaking character and letting loose a very un-Bella-like bellow.

I'm starting to really curse my own seating arrangement; as blissfully secluded as my spot is, it's a bit hellish to get a drink here…evidently. But still, I can't complain. My chosen seat has guaranteed that I won't have to make awkward small talk with anybody on the beach, where I may accidentally admit why I'm here. Hell, I've spent the past few days trying to forget why I'm here.

And coming here alone doesn't exactly help my chances of keeping it that way; I'm the perfect picture of alone and vulnerable, and the very last thing I need is some loser with his beer belly poking through a Hawaiian shirt deciding to get chummy with me because I look desperate.

I don't even try to fight the shudder at that imagined scenario.

Although, contrary to the discomfort that being here alone has given me, I'm not too disgruntled about it. I need this time to reflect, grow, and other bullshit that comes out of some self help book or movies with Julia Roberts in them. Also, I know that my two best friends would have come with me, but, under the circumstances, they couldn't make it to my self pity party. Rosalie's stomach resembles a beach ball more and more each day, though I'd never say that, so traveling is out for her. And Alice…well Alice is preparing to marry the love her life back in Seattle. She's preparing for a wedding that I'm supposed to be the maid of honor in. And instead of doing all the crazy wedding planning with the bride, I'm here on this beach.

I had failed my best friend.

I can't stop thinking about how badly things have gotten. How they've gotten so bad that I've been shipped to Cabo, one way, because I couldn't handle the fact that my husband- "ex husband" callously threw away everything, including me. I think that of all the things that have happened recently, me snapping and having a nervous breakdown is probably top five material for worst moments ever. Trust me; I've had plenty of sleepless nights to rank them.

This is my first attempt at being on the beach since I've been here, which is kind of pathetic because the resort is just a short walk from the beach. I had promised that I wouldn't spend the whole trip here staring at the four walls of my extravagant hotel room…I only spent one day doing that, and I'm sticking to my story of jet lag.

So today, I got up, covered myself in the most effective sunscreen money could buy, donned swim gear that I probably wouldn't use, marched out of the room before the sun could rise high enough to beckon early beachgoers, and set up camp in a pretty ideal spot near the ocean and bar.

The perks of not being able to sleep at night.

I had promised Alice and Rose that I'd do anything in order to come back to Forks in a better state than when I left there. Though they'd never say it, they are depending on me, so the least I could do is drink a little liquor from some hollowed out coconuts and try to take in the view. But with every sober thought that creeps into my mind, familiar feelings of guilt, suppressed rage and shame fill me up until it's too much to bear.

It took less than a year for my sham of a life to begin snowballing until it hit me like an avalanche, ruining everything I'd worked so hard in life to build. I don't know how many nights I can lay in bed, sifting through all the memories of the wreckage.

I'm just so fuckin' tired.

This brings me to my need of drink number…number…

Quick, what comes after five?

Before I can panic further at my ignorance of basic Sesame Street education, something really fucking shiny catches my eye. It's caught my attention immediately due to the fact that it's able to penetrate the darkness of my cat eye sunglasses; contraband from my mother's closet in Arizona.

Don't judge me. They were just sitting in a dusty box and hadn't seen the sun in years…bad pun intended.

Distractedly, I pull my glasses off with one hand and settle them onto my stomach, determined to see past the glare of this unidentified sparkling object, to um…identify it. It's such a small thing, whatever it is, but the tiny glint pierces my eyes so much that it rivals the sun's brightness. I squint to see what could possibly be shining so brightly, and am finally able to make out the tiny beads of glistening water blinking at me from a nest of frenzied copper toned tendrils. As the glinting brightness moves slightly away from the sun, I'm able to discern where the water is coming from fully, and realize that it's attached to a person.

How the fuck could water shine so brightly?

Either I'm really fucking drunk, or I'm starting to sober up and shit's less hazy.

Nevertheless, the sparkly head of hair is quite intriguing to me, and I'm momentarily captivated at the way the wind is playing with it. After a minute of watching it ruffle slightly in the breeze, I decide to look down to see what else the magical hair is attached to, and I immediately have to stifle a gasp.

If I was captivated by that unusually eye-catching head of hair, that's nothing to how mesmerized I am by what is attached to it. The rest of his body is glistening in the sun as he ambles quietly at the water's edge, staring at the darkened, sea-beaten sand beneath his feet. A beautifully eerie glow emanating from the sun behind his body sharpens the planes of his deliciously defined body; his skin is beaded with miniscule drops of water creating a glistening effect on his long, lean pale body. The paleness of his body is rare in comparison to the multitude of tanned people that I've seen for the past few days; it increases the uniqueness of his presence.

After ogling the well muscled expanse of his broad chest, I feel the need to look at his face, even though I'm risking a near fatal swoon at the collective sinful allure of this man. I realize that I've risen in my seat, peering steadily at his slow moving form trying to gaze at his face but he's too far away, and the sun is making it difficult to see much. I could cry. But I won't because that'd just make it harder to see what I can.

I bite my lip as I let my eyes travel lower back down his body, past an undoubtedly ginger treasure trail, past the incredible V of his abs, and stopping to find navy blue swim trunks hanging wickedly off his sexy wet hips. Even though I know this isn't a nude beach, I can't stop the immediate disappointment that comes over me when I find the lower half of his body covered. I'd been so willing to see his…wait a minute.

Navy trunks.

God bless him, he's wearing the same navy-ish trunks that all the other waiters are wearing.

With a quick jolt, I realize I'm saved.

I won't die of thirst!

I must signal him!

Before he can wander off too far towards all of the people to the left of my private oasis, I prepare to call over to him.

I idly wonder if he'll even notice me in what I'm wearing, it probably looks like a really dark wig and glasses were strategically placed on this beach chair.

I'm wearing a little white bikini, another "donation" from my mother's closet. Renee had shown me pictures of her wearing it, not forgetting to mention that the photo was taken a year before I "ruined her body beyond repair." And you wonder where I get the melodrama from. Instead of the appropriate amount of guilt she had attempted to heap on me, I'd felt nothing but the smuggest pride whenever I put the simple two- piece on. Sometimes, while I'm wearing it, I just want to call my mother and blow a raspberry into the receiver.

And even though the sun block is completely necessary in my case, I can't fight the fact that I smell like a banana cream pie.

Oh, and just for added measure, I haphazardly stuck a humongous floppy sunhat over my long wavy hair, just before I left.

Seeing as how I'm as pale as the white sand beneath my feet- I shit you not- if I didn't wear this get up, I'd fry like bacon.

Put that all together and all I'm missing is a pretentious line of pearls to string around my neck to make me look like Natalie Wood or something.

I roll my eyes at how utterly ridiculous I'll look when Senor Sexy comes here to get me a drink.

Oh well, I'm more thirsty than I am vain.

"You there!" I yell, if you can actually call it a yell. Most of my thoughts haven't exactly been voiced lately, so I can feel the strain my throat makes just to produce the hoarse sound. After a few seconds, the distracting wanderer doesn't appear to lift his head to my voice, not that I can actually blame him, but before I can clear my throat to make a second attempt at catching his attention, I see his head look in my direction.

The sparkly ginger boy looks around himself, silently asking if he's the one meant to be summoned.

I decide to help him out with a "Yes, you there!" and proceed to wave him over. He takes that as a billboard sign to approach me. I can't help but feel giddy at the dual opportunity of a refill and to see Adonis guy's face, because judging from his lickable body and his sexy windswept hair, I know I'm in for some major swoonage here.

By the way, I'm horrifyingly aware that I haven't used the words "lickable" and "swoonage" since I was in college.

Better make it a light margarita this time, Bella.

I'm determined not to make a fool of myself as he continues in my direction, with an almost aerial grace, not that overly-done ego driven swagger that most young men tried to pull. All bets of keeping my cool are off when I look at his face, his unblemished face that appears to have been chiseled by some Italian sculptor who was asked to carve male perfection.

His forehead is smooth with errant strands of his wild bronze hair sticking to the front of it; I can barely make out his dark eyebrows from underneath it. His eyes seem to be equal in its competition with the rest of his body for stunning me, his deep verdant gaze is probably the most alluring thing I've ever seen, and I have to fight to keep from swooning over the rest of his beautiful features.

His strong squared jaw is dusted with a day's growth of facial hair, adding a rugged look to his soft facial features and slightly aging him.

His lips alone have me teetering on that dangerous edge that could make me jump up screaming "Kiss me, you fool!" So invitingly full, I could only just imagine how soft those lips are, a pleasant contrast to all of the striking features on his hard body.

I've never felt so brazen as I continue to take in this man's face and body. The response he's elicited from me is most unexpected, and I'm not sure I'm handling it well.

I might be drooling.

I'm in the middle of counting all the beads of water on his abs, yearning to collect each one on my tongue, when I hear his throat clearing.

Now there's an odd look. As I look back at his face, his features are an intense cross between confusion and apprehension, the tiniest crease in between his thick eyebrows. It's like he's trying to figure me out without words, but he also seems to be very guarded, like he's wary of something. He opens his mouth and closes it, apparently cutting off a previous line of speech, before he settles into this look of expectation, like he's waiting on something.

Hmm, must be his first day on the job.

Before I can think to say something to him, he speaks.

With that same look of nervous confusion he asks me "Miss-?"

Overjoyed that he can speak English and that I won't have to resort to high school Spanish, I immediately smile up at him, because with a mug like that, who wouldn't, and show him my empty glass with the intention of telling him I need a new drink.

He makes no move to take it, and we're back at square one. But instead of his confused stare aimed at me, he's now focusing on the glass in my outstretched hand.

Yeah, definitely his first day.

"Um, margarita?"

Okay, as hot as he is, he's really gotta get with the program here…maybe I was wrong about the English before.

A full minute of him staring between the glass and my face and something appears to slowly dawn on him. Thank god for whatever it is because the lost look is completely wiped off of his face and replaced with this sort of lazy half grin that makes his eyes light up, and I'm finally starting to feel like we're connecting here.

He takes the glass with a shaky nod and starts to back away from me, but the weird thing is that he keeps looking at my face bemusedly with that cute little smile that both confuses and arouses me.

Very peculiar.

Must be Mexico.

Oh well, nothing to worry about; he'll come back with a nice glass of tall frosty goodness and everything will be fine.

Well as fine as it can be while I'm getting wasted in a strange place, trying to escape the metaphorical demons borne from the shambles of my ruined life…okay this is why I need that drink.

For the record, I'm not an alcoholic, if that's what you're thinking.

Well, of course that's what you're thinking…but don't think that.

I'll have you know that from the time I was legally able to drink, I had no more than the occasional glass of wine or rare flute of champagne. I never drank much mostly because I was a bit of a lightweight and kind of a goody two shoes.

I really resent that. The goody two shoes thing. It's the theme of my entire life.

I've been following all the rules since before I was in preschool. Perfect attendance, perfect grades, perfect manners. Everything about me was inscrutable, but in hindsight everything about my life was boring. Just a monolithic marathon of studying, volunteer work and chores.

My life was comprised of rigorous routines and a high moral code. I had always lived in the belief that I just had high standards for myself, that I was just setting up for a perfectly average existence and that if I earned it through hard work, honesty and faith that I could have whatever I wanted and be happy.

What a load of horseshit that was.

Don't get me wrong, that naively upbeat mentality worked in my favor quite a few times. I had kept a smile on my face when my mother walked out on my father and me when I was 11. I had told myself that her generic birthday cards were the only form of mothering that I really needed and gradually accepted the choice she'd made. After a year, I didn't even cry myself to sleep anymore.

My mother's flakiness only strengthened my morale to not be like her, so I worked my ass off all through elementary school, middle and high school earning top grades and keeping out of trouble. My dateless weekends were filled with homework and shifts at the local diner serving up pie to sleepy truckers. Because of this, I was able to snag a full ride to UW, and my father couldn't have been more proud.

And really, what wasn't there to be proud of? I was responsible, selfless, intelligent and, to my father's almost annoying satisfaction, a virgin.

I went to college and met my two best girlfriends, who eventually helped me to loosen up a bit and not be such a hermit, though I still retained my bookwormy and quiet demeanor. Not too soon in my college career, I began an internship with a high school in Seattle, teaching my all-time favorite subject, English. I eventually grew comfortable in the safe life I'd made for myself, so when I graduated, I didn't hesitate to become a teacher at my old high school and adopt the secure small town lifestyle my father had by staying in Forks.

Everything seemed to be falling into place, so it was no surprise that around the time I had set out into the real world, small as it was, I was approached with another change. And I started dating it.

At the time, I couldn't help but feel like the virtuous princess that was finally being rescued by the shiny white knight.

Too bad he turned out to be a slimy frog.

A sharp pain alerts me to release my bottom lip from its death trap between my teeth. I'm immediately annoyed at how fast my thoughts had become so pathetic. I shove my sunglasses over my eyes, solely blaming the sun for the stinging moisture gathering in my eyes.

Just before my scowl becomes too comfortable on my face, I see the familiar form of the handsome waiter.

I am barely able to control the urge to fist pump as I see a drink in his hand.

He may have been a little slow on the uptake earlier but he's really come through.

I'm fighting for composure towards his heavenly appearance as he gets nearer with my drink, and for a moment I can't honestly say what I'd rather have.

But I'm getting carried away, and I know I have to stop my crazy train of thoughts right on the tracks. Even if I could have him, which is a long shot considering the circumstances, I probably couldn't be with him. I mean, besides the obvious and gaping differences in appearance, where he's all young, sexy, interesting and I'm just none of the above, there's no way I could do anything more than simply admire the pleasant view this man offered me. For one thing, he's a complete and total stranger, and I'm way too practical for that sort of thing.

And really, as much I can feel my body's awareness to this guy, the rest of me isn't getting the signal. The pain of becoming involved with anyone else so soon after everything, it overrides any imaginings of pleasure I could get from this man.

But as long as I keep that in mind, it doesn't hurt to look. Every girl deserves a good ogle.

This time, I'm trying to be less conspicuous with my said ogling as he comes close to me with my drink and that adorable timid smile on his face. I make a move to rifle through my beach bag to pay him, when he speaks.

"Oh, um, you don't have to pay for it," his soft voice is a little shaky and hesitant, but it doesn't hide the smooth deep tenor of his voice that, like the rest of him, turns me on.

Before I find myself falling deeper into fantasies featuring him, I manage to surface to reality. And what a strange reality it is. I've had to pay the other guys for my drinks, plus tip, I remember that much. And I know I'm not exactly firing on all cylinders right now, but his voice is devoid of any foreign accent at all. He's just as American as I am.

Something is really off about him, and for the first time I truly take a look at him. Like really look at him.

Okay, besides tall, pale, and handsome, he's also pretty young looking. I'd say he's a college kid, but you never really can tell with these things, especially with the light stubble covering his jaw. Then, of course, he speaks perfect English and doesn't appear to be from around here whatsoever.

In fact, now that I'm looking at his shorts…they're the wrong shade of navy.

The clearing of his throat, again, brings me back out of my thoughts and into the curiously speculative gaze of his piercing green eyes. It's like he's trying to look right through me, and I have to say it's quite unnerving. I'm just about to ask him what's wrong with him but then his eyes soften along with the rest of his expression.

I don't know what it is about this guy, but I feel really weird around him. Like my whole being is more aware around him; it's like I'm waking up slowly. And what's more, I don't think this guy's a waiter.

So why would he pretend to be a waiter?

I'm not entirely sure how to go about this. I'm completely at a loss as to why he would do it, but I have a gut feeling that it's true.

And if it is true, I kinda feel like Sherlock for piecing it together.

I know I should be angry, or at least a little freaked out, but for some reason I just find this pretty funny. I'm dying to know why he's doing this. And since I'm already more than a little bored and he looks so adorably anxious, I just have to mess with him a little.

I've run through my thoughts fairly quickly while he's been standing there holding that drink, and I think the silence is starting to get to him because he's shifting from one foot to the other and his carefree smile is looking less carefree by the second.

I decide to do a little throat clearing of my own and give him my best smile to make sure he's completely focused on what I'm about to say.

"Tell me something," I start conversationally, "do you normally play waiter for strangers in Mexico?" I ask bluntly. My eyebrow is arched in an attempt to be stern, but I just can't wipe the smirk off my face.

But the joke's on me because I totally underestimated how nervous he really is; he startles at the abrupt exposure of his ruse and drops the blue margarita he'd brought me on my ankle, ice and all.

I shriek in shock as he mutters, "Oh shit," and immediately drops to the ground to try and help, but he seems at a loss as his hand hovers uncertainly above the bare skin of my ankle.

And I just start fucking laughing. I'm talking full on belly laughs complete with snorts and gasping.

The ridiculousness of the situation; his "clever" trick, his guilty face, his shocked expression at being found out and his Bella-esque klutz routine involving what was once my drink and my now slightly blue tinged ankle.

I'm trying so hard to calm myself because he looks so painfully embarrassed.

Blood has completely suffused his face and the poor guy looks like he's looking for a hole in the sand in which to bury himself.

Still giggling stupidly, I reach for my bag and toss him a towel; my version of an olive branch, if you will.

I'm still snorting as he gently cleans off my ankle with my purple beach towel when his voice filters through, "What gave me away?" He's staring intently at my ankle as he continues rubbing it with the towel, a wry little smile on his face.

"Once I thought about it, it was fairly obvious", He hands me back the towel and sits at the end of my beach chair. "I couldn't help but notice how American you are," I explain, as my laughs die down. I hope my tone is more friendly than accusatory; I'm not mad at him.

His expression is comical, and I nearly laugh aloud as he scratches the back of his neck while staring at my feet. As if my big toe is gonna help him out of this.

He looks so nervous; I almost don't want to keep this up. Almost. It's obvious that there's something that he wants, otherwise he'd have taken off by now. And I really want to figure it out because this is the first time I've felt something other than self pity or boredom in awhile. I'm getting a rather obscene amount of pleasure from the situation, so I'm running with it.

"I could speak to you in Spanish, if you want?" I can tell his offer is meant to be playful, but the idea of him whispering sweet Spanish nothings in my ear jumps into my brain without my permission. I'm nearly distracted from my questioning. The ghost of a smile is on his lips, and he seems more at ease. Well, at least he's looking at me now.

I'm determined not to let him have the upper hand; I keep my tone light and my smile serene. "No, you don't have to do that." Please, don't do that. If he starts speaking any Spanish, the lower half of my swimsuit might just slide right off of me.

Silence takes hold of us once again. We're both looking everywhere but at each other as we listen to the waves and the sounds of other beachgoers. I break the silence first and nudge his leg with mine.

"Well, this is an unorthodox summer job." I start giggling again as he smiles back at me. He can tell what I'm asking, and he doesn't seem to mind answering now that it's all out in the open.

He exhales heavily and rolls his eyes. "It's just that you called me over and asked me for that damn drink with that beautiful smile on your face." His voice is an embarrassed grumble towards the sand, and I have to strain to hear him, "I just couldn't say no to you." He looks over at me with a heartbreaking look on his face, and laughs darkly, "Real smooth, huh?"

Well damn.

I just sort of look at him and heave a sigh because I know this is a bad idea. I unsteadily rise from the beach chair, ignoring the popping noises of protest that come from my long-dormant joints. He's not looking at me, almost like he doesn't want to watch me leave, so when I stick my hand out to him, he looks surprised.

I smile down at him, "Come on, as I'm currently wearing my drink, you're getting me a new one"

We're strolling arm and arm, making our way towards the little bar on the beach when a thought occurs to me.

I look up at him, giggling like a schoolgirl at the broad smile on his perfect face, "How'd you get that margarita, anyway?"

"What?" He looks down at me bemusedly, the smile still plastered on his face.

"You are above the legal drinking age, right?" I laugh a little so the question isn't so insulting.

"Let me assure you, I'm old enough to do much more than drink." I'm caught off guard by the complete change in his attitude. He has me locked in his heated gaze, making me imagine all the things he's of age to do to me. He's exuding a confidence that he hadn't possessed on the beach, and I wonder how long it will last.

I'm losing a forgotten battle as I watch his pink tongue quickly smooth over his lips, his subtle innuendo still washing over me as if he'd asked to fuck me. I've never felt this tempted by anything before.

I notice that his focus mirrors mine as he stares at my lips, and I wonder if his thoughts are akin to my own. In that moment we're just two people in the world, alone and standing on the edge of reason, waiting for the other to take the plunge.

We're also two idiots standing on a suddenly crowded sidewalk, in the way of three children accompanied by an elderly lady, who is probably cussing us out in Spanish as she pushes past us.

It's a very abrupt yet necessary shove back into sanity, and I break away from his firm hold on my hips. The weird part is that I don't even know how we got so close together, with his surprisingly sure hands holding my hips and my hands pressed against his chest. But we did. And even though it's obvious how susceptible I am to this man's charms, it still doesn't deter me from getting at least one drink with this increasingly seductive stranger.

"Okay, so what are we drinking to, now?" I can practically hear his eyes rolling and the laugh in his voice that lets me know he's both annoyed and amused at the game we've been playing.

"Oh no, it's your turn." I try to stop the drunken giggles that are issuing from me every other second, but I truly am having the most fun in…well, ever.

I lean against his arm with my eyes closed as I wait on him to give his quote, preparing myself to stupidly giggle some more and take another shot of whatever.

But instead of continuing on with the theme of choosing a drinking quote that's either funny or clever, he surprises me with his choice of recitation.

"I pray you do not fall in love with me, For I am falser than vows made in wine."

Through the haze of a half a dozen shots, I'm able to catch the words within the hypnotizing lull of his voice. The sincerity is sobering enough, but the message is so taunting, begging me to decipher its meaning so much that I look up at my sexy drinking buddy for the first time in what's probably been hours.

He's looking down at me, propped up against his strong arm. His eyes say so much more than his veiled words. And in the dimming light of the setting sun, he just appears so much older and knowing than the unassuming boy on the beach. His eyes are brightest jade as they seemingly stare deep inside of me, willing me. But willing me to do what?

Is he just as aware of how close we are to one another? Not just in distance, but in other ways that I can't even describe fully.

Are his cryptic words and imploring gaze a last ditch effort of warning me to run back to the safety of my lonely hotel room?

He misunderstands my response of silence and confusion, seemingly disappointed in the fact that I don't catch on. "It's Shakespeare," he laughs self consciously. He must think I'm not familiar, but, on the contrary, I'm all too familiar with the bard's work.

In an effort to reassure him of both my intelligence and of our connection, I immediately comment, "Yes, As You Like It. I know." I'm smiling, but I'm not sure it's too convincing because my head is still spinning over that damn quote.

His obvious satisfaction of my recognizing the line makes me fall shakily on more doubt. Maybe I'm reading far too much into his quote. Maybe he's just a big fan of Shakespeare. I mean he is sorta popular, I guess.

I've been doing this shit all night.

Ping ponging between suspicion and ease.

I know it's crazy, but the longer I'm with him, the more I think that his every action and word is significant. Our initial meeting, the innuendo, every loaded stare; it all just seems so surreal, like he was strategically placed on the beach by someone, just to pour a drink on my leg. And then rationale comes in with some buzzword like 'coincidence', placating me enough to keep drinking and enjoying the company of a cute stranger.

But then he says shit like this or stares at me like he's waiting on something. Waiting on me. So, I just keep drinking and wondering. Wondering if it's all in my head, or wondering if I'll figure out what the fuck is going on here…if there is even something going on.

I down the rest of my drink to avoid another one of those aforementioned stares and try to drive the paranoia from my mind.

Maybe I should just leave. I'm not in the mood for games, and I'm obviously not in the mindset to win any.

Before I can think of an excuse, he speaks. "How'd you know?"

I'm immediately puzzled at this question, especially since it's the first question he's asked me all day. "About what, Shakespeare?"

"Yes, Shakespeare." He's looking at me now, and I'm still staring at my empty glass because I suddenly feel tense around him. Too aware.

My answer is automatic, "Well, I teach, back h-," I clear my throat over the word 'home" uncomfortably, "…where I'm from. I teach English." I have no idea why I'm answering him so honestly, must be the alcohol. I make a note to stop drinking right now before I tell him my bra size or something.

The look on his face and the questions in his eyes are too much for me, so I turn away to look around us for the first time in awhile. The stars have begun to peek out of the hazy purplish sky; I've never witnessed such an array of colors in the sky before. In Forks, all you can see are varying shades of gray or the timid powdery blue on a rare day of fair weather.

The heat is like a warm blanket now, no longer oppressive and for the first time I'm actually feeling comfortable and relaxed. I'm not sure whether I have present company or the scenery to thank, but I won't dwell on it right now.

There are people out still, adults mostly, moving languidly over the sand on the surrounding beach, sauntering quietly at the water's edge. It's like the entire world has slowed down.

Beyond us, a bonfire catches my eye. The light silhouettes the people surrounded by it; some sitting, one playing a guitar. But I barely notice them for the couples dancing around the bonfire slowly. Lovers embracing each other, moving to the slow romantic sway of the music.

It's funny; I hadn't noticed the beautiful sound until now.

And just like that, the temporary contentment I've recently found has been rendered artificial.

I'm here in Cabo, getting hammered with a stranger who's probably only putting up with me out of pity. And I'm only here in the first place because I couldn't handle my own pathetic life.

Shame and despair consume me so quickly that it nearly steals my breath.

I shouldn't be here.

"The music's pretty, isn't it, love?" His soft voice beckons me from my private wave of bitterness and unburied pain. My eyes are closed as I nod in answer, but they immediately open when I feel his surprisingly cool hand in my own. "Dance with me."

It's not a request.

It's like a dream how quickly he's removed me from our spot at the bar and my haunted thoughts, but I'm so grateful that I don't even care if this is a dream. I welcome his hold on my body and my mind and give into the sweet acoustic music that's flowing effortlessly through my body, loosening up my limbs so that I move more gracefully than I ever have in my entire life.

How many songs has the unknown guitarist strummed for us? How many minutes, hours, days have I been held by the most wonderful smelling, warmth that I've ever known? I truly couldn't tell you, everything's a blissfully hazy blur as I turn in his very capable hands, over and over, round and round.

It's the sweetest sensation of contradiction; I feel as if I'm floating, like there's little difference between myself and the air surrounding us, but at the same time the hold this man has on me is unmistakably tangible. I feel so close to him that I could slide inside of him if I wanted to, and I do want to. I've never wanted to be so close to someone.

I've never felt this way. I'm self aware enough to acknowledge that. He's awakened something inside of me, and I want to explore it with him. I don't want anything or anyone to take me from this moment, but I can't help but want more. More of him, anything he'll give me. I'm already creating ways to ask him to come with me to my room but, again, he seems to know what I need before I voice it.

"I know I should have asked before, but are you here with someone?"

Just you, I want to tell him, but instead I just shake my head, not trusting myself to speak.

"Take me to your room, Bella." His deep husky voice vibrates in his chest against my head that's pressed against it. My hand rests over his strong beating heart. His arms hold me tightly, but gently. For all of the physical evidence I'm being given, I'm still unsure as to whether he exists in my most delirious fantasies. Whether what I just heard him say is a part of some hopeful dream.

I've taken too long to answer, and now he's pulling away. But before I can cry out in protest, his lips are on my forehead and he's whispering, "Please," and I realize that if this is a dream, I'll do anything to have him in it as long as possible.

I guess I didn't have as much to drink as I thought. I'm amazed at my own speed and agility as I guide us back to my hotel. I don't stumble in my thoughts or my strides as I keep a firm hold on his hand. He's willingly trailing me, silently letting me take him back to my room, and I tingle all over from the unsaid expectations and stifled excitement.

I'm a livewire. I feel everything as I rush us up the path to the hotel building; the heat on my skin is nothing to the blood in my cheeks that has collected there from my lustful thoughts. But the most vivid sensation is the feel of his hand in mine as I lead him inside the elevator. The ride is filled with heavy silence and the occasional glance in each other's direction. I'm still holding his hand as I lean back on the wall of the elevator, trying to catch my breath and slow my fluttering heart.

I'm trying to calm down but not enough to rethink this entire thing. I know I'm pretty much the last person on earth who would ever consider taking a stranger up to their room, but there's something about this particular stranger that makes me sort of trust him, despite his somewhat mysterious behavior and the fact that I know fuck all about the guy.

Somehow we're the only people in the elevator, so the chime that goes off signaling that we've reached my floor, echoes throughout the small space. It makes me jump a little, and I ruefully realize that I'm starting to succumb to nerves.

I want this.

Whatever it is.

But old habits die hard. Annoying good girl habits that keep you from letting someone you barely know into your hotel room.

Sensing my sudden apprehension, he pulls me into his side and out of the elevator. The closeness soothes my nerves instantly and gives me further incentive to continue on to my room before my resolve can waver again. We set off quickly in the direction of my door, and we still haven't spoken a word. Maybe he's having second thoughts, but I'm too far gone and a little scared to ask him.

As soon as I get the door open, I'm wondering what I should say to him, when all of a sudden my body is being pressed forcefully against the door. My body is suddenly covered by his hard body, and his lips are on mine. Pleasure overrides the shock as I eagerly respond. I'm overwhelmed with how much I had wanted him to kiss me.

His lips are a soft, wet persuasion, begging me to yield into the kiss. I take his upper lip between my own, sucking gently at the soft skin as he nips at my lower lip, causing me to shiver in his arms, and I wonder if it's normal to become weakened by such a simple act as this. But as he expertly begins to massage my tongue with his own, I wonder if I've ever been truly kissed.

His hands are everywhere; running through my hair, skimming down my arms, touching my face, in no particular order. I understand his urge to touch and feel as I run my hands over him in the same fashion, before I finally settle my hands in his soft, thick hair.

The room is dark, and the absence of sight causes my other senses to intensify. Every sound is amplified; it makes me feel self conscious when I moan the first time because the needy sound lingers. But soon I'm past caring when his teeth press into my neck, causing me to shiver and hold him closer to me. He feels so good, and his kisses have my body ready for so much more.

My hands are shaky, a combination of nerves and excitement, as I move my hands toward the waistband of his damp swim trunks. Just before I can undo the knot, he clasps my hands in his own, stopping me.

"Bella, there's something you should know".

The other shoe? Consider it dropped.

I want to be disappointed, but all I can feel is frustration. It's so fucking typical for something good to go wrong. Why would I think he would be any exception, especially him?

But for once, and you can chalk it up to liquid courage, I'm don't want to hear it. This time, I'm not letting myself get hit by the other dropping shoe.

This is the first time in my entire life that I've truly desired something. I wanted him from the moment I laid eyes on him, as hard as I tried to deny it. I hid behind propriety and doubts, but really I was just afraid of consequences, rejection.

Well fuck that. As hypocritical as this is, I want him, and judging from his actions…and his hard-on…I don't think I'm wrong in thinking he wants this too.

I look into his glowing green eyes, the same eyes that have been looking at me with desire this whole evening, and I'm suddenly emboldened. The curious feeling of strength allows me to reach for him as I stare at his beautiful face in the moonlight.

I place my hand on his face; he looks so conflicted. "There are so many things I should know, but there's only one thing that matters to me right now." He tries to look away from me but I won't have it. "Do you want me as much as I want you?" My whisper hovers around us, and I literally hold my breath as I wait for him to either give into what I feel for him or turn away from it. From us.

My hand rubs his cheek softly as I pull him down to meet my lips; I pour all of my conviction into the kiss, hoping that he can feel what I feel, how good this feels.

He resists for a second more before he begins to kiss me back with renewed passion, a broken moan slipping from him. He breaks from my lips, but trails more wet hot kisses all the way up to my ear, just before he nips at the lobe. "I just wanted you to know my name," he whispers. "I want to hear you say it when I make you come." His lustful promise makes the ache between my legs double in intensity, and I'm suddenly dying to hear his name.

He stops kissing me for a moment, "Edward, my name is Edward," he says softly against my throat.

"Edward." I can't help but smile at the way his name feels on my lips, even if he can barely see me in the limited moonlight shining through the thin curtains. "Edward, do you want me?" I ask, because I need to know.

It seems like those are the magic words because everything speeds up now. His trunks and my bathing suit are pulled off by his frenzied hands. His cool hands pick me up as I quickly wrap my legs around his waist for balance. I barely have time to squeak out my surprise as we fall into bed, limbs tangled in one another's. He's kissing me, hard and his hands are everywhere; his tongue to my neck, my teeth to his throat. His beard scratches lightly against my face. My nails dig into his back as his hand trails slowly down my stomach, and my eyes roll back into my head when one long digit makes its way inside of me. He plays with me, exploring every area of my folds before he adds a second, all the while nipping and licking at my neck. It's all so fast. But at the same time, he's very thorough, devouring me slowly, but completely.

His fingers trail hotly down my slit as he makes sure I'm ready to take him inside of me. It doesn't take long; I'd been wet the second I'd seen him. Satisfied with the wetness he's caused he lines his hard length up at my entrance, and begins to push himself inside. He stretches me as his cock slowly slides to the very hilt.

His first thrusts are slow, experimental, but I'm not patient enough for this. I push my hips to his urgently, desperate for him to speed up. My hands explore the muscles of his back; I'm fascinated at the way they contract with each thrust. My hands run up to his shoulders, as he drives himself into me. His movements are becoming harder and heavier, and I'm panting and whimpering in response to his increased force and speed. His arms are on either side as he supports himself.

I move my hands down to better feel the frenzied motions of his hips as he continues his strong thrusts, rotating his hips maddeningly when he reaches deep inside of me. His head is burrowed in my neck. His harsh breaths and moans are all I hear; I'm completely surrounded by him.

I derive pleasure from his every word, kiss and caress as he lets me ride his cock in wild abandon. I meet every thrust, wanting to give back every ounce of pleasure he's giving me until I'm moaning uncontrollably, signaling my release. My entire body locks onto his as I scream out my orgasm; his name the only word that I know as I can only think of him and my pleasure. I'm barely able to catch a glimpse of his elation before he succumbs to the same overwhelming ecstasy that has claimed me.

His breaths are short and quick against my neck as he struggles to bring himself back to me. I run my fingers through his hair as he calms. I'm spent as I fall asleep still feeling the imprint of his soft sweet kisses on my lips, cheeks and eyelids and the quiet murmur of my name in the dark.

I wake up alone, bathed in the bright sun coming from my window. I just soak in the warmth; I don't want to open my eyes yet. It must be way past noon.

I remember everything, and I'm not surprised that I do. It was the most intense night in my entire life, even if I'm struggling to believe it was real. I roll over onto the pillows where he'd held me through the night, breathing in his unique scent. I can't place the aroma with anything because the delicious scent is mixed in with my own.

I had heard when he left. I felt him drop a lingering kiss on my forehead as I feigned sleep until he was gone.

I'm laying here trying to absorb everything that's happened. It's not sinking in that I just had the most passionate night of my life with a complete stranger, while I was in the middle of mourning the loss of my marriage and the life I knew.

I think I'm in fucking shock.

I feel like I'm living someone else's life. Things like this don't happen to people like me.

But it did.

And I loved it.

The dual sensation of achiness and comfort in my limbs is proof enough without me being completely naked and smelling like sex, but I just can't believe what has happened. It's all happened so incredibly fast.

I sift through all the memories starting from when I first saw him to when he'd held me as I fell asleep in his arms.

I go through the thoughts over and over. The more I do this, and the more I actually accept what's happened.

I'm torn between wanting to giggle and squeal over the whole thing or cry because I know what has to happen.

He'd given me more happiness in one night than I'd gotten from my whole life.

And I have to leave him.

There's just no way this can continue. It was a one night stand; it has to be.

In the heat of passion, it's so easy to see forever with Edward; making love, and strolling on the beach. Being together. But I can't ignore the truth, as much as I want to. I'm going through a divorce, and he's too young to be roped into my bullshit. Hell, even if he wanted to actually be involved with me, I'd never do that to him.

He deserves a full and happy life with someone who can offer him one. All I have is a dull and broken life in a dreary little town that I grew up in. There'd be no room to grow for us because things will never change. I'll go back to Forks, and my life will be just a tiny bit better for knowing Edward. But it won't exactly change.

I also can't ignore reason and priorities. As good as I feel when I'm with him, I don't exactly know him. The fact that I can get so wrapped up in this person without any further thought is altogether scary. I'm not the type to drop everything and forget the world over any guy. I have people that depend on me; I can't afford to further let anyone down.

No, I couldn't afford to follow another dead end dream.

It's best to leave, while I still can.

While it hurts less.

I didn't come to here to stay; I came here for a small reprieve for my pain, so I could move on. But I'd gotten so much more than that. And maybe that's all I needed; maybe that's all I'll ever need. From one special experience, I was able to touch the tenderest emotions inside me, some of which I'd never known I could feel. From one passionate night, I was able to really see myself. I can take that with me and hold onto it forever.

But there's one thing I need to do first.

I've never been more grateful for how stubborn I am, until this moment. I watch him sit alone by the ocean, not far from where we first met, and I can literally feel my body rebel with my mind. But I'm able to remind myself of why I have to say goodbye right now.

I don't really care about messing up my jeans, as I sit down beside him in the sand. I wonder if he can tell it's me as I hesitantly take his hand in mine, smiling when he squeezes it. I'm pleased this isn't awkward and I'm glad I don't have to waste time; I can simply enjoy being comfortable with him for a little while longer.

It's later than I thought; I can hear the people all around us as we gaze out into the water. Every now and then I catch his eye, but he doesn't say anything. He just looks to the sea. It's almost time for the sun to set, and I realize that I've never truly watched a sunset.

For the first time in my life, I feel like I've really lived, and I'll always be grateful to him for that. Even if he never knows it.

His hand tightens on mine slightly before he clears his throat, speaking for the first time, "There's something you should know, Bella." His expression is so weighted, a complete opposite of the easy happiness he wore with every smile as I danced in his arms last night.

I sigh because I seriously can't handle a heavy conversation right now. "Can it wait till tomorrow?" My voice is small, and I feel so bad because tomorrow won't come for us. He gives me his sweet half grin and nods, turning to look at the water.

And I guess I should be cursing fate for bringing us together, only for me to leave, but all I can feel is immense gratitude for whatever brought this man to me. It's the most I could ever hope to have had, and I know I'll never regret it.

I fight hard to keep my gathering tears at bay. The culmination of my feelings, the heaviness in my heart merely comes out as a heavy sigh.

Keeping my eyes on the horizon, I stare into the amber blaze of the sun, its radiance incomparable to all except the beautiful man beside me. I lean in and close my eyes.

"It really is beautiful here."