Hello again! Welp, this is it. The final, final, very last, never to be repeated outtake for Playing It Straight.
This final chapter is Edward's POV of Ch20/21, what was dubbed "Ballerinagate" by some. I thought it would be nice to see what was going through his head, and why Sam was there in the first place.
Hope you enjoy.
Also, I'm not 100% sure if I'm allowed to post this yet, I haven't' double checked the date. I blame iambeagle.
She smells like clean warm skin and that sweet scented body wash she uses, and I have half a mind to toss the keys aside and take her against the door.
My brain spends way too long thinking about the logistics of a hallway fuck, but in the end, as hot as it would be, I don't want my first time with Bella to be against the front door of our apartment, in plain sight of our neighbors. I can practically hear my balls screaming at me to get a grip. I shouldn't be thinking about making our first time "special". As a testosterone-fuelled, hot-blooded guy, I should be thinking about hitting that.
From all angles.
And I am; just in a more respectful manner. Because I don't wanna fuck up whatever this is I have going with her. It's too good, and I'm already in way too deep to back out now.
I should have known the minute she strolled into my apartment, with that fucking dress swishing around her perfect legs, smelling like fresh air and trouble. I should have caught on when the sight of her and Garrett made me want to punch holes in my bedroom wall. But they say hindsight is twenty-twenty, and that's all in the past now, because finally, I have her all to myself.
Finally, she gets the key into the lock, and the door pops open, the two of us almost falling over ourselves to get inside. I'm thinking of a thousand ways I can get her out of her bra in sixty seconds or less, and she's complaining about being hungry. Again. That girl has hollow legs or something, I don't know where she puts all the food she eats.
A dark blue carry-on case catches my attention, and as my brain pulls the blood from my dick back up to where it's needed, I realize there's someone sitting on my couch.
"Hi, Edward," she says quietly, smiling a little.
I blink again.
She's still there.
"Who's this?" she asks, gesturing behind me.
Samantha - my ex-fiancé - is in my apartment. On my couch. Smiling at me.
"Uh, I'm Bella."
Oh, shit. Sam is in the same room as Bella. Bella and Sam are in the same place. Together. And I'm here too. How did this happen?
Sam says something, her voice sounding more high-pitched and grating than I remember, and then suddenly, she throws her arms around my neck and kisses me.
Only on the cheek, thank god. But still. What the fuck?!
Bella looks at me expectantly.
I feel like my mouth is full of cotton wool. "Bella, this is Sam."
The words come out of my mouth, but I don't feel my lips making the movements. It's like an out of body experience as Bella's eyes widen and she looks at Sam, and then back at me.
Sam's looking up at me with her familiar blue eyes, and I have the urge to march her out the front door and slam it in her face. Or find the remote and rewind time. Where's a time traveling Delorian when you need one?
"What are you doing here?"
She smiles, and I can see it's fake; like she's painted it there. "I wanted to come home a little early, so I caught a flight and thought I could surprise you."
Well ten fucking points to you for surprising the shit out of me!
"Anyway," says Sam, breaking the silence. All I can see, as Sam goes on about dinner, is Bella inching away from me. I don't know if she's aware she's doing it, but when I move toward her she takes a step back.
"You should come along." Sam's voice is like a buzzing in my ear. I'm torn between trying to form words, something to tell Bella to stop thinking the things I can see she's thinking, and telling my crazy ex to get the fuck out of my apartment.
Both Bella and I protest, but Sam seems to just ignore us both as she wraps her scarf around her neck.
Turning back to Bella, I reach for her, but she steps out of my grasp, crossing her arms over her chest.
I try to reassure her that I'll figure it out. Whatever it is. But I need a minute, just a fucking second to breathe.
I want to know why Sam's really here.
I want to know why she's looking at me the way she is; like I'm the crazy one.
I want Bella to stop looking at me like I'm about to break her heart.
I'm on auto-pilot, following Bella out the door that only minutes before we were making out against. I think back to my last conversations with Sam. Did I not make it clear enough that we were breaking up? Did she tell me she was coming home and I've forgotten? That sounds like me, but this is kind of a big thing, I think I would remember.
The short walk to the restaurant is quite possibly the most awkward ten minutes of my life. Sam knows she's in the wrong, so she spends the whole time talking incessantly, barely stopping for a breath. Bella, on the other hand, walks beside me, obviously making a conscious effort not to touch or look at me.
At the restaurant, Bella stuffs her face with breadsticks; her cheeks full like a chipmunk as she washes it down with a gulp of wine.
Sam is being annoyingly evasive with her answers, insisting she's here to see me, and then ignoring me to ask Bella more questions. I'm trying really hard to be a gentleman since we're in public and all, but I really want to slam my fist on the table and get the truth out of her.
"Don't be silly. We had an argument, Edward."
My mouth drops open, and before I can get a word out, Bella jumps up from her seat, excusing herself.
"What the fuck are you on?" I hiss at Sam as Bella practically runs across the restaurant to the bathroom.
"I'm sorry?" Sam replies. She tries to look coy, her hand fluttering at her collarbone as her eyes widen. But I know better. She forgets that I've known her for-fucking-ever, and that I know when she's lying.
"I don't know what your problem is, Sam. But if your sudden appearance fucks things up between Bella and me, I will never forgive you."
With that, I push my chair out roughly, leaving her sitting at the table.
I pace the hallway outside the bathroom like the fucking stalker I am, becoming more and more stressed as the time ticks on. I reach for the door twice, afraid that maybe she's legged it out a window or something. I'm just about to go in, when the door swings open and she runs right into me, her head smashing painfully against my sternum.
"You have to believe me, I don't know what she's talking about." The words are out before she even has a chance to stand up straight.
Rubbing her head, she frowns and snatches her hand out of mine. I can't help but be hurt, even though I know she's hurting more. But as much as I know that right now she's hurting, I also know that I need her just to chill for two seconds, because I can already see indecision and fear creeping into her eyes. I don't know what's going on, but I'm going to find out.
I try my best to calm her down, to make her understand that while I desperately want to just shake the answer out of Sam, there's obviously something going on that I don't understand. I just need her to…to…fuck…I just need her.
"But…you have to want me too." I can see her holding back tears; feel her pulse beating under my fingers as I pull her closer. The ways in which this night has turned on its head continue to stun me. How can she not know I want her?
You should have told her how you feel, you dick.
I can't tell her now. Telling someone you love them isn't a bargaining chip, and yeah, I have a shitty relationship history, so you can't blame me for being just a little wary about telling her that I fucking love her.
"You're breaking my heart because you don't have the balls to tell your ex-girlfriend the truth."
I don't know why I stand there so long. I feel like I want to be sick, like my heart's beating too fast, too hard. It makes my chest hurt, and my head swim, and by the time I run outside, stumbling into the biting night air, she's gone.
I jog up a half a block, scanning the people on the sidewalk, looking for her mop of dark hair, but finding nothing. I call her phone but it rings out and I don't even bother leaving a message, just hanging up and calling again. When it goes straight to message bank after the third try, I know she's turned it off.
The urge to sit on the sidewalk and cry is overwhelming. My hands tucked into my hair, I turn in circles, hoping that she'll appear out of nowhere with that look on her face that says "you're in trouble!" The one she gives me when I've left a wet towel on the bed or a coffee cup in the shower again.
Hanging my head, I turn to face Sam, my hands balled into fists at my side.
"What? What could you possibly want from me, Sam?"
Brushing her blonde hair over her ear, she looks at me, the remorse plain in her features. A year ago that face would have made me crumble, but now it just makes me angry, and all I see are the things about her that make her not Bella. The blonde hair, the light eyes framed by perfectly manicured eyebrows and expensive makeup. She's exactly the same as she was when she left; so put together, not a hair out of place, and yet, so very different. She's thin in the extreme, no doubt from all the dancing, but there's a glow to her skin, even in the cold night air. She looks good.
"Did you find her? Do you want to go home and look for her there?"
"What? Why do you care? Why are you even here!?"
Wringing her hands, she shuffles awkwardly. "I don't know. Bad advice I guess. And...I don't know. I just needed to make sure you were happy."
"By turning up out of nowhere and pretending like we're still together?"
"I didn't mean any of that stuff I said back there, Edward. I don't know what I was thinking. I'm so sorry, please believe me."
Sighing long and deep, the adrenalin begins to slowly seep out of me, and I'm left with just the deep, cold, aching feeling in my chest.
"I don't care, Sam. I'm sorry, but right now I just want to find my girlfriend."
The vibrating of my phone startles me, and I almost drop it in my haste to answer.
"Not unless she's gained a hundred pounds and a dick."
"Oh, it's like that? It's the middle of the frickin night and I'm calling you, out of the goodness of my heart, to tell you that your girlfriend is here, safe, and all I get is a hey."
"She's there? Is she okay? Can I talk to her? Wait - does she look angry?"
"One question at a time. She's not here yet, Rose just called from the car; she's gone to pick her up. She asked me to call you and tell you where Bella was so you wouldn't get worried."
Thank fuck for Rose. I'm going to buy that woman the biggest fucking bunch of flowers ever.
"Did she say anything about Bella? Is...she okay?"
Emmett pauses. "She didn't say. But I'm guessing since Rose is hauling ass all the way out to Greyhill at midnight on a Sunday, that no, she's not okay."
Squeezing my eyes shut, I frown. "Can you just tell her to call me please?"
"I'll see what I can do."
It's a crappy answer, but it's all I get.
"Hang in there, bro."
Hanging up, I squeeze the phone in my hand, trying to calm myself down. I'm grateful to Emmett for the call. He didn't have to, especially since Rose is Bella's best friend, but I'm marginally calmer knowing she's safe.
I'd almost forgotten Sam was even there. Suddenly tired, I nod, and she reaches out for my arm, retracting her hand as I pull it out of her reach.
"You have some explaining to do."
Standing in the middle of the almost empty sidewalk, Sam blurts out everything.
"I was going to call first, I swear. But my mom suggested I surprise you – you know how much she always loved you. I think she was hoping we'd have this big heart-felt reunion, and she'd get the big wedding she wanted so badly." Her voice drops a little, her fingers twisting in front of her. "But then when you turned up with Bella...I don't know. Do you know what it's like seeing the man you were supposed to marry with someone else?"
"That's not fair and you know it. You made your decision, Sam."
"No! You don't get to come back here and play the scorned woman card. You got your flashy life in Europe - I moved on. That's it."
"I know! You don't have to tell me that," she snaps. "You think it's only men who get to play the jealous ex-lover? I'm sorry I did it, all of it. Seeing you is harder than I thought it would be, but that doesn't mean I'm here to cause trouble between you and Bella."
"Well you're doing a pretty good job of it so far."
"That was not my intention, Edward. I just freaked out, okay? And I promise I'll do anything you need to get her back."
I roll my eyes. "Somehow I don't think Bella would appreciate your help on the matter."
She looks up at me with her familiar eyes, those eyes that can still read me like a book.
"You love her."
Christ. Even Sam can see it – how does Bella not know?
A sad, resigned smile tugs at Sam's lips. "I'm happy you're happy. I know you think I'm this crazy vindictive bitch out to ruin your relationship, but I'm not. I came back to make sure you were happy, Edward."
"A call would have sufficed."
She smiles. "I see that now. Look, I know I've gone about this the wrong way, but..." She takes a deep breath. "I want you to know that I don't look at our relationship as wasted time. Some of our time together was the best of my life. But, you and I both know that in the end we were always better friends that we were lovers."
Her words hit home and I realize that this is our final parting moment; the final chapter in a relationship that spanned six years and two continents.
"I've never thought our relationship was a waste of time, Sam," I reply quietly. "I guess I'm just sorry I couldn't give you what you needed."
She shrugs. "I think even if you had it wouldn't have changed things. Anyway, it's not like I was a model fiancée anyway."
The wind bites and I curse my thin t-shirt as we both shiver; me shoving my hands into my pockets, Sam hunkering down into her scarf.
"You look good, Edward," she says, nudging me with her shoulder lightly. "You look happy."
Holding my bare arms close to my sides, I shiver. "Are you? Happy, I mean?"
She nods slowly, but her eyes are bright like the summer sky under her blonde hair. "I am."
I crack a smile, but it feels stupid and wrong; like there's no reason to smile if Bella's not around. "Good. I'm glad."
Funnily enough though, it's the truth. I am pleased she's happy. It's always nice to know you haven't ruined some poor girl's life.
"Don't let her go, Edward."
Resolute, I stand up straight.
"She's good for you. You look more like the Edward I knew when we first met."
The sick feeling in the pit of my stomach rises again, and all I want to do is see her. Touche her, smell her, taste her, tell her that I love her a thousand-million times.
"What are you going to do?" Sam asks.
My hands in my pockets, I close my eyes; exhausted, angry, scared and most of all, missing Bella already.
"I'm going to get her back."
I don't care if I have to walk to Emmett's and beg on my fucking knees. I'm not letting this stupid lack of communication be what comes between us.
There is no maybe – this time I'll fight.
Thank you to Meg and Tiff for being my prereaders. They're awesome.
Okay, no sappy goodbyes. I'm off to click the 'Complete' button and cry.