Disclaimer: SM owns the characters, I own the plot.

Hello, everyone! Long time no see, huh? It hasn't been that long, has it? Did you miss our Drummer Girl and Creeper? I'm really excited to get to the continuation of Watching Her, so welcome to Drumsticks and Penalty Kicks! I have lots of things to cover in this part - some you'll expect, some that will surprise you. Thank you so much for coming back. I've missed you all!

And special thanks to Laurel, J'me, Bornonhalloween, Jen, Becky, and Caren for all their help. You girls rock my world and help in more ways than I can tell you.

Alrighty then, we're jumping right back into things … if you need a refresher, glance back at Chapter 49 of Watching Her, we're starting right where that one ended! (Just to let you know, if you haven't read Watching Her, this story won't make sense!)

Onward we go …

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Chapter 1 - Quarter Notes on the Bass Drum

BPOV

Oh.

Oh my God.

He kissed me.

He loves me.

He kissed me and he loves me.

Wow.

Brilliant, Bella. Really eloquent, aren't you? That's all you can come up with for the best kiss of your life … 'wow'?

I try to lift my fingers to my lips, which are still tingling from his kiss, but I can't; Edward's hanging onto my hand.

I don't want him to let go because if he does, I'm not sure I'll be able to keep myself upright. My legs certainly don't seem as if they're in any condition to support me considering they feel like cooked spaghetti noodles.

"That was totally worth waiting three months for." He chuckles and then leans forward to brush his lips over mine.

I sigh. My whole body still trembles, not to mention the flood of emotions from simply being right here, right now, with him. I look into his eyes; I can't stop staring at them. They are so green. So, so green. I didn't even know eyes could be that color green, like the color of a green apple Jolly Rancher. Clear and bright and so pretty.

I'm vaguely aware of the sound of retreating footsteps and fading voices. I glance around. My heart races and my fingers twitch and not in that good 'I want to touch Edward' kind of way either. The large entryway is almost empty and that makes my stomach drop. How many people witnessed our little ... well, actually it was epically huge ... moment just now? Maybe I should care that others saw it, but unsurprisingly, I don't. We could have been standing in the middle of Rockefeller Center at Christmas and it wouldn't have mattered to me. The second I saw Edward, there was no one else but him - his friends, other students, teachers be damned. Now that our little Creeper/Drummer Girl bubble has burst, at least for the time being, the reality of where I am and what's about to happen makes me want to turn around and run right back out the door.

"Hey," Edward says softly, and his voice instantly makes me feel better. There's a dip between his eyebrows as he stares at me; I want to reach up and rub it away.

"You can do this." He's so sure, so confident that I can't help but smile. He gives me one back, and it's enough to make me take a deep breath.

"Come on, the last bell's about to ring and we can't have you getting detention already," he urges as he squeezes our joined fingers and leads me toward my first class. He smirks as he leans in close. "Besides, I think we've probably given everyone enough to talk about."

There are a few students lingering in the hallway lamenting the end of summer vacation. The bang of a locker door. The squeak of sneakers on the shiny floors.

"Okay, you have World History, right?" Edward asks as we walk down a hall to the left. We went over our schedules last night, so I know he's just making sure I know where I'm supposed to be; I have no doubt he already has mine memorized. I nod, nerves making my whole body break out in goosebumps, or maybe it's just the fact that for the first time, Edward is with me, out in public no less.

Holy shit. Talk about jumping from the frying pan straight into the fire.

I gasp, my chest is tight and I feel lightheaded. So many things are on the tip of my tongue, but he's babbling, and I can't follow what he's saying. I try to pay attention to which direction the classroom is, but realize it's pretty much an effort in futility … he just keeps talking a mile a minute. He's so excited - his eyes bright and his cheeks pink. He's adorable and everything I hoped he'd be and about a hundred things more. I stumble as he pulls me along behind him. When he stops and turns to look at me, I bump into him.

The look on my face obviously makes him worry. I suppose my wide eyes, the fact that I'm gnawing on my bottom lip like a dog with a bone, and that I can't quite seem to catch my breath are enough to make anyone wonder if I'm okay. I'm kind of wondering that myself.

"Bella, what's wrong?"

He's so concerned; it's written all over his otherwise perfect face. Furrowed forehead, lips turned down, and eyes pinched. His thumb is tracing endless circles on the back of my hand and I'm almost positive he doesn't even realize he's doing it.

I huff then words just tumble out, like an overloaded apple display at the grocery store.

"It's all of this," I practically shriek and wave my free hand as if shooing away an imaginary swarm of flies around my head. "Saying goodbye to Mom this morning, then Phil and he was so nice, and then there was your note, and then I was here and you were here, and you kissed me and you love me, and now I have to walk in that classroom without you and everyone's going to look at me, like they don't already do it enough, but now you kissed me and everyone will know and I just … ugh … I don't even know."

I have to close my eyes because even though I seriously could look at him all day, every day and never get tired of it, there's so much stuff swirling around in my brain that I can't see, let alone think straight.

"Oh, shit. You're freaking out. This is all too much. Damn it, I was worried this would happen. I should have met you outside or something, or picked you up this morning instead of making you walk inside all by yourself. Do you want me to take you home? I'm supposed to go meet with Mr. Banner after first period, but I can skip; he won't be too mad. Fuck, I must be the worst boyfriend ever …"

And with that word, that one beautiful, scary, so big word, nothing else matters but him. I grab the center of his shirt and tug … hard. He catches himself, just barely, but we still wind up in an Edward, Bella, wall sandwich. I like it. A lot. Every inch of his body that can be is pressed against mine, and I don't want to move, don't want him to move. I want him to stay right where he is, always.

His nostrils flare and his eyes blaze, for just a moment, the blink of an eye really, then they soften. He lifts a hand and runs his fingers through my hair then lays his palm along my now very warm, and I'm sure very pink cheek. Our eyes are locked together, and I know every second we stand here is one more we shouldn't, but I can't make myself move, not now, not after waiting so long to finally have him this close.

"Bella," he whispers.

"You said boyfriend," I blurt at the same time, but I don't think he minds the abrupt interruption. He doesn't mind at all.

"Damn straight I did." He grins. "You're mine and I'm yours, Bella, and everyone will know it soon enough."

I blow a strand of wayward hair out of my face and Edward's smiling at me. Cat that swallowed the canary smiling, dimples, gleaming eyes and tongue in the corner of his mouth smiling. If I didn't love him and think he was about the most amazing thing ever, I might be tempted to be really pissed off at him. When the left side of his mouth lifts into a smirk, I realize I'm in trouble. Big, big trouble because that smirk, holy hell, it's going to be the death of me. I just know it.

I glance around and notice that the hall is almost empty. My heart starts pounding again just thinking about the fact that I have to walk into my classroom by myself.

"Hey, stop," he pleads, covering my hands that are still holding onto his shirt with his own. "You can do this, baby. Remember what I told you? You don't ever have to do anything by yourself again."

I lean my head forward and rest it against his chest and just breathe him in.

"I can't believe you're really here, that I can touch you and look at you and Christ, kiss you." He breathes out and all my hysterical thoughts are gone … poof … like Dumbledore just waved his wand and made everything but Edward disappear.

He tips my chin up and kisses me really quick and then steps backward. "We still have so much to talk about, but you need to go," he urges. "Shit, you really need to go," he says glancing at his watch and then he practically pushes me through the door to my history class. "I'll meet you after class. You've got this, baby, trust me."

He winks then rushes down the hallway.

I take a deep breath as I watch him then turn toward the door. I can do this.

~~~~OOO~~~~OOO~~~~

So, it begins. Next up we'll see Bella meet the rest of the group and see how Edward handles all the new changes.

In case you didn't know, there's a group on FB where I'll post teasers and maybe a picture or two. I'm not planning on doing pic teases like I did for WH, but I'm a visual person, so when it fits, I'm sure there will be a few posted as we go along. Come join and chat. I'd love to have you.

www(.)facebook(.)com / groups / 137144056381565 /

Posting days will be Monday and Thursday, so I'll see you in a few days. Hope everyone has a Happy Memorial Day!

Erin~