AN: this was originally written for Kassiah's birthday. &hearts

Disclaimer: All recognizable elements contained herein belong to their respective owners.

He's tired, but he wants to fuck her. He pulls her back close to his chest as they lay inside the curtained bunk of his tour bus.

The show is over and he's glad she accepted his offer of a ride to their next gig. She's been coming to see them play for weeks now and he's been wondering what he'd have to do to get her into bed. Turns out, it didn't take much.

~hello i've waited here for you~

Edward Cullen was the lead singer for Sons of Strigoi. Bella thought he was a cross between Eddie Vedder and Van Morrison and she sometimes felt like he was singing just to her and about her. She'd been a fan from the first moment she saw him play a note, just two months before.

Bella had talked her friends Jessica and Angela into taking a few weeks off work that summer to follow the Sons on their North American tour. The girls were working hard to save for their college apartment so they didn't have to stay in the dorms a third year, but were all glad to take some time off and blow off some steam.

The Sons weren't selling out stadiums, but the girls were having the time of their lives following them, even if they were stuck with seedy motels and gas station food. At the end of the day, it was a once in a lifetime experience for them and they were all psyched to be there.

Still, as drawn to the Sons' music as Bella was, especially Edward's words and voice and raw passion—she had even considered getting one of his tattoos as her own—she was content to stay on the sidelines and take it all in. Jessica was the one bucking to get backstage, one night going as far as taking her panties off from under her skirt at the car, swearing that if that didn't do the trick nothing would.

Whether it was Jessica's commando or sheer luck, the girls did get backstage that night. Bella didn't know she could feel like a pressure cooker, boiling and ready to burst. She didn't know anything could be better than sitting in the audience and watching and listening every night. But when Edward Cullen actually spoke to her, she felt adrenaline shooting through her veins. She worried she might start bubbling over, gushing with energy.

"Great show," Bella said, politely shaking Edward's hand. "We've been following you for a few weeks now…"

Her voice trailed off, but not soon enough, in her opinion. She wished she hadn't admitted to him that she'd been following him around the country like a desperate groupie. She hoped he'd brush it off. She hoped out of all his groupies, she was the least creepy.

"Yeah," he replied, holding her hand and shaking it slowly, grinning widely, making his gray-green eyes sparkle and the edges around them crinkle.

His lips were stretched across gleaming white teeth. Bella loved it when he smiled, but seeing it up close was another thing altogether. He licked his lips and narrowed his eyes before he spoke again.

"I know." His grin tilted into a smirk and he reluctantly released her hand, thinking about how soft she was and how much softer she looked and smelled up close. "I've seen you here. I'm glad you finally made your way backstage."

He turned away from her toward a long banquet table with soft drinks and snacks, beer and wine and grabbed two small bottles of orange juice. He held one up to her as an offer. Bella had expected beer, but didn't really care, so she nodded in acceptance, feeling dumfounded and lame.

"What took you so long?" he asked, handing her the bottle and savoring her calm, quiet demeanor. Edward thought she wasn't like a groupie with an agenda. He thought maybe she was there for the same reason he was; maybe she was drawn there, meant to be, needed to be there.

Bella blinked up at him as she took the bottle from his hand. She shook her head. She didn't have an answer that she didn't think sounded rude or stupid. She hoped he appreciated the truth.

"I love your music," she said with a shrug. "I guess I was content with just watching you guys perform."

"And now?" he asked, their gazes locking for the first time, now that she let them.

They had a stare-down or a mind-meld—a moment where time seemed to halt and everything around them fell away.

"I like it here," she answered, and they both smiled.

~tonight i throw myself into and out of the red~

The bunk isn't at all private, but that doesn't stop him from slipping her tank top over her head. He's an expert kisser with expert tongue and teeth. He bites her in all the right places at all the right times, and she's having a hard time breathing.

He's doing things to her that he shouldn't do, things she shouldn't let him do, but all she's thinking is that it feels so good and so right. He smells good, too, like whiskey and cigarettes. And soap, because he showered after the show; his hair is still damp.

He strips away his own shirt then, and she wriggles and rolls to face him, musing over the perfection of the word delicious to describe how he looks and smells and tastes. She hums as she licks his neck and bites his stubbled jaw, making him shiver and chuckle.

He really wants to fuck her.

He feels a sudden wave of disdain for the sheer, dark blue bra he loved so much just 90 minutes before, when he was catching glimpses of it through the sweat-dampened fabric of her light blue tank top. But now, it's just in the fucking way, going beyond a tease and becoming an infuriating barrier to his goal.

He works as quickly as he can to get rid of it, then they're both fumbling with each other's buttons and zippers. Bella knows that anyone else on the bus has got to know what's going on, and they are so busted.

She sighs in frustration because even though she's embarrassed to be acting like a common groupie, she can't get out of her jeans fast enough. She briefly wonders where her pride went… and if he's ever going to lick her with the tongue she's obsessed over since the first moment she saw him on stage.

At long last he's rid them each of their jeans and underclothes, so now they're skin on skin. Months of fantasizing have led them both to this moment and stoked their lawless, ruleless libidos that apparently just don't give a fuck for propriety.

He rolls her onto her back, so that he's above her, then he kisses her gently on the forehead, brushes his lips over her cheek and her jaw, then nibbles her collarbone. He lingers at her breasts, licking and sucking. He continues down her ribcage, caressing every inch of her skin with his lips, tongue, and fingers. She has such delicate wrists.

As he travels downward, he admires her body—her supple muscles and slight curves. She told him earlier that she runs and does yoga and pilates. Whatever she does, he likes it.

He takes the time to appreciate each hipbone with light kisses then nuzzles her lower abdomen as he nips at her belly with his teeth, continuing to blaze a path downward and inward. Finally, he touches her with his tongue almost in the spot where she wants him, and she hisses.

Her back arches and she bites her lip to keep from crying out, to keep the other passengers from knowing what they're up to, as he begins to lick and suck her and drive her mad. She fists the cotton sheet in her hands and gasps for air, squeezing her eyes shut tight.

~out of her head, she sang~

"Your friend Jessica's a trip," Edward said, eyeing Bella sideways as she struggled to keep up with his long-legged pace. "But I think Felix likes her."

He stopped in front of the entrance of the bus and banged on the door before it quickly opened. He gripped the handle, but instead of boarding, he turned to Bella and looked her in the eye.

"I want you to come with me," he said, asking her to get on the bus, sleep with him, drink with him, anything; he just didn't want her to go. "We can get your bags or whatever we need to do-"

"Okay," Bella said.

She had her cell phone, some cash, and her ID. Everything else was in Jessica's car. She'd call Jess later. She wanted this moment with him and wouldn't pass it up over silly logistics.

Edward arched a brow. He was used to groupies on the road—getting laid, it was easy—but Bella wasn't just another groupie. He was surprised at her eagerness, but so fucking pleased.

"Okay." He echoed her statement and waved her inside the bus, then followed
behind her sure steps.

~come down and waste away with me~

He gets off on her enthusiasm and he feels stabilized by it, but he pushes her hips back down on the bunk and massages her legs to calm her, stop her from resisting. He uses his tongue to fuck her as he opens her up wide with his shoulders and wraps each arm around one of her thighs. He thinks this position helps him keep her in place and gives his fingers access to play with her like he wants to.

She loves feeling bound by his grip, safe and still, spread open to him. She thinks about him playing his guitar and singing with fervor and his signature graceful force. When she hears him moan like one of the fierce and pretty melodies she's heard so many times before, she pulls the side of the pillow over her face and swallows the moan that accompanies her orgasm.

When her eyes are able to focus, she sees he's wearing a satisfied grin, cocky and sure. He loosens his hold on her legs and climbs to his knees, pushing her further open. He palms her and massages her lightly as she shakes and squirms in aftershocks.

Then he settles on his forearms, and she feels caged, but he's kissing her and teasing her so well. She sucks on his tongue and clutches at his colorful arms and back, then wraps her legs around his slim hips. She feels desperate because she's afraid he'll leave or go to sleep, or that it was all a fluke because nothing could be this simple.

He pushes up above her again, pulling his mouth from hers to kiss her neck and chest with hot, wet kisses. He brings her arms up over her head then flat to the bunk. He tells her that he wants to fuck her—that he's wanted to fuck her since the first night she came with her friends to see him play.

"Yes," she breathes, as she plants her feet on the mattress and arches up to meet him, hip-to-hip. "Fuck me."

He holds her hands together over her head with one of his own and teasingly grazes the exposed and sensitive, underside of her arms with the back of his other hand. He loves watching her react to the sensation of his rough skin on her soft, and he never wants to stop watching her writhe beneath him when he takes her nipples between his lips and fingers.

Between her legs, she's wet and he's hard. He keeps her hands pinned to the mattress as he guides himself inside her with his other hand. Once he shifts his weight to his knees to gain leverage, he reaches up to balance himself on both hands, one of her wrists in each, and he sets a rhythm that lulls her into bliss.

She is breathless from the power of his slow and steady thrusts, lying open to him, vibrating, shining. She's never felt so wanted, so effortlessly gratified. She's never known anyone to be this patient and tender and hard and strong.

She comes again and is sure it's all a dream because a second later he comes, too. They're both exhausted and sweat covered, but he still smells good, maybe better than before.

He slowly releases her wrists from his grip. He hopes he didn't hurt her, but he's still reverberating from the thrill of possessing her. He grabs the thin blanket that's balled at the foot of the bunk and covers them both as he pulls her close.

He's tired again, more so than he was when they first laid down together, but now, he thinks he might want more than just to fuck her.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The bus grinds to a stop and she realizes she's been sleeping. She starts to panic because she also realizes that in her deep sleep, he has left her alone in the compartment. Then, when he pokes his head between the curtains and hands her a bottle of water, she is relieved.

He says it's still early, just before five a.m., but they're gassing up the bus and should be to the town for their next gig in just a few more hours. He wants to know if she wants to stretch her legs.

Her bladder's screaming, so she says she'd like to use the ladies' room. He laughs because she's "so polite using words like ladies' room" when she's "gotta pee." But then he thinks that he's embarrassed her. He apologizes, brushing her pinked cheek with the back of his fingers, telling her she's such a sweet little thing.

After he helps her find enough clothing to leave the curtained bunk with what she considers to be the minuscule shred of dignity reserved only for those who have sex with total strangers in cramped semi-public spaces, she follows him to the toilet.

While she's in the tiny room, she digs her phone out of her back pocket to send Jess another message. Judging by the barrage of texts and missed calls from both Jess and Angela this morning, the text she sent last night was all too brief. She wonders what she should expect next since nothing in the last 12 hours has gone the way she planned.

~slow how you wanted it to be~

"Bella!" Jess shouted. "Hurry the fuck up, for the love of Christ!"

Bella was snapping pictures of the tour bus with her cell phone. She couldn't believe how close they were to it this time. Usually, they could see the bus from across the street, but were always running late, so they'd scurry inside the bar or small auditorium to make sure they'd get a good seat. This night, though, they had found a hotel to stay in early, had an easier time than usual with the pizza delivery guy, and had gotten their showers and primping in before the doors to Howling Wolf Tavern even opened to the public.

"Jess, we're totally on time," Angela said, scolding one friend and defending the other. "Besides, I'd like to have pictures of the bus, wouldn't you?"

"I'd like to have sex on the bus, Angela, and we're not going to even get closer to it if we don't get our asses inside the god damned bar to work roadies," Jess answered, practically running in her six-inch heels toward the door.

"Unbelievable," Angela said, shaking her head and speeding up just enough to keep an eye on both of her friends.

Bella had already taken the pictures she wanted and was ready to go inside, but she was definitely not planning to push her way backstage by hitting on roadies or anyone else. Jess was determined, though, so once they were inside, she began casing the virtually empty barroom. Bella and Angela looked at each and rolled their eyes.

"Come on." Angela lightly clutched Bella's elbow and headed toward the bar. "Let's get a drink."

Angela's thing on the trip was not like Jessica's trying-to-get-backstage thing—it was to get the signature dish, dessert, or drink wherever they went. Bella thought it was kind of fun, so she joined in, leaving Jessica to her own design.

"What can I get for ya?" the bartender asked. He was hulking in stature, but had a baby face and a bright, white smile. His skin was dark, and his straight, blue-black hair would probably have fallen past his shoulders if he hadn't pulled it back with a tie.

"What do you recommend?" Angela asked with a warm smile.

Bella politely nodded at the bartender then turned to lean her side against the bar. That's when she noticed a familiar face next to Angela, checking them both out.

"Hey," the guy said with a tilt of his head. "Seen you girls around a lot. Big fans?"

Angela looked startled at first, but recovered quickly, similar acknowledgment to Bella's dawning on her face.

"Yeah, actually," Angela answered, grinning shyly and watching as the bartender lined up and mixed three Long Island Iced Teas.

"I'm Angela and this is Bella," Angela said, turning to face the guy a little more fully.

Bella thought he seemed nice enough, but was always cautious of strangers—daughter of a police chief and all. She carefully palmed her drink, and pushed herself away from the bar, then rounded Angela's side to get a closer look at the guy talking to her.

"I'm Felix," he said, standing upright, even taller and more imposing than the bartender. "Security for Sons of Strigoi."

Bella almost snorted with laughter, because the guy was all pomp and circumstance, like he had to be super badass security or seriously pronounce the band name with an authentic Romanian accent. Like the girls gave a shit about those things.

"Security for the Sons?" Jessica shrieked from behind Bella. "Ohmygod, do you have any backstage passes for a small group of loyal fans?"

Jessica was bouncing on the balls of her feet. Bella felt her blood run cold. Angela looked mortified, and the bartender barked with laughter.

Felix was clearly amused as he sized the bubbly young girl up and down. He wouldn't lie, she was definitely a hot little piece, but she was cute too—like fun-cute—and he knew Cullen had noticed the small brunette over the last few weeks, so he figured, why not?

"I just might," Felix answered, grinning like the Cheshire cat, then turning to the bartender. "I'll get these drinks, okay, Jake?"

The bartender nodded in agreement, and Bella and Angela made eye contact again, as they often did in situations like this one, where Jessica could potentially get them or herself into trouble.

"Nah, nah, ladies," Felix said. "It's not like that. Just grab your drinks and follow me."

Jessica didn't hesitate, but Bella and Angela hedged around the barstools, shifting their eyes to the bartender and their drinks. Bella's mind raced, thinking about being safe and responsible, and about carrying her drink backstage without spilling it, or falling down, or… throwing up on one of the band members.

"Fucking Hell, you guys, let's go already!" Jessica called over her shoulder, and Felix chuckled over his at Jessica's sheer exasperation with her friends.

Angela smiled shyly at the bartender as she reached for her drink. He'd been keeping an eye on the interaction between the band's security manager and the young women, but the security guy seemed legit enough and the girls seemed to be comfortable with what was happening, so he sighed and nodded his head for them to go. He wasn't happy to see them go, because he thought the petite brunette was pretty cute, but he had a job to get back to.

Still, the girls decided it was now or never, so they turned and braced themselves for what was about to happen, about to change their lives.

"Holy shit, Bella," Angela said. "There he is."

~i'm over my head. out of her head, she sang~

He knocks on the frame surrounding the accordion-like door to the bathroom and asks if she's okay. Before answering him, she sends a message to Jess and Angela that reiterates that she's with himand that she'll see them in the next town. Then she washes her hands, splashes water on her face, dries up, and unfolds the door to exit.

When she spots him just outside the door, his back is against the wall. He's barefoot, his jeans are loose on his hips—the fly only partially buttoned—and his t-shirt is on inside out and backwards. He looks at her sideways through his fiery, chaotic hair.

He asks if she's hungry, and she says she could go for something small, but she isn't starving. She fidgets with her phone and tries to remember where her bra is, mentally putting her life back together, going back to the place where she didn't bail on her friends to fuck rock stars and lose her underwear—back to where she didn't feel like she was a foolish little girl, following this guy to the bus kitchenette for a Slim Jim.

He roots around in the mini-fridge and produces a few cans of beer and a container of hummus, then finds a half bag of tortilla chips before waving her toward a little table under a window. The drummer is sleeping on a bench near the same window, but they ignore him and lay out their feast on the Formica.

After a few awkward moments have passed, he says, "I'm glad you came with me."

He looks her in the eye and she wonders why he wanted her to come. She also starts to wonder why she really wanted to come.

"Why?" she asks.

His eyebrows shoot to the ceiling as he slowly chomps his chips and hummus. Then his eyes narrow and he takes a swig from his beer.

"Because I was attracted to you," he answers. "And curious; I wanted to know more."

"And now?" she echoes his question from the night before, mentally acknowledging the irony.

"Still do." His eyes fall to her lips, and she licks them self-consciously, feeling warm and wicked, and wishing she was in his bunk with the curtains drawn.

"Why did you come?" he asks, tossing the chip he was twiddling between his fingers to the table and wiping his fingers clean of salt.

"Same reason, I guess," she answers, watching him run his tongue across the teeth that made her shudder and along the inside of his cheek.

"Well, then, we both want the same thing, right?" He pushes himself out of the booth then rounds the table to face her.

He is right, and she doesn't feel the scandal that she should. She knows that yesterday she would've thought it was wrong, what they've done—empty, immoral, irresponsible—but, she doesn't care. She did it anyway, very clearly knowing that she shouldn't. And now she's going to do it again.

He reaches for her hand and helps her out of the booth, then brings her fingers to his lips. He kisses each finger and her palm before he pulls her close to connect full-bodied with her. She can feel through her jeans and his that he's getting hard again.

He cradles her neck with one hand, fingers entangling in her hair, as he slowly kisses her mouth. His lips and tongue feel so warm as his other hand settles on the small of her back, stroking her skin with his thumb.

"Soft," he says, a whisper of wind over gravel, sending a shiver from her tailbone to her skull.

She doesn't reply because there's a lump forming in her throat. The lump is a harbinger to tears or panic, so she shakes her head, and swallows it down, and kisses the corner of his light smile.

~and i wonder when i sing along with you~

There he was, Edward Cullen, in all his glory. The girls would talk for hours before and after a show about his long legs, the cut of his jaw, the hair that Jessica wanted to use as leverage, and his mouth.

His teeth almost looked sharp. The girls all talked about him biting them. They joked about it, right? And the words that came out of his mouth…

"You girls get comfortable here," Felix said, indicating an area with small "reserved" table tents. "And if you need anything else to drink, you just let Alice know."

Felix waved to a tiny girl with spiky black hair, who had her hands full with a clipboard, beer bottles, and a cell phone, but she waved, and smiled, and winked at the girls.

"Alice'll fix you right up." Felix smiled and answered his own phone as he took one last look over Jessica, who was taking smug satisfaction in where they were sitting.

Edward jumped down from the stage without a second glance at the girls. He drained his beer then set the bottle aside before taking several long strides away from them. The drummer and the bass player trailed not far behind.

Even though Jessica thought they'd made it, and Angela seemed totally comfortable where they were, Bella felt a little like an intruder.

~if everything could ever feel this real forever~

He pushes and spins her away from him, maneuvering her back down the narrow hallway. When they stop in front of his bunk, he whips his shirt over his head then shoves her inside.

They both settle on their knees, kissing and groping. She grips and fingers his bare skin and pushes at the waistband of his precariously positioned jeans. He pushes and pulls her jeans open and nudges them down over her hips, then cups one hand over her pussy and gently wraps the other around the base of her throat.

He caresses the delicate skin behind each ear with his thumb and fingers, licks and kisses her lips, then slowly slips two fingers along the skin where she's most wet. She gasps and digs her fingers into flesh and denim, feels herself clench where she wants his fingers (or his cock) inside.

He ramps up his pace and intensity between her thighs, slipping over and around before finally dipping inside her. He pushes her down to the bed, but her legs are still hindered by her pants, so he holds her down but stops rubbing her long enough to yank her jeans off and toss them away. She straightens her legs and spreads them.

He hums. "Wanna come again?"

"Yes," she breathes.

He's still pinning her down by the crux between her neck and her shoulder—her collarbone, sharp under the heel of his hand—as he returns his other hand to the part of her that's opened up wide. He slides two fingers in a V around her clit, then slips them inside, then pulls them back out and repeats the process until she's writhing under his command again.

He watches her body undulate, her arms flung carelessly on either side of her head, palms open, as his thumb gently strokes her windpipe and his fingers make her wetter.

She rolls her head to the side as much as she can with his hand gripping her throat and seeks out a view of his bare skin again. She reaches for him and runs a gentle finger across and up and down the edge of the fabric covering him, thinking about what it would be like to have him in her mouth.

She's only given head a few times in her life and never really got into it, but she loves how he feels, how this feels—like she can try anything with him, knows that he won't judge her or be disappointed in her inexperience, and, no matter what, it will feel good to both of them.

"Pull your shirt up," he whispers, continuing to hold her down and touch her, kneeling beside her, over her. She complies. "That's right... Fuck. Open my pants… all the way. Take my cock out."

She unbuttons his jeans the rest of the way and slowly pulls his cock out. He's hot and smooth to the touch. She marvels at how hard he is, too, but she's never really spent this much time touching a guy's dick.

He grinds the heel of his palm over her clit and slips three fingers in and out of her. The nap between Fairview and Springfield revived him enough to want her again and now he's getting jealous of his hand.

After watching her use her hands on him, and lick her lips, and buck her rounded, little hips, he can't resist lying down with her. He shifts his grip to roll her so she's facing the wall with her back to his chest and buries his head in the crook of her neck. His hands explore her skin and the bunched fabric around her collarbones, then he pulls her leg over his hip before slipping inside her from behind.

She feels him slide one arm under her and wrap it around her shoulders as he steadies his other hand on her hip. She grabs a mouthful of his forearm between her lips and teeth and then another as she braces her arms on the wall in front of her, but she wants more leverage. She asks him to roll her on her stomach. She wants to be on her knees.

"There's barely room, baby girl," he says. "Move… like this."

He maneuvers them so that her knees are tucked into her chest and she's face down in a Balasana and he's arched over her back. They're like a couple of frogs fucking in a pond.

When he feels that they're both sweating and his brain is frying, he pulls back to get some air between them and to get deeper inside. He grabs a handful of her ass and pulls her legs open wider with his other hand, pushes her ass up a higher. He grips her hips and moves them up and down on his cock. And he can tell it's just a matter of time, because with this angle he hears that he's hitting all of her spots; she's moaning and purring.

She pounds her fist into the thin bunk mattress and bites the pillow in front of her as she comes. She knows that no matter what she does, though, everyone inside that bus knows exactly what they're up to; they can't hide.

He digs his fingers into the skin of her ass and hips then pulls one hand back to smack her once, twice, three times, and he's done.

~if anything could ever be this good again~

"Oh, my god!"

Jessica had said (or screamed) not much else, except "he's so hot" and "Jesus Christ" since the show started, and Angela couldn't wipe a smile off her face. Bella had stopped feeling like an intruder, because that's what Edward's music always did to her—set her mind at ease, made her feel normal, pulled her up close and warm.

The girls had abandoned the table Felix had given them. They never sat at a table during Sons shows; they always stood as close to the stage as possible, dancing and singing and screaming.

"This is my favorite! Wooooooo!" Angela jumped up and down when Laurent, the lead guitarist, started grinding out the familiar and crunchy guitar riff from the Sons' most recent release. "He is so amazing!"

Edward played guitar, but he played rhythm for the Sons. Laurent played lead, and he was amazing, but Bella thought Edward was the best guitarist ever. She loved his solid, steady rhythm and how he approached an instrument like he was showing it something new, teaching it something, loving it.

Jasper and Emmett kept the time with drums and bass, but Edward always set the pace. It was obvious that everything began and ended with him; he wrote every word and every note. On stage he was charismatic and personable, all the way from where he stood to the back of the venue, no matter how big or small. He was larger than life, but relatable. He was funny, sexy, and smart. He was humble at times, too, which was unexpected, because Bella thought he was a musical genius; she thought he could afford to be arrogant and no one could criticize him for it.

The band did two encores that night. They even played Bella's favorite song, a song they didn't play live very often, which was one that always made her cry. She stood in front of the stage, gripping the edge at Edward Cullen's feet as he poured his heart and soul out over the crowd.

~the only thing i'll ever ask of you~

It's cold and damp in the small-town river valley and the sun is just rising over the hills. The bus passengers stir, mumbling the most minimal of morning greetings as they grab their bags and head inside the hotel to check in.

She is grateful that none of the other passengers has looked at her like she's wearing a scarlet letter. As a matter of fact, the drummer asks if they want to go for breakfast or coffee.

He shakes his head and tells the drummer that he needs a shower and a nap. Then he reaches for her hand without a word and drags her with him to catch the elevator before it closes.

"You don't have any bags," he mutters into her hair after he drops his own bag to the floor and pulls her into his arms.

She doesn't have any bags. She has terrible breath, and greasy hair, and dirty underpants crammed into the pocket of her jacket with her bra, but she doesn't care. She melts into his chest and wraps her arms around his waist, slips one leg between his two, hanging on until she has to be gone.

"S'ok," she says. "Maybe they have a toothbrush at the desk."

He says he'll call the concierge when they get upstairs as he kisses the top of her head. His fingers wander under the hem of her jacket and her tank top. His breath is steady and slow and she almost falls asleep standing up.

The elevator dings open, startling them both. Her small warm hands lazily roam his body, and he wishes that she'd lose the apprehension he feels hovering around her like a protective cloak. She folded it up and put it on a shelf the first time he kissed her last night, but she's been keeping her eye on it, making sure she can quickly retrieve it and slip it around her shoulders as she leaves him.

Once inside his room, he moves gracefully, kicking his shoes into a corner and tossing his jacket over the arm of the chair by the armoire. He calls the front desk and asks for a toothbrush then hangs up the phone and runs his fingers through his hair. He isn't sure what comes next now; he's never brought a groupie to his room with him before. So he fills a few more seconds with pulling the drapes shut tight before turning to face her.

She's hung her jacket on the straight-back chair in the foyer and is now sitting on the edge of the bed, untying and removing her shoes. He calmly approaches her, as if she's a doe in the woods about to bolt, and quietly settles on the mattress beside her. He smoothes his stubbled jaw and chin then looks to her with a sigh.

"You wear me out, girl."

She smiles and gives him an unsympathetic apology.

"Sorry?" she says it like a question. "I'll try to take it easier on you this time."

At this point, she isn't sorry about anything anymore—not about ditching her friends or having sex with a stranger. She's been reckless and she'll suffer some consequence when she gets back to her real life, she's sure, but she's had the time of her life and she feels more at peace than she ever has.

"This time?" he says with a raised eyebrow and half-smile. "Damn, I musta won the fuckin' lottery."

She slips off the bed and spins to face him, straddling his lap and slowly grinding down over him. She lightly braces her hands on his shoulders and tilts her head to kiss the side of his throat, right where it meets his clavicle. He has a small, black heart tattooed there and she's always loved that image—heart in his throat.

She thinks it's ironic that he of all people would wear a symbol meaning he has a hard time expressing his feelings and telling what's in his heart, because he's been her hero for doing just that since the first time she heard his lyrics.

There's a knock at the door, interrupting them, but she's grateful when she realizes it's the concierge with her toothbrush and toothpaste. She's vigorously brushing her teeth and tongue, a second time, when he walks in the bathroom saying something about a shower.

She rinses her mouth as he twists the faucet knobs and she wonders if she should leave, if this is the moment when she makes her exit and the stage is reset. But then he turns and pulls her close to him, one hand under the spray of water and the other hooked in the front of her jeans. She relaxes again and thinks about how she's been living in the moment.

"Get in," he says with a nod of his head. "I'll brush my teeth, too, then join ya."

She wants to undress him, though, so she follows him to the sink, pulls his t-shirt up from behind, revealing his smooth, decorated skin. All the stories she's read and heard about his inked designs come rushing back to her and then fly away, because no story can compare to seeing them first-hand, touching them, tracing them with her fingers as she drops his shirt to the floor.

He squeezes toothpaste on his brush and watches her in the mirror as he cleans his teeth, periodically pausing what he's doing to accommodate her exploration. She's fascinated, he can tell, but he can also tell this is compartmentalized. This is temporary—neither of them is fooling anyone.

He rinses then turns to her, acknowledging that glimmer in her eye, curiosity and excitement. It finally clicks for him that he's been so open with her, abandoned and free, because of the attraction, sure, but also because they want exactly the same thing. At least he thinks they do, and the possibility that they don't grates on him, but he isn't sure why, so he chooses to ignore the hum of dissonance that echoes in the air surrounding them.

~you gotta promise not to stop when i say when~

"Whisper to a Riot is Bella's favorite," Jessica said in a taunting tone. She once told Bella that she thought it was "totally unoriginal to have that be your favorite."

Not that she'd say as much in front of Edward Cullen. Bella wished she'd shut the hell up. She didn't really want to tell Edward how every time she heard the song, especially when she finally saw them perform it live, that she'd totally lose her shit.

"That's a hard one to play live," Edward said. "It's a favorite, though, for sure, for the real fans."

Bella quietly thanked him for validating her choice. He was as nice as she thought he'd be—congenial, warm, and a great conversationalist. On the surface, he seemed like a contradiction to his emotionally-charged and sometimes dark lyrics, but anyone could see it all, like stars floating in the dark, behind his eyes.

"Do you have a favorite song to play live?" Angela asked. "Or does it vary from night to night?"

The conversation was easy. Bella was amazed at how comfortable it was to hang out in the green room with the band the way they were. Jasper had chatted with them politely and briefly before scurrying off to follow the little road manager around like he was her pet Golden Retriever. Emmett was engaged in their conversation, but texting and tweeting and reading reviews of their shows on his phone. He and Laurent were laughing and sharing the comments with the group periodically.

"I don't have a favorite, but I'm sure Ed does," Emmett answered, staring down at his phone. "By the by, Rosalie's meeting us in Springfield… the other Springfield, not the one we just left."

Edward stared at Bella. He hadn't stopped staring at her since he gave her the little bottle of juice. She played with the cap and he watched her fingers grip it and flip it around on the surface of the table.

"All right, everybody." Alice approached them. "We're all loaded up, so let's get going."

She clapped her hands together several times like they were a group of small children.

"Such a task mistress," Edward snarked as they all slid from their chairs and got ready to leave.

"Yes," she said. "And if you're a bad boy, I might have to spank you."

Bella, Angela, and Jessica fidgeted, not knowing the appropriate way to say goodbye after meeting their dream. Edward laughed at Alice's retreating form then turned to face the girls.

"Thanks for coming out to see us tonight," he said, leaning against the wall and glancing around the slowly emptying room.

The other band members waved and yelled, "thanks!" from the exit. Felix walked over to them and pulled Jessica and Angela aside saying he had tickets for the next few nights and wanted to give them to them.

"We had a really great time," Bella said, suddenly feeling open to the elements and wrapped in cotton all at once from his gaze alone. "Thanks."

He nodded, giving Bella the indication that it was finally time for her to go. "I don't know about you, but I'm not tired yet," he said, then pushed himself away from the wall and offered her his arm.

She was a good girl, always had been, but in that moment, she thought she just might like to be a little bit bad.

~breathe out so i can breathe you in~

The room fills with steam as he pulls her top over her head and watches her small breasts bounce. Then he quickly unbuttons and unzips her jeans and pushes them down and off toward the floor. He settles on his knees in front of her and wraps his fingers around the backs of her thighs.

"Maybe I shoulda kept your panties and bra. I'm gonna need somethin' to remember you by."

His joke is crass, but he feels like getting a rise out of the sweet, quiet girl. He feels like poking her a bit, making her squirm in a new way, see if she'll deny it. He's aggravated that she's just as resolved as he generally is to make this a one night stand, so he wants to make her own up to fucking and running. Not that he's never done it himself before.

The jab works; she's worrying her lip and furrowing her brow. She swallows hard because he said it out loud, the thing she's known since the second he took her by the hand. She's going home on Thursday—back to work and school, back to her friends and family and her life—and he'll keep touring, working, recording, making magic and love.

"I'm cold," she says, refusing to ruin the moment with reality. "Let's get in."

He takes his time kissing her belly and her hips before he stands and pulls her behind the curtain with him. His defiance has been provoked by her obvious resolution. He wants to fuck her in the shower. He wants to be rough with her, push her around, make his mark so she won't forget.

They take turns under the spray of hot water—they both like it hot—and washing their faces. He wasn't kidding when he said he was wiped out, but he's got a hard-on anyway. He keeps bumping against her, her skin soft and silky and wet from the water.

"Warmin' up, little one?" he asks.

She nods her head and reaches for the tiny bar of soap she's found on the ledge, unwraps it and starts to lather her hands and his body. She's never taken a shower with a man, and she refuses to let the opportunity to touch him so intimately slip away. She works her way over his shoulders and arms, his chest and abs, down and down then she's on her knees.

His stomach flips again when he sees her kneeling in front of him, her inexperience and eagerness, her utter lack of guile, written all over her face. He can keep trying to be mad at her, keep pretending to be pissed that she has a life that doesn't center around him, but what he really wants is to keep feeling her.

She lets him rinse enough so she doesn't get a mouthful of soap before she takes the tip of his cock between her lips and swirls her tongue around. He cups the side of her head in his hand as she grips him steady at the base and slides her mouth easily over him. She isn't confident enough to go for the deep throat. She just strokes him with one hand and uses her mouth, tasting and loving him in a way that's new to them both.

If he wasn't moaning so loud, she'd be convinced that she was terrible at giving head, but that's not why she stops; the water's starting to cool and the steam is dissipating in the shower. She slips his hard cock from her mouth and stands in front of him.

"I'm sorry…" she says. "I'm not very good at that, I guess."

He lets out a short bark of laughter.

"You could not be more wrong," he says. "Come on, let's go lay down."

"But you didn't… come," she says, letting him turn the knobs off and pull her out of the shower by her hand.

"Not yet," he says, handing her a towel and grabbing one for himself. "But we're both still here, aren't we? For now?"

He rubs the towel quickly over his hair then wraps it around his waist before leading her out of the bathroom.

~and now i know you've always been out of your head~

Jessica: R U OK?
Me: yeah, I'm good. Sorry to ditch you… I'm with Edward. I'll text you andAng in the morning.
Jessica: Mother of FUCK. OK call us in the a.m. Ang is gonna FREAK.

Bella didn't know what else to tell Jessica. She thought maybe she should have told her to come and get her, but the bus was moving, and the band and crew were settling down for the night, and Edward was walking toward her with a bottle of beer, a hard cider, and a grin that said "hey, come with me! I know how to have fun."

Bella's short life had been full of doing the right thing and biding her time. She never colored outside the lines, and she was always waiting for the moment when she could spill the tubs of finger paint all over the table and spread it around, get her fingers sticky and make a mess. She would have felt liberated by the disaster she'd created.

"I'm not sure what you drink, other than orange juice, but you look a little thirsty." Edward handed her the opened bottle of cider and she immediately took a sip.

He thought about using that old saying "I don't bite" to calm her visibly shattered cool, but he did actually want to bite her, and he wasn't about to lie. He was a lot of things—a high school dropout, a daydreamer, lazy, and non-committal—but a liar wasn't one of them.

He just wanted her to relax a little. He'd been watching her and wanting her for weeks. She had a great ass and big, pretty eyes, and she stood at the very edge of the stage, looking at him from the crowd like he was God, but that was nothing new.

What was fascinating about Bella was the energy she carried. She vibrated with the exhilaration of new experiences, queuing Edward in that stalking rock stars wasn't her bag, but she wasn't running from him, either. She was swimming in the atmosphere and basking in its glow, like she was on a private island vacation.

"You've never done this kinda thing before, have you?" he asked, slouching against the wall and looking her in the eye, as they stood in the narrow hallway, sipping their drinks.

She was startled by his abrupt question, but also relieved because she didn't know how much longer she could keep up a façade of nonchalance. She was bubbling over from her insides with the thrill of being near him and the risk she was taking, and the fact that it was all so unlike her to be thrilled by anything or to take risks of any kind. Besides, she must not have been keeping up a very convincing exterior, considering how quickly he had called her on it. She might as well spill.

"No," she answered with a shy smile. "I don't get out much."

Edward nodded, encouraging her to continue talking.

"I go to school, go shopping with my friends, read, listen to music… This trip—I suggested it—was supposed to be me cutting loose for once. I'm spending way too much money, drinking more than I think I ever have." She raised her bottle with a wry smirk. "And I'm having the time of my life."

He stared at her, breathing steadily, then licked his lips, shook his head, and closed his eyes, carefully considering his next move. She was so innocent, but so eager, and one little fuck up on his part could mark her for life. Not that he thought so highly of himself, but he remembered what it was like to be impressionable and naïve.

He made up his mind, then, and pushed away from the wall. It was simple; he was going to help her cut loose.

He approached her with the grace of a panther, and Bella spun and flattened her back against the wall, wondering what he was going to do to her, wondering what to do with her cider and her hands, feeling like she'd melt and puddle at his feet. She watched, with eyes wide open, as he reached for her, buried his hand in the back of her hair, sunk to brace himself against the wall with his elbow and knee. She was pinned in place and holding her breath, when he dipped his head for the kiss.

His lips and hips touched hers, trapping her. She was wound so fucking tight, like a ball of yarn, and he was the cat that wanted to unravel all that string, drag it around, wrap himself in it, make it into something safe and warm, just for him.

She exhaled a long and loud moan, her body folding in on itself.

"Fuck," he mumbled, kissing her harder, twisting her hair in his hand. "If that's what I get from a little kiss, I can't wait to find out what I get when I make ya come."

She whimpered and the bottle of cider slipped from her hands as she grabbed hold of him for the ride of her life.

~out of my head, i sang~

They leave the bathroom and round the corner, making their way to the bed. He's still holding her hand as he yanks the towel from around his hips and lets it fall, then sits on the edge of the mattress. He pulls her towel from her body, too, and lets it join his on the carpet.

"C'mere," he says, pulling her closer, letting her straddle his knee.

He's pleased with the fact that they don't have to be quiet anymore—that they're in a hotel room now—because when he pulls her nipple between his lips and teeth she gasps loudly and he wants to make her louder. He wants her to let go completely and not just for a night or a day or even a few weeks. He wants her to trust him, let her guard down and leave it, but he can't really blame her for hanging on.

He's licking and sucking her nipples slow and hard, and she's grinding over his knee and moaning. He's gripping her waist roughly, leaving prints on her skin.

She wants him to use his fingers somewhere else, just as rough. She thinks about using her own, like she does when she's alone, but she wants to feel him instead, so she rolls with it, lets him touch her any way he wants to.

She rests her hands on his shoulders then slides one up into the back of his hair, holding him close to her chest, loving the way he's using his tongue and teeth. She's wet, and yesterday, or with anyone else but him, she'd have been embarrassed that he could feel her on his thigh, but she thinks he probably likes it.

"Feels good, huh?" he asks with a low chuckle. "You're gettin' pretty wet."

He finally drags a hand down between her legs and cups her, slips a finger inside, presses his heel over her clit. She loves the way he touches her there. His mouth leaves her breast and he reaches up to pull her head down to meet his.

"I'm gonna make you come so hard you'll never forget me," he whispers in her ear, then bites it. "You'll never forget."

She stifles a small sob and fully climbs into his lap.

She won't ever forget him; she can't. But it isn't just because he's famous or he's made her come multiple times and harder than anyone else ever has.

"I won't forget you," she answers, then hisses when he pulls her head back by her hair and bites the curve of her neck where it meets her shoulder.

He spins them around and tosses her to the bed onto her back. She hurries backward in a crabwalk toward the head of the bed then balances herself on her elbows with the pillows underneath. She's open to him as he crawls up the bed toward her.

"Everybody says I can have anything I want, that I'll always win," he says. "I'm a rock star, right? I have it all."

He scoffs then grabs her by the ankle, pulls her just enough until her elbows give out and she's lying flat.

"But I can't have you, can I, Bella?" he says, as he kneels between her knees, grabbing one in each hand. "I can have this." He pushes her legs open wider and she lets her hands rest on either side of her face as he looms above her. "But I can't have you."

She's staring at him, daring him to make her feel sorry for him. She can't have him, either, and she wants to yell at him, but she knows it won't change a thing. She can see the look of desperation on his face. He's angry, not at her, but he's out of his head, and she's going to let him ride it out. Maybe they'll both feel better when he's done.

He falls forward and braces himself on the headboard with one hand as he guides himself inside her again. She wraps her legs around his hips and feels his frustration—with her, with the unfair disadvantage of meeting the right one at the wrong fucking time. He drills into her hard, trying to prove something to them both. Then she hears a hostile utterance as he pulls out of her, leans back on his haunches, and drags her up to climb into his lap again.

"Come on," he says. "Give me somethin'… anything."

She straddles his hips and lets him slip back inside, sets a rhythm like she's never done before. She rides him, squeezing as she pulls up. He slips almost completely out of her each time but she slams back down hard. She likes his hands on her hips as she glides up and down, feeling him deep inside, everywhere. Then his hands leave her hips and he's gripping both sides of her head, pulling her close.

"Tell me this is more." He pleads into her mouth as he kisses her frantically. "Tell me you want more."

"This is more," she says, kissing him back. "I want more."

She braces her hands on his shoulders because she can feel it coming; they're both coming. They're kissing, his hands in her hair and his shoulders tense and strong under her grip, and they're falling.

"Yes!" he shouts, digging his hands into her hair as she comes down hard into his lap.

~the only thing i'll ever ask of you... you gotta promise not to stop when i say when~

The phone rings at four-thirty. It's a wake-up call. Sound check is at six and the show starts at eight.

He rolls to his side and watches her eyes flutter. She's sleeping so sweet. He should probably let her stay asleep, but he can't seem to help himself with her.

"Sleep, pretty darling, do not cry," he sings softly as he pushes her mess of hair away from her face. He really can't help himself. "And I will sing a lullaby."

He slept well—very well, after she finally admitted that she wanted more—and he feels rested. He thinks about the early morning with an even mix of elation and sadness. He knows that nothing else will ever feel this real and nothing else could ever be this good again. And he knows she's leaving.

"If we both want more, why don't we say 'fuck it all' and just have it?"

"Have what, though? What are you proposing, Edward, that we drop everything and completely change our lives after one night?"

He pulls her on top of him, her thighs easily falling to his sides. Last night they were drunk, this morning they were hungover and pissed off. They had it out and talked it over, expressed their hopes and fears, frantic and desperate. Now, they're both fresh and rested and clean. And they have a plan.

"Relationships are never easy, Bella. People hurt each other, but it already hurts knowing you're leaving."

"I'm hurting, too, but can't we just be happy with what we have right now? Can't we just enjoy the next few days and not question it?"

He kisses her wherever he can as she slowly wakes—her warm little body draped over him comes alive. She lets out a quiet, sleepy moan and he gently runs his hands all over her skin.

He's going to savor the feel of her for the next two days, and then she'll leave. But they have a plan.

"It's not enough."

"Why? Why isn't it enough? Some people never even have this, Edward. Count us lucky."

"Are you hungry, baby?" he quietly asks. She's just waking up, after all, he doesn't want to shout.

"Mm-hm," she says with a huge yawn.

She's hungry and tired and a little bit stunned at what she's been through in less than 24 hours. She met him, fucked him, and now they have two days. She knows it's going to hurt in the end, but she can't say no to him. All she could do was try to reason with him.

"Should I order room service?" he asks. He doesn't even know what she likes to eat.

"Sure," she says, sliding off of him, but staying close to his side, soaking up his heat and this moment when everything feels good and right, so she can remember it later when he's far away. "I could do a burger. With cheese. And a coke. Oh, my god, I'm starving."

He laughs because she's so fucking adorable, just waking up and stream of consciousness with her food order, and because he wants the same thing to eat. He knows they want the same thing. He trusts her. He wishes she was wrong about taking it slow—day by day—but he trusts her.

"I'll make that a double order," he says, reaching for the bedside phone, but keeping a hand on her skin, always touching her.

"We'll keep in touch, right?"


She promised that they'd keep in touch, so he's going along with this plan. They'll text and email, call sometimes. Even from thousands of miles away, he won't be able to stop touching her.

When the food arrives she's pulling her hair back in a tie she found in her jacket pocket. He's walking around the room in a pair of jeans and nothing else, but the delivery guy doesn't seem to notice or care as long as he gets his tip.

"Thanks," he says, handing the kid a ten-dollar bill.

She sits at the table, pulls a napkin into her lap, and digs into one of the burgers. She feels his eyes on her and her heart skips a beat.

He watches her eat and catches her eye. Then he lets his gaze roam her face and the way she sits a little lopsided in her chair because she's pulled one of her feet up under her. Her skin is scrubbed clean and shiny and her hair is in a tight ponytail, high on the back of her head. She looks young and sweet.

He knows he'll hurt her—he'll probably break her heart, and maybe she'll return the favor—but, she's right; it'll all be worth these few stolen moments. Most people never even have this.

She's learned to cut loose and he's learned to lose; maybe some day they'll meet in the middle. Until then, they have two days.

Endnotes: thanks to Wime09 and OneLilHopeful for the prereads, and to MsKathy for the red pen.