Contest: Going for the Gold Anonymous Twi-Fic Contest
Title: Let the Games begin. Pairing: Bella and Edward.
Olympic Sport: Ice Hockey Rating: T Word Count: 8508
Summary: When the US mens ice hockey team choose the ice rink in Port Angelos where Bella works as their training base in the build up to the winter Olympics, she gets more than she bargained for in the form of gorgeous, up and coming forward, Edward Cullen.
Warnings and Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns all things Twilight.
A/N: Hey guys, remember me? I know its been a while since I last updated my other stories but this is a one shot I wrote for a contest focussed around the Olympics. For some reason I stupidly chose to write a story about a sport that I know very little about, so apologies in advance if its not very acurate. Its just a bit of fluff; okay full on chesse.
~*~Let the Games begin~*~
Clearing tables on a Saturday afternoon there are a million other places I'd prefer to be than here but when you are saving every dollar for college you cant afford to be fussy. Besides, it was far better than working at Newton's hardware store as I had done for the last two years.
In all fairness the job hadn't been that bad. Sure, it hadn't exactly been the most exciting of jobs either, but it was comfortable. No, what really made it unbearable was the owner's son, Mike Newton. He'd been following me around high school like a deranged stalker ever since I moved to Forks a few years ago to live with my dad. You think I'm joking but it's the Gods honest truth. He just wouldn't take no for an answer. I think the only reason he pursued me was because he saw me as some sort of challenge because I didn't fall at his feet like all the other girls in town.
Usually I managed to avoid Mike at school but when I found out that he was going to start helping out at the family business on the weekends I knew I wouldn't have been able to stand any more of his persistence and I began looking for a new job straight away.
Like any small town in the middle of nowhere, Forks isn't exactly bursting with job opportunities but luckily I learnt of a vacancy at the ice rink in Port Angeles, and after my interview I was lucky enough to be offered the position straight away. My job title is a general assistant which pretty much means I can end up doing anything from working in the ticketing office, or hiring out the skates, but so far I'd mostly been helping out the boss's wife, Sue in the coffee shop where I had a birds eye view of the ice rink, which let me tell you, has its advantages.
For some bizarre reason the US hockey team picked Port Angeles as their base for training in the build up to the winter Olympics that are taking place in Seattle in just over a month's time. I was surprised they had chosen our little town in the first place but I suppose in a way it made sense; Port Angeles is close enough to the city for convenience but also far enough away to avoid any distractions.
The team arrived last week and as a result I'd managed to pick up a few extra shifts after school to add to my college fund. So far I'd met the majority of the team already and there were quite a few big names, some with egos that you'd expect from NHL players.
However, they weren't all bad. Emmett Cullen being one of them. At first glance many would be intimidated by him, but underneath his tough guy exterior Emmett is a genuinely nice and funny guy with a big heart. And although I have only met him a few times so far, I always look forward to his playful banter and joking when he comes into the coffee shop after training.
Of course the one man I really want to talk to is his younger brother Edward, who I have secretly had a crush on since I spied him coming out of the locker room one time after practice.
I call him my unattainable crush, because he is nothing short of perfection. He has the softest lips, the most captivating emerald green eyes, a strong chiseled jaw line and don't even get me started on his hair. It's such a unique shade of bronze/ brown that appears completely disheveled and unruly no matter how frequently he tries to tame it.
He keeps to himself a lot but from what I can gathered he's pretty quiet, and kind and maybe even a little uncomfortable with his success; not what you'd expect for one of the most up and coming forwards in the country.
No one could ever doubt Edward's commitment and I've seen first hand how much time and dedication he puts into his sport. Every session he trains longer and harder than any of his other teammates. He's the first to arrive and the last to leave and he even puts in extra practice sessions with Emmett too.
Okay, so my behavior may rival Mike Newton in the stalker category but if you saw him you would understand my obsession. Edward Cullen is every teenage girl's fantasy. Sadly, someone like him would never be interested in a nobody like me. I'm painfully shy, rather plain and I like to keep to myself. I have never had a boyfriend and to be quite honest I didn't particularly want one because believe it or not, I'm happy doing my own thing.
Still, it doesn't hurt to look and Edward Cullen is too irresistible to resist. Most of the time I have to settle for watching him train from a far but its easier that way because the first and only interaction I have had with him was so painfully awkward that I have been trying to avoid him ever since.
Just a few days ago when he and Emmett came into the coffee shop to get a drink, I was so distracted I couldn't function properly. He was just too gorgeous up close for me to think straight and not only did I manage to fumble their orders but I also scalded myself on the coffee machine and burn my hand on the Panini grill before they finally left. It was mortifying. Still, Edward was really sweet and he smiled shyly and told me he would see me around.
I've seen him in the halls a few times since and for a moment I like to think that he looks as though he is about to say something but that is probably wishful thinking on my part.
I was still so busy thinking about Edward that I didn't even notice a customer had entered the coffee shop until I heard the chair creak next to me. I jumped and when I turned around to see who it was all the words froze on my tongue.
I stood there staring at him for what felt like hours, but was probably only a few seconds before he finally broke the silence. "Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you." He apologized.
"I..I ..Its okay." I stuttered. "I was miles away."
"Anywhere nice?" He asked, I blushed thinking about exactly where my thoughts had been.
"Nowhere exciting," I lied, but I think my blushing gave me away.
"You're Bella, right?" he asked sending me a nervous smile.
"Yeah, it's nice to meet you..." I paused, not wanting him to know that I may have googled the team just so that I could find out his name. Yeah, I was pretty much a stalker.
"Edward," he replied softly. He offered his hand out to me and when I placed my hand in his large outstretched one I felt a jolt run through me. My eyes met his and he gazed back at me with a matching look of shock on his face. Had he felt it too? I looked away quickly hoping I wasn't as red as I felt.
His hand dropped from mine and he pulled up a seat in front of the counter which made me remember what I was supposed to be doing.
"Can I get you a drink?" I offered, trying to act natural when the object of my affection was sat casually just a few feet in front of me.
Edward ordered a coffee and I managed to make it without embarrassing myself this time around. When I placed it in front of him he made polite chit chat while I continued tidying the counter. Usually I was a little uneasy being around people I barely knew but there was something reassuring about Edward that put me at ease straight away and we soon settled into easy conversation and my duties where long forgotten.
Talking to Edward was a lot easier than I thought it would be. It felt natural. There was no awkwardness or uncomfortable silences. As we continued chatting and getting to know one another better, I learnt that he hailed from Washington and that his father was a doctor in one of the cities top hospitals, and his mother was a sought after interior designer. In return I told him about my own upbringing and how I had lived with my mom ever since my parents divorce when I was two years old. I explained that we had pretty much moved from state to state for the last ten years before I finally had enough and decided to spend some time with my dad here in Forks.
I learnt that Edward was a year older than me and was in his first year of college, havingaccepted a scholarship to play college hockey with the Washington Cardinals so that he could stay closer to his family. Perhaps it was wishful thinking but I swear his eyes lit up when in return I told him how I was hoping to study English there once I graduated high school later this year.
Thankfully the coffee shop was pretty much deserted and apart from the odd customer who came in from time to time it was just Edward and I. I lost track of time when I was with him and the more we talked the more blown away I was. Not only was Edward absolutely gorgeous, he was also smart and kind, as well as a genuinely nice guy too.
"So do you skate?" he asked suddenly.
"No, definitely not." I grimaced at the thought; I was clumsy enough on dry land let alone on ice.
"I could always teach you if you want?" he kindly offered.
"I don't think that's a good idea," I said blushing. "Obviously you haven't seen how clumsy I am."
"Yeah, I had noticed you were a little unsteady on your feet." Edward said, trying not to laugh.
"Unstable! I'm practically disabled. I can't have my clumsiness taking out one of the best players in the team." I blushed when I realized what I'd said.
I think Edward must have picked up on my embarrassment because he was quick to change the conversation. "So do you follow ice hockey?"
"Not really." I admitted. There was no point in lying. "I watch it with my dad sometimes but sports isn't really my thing."
His eyebrows rose and he smirked.
"Sometimes? That hurts!"
I laughed and shook my head at his teasing. "I'm sure you'll survive."
"That's too bad," he said, looking genuinely disappointed. "I guess that means you don't want tickets to the games then?"
I was too shocked to reply immediately and before I had chance to reply I spotted Emmett making his way towards us.
"What's up?" He said to no one in particular.
Edward smirked as he replied, "I've been trying to persuade Bella to come to give staking a go but she's reluctant. You don't know what you're missing."
Yeah, I think I do; a sore bum and a broken arm in all likelihood.
"So you ready to go, bro?" Emmett asked.
"Sure," Edward agreed though he looked as disappointed as I was that he was leaving. "Will you be okay here?" he asked thoughtfully and I was touched by his concern.
"Yeah, I'll be fine. My shift finishes in half an hour anyway. Besides its pretty empty so I'll probably close up in a little while anyway." I answered.
Edward still looked a little hesitant but one hard shove from Emmett soon had him on his way.
"See you Bella," Emmett cheerfully shouted.
"I guess I'll see you around, Bella," Edward said sadly before turning and following after his brother.
"Bye guys," I shouted after them before returning back to work. The sooner I was finished the sooner I could go home.
From then on I saw Edward around more and more. After every session he dropped by, sometimes to grab a soft drink on the go, other times he'd pop in just to say hello. But the best were the times when he came in and stayed for a while after training.
The more time that passed the more comfortable we were together which really surprised me. It felt so natural, like we'd known each other for years. It was easy to forget that Edward was this insanely talented athlete. He was incredible humble and grounded and no matter how much I knew I shouldn't get attached I couldn't help falling for him.
I'd come to rely on his little visits to get me through my shifts, which was a bad thing considering he would be leaving soon anyway.I couldn't stand the thought of Edward leaving but I knew that our time was running out. The games started in just over a week and the team was expected to arrive in the Olympic village in a few days time.
From the way Edward spoke I could see how much he was looking forward to the tournament finally opening, and while I was genuinely excited for him, I was also dreading saying goodbye.
However, when it came to the day of the teams final training session I tried not to let my disappointment show when Edward and a few of the other guys from the team came by.
"Its going to be quiet without you guys around," I said, trying to keep the sadness out of my tone.
"Will you be cheering us on?" Edward asked, smiling my favorite crooked smile.
"Of course I will," I answered without hesitation. "I'll be cheering you on from my sofa."
We stood there for a few moments, saying nothing and once again Edward seemed to be deliberating something when he suddenly blurted out, "You could always come see us. I have some spare tickets," he offered shyly. When he took my hand in his it felt like the most naturally thing in the world. "I'd like it if you came." he added so quietly I was unsure if he meant me to hear him or not. I didn't know what to say; I was both thrilled and a little overwhelmed.
"So are you going to come see me?" he asked undeterred.
"Tell you what, if you guys make it to the final, I'll be there." I teased. I don't know where this new found confidence was coming from.
Edward's answering smile was both cocky and contagious as he replied, "I'm sure we can manage that. I'll see if I can get you a seat besides Emmett's girlfriend, Rosalie. She's really nice." He reassured me.
"Yeah sure," I agreed, trying to hide my horror. Rosalie Hale was perfection personified. I had seen her a couple of times from a distance when she had come to meet Emmett after training and while I'd never even spoken to her I was incredibly intimidated by her. She was by far one of the most beautiful women I'd ever seen, so beautiful that I was certain she could put a dent into the confidence of even the most secure of people.
"Okay, I really should get going now." Edward stood and picked up his bag before looking down at me intently. I didn't know what else there was to say other than "Goodbye."
"Goodbye Bella," he leaned in to place a soft kiss on my cheek before turning and racing out of the room. When he reached the door he turned back and smirked. "I'll see you in a few weeks then." He winked and before I had time to reply he was already gone.
During the next 3 weeks I followed as much of the winter Olympics as I could on TV. I kept a close eye on team USA and in particularly Edward's participation in the games. The team was playing really well and a position in the finals was looking very probable.
Before Edward left we'd exchanged phone numbers and had been texting each other almost daily but when the games intensified our messages had been less frequent, which was understandable really. I wanted so much to contact him but at the same time I didn't want to distract him and bombard him with text messages when I knew he had to stay focused.
When they won their quarter final game against the Sweeds the text became more celebratory.
One game down... Only two more to go!
Our contact wasn't just limited to text either, and the day after they won their semi final match that ended in a 4-1 victory against the Russians I received a parcel containing not only a brand new pair of skates but a VIP ticket for the final too. The note accompanying it read:
These should come in handy for when I finally get you on ice!
I couldn't resist texting him back.
You just don't give up, do you? B x
I take it you got my present. I had to take a guess on the size. Do they fit okay?
I haven't tried them yet. Really Edward you didn't have to buy me my own skates. I could have easily hired some. Thanks for the ticket :)
Anything to get you here :) Sorry, I gotta go back to practice now but I'll see you Saturday?
I was smiling as I typed my reply.
Yes, you will :)
I was just about to put my phone back in my bag when a beep alerted me to a new message.
Hopefully we can celebrate after the game? E xxx
We WILL be celebrating :) Now go to practice. The next time I see you I want you to have that gold medal!
Thankfully Charlie is a pretty easy going so he didn't kick up too much fuss when I told him that I was going to Seattle for the weekend. Okay, so that may or may not have had something to do with the little white lie I told when I said that I'd been given the tickets by one of the owners at the ice rink. He didn't need to know that the only reason I was going was to see Edward.
I left Forks early Saturday morning giving me plenty of time to have a look around the city before I needed to start making my way to the arena later on. Edward text me after lunch to make sure that I had arrived safely which I found really sweet and as much as I wanted to call and speak to him directly, I didn't want to bother him when he needed to stay focused.
As I expected the city was heaving with tourist and spectators so it was a good job I had an aunt who lived in Seattle who had kindly offered to put me up for the weekend. Otherwise I don't think I would have been able to find anywhere to stay at such short notice and at such a busy time.
Most of my afternoon was spent exploring the city but after I had my fill of the site seeing, I started making my way the arena a little earlier than necessary to ensure that I got there with plenty of time to spare.
Even before I got inside the arena I felt the anticipation building. There was a real buzz in the air and I couldn't wait to get inside. It seemed to take forever to get through the long line of people and the numerous security checks but I eventually made it into the seating area.
When one of the volunteers pointed me to my seat I had to ask twice to make sure that I was looking in the right place because where she was pointing looked too good to be true; It was right at the front, just behind the press box, bang in the centre with a perfect view of both ends. Apparently that was one of the perks of VIP tickets. I certainly wasn't complaining.
Still, I felt a little uneasy about being sat with a bunch of people I didn't know and I nervously made my way across.
"Hi, you must be Bella, right?" Rosalie Hale smiled brightly when she noticed me approaching.
"That's me," I said blushing nervously as I took my seat next to her.
"I'm Rosalie Hale, Emmett's fiancé." She introduced herself.
"It's nice to meet you, Rosalie," I said quietly.
"So this is your first hockey final I take it?" she guessed.
"First hockey game full stop," I told her truthfully.
"Well, I'm certain it won't be your last," she said. There was no hint of teasing in her voice.
I will admit that I may had been a little apprehensive at the thought of being sat next to a virtual stranger for the duration of the game but much like Edward there was something reassuring about Rosalie that put me at ease right away. She was genuinely friendly and she made a real effort to make me feel welcome. We chatted easily and when she realized just how clueless I was, she took pity on me and took the time to explain the rules, who the main players were and who I should watch out for. Away from the ice, she told me all about the other girlfriends and family surrounding us. She even pointed out Edward's family who were sat just a few rows in front of us.
Looking at them there was no questioning where Edward inherited his spectacular good looks from. He had his father handsome features and his mothers colouring. There was also a girl around my age sat besides them and for a moment I worried who she could be until Rosalie told me that she was Edward's sister, Alice.
The arena started to fill up quickly and with a near 18,000 capacity crowd the atmosphere was electric. When the music started played I could feel the anticipation building. I was so nervous that I had to run to the restroom and when I came back I was disappointed when Rosalie told me that I had missed Edward and the rest of the team warming up. Typical.
Ten minutes later the players finally emerged from the tunnel and the crowd roared with enthusiasm when they skated out onto the ice and lined up. Throughout both teams national anthems I couldn't keep my eyes off Edward. It had only been 3 weeks since I had last seen him but it felt like a lifetime.
Once the anthems were over and the players had all shook hands I noticed Edward looking around the crowd and when his eyes found mine I sent him a small shy smile and he raised his hand to send a small wave my way.
Before I had a chance to catch my breath the game started and almost immediately I lost myself in the sounds and sights of the ice. It was fascinating to watch, real end to end stuff, and while I wouldn't say I understood all of what was going on I found myself getting really engrossed in the game. It was a lot more physical than I'd expected and a few times I cringed at the heavy tackles and blocks. Canada took a lead early on but the US pulled it back right at the end of the first period.
"Having fun?" Rosalie asked during the break.
"Yes," I agreed smiling widely. It was both exhilarating and pretty terrifying and I told her as much. "It's pretty intense. Is it always so .. so.." I paused, unsure how to describe it.
"Brutal?" Rosalie finished for me.
"Yeah," I nodded back.
"Hockey is a high contact sport, Bella. Its part and parcel of the game. You'll soon get used to it." She told me.
"Though I must admit I've never seen Edward react like that. He never usually engages in all the trash talking. It must be that Black goading him, though I don't know what he could be saying to rile him up so much." Rosalie wondered.
So she had picked up on the tension between Edward and Canada's number 24. Throughout the first period Black had signaled out Edward and was constantly fouling and goading him. Edward held his own and on a couple of occasions Emmett had to step in to calm his brother down.
It was unsurprising really because according to Rosalie, Jacob Black was Canada's most high-profile player and he was well known for playing time he went anywhere near Edward my heart was in my mouth. Something was definitely brewing between the two of them and I didn't like it one bit.
That moment came a few minutes into the second period and I watched in horror as Black almost immediately pushed Edward into the boards head first. Edward didn't stand a chance and the arena went silent for all of a moment before the boos and chanting started to echo around the room. Besides me Rosalie was absolutely livid and alternated between screaming at Jacob for being an asshole and the ref's for not calling him for boarding.
Meanwhile I stood frozen on the spot, absolutely terrified. I felt like I couldn't breathe as Edward lay motionless on the ice surrounded by the medics and a few of his team-mates. The crowd went from deafening to eerily silence as we waited anxiously for any sign of movement.
I didn't realize I was shaking until Rosalie reached out and put her arm around my shoulders to comfort me. "Edward's tough, Bella. He'll be okay," she said, her voice low but reassuring.
Edward was down for maybe two minutes, but it felt like hours before finally there was some sign of movement. The relief I felt was so great I felt close to tears. While Edward struggled trying to get to his feet I was silently fuming with anger while Jacob Black was just standing there with that giant shit-eating grin on his face. I wanted to wipe that smug smile off his face but the only thing I cared about at that moment was that Edward was okay.
It was only when he got up and slowly made his way off the ice to get checked over by the medical team that I was able to breathe a little easier. Thankfully, the hit didn't seem to have been anywhere near as bad as it had first looked and he was okay to come back on a few minutes later.
The cheer that erupted around the stadium when he was back on the ice was deafening. Edward acknowledged the crowd with an appreciative nod and I couldn't help but smile, though my stomach still hadn't settled from before.
The rest of the game passed by thankfully without any other major scares but still I felt my heart race and jump every time Edward got tackled or blocked. The US led 3-1 but a late goal from Canada in the third period ensured me and the thousands of other home supporters were on their edge of their seat during the closing minutes.
It was nail biting stuff but the game ended with a 3-2 victory for the US and when it was all over everything seemed to go in slow motion as the team celebrated their in victory. The crowd went nuts jumping and screaming. It was quite something and I felt incredibly lucky to be a part of it.
The next twenty minutes or so were a total blur as the players collected their medals and the celebrations didn't stop there. Fresh cheers erupted around the stands when the team did a lap of honor. When they came towards our section my eyes met Edward's and I sent him a wide grin which he returned with his famous crooked smile before they moved on to the next section.
Out of the corner of my eye I noticed Rosalie starting to gather her things. "You leaving? I asked, sad at the though of having to say goodbye to her. I really had misjudged her.
"Yeah, it saves fighting through the crowd later on" she explained.
"Oh, okay." I understood, but still I was a little disappointed to think the night was over and I wouldn't get to say goodbye to Edward properly. He'd hinted that we would go out afterwards but I bet he had plenty more offers now.
"You coming, Bella?" Rosalie asked. I was so caught up in my own thoughts that I didn't even realize she was looking down at me expectantly. "Well do you want to meet the guys or not? I know Edward really wants to see you." She said smiling while I fought to keep the cheesy grin off my own face.
"Okay then," I agreed, needing very little persuading.
I picked up my bag and followed as Rosalie made her way down the steps towards a door by the side of the press box which was heavily guarded by security, however when we flashed our tickets they let us through without question. I hadn't a clue where we were going but thankfully Rosalie seemed to know the way and we continued on down the corridor until we reached a door labeled private. Even that didn't stop Rosalie. She pushed the doors open and led us towards another set of doors which I guessed must be the team's dressing rooms.
"They won't be long," She told me as we took up a position outside.
We waited for a further ten minutes before the sounds of laughing and cheers came from down the hallway. I felt a little nervous and slightly intimidated waiting for Edward to arrive but I tried to pull myself together. Apparently Rosalie read my uncertainty.
"Hey, don't be nervous. He really likes you, you know?" She said, breaking me from my thoughts.
"You think so?" I asked uncertainly. I wanted to believe her but at the same time didn't want to get my hopes up either.
"Edward is very shy when it comes to girls. In all the time I've known him he's never showed an interested in anyone, so I knew you had to be important when he asked me to sit with you and make sure you were okay," she explained
"He did?" I asked shocked.
"I probably shouldn't be telling you this either but the two of you are too shy to make a move without a little helping hand. And besides, have you not seen the way he looks at you? Most newly-weds don't look at each other the way you guys do." She laughed while I no doubt turned a lovely shade of red.
"I like him too." I admitted in a small voice while I watched a few of the players from the Canadian team come through first looking understandably disappointed.
A few minutes later our team was next and as they started making their way to the locker rooms a few of the guys nodded at Rosalie. I was even more surprised when they acknowledged me too. We waited and waited and still there was no sigh of Edward, so I stood on my tip toes trying to get a better view when I finally spotted his unmistakable mop of bronze hair in the middle of the crowd.
His gaze found mine almost immediately like he was looking for me too and the smile he sent my way was so dazzling I felt my breath catch in my throat.
God he was handsome. He was tall, and sweaty but still utterly gorgeous and I found myself grinning like an idiot when he advanced through the crowd until he was right in front of me.
Then, before I had chance to realize what was happening he scooped me up in his arms and began spinning me around with him. I giggled, unable to help myself; I felt drunk with happiness. Many of Edwards's team-mates filed past, clapping him on the back but he didn't seem concerned that they had seen us or that we were acting like a couple of love struck teenagers.
"Congratulations." I shouted over the noise when Edward eventually placed me back down on the ground. Slowly, he started pulling away from me and I couldn't stop the smile overtaking my face. "You did it!" I said grinning from ear to ear.
"Thanks. I can't believe it," he seemed genuinely surprised but I suppose that was a normal reaction to something so important. "I don't think it's sunk in yet. Did you enjoy the game?" he asked before reaching over and taking my hand in his, drawing circles on my palm with his thumb.
"Yeah, it was fun, not so much the part where you were lying on the ice, but I'm glad you're okay," I said, showing more emotion than I intended if Edwards concerned expression was anything to go by.
"I'm fine, Bella. Really it was only a small knock." He tried to play it down, probably because he sensed my concerns. "I've really missed you, you know?" he said, his voice taking a serious tone.
"I missed you too," I told him honestly. It startled me how true my words were. I'd only known Edward for a short time but the last few weeks apart had been torture.
"So, do you have plans this evening?" He asked nervously.
"Not particularly," I replied casually though I was dying to ask what he was planning.
"Emmett and Rosalie are throwing a party at their place if you'd like to go with me? My family will be there too," he said blushing. My eyes nearly popped out of their sockets- he wanted me to meet his family! Talk about full on. Strangely, I quite liked it.
"I should probably warn you now, my younger sister, Alice is a little intense but you'll get used to that," he told me laughing. "Plus she's been dying to meet you."
While he waited for my answer he looked nervous, like he thought I would seriously turn down the chance of spending time with him. Not likely.
"I'd love to," I agreed without hesitation.
Edward's smile was blinding and I replied, giving his hand a gentle squeeze. We stared at each other for a long moment then Edward abruptly pulled away and started searching around in his bag for something.
"Oh here, I almost forgot. I got this for you. Something to remember today by. If you want it, that is." He was rambling adorably as he pulled out what looked to be a freshly packages team USA sweatshirt. Apparently I took too long to reply and Edward was quick to back track. "Don't worry, if you don't want it I can always ..."
"Thank you, Edward," I cut him off and took the shirt from his hands. I discarded the plastic wrapper and when I opened the sweatshirt out I could guess why he had been so nervous; The name CULLEN stood out in bright, bold print on the back. He was giving me his shirt. That had to mean something, right? I hoped so.
While I examined the shirt, Edward waited anxiously for my reaction. He had his hands in his pockets and he was shuffling around awkwardly on the spot. I decided to put him out of his misery.
"I love it," I told him honestly. He smiled back, but he still looked a little unsure so I quietly added, "maybe I could wear it at the next game?"
Did I really say that? Judging by the surprised but happy expression on his face I'm guessing I did. Since when had I been so brazen?
When I pulled off my coat and put the shirt over the top of my T-shirt it was so big that it practically hung off my shoulders but I liked it that way because it reminded me that it was Edwards which again had me smiling like a lunatic out on day release.
"What do you think?" I asked as I looked down, anxiously smoothing the shirt out.
When I looked back Edwards eyes were glazed over. "I.. It looks good," he mumbled incoherently before a determined look took over his face and he stepped towards me.
He stopped just inches away and reached for my hand, and the other came towards my face, as he carefully moved a few stray strands of hair that had fallen astray. When his hand then moved to rest on my cheek I found myself subconsciously leaning into his touch.
"Bella," he sighed. "I promised myself I wouldn't do anything until I'd at least taken you out properly but I really want to kiss you right now."
"Please," I begged, not caring how desperate I sounded.
My heart was beating erratically as he slowly lowered his head towards me and I closed my eyes just as his lips covered mine. His arms found their way around my waist, molding me even closer to him and I put my arms around his neck as I melted into his embrace. I quickly got lost in the kiss and I blushed when I heard myself moan, but my embarrassment was long forgotten when I felt Edwards tongue lightly brushing across my bottom lip, asking for entrance. I eagerly obliged and he wasted no time in deepening the kiss, our tongues touched for a tentative moment, but before the kiss could deepen we were interrupted by someone clearing their throat behind us.
"Hey Ed!" a familiar voice called out.
Edward looked behind him and growled, "What?"
I peeked around his body and spotted Emmett standing there grinned, unashamed at his interruption. Edward meanwhile looked a little flustered. I wasn't much better. I could feel the heat of my cheeks.
"Sorry to interrupt you two love-birds," Emmett apologized but I knew he was enjoying our discomfort, "Coach is looking for you bro."
Edward leaned down to speak to me, his voice rough as he said, "I'm sorry, Bella. I have to go but I won't be long, I promise."
He pressed his lips to mine gently before Emmett once again interrupted. "Bro, put Bella down and get in here now. The sooner you do, the sooner we can all go home." He barked.
"In a minute!" Edward snapped. "Give me a minute to say goodbye to my girl."
"Your girl?" I asked with a raised eyebrow.
"If you like," he said shyly and I found it odd how he could go from bold and confident to bashful and uncertain in the blink of an eye.
"I like the sound of that," I smiled back at him.
"I like you," Edward countered.
I heard a door slam and I peaked around his body to make sure Emmett had gone before I leaned up and gave him a quick kiss on the lips which quickly turned more passionate. Soon we were once again lost in the kiss, but Edward seemed to regain his composure first.
He pulled away, though I could see the reluctance in his eyes. "I really should go now, but I'll be really quick. Will you wait out here for me?" he asked hopefully.
"Sure." I agreed.
Edward hesitated then leaned down placing a quick kiss in my cheek before rushing down the corridor. I reached up and absent-mindedly touched my cheek. I couldn't keep the ridiculous smile off my face at least until a figure down the corridor caught my attention. I looked up startled to see Jacob Black storming down the hallway towards me, looking furious.
"Well, well, well, look who it is," he smirked.
When I didn't answer he just smiled triumphantly and started edging closer. I backed away and I didn't have a chance to protest when I felt his hand latch onto my upper arm. At first I tried to shrug him off, but the more I struggled the more his grip tightened and I whimpered when his fingers started digging into my skin.
"Let Me Go, you're hurting me!" I tried to sound forceful but the tremor in my voice gave me away.
"What no boyfriend around trying to impress you? I see he's marked you. How cute," he sniggered, mocking my shirt.
"Speak of the devil." Jake smirked.
My gaze followed his and the relief I felt when I saw Edward was so great I was close to tears.
"Black, let go of her right now," he said through gritted teeth.
Edward had never looked taller or more threatening as he came marching towards us and I didn't have time to react before he was suddenly besides us and tugging me behind him. Unwittingly I began to relax. I felt safe and comforted by his presence. Edward however, was visibly furious and tense and he turned to face Jacob, looking positively terrifying.
"Don't you ever touch her again," he angrily shouted, bringing his full height down on Jacob who still looked incredibly smug.
Instinctively I wrapped my arms around his waist to try and calm him down. "Edward please, he's not worth it." I said, sensing things were about to get out of hand.
He turned back around to face me and there was something like compassion in his eyes. "Are you okay?" he asked softly.
"I'm fine, honestly," I tried to reassure him. "Lets just go."
"Yeah Cullen, why don't you listen to your little bitch" Jacob sneered.
I heard Edward growl and when he turned around to face me he was absolutely livid. "Bella, get out of here now."
"Please, Edward, don't do anything stupid," I warned. I intended to try and get him to calm down but before I could utter a single word I noticed Jacob coming towards Edward. It seemed to happen in slow motion as I tried to warn Edward about Jacobs intent. I panicked and pushed Edward away and in the process I somehow found myself on the receiving end of the Jacob's fist.
The pain in my left cheek was excruciating but it held nothing to the horrified expression on Edward's face and I watched as he quite literally saw red. He flew at Jacob so fast I could barely track him; his fist collided with Jacobs jaw over and over again while he started fighting back.
Luckily Emmett came out of the locker room and he was quick to try to separate them. He tried to hold Edward back but even he couldn't pull him off Jacob. In the end it took Emmett and a few of his team-mates who had come to see what all the noise was about to finally pull them apart, while some of Jacobs team-mates ordered him away.
When Edward turned to face me and looked horrified. He rushed over and reached up to gently inspect the damage. "Fuck! Bella your face! Are you okay?" He worried.
I honestly hadn't had the chance to feel any pain but now that the chaos was over my cheek was throbbing.
"Come with me. I'll get my dad to take a look at you." Edward insisted. I tried to protest but he was having none of it and started ushering me towards the exit.
It was a good thing Edward's father was a doctor and he very kindly took care of me while his wife , Esme went to get us all something to drink, though I suspect Edward would have preferred something stronger than the soft drinks she brought back. Throughout all of this he was a nervous wreck and he was busy pacing around the room while his father inspected the damage. Even when Carlisle was convinced that I was fine and not suffering and he and Esme left the two of us alone Edward still wasn't happy.
He fisted his hands in his hair so roughly I thought he was going to pull it out from the roots before turning to me accusingly. "Why didn't you leave when I told you to?" He argued, his voice rising as he shook his head in annoyance.
I couldn't understand why he was angry at me. "Why are you shouting at me? This isn't my fault." My perfect night was slowly turning into a disaster.
"I'm sorry," Edward said apologetically. His shoulders slumped and he took an uneven breath. "I know I shouldn't be blaming you. I'm the one to blame here."
"No! It's Jacob Black's fault. He's the idiot that caused all this." I corrected him but Edward didn't look convinced.
"Seriously Edward you've got to let his go, accidents happen."
He seemed to relax slightly, but he was obviously still agitated. Reaching across to take my hands in his, he slowly started running his thumb over my knuckles softly. "I'm sorry I lost my temper and took my anger out in you. But you've got to understand, I spent so long trying to work up the courage to even speak to you and then when I finally get you to go out with me this happens."
He reached out and gently brushed his fingers along my swollen cheek. "Some first impression I'm making. It's a miracle you didn't end up in the ER on our first date."
"First date?" I squeaked.
"Yeah, well I was going to take you to the party as my date but that didn't work out either. I'll be lucky if you ever want to see me again." He said sadly.
"I had a great time. It was certainly memorable and I'd love to see you again." I admitted.
"You would?" he asked hopefully.
I nodded. "That's if you don't mind being seen with someone who looks like they've gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson," I joked. Edward's expression relaxed.
"Think of it this way, at least it will be a funny story to tell the grand kids," he said part jokingly, part serious. The scary thing was, it didn't scare me no where near as much as it should have. Perhaps it was a little premature but I couldn't help smiling at the image of a future filled with bronze haired little angels on ice skates.
8 years later.
Defeat is hard to handle in any capacity; as a spectator, as a supporter but when your husband is a member of the losing side its even more heartbreaking. The whole team would be disappointed but Edward in particular would be inconsolable. This was his last Olympics and he wanted to go out on a high by winning his third gold medal in as many games. Sadly, it just wasn't meant to be and in the end he had to settle for silver this time round.
What made it worse was that they had only lost to the Canadians by a single point- one measly point but even defeat by the narrowest of margins wouldn't be of any consolation to my ambitious husband. No matter what I said he would be devastated but I still wanted to be right in the thick of it consoling him, but unfortunately security was much tighter this time around and I had to wait in the players lounge with the rest of the teams friends and family instead of outside the locker room like I had the first time.
It seemed to take forever but eventually the players started making their way inside. Over the years there were many new faces on the team but the majority I'd met at various functions from time to time. Of course all of that would end when Edward retired in a few months time. At 27 years old he easily had at least another two or three good years playing left in him but Edward was adamant that he had enough of travelling around the country for long periods of time and being away from me and the kids, who were currently being kept out of trouble by their grandparents in the stands.
Mason was 4 years old now and a real handful, and his sister Marie who just turned 2 last week was equally demanding. The two of them alone were quite a handful but with a new baby on the way in just a few weeks time it was sure to be a little hectic in our household. Just thinking about our latest addition made me smile to myself and I absent-mindedly rubbed my swollen stomach while I waited for Edward to arrive.
Thankfully I didn't have to wait long and I immediately recognized Emmett's booming voice half way down the corridor.
"Hey Bells." My brother in law greeted me. "Edward won't be long now." He told me before heading off to find Rosalie who last time I saw her was trying to control their boisterous 6 year old triplets.
Not long after Edward come out surrounded by the remaining members of the team looking devastated. I started making my way towards him and he smiled when he saw me approaching. Time hadn't changed the effect Edward could have on me and one single look could turn me into mush. Apparently the feeling was mutual. He came over and took me in his arms immediately. I snuggled against him and did the best I could to reach up and wrap my arms around him, which was a bit of a struggle with the little one sandwiched in between us.
"Bella, you know what this shirt does to me," he growled. I tried to look innocent but I knew exactly what this shirt did to him; it was the reason I wore it today. Even after all these years it was still my favorite and while it may be old, and tatty and a little threadbare in parts, I refused to throw it away because much like my husband it was irreplaceable...
Too cheesy? Probably, but who cares, its fiction after all? As you can probably tell I don't know a thing about ice hockey so please excuse any inaccuracy. I tried my best to research and make it as accurate as possible but there is only so much you can find on the internet, so apologies again.
I'd love to hear what you think:)