A/N: Thanks so much to my bestie, Midnight Cougar for betaing this little piece. And thank you to my wonderful go to banner girl, Cared for bringing Nerdward to life. sigh

Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight or any of the mentioned video games! I just like to have fun with both.

Entry for Countdown to Christmas 2012 – a Lyrical Melody


"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go."

The music playing over the mall loud speakers was not the only sign that Christmas was coming.

Edward Cullen hated this season. He kept his eyes down as he walked through the mall, ignoring the holly strung around the second story railings and the wreaths hung precariously from the rafters. He quickened his pace as he passed the fake snow and the great big chair the Man in Red would sit in.

Halloween had barely past and already the place was decorated with gusto.

Edward hurriedly made his way to his personal safe haven, wishing against all odds that this dreaded holiday season was over. He slipped his lean body lithely under the aluminum security gate thankful that Eric was already there and opening up the store.

Unfortunately, this would only be his safe haven for a short while longer. Soon he would loathe coming here just as much as he hated walking through the mall.

Of course, Edward liked Christmas; it wasn't like he was a scrooge. It was just that he liked it a lot more when he wasn't working retail.

Do you know how awful the mall was at Christmas time? How many moms would come in here wanting to buy a game system for their child but had no idea how to even set it up?

Edward would spend countless hours going over which colored cord went into which hole. He tried to make it as simple as possible for them.

And then there were the games themselves. Is this M rating too much for my eleven year old? Does it have too much violence? Wouldn't he like this SpongeBob game better? What do you mean you don't have the newest Call of Duty? I was supposed to pre order that?!

Yes, the barrage of questions that came from the customers this time of year was enough to make any man cringe. Let alone a tall, gangly, shy seventeen year old boy.

"Hey, Eric. I see it's starting already," Edward spoke with a nod towards the door, adjusting his glasses back onto their proper place on his nose and pushing his unruly hair out of his eyes.

"Yeah, it seems like they start earlier and earlier," Eric replied in return, not bothering to look up. "We just got a new shipment in. Will you help me unload the boxes in the back?"

"Sure thing, man." And with that, the two teenagers went to work before the Saturday shoppers arrived.

~O~

At the other end of the mall, Isabella Swan tucked her new uniform under her arm and walked swiftly out of the mall and straight to Emmett's awaiting Ford F-150. Jumping in the passenger seat and tossing her bag into the back, the two of them were on their way to meet their friends.

Isabella Swan had it all. She was gorgeous, smart, popular, and head captain of the Cheerleading squad. Not to mention her Quarterback boyfriend, Emmet McCarty. It was no wonder she got the exact holiday job she wanted.

"So, how did it go?" Emmett practically grunted as she got in his truck.

"Easy peasy," Isabella stated airily and full of confidence. "I got the easiest job with decent pay and lots of time off. My parents will be so proud."

The sarcasm was evident, but Emmett wasn't really paying any attention to her and she knew it.

"But you should see me in my tiny uniform," she taunted him, her voice filled with seduction.

Just then the truck lurched unexpectedly as Emmett's foot came down on the gas pedal a little too hard.

~O~

The mall was packed with shoppers starting their Christmas shopping after Thanksgiving. Somehow Edward had managed to make it through Black Friday unscathed, but he kept his head down as he walked these days knowing how ruthless the customers still were as they scrambled to get the best deals.

Slamming into a massive warm and muscular brick wall wasn't the best way to start his lunch break. Especially when that brick wall belonged to Emmett McCarty.

"Watch where you're going, dumbass," Emmett growled, pulling his body up to his full six foot one inch height, his arms like boulders crossing over his broad chest.

"Um, I'm really sorry," Edward stuttered and tried to go around Emmett. "I didn't see you."

"Well then, maybe you need to get your glasses checked, Four Eyes," Emmett snorted as he slung his arm over a tiny brunette's shoulders dragging her toward the Food Court. Isabella flashed Edward a haughty look as she sashayed away in her tiny, sexy elf costume. The striped tights accenting her long, thin legs.

Edward found a small table in a corner by himself and tried to read the newest Medal of Honor Walkthrough for Xbox 360. Unfortunately, try as he might, his eyes kept resting on Isabella and Emmett and their sickening display of lunchtime affection.

It wasn't like he wanted to be with her; she was stuck up and malicious. The way she treated Edward and his friends at school, left nothing to be desired. Edward just wanted someone who enjoyed spending time with him like that.

But God was she good looking. Edward discreetly adjusted himself before getting up. Damn, male hormones.

~O~

It wasn't everyday that Emmett ate with Isabella. Most days she ate by herself and she didn't really mind. Emmett was starting to get on her nerves lately.

All of this bullying and male showmanship was just too much, she thought, as she chewed on her carrots and celery sticks trying to make them fill the hole in her stomach.

But she needed Em now more than ever. You see, Isabella Swan did have it all. At least, that was what everyone thought.

She also had a huge secret.

And without Emmett her world would fall apart. Not that he knew the truth, mind you. If he did she knew he would leave her high and dry.

Isabella sighed and chugged some chocolate milk hoping that her stomach wouldn't start growling again during her last few hours at the Grotto.

Emmett liked her slim body but it was hard work keeping it up. Unfortunately, it was getting a little easier these days to manage it.

Tossing her trash into the nearest garbage can, Isabella made her way back to Santa's Grotto hoping that the lunchtime rush of children would be over.

She couldn't have been more mistaken. The line snaked around the fake snow filled scene, winding its way through the mall. Children were whining while waiting for their turn, parents ignoring them and fiddling around on their smart phones; and one extremely bored and embarrassed teenage boy was staring off into space.

Yes, Edward Cullen was in line for Santa's Grotto and he was even less happy about it than the previous years.

Tugging on the sleeve of her brother's Christmas sweater, Libby Cullen was getting very impatient.

"Edward, when's it gonna be our turn. We've been waiting forever!"

"Pretty soon, Libby. We're almost at the front and then you can take your picture with Santa."

"But aren't you taking it with me?" Libby asked incredulously. "Momma said you have to."

Edward looked at Isabella Swan as she took her spot next to Santa, handing out candy canes and ushering the content or crying children on their not so merry way.

And then there was Alice Brandon, one of Isabella's faithful minions, guarding the front of the line and leading the next child up to Santa's awaiting lap.

There was no way Edward was going to take a "family" Christmas picture this year. He would never live it down. He had been placating his mother for the past six years by taking a picture with his little sister. But doing that at seventeen and in front of the two most popular girls in school?

So not going to happen.

"Libby, I think you're old enough to take one by yourself this year." Edward tried frantically to think of some way out of this. "You don't need your big brother in the picture with you, right?"

"No, but Momma's gonna be mad." Libby looked torn. She wanted to be a big girl. She was tired of her mom treating her like a baby. Libby was six years old now, after all. She had always wanted to do what Edward did but was never allowed and now was her chance to show her mom how she had grown.

But Libby also didn't want to get in trouble either.

"It'll be okay. I'll buy you an ice cream afterwards." No, Edward was not above bribery. Desperate times called for desperate measures.

This was not how he wanted to spend his day off. He had a World of Warcraft quest that needed to be finished at home. And if Libby caused a scene, going to school would be even more torturous then it was already.

Slowly they inched closer to the front of the line, all the while Edward struggled not to make eye contact with either of his classmate elves. But there was no way around it when their turn arrived.

Edward bent down to whisper into his sister's ear, "Libby, please be a good girl and take this picture by yourself. I'll deal with Mom and you won't get in trouble. I promise."

Libby looked into Edward's imploring green eyes and nodded solemnly, her face looking a bit pale as their turn arrived. This was her first time going up alone; the nervous feeling in the pit of her stomach was to be expected.

"Well, lookie here, if it isn't Edward Cullen coming to take his picture with Santa," Alice sang out loud and clear, drawing the eyes of the awaiting crowd right on them.

Edward softly but sternly pushed his sister toward Alice and the picture spot. He could see Isabella looking straight at them.

"My sister is taking her picture," Edward said, just as loudly and surprisingly full of force. "Go on, Libs."

Libby tightened her hold on her stomach as she made her way to Santa, all of a sudden feeling very unsure of this. She turned back toward Edward, giving him one final, hesitant look.

"You'll be fine, you can do this," Edward said quietly to her, giving Libby's now clammy hand a tight squeeze of encouragement.

"Are you going to take your picture, or what? We haven't got all day," Alice asked snootily, looking at Edward with her usual superiority.

Libby raised her chin and walked over to Santa with a determined look in her eye. Edward stepped closer as well, ready to whisk her away if she said anything about him joining her in the picture.

Isabella helped Libby get situated on Santa's lap and then took a step back so she was standing next to Edward, their covered arms almost touching one another.

"So, little girl, tell me your name," boomed the great, big voice of Santa. This year he looked pretty realistic compared to previous years. At least the beard was authentic.

"My name is Elizabeth Cullen, but everyone calls me Libby," she all but whispered, her voice shook a tad when she spoke.

"Well, Libby, have you been a good girl this year?" Libby nodded. "Why don't you tell me what you want for Christmas, then?"

"Um, well, I," Libby stammered, her face turning white. "I really want to have…"

And before she could get out another word, Elizabeth Cullen vomited all over the two bystanders closest to her.

Both Edward and Isabella were covered in sick, Isabella let out a shriek and Edward just stood there dumbfounded.

By some act of God, Santa was untouched. Never before was projectile vomit something one would be thankful for, but this Santa sure was thanking his lucky reindeer.

"Oh my, gosh that's totally disgusting!" Alice ran over squealing, "Isabella, you better go get cleaned up right now."

Isabella nodded, still in shock, vomit running down in between her heaving breasts and covering the green and red satin of her elf uniform.

"And you," Alice wheeled around looking straight at Edward, "take her out of here before she ruins anything else."

Libby was in tears as Edward tried to maneuver her without getting any vomit on her. They could see Isabella storming off to the restrooms and followed quietly behind.

"Edward, I'm so sorry," Libby began but Edward shushed her before she could say more.

"It's okay; it's not your fault." Edward lovingly stroked the top of her head feeling the clamminess and a bit of a fever. "It looks like you have the flu, Libby girl. Let's get you cleaned up and home in bed."

"And I'm sorry I messed up the sweater Mommy bought you," she sniffed and tried to hold back the tears. Edward just looked down at his green, now vomit covered, Santa sweater and shrugged.

It wasn't like he wanted to wear it again, anyway.

~O~

Three days had past and there was no sign of Isabella, either at the mall or at school. Edward hoped that she hadn't gotten sick. He really wanted to apologize for the disgusting and embarrassing incident at Santa's Grotto.

Not that Isabella would speak to him more than likely. Odds were she would be even crueler to him now.

So, it came as a great surprise when he saw her in the Food Court by herself and asked to talk, that she signaled with her hand for him to sit across from her.

All of a sudden Edward was a bundle of awkward nerves. "Um, I just um, wanted to tell you how sorry I was for the other day."

Isabella just stared, pushing her small salad around with her fork and waiting for him to continue.

"I had no idea she was sick. I thought she was just nervous going up there by herself. I would never have brought her if I knew."

Isabella sighed and looked Edward straight in the eyes. "It's okay, Edward. It was totally repulsive but Garrett told me how you took care of your little sister."

"Garrett?" Edward asked, confusion written all over his face.

"Oh, sorry. Santa. He told me how sweet you were with her." Isabella turned her eyes back onto her sorry looking excuse for a salad. It was hard for her to admit that she wasn't mad but she was tired of pretending.

Now it was Edward's turn to look down, the blush spreading over his face. Luckily for him he had a mop of hair that concealed most of it.

"Well, are you going to eat or what?" Isabella asked pointedly, gesturing towards his burger and fries that lay untouched on the table before them.

"Um, yeah," Edward said as he took a huge bite of food. He couldn't believe that she was allowing him to join her. But one thing he knew for certain, this wasn't going to happen at school. Or when Emmett was around.

They spent the rest of their lunch time eating and talking about Libby. It seemed like the safest subject for both of them.

But the entire time Edward couldn't keep his eyes off of Isabella's round breasts, protruding from her elf costume. And it was obvious to him that she couldn't keep her eyes off of his French fries.

Pushing the tray toward her, Edward offered with a mouthful, "Want some?"

The look on Isabella's face was pained. She looked like she was about to make the greatest decision of her life.

"Hey, a few aren't going to hurt. Go ahead." Edward practically shoved them in her lap and Isabella cautiously took a few bites.

Ah, the sensation of warm potato mixed with the right amount of salt. She couldn't remember the last time she had anything so delicious. Edward just sat there in amazement as she continued to put more and more into her mouth.

"Mmmm, these are so good," Isabella murmured in between bites.

"Slow down there, you don't want to make yourself sick. Better pace yourself."

Isabella shot him a look that could kill. "Would you please not talk about getting sick. I'm trying to block our last encounter from my memory."

And just like that, the Ice Princess was back. Thankfully it was time for Edward to head back.

"Well, um, it looks like my break is over. So…I…uh…guess I'll see you around."

"Yeah, I guess," Isabella replied noncommittally. "And thanks for the fries." The last sentence was spoken so quietly Edward wasn't even sure he heard he right. But there was no way he was going to ask her.

~O~

The next time Edward and Isabella worked the same hours, Edward was shocked to watch Isabella sit down across from him of her own free will. He thought he blew it for sure with their last conversation. Besides, it wasn't like she paid him any attention at school.

They ate silently for a few minutes, neither of them knowing quite what to say to one another. Edward was completely confused and kept his mouth shut so as not to ruin the moment.

"So, how is it at the Game Stop?" Isabella asked him, looking at his name badge on his polo shirt. "Does it get super crazy this time of year?"

"Yeah, it gets really insane but there's no other place I'd rather be. I just have to endure it for the holiday season, and then it's back to playing games the majority of the time."

"Well, what type of games do you like to play?" Isabella inquired, wanting to know more about him all of a sudden. She wasn't sure why, but she felt safe with him. She didn't feel like he was judging her and she liked that. More than she cared to admit.

"Um, I play all kinds of games. I really like playing first person shooter by myself. But I also love being part of a team and working together to solve quests."

Edward had to stop himself before he rambled on. He knew that once he got started it would be hard to stop. And he was pretty sure that Isabella was just asking to be polite.

"Wow, I really have no idea what any of that means," she laughed good-naturedly. "Maybe you can show me sometime?"

Edward's eyes were as wide as saucers and he was positive that his mouth was hanging open a bit rendering him speechless.

"Well, as long as you bring some food." Isabella's laughter rang in his ears as she spoke, a glorious, lighthearted sound. "You've been tempting me with those potato chips this whole time."

He slid the bag over to her and watched as she inhaled them.

"You know, it wouldn't hurt to have some junk food every now and then."

"Thanks for the advice," she said smiling at him and diving into the bag for more.

~O~

As it grew closer to Christmas, both Edward and Isabella worked longer hours into the evenings. The two of them had settled in a routine of eating together, sharing food and talking about anything and everything. Well, almost everything.

It was after one such shift and dinner meet up that Isabella decided to seize the day. Or evening, rather. Emmett had been a pain in the ass now that she was working longer and always seemed to have made plans with his friends instead of wanting to be with her.

Isabella was tired of it.

"I think I'm ready to see your moves, Edward," Isabella said shyly but also seductively. She knew how to get what she wanted from the opposite sex. Even if it was just a friendship.

Edward spluttered in astonishment and sprayed his soda all over their shared table.

"Will you show me your video games?" Isabella asked innocently, batting her eyelashes.

How in the world could Edward Cullen, one of the nerdiest guys in school, turn her down? He had really enjoyed the time they had spent together and was starting to see Isabella as more than just a stuck up bitch.

"Um, sure," he gulped, his Adam's apple bobbing as he did. "Why don't you come back with me to the store? Sometimes our manager, Tyler, let's me and Eric play after hours there."

The two settled in next to one another, controllers in hand, all systems go. Edward taught Isabella how to play Halo in the "slayer" game mode. It was much easier to learn that way. No aliens attacking you when you least expected it.

Isabella might be coordinated in the cheerleading pyramid but with a game controller, she was all thumbs.

"Here," Edward said, placing one arm around her shoulder so that both hands could reach the controls. "Let me show you."

Isabella felt her body stiffen as he pressed his body closer to hers. It wasn't an intimate gesture but feeling the hard planes of his broad chest behind her, Isabella shivered.

"Are you cold? I think I have a sweatshirt in the back." And he was gone before she could even reply.

When he returned, Isabella was glad for the coverage. Suddenly she felt more exposed then ever and was thankful to cover up her skimpy elf costume.

"Thanks," was all she was able to get out, and then smiled hugely when she saw what else he had.

"I found our secret stash," Edward told her bashfully, holding up a couple bag of chips and some water. "Which one do you want?"

"Oh my, gosh, Funyuns! I haven't had those since I was a kid," she practically squealed. Edward tossed her the bag and opened up the Doritos for himself.

After a while, it seemed Isabella was finally getting the hang of this gaming thing and the two slipped into their easy companionship.

"Oh shit," Edward groaned, looking at the clock. "I can't believe we've been here this long. Won't Emmett be worried about where you are?"

It was the first time either of them had brought Emmett into a conversation. It just seemed easier to ignore the fact that there was no way Emmett would approve of this friendship.

"Emmett is out with his friends, drinking and having a good old time, as usual." Isabella's eyes were on her stocking feet. "I'm sure he won't miss me."

"What about your parents?" Edward tried again; he did not want to lose this thing they had so soon with her getting grounded.

"Um, they're fine with it." It was Isabella's turn to look sheepish.

"What do you mean?" Edward prodded, knowing something did not seem right here.

"Well, they think I'm working. And they like it that way." She still wouldn't meet his eyes.

"I don't understand, Isabella. Why would they like you working so long?" Edward asked, willing her to open up and talk to him.

He didn't want her to turn back into the Ice Princess after all of their time together. He was really starting to like being with this girl. He had never had a close relationship with anyone but guys.

"Edward, do you promise not to tell anyone? No one knows, not even Emmett."

He nodded reluctantly, his fingers palming at his hair in nervousness not knowing what he was about to hear.

Reluctantly Isabella spoke, "It's just that my parents not only want me to work. They need me to work."

Saying nothing, Edward waited for her to continue.

"You see, my dad lost his job a few months ago and we don't have any income coming in but mine. We had to sell our house and move into a motel. I walk to my old house every morning and wait there for Emmett to pick me up. I don't want anyone at school to find out."

"Isabella, is that why you hardly eat anything?" Edward asked her, taking her chin and raising it so that her brown eyes looked straight into his caring, glasses covered, green ones.

The tears started pouring down her face as she slowly nodded her confirmation. Edward took his thumbs and wiped the tears away, bringing her to his chest and folding her into his arms.

As her crying came to an end, Isabella sniffed looking up at Edward with red rimmed eyes. "I'm so sorry. It's just that I've never told anyone this and I've been holding it in for too long."

"It's okay," he told her tenderly, all the while soothing her with his gentle touches. Hands rubbing slowly up and down her back and arms. His fingers wiped away the stray hair in her face. "Your secret's safe with me."

Who knew if it was the emotions that poured out of her or what, but Isabella stood up on her tip toes and put her lips softly on Edward's.

For a second, Edward stiffened unable to decide if he should be enjoying this or not. After all, the girl was an emotional basket case at the moment.

But he was a teenage boy and he let that rule over any semblance of common sense. He grasped the back of her head, pulling her mouth closer to his. His hand on the small of her back, he pulled her body flush with his own.

Isabella could feel the gentleness oozing out of Edward, something she hadn't ever felt with Emmett. It spurred her on and she delved her tongue into Edward's compliant mouth. His soft, warm tongue eager to join hers and the moan that he let out when she did was unbelievably sexy.

There was one part of Edward that Isabella knew was not soft. His hard dick was firmly pressed between them and Isabella knew that he would help her forget her sorrows.

She began to untuck his red polo shirt out of his pants and rake her fingernails up and down his back. Edward's body pressed closer to hers, his mouth attacking hers with passion. Isabella moved on to his belt buckle and Edward pulled back.

He laid his forehead on hers, both of their chests panting at the loss of oxygen. Isabella looked into his eyes, questioning. Her own filled with doubt and lust at the same time.

"Are you sure about this?" Edward whispered to her. "I don't want you to regret this. I know that…"

And with that her lips crashed onto his once more. Edward once again pulled her body towards him and slowly walked backward into the storage room. He was smart enough to remember the security cameras in the store. Luckily, no one cared about the back room since the only exit was through the aluminum gates in front.

Edward led her to the small couch that was supposed to be used for staff breaks. Mostly it was used to house the employee's jackets and the extra boxes that wouldn't fit anywhere else in the tiny room.

Quickly making work of the mess on the couch, Edward then took off his sweatshirt Isabella was wearing and unzipped her elf costume. He laid her down on the couch, longing to be inside of her but knowing that he needed to get her ready first.

Well, at least that was what he read. He was lucky his body seemed to take over as he palmed her breasts and nuzzled and kissed each one. After that he wasn't sure what to do and Isabella slowly took his hands and guided them where she needed them to be.

First over the tops of her breasts and down her sides. Then over her stomach and down her legs. Edward was a quick learner and followed the path with his tongue. He was dying to find out how she tasted and couldn't help himself as Isabella started to buck her hips against his.

Finally, Isabella placed his fingers on her glistening, wet folds. She was more than ready for him. With Emmett busy with his friends all the time it had been a while since she was fully satisfied.

Isabella showed Edward how she liked to be touched and exactly how much pressure to put on the little nub of her clit. Her hips pressed harder into the palm of his hand and Isabella let go to grab onto Edward's shoulder. Bringing his mouth back to hers.

He almost came right there and then but managed to hold off a bit longer. Isabella let out a yell and came undone right before his eyes. It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.

"Your turn," Isabella said, pushing his pants down around his ankles with her feet. "Do you have a condom?"

Edward shook his head no, self-conscious that he never had the need to carry one on him before.

"It's okay," Isabella said getting to her knees next to the couch.

When her soft, warm lips wrapped around his dick it was all he could do not to lose it. She pumped him with one hand as her wet mouth took every inch of him in and out. Edward's eyes rolled back into his head as his dick throbbed with pleasure and with only a few more pumps he had to let it go.

He watched in awe as Isabella took all that he gave her and swallowed it whole. Man, was he impressed. And turned on again. But he knew there wasn't much else they could do without a condom and so he pulled her into his arms in a thankful embrace.

"Thanks, Edward. For everything," Isabella said quietly, her head on his chest. Reveling in the warmth she felt from the discovery of this young, beautiful man.

"You're welcome, thank you for trusting me with your secret."

They lay there for a while longer just enjoying the peace brought from each other's embrace, until they both knew it was time to go home. Time to return to families and boyfriends, secrets and lies.

Edward had no promise of what tomorrow would hold for them. But he was okay with that. Isabella had just given him the greatest Christmas gift of all.


For more stories from this wonderful countdown, check out

www . fanfiction s /8713743 /1/ Countdown-to-Christmas-2012-A-Lyrical-Melody

Also, thanks to Cared and the ladies at Rob Attack for reccing this story on their Naughty and Nice list! They have a huge list of Christmas fics and an arsenal of everyday fics to peruse! So head on over there and check them out! robattack dot wordpress dot com