A/N: I own nothing. All thanks go to Rickell, without whom this wouldn't be here.
"Fuck, did you see the one by the bar in the green dress though? Promise me you'd tell me if I was ever getting that fat. Haven't people like that heard of a diet?"
Great, here comes the cliché MTV teen drama moment where I have to listen to two bitches talk shit about me while I sit in a bathroom stall. It's not that I'm not used to it but it's still a kick in the stomach every time. I know already I won't make a scene, girls like that either back down when confronted or spit more of their vitriol and I don't have the patience for it any more. So I pull up my big girl panties (Spanx, actually) and open the door. I can tell the exact moment the peroxide one realises I've overheard them because her fake eyelashes about touch her hairline. She elbows her friend and they both look anywhere but me as if they weren't ripping the shit out of me 10 seconds prior. I know this dance, though, so I just wash my hands and get out of there.
I'm not surprised by what we just heard, nor am I that upset. Judging by the standards these days in bars like this, I'm big. I've always been big; I was 5"8 and 220 at 15. That shit does not fly in a high school changing room, let me tell you. I spent years doing the woe-is-me insecurity bullshit and I yo-yo dieted with the best of them but it never worked. Forks was pretty much hell for me. People say not to let bullies get you down but it's difficult when some of the kids thought my name actually was 'fatass'. Needless to say, by the time I got to the University of Washington I didn't have a speck of confidence and things weren't much improved when I saw my roommate for freshman year. Rosalie Hale, the modern day Marilyn in all her glory. I could practically hear the insults from old classmates in my ears as I introduced myself to her so she just about knocked me on my ass when she was nothing but friendly. Over time, Rose proved herself to be sweet with just the right amount of snarky and I realised I'd judged her for how she looked just like others had done to me.
Freshman year with Rose changed things around for me. I did the freshman fifteen in reverse, my body naturally evening out and gaining some muscle tone from all the walking on campus. Rose taught me not to hide behind the baggy men's clothes but to dress in clothes that fitted properly. Of course I still got snide looks from time to time but some girls thrive on making others feel weak. Unlucky for them, 6 years on from my transformation I don't let it faze me. I work hard for my curves, running when I get the chance and eating relatively well. I'm still what some would call fat (clearly) but I don't think of myself that way. I am tits, ass, hips, thighs and all that goodness. I am unashamedly soft in a world of abs and hard angles and I've made my peace with that. And tonight? Fuck yeah I'm working it. Aforementioned Spanx have given me the perfect hourglass silhouette and I've put it to work in a silk wrap dress. Heels, of course, for the extra wiggle when I walk.
I plop down on the bar stool next to Rose, grabbing the vodka and cranberry she's ordered for me and taking a gulp. She's eyeing me closely, you don't stay friends for as long as we have and not notice when the other is acting weirdly.
"You okay?" she asks, narrowing her eyes.
"Fine, just bitches in the bathroom. High school shit, you know how some girls are," I smile but even I can tell it's slightly subdued. I'm confident in my body and my appearance yet I can't imagine many people could shake off a dig like that immediately. Rose's nod tells me she knows I'm unnerved but she's willing to leave it alone and for that I'm grateful.
"Well I'm just going to head over to talk to that guy. He's been eyeing me for over an hour and I'm bored of being in a staring contest." She gives me a wink and hops off her stool, swaying her way over to her next victim.
I just shake my head and take another sip of my drink. That's Rose for you. She has a heart of gold but the woman can cut a man to shreds from 50 feet away. I'm about to signal the bartender for another drink when I realise there's someone right next to me... staring directly at my face. Now, I am a sucker for a cute guy and he's the cutest I've seen in a while. Not conventionally attractive, sure, but he's got this crazy red hair and beautiful eyes surrounded by thick black frames. His nose is crooked and his smile is even more so, but the overall effect? Adorable. His cheeks are getting redder the more I stare and I can't help the smirk that appears.
"Um, hi, you're beautiful. No, I meant I'm Edward. Wait, you are beautiful though. And I'm Edward," he looks down and clears his throat. His cheeks are cherry red and he's scrunching up his face and mumbling. "Look, I'm just going to go. This was a bad idea, I'm sorry..."
Oh crap. I've been so busy ogling the poor guy I forgot to even speak. Real smooth, Bella.
"No, I'm sorry. It's nice to meet you Edward, my name's Bella. You were sitting with the big guy my friend is currently harassing?" I smile, hoping he'll be slightly more at ease. At least his cheeks have faded to pink now, thank the lord, because all the blushing – blushing! - was making my panties wet.
"Yeah, that's my cousin Emmett. He was telling me to come over here to talk to you the whole night but I told him you wouldn't be interested, then when your friend came over it seemed pointless for us both to be sat on our own so I thought I'd come over and say hi, if that's okay obviously, or.." Jesus, the poor guy hasn't breathed in about a minute. I'd laugh but he'd probably take it wrong, so I just decide to jump in and save him.
"Of course that's okay, Edward. What girl wouldn't want a handsome man to come and talk to her?" I throw in a wink, hoping it looks alluring and not like I've got something stuck in my eye. "How about you tell me about yourself?"
"You think I'm handsome? Oh um... that's... wow. About me, um, my name's Edward. Oh you already know that. Err... I'm just moving back to Seattle to work in an architecture firm after going to college in California..." I couldn't tell you what he says next because I've decided to use this opportunity to check him out a bit more thoroughly. Dark button down, untucked of course, dark jeans and battered converse. Lean forearms corded with muscle and a chrome watch attached to his wrist, which is attached to quite possibly the most porn-worthy hand I've seen. Long fingers, big palms. Yeah, he's definitely cute. I'm about to melt.
"Um, Bella? I... I asked about you?" My eyes snap back up to Edward's just in time to catch the bashful smile before he ducks his head. I was totally caught checking him out and he doesn't seem to mind by the looks of things. He looks back up at me, lopsided smile and dimples in place and suddenly I'm bored of talking. I move forward on the stool and kiss him full on the lips.
He kisses just how I thought he would, slightly wet, a bit sloppy and so, so eager. What he lacks in technique he more than makes up for with sheer enthusiasm. I can't pretend like it's not a turn on to have a man want to kiss me as much as he seems to and it's with that thought that I slip my tongue past his lips. Edward's groan only adds fuel to the fire and I place a few chaste kisses on his lips before I end up mounting him on the bar.
Judging by Edward's beaming smile and the hand he hasn't yet removed from my waist, I'd say he's happy with the turn of events.
"So, um, can I buy you and your friend a drink?" he asks, giving me a gentle squeeze. I whip my head around, expecting to see Rose smirking at my jumping of Edward but I catch sign of her by the doors dragging Emmett behind her and giving me the ubiquitous 'call me' hand sign. Smooth.
"Actually, how would you like to come to my apartment?"
If I thought Edward was shy in the bar, he is overwhelmingly so in the taxi, just barely holding my hand and looking out the window. I've got a sick feeling in my stomach that tells me he's not quite as keen for this as I am, even though I'm generally a good reader of the 'I want to sex you up' signals. As we arrive at my apartment door, I decide to give him an out.
"Look, Edward, you're a really nice guy..." I've barely said anything before his face looks pained and he averts his eyes. Yep, definitely not interested. "You can leave, its okay. I'm sorry if you felt you had to come back here or whatever, I just really enjoyed kissing you and felt we both wanted the same thing but..."
"No, you're right Bella. I did want that. Wait, I mean I do want that. I just... fuck, this is embarrassing. I haven't really done this before, okay?" At this point I'm straight confused and open my apartment door so we can stop giving my neighbours a show. He walks in like a scolded puppy, head down and shuffling inside. I lead him through to the couch and sit down, raising my eyebrows and inviting him to clear up whatever the hell is going on here.
"I've only slept with 1 woman and I was with her a long time... I'm worried you're expecting something I'm not going to be able to fulfil. You're this sexy, beautiful woman and I'm so scared I'm going to disappoint you. And now I'm unloading on you like an insecure teenager and probably freaking you out. Shit, I'm so sorry, Bella, if you want me to leave then I will."
I'm still stuck on the one woman part. One woman. Really? That's.. surprising. Not that I thought he was a manwhore, I guessed from his kissing he wasn't overly experienced, but to have only been with one person at our age is rare these days. And then I catch sight of Edward's shoulders slumping and realise I've made the same mistake as before by letting myself get caught up instead of responding. I'll be damned if I let my chance be ruined by something as silly as his insecurity, so I opt for the most obvious solution.
Stand up, haul ass to my bedroom and try to find some lingerie that looks remotely sexy and isn't designed to suck me in like some kind of fat hoover. Edward's count is about to be doubled.
To say Edward is bewildered when I emerge a few minutes later is an understatement but that soon gets overridden when he realises I'm in a lace bra and crotchless panties. Let's be honest, we all know crotchless panties only exist for sex. I'm scared for a minute he's swallowed his tongue, judging by the choking sound he makes, but before I can attempt some kind of underwear-clad Heimlich he's standing up and walking towards me.
"Holy fuck, Bella. Jesus. Your body is...wow." Yeah, I think he's 100% in for this, now. The way he's looking at me is the biggest self-confidence boost I've had in a while, especially combined with how hoarse his voice is and how his hands flitter all over my body as though he can't decide which part of me to touch first. He puts both hands on my ass and pulls my body toward him, fiercely kissing me while grinding his erection into the flesh of my stomach and it's hard to assimilate this with the insecure man of 10 minutes ago. No complaints here, though.
He trails his hand from the back of my body to the front, smoothing up to my bra and hesitating for only a moment for dragging his thumb firmly across each of my nipples. I moan into his mouth and he takes that as encouragement to fully cup both of my breasts in those glorious hands. Even as big as his hands are, my breasts spill over the sides and the top and Edward groans as he looks down. He moves his kisses to my neck as I pant in his ear because God, the man has no mercy. He's kneading my breasts and tugging my nipples and I'm overwhelmed by how aroused I am. He kisses his way back up toward my neck and kisses right next to my ear.
"I knew you were beautiful, Bella, but like this, giving your body to me? You are the most beautiful woman in the world right now," and I'm dead. Honestly, I'm not sure I've ever removed anyone's clothes as fast as I'm removing Edward's right now, fighting to undo all his buttons while claiming his mouth. I suck on the salty slick skin of his neck as I undo his jeans and drag my open mouth down his bare chest as I lower them to the floor. I can feel his pulse quickening in his neck, over his heart, even his stomach where the flesh is pulled taut across the membrane and he is a trembling trifecta of my making and I don't know if I've ever felt so powerful before. He drags me up by my arms and I know he is as desperate to be inside me as I am to have him there, so I pull him toward my bedroom and lay him down. We're sliding and writhing with sweat beading, forming a slippery gauze between his body and mine. And finally he's pushing inside me and fuck, I feel like I've never lived before now. Hips rubbing, skin slapping and I'm speaking in tongues trying to express just how good it feels but I can tell by one look at his face that he's feeling it too. He buries his head in my neck and thrusts and bucks, drives and fucks until I squeeze and then he is consumed, my name falling from his lips like a litany. He collapses on me, breathing hard and sprinkling kisses all over my face.
"So... how would you feel about a date?"
It's only 2 months after we meet that I tell Edward I love him. Of course because my timing is horrible and he fucks me so well that I lose all verbal filter, it happens bang in the middle of sex. The words just leave my mouth like the traitors they are, swirling and whirling between us until they're an iron wall, pushing me apart from him. I'm frozen and so is he and it wouldn't take much to convince me that the world has stopped turning about now. Edward's eyes are wide as they look at me so I clench mine shut, because rejection is bad enough when you don't have to watch them form the words and really, his silence is saying more than his words ever could. I can't speak, I'm not even sure I can breathe so I just lay there stiff as a stone. My head is telling me to get the hell out of this situation, but my chest feels cracked open and the cavity gets bigger the longer time drags on without him saying anything. But my heart? My heart knows Edward and tells me to stay put. And two seconds later, my eyes pop open at the sound of Edward's laugh. He kisses the tears I didn't notice falling and rests his chest on mine and I know the words are coming before he says them.
"I love you, too."
Its 10 months after that, a year to the day that Edward so suavely approached me that I make the most important walk of my life. Edward is as cute as he was the first time I saw him, white shirt and grey suit with a navy tie, cheeks pink and eyes shining. I cling tighter to my Dad's arm because seeing how much he loves me, how happy he is that I'll be his wife is enough to make me weak at the knees. When I reach him, he takes my hand and entwines his fingers with mine and I smile because sometimes in life you have perfect moments and being here, getting married to Edward?
This is the most perfect moment of my life.