Challenge Number/Title: #5 / The Limerick

Date Posted: 2/7/2013

Fandom: Twilight

Rating: NC17

Genre: AH

Content Descriptors: Angst/Romance

Character Pairing: Edward and Bella

#5 – The Limerick -
Your entry must include a limerick
About anything you can stomach.
Follow the form
So we aren't torn
Between accepting your entry or rejecting it.


Bright Light, Dark Room


"Birdy, are you good at poetry?"

I laugh before realizing she's serious. "No, not at all."

"Damn. I have to write a limerick for this class and its due tomorrow."

"A what?"

"Exactly. I don't know. It has to rhyme and have the correct amount of syllables and I can't handle this." She puts her head in her hands on top of her books and sighs loudly. She looks so exasperated that it's comical. I laugh and before I know it, she is too.

"Birdy, baby, I'm ready when you are." Paul's putting his coat on as he speaks, walking toward me. Butterflies flutter in my stomach - I'm nervous. Is this a date? Should I be nervous?

"Oooooh, Paul! Making your move tonight?" Embry yells from behind the counter.

"Shut up, Embry!" he yells back, trying to laugh it off but I can see the embarrassment in his red cheeks.

"Does anyone know how to write a fucking limerick?!" Leah pleads, as I laugh again.

"Limer- what?" Paul questions, as Embry comes bouncing out front.

"I love limericks!" Embry takes the seat next to Leah as we all stare at him like he has ten heads.

"Seriously?" I ask.

"Come on, Birdy, don't act so surprised. "

"Yeah Birdy, Embry thinks he can do everything. You should know that by now." Paul jokes, making a face at Embry while his hand touches my back.

"There once was a boy named Paul

Who thought he could have it all

But Bella said no

She didn't want to go

He felt like he was two feet tall." Embry finishes and we're silent. Then we're not. I'm almost on the floor laughing so hard, tears are pulling at my eyes. Leah is bent over, clutching her books for an anchor as she laughs. Paul has Embry on the floor within seconds, wrestling with him in an I-can't-believe-you-just-did-that way.

Once they're done wrestling and too out of breath to continue, I grab my jacket and bag. Embry offers to help Leah and they leave to go hang out somewhere else.

I throw on my coat and grab my bag and we're out the door. Paul is over compensating for earlier, avoiding getting to close or saying the wrong thing. It's painfully obvious.

"Those are cool shoes. I mean, yeah, they're cool." I look down at my red Converse and laugh, they're nothing special and I've worn them every day. "Not that I'm, like, checking out your shoes or whatever."

"Stop acting weird." I watch his face redden before he looks back at me, black hair falling in his face.

"I'm not." He shakes his head, smiling slightly.

"Yes, you are. Stop it."

"Okay, Birdy baby."

Conversation isn't awkward but in an hour, it's still very superficial. Weather, work, annoying customers. It hasn't strayed into anything dangerous but it's only a matter of time before it will, I know it.

"How old are you?" he asks abruptly, I knew we couldn't stay in safe territory for long.

"Twenty-four, you?"

"Twenty-three." He smiles, hand coming up to push his hair off his face. He looks older than twenty-three, I would've said twenty-five. It must be his black hair and tan skin, they age him in a good way. His eyes are almost the same color as mine though, his are chocolate brown while mine are lighter, like sand.

"Tell me about yourself, Birdy." His eyes smile just as much as his mouth, his skin looks so soft I have the urge to touch it.

"What do you want to know?"

"Anything." He's leaning across the table slightly, eyes locked on mine. His hands are casually draped on the table, I could touch them if I moved mine a few inches forward. I don't, but the thought is there.

"Well, you already know I'm twenty-four. I graduated two years ago with a photography degree. I got a job right out of college and until a few weeks ago, thought it was more permanent." The look on his face tells me he's inferring what I'm about to say next. "They had budget cuts and my position didn't make it. Now, I work with you."

I try to make the conversation light at the end but it's too late. "Man, that sucks. I'm sorry."

I think he can tell I don't want to get into it. "So, is that why you always have a camera attached to your face during your breaks?"

"Yes." More laughing, it's light and carefree with him. I can feel his eyes on me, I find myself giving him flirty eyes back. Is this a date? I look down at my sandwich, it's almost gone.

"Could I see some of your work?" he asks, and I can tell he's genuinely interested. I'm happily surprised at his request and more than willing to share.

"I could bring you my book tomorrow, if you want."

"Please do, I bet it's amazing." I blush, I can't help it. He's sweet and he's taking an interest in my photos. He doesn't realize how wrapped up in them I get. "You light up when you talk about photography, did you know that?" It's rhetorical, I smile for my answer.

"Come on, let's go."

"Where are we going?" I ask. He smiles before wrapping his hand around my waist and guiding me out of the café.

"How do you feel about chocolate?"

"I think it should have its own section on the food pyramid." Apparently, that's the right answer. He almost bounces us away with excitement as we head toward what he calls "the best place ever".

"If it's so awesome why didn't we just go there first?"

"Too many people, I wanted you to myself for a little while." He winks. I giggle. He grabs my hand. I let him.

I think this is a date.

-X-

I ate the best chocolate cupcake last night that I've ever had in my entire life. Trust me, I've had a lot of cupcakes but this one takes the cake. Literally. Paul brought me to a place with so many baked goods I thought I might explode. We ate far too much and laughed so hard my stomach hurt. His hands stayed on me a lot more as time went on. Hand-holding turned to arms around my shoulder, that stay there for the rest of our night. It was fun and one of the first times in a while that I've felt like I'm missing something by not dating or having a boyfriend.

The sunrise and I are becoming better friends, though I'm still angry about it. It's six a.m. and I'm at the counter, getting ready for the crowd. I'm glad I had a good night with Paul because I really didn't want things to get awkward between us. Leah has the later shift today, because of class, and I hope Embry helped her with her limericks.

The usual customers start to come in.

Sue gets her white chocolate cream coffee.

Ashley gets her cream with a splash of coffee.

Knit hat guy – whose name still escapes me - gets his iced coffee with one cream and one sugar.

Liz comes in to get her English breakfast tea with milk.

Elena gets her double tall soy vanilla spice latte.

And then … there's Mr. Cullen.

He walks in and the atmosphere in the store changes. People move out of the way for him, they take notice of his black suit, bright white shirt and dark perfectly-styled hair. I see the women stare appreciatively, while the men stare with envy. He seems oblivious, typing into his iPhone or talking to someone who's probably his assistant, he's consumed in himself and focuses on no one else.

As I help the customers ahead of him my eyes continue to flick back to him, watching him from a distance is safer and less intimidating.

He inches closer and closer with each order I take, our own version of suspense. He's not aware of me, but I'm completely aware of him.

When he gets up to the counter, his cold stare hits me hard, causing a chill to move through me. I see his jaw unhinge and move left, right, left, right, as if he's thinking about what to say next.

"May I help you?" I ask. It feels like my insides are vibrating with nerves.

He's silent, says nothing, just like always. I'm internally smacking myself, cursing myself for speaking. Heat rises to my face, my chest, coloring me red. Painful green pierces my sandy brown. His hair is more disheveled than when he entered, his fingers no doubt the cause.

I'm the idiot, he's not going to talk. He wants his coffee, now.

My brain won't click though, I can't for the life of me think of his coffee. Black? Cream? Sugar?

In the past week that I've worked here, I've only had one day off and he's been in every day. Same time. Same drink. Out of those seven days, I've only had to wait on him two other times; the first had been horrid. The second had been chaotic. He was on his phone, barking away at the person on the other side, short words spoken as if to jab them.

I move to grab a cup, medium hot with one sugar and an espresso shot? Is that his drink? I look back to him. Big mistake.

Green pulls me in, twists me, turns me, gives me butterflies. Flirty butterflies, not nervous ones. I want to grab my camera, I want to take pictures of the bright light coming from his eyes. I want to capture the anger, the intensity. I blink, taking photos without a camera. Click. Click.

I realize I've been staring too long. A loud sigh leaves his lips, pink pouty lips. He's annoyed. I might not have been the one serving him but whenever he's in the walls of this café, I'm fully aware of him. He has a powerful presence that demands the utmost attention.

He is silent, not flinching, his eyes showing no warmth. He is a cruel combination of fire and ice—beauty like an angel, but an aura so cold it could cause freezer burn. What if I used that jet black tie around his neck to keep him silent? Wrap it around that jaw, past those pouty lips and tie it in the back. Watch his teeth bite into the silky material as I pull tighter. The cold stare in his eyes would turn to lust, powerful –all-consuming lust. The vision in my head morphs into one of him without a shirt, then without pants...

"You are still incompetent, I see." His voice is crystal clear and just loud enough that it pisses me off. My eyes frantically scan the customers to see if anyone heard his snarky remark. If they did, they ignore it. It still bothers me. I open my mouth to say something back when a coffee is pushed in front of me and toward him.

"Morning, Mr. Cullen, here's your coffee." Embry hands it over and pushes me out of the way to plug it into the cash register. I can't tell if I'm happy he covered for me or mad that he blocked me from saying something back.

I decide on happy. I can't lose this job.

"Thank you-" I whisper, heat rising to my face. "I just blanked real quick there."

"It happens, don't worry about it. I usually see him come in and start his coffee while he's still in line." He laughs at himself before continuing. "He's just an asshole, I wouldn't let him get to you. You're still new here, Birdy."

"I appreciate it." My hand squeezes his arm in thanks. "What is his coffee?"

"Dark roast, two creams and one shot of espresso."

"That sounds bitter." My face scrunches together at the thought.

"You are what you drink." He winks at me before moving back to pour coffee into a mug.

"Did you ever help Leah with the limericks?"

"Most definitely." A smile bursts onto his face before he pauses, eyes searching for her before landing back on me.

"Oh, boy." I smile at him. When I turn to help the next customer, I spot a black suit standing against the pick-up counter. My eyes target his before I can stop myself. Swimming in green.

Fuck. How long was he standing there?

I'm frozen. My eyes flash down to the ground and I help the customer in line, avoiding him completely while still making sure I know his every move.

"Take your first break early, Birdy." Paul moves in beside me, pushing me away gently. Five minute breaks aren't much, but it will be enough to get my head back into the day and out of the clouds. I grab my camera, otherwise I'll just be awkwardly blinking at people. I don't see any him in my walk to a table but I don't look. I don't know if I want to know. I can still feel his green eyes penetrating me, looking at me like I'm beneath him on every level.

I'm caught up in a shot of rain drizzling down the window when I feel someone next to me. As I pull my camera away from my face, my body tightens; I know who it is without looking. A black suit, white shirt and black tie are in my peripheral. "If you focused as much on your job as you do on that camera, you wouldn't fuck up my order every time."

I've never felt more like a child in my entire life. He scolds me with his words and his eyes drive the point home before he walks out the door.

Emotionless, detached and intense. Always intense. Just like on that first day, it radiates off his body, it presses you down, it makes you feel like you're an inch tall. It's so harsh you want to run, but so unique you can't stop staring.

If only I could capture that much intensity from my camera.

A/N:

Stephenie owns Twilight.

Amy, without your amazing comments and suggestions and notes this would be nonexistent. Are you willing to draw a moustache on your finger as a conversational ice breaker? I am.

Mauigirl60 is the best beta ever! Thank you.

Go to Typokween 's ffnet page & read her amazing PTB challenge & her epic fic The Slowest Burn.