Challenge Number/Title:#7 / Valentine Loos

Date Posted: 2/18/13

Fandom:Twilight

Rating: NC17

Genre:AH

Content Descriptors:Angst/Romance

Character Pairing:Edward and Bella

#7 – Valentine Loos - Write your entry based around this plot: trapped in the bathroom on Valentine's Day.


Bright Light, Dark Room


"When are you coming home?" My sisters voice whines into my ear.

"I don't know, I was just home in December." That was only a little over a month ago.

"But that was for Christmas, that doesn't count. A lot has happened since then. Come on, please!" I'm moving around my living room cleaning up, it's been neglected recently and it's starting to annoy me. My hands pick up some lint on the rug and move to fix the bottom of the couch when I hit something hard. My fingers reach under and hit the familiar cover of my moms journal.

"Yes!" I almost yell. I've been looking for this for so long!

"You're coming?!" Ang squeals in my ear. Damnit.

"I'm not coming home for Valentines Day." Standing up and placing the journal on the counter I look at the calendar, it's already February 10th.

"Why not? Do you have a Valentine this year?" Her voice is suggestive, I ignore her.

"You have Eric, why would I come home to be a third wheel? I'm not about to hang out with Dad and Sue, so don't even mention that." I love spending time with my dad, but not on one of the most romantic days of the year.

"Please, Bella! I miss you. I want to hear about this new job, not just in short snippets before you hang up."

I don't even bother telling her she could just talk to me over the phone. I know if I do she'll give me some snarky comment about it being better in person.

"Then come visit me later this month." I put out the bait, knowing she'll take it.

"Okay! When?" Knew it.

"I don't know, any time after the twentieth."

"I'm holding you to that, Bells!" I let out a deep breath.

"I don't doubt that. I have to go, I'll talk to you later."

-x-

"Birdy, baby." I hear Paul come up behind me, his hands tickling down the sides of my arms. "It's almost Valentine's Day."

We've been working together all day and he keeps finding ways to put his fingers on me. Whether it be to brush them past my arms, grab the same cup as me, move me over by my waist, anything. I can feel his pull to me, he can't stop himself.

"Yes, I know." I turn around to face him, butterflies fluttering through me. He makes me nervous in a good way. Our relationship is still new, we haven't announced it.

"Can I take you out?"

"If you'd like," I say, noncommittally.

"You know I like." He winks, leaning into me. I move my head to the side as he gets closer. I'm not used to this much touching and flirting and attention. It's absolutely thrilling and insanely terrifying.

"Okay."

"I was thinking we could go to that Italian place a few blocks over, Tulios?" He locks his arms behind my back.

"I think you have to make reservations way more than a few days in advance to get in there, Paul."

"I may have already made them," he mumbles,, smiling and looking down at my feet.

"Ah, what if I would've said no?" All I see is his smile as he walks away from me.

It's weird how this relationship is so different from any others I've had. Usually, the guy is annoyed that I'm consumed with my camera. Paul isn't. He loved looking at my book, searching through my photos. He tells me about cool places I should photograph. He thinks it's adorable to watch me lose myself in my camera. Why is he different?

Maybe it's because we work together. Photography isn't my job anymore, really. He doesn't lose me every day for twelve plus hours and then some. He sees me when I'm working and he's around me a lot more than any other man I've dated. Maybe that's what makes this different?

-x-

I carefully slide out of Paul's car, my pink mini dress riding up slightly. He told me I looked gorgeous. He didn't stop looking at my legs the entire way here. I feel sexy tonight. When people stare at me, I don't look away.

As we walk into the restaurant I feel a few men stare; it's confidence boosting. A couple of women eye my black patent pumps and matching clutch; they're more concerned with my outfit.

As we dig into the bread basket placed on the table, I can feel Paul's eyes on me. I look up and he looks down. It's awkward. I don't like it.

"What's up?"

"I wanted to talk to you about something." His voice is monotone. I can't read him. Is this the break-up speech? Is he already sick of me? This is only our second date.

"Okay?" I grab my wine and take a tiny sip, waiting for his question.

"I know this is only our second date, but I was wondering if you'd be opposed to being more uh- exclusive?" he asks. I can feel his insecurity radiating from him.

I don't even know why I panic, but I do. My hand moves to put my wine glass down too fast and it hits the table. Dark red wine splashes all over my legs and the bottom of my super short dress.

"Oh! Bella!" He jumps up and moves towards me with his napkin.

"It's okay, I'm sorry. I'll be right back." I stand up and walk toward the bathroom. I hate how relieved I am at the delay I've just created.

The bathroom is packed with a bunch of girls, all primping and gossiping. You'd think they knew each other but I'm pretty sure they don't. As I walk past some stalls a girl comes out of one far too quickly and runs directly into me.

"The fuck?" she growls at me, before moving over to the sinks. I follow, mumbling an apology and figuring it's too late for that. She's not having a good night, I can tell. My heart beats quick and hard, not letting me forget the situation I'm in.

Grabbing paper towels, I attempt to get the wine out of my dress and it's not working. I turn around and walk into one of the stalls, locking the door, trying to calm myself down. I'm frustrated with my apprehension with Paul. I'm frustrated with the deep purple stains on my pink dress. I'm frustrated with the bitch that ran into me. Deep breaths, I tell myself. I hear the shuffle of people in the bathroom, the girls complimenting each other snidely about their outfits. It's all fake, it always is. I put the lid down on the toilet and sit, my heart still beating hard in my chest. I'm panicking and I can't stop. I want to punch something to get rid of some tension from my body but this isn't the place for that.

A few more minutes of deep breathing and focusing on my heart beat and I think I'm ready to head back. "Don't be a coward," I mumble to myself. I unlock the door and walk back to the sinks, taking my time to wash my hands as thoroughly as possible. The bitch that ran into me is still in here, she's basically reapplying her entire face of make-up.

I take another deep breath, trying to calm myself down, as I dry my hands off. It's just Paul, there's nothing to worry about. I focus on my heels clicking against the tile floor as I walk out of the bathroom. Turning right I walk directly into a couple leaning against the wall next to the door. My entire body slams into their connected arms and bodies, effectively breaking them apart. Their lips are broken from the kiss they were so desperately sharing. I hear the woman huff loudly while he groans. I feel like a complete klutz.

She's a tall blonde girl, model-skinny and high-fashion dressed. Her ice-blue eyes look at me and I'm intimidated.

"I'm sorry," I mumble, avoiding looking at them as best as I can, while backing up to move around them. Someone else comes out of the bathroom, the girl who was in there on the phone. She's still not paying attention to anything but herself. She walks past me, side-swiping me with her shoulder, knocking me off balance. She barely turns her head to say, "Watch where you're fucking going!" She must be having a lovely Valentine's Day.

My heels start to tip and my hands reach out, searching for a wall to hold onto. I don't want to fall.

A large, warm hand grabs my upper arm, keeping me balanced and off the floor. My breath shakes as embarrassment sinks in. I look up at the couple I've now disturbed beyond recovery and can't stop my jaw from dropping or my hand from slapping against my mouth.

Bittersweet. Mr. Cullen. Green, green, green.

So fucking intense.

His eyes squint briefly before opening wide and scanning down my body. I feel myself heat up, a red blush flooding my cheeks. When he gets to my shoes he closes his eyes hard before opening them back up to meet mine.

My breathing is coming out in short pants, I can't stop it. Without letting go of my arm, he looks at the blue-eyed model and says, "Go back to the table."

She starts to speak but stops abruptly. I can't see his face and I'm sure I wouldn't want to right this second. Turning on her sparkly silver heels she walks away. Green eyes are back on mine.

"Are you alright?" His hand is still wrapped around my arm. It's strong and warm. His eyes flash to where we're connected and then back to me.

"Yes," I answer. He opens his mouth to speak again and I interrupt him. "Thank you for catching me, I appreciate it."

He nods, keeping silent, not speaking the words he was about to a few seconds ago. "I'll see you later?" I say it as a question and I don't know why. I know I'll see him. He comes in every fucking day. His grip tightens slightly on me, just enough that I notice.

As I move to walk around him and back into the restaurant, his hand stays locked on my arm. I look at his fingers, wrapped around me, and then up into his eyes. We say nothing. He's so close I can feel his breath on my skin. The pattern of his breath, in and out, is intoxicating. I feel myself sway a little on my heels and a soft touch to my waist stops me from falling again.

Now his other hand is on my waist, holding me so lightly and carefully that it's barely there. My breathing shakes, I hope he doesn't hear.

"Happy Valentine's Day, Bella." My eyes are focused on his lips as he speaks. I can't move; I don't want to. He smirks and releases my arm and then my waist, leaving me in the hallway alone - confused, flustered and thinking of the green eyes that are forever burned into my mind.

A/N:

SM owns Twilight.

Thoughts on Edward & Bella's first interaction outside of Liquid Happy?

I want to thank you for all the reviews/alerts/favorites. You're all amazing.

Mauigirl60 is the best beta & deals with my aversion to commas and helps me so much.

Amy, The Burn Trilogy. Big Burn Theory. New Burn. Your ideas and comments and notes help more than you know.

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