Previously, in Chapter Nine …
"You're going with someone else?" Angie questions, the first to speak. "Who?"
Cullen finally looks up from his cell and gives her a perplexed look, a look that indicates she should already know.
"You," he tells my friend with a simmering smile, shaking his head at her stunned face. "I'm going with you."
Pre-read by one of the best authors I know, Jonesn. Beta'd by the cat's meow, SunflowerFran.
Chapter Ten: Dark Horse
"Bella, are you sure about this?"
It's Friday, the dreaded H-day, the 'H' being Homecoming. Angie and I are walking upstairs to get ready for the dance after a stressful day at school. We're not stressed from the homework or the nagging teachers. The stress came from our peers who had nothing to do all day but gossip about Angie, our dates, and me. We're so stressed that we decided against going to the pre-dance football game, avoiding the curious stares that have plagued us all day.
Suddenly, we're the most popular girls in school.
I've never been 'popular' per se. The school I attended prior to moving to Forks was filled with the same students I'd known since Kindergarten. Like any other school we had our cliques, though not as diverse as the ones here in Washington. Nevertheless, no matter what clique you were in, we all knew one another, got along, and accepted one another for who we were. Our weekends were filled attending the same parties where we would congregate and converse with one another before moving to our respected group of friends. There was hardly any judgment. Of course, there were mean girls and what have you, but they were few and far between, and had nothing on Lauren Mallory or Jessica Stanley.
A wave of sadness washes over me as I reach the last step after trudging upstairs. My mind is filled with images of Rose, who was named Junior maid this year. She tagged me in a bunch of photos of herself on Facebook, anxious to show off the emerald-colored gown she wore last week to her own Homecoming Dance. It only reminded me of Cullen's eyes, which made me feel pathetic.
Paul was included in a group shot of some of my old friends, all dressed up for a night of dancing and after-parties. The sight of him with a sophomore named Emily tucked neatly under one arm had a strange effect on me. I felt nothing: no hurt, no pain, no anger, no regret. It's weird, considering he's the only person I've ever been with, and the first and only boyfriend I've ever had.
"Bella? Did you hear me?"
Angie's voice drags my head from the clouds. I hip-check her and roll my eyes just before pushing open my bedroom door. The dress Mama and I found in Seattle hangs from my closet door, hidden behind the zipped wardrobe bag.
"I asked if you were sure it was okay for me to go with Cullen tonight?
"Why do you keep asking me that?" I groan and avoid her perceptive stare. I'm secretly as happy as fuck that she's going with the guy, that anyone other than Lauren Mallory is going with him. Besides, Cullen did stress later that night that he was asking her to go with him as a friend.
The shoebox I need rests at the top of my closet. On my tippy toes, I struggle to reach the box, releasing a thankful sigh as my beanstalk of a buddy brushes past me and grabs it.
"You know he's just asked me so he could keep an eye on you and Jasper, right? That's why he was so anxious to carpool together …"
"We all should ride together," Cullen said, tearing the napkin in front of him into miniscule shreds, making the tiny, white pile resemble snowflakes resting in front of him. He glanced up and gazed into my eyes, and I briefly wondered how he would look with snow drifting around the sharp planes of his face. "Save on gas and all."
"He's just trying to save gas money, Ang. It has nothing to do with me."
"Bella, the dude is loaded. Why the fuck would he care about saving gas money?"
"Maybe … maybe he's a closet environmentalist. A tree-hugger." I almost snort at my own words.
"Jesus Christ, Bella. A closet environmentalist? Cullen?" she retorts, ignoring Cooch who's throwing on her Greenpeace shirt and painting a 'Save the Whales' sign. "With the amount of weed he smokes, he's killing mother earth singlehandedly, so I doubt he's an environmental activist.
An image flashes through my mind ... an image of Cooch wearing her Greenpeace shirt and chaining herself to Cullen's peen in protest, protecting it from all the other Cooch's of the world.
"He drives a Volvo." I point this out to her as I pop open the lid of the shoebox.
"Yeah. I still haven't figured that one out," she says with a snicker.
Angie tosses her own wardrobe bag carelessly onto the bed, giving a little squeal as I bat her hands away from the zipper. Anxious to see what she's grabbed at the last minute, I unzip the bag, my eyes widening at the vibrant orange color that greets me.
"Wild, huh? I love it." Ang happy-sighs and pulls the dress from the bag. The bodice shimmers and gleams against her, the ruffled bottom fluttering as she twirls around. I'm almost jealous of how amazing she's going to look once it's on her. The residual, summer tan on her legs against the gauzy skirt will absolutely draw attention to her endless legs. I swear those legs of hers end at her throat.
Angie tosses the dress onto my bed and unzips my garment bag. I feel silly. Ridiculous and plain compared to her. The dress she removes from the bag is a pale shade of mint green. The bodice is just as fitted as Angie's, but the tightness ends below my breasts. The skirt is gauzy as well, flowing almost to my knees. It would be shorter, but I'm petite, and it was the best I could do on such short notice.
"Bella, this is gorgeous," she murmurs, fingering the curling loops of fabric at the hem of the dress. "You're going to look like a princess."
"And you'll look like a model. Who would you rather dance with? Kate Upton or the little fucking mermaid?"
"Whatever, bitch. Get in the shower. We have hair and makeup to do, and that's going to take hours."
I groan at her words, secretly wishing I'd taken my mother up on her suggestion to have professional hair and makeup done. By professional, I mean a workup by Peggy, the chain-smoking beautician in Forks. Peggy is one of a grand total of four beauticians in Forks, and the only one who was available to do hair and makeup at the last minute. When Mama suggested I go there all I could picture was Peggy puffing on that cigarette in the tiny, stifling building situated in her front yard. I imaged choking on smoke and hairspray and shut that shit down straightway. No way was I enduring that torment, or showing up to the dance on a cloud of Aqua Net and Virginia Slims, instead of Jasper's mom's car.
"Where's your mom?" Angie asks, once I've thoroughly showered, shaved, and dried my hair. She's standing behind me, a towel wrapped around her own, long dark hair. I give the flatiron that's clasped in her hand an apprehensive look. Being accident-prone has earned me an occasional flatiron burn or twenty over the years, and that's by my own, two hands. "She's still at work, but I'm sure she'll be home. God, she's gonna embarrass the shit out of me. I caught her re-decorating the mantel above the fireplace last night just for the photos she plans to take of us in front of it."
"You know how moms can be."
I murmur in agreement, but don't necessarily agree. I've never seen my mother this excited about a date, and my suspicions are that she's secretly thrilled about my supposed interest in Jasper. The name 'Carlisle' has become so casually mentioned around our house here lately. As commonly used as 'pass the butter' or 'did you take out the trash?' Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that she's so happy, but I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Actually, I'm waiting on her to drop Carlisle, just the way she dropped belly dancing and pottery classes. My mother loses interest in everything so quickly, moving from one thing to another. I can't help but wonder if she'll be the same way with this man, dropping him after he's not so shiny and new anymore.
Part of me hopes she doesn't. I've enjoyed the happiness in her eyes, and teasing her when her phone rings and she sneaks away to her bedroom like a teenager. But there's a part of me, and I'm not so sure how dominant that part is, that wishes she'd become bored and move on. The idea of having to deal with Cullen in ways other than a just a locker mate is something I cannot stand to even entertain. The very thought of sharing dinner with him and our parents, or going on family trips together makes me sick.
"Bella. Did you hear me? Where is your head today?"
"Huh?" I ask, snapping out of a daydream of Edward in board shorts while vacationing with our parents in Hawaii.
Hey, don't judge me. It totes could happen.
I'm one sick fuck.
"I said, do you want your hair pin-straight or do you want me to do something special to it? I'm really good with hair …"
Angie's occasional Jersey Shore poof makes me question just how great her hairstyling skills actually are, but the visual of Cullen all oily on a beach has me feeling reckless today … reckless and naughty.
I tell her to go crazy.
And she does.
Hours later my mom's home squealing like a pig in heat as she runs around looking for her camera. I almost remind her that she's got a kick-ass cell that takes extremely good photos, but I don't. Instead, Angie and I sit on the stairs with our elbows on our knees and our heads propped in our hands as Mama darts around the house. A streak of red dress and her tumbling waves flashes by from time to time, as she moves from room to room searching for 'that damn camera I used at Mildred's wedding.'
I have no idea who Mildred is.
Normally I'd be tired because I'm sort of a bore and go to sleep early every night. We've forgone the football game, and the dance doesn't start until it's over, which shouldn't be long from now. Typically, I'd be going to sleep in about an hour, but exhaustion hasn't crept into my system. I'm wired, feeling as if I've guzzled twenty cups of coffee since coming home from school. And there's no chance of any after-effects of crashing from my adrenaline-induced high looming in my future.
Or so I think.
The ringing of the doorbell brings Angie and me to our feet. Suddenly I'm not so sure this was such a good idea, agreeing to go out with Jasper. I subtly do a pit-sniff as Angie descends the stairs and practically skips to the front door, the traitor. How she does that in heels, is beyond me. My face would be planted somewhere in the floor by now, among the shiny, wooden planks that make up the foyer.
Jasper is my date, and the person I should focus on once my front door is open. But he might as well be invisible, in his modern, black tuxedo, because I can see nothing but Cullen standing behind him.
My eyes wander up his body, skimming over his new, mahogany-colored boots, traveling up the faded jeans with the tiny holes frayed up the sides. A matching brown tuxedo-vest hugs his body, defining the crisp contours of the muscles hidden beneath. A lightly-faded, button-up shirt rests beneath the vest, the sleeves shoved up over his elbows, exposing the edges of his tattoos, which peek out underneath. As he enters my house, I see the typical disarray of hair topping his head is gelled and twisted into messy perfection, and his eyes … his eyes are hidden behind a pair of aviator shades throwing back my stunned reflection, from across the room. The sunglasses find a place to rest near the top button of his shirt once he removes them from his stoic face. He and his friend could be night and day in the way they are dressed.
Edward would be night … hands down. All dark stares and hooded eyes. Jasper would be the sunshine, with the smile that dons his face as his gaze travels up my body.
I've always been a fan of the stars.
"Ladies." Jasper complements, walking towards me as I grasp the rail and walk the rest of the way down the stairs. Where did his sudden, Southern accent come from? Once my feet hit solid ground he leans in and whispers in my ear. "No cowboy boots?"
That's all he's got to say?
After hours of primping and plucking?
Painting and pampering?
No cowboy boots?
"You don't like my heels?" I ask, offering an outstretched leg and a pointed glance.
Cullen gets choked, on what, I don't know. He's coughing and sputtering, covering his mouth while Angie gives him some firm slaps on his back. She's not as concerned as me. There's a grin on her face that she tries to hide, but fails. After a few, quick breaths he's regained his control, but shoves those glasses back on his face and refuses to even glance in my general direction.
"We just gonna stand here all night or what?" he grumbles, dropping his voice as my mother steps into the room with a big-ass camera.
"I found it! Oh, don't you boys look handsome. Hello, Edward. It's so good to see you again. And this is Jasper? Aren't you a looker."
My face burns as my mother goes on and on, practically dragging poor Jasper to stand in front of the fireplace. Her wandering hands flutter around me as she positions me in front of him, and I kinda of feel exposed and weird, like an amateur, doing porn for the first time in front of an audience. Angie's watching Jasper and me with a small smile, and Cullen's just as rigid as he was from the first moment he stepped into the house. Hands deep in his pockets, he stares at us from behind those glasses of his as my mother snaps photo after photo of Jasper and me. There's a forced smile on my face; I'm doing this for her, not me. Jasper's hands weigh a thousand pounds on my waist, and I'm drowning below his firm hold.
Mama takes a couple of photos of Cullen and Angie, who looks as awkward as I feel. Once the photos of Angie and Cullen are snapped, Mama places us in a group photo, and I about die with Cullen in such close proximity. It would be a good death, I imagine, going out in a Cooch-induced trance and a haze of boy cologne.
Mama's phone rings, thankfully ending the twenty-minute torture we've all had to endure. We all relax, the prospect of leaving and partying now fresh on my mind. Jasper excuses himself to the restroom, leaving the three of us shifting awkwardly on our feet. That's when Angie has to go ruining the moment.
"Bella, will you and Cullen let me take some pictures of you two together?"
I balk at Angie's words, shooting her a look of horror. I know what the hussy is up to by the innocent smile on her overly-made face. Cullen's solemn gaze lifts into one of amusement. The asshole is basking in the disgust that I'm sure is twisted on my face.
"What's wrong, Platt? Scared I'll bite?" he asks, murmuring so low that only I can hear him. "I never took you for being such a pussy."
"And you would know all about pussy," I retort, rolling my eyes. "Fine, fine. Whatever."
Cullen chuckles at my discomfort, then pulls me flush against his chest. I suck in a surprised breath, trapping his sweet smell in my lungs. The brilliant fragrance burns my nose, a delicious burn that I'm sure Cooch will dream about for days, maybe even months to come. My hands timidly flail about until I finally rest them on his chest. The fabric of his vest is surprisingly soft under my fingertips, and I relax, unconsciously fingering the buttery material.
Cullen's hands don't feel heavy on my waist. They rest lightly on my hips, and he's fingering the material of my dress, as well. I wonder if I feel as heavenly under his touch as he does under mine.
"Say cheese!" Angie chirps.
I cross my eyes at the last minute, earning a glare from my friend that makes me throw my head back in laughter. Cullen looks down at me from where he towers above me, smirking at my silliness. I hear the snap of Angie's phone, and then Jasper enters the room.
"What's going on?" Jasper questions with an uneasy smile.
"Angie forced me to take pictures with Cullen. That's what's going on," I tell him, elbowing Cullen away and smiling at his pained wince as I land a good, clean shot in his ribs.
"Let's roll," Jasper says, interrupting our impromptu photo session.
We sneak out before my mother can get any more embarrassing. I suspect she's in the next room talking to Carlisle, and the nausea-inducing giggles only confirm my suspicions. I almost mention it to Cullen, but he hasn't uttered a word about our parents dating, not once, and I feel weird even bringing it up to him.
All thoughts of my mom and Carlisle dissolve once I'm standing outside, shivering beneath the wrap that I grabbed before exiting the house. An old Camaro is parked on the curb; candy-apple red and just as perfect as it was over thirty years ago. Jasper notices my awed expression and struts to the car, opening the door and sweeping his hand out as if he's the car salesman instead of his best friend's father.
"Oh, God, I'm so embarrassed," Angie speaks up, the tremble in her voice drawing our attention. "I completely forgot to tell you that I get car sick riding in the back seat."
I narrow my eyes and stab her with an incredulous stare. This is the first time I've heard about her so-called 'car sickness.' Jasper's face drops, damn it, and I feel sorry for the guy for about a nanosecond, just long enough for Cullen to drop his hand on the small of my back.
"What are you waiting on, Fender? Get your ass in the backseat."
"Fender? What the fuck?"
Cullen laughs, low and throaty, the sound doing something funny to my stomach, but says nothing in response. Jasper begrudgingly pulls the seat up and drops his head, then rounds the car. I climb in, nervously covering my ass with my hands, hoping that no one can see my ass from under the skirt that I underestimated.
The thing is short—really short.
Angie, the cunt, climbs in front after Cullen is situated beside me. The bitch doesn't look so sick, in fact, she's got this smug, little grin on her face. I'm on to her, the traitor, and she knows it too. I shoot her a glare, reflected in the mirror of her compact that she holds as she reapplies her lipstick. She responds with a huge grin, snapping the compact closed, but not before I catch a glimpse of the red stain smearing over her front, two teeth.
She can wear that shit on her teeth all night for all I care.
The drive to the dance is quiet, aside from the soft music strumming through the speakers and the wipers squeaking against the front glass. A light mist coats the windshield, the beginnings of a rainstorm, I'm afraid. I finger the waves cascading down one side of my head, worrying about possible frizz. Jasper and Angie begin chatting in the front seat, their idle conversation filled with band names and musical terminology that I know nothing about.
A warm hand slips around my wrist, pulling my fingers from my hair. I'm immobile under his touch, eventually melting long enough to turn and give him a quizzical glance. My wrist is released once my hand falls to the side, and I immediately miss the warmth. Cullen never says a word, keeping his eyes trained through the front glass. The backseat is tiny, and I can feel the heat of his body near my barely covered legs. The warmth sends a tingle from the tips of my toes all the way to Cooch, who is truly whoring it up tonight. I hope the bitch has lipstick on her teeth, as well.
Cullen shifts around uncomfortably for a moment, then finally stretches one arm across the backseat of the car. His lanky body doesn't have much room to move, and I'm sorry for that, but my body's not so sorry that his hand brushes against my hair, or when his thigh skirts across my leg. Cooch bursts into flames as I feel the tips of his fingers innocently graze against the back of my neck and I hope the bitch burns to death.
"Sorry," he mumbles, removing his arm and biting his lip.
Fuck. I hate when he does that. I hate when he sucks that bottom lip, sandwiching the slick, pink poutiness of it all between his teeth. I hate it because it does so many things to me, makes my mind fight against my body's reaction, failing every time. I feel myself growing wet and uneasy. The air grows thick around us, swirling about through the heat filtering in through the air conditioner. If this was a different time, a different place, and he wasn't such a dickhead and we were alone …
I'd straddle his ass and hump him like the whore Cooch wants me to be.
I choke in a nervous breath once we reach the high school gymnasium. The lights from the football field still burn bright in the distance. The scoreboard is lit up, and will be all night announcing that the Forks High School Spartans have beat their rivals, the Hoquiam Grizzlies, by a landslide.
Excitement is in the air. Kids rush past us in a blur of silk and satin, their voices bubbling with anticipation of the night ahead. I'm giddy, despite the tension-filled air during the ride over. There's a skip in my step once we enter the gym. The sound of hip-hop music reverberates against the walls, bouncing off the bleachers where a few moon-faced girls sit, hoping to be asked for a dance.
Lauren Mallory is in the middle of a mob full of students, grinding on some random, Native American looking dude with too-long hair. The silky strands flop in front of his eyes from time to time, landing back in place after he does one of those stupid Justin Bieber head-checks. She looks like the slut that she is, at least in my mind she is, wearing a dress that ends just below the curve of her ass. The entire time she's dancing she's tugging at the hem, pretending it isn't as annoying as all the us females in the room knows it to be.
"Shit, man. Lauren showed up with Jacob Black?"
Jasper says this to a pursed-lipped Cullen, who gives him an unconcerned shoulder-shrug. I can tell by the apprehension in Jasper's voice, and the anger in his eyes that there's some sort of history there between them and this Jacob character, but Cullen doesn't look too concerned. No, he's too busy pulling my friend to the dance floor and leaving Jasper and me standing on the sidelines.
Literally. I'm standing on the sidelines of the gym floor.
"You wanna dance?"
Now, as awkward and clumsy as I sometimes am, there's one thing that not many people know.
I'm a fucking, fantabulous dancer.
"Sure," I chirp, the tension of the russet-skinned boy's presence quickly melting away, replaced with the giddiness that I felt in the parking lot.
There's a pretty fast song playing, thank God, because I don't know how I'd react if I had to bump and grind with Jasper on the dance floor. His hands are on me enough as it is, and I wish his touch sent shivers crawling through my body, the way Cullen's simple stare does from time to time, but it doesn't. I feel nothing for the guy, other than friendship, but I can tell by his teasing grin and body-roaming eyes that he doesn't feel the same way.
The pulsating rhythm dies away, instantly replaced by a slow jam. My right foot takes a step back, but suddenly I'm whisked into a tight embrace. I swallow my nervousness down with one gulp, allowing my hands to rest around Jasper's shoulders. I can't look into his eyes as we begin to sway, because my gaze is unfocused and his is beholden. Guilt floods my system, but I shove it aside, telling myself that I've done nothing to feel guilty about.
Other than lusting after the boy who's currently leaning against the wall, red Solo cup full of punch in his hand. I catch his gaze from over the top of the cup. It's just a bored glance that sweeps across the room, landing on Jasper and me from time to time. Angie's nowhere in sight, but then she is. She's dancing with a boy named Ben, who I recognize from homeroom. There's a smile on her face like none other, and not a trace of guilt on her lips. Nothing but a grin and red cheeks as he whispers something in her ear.
"I'm glad you said yes."
A nervous smile plays on my lips, but I hide it from him by resting my face on his shoulder. We sway along with the beat until the music dies away, and he's no longer in my arms. He's being tugged away by Mike Newton, who's attempted to be rebellious by wearing a powder-blue, old-school tux.
"Dude, the La Push guys are here," Mike frantically whispers, his eyes darting from my chest and then back to Jasper. I cover my non-existent boobs by crossing my arms.
"I know. I saw Jacob dancing with Lauren Mallory."
"No, they're in the parking lot … Quil, Embry, Sam. I think they're fucking with someone's car."
Apparently, there's some sort of rivalry between Jasper and these La Push guys, because he's following Newton away in a flash, leaving me abandoned on the dance floor. I watch the two boys until they disappear through a door in the back of the gym, loose, colorful balloons and bits of destroyed crepe paper billowing behind them.
"You look lonely," a voice remarks.
Blinking my eyes, I notice the same guy who'd danced with Lauren now standing in front of me. All muscle and mass, the bulge of his pecs and biceps strain against the sooty darkness of his tux. There's evil mirth dancing in his eyes, and his pink lips are turned up in a wicked smile. I step back, murmuring that I need to use the bathroom, and then I'm gone, elbowing my way through the thick crowd.
Uneasiness floods my system, placed there by Jacob, a boy I don't know from Adam, but don't trust by association. The nervousness remains long after I've used the facilities and washed my hands. I fluff my hair in the mirror, then creep back into the corridor that was once empty.
Lauren Mallory leans against the wall, her beady, blue eyes boring into mine. She shoves off, the high heel of her shoes clicking against the hard floor as she approaches. My hackles rise, because the bitch looks like she's ready to throw-down for some unknown reason. Why this girl has hated me since day one is beyond me.
"Stealing my boyfriend wasn't enough? Now you want to steal my date as well?" she asks, her voice dripping with disdain.
"What the fuck are you talking about, Lauren?"
"First Cullen, now Jake? What are you, some kind of country bumpkin whore? Who do you think you are, moving into town and snatching up our men?"
I try to walk away, but the bitch plants her scrawny ass right in front of me. Another figure emerges from the dark shadows, and part of me hopes it's Angie, or Jasper, or even Cullen, but it's not. Skank number two, Jessica Stanley, stands before me, a huge grin stretched across her face. A Cheshire cat in a low-cut dress, the girl licks her lips.
My fingers find my earrings, calmly unclasping them from my ears. Lauren raises an impressed eyebrow. Obviously, she underestimates me.
"You wanna fight? Let's fight." I tell her, squaring my shoulders.
"You're so stupid. Ladies don't fight," Jessica snarls, nose in the air.
"Ladies? I don't see any ladies. I've seen drag queens who look better than you two."
The superiority slips from Jessica's face, replaced with wild eyes and a snarling mouth. She lunges towards me, and I'm ready, fists balled, legs parted, knees slightly bent. I've never actually fought anyone before, but that fact is in the back of my mind. I'm in defense mode, not thinking about the repercussions, such as the fact that I'm outnumbered, or somehow catching hepatitis from these two sluts once the blood starts flying. I make a mental note to ask my mom about getting some vaccinations, right before Jessica's fist comes flying, but stops mid-air.
"What the fuck is going on in here?"
Cullen's voice echoes through the corridor, the sound catching Jessica off-guard long enough for me to sidestep her flailing body. She staggers past me, slamming into the concrete wall and breaking a heel in the process. It would be funny if I wasn't so furious.
Lauren's standing to the side wringing her fingers in her hands, no longer the bully she once was. I can practically see the wheels turning in her head as Cullen approaches, his lithe body moving in and out of the shadows. I can't concentrate on him, not when Jessica is stumbling towards me on one good heel, whining about her broken shoe that I care nothing about.
"Nothing is going on … we were just …" Lauren's tripping over her words. The bitch can't even come up with a good lie.
"She thinks you and I have something going on, even though I'm here with Jasper. And now she's pissed because her date approached me on the dance floor."
There's a flash of anger in his eyes, not the irritation that I expected. No, it's full-blown anger, boiling and brimming over the collar of his shirt, the redness of his skin creeping up his neck.
"If you mess with her one more time …" he threatens, a finger only a breath away from Lauren's face. Her blues eyes flash towards mine, filled with anger and then fear. Peppermint-red lips press into a tight line, and she's nodding, then dropping her head.
"Come on," he says, surprising me by grabbing my wrist.
A little squeak leaves my mouth as he leads me away, pulling me close to his body by wrapping an arm around my waist. I squeeze my earrings in my hands until the pain shoots through my arm, focusing on the metal digging into my hand, or on anything other than this boy pressed so tightly against me.
"What are you doing?"
"We're leaving," he mutters.
"But I don't wanna leave," I whine, the fight all but forgotten, as we meld into the crowd.
"Bella, Jesus. You were just fucking cornered in that hallway."
"I want one more dance," I tell him, digging my heels into the heavy cloth they've protectively placed over the gym floor. "Where's Jasper? He was with Mike earlier …"
"Ask me to dance," Cooch secretly whispers to him.
"He's gone, and so are we. Let's bounce."
"I'm not leaving until I get one last dance, damnit!"
Cooch gives me an internal fist bump, and for the first time me and my slanted counterpart are on the same page.
My words are drowned by a new beat that pours through the speakers. Suddenly nothing matters anymore, not the fact that Lauren Mallory and Jessica Stanley want to kill me, or the determined gaze in Cullen's eyes. Nothing matters but the beat flowing through the air.
"Fine. Dance. Whatever. Walk home for all I care. I'm out."
I hear him grumble, but I pay him little attention, focusing on the music and putting my earrings back in my ears. The thick throng of kids swallows him up, and he's gone, lost in a sea of kids hooting and hollering. I'm one of those kids, throwing my hands in the air along with everyone else. I close my eyes and lose myself in the moment as I begin to dance. My hips roll from side to side, then all around. I pause only when I feel warm hands resting on each side of my waist.
I don't open my eyes.
I don't want to.
I'm too scared to open them and glance over my shoulder at whoever is standing so close behind me. Too nervous that it'll be lusty, sea-blue eyes, or maybe dark, chocolate-brown ones staring back, and not the forest-green I envision. My thighs resting against his, I lean my upper body forward. Hands on knees, I begin rolling my waist and allowing the curve of my ass to press into his pelvis.
I knew you were
You were gonna come to me
And here you are
But you better choose carefully
'Cause I, I'm capable of anything
Of anything and everything
Long fingers tighten around me, pulling me so far back that I can feel his hardness digging into me. An involuntary moan escapes my lips, and Cooch is going out of control. Desperate for friction, the bitch overpowers me, and I'm riding mystery boy's lap, grinding with each beat flowing out of the speakers. The words are pounding, and so am I. I'm pounding my ass against this boy, and he's bouncing against me, as well.
So you wanna play with magic
Boy, you should know what you're falling for
Baby do you dare to do this
Cause I'm coming at you like a dark horse
Are you ready for, ready for
A perfect storm, perfect storm
Cause once you're mine, once you're mine
There's no going back
Insistent hands travel further up from my waist, skirting up my sides, and then pulling me flush against him. One leg is tucked neatly between mine, and I gasp as my heat slides against the rough fabric covering his upper thigh. My eyes flutter open for a second, scanning the crowd in front of me, almost embarrassed by my horny display, but no one is paying my partner and me any mind. Everyone is as engrossed in the music as I am, other than the few teachers present who are standing in the darkened corners of the room gossiping among themselves.
Warm breath washes over my neck and my eyes close once again. Lips skirt across my flesh, and those hands … they're right below my breasts. My nipples strain, erect from his touch, from his lips, from the music. Cooch playing on a whole 'nother level, and I think I might come at any moment, just from the gentle thrust of his pelvis against my ass, and his leg between mine.
When the music dies away, the heat is suddenly gone, leaving my body cold and trembling.
I think I might cry … just stand right here in the middle of the gym with my eyes closed and bawl, because this is the closest I've come to an orgasm ever, and now I'm left all alone.
And I don't even know who to thank for the long-alluded feeling.
Wha? Who was she dancing with? Like y'all don't know *giggles* Most of the girls in my Hoodfabulous Facebook group answered 'yes' when I asked them if they wanted Bella and Edward to grind, so you can thank them for that tid-bit of goodness.
Hmm ... so Cullen wasn't pulling Lauren towards him at the dealership so he could kiss her ... and he only told Bella he 'maybe' would ask her to the dance to gauge her reaction? Why was he darting across the dealership parking lot the day Bella and her mom was there? That's a mystery that is best left unsolved.
For now. :D
My homegirl Heather says she pictures Stephen James as Edward in this fic, and now so do I! Zomg. Hawwwwtt.
This chapter is named after the Katy Perry/Juicy J song 'Dark Horse' that I'm now listening to on repeat. Lurve, lurve, lurve it.
Can someone say ... after party? Yes? No? Maybe? Should I?