Raindrops began falling harder on the roof of the roomy tour bus which Edward and his brothers have called home for the past several months. Two hours before show time, Edward, Jasper, and Emmett Cullen were lounging around the bus waiting to be called into the Wachovia Center for the final sound check. The three were in the middle of touring the continental US from coast to coast promoting their second album and the cramped quarters were beginning to test the Cullen brothers' tight knit family bonds.
"Rummy," Jasper announced slapping his cards down on the table.
"Son of a bitch. That makes fifteen games in a row," Edward complained leaning forward in the booth to examine his brother's cards more carefully.
"Trust me, it's rummy. Too bad we're not in Vegas," Jasper chuckled. "I'm feeling lucky tonight."
Edward scowled at his younger sibling and reluctantly pulled a crumpled twenty dollar bill from his jeans pocket dropping it on the table. Fifteen lost games at twenty bucks a pop made Edward three hundred dollars poorer since they left Atlanta the night before. It wasn't about the money, it was just that damn goofy shit eating grin on Jasper's face that was pissing Edward off.
A few hundred bucks was not serious cash to any of the Cullen's after the success of their first studio album two years earlier. The band has amassed three number one songs, and the proceeds from album sales and a world tour had given all three brothers greater financial freedom than they ever could have imagined. In the first six months of hitting the big time they each purchased large houses in their home state of Washington, extravagant sports cars, and they even went in on a new house for their parents. All paid for with cash. Since then they've learned that money can't buy happiness, but it can buy damn near anything else.
"Are you two yahoos planning on going to the sound check anytime soon?" Emmett asked emerging from the far back of the bus.
Jasper reached across the table to pull all the cards in front of him and began shuffling them into a pile. "Wasn't planning on it," he answered.
Edward got up from the table and knocked the cards out of Jasper's hands so that they scattered all over the floor. "We're done playing, you dick." Jasper just snickered again and took a swig from his beer bottle.
"We don't have to go to the sound check, Emmett," Edward replied. "That's why we hired Seth and Leah. They don't need us for at least another hour."
"Okay, well there's probably a nice fruit basket or something in the dressing room backstage. Why don't you guys go check it out and I'll catch up with you in half an hour," Emmett suggested. He opened the mini fridge as if to remind his brothers of how they'd been living off mostly truck stop junk food and beer for the last few weeks.
Edward and Jasper both stared at their brother, waiting to hear the real reason why he wanted them off the bus. Emmett finally rolled his eyes and sighed. "I really need to rub one out before the show and I can't concentrate with you guys here. What? It's been days since we left the hotel in... What's that face for?"
Edward looked at his older brother like he was telling them he couldn't flush the toilet if there were witnesses or something. "Dude, just fucking do it. Jazz and I don't give a shit. But don't make a mess on the bed because it's my turn sleeping there tonight."
"I can't fucking jerk off knowing there's nothing between me and you but that curtain," Emmett protested pointing to the back of the bus where the only real bed on board was located. "Same goes for the bunks, and the damn shower stall is too small. Last time I tried my elbow kept banging the stall wall."
Jasper laughed as he imagined his tall muscular brother hunched over in the tiny bus shower. He knew Emmett had a hard enough time just washing his hair in there. "Why do you need to J-O anyway, dude? You know you'll get laid after the show..."
The preconception that any guy in a band got a lot of girls had long ago been proved correct for the young and attractive Cullens. There were always female fans hanging around the tour bus after the concerts hoping to get autographs, meet the band, or party with them. They discovered early on that most of these scantily clad women who wanted to party were also open to one night stands.
"That's precisely why, little brother," Emmett retorted. "I'm expecting a repeat customer tonight and I need to make it last. I have a reputation to uphold."
"Wait," chimed in Edward. "You have plans to fuck a fan you met the last time we were in this town? I'm surprised you even remember her name."
"What kind of animal do you take me for? Never mind, don't answer that. I can remember most of their names because I use a very handy thing called a mnemonic device, asshole."
"So what is it?" Jasper challenged him.
"Okay check this out," Emmett replied getting excited. "It's easy. Tell me, what did we do last time we were in this city?"
"Toured Independence Hall." "Cheese steaks at Geno's."
"Nooooo. The Reading Terminal. Reading starts with the letter R. And what do you buy there besides food? That's right, flowers... like roses, also an R. Just like the chick's name... ROSE-alie."
Edward and Jasper both nodded their heads, mildly impressed with Emmett's technique.
"Rosie is smoking hot. So hot that I asked for her number last summer. When we booked the Wachovia Center again I text her and she wrote back that she's coming and is excited to see me. She's special," Emmett beamed.
Jasper's eyebrows scrunched together as he listened to Emmett go one about this Rosalie chick. She must have made some impression on Emmett for him to remember being with her past their next concert and even keep her number for what, almost seven months? He glanced over to Edward who was smiling and subtly nodding his head. Edward's thoughts were along the same lines as Jasper's and both decided to give the oldest Cullen a break and let him masturbate in peace.
"Fine. Do what you gotta do, Em. We'll go sit in on sound check and go over the set list or something, right Jazz?"
"Yeah, you got it big guy. But you owe us," Jasper teased.
"Don't fret boys, I got you covered tonight. I told Seth to stock the dressing room with champagne because Rosie is bringing two friends with her tonight."
Edward held up his hands in protest. "Dude, tell me you didn't promise this girl we'd hang out with her friends. We can get our own girls."
"Come ooon," Emmett said. "It's not like I'm setting you fellas up on blind dates or something. If you don't like how they look then just autograph something for them and excuse yourself from the room. But I'm telling ya, if they look anything like Rosalie you'll be thanking me." He winked at the others and then shooed them off the bus before either could complain any further.
Edward didn't like the sound of his brother's dressing room after party one bit. Sure, he also indulged in one night stands with the ample number of women throwing themselves at him and his brothers, just not as frequently as Emmett and Jasper. Emmett was the oldest Cullen boy at the age of 25 and was enjoying his new status of bona fide rock god to the fullest. Emmett had been a party boy ever since high school and he'd never gotten in any serious trouble. But the lifestyle of a famous rock star opened up a whole new world of dangerous shit and even at the young age of 22, Edward knew enough to be on the lookout for signs that his brothers might be going down a dark path. He wanted fame and fortune as much as the others but would have no trouble walking away in a heartbeat if it ever threatened his family.
Unlike Emmett, Jazz still had some standards for morality. He'd just turned 20 and was the youngest and most impressionable of the group. Edward couldn't help but worry about what success at such a young age would mean for him. He was already drinking underage, thanks to Emmett's insistence, but at least he had a good head on his shoulders and had so far stayed out of trouble.
Neither Jasper nor Edward particularly liked playing Jiminy Cricket to their big brother. The job usually fell on Edward's shoulders and he unfortunately knew that if he wasn't there later that evening to keep an eye on Rosalie's friends, then Emmett would very likely end up "entertaining" all three of them by himself. He shook off the disturbing visual as he and Jasper ran through the heavy rain and into the back entrance to the stage. Edward thought that they might as well be playing their hometown of Seattle with the way the weather's been the past few days.
Two hours later the stadium was packed with close to five thousand screaming fans and Seth was knocking on the dressing room door to let the guys know it was time to start the show. Edward, Jasper, and Emmett all stood and stretched, shaking off the last bit of nerves they sometimes still got right before going out on stage. The brothers huddled together placing their hands one on top of the other and bowing their heads in the small circle. They didn't speak, each one taking a moment to collect themselves and offer up a silent prayer to whoever was up there watching over them.
Slowly they all raised their hands up high over their heads and wiggled their fingers together until one of them broke away laughing. This time the first to crack was Jasper and his brothers each shoved his shoulders playfully as they moved to exit the dressing room.
"Here we go ladies and gentlemen! Let's give it up for Cullen!" a voice announced over the microphone and the screaming escalated a few decibels as Edward, Emmett, and Jasper ran out on stage waving and smiling to the crowd. Emmett took his seat behind the drums, Jasper grabbed his guitar off the nearby stand, and Edward settled down onto the bench in front of his keyboards.
"Hello, Philadelphia!" Jasper shouted into his microphone. He stood center stage and waited for Edward to bang out the first few notes of their newest song that would start off the show.
Usually the crowds were the same in every city the brothers toured. They were loud, energetic, and about ninety percent female. Edward had his suspicions that the majority of the men in the audience most likely came because their girlfriends made them or because they were gay. Whether it was their music or their image that appealed primarily to women Edward wasn't sure. But he didn't much care either, as long as they kept buying what he was selling then everyone was happy.
About halfway through the set Edward took center stage with just a bar stool and an acoustic guitar to sing one song alone while Emmett and Jasper took a quick break backstage. He had written this song last year about a bad breakup and never intended to share it with anyone. That was until Jasper heard Edward singing it quietly to himself one day and asked him to play it again. He was reluctant because the lyrics were very personal and it felt like an open oozing wound every time he sang the words. Writing it had been therapeutic for him and he would have preferred to keep it to himself. Unfortunately, Jasper loved it and so had their label. Edward insisted that if the song was to be played in concert he wanted to do it alone, and that's how it has been performed at every stop of the tour.
Edward's fingers strummed the guitar with ease and he focused his sights on the back wall of the theater, trying not to make eye contact with any one particular person. After he sang the line "I can't change who I am, but it's not who you want me to be," Edward lost his concentration and involuntarily looked over the faces in the front row. Most of the people watching were swaying back and forth to the melody and a few were talking amongst themselves, apparently not interested in the song's message. One such fan was wearing a t-shirt that said "Save a drum, bang a drummer" and Edward inwardly hoped this woman wasn't the infamous Rosalie.
As his eyes glanced over the ladies in the front row Edward noticed a young woman watching him intently with tears in her big brown eyes. Her delicate features and sweet smile captivated him instantly. She was obviously entranced by the music, and Edward suddenly wanted nothing more than to reach out to her and wipe the teardrops from her cheeks. Only once did their eyes meet and after staring for a few short seconds she diverted her gaze down to her feet.
Edward liked that she seemed shy; embarrassed to be caught watching him. For the remainder of the song Edward focused on this girl who looked like she was mouthing every word as he sang. She didn't glance at his face again but continued singing along to his very emotionally draining words. When the song ended Edward excused himself backstage and took a quick drink of water. He tried to put all thoughts of this girl out of his mind before joining his brothers on stage again to continue the concert.
Another couple fast songs got the crowd energized again and soon Edward was having a difficult time keeping a line of sight with the brown eyed beauty he spotted earlier. Every time he spotted her she was dancing and singing along with the rest of the audience. In between songs Emmett pulled his hoodie off to reveal a black wife beater that earned him a round of cheering and cat calling from the audience. Emmett told the crowd he was too warm in the sweatshirt but Jasper and Edward knew their brother did it to rile up the fans. And the ego boost never hurt either.
When the last song was sung the Cullen brothers took center stage and said a few words of thanks to their fans. They joined hands and bowed. As customary before departing the stage the guys reached down to shake hands with as many fans in the front row as they could. Edward scanned the sea of faces for that girl who had reacted so emotionally to his solo song. He found her there in the front row but her hand was not extended. Edward thought about reaching out to her anyway, maybe leaning into a half hug to whisper something in her ear, but what would he say? Meet me backstage? I saw you earlier and now I can't stop thinking about you? Chances were whatever brilliant line he came up with the girl wouldn't be able to hear him over all the shouting anyway.
Edward followed his brothers back stage and immediately took off in search of Leah. He had no idea what he was doing but there wasn't time to consider his rash actions. He felt like he had missed an opportunity by not speaking with the brown eyes girl and he had to rectify that pronto. There would be plenty of chances to reflect on why a random fan meant so much to him later. Edward found Leah by the sound equipment wrapping up microphone wire and called her name.
"Leah! Can you go out to the floor and look for someone for me?" he asked the roadie that had been with them since the start to the tour. She also happened to be Seth's sister.
"Sure, who are you trying to find?"
"I don't know her name," Edward replied anxiously running his hand through his bronze hair. "She was wearing a dark blue tank top and has one of those scrunchie things on her wrist. Her hair is long and brown and her eyes are the color of melted chocolate. Can you find her and invite her back to the dressing room please?"
Leah looked at Edward in confusion and wondered why he'd make such a strange request. "I'll go see if I can find her," she said patting Edward on the shoulder.
He nodded his head and stepped back to lean against the nearest wall. His heart was still pounding from the excitement of the show and now the possibility of seeing the girl again set his adrenaline levels sky high. A few minutes later Jasper walked over with a bottle of champagne and his guitar.
"Sup, man. You coming? Emmett's lady friends are waiting," Jasper asked.
Edward had forgotten that his presence was expected back in the dressing room to meet Rosalie and her friends. "Did you meet them yet?"
"I'm on my way now. Come on, what are you doing out here anyway?"
Edward rubbed the back of his neck nervously. What was taking Leah so long? A pang of anxiety threatened to betray his calm exterior as he thought that maybe the girl with the chocolate brown eyes had already left the stadium. "Um, yeah I'll be right behind you. Just waiting for Leah to check something for me. Tell them I'll just be another minute," Edward assured him.
"Okay, suit yourself. Just means I get first pick of Rosalie's friends," Jasper said with a wink.
Edward smiled as his brother turned and continued down the long dark hall to the band's dressing room. He could hear laughter coming from the open door and knew the party was well under way. A moment later Leah reappeared empty handed.
"Sorry, Edward. I couldn't find anyone who matched your description. I even checked the ladies room," Leah said.
Edward blew out a long breath and shook his head in an attempt to rid his mind of the images that kept bombarding him. It seemed his mystery girl had eluded him after all. "Thanks for trying Lee. It was worth a shot." He smiled the same artificial grin he'd given Jasper and headed down the hall. Perhaps Rosalie's friends would be as attractive as Emmett promised and he'd be able to forget all about the other girl.
He turned the corner into the dressing room and immediately saw Emmett sitting on the velvet sofa with a tall slender blonde draping her arms around his neck. They each had a glass of champagne in hand and were kissing rather indecently. They looked desperate for one another, almost like long time lovers who'd been reunited after a painful absence. Rosalie definitely was beautiful just as Emmett had said. And Edward noted that she thankfully was not the girl with the ridiculous screened tee about fucking drummers.
Jasper was on the other side of the room talking to two brunettes. Their backs were facing away from Edward's view but both looked decent from behind. One had short spiky hair and the other's was long and straight. Both had nice figures, tight little asses, and slender waists. Edward thought that maybe this wouldn't be so bad after all.
Jasper noticed his arrival and pointed to him causing both the brunettes to turn around. "There you are bro; I want you to meet Alice and Bella."
Bella. Edward recognized the girl's face the second she turned towards him. She bit her lip and blushed the same adorable way she'd done when he made eye contact with her during his acoustic song. She'd been there the whole time Edward had Leah out searching for her. Right there, waiting to meet him.
"It's you..." he murmured quietly before being bombarded by the other girl.
"Oh my God, hi!" Alice shrieked and stuck her hand out for Edward to shake. "It's so awesome to meet you!"
He reluctantly tore his eyes from Bella's face to politely greet Alice. Suddenly Edward had a horrible thought that perhaps Jasper, having arrived here first, had chosen Bella to entertain himself with this evening. Alice was a lovely girl but he could already tell she had a little too much spunk for his taste. Shy and blushing was much more his style. Over his dead body would Jasper be putting a hand on Bella tonight! He didn't care what he had to do.
Thankfully after shaking his hand and saying a few more things that Edward missed completely Alice stepped back again. Jasper wrapped his arm around her waist casually. Wise choice, brother. Edward turned his attention back to Bella and his face broke out into a genuine smile. She was even more beautiful up close. Her skin was creamy white with a touch of pink in her cheeks. She was a good four inches shorter than him if not more, bashful, and had a look of innocence that made her incredibly appealing.
"It's nice to meet you," she said quietly.
Jasper smiled wide and then chuckled as Edward and Bella continued staring at each other in wonder. "Okay, we'll just let you two kids get better acquainted. Alice, come with me, darling." Alice squealed again and followed Jasper over to the mini bar where he poured her a glass of champagne.
Edward cleared his throat and fought to control all the thoughts swirling around in his head. He still couldn't believe the girl he'd connected with on stage was there. He knew her name now, and she was real. "Do you want something to drink?" he offered.
They both looked towards the mini bar as Jasper and Alice walked across the room to the other sofa and sat down very close to each other. Emmett already had Rosalie straddling his hips and was in the process of pulling off her shirt. He buried his face in her cleavage making her laugh loudly.
"I think I should pass," Bella replied looking embarrassed. "I'm only 19."
"That's never stopped Jasper," Edward joked. "But how about a bottle of water instead?"
"That would be perfect, thank you." Bella followed Edward as he pulled two bottles from the mini fridge and they crossed the room again to the only other available seating, two folding chairs against the far wall.
Edward realized he was nervous which usually didn't happen when meeting fans. This girl was different, he knew that much, and it felt like kismet that Bella had come backstage that evening. It was all he could think about and was still trying to figure out what to say when Bella spoke first.
"You're a lot taller than I expected," she blurted out. She bit her lip immediately, surprised by her own exuberance.
Edward smiled with amusement and it made Bella relax just a little bit. "I get that a lot. I'm six one. What about you?"
Bella laughed under her breath. "Five five. At least I'm taller than Alice," she replied shrugging.
"So how do you girls know each other?"
"College. Alice and I share a dorm and Rosalie is Alice's Big."
Edward glanced over at the other two girls. They both looked like the typical sorority type. Edward had dated a sorority girl in college before he dropped out to focus on the band. He could already tell Bella didn't have the kind of personality that jived with Greek life and it was another quality he liked about her.
"What school do you go to?"
"Temple, here in the city. Psychology major."
"You want to be a psychologist?"
"Child therapist actually. I want to council kids with self esteem issues, suffering from divorce, and other problems."
"That's a wonderful ambition," Edward commented.
"Thank you. I should be studying right now," she admitted smiling shyly. "Rose invited Alice to the show tonight and knowing what a huge fan I am she asked me to come along."
"A huge fan, huh?" Edward teased. "What constitutes huge?"
She laughed nervously. "Um, I went to three concerts on the last tour, I know every word of your songs, and I have a big poster on my dorm room wall. Rosalie didn't tell us beforehand that she knew Emmett. If I'd known I'd be meeting you guys I'd have dressed a lot nicer!"
"You look beautiful, Bella," Edward replied. Bella blushed again and stared down at her feet. He wanted her to know just how much he meant what he said and so reached out his hand to tilt her chin up with one finger. She gasped in surprise by the physical contact but slowly raised her head, unable to resist the opportunity to look deep into his sparkling green eyes.
"Beautiful," he repeated.
Bella was about to say something when they were interrupted by the noises coming from the other side of the room. Emmett grunted as he flipped Rosalie onto her back and covered her body with his. To his credit, Emmett had left her bra on for the time being. Both couples were making out heatedly, completely undeterred by their lack of privacy. Edward was embarrassed by his brothers' behavior and wanted to get Bella away from all the dry humping. It was the kind of after concert antics all three had frequently engaged in, but that particular night Edward was not in the mood for lewd promiscuity. He could see it was making Bella uncomfortable and he wanted to keep talking to her.
"Wanna get out of here? We can go hang out on the bus for a while?" he offered.
"Yeah, please!" she replied enthusiastically.
They ran hand in hand through the parking lot as the pitter patter of rain continued falling. Edward flipped on the lights inside the empty tour bus as Bella followed him in wiping raindrops off her bare arms. She took in her surroundings and the reality of where she was and who she was with hit her like a ton of bricks. She was hanging out with Edward Cullen, a multi platinum recording artist. A guy whose face and voice was recognizable to millions of people. A man so agonizingly beautiful she could have sworn she was in the middle of the most fantastic dream. A man who's picture hung over her bed and served as a life-sized masturbatory aid. It was all a little too unbelievable.
Still star struck and temporarily paralyzed by nerves, Bella could only watch as Edward quickly moved around the small space kicking a pair of sneakers down the hall and picking up socks and playing cards that were strewn about. He retrieved a hand towel from the kitchenette and dabbed the raindrops from his face and neck before handing it to Bella. Her initial thought was to stuff the towel into her purse and take it home as a souvenir. But no, her brain jumpstarted in the nick of time and instead of swiping it she used the towel to dry her damp skin. Her eyes followed him as he continued tidying up the small table by dumping empty beer bottles and loose leaf paper into the garbage can under the sink. Edward gestured for her to take a seat at the table.
"Do you want anything? We have chips, beer... and candy bars?" Edward offered laughing at himself and blushing slightly. Bella thought it was the sexiest thing she'd ever seen.
She was oddly comforted realizing that Edward felt awkward too. She wanted to think it wasn't routine for him to bring a random girl back to the tour bus after a show. He seemed embarrassed that the bus was cluttered and that he had no proper food to offer her, but Bella wasn't that naive. She knew enough of the Cullen's' reputations as partiers to understand that Edward asked her here for no other reason than to have sex. She just didn't know how she felt about that yet. Did anyone ever tell Edward Cullen no?
"So...," he said settling into the seat across from her.
"So...," she mimicked him smiling.
Edward was at a loss for words. A few minutes earlier his only thoughts were of getting Bella out of that dressing room so they could continue their conversation. Now that they were alone in the privacy of what was essentially an apartment on wheels, his brain and his penis had different ideas of how to proceed. Any other night his pants would be around his ankles by now, but for some reason that Edward couldn't quite put his finger on, he was hesitant with this girl. Bella. This beautiful girl who caught his attention amongst a sea of a thousand other faces.
"I saw you, you know," he said quietly.
"During the concert. When I was on stage by myself. I saw you crying."
Bella blushed the way she had a number of time already that evening. It was so sweet that in the back of his mind Edward was trying to think up ways to make her do it again.
"'The Way You See Me' is my favorite song," she admitted. "I listen to the live version because there's no band behind you; I like hearing it with just the lyrics and your voice. You sing it with such raw emotion. It's powerful."
"Thank you. It's because every word of that song is true," he replied.
The corners of her mouth turned up slightly and her eyes met his. "I know," she whispered as if she understood better than his brothers, better than the damn producers and music execs, exactly how hard it was for him to sing those words night after night.
"You know what?" he repeated.
"That it's about your life. Last year, you did an interview where you admitted the song was a true story."
Edward's lip quirked up. "What if I told you it was Jasper's life experience?"
She shook her head. "No. You have full credit on that track for music and lyrics. And I can tell by the way you sing it that it still hurts you. That's why it makes me cry."
"You've been hurt like that too?" he asked leaning forward slightly without taking his eyes off hers. Edward couldn't imagine any guy being dumb enough to break Bella's heart.
"Yes," Bella replied and then bit her lip nervously. "But also because I can't stand knowing someone out there has hurt you that badly."
Suddenly the door to the bus flew open and both Edward and Bella sat up straight in their seats. Edward hadn't realized how close they'd been leaning in towards one another, as if a magnet had been drawing him to her. Emmett entered first with a very drunk Rosalie in tow. She had her shirt back on, thank goodness, but it was unbuttoned. She clutched it closed with one hand while her other held the nearly empty bottle of champagne from the dressing room. Jasper carried Alice onto the bus on piggy back, depositing her giggling onto the sofa.
"Stage hand bastards kicked us out," Jasper explained shrugging as he sat down next to Alice.
"How's it going, Bella?" Alice asked. "You and Edward getting to know each other in here?" she added, her voice thick with implication. Bella didn't respond, just pleaded with her eyes for her roommate to be quiet.
"We got dibs on the bed," Emmett announced loudly. He stopped at the kitchenette for a wine glass and winked at Bella. Rosalie continued walking down the hall to the bedroom shrugging out of her open shirt in the process. She unhooked her bra and tossed it back to Emmett who caught the lacy red fabric with one hand. Everyone got a good look at Rosalie's breasts before she disappeared behind the curtain.
"Excuse me, but I think I'm needed back there," Emmett said with a cheeky grin as he headed toward the back of the bus. Just as he reached the cloth partition he turned around again and added, "My woman needs to be thoroughly fucked so don't any of you even think about barging in on us! I mean it."
Edward looked over at Bella for the first time since being interrupted and saw her fighting a smile. He was relieved that she wasn't mortified by Emmett's crude language. Sometimes he thought his older brother had been raised by perverted wolves instead of a well respected general surgeon and a successful interior decorator.
"I think I'll have a beer now if you don't mind," Bella said. She stood up and helped herself to a Budweiser from the mini fridge.
"Yay, Bella!" Alice cheered. "Now it's a party in here!"
Bella twisted off the cap and took a long swig before offering the glass bottle to Edward. He chuckled under his breath and took it from her. "So what do we do now, beautiful?" he asked before tilting the bottle back. Bella watched as his lips touched the rim and his neck muscles pulsed as he drank. She didn't know how to respond to his question. The only ideas Bella had were all dirty thoughts she refused to speak out loud.
"Where were we, baby?" Jasper asked Alice over on the sofa. Alice eagerly climbed onto Jasper's lap, straddled him and began unbuttoning his shirt.
"Acting out one of my fantasies as I recall," she responded leaning forward to kiss his exposed chest.
Edward rolled his eyes and took one more sip before passing the beer back to Bella. She was laughing at Jasper and Alice, jokingly shielding her eyes in their direction with one hand. She secretly wished she had Alice's confidence. Perhaps the Budweiser would help suppress her introverted nature.
"I have a feeling we're getting squeezed out again," Edward said to Bella.
"It looks that way," she agreed finishing the beer and depositing the bottle into the kitchen sink.
"Grab two more of those, will you, and follow me."
Bella took two more cold beers from the fridge and joined Edward at the very front of the bus where he sat in the Captain's chair. She sat cross-legged on the passenger side facing him. They smiled at one another and untwisted the caps to their bottles.
"Cheers," Edward said and they clinked bottles.
For the next hour or so Edward and Bella talked, the alcohol relaxing them both and allowing conversation to flow more freely. In the relatively small space that was the Cullen tour bus it was difficult to tune out the noises being made by the other two couples but Bella eventually stopped being bothered by it. It wasn't as if she'd never witnessed Alice getting it on in their dorm room before. She wasn't a total prude and the more time she spent with Edward the more she wished that they had somewhere more comfortable to go too.
"Do you think you'll go back to college someday?" she asked him.
"I don't know. I was about halfway through when we got the record deal and I had to drop out. After everything that's happened since then I don't know if I can go back to the career path I had planned, you know?"
"What were you planning to be?" Bella wondered.
"You'll laugh if I tell you."
"Now you have to tell me," Bella giggled.
Edward liked the sound so much he decided to oblige. "Fine. Business marketing. I was thinking I'd go into corporate advertising."
"I can totally picture you in a dark suit and tie... sitting behind a big desk," Bella said. The image was really turning her on.
Edward laughed. "I don't know how that would have worked out. I wasn't the best student. Most of my lecture notes had song lyrics scribbled in the margins. My parents were furious when I told them I'd dropped out."
"They didn't like the idea of the band?" she asked.
"My father thought it was a phase, a distraction from our studies. My mother worried about what being 'rock stars' would do to her babies," Edward said chuckling softly. "We played in a lot of seedy bars while our demo circulated. They made us wait until Jazz graduated high school before signing a deal."
"Well, I for one am very happy you decided to follow your dream. I don't know what I would have done the past few years without your music," she replied blushing, fearing that she divulged too much about her obsession with Cullen.
Edward liked her endearing shyness and decided it was time to get Bella closer to him. He couldn't fight the urge to touch her any longer. "Come here," he whispered motioning for her to sit on his lap.
She bit her lip but grinned at him in a moment of silent deliberation. She hadn't had too much to drink to know this was something she desperately wanted. She'd been hoping Edward would try to kiss her all night knowing she was much too reserved and self conscious to make a move on someone like Edward. Bella placed her empty bottle on the floor and climbed over the center console into Edward's open arms. She was immediately hit with the sweet alluring scent of his cologne. She sat on top of his thighs and wrapped one arm around his shoulders. He was warm and his muscles firm. Bella began to feel a strong sexual desire pulsing through her veins as she was enveloped in his scent and felt the rise and fall of his chest as he breathed. It was all she could do to resist smothering his lips with hers.
Edward wrapped his arms around Bella's waist and smiled. Why hadn't he had her sitting like this all night? Damn, his brothers had the right idea all along. Edward was overwhelmed by the urge to kiss every inch of her soft porcelain skin. He glanced down at Bella's lips just as her tongue darted out to wet them. It was an open invitation as far as he was concerned.
Edward's hand threaded into the hair at the back of Bella's head and gently pulled her into him. He kissed her softly, trying to gauge her response. She didn't disappoint, opening her mouth to deepen the kiss. Their lips mashed together over and over with slow and sensual kisses, gradually learning the feel and taste of one another. When Edward gently pressed his fingertips into Bella's sides she gasped. His tongue quickly slipped inside her mouth not wanting to miss any opportunity to explore her further. She responded by moaning and dragging her fingernails against the hair at the nape of his neck.
Bella tentitively allowed her hand to roam over Edward's arm and chest. She could feel him growing hard against her thigh and it only fueled her desire for him more. Again she wondered if this could all just be a really awesome dream as she was sure than only in her unconscious mind would Edward Cullen ever be as desperate for her as he seemed to be in that moment. They continued kissing and touching for what felt like hours. Slowly they became more comfortable with one another and more brazen about where their hands were exploring.
Edward was beginning to feel frustrated, cursing the band's mutual decision not to get hotel rooms for the night. He wanted nothing more than to lay Bella down on a soft mattress and touch her every place she'd allow him access. Likewise, Bella was sure she would explode from the inside out if she didn't soon get some friction between her thighs. Their equally lust filled thoughts were interrupted by a loud declaration from the back of the bus.
"Your turn, Eddie," Emmett called out unabashedly.
He and Rose stumbled out of the back bedroom, dressed and grinning with sexual satisfaction. They were staring at the couple in the driver's seat, who were panting heavily and still clutching one another close.
"Come on, I know you've been patiently waiting your turn out here, little brother. I can tell by sweet Bella's expression she wants to get fucked," Emmett added smirking.
Jasper and Alice both chuckle from the sofa they'd been occupying all evening. They were cuddling in a most obvious post coital way wearing little more than underwear.
"Jesus, Emmett. Can't you be a little less crass?" Edward replied finally finding his voice. He brushed a strand of damp hair off Bella's forehead and gave her a look he hoped conveyed an apology for his brother's rudeness. The last thing he wanted then was to scare her off.
"Fuck you," Emmett retorted. "I was nice enough to even strip the sheets since it's your night to sleep back there. I don't give a shit if you fuck her or not. I figured if nothing else you'd like a little privacy."
Bella blushed, remembering her earlier assumption that the whole reason Edward had invited her onto the bus in the first place was because he was expecting to get lucky.
"What do you want to do?" Edward asked Bella cautiously.
He'd never been turned down for sex in his life but Bella was a completely unique and special creature. He didn't want to pressure her, especially after giving her alcohol. She was definitely not the kind of girl he typically propositioned and had no idea what she was expecting from him. Edward hadn't realized how much he wanted to go to bed with Bella until the question of whether or not to utilize the bedroom hung in the air. To his immense relief Bella nodded her head that she wanted to go back there with him.
"Okay," he whispered and kissed Bella's cheek tenderly.
Edward led her through the bus and it felt like a preemptive walk of shame with four sets of eyes watching them. Usually his brothers couldn't care less who he hooked up with and it was nerve wracking having everyone staring.
"You okay, Bella?" Alice asked with genuine concern for her friend and roommate.
"I'm fine, Alice. Let it go," Bella answered in a clipped tone.
Edward didn't know what Bella meant but he didn't want to stop and chat in order to find out either. Once they were inside the small back bedroom Edward snapped the curtain shut all the way around the door frame. "We need a freaking door on this room," he said under his breath. When he'd secured their privacy as best he could Edward turned around to find Bella already lying on the double bed.
He knelt on the edge and Bella came up to her knees in front of him. "Hi," he said.
She reached out to grab the hem of his shirt in her hands. "Hi," she replied.
She seemed eager, perhaps a little nervous, so Edward attempted to slow things down by cupping her cheeks in his hands and kissing her long and hard. His hands slid down her neck and over her collarbone. Bella was still clenching his shirt in her hands and when their kiss ended she took the opportunity to lift it over his head. This time he didn't stop her as she pulled his t-shirt off and tossed it to the floor.
Bella's eyes roamed Edward's bare chest, memorizing the perfection of his physique. She wanted to leap into his arms and attack his skin with kisses. A heady look of lust and desire was evident on her face and Edward wasted no time ridding her of the dark blue tank she wore. He glimpsed at her breasts briefly before focusing again on her eyes. Her bra was lacy and white, simple but elegant. He palmed one breast and delighted to find it filled his hand. Bella moaned softly and wrapped her arms around his shoulders. He gently coaxed her backwards until they were lying on the bed, his body partially covering hers. Edward took his time feeling the soft warm skin of her chest and stomach. They kissed one another greedily on the mouth and neck. He dipped his head lower and tasted her exposed cleavage.
"Are you sure you want this, Bella?" Edward asked before he went for the button fly of her jeans. He could hardly wait a moment longer to be inside her.
"Yes," she breathed. "But, um... I should tell you something first."
Edward pushed up on his hands so he could see her face better. "What is it?" he asked.
She shook her head conflicted about what to say. Edward felt a moment of panic when he was sure she was going to back out. He didn't think his heart or his cock could survive that kind of disappointment.
"I've never done this before," she admitted in a small voice. She almost looked ashamed.
Edward's eyebrows furrowed and he let out a silent groan. "What, a one night stand? I wish I could say I haven't either, Bella, but the truth is on the road like this... it does happen a lot for me. Even when I'd like to see the girl again, we're in town for one or two nights and then..." He couldn't even finish the sentence. He knew that of all the women he'd ever walked away from in the morning it was going to be the hardest leaving Bella.
"No, you don't understand. I know we only have tonight. I just thought you should know you'll be my first. I'm a virgin, Edward."
Edward bolted upright and removed his hands from Bella's body. A virgin? Fuck. She sat up too, reaching for his hands and pulled them into hers. "Please don't stop. I want this, trust me. I want you to be my first."
"It wouldn't be right," Edward replied shaking his head. He couldn't believe what he was saying. A minute ago he was about to have sex with a girl who'd captivated him in a way no one else had in a very long time. He'd wanted nothing more than to bury himself inside her and let himself feel again. He wanted to let her into his depraved heart. But he knew it would be a mistake. Bella was young and sweet, and deserved better than to lose her virginity to someone she'd likely never see again, someone who didn't have time for a relationship. Edward wished it could be different, that maybe they could keep in touch, but she lived in Philadelphia. His home was in Seattle. They couldn't live any fucking farther apart if they tried.
Bella slowly placed his open palms on her breasts and held them there. "I want this," she said.
"It's not right. I- I can't be your boyfriend, Bella."
She dropped her hands and frowned at him. "I'm not asking you to be. Don't think I don't know what I'm doing."
"Your first time should be special and with someone you love. Not a stranger who doesn't trust himself not to lose your phone number a week from now."
"Not special? Edward, how did you lose your virginity?" she demanded.
Edward fought back a smile. He liked feisty Bella. "In high school, at seventeen," he answered honestly.
"And was there a particular movie star or singer maybe that you had the hots for back then?"
"I suppose I found Jessica Biel attractive," he deadpanned.
Bella rolled her eyes. "So if you could trade the memory of your real first time with the high school girl for a memory of cashing in your V-card with Jessica Biel which would you choose?"
Edward thought for a moment. He still struggled with the realization that fans, women especially, held him to a higher standard than regular guys his age. For some reason they all thought that since he was rich and famous that somehow translated into being good in bed. A pretty face doesn't necessarily mean sexual expertise. Fortunately for them, Edward happened to be spectacular in the sack.
"Okay, I see what you're getting at, but I don't want you to agree to anything because you think I expect it because of who I am. I'm really nothing, Bella. Just a guy with good bone structure who can carry a tune. I invited you here for more than sex and I've really enjoyed talking to you tonight. But I definitely do want to sleep with you... if you're sure."
"I was undecided at first. But having spent the last few hours with you has made me see some of the person behind the voice. And I like you even more now because of it. You're not nothing, Edward Cullen. Please don't think that," she said touching his face gently with her fingertips.
Edward leaned into her touch and kissed the palm of her hand. He didn't know why but he needed this girl. His deflated cock began coming back to life and he kissed his way to her wrist and up her bare arm. Bella moan appreciatively and weaved her other hand into his disheveled bronze hair. Edward soon lost the battle with his conscience and pushed her back against the mattress.
"I'm going to make this good for you, baby," he whispered.
He kissed her lips sweetly and then pried them apart with his tongue. Bella moaned into his mouth and threw her arms around his muscular back. Heat ignited under his skin but he forced himself to proceed slowly. He owed this beautiful woman a fully satisfying sexual experience. He recognized what a gift it was to be the first man she allowed to take her. Edward peeled her jeans off slowly and kissed his way up her legs one at a time. He removed his own jeans while kissing Bella's chest and neck, lavishing attention to every sweet spot on her body.
"How are you doing, Beautiful?" he asked once they were both uncovered down to thin cotton and lacy satin.
"So good," she mewled and pushed her hips up to make contact with his hard cock. Edward couldn't help but smile at her impatience.
"Unhook your bra," he said softly.
She bit her lip and reached underneath her back to unclasp the hooks. Edward sat up on his knees and pulled the fabric away from her body. Her breasts were perfect, just like the rest of her. He took them both in his hands and rubbed his thumbs gently over her pointed nipples. She moaned and arched her back, pushing up into Edward's hands.
Then she surprised him by raising her spread legs, drawing her knees up and hooking her toes into the waistband of Edward's boxers. In one swift movement she pushed them down his thighs. Edward chuckled and rolled to his side while Bella helped him remove them completely. He dragged her on top of him and rocked his hips against her core as she kissed his mouth. She was gaining a little confidence and it turned him on even more.
"Sit up, let me look at you," he said as she straddled his hips.
Her cheeks flushed a soft pink as Edward pushed her up to a sitting position. His hands settled on her waist as he took in her beauty. Bella gazed into his eyes with longing and passion. She trailed her fingers through the soft hairs on chest, down his abdomen, and around his thick pulsing cock. He moaned deep in his throat as she squeezed and pumped him experimentally. She had no idea how much she was torturing him with each gentle stroke.
"Okay, these need to go," Edward declared gripping Bella's panties tightly in his hands and tearing the fabric at the seams.
Bella gasped as the material fell away from her body leaving her completely exposed above him. Before she knew what was happening Edward had flipped them around so she was once again lying on her back. Her legs were spread wide and Edward settled himself between them. His aching cock slide between her wet folds begging for entrance. Damn, he wanted to push inside her so badly. But Edward wanted her to feel completely satisfied and no girl ever got off that way the first time. He silently promised his dick that Bella would be worth the wait and then pushed a finger inside her instead.
Bella tensed momentarily as her body adjusted to the intrusion. His finger pumped into her gently at first, coated by her wetness, until Edward found her delicate barrier. He withdrew his finger and circled her clit earning him a desperate pleading moan. Hearing her sounds of pleasure urged him on to continue his ministrations until Bella was writhing beneath him on the edge of orgasm.
"You can do it, baby," he coaxed. "Let it go, Bella. I want to see you come for me."
Bella's eyes opened momentarily to see this beautiful man who was making her feel better than anyone ever had. She was losing control over her own body. Edward slid his finger back inside her center and dipped his head down to suck on her clit. The feel of his mouth on her pushed Bella over the edge and she came fast and hard. Remembering in the back of her mind that they we not exactly alone on the bus, she pressed her lips together firmly in an attempt to muffle her moans of pleasure.
As she was coming down from the high of her release Edward reached over to the bedside table and tore off a condom from the long strip of colored foil packages. She watched as he rolled it over his impressive cock and then smirked at her coyly.
"You ready?" he asked.
She nodded her head and smiled. As he leaned over her Bella locked her arms around his neck and threaded her hands through his hair. His hardness pressed against her still sensitive pussy and they both took a deep breath. Edward kissed her neck, worked his way up to her jaw line, and then pressed his lips to hers. She closed her eyes as the tip of his cock aligned with her entrance.
"What's your last name?" he whispered.
Bella opened her eyes in confusion. "What?"
"Your last name. I don't even know your full name, baby."
"Swan," she replied gasping as the tip of his cock pressed firmly against her. "Isabella Marie Swan."
Edward smirked at her and kissed her parted lips. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss Swan," he said and then thrust his length inside her as far as it would go.
Bella gasped at the uncomfortable fullness, shutting her eyes tightly. She clung to Edward's broad shoulders as he worked himself inside her with a series of deep thrusts. She felt a sharp pinch deep inside her and then it was gone. Edward's groin slammed against hers and she knew he was all the way inside. Her virginity was gone. Lost to Edward Cullen. A giggle erupted from her chest and it slowly evaporated into a heady moan.
"Bella?" Edward asked concerned. He knew he'd punctured her barrier and was worried she might be in pain.
"I'm fine. Really. Don't stop," she groaned. When he didn't move she bucked her hips against him urging him to keep going.
Edward leaned down to kiss her once and then settled back into his rhythm of thrusting and pounding. After a minute or two the strange fullness she felt began to give way to pleasure. She was so wet and tight that he didn't think he'd last much longer. When Bella started moaning Edward was sure he was going to lose his shit right then. Bella opened her eyes to find Edward gazing at her. He had a look of intense concentration on his face that soon gave way to blissful euphoria as his orgasm overtook his body. He groaned and grunted, slamming into her harder until suddenly he exhaled and collapsed onto her chest. Bella couldn't hide the smile that claimed her face as she hugged Edward against her.
They lay together for a little while, wrapped naked in each other's arms. Neither wanted to get up and face the reality that their time together was almost over. Bella especially didn't want to face the people on the other side of that curtain.
"How was that?" Edward asked her after a few minutes. His arm was draped across her torso and her cheek was resting against his chest.
"Best sex I ever had," she quipped.
"Oh, there's a comedian in the house. I meant are you feeling okay, sore or anything?"
Bella giggled. "I'm fine. It only hurt a little, and then it felt amazing."
"Okay, good. Now I just want to hold you for a little while longer," he said pulling her tighter against his body.
Bella wasn't about to argue with that request. But eventually they realized it was time to get up so they searched the floor for their discarded articles of clothing and dressed. Bella was hyper aware that she would be going home pantyless.
Whoops and hollers from Rosalie and Alice greeted them as they emerged from the tour bus bedroom. Bella immediately flushed a deep red from her neck to her hairline. Edward looked at her friends with disappointment. He thought if they were loyal friends they shouldn't humiliate her that way.
"What's going on?" Jasper asked confused by the girls' sudden celebration. Alice leaned closer to him and whispered something in his ear. Jasper's eyes widened and he looked over at Edward with a knowing smirk on his face.
"Well done, brother," he said.
"Rosie, what am I missing here?" Emmett whined.
Bella turned her face towards Edward and he hugged her into his side, shielding her from the others.
"Edward just made Bella a woman," Rosalie explained to Emmett with a chuckle. "Congrats Bella."
"You deflowered a fan, bro? That's fucking awesome!"
"It wasn't like that. And mind your own fucking business, Emmett."
Before anyone else has a chance to comment there was a knock at the bus door. Seth stepped inside a moment later wearing a rain poncho. "Are you guys ready to move out? It's after one o'clock already and we need to get on the road. The rain's gonna slow us down and you're scheduled to do a radio show appearance at 8am in New York City."
Emmett and Jasper groan in unison. At least with radio no one will know if they have bags under their eyes from lack of sleep.
"Yeah, Seth. Just give us five minutes to say goodbye to the ladies?" Edward asked.
Seth nodded sympathetically and said he was going to tell Leah they were ready.
Edward glanced down at Bella who was still clinging to him. "Are you okay?" he asked softly.
Bella bit her lip and nodded forcing a smile onto her face. In reality, she hated knowing that this was goodbye. Their time together had been wonderful but it passed much too quickly. She was still reeling from her first sexual experience and that reminder of all that had just happened made her feel vulnerable. She wasn't even getting a one night stand. Edward was rolling out of town mere minutes after their clothes went back on.
Jasper and Alice exchanged phone numbers and Edward wondered if it was for show or if his brother was really interested in this girl. Emmett dipped Rosalie backwards in his arms for a long lingering kiss goodbye.
"I know I said I'm bad with keeping in touch with girls I meet on the road," Edward started to say.
Bella quickly cut him off. "I understand, Edward. I'm not expecting anything from you."
"No, listen. I still want your phone number, Bella. It makes me uneasy thinking I'd have no way of getting in touch with you. It's strange but I feel... I've felt drawn to you since I first saw you during the concert. Please don't make this be the end."
"Okay," she conceded with a small smile. Edward pulled his cell phone out of his jeans pocket and Bella programmed her number into it. "At least being in your phone I'll know I'm not just a number scribbled on a piece of paper you'll soon forget about," she added shrugging.
"I'm never going to forget you, Bella Swan," he said forcefully.
Edward pulled her against his body and kissed her deeply. She responded immediately, fisting her hand in his hair, desperate to keep him close to her for as long as possible. Eventually someone cleared their throat behind them and the two reluctantly separated. Bella took one last long look at Edward Cullen before stepping off the tour bus.
The Cullen brothers waved goodbye as the girls jogged through the rain to their car on the other side of the parking lot.
"I can't believe she's gone," Edward muttered watching the headlights on Rosalie's car as it peeled out and turned the corner onto the main road.
"You're lucky. At least you'll get to see Bella again soon," Jasper said.
"What are you talking about?"
"Alice says Bella's got tickets to the last show of the tour," Jasper explained.
"The Seattle show? Why?" Edward asked utterly confused.
"She didn't tell you? When the semester ends she goes home to her father's house. He lives in Forks, Washington."
Edward stared at his brother processing this information.
"What? You thought she lived in Pennsylvania? When we get home Bella's only going to be a three hour drive from you, dude."
Edward laughed and ran his hand through his disheveled sex hair. He thought to himself that this was the best news he'd heard all year.