Playlist: Hot by Avril Lavigne

Word Prompt: Cap

Chapter 18

Last summer Bella and I spent a lot of time together keeping our game in tune. She'd pitch, and I'd spend time scooping up grounders and absorbing the impact of line drives. It was fun, like always.

There was a moment when a group of older guys—college by the looks of them—walked past us, catcalling to Bella. She was in some short running shorts and a tank. Nothing out of the ordinary, but it drew their attention. She was just Bella to me, had always been that. But in that moment, I wanted to throw a ball straight into their faces so their teeth would come falling out.

I thought it was anger. I wanted to protect my friend, but now I know different. It was jealousy. Which I'd never felt before over any girl I'd dated. But now, now I felt it.

I am feeling it.

Coach's grand idea of bunting our way to State didn't work out and our team fell short by three points, so we're out of the playoffs. But there is some good news. Dad came to a game, and the girls' team has had two shut out games this week and only two more to go before State. I think Bella's right; they'll go all the way.

She's just completed the second game of the week, and everyone's congratulating her. Guys from the other school swarm the field, and I swear they're all checking her out. It's disgusting the way their eyes wander her body, how their fingers twitch by their sides like they want to get their hands on her. One guy even adjusted himself when she took off her cap and pulled her hair out of its ponytail. Men are pigs. Jealous pigs.

And I'm one of them.

"I don't even want them looking at you," I say later on in her room. She's not listening, though. She flings her leg over mine and kisses my neck. She tugs at the hem of my shirt, and I pull it up awkwardly since we're lying on our sides. I nearly hit her with my elbow but apologize quickly.

"It's okay." She leans over the top of me, kissing my chest.

"One guy was staring at your ass."

Bella shoots up and sucks in a dramatic breath. "You should hit him."

"You're enjoying this, aren't you?"

"Yeah, you're cute jealous."

"I don't want to be jealous," I say, throwing my arm over my face. It's embarrassing. This is Bella. I know she'll be faithful. Still, I don't want jerks leering at her.

"Then don't be. You don't have anything to be jealous about."

My nipple is suddenly cold and hard. I peek out from under my forearm. "What are you doing?"

"Nothing. I don't talk, I do."


I sit up abruptly and suck on her neck, causing her to squirm on top of me. I want to feel her skin, so I unbutton my old JV jersey. She doesn't say anything, just smiles. It's bold, not shy at all. This doing thing works.

So I do a few more things, and my jealousy subsides because I'm the only one that gets to do them.


Friday evening I follow Katie's advice—showing Charlie how polite I can be. I walk to Bella's to pick her up in front of her house. I knock on her door and everything. Charlie answers with a glare and nods down the hall toward Bella's room.

She comes out just as I get to her door. She's startled, hand on her chest, breathing heavily. "You scared the crap out of me!"

"Sorry," I say, trying not to laugh. I have a surge of memories of the summer Garrett convinced me that scaring Bella every chance I got would be the most fun thing ever. It was fun. Until she punched me in the gut and wouldn't play with me for a week. I promised never to scare her again after that.

She glares and points her finger in my face.

"Hey, I didn't mean to. Bella, come on," I say as she sidesteps me, grabbing her bag off the kitchen counter.

Charlie has a satisfied grin on his face as Bella passes him before leaving without me. I have to follow though because she's driving. I need a new car.

"You coming?" she asks without looking.

"Have fun, kid," he calls to her and then looks at me "And you—"

"I know. Don't touch. Be nice."

"I was gonna say good luck. She's in a mood now." He snickers at my expense. Great.

I close the door behind me. Bella's already in her car, engine running, waiting for me.

So much for my plans to be polite in front of her dad and open her car door and whatever. I hop inside, my legs scrunched up behind the dash, and get buckled.

She pulls out silently and comes to a complete stop at the end of the sidewalk. Shoot, I think she's really mad, so I voice my concern. "Are you really—"

My words are caught when Bella launches herself at me, crushing her mouth to mine. She tastes like mint and smells of sweet vanilla, her arms wrapping around my neck. I have no idea what's going on which means I should probably talk to her, but my tongue is busy at the moment. She smoothes her hands into my hair and works her mouth down my neck, sucking there.

Why do we have to go on a date? Why can't we go to my house? Dad's already left for dinner with Mom.

Bella slows her pace and pulls away, smoothing her thumb over her lip. "I'm not mad. At all. I didn't want my dad being all . . . fatherly. I figure if he thinks I'm mad at you he'll be less likely to think we're busy trying to grope each other later."

"Is that what we'll be doing? Groping each other?" I ask smugly. I hope so. Sounds good to me.

She doesn't say anything, just rolls her eyes. "So, where to?' she asks, finally making the turn onto the main road.

"The Grind."

"Oh, good," she says, pulling her hand through her hair. It's down and wavy. Pretty.

"Why do you sound relieved?"

"I don't know. I was worried, I guess."

"About what?"

"I don't know. That you'd try to impress me, take me somewhere fancy. I debated wearing a skirt."

"You own a skirt?"

She hits me and laughs with a "shut up."

"Why would I take you somewhere you'd hate, making you wear something you'd hate?"

"I don't know. Couples do weird things like that."

"Well, let's not be weird, okay?"


"Let's be us," I suggest.


I slide my hand into hers on the console and rub my thumb over hers. It feels funny. She's wearing sparkly red polish.

"Aw, you got pretty for me, Swan."

"If you keep up this teasing, you'll be playing ball all by yourself tonight."

I bark out a laugh, and she joins me. This is so easy, this flow we have, this friendship. Why didn't we do this sooner?

Our conversation is ball this and ball that. We chat about her upcoming games and the competition. She's up against some tough girls, and she knows it. But she beat them last year, so I remind her of this.

When we arrive at the restaurant, I frantically try to get out from my seat so I can open her car door, but my spider legs are no match for her clown car. It's she who opens my door, laughter flowing from her. This is humiliating, and I know she knows it. Even so, I can't help it and chuckle as well.

"I don't like that you know me so well."

"Why's that?" she asks, tucking herself into my side.

"Because it's so easy to make fun of me."

"Well, don't be so easy then."

"That's not what you wanted last night."

She stops, and her cheeks pink. I kiss her in the parking lot and tug her along, whistling as I go.

The Grind is a burger place, but it's sorta gourmet with grass fed beef and sweet potato fries. Everything I've ever eaten there is delicious, and the price tag's not bad either.

Bella stuffs herself with sweet potato fries and yells at me when I dip them in ketchup. I pay her no attention, except to argue with her. "It's a fry. It's a rule. Fry. Ketchup. That's it. That's how it goes. It's like Bella. Edward. See?"

"How did you get so cute?" she asks, propping her elbows on the table and planting her chin on her fists.

"You think I'm cute?" I swipe another fry, dip it in ketchup, and pop it into my mouth.

"Not when you're doing that. You've always been a ketchup hound. Gran Swan used to always say—"

"Less dip, more veggies."

"Yeah." She smiles softly and plays with her earrings nervously, staring at me while I finish up the fries.

"What?" I ask, getting self conscious as she keeps her eyes on me, never diverting.

"You were always super cute, even in grade school, but somewhere along the way you turned into this, and I never thought I'd have a chance."

"Why's that?" I ask, loving this reveal.

"Hair connection."

"Hair connection's relatively new."

"The name is new, but they've been around since you started high school, Edward."

"No, they haven't. I didn't even have my first girlfriend until sophomore year, and that just sort of happened." Heather Gentry gave me a hug after a ball game and then kissed me at a bbq afterward. We went out for four weeks.

"Well, they've been following you around like hounds. And even if they weren't brave enough to ask you out, they were brave enough to talk about you behind your back. I don't think there's a single girl our year who hasn't talked about Number Seventeen's cute butt."

"Well, none of that matters. Not anymore," I state matter of fact.

She smiles at this. "You're right. Sometimes it's just hard to believe."

"I know what you mean."

The waitress brings our check, and I pay. As we leave, Bella leans into my side, and I throw my arm around her. She wraps her hand around my lower back and swipes lower, pinching my butt.

"Hey," I bellow, but she laughs, making no excuse or apology. None's needed. I liked it.

I also like how she speeds home with determination because she knows my dad's not there.

My room's quiet except for our breathing. Soft light from the moon stripes the bed Bella lounges on. She's kicked off her shoes, her neon lightning socks taunting me beneath her jeans. I want to feel up her legs. I do, but only atop the dark denim she wears. It's not enough. It's never enough. I think she's frustrated, too. She wriggles beside me, trying to get closer and failing. Our clothes are too cumbersome. As I'm ready to make a request, I remember that Bella does. She doesn't talk about these things, so I take that tactic, sliding my hand to her waist and unbuttoning her jeans.

She looks directly into my eyes and blinks, then nods furiously, earning a grin from my lips. I tug her jeans down, and she does the same to me and wow! This is so much better as her body slides against mine, and I can push against her and grab at bare flesh. Bella flesh.

My mouth lingers on her skin, pushing up a sleeve to get to shoulder freckles, lifting up the hem to tickle her stomach, and finally sweeping across her thighs. Her body's coiled tight, her thigh muscles clenched until I lean back up and over her telling her I love her. She kisses me and wraps her legs around my waist, clawing at my back, forcing me closer.

I'm close, and she is, too, I think, though I haven't touched her. She kisses me hungrily, moving with me as I grind. She feels so good beneath me, and I want to feel more.

"Edward," she says, voice quiet against my neck. "Can you—I want . . ."

I always thought dirty talk would be hot. Maybe it is. I haven't experienced it. But this, Bella unable to tell me what she wants but knowing what she wants, is setting me ablaze. I'm trying desperately to keep myself together but also keep her going, too.

"Bella, what? Tell me." I kiss her neck and run my hand beneath her shirt above her underwear. She hitches her leg higher, pushes against me and moans. Soft puffs of hot air dance across my skin. I must've done something right.

"Hands. I want hands," she whispers.

I give her what she wants.


Fully clothed with goofy grins on our faces, we chow down on the mint chocolate chip I bought her earlier today. I had to ride my bike to the grocery store to get it. I'm a good boyfriend like that. Plus, I needed grapes to freeze.

"Your hair looks insane," I say, laughing as she tries to smooth it down.

"Shut up. It's your fault," she says, pushing me with her feet until I'm off the bed.

I peek over the side and laugh as she tries to comb it with her fingers. It doesn't help.

"Shut up," she says again through laughter.

"You love it, I know. All of it," I say, waiting for her line, hoping she'll deliver.

"Never said I didn't."

I search through my closet to find her a hat she can wear. She tucks her hair beneath it and licks at her spoon. I gaze at my jean clad, knee socked, baseball hat wearing girl. "I love you in my hats."

"You know you're not getting your other one back, right?"

"I'm not?"

"Nope. Mine."

"And how does that work?" I ask, grinning.

"It's a rule. Edward's hat. Bella's. That's it. That's how it goes." She climbs onto my lap and feeds me her ice cream. I am so gone, it's ridiculous. And while I don't care for mint chocolate chip, I couldn't be happier.

A/N: I missed you. Did you miss me? Or, better yet, did you miss them? My next update will be Friday. Next week I'll be back to a normal schedule.

Special thanks to Kassiah who gives these dorks a shout out nearly every Friday on The Fictionators. You're awesome, babe!