AN: I don't own anything.
This very special birthday one shot is going to to Missy (aka CullensTwiMistress) I hope your day is as amazing as you are lady!
Special shout outs to: The Triangle of Curls Girls for their unwavering support, Compass54, Kni Nut and Kim Ginsberg for their last minute pre-reading/betaing.
My phone had been ringing all day, friends calling to wish me a happy birthday and lament that I wasn't going to allow them to take me out, or throw me a party. I continued ignoring them, I was having a party—a pity party. At eight o'clock the phone rang, and I once again ignored it. Until I hear the answering machine click on and a frantic Edward shouting over the noise behind him.
"B? It's Edward, listen I know it's your birthday and you probably have plans. I'm really stuck though. Jake's got the flu, one of my servers called in sick and I've got a crowd here I can't handle on my own, could you please, please come and help me out for a few hours? I'll owe you—big time."
Edward and Jake were brothers I knew that owned a bar. It was no secret that both had crushes on me, and a huge secret that I had a crush on just one of them—Edward. Every time I was at the bar, either by myself or a group, the two of them would have competitions to see which one would earn the right to give me free drinks. Edward, being bigger and stronger than Jake, normally won. I had a feeling the times Jake did win, Edward was just throwing him a bone.
As much as I liked him, I could never see myself with Edward, he was way out of my league. He owned his own business and was gorgeous; I was a struggling student, waiting tables and as plain as they come.
I weighed my options for only a few seconds. Who was I kidding? This was Edward we're talking about. Of course I was going to help him. I sighed and grabbed a pair of jeans and a nice t-shirt. Edward would probably give me a bar shirt when I got there anyway so it wouldn't matter what I wore.
As I got dressed, I called him back letting him know I would be there as soon as I could. He thanked me and made my day when he said. "Thanks, B. You know you're my favourite girl right?"
"There's just one thing, Edward." I said to him.
"Anything, B," he replied "you know that."
"No more mentions of today being my birthday. I don't want to curse myself any further and if I convince myself it's not my birthday then maybe, just maybe I'll live to see the end of it."
He sounded confused but said 'okay'. I hung up and called a cab.
I've always hated my birthday. Nothing good ever happens on that day. When I was six my dog got hit by a car and died, Mike Newton—who my mom made me invite—left the gate to the backyard open and Skippy ran right out getting run over by Lauren Mallory's mother. The kids all screamed and cried, not being able to look away from the splattered remains of my once beloved pet. Not me, I walked right up to Newton and punched him in the face. I broke his nose; it was never the same after that. The grounding I received was worth it.
When I was ten I woke up on the morning of my birthday to my parent's screaming at each other and my mother throwing stuff in a suitcase. When she saw me standing wide-eyed at the bottom of the stairs she ordered me to pack my bags, I refused telling her she was the worst mother ever and I wanted to stay with my dad. She didn't even wish me happy birthday when she left, slamming the door behind her. My dad drank himself into a stupor and I was ignored the rest of the day.
The year I turned sixteen I was standing in the parking lot at school when Tyler Crowley lost control of his mother's van, it careened around the corner, spinning wildly, smashing into me. I spent the rest of the year doing my school work from my hospital bed until I was well enough to go home. The resultant damage included a six-inch scar to my left leg, a steel rod, and migraine headaches I get to this day. It also resulted in him stalking my house to apologize every day until I threatened to have my dad arrest him if he wouldn't leave me alone.
Last year on my birthday, my twenty-first, Alice convinced me that going out would be the best thing ever. She was wrong. We were mugged in an alley behind the bar while walking. It should come as no surprise that this year; I wanted nothing more than to hide in my bed, beneath the covers, shutting out the world. But Edward needed my help, and I would do anything for Edward.
The cab pulled up outside the bar and after paying the driver I gave myself a pep talk and walked to the door.
Opening the door I noticed the sheer chaos, and felt bad for Edward all over again. It was a mad house. The line for the bar was three people deep, people were shouting and pushing. I noticed a large group of people gather around two tables pushed together, both tables sporting balloons, and girls with 'I'm the birthday girl' on them. I rolled my eyes; at least some people could have fun on their birthday.
I shoved my way through the crowd and walked over to the side of the bar, ducking under and worked my way over to Edward. His face lit up in relief as he saw me. Walking away from his customer, who protested loudly, he wrapped me in a hug, kissed my forehead and whispered 'thanks for coming'.
He tossed me a bar shirt to put over my own and turned me loose. He knew I bar tended sometimes at my other job, so I knew what I was doing. A half hour later the crowd had thinned a little by the bar and we were taking a much needed break.
"So, what's up with the crowd tonight?" I asked him.
He rolled his eyes, "You say that like we aren't always busy."
"You are," I said. "But this is more than usual."
He huffed a laugh. "You can thank Kate and Tanya for that one."
"Who are Kate and Tanya?" I asked, hoping he wouldn't hear the note of jealousy in my voice.
"Kate and Tanya are twin sisters, friends of Jake's. It's their birthday today, kind of like it's yo—"
"DON'T!" I yelled, cutting him off.
He looked startled. "Please don't talk about that, Edward, seriously. Bad things may happen."
He looked dubious but continued. "Anyway, so it's their birthday today, and it's no secret that the two of them compete for everything. Jobs, guys, their parent's affection." He rolled his eyes again. "They've decided to out do one another in the party department this year, but they are both having their party here so their friends don't have to choose between them."
He pointed out two very different, but very stunning blond women. "That's Tanya." He shuddered slightly. "Be careful, that one has claws. That one over there is Kate."
I jealously wondered if he'd ever hooked up with either of them. He was 27 and I could hardly expect him to be a virgin, hell I wasn't either, but the thought of him with either of those two women made me want to rip the hair from their heads.
"Hey, B," he said suddenly. "Thanks for coming down here so quick. I don't know what I would have done without you."
The intense way he was looking at me made my stomach clench before the fluttery feeling started. I wanted to kiss him; I wanted to throw him up against the wall and kiss him stupid. I shook myself out of my fantasy and gave him a small smile.
"I'd do anything for you, Edward. Anything."
I spend some time watching both women and the way they interact with their guests, and more importantly, each other. I could see what Edward meant about Tanya having claws.
She would trip her sister as she was walking past and then giggle out an 'oops' when Kate would glare at her. She was passive aggressive with all the women there, it seemed. I wouldn't want to get on her bad side.
I noticed that though Kate spent most of her time with one guy, there was another guy in the group that followed her around much of the time. He reminded me of a stray puppy, looking for a handout. It was obvious to me that he liked her—a lot. She barely paid him any attention, unless he was talking to Tanya, then she was suddenly at his side, grabbing his arm and pulling him away.
Tanya had her own boyfriend at the party it seemed. Or at least one she was claiming for the night. I noticed that she would look at one woman in particular as she would run her fingers playfully through his hair. The other woman looked miserable and I wondered if Tanya was only with this man to make the other girl sad, which pissed me off. What a bitch!
Edward was a big help, pointing out people with them, telling me what he knew from Jake about them. The lost puppy guy was Garrett, he'd apparently been crushing on Kate since high school and Tanya was only allowing Laurent near her because Irina was coming to the party and Tanya couldn't stand her.
When I questioned why Jake would even hang around with such a miserable bitch Edward just shrugged and said he didn't know why Jake did half the things he did. Kate's boyfriend was Alec, though Edward isn't sure why they were even together. He said Alec was an asshole and treated women horribly, it was pretty clear that he thought she should be with Garrett too.
It didn't take long until my curse came into effect. I kept dropping glasses, spilled a drink on one of the customers and sliced my finger trying to cut a lemon. Each time I would have an accident; Edward would laugh it off and tell me I'd always been a little clumsy. Not wanting to humiliate myself further I decided to not tell him about my birthday curse. I knew these were no accidents though. My birthday was always meant to be shitty. I'd be surprised if I didn't end up in the hospital before midnight.
Just when I was starting to have a streak of good luck, I noticed Tanya walk up to the bar. I moved over in front of her to help and she looked me up and down pointedly. I kind of wanted to disappear under the counter. I glanced towards Edward thinking maybe he could bail me out, but he was busy serving a bunch of other people at the end of the bar.
"What can I get for you?" I asked her.
"Edward," she replied.
I looked down to the other end of the bar again. "He's kind of busy. Did you want a drink?"
"I want Eddie to give me another screaming orgasm." She smirked at me.
My mouth dropped open in shock, or horror, I couldn't figure out which and I could feel my face heating up. Tanya looked at me smugly and I wanted to be sick. He'd been with her before, I knew it must have been true, but to learn it for a fact felt like being punched in the gut.
Just then, Edward walked up to me and put his arm around my waist. He took one look at my face and asked me what was wrong before giving Tanya a dirty look.
"Oh, um, Tanya wants you to give her another screaming orgasm." How I managed to get that out without choking was a miracle.
Edward laughed. "Bella, a screaming orgasm is a type of shot. Here I'll show you how to make it, in case Tanya needs another."
He gave her a pointed look before steering me in the direction of the booze he needed. I glanced back over my shoulder to see Tanya shooting me a look that would have killed me on the spot if looks could kill.
I shuddered. "She seems to like you," I said to Edward.
"It's no secret, she's wanted me for years," Edward replied. "Tanya always wants what she can't have."
"So you two have never … um."
"That would be no, not for lack of trying on her part."
I was relieved to hear it. Edward finished showing me how to make the shot and I took it over to Tanya. She just glared at me, downed the shot and flounced away.
Around ten-thirty shit hits the fan. The birthday group has been drinking a while, and the more drunk they get, the rowdier they get. Edward has gone over several times to ask them to stop as it's bugging some of the regular patrons and comes back cursing Jake under his breath. He points out several people to me that he deems 'too drunk' and tells me not to serve them anymore. Not surprisingly one of them is Tanya. I don't want to have to be the one to tell her that she's cut off.
Thankfully, I was in the back having a break when she came up and Edward told her instead of me. From what he said she wasn't very happy though and he thinks she might start trouble. Knowing my birthday curse, I just know the trouble is heading my way!
Suddenly I hear a screech from over by the birthday tables and turn to see Kate and Tanya squaring off.
"You fucking bitch," Kate spits at her sister. "Find your own man and stop talking to mine!"
She's pulling on Alec's arm, and he's just standing there with a smirk on his face, like he's enjoying the two of them fighting over him—asshole.
"Well." Tanya smirks at her sister. "He wasn't your man when he was fucking me last week!"
This is said as the jukebox—something else the girls have been fighting over—stops it most recent song. Kate's gasp of shock can be heard; hell you could have probably heard a pin drop in that moment.
"YOU SLUT!" she yells, before launching herself at her sister.
It's evident that Tanya didn't think her sister would do such a thing as she doesn't even brace herself and both girls go flying to the ground.
"Oh, fuck!" Edward exclaims launching himself over the bar and jogging over to the tangle of girls on the floor.
He's trying to break them apart but they've both got a good grip on each other's hair. I'm expecting others from the party to try and help him break it up, but they stand there—some in shock, some shouting encouragement—and do nothing.
Looking at them all I notice that's not entirely true. Someone is getting ready to do something. It seems Garrett has taken exception to the look of pleasure on Alec's face as the two girls—essentially—fight over him and starts stalking toward him.
Now I don't want to be rude, I've certainly never met the man personally, but compared to Alec, Garrett is an ant. An ant that is about to get squashed if I don't do something. So I do probably the stupidest thing I could ever do on a day as cursed as this.
I quickly duck out from under the bar and head over in their direction. Edward, as focused as he is trying to get the girls to break up their fight, hasn't noticed the one potentially brewing beside him.
I get over there just in time to hear Garrett yell at Alec that 'he's an asshole that doesn't deserve Kate', and am positioned in just the right place for his fist to meet my face when Alec ducks his punch.
The world around me goes black.
When I wake up, the world is fuzzy, my head is pounding and the room is spinning. I can hear Edward talking to someone.
"No, she's fine man, but I closed the bar. Yes. Of course I did! Listen I don't need you to tell me. HEY! Fuck you man, you know I do. It wasn't my fault, if those stupid friends of yours could control themselves."
I realize he must be talking to Jake on the phone, I try to sit up and the room spins again. I groan.
"Shit," Edward says. "I gotta go man, she's awake."
The couch I've been placed on shifts slightly as Edward sits down.
"Bella? You okay, Precious?" he asks me, moving a piece of my hair with his finger. He hisses when he sees my face. "That's going to be a nasty bruise."
I try to cover my face with my hands so he won't have to see how hideous I look. I mean, if I look as bad as I feel then surely I'm like the hunchback or something.
"Don't," he chastises gently. "Don't hide your pretty face from me."
I look up at him, tears forming in my eyes. "I'm sorry," I cry. "I was just trying to help. I didn't really do a good job of it."
He shakes his head, running his fingers through his unruly locks. "I should have seen it coming. I should have been able to stop it myself. I'm the one who should be sorry, Bella."
I'm shaking my head, but that only serves to make me dizzier. I groan, lying back down on the couch.
"You okay?" he questions.
"I think. I think that guy knocked some screws loose. Did everyone at least stop fighting after that?"
Edward looks down, a blush forming on his cheeks. "Ah … not exactly. I mean, I …"
"Oh, Edward. What did you do?"
He looks up at me sharply. "I kicked his ass is what I did. He had no right hitting you, Bella. None. Then I kicked them all out of the bar, picked you up and carried you in here. We've been here about half an hour."
"So, it's still my birthday?" I ask.
He sighs. "Yeah it's your birthday. I'm really sorry it got ruined."
I laugh; it's a bark of a laugh and clearly not something he was expecting. "Edward, you didn't ruin my birthday. My birthday is cursed. It always has been. Remember last year? Alice and I got mugged on the way here." He nods his head. "That's just one thing in a line of shitty things that happened on my birthday."
I launch into the story of bad birthdays past. With each story his eyes grow wider and wider. I continue by telling him about all the incidents from tonight, ones that he'd brushed off as accidents but were really caused by my cursed day of birth.
"So you see," I finish my tale, my eyes blurring with tears. "I just should have never been born."
"Don't say that, Bella." He grips my chin and tilts my head to face him. "I'd have never have had a chance to get to know you if you were never born. I wouldn't want to live in a world where you don't exist."
"What are you saying?"
"I'm saying I like you, Bella. Really like you. When I thought you were hurt, well worse than what you are, I would have never forgiven myself if you got hurt because of me."
"Oh, Edward." I sigh. "I'm fine, or I will be. I just look hideous."
"You look perfect." He cups my face in his hand. "Gorgeous even." He brings his face closer to mine kissing my bruised eye. "I still want you."
I don't know what comes over me, the loneliness of the day spent hiding by myself, being punched in the face, his words, but I throw myself at him and kiss him like there won't be a tomorrow.
We kiss until I'm breathless and he pulls back slightly, trying to shift me back from his crotch, I've somehow managed to end up straddling him on the couch.
"Bella, we shouldn't," he says.
I can't help the disappointment I feel. It feels like being kicked in the gut, or—you know—punched in the face.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I just thought," I stammer.
"Just thought what, Bella?"
"I just thought you wanted me too. I'm sorry, Edward."
I try to scramble off his lap and he grips my hips tightly.
"I do want you, Precious. I just meant we shouldn't do this here. Jake's on his way down. I didn't want him to walk in on anything."
The relief I feel must show on my face because he grins at me, before kissing my forehead.
"Would it be bad of us to take off before he gets here?" I ask.
He gives me a puzzled look. "Why?"
"I just, well, I think he likes me, and I like you. It would be kind of awkward."
He laughs and stands up with me wrapped around him. He nudges my legs down until I'm standing on my own and grabbing my hand, tugs me toward the back door.
"In that case, let's get out of here."
We're just pulling out of the lot in Edward's car when we see Jake turn in. He honks at us but Edward just keeps driving. I want to feel bad, but I can't. I'm with Edward, he seems to like me to and I want to see where this goes. Before I know it we're at my place.
"Do you want to come up?" I ask.
"That'd be great."
I show him where to park his car and get out of the seat. My head is really starting to hurt now and I grip the car so I don't fall down.
"You okay, Precious?"
"My head hurts." I'm aware I'm whining but can't help it.
He comes over and looks in my eyes. "Are you dizzy?"
I nod and he sweeps me up into his arms. I gasp and grip him tightly. He takes my keys from me and opens the door to my apartment building, walks over to the elevator. We take it up to my floor and he—once again—opens the door. Once we get inside he takes me to the couch and lays me down on it, asking where I keep the Tylenol and if I prefer bottled water or tap.
I realize I'm dozing on the couch when he shakes me gently, telling me to take the Tylenol and placing it in my hand.
"I didn't even think, Bella," he moans in agitation and runs his fingers through his hair. "You could have a concussion. I should have taken you to the hospital."
I shake my head. "I'll be fine Edward. I'll just set my alarm to wake me up every few hours. I've had concussions before and I don't think that this is one."
He smirks at me, gives me a wink and says. "Well, I could always stay. I think I have a few creative ways to wake you up."
A pleasant shudder rips up my spine when I consider what those ways might entail. I smile at him and stand up from the couch. I hold out my hand and he grips mine tightly. He hasn't broken my stare.
"If you aren't okay with this, Precious, now's the time to let me know."
"I want you, Edward. Please, stay."
I turn and lead him down the hall to my bedroom.
I'm a bundle of nerves when we reach my room, but I don't want it to show on the outside. I want him, I've wanted him for a while, and I know that if he even thinks that I'm nervous about this he'll call the whole thing off. I want—just for once—to have a birthday to remember.
I glance at the clock. It's quarter after eleven. Finding a strength I didn't know I possessed I shove Edward up against my bedroom door and kiss him.
"Last chance to back out, Precious," he grunts against my lips.
I shake my head; I refuse to give into the pain. I need him. In a flurry our clothes are off our bodies and on the floor. We're a tangle of teeth and tongues, bites and sucks, grunts and groans and when he's finally inside me it feels like heaven and hell, angels and demons and so good, so good, so good. I explode and it feels like I'm being ripped apart from the inside and pieced back together and I never want this feeling to end.
If it wouldn't be a crime, I'd tie this man to my bed and never let him go. He's kissing my forehead and whispering in my ear how good it was, how he's never had better, how he wants this, wants me and it's the best present I could ever receive.
The clock hits 11:59 and with a kiss to my lips Edward whispers. "Happy Birthday, Bella."
One year later…
"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Bella. Happy birthday to you."
I never thought I'd be celebrating my birthday, with people surrounding me and not locked away in my room. But so far the day has been curse free. I haven't tripped, haven't hurt myself in any way and so I allowed Edward to bring me to the party Alice insisted on throwing. I'd warned him all day that I wasn't going to go if anything happened to prove that my birthday was cursed. He's still convinced those were a series of just really horrible coincidences.
Jake was pissed at Edward at first when he learned that not only did we both blow him off, but that he'd asked me to be his girlfriend. He insisted his brother was an asshole for going after what Edward knew he wanted. I pointed out to Jake that it was my decision and I wasn't some toy to be fought over anyway and he eventually got over himself. He's dating a really nice girl named Jane and she keeps him in line.
Edward told me that Kate and Tanya haven't spoken since last year, and that he ran into Garrett who cheerfully told him that he and Kate are now together. Tanya apparently is single and still sleeping with everyone she can get her hooks into.
As for Edward and I, we've been together since my birthday last year, and if the ring on my finger is any indication he'll be making my birthday curse free for years to come.
EN: Thanks for reading! Now head on over and wish Missy a Happy Birthday!