Prince Charming Syndrome
When I was a little girl, I, like a lot of other little girls, dreamed of marrying a prince. I imagined he would ride in on a great white horse and would rescue me from the evil villain. I could remember watching the movie ‘The Little Mermaid’ and then deciding I wanted to change my name to Ariel. I refused to answer to any other name, that was until my Nana said she only bought Christmas and birthday gifts for girls named Isabella, not Ariel.
Since my mother died when I was less than a year old, my father made certain I had every Disney movie ever made that centered around princes. Nana made certain I wanted for nothing when it came to girly items. I had more pink than Pepto-Bismol. Sadly, Nana passed away before I turned four.
When I was five and started kindergarten, I found out that many of the girls in my class took ballet. I begged my dad to allow me to attend and he quickly enrolled me. Dancing with my friends was fun and sometimes magical. As we danced to the music, I would pretend I was a famous ballerina and that my prince was watching me from the audience.
It was about the time that I began fourth grade that things began to change. I was definitely old enough to know that fairytales were only make-believe, but deep down, I still wanted my prince on that white horse. My best friends, Kate and Jane, had begun to discover that boys weren’t gross anymore. I could remember the day that Kate told me she was going to marry Garrett, a boy from our class. I thought she was crazy, as I knew Garrett didn’t have a white horse and he most definitely was not a prince.
When my sixth grade year started, I began to notice changes in my body. I knew from some of my friends that certain things were normal, so when I noticed hair appearing in new places, I wasn’t concerned. However, when I went to the bathroom between classes one day and discovered a brownish-red substance in my underwear, panic set in immediately and I dashed into the school nurse’s office. Once she finally calmed me down and convinced me that I wasn’t going to die, she explained to me all about that wonderful event that a woman experienced each and every month…oh, joy. Ms. Hale was new to our town. She was also the most beautiful and caring woman I had ever met. She had moved from New York with her daughter, Rose. Her husband had been killed about the same time my mother had passed. Once she had me fixed up, she called my dad to come and take me home. When my dad set eyes on Nurse Hale, he was totally smitten. They married three months later.
It wasn’t until junior high that I discovered that boys existed. His name was Seth Thomas and he was the new kid in town. Mr. Birdie made us partners in the science fair and my stepmother told me to invite him over to work on our project. When he was leaving my house after we finished our project, Seth kissed me on my cheek; I took this as he liked me and assumed we were boyfriend and girlfriend. This, however, was disproven the very next day when I witnessed him shoving his tongue down Jessica Stanley’s throat.
I was heartbroken, although I never told a soul about Seth and his kiss to my cheek. He simply acted as if nothing had ever happened. Two weeks later, Jessica found him kissing another girl at the local mall and you would have thought he had murdered someone by the way she carried on. It was then I began to watch the couples at my school and how some boys had no problem telling the girls that they were currently interested in anything the girl wanted to hear just to get their attention.
My junior year of high school was when I “grew into myself” as my stepmother so eloquently stated it. It seemed like literally overnight I got boobs. I knew it was due to the fact that I had remained very active with my dance classes. My dream, besides marrying a prince, was to be a famous dancer. It was nearing prom when I started to get boys calling my house asking to talk to me. Eric Yorkie was one of those boys, except he went as far as to politely ask my father’s permission to escort me to the prom. My stepmother was so impressed by this that she insisted I tell him yes, that I would attend with him, even though I had no feelings for him. Mom and Rose told me it was a rite of passage and a night I would never forget. Easy for Rose to say, she was and always would be drop dead gorgeous, she had a number of guys asking her.
Prom night finally arrived and after a visit to the salon for makeup and hair, I was off to the dance that would forever change how I viewed men. You see, no one had ever explained to me that prom night was famous for being the night many teenagers lost their virginity. Eric was hoping I would be willing to help him out in that department. So when we reached the parking lot of the place that our prom was being held, Eric made his move. He told me how pretty I was and how good I smelled as he started getting too ‘handsy’. He even threw in the famous, “I’ve wanted to ask you out for a long time,” not to be out done with, “I think I’ve already fallen in love with you.” Eric’s plan was flawed in many ways, the biggest and most important being that he chose to try something with the town’s police chief daughter, who carried a can of pepper spray with her everywhere…I think you get the picture.
Once I made certain Eric was getting medical attention, I called my dad for a ride home. Once I was safely back in my room, I plopped down on my bed and picked up the remote and began to channel surf. I came across a movie by the title of ‘Practical Magic.’ In the movie, the main character made a list of her perfect husband. She gave him these outlandish qualities that no one man could possibly have.
- He would hear my call from a mile away.
- He would whistle my favorite song.
- He could ride a pony backwards.
- .He could flip pancakes in the air.
- He would be marvelously kind.
- His favorite shape would be a star.
- He would have one green eye and one blue.
She believed that if she wished for such things in a man, that he would be impossible to find and therefore she would never find her true love and in turn, never suffer a broken heart.
Then it hit me, this was the answer to all my problems. If I was to make a list like Sally’s, then I, too, would never find my true love and never suffer from a broken heart, or more importantly, from being distracted from my goal of becoming a famous dancer. I rushed to my desk and retrieved a piece of paper and began to write what my ideal man would be like.
He would be a hero, giving selflessly of himself for others.
He would love music as much as I loved dance, for what was dancing without music.
He would ride in to save me on his white horse.
He would flip pancakes in the air. Not original, but I liked it.
He would be generous and caring.
His favorite shape would be a cross.
He would have the oddest shade of green eyes, like none I had ever seen and they had to be natural, no contacts.
He must be pure of heart; I would be his first true love.
When my senior year started, I was already counting down the days to graduation. I knew that every senior did that, but I had a real purpose. I had been accepted on a full scholarship to Julliard. I was going to be a professional dancer. For the first half of the year, I worked my ass off. I took extra dance lessons, and I easily avoided all boys since not a single guy at our school had odd green eyes. I knew my list would work. However, it was during Christmas break that my world did some major shifting.
I was on my way to a dance competition in Seattle. The roads were clear and the sun was even out. However, a guy in a dump truck lost control and slammed into my truck head on. The force was so great that it caused my truck to slide down an embankment, flipping a number of times before it came to rest. I was pinned in the truck for more than an hour. My left leg was crushed and I spent six weeks in the hospital with a questionable prognosis for normal movement in the future.
I’d bet you would think I fell into a deep depression, that I was angry at the world, or at very least, the moron who had caused my accident. Well, you would be about a third right. I was depressed and mad, but not necessarily how you would think. I was mad that I had to miss out on the dance competition that was in Seattle that day. I knew beyond a doubt I would have won. I was depressed that I was going to have to really work hard in order to just walk across that stage for graduation.
I knew I would have to give up my spot at Julliard and I would admit that I did cry a lot with that one. I did, however, get a special circumstance late entrance to the University of Washington. Rose had already been accepted to UW and honestly, that made the change a little easier. I changed my focus from dancing my ass off to trying to walk again. After three more surgeries and more physical therapy than I cared to count, I walked across that stage and graduated Summa Cum Laude. Needless to say, I got a standing ovation as I took each step.
So here I was eight years later and I would bet you were wondering how things had worked out for me. Did I make it through college? Did I find my prince? Did my list really work? Did I ever dance again?
Well, how about you grab your favorite drink and snuggle into your favorite chair and let’s find out the answers to all of those questions…
So tell me what you think. I will tell you that I chose to stick with just the lines from Practical magic for this chapter. Next chapter is already with my amazing Beta and will be up soon. As far as those of you who are still reading Practice, please be patient as she is cleaning it up. She also has the next chapter and as soon as I have it all perfect I will repost the entire thing.
Thanks in advance to all of you who are reading this.
I don’t not own Twilight, I just enjoy playing around with it.
- Chapter 3
I own nothing….
After graduation, Rose and I were off to the University of Washington. Rose was studying to be an engineer and I was going to be a writer. Mom and dad encouraged us to live in the dorm so that we could meet people. Rose and I lucked out and were assigned to the same room. I would never forget the day we actually moved into our home away from home for the next year. Mom had taken Rose and I shopping and we had purchased matching everything for our room. Rose had to have everything in some shade of pink; I was a bit more reserved and preferred more earthy tones. Funny, that still held true to this day. And so with our cars packed to the hilt, we set off. We joked that day that we had only brought my dad along to lift the heavy items, and of course to buy lunch.
After we had made numerous trips from our cars to our room, we finally had everything in place. Our dorm was your standard three bedroom suite that shared a bath. Dad suggested that if no one was assigned to the third bed that we should contact our RA and have it removed to give us more floor space. I kid you not when I say that he no more than got those words out of his mouth when our door flew open and there stood a large box with tiny heeled legs. That was the first time we met Alice.
Alice Brandon was like the Energizer bunny on crack, she had two speeds: off and high. She walked in, dropped the box in the middle of the floor, and began to order us to help her get her things from her car. After our parents had left that night, Rose, Alice, and I sat around and got to know each other. Alice told us the story of how she had eleven brothers and sisters. She was from a small mountain town in the Appalachians. She had been working in her aunt’s beauty shop since she was thirteen and had been entering in every beauty pageant she could find to scrape together enough money to go away to school. She told us that she was the first of her family to graduate from high school and that her mother had always encouraged her to get the hell out of their one-horse town. She had managed to win the majority of the pageants she entered and finally won the state title and finally broke the code.
Alice wanted to be a doctor, or at least a nurse-practitioner. She wanted to help people no matter their financial circumstances. Rose and I shared our stories with her as well. The look in Alice’s eyes when I finished wasn’t one of pity or sorrow, it was of hope. She told me she was now certain she was where she needed to be.
On our second night in our dorm, we wanted to watch a few movies. What we found was a very sad television set in the common room; it was a cheap black and white that looked like it had come over on the Mayflower. Just as we had decided to go to the local movie theater, Rose’s cell rang. It was our mother who was just checking in with us. Rose told her of our plans and the problem with the crappy television. Mom told Rose she would take care of it and told us to call if we needed anything.
Two days later, a truck from Best Buy showed up and the guys from the Geek Squad set us up with a sixty-inch television with Blu-ray and surround sound. We noticed that we each had no classes scheduled on Fridays and so we decided that Thursday nights would be our official girl’s movie night. I tell you this little detail because it stuck with us during all four years of college and we still did it once a month now that we were all grown up. We watched so many movies during college that we were constantly quoting funny movie lines. To this day, if I found myself nervous or didn’t know how to respond to someone, out popped a movie line, but I digress.
From this first semester, we were thick as thieves. We did practically everything together. Since Alice was so far away from home and nearly every dime she made went to her school bills, our parents insisted she come home with us. So for every holiday and Christmas, the three of us went to Forks. After her second or third visit, our parents converted the den into Alice’s room.
Our sophomore year, Rose decided she wanted to try out for the dance team. She was worried at first to tell me because, well, you get the picture. Once she was finally able to come to me, I told her I was so excited for her and that I would help her to perfect her audition routine. Even though I wasn’t going to be a professional dancer, it didn’t extinguish my love for it. I had a deep passion for it. I couldn’t do a perfect pirouette anymore, but I could still dance pretty well.
Rose encouraged me to try out as well, but I reminded her that I still had a few surgeries that would happen during the summer between classes. Alice was busy with her two part-time jobs and so she would come and watch us when she could. The auditions were held in a closed room that only those who were actually trying out could enter. It was almost like trying out for a part on Broadway. Rose had to compose her own routine and then if the judges liked her, she would have fifteen minutes to learn the routine they wanted to see. I knew Rose could do it.
Rose and I worked for weeks getting everything perfect. I told her she was going to have to stretch her legs as much as she could, as dance teams were famous for their high kick lines. We worked hard on getting her kicks as high as possible. Finally, the day for tryouts arrived and Rose and I made our way to the auditorium. I knew I would have to stay outside while she auditioned, but I wanted to be there when she got the good news. We crossed the campus and had just passed the grass commons. This was a huge park-like place with benches and picnic tables. People would come here to toss a football or Frisbee. As we passed, a football came flying passed Rosalie’s head. It pissed her off more than it scared her. A tall dark-headed guy ran over to where she stood holding his football. Royce King was the quarterback for our football team. Every girl wanted him, well, not every girl; he didn’t have green eyes after all.
When we were about to enter the gym, we were stopped by one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen. She asked me if I was Isabella Swan. When I confirmed, she offered me her hand. While shaking, she told me she had seen me dance many times and that she was saddened to hear about my accident. She introduced herself as Lauren Mallory, the coach of the dance team. She further told me that I had gone against her stepsister, Jane Volturi, many times in dance competitions. She told me she was excited to see me trying out after my accident. I explained to her that I wasn’t trying out, only giving moral support. Then she shocked the hell out of me when she asked me if I could be her new choreographer. She said that if I could teach her team an ounce of what I knew that they would be unstoppable. I quickly agreed and was allowed to watch the tryouts.
I was so glad that I wasn’t judging that day as there were some really great dancers. I watched as Rose did her routine flawlessly just as I knew she would. I noticed another girl who I later learned was named Angela Webber. She was by far the most agile dancer I had ever seen. Her legs were so long and when she did her high kicks, she was able to get them past her face. Even on my best day I couldn’t do that.
When the final dancers were chosen, Lauren lined them up and began to show them the dance she wanted them to perform. I was shocked that it was mostly ballet steps. Two things happened at that point; one, I was so grateful that I had decided against trying out, as ballet was still a little tough for me since my last surgery, and second, I began to remember my ballet idol, Esme Platt.
My ballet instructor had us watch Esme many times when she wanted us to learn grace. Esme at one time was one of the most sought-after prima-ballerinas from London. I had watched an interview of hers where she described how when she danced, the world just fell away and it was just her and the music. I had wanted to dance like her; she danced like she was walking on air. It was a crush to my dreams when I learned that she had given it all up for love and a family. She married the man of her dreams, a doctor from Chicago. I think his name was Coleman or Cullman, I couldn’t really remember. I just knew I would never get to dance with her.
Rose and Angela both made the team. We had a team meeting after the names were announced. I took my job as chorographer very seriously. I began to work the girls really hard, and in turn, I worked myself just as hard. Honestly, it felt really good to dance again. I knew I couldn’t give it up. It was then when I changed my major back to dance. I would never be a prima ballerina, but maybe I could teach some little girl or boy to be one.
Royce King wasted little time in finding out who Rose was. He would send flowers and singing telegrams, all in hopes of winning a date with her. After he attempted to turn on the charm with Rose, she told him to go fuck himself. At the time, Royce had a hearing problem and he understood Rose to say “fuck me hard”. He tried for weeks after that to get Rose to date him, but she continued to refuse.
“He’s an asshole, look at his haircut. Anybody with a haircut like that; you know he’s an asshole,” Rose complained.
It was three months after the football incident before Rose finally caved and agreed to one date with Royce. There were only a few dates in her time with Royce. She never gave any details of what happened the last time she went out with him. I didn’t need any; Royce King had to quit the football team when he “accidently” fell down some stairs and broke his arm in three places. I found this weird since the only stairs on campus were in the pool house and those led to the diving board.
After that, Rose also changed her major; she decided she wanted to teach women self-defense. She even considered joining the FBI at one point, but changed her mind when she found out she would have to wear ugly shoes to work.
I became very close to the girls on the dance team. We were like one big happy family. I pushed them and they pushed back. It was our junior year when coach came to the girls and told them the Seattle Seahawks cheerleaders were holding tryouts. She encouraged any of the girls to give it a try if they wanted to. She also told me that she had mentioned my name to the coach and that she wanted to see if I was interested in lending my talent to their team.
Several of the girls were interested until they found out the expensive dress requirements for the tryouts. Alice just happened to be with us that day when we were discussing having fundraising events to get the money for dance clothes. Alice said that she was a whiz with a sewing machine and could make anything they could dream up. She told us that she had hand sewn every evening dress she had ever worn in her pageants. She said that stitching dance clothes would be nothing compared to a full-sequined evening gown.
The girls who were interested followed Alice to a local thrift store and she was able to make the clothes for less than ten dollars. More amazing than the low cost was the fact that they looked as good as the ones the team sold for over one hundred dollars. Everyone told Alice she could really make great money making clothes.
It wasn’t long after that Alice changed her major to fashion with a minor in finance.
It was during our junior year that a blast from my past came into view. I was sitting in the library when I heard a girl’s voice. It was a voice that wished I could forget; Jessica Stanley. As fate would have it, Jessica had transferred from community college and was now causing permanent hearing loss to my inner ear. I sat as still as possible, hoping she would leave before she noticed me, but no such luck as ten seconds later, her voice got a little louder. She made her way over to my table with two other girls in tow. She introduced them as her friends from her sorority. She introduced me as Bella, the poor girl she had told them about. I was too focused on trying to come up with an excuse to leave that I missed her friend’s names.
Jessica hadn’t changed at all in the few years since I had last seen her. She was still very hung up on Seth. She was trying to tell me how she would see him with a different girl at the various parties she would attend. As she told it, he would ignore her each time. Her friend interrupted her ramblings when she made notice of a guy that had just entered the room. He was cute I would guess, blonde hair, blue eyes, the all-American type I guess you would describe him. Jessica wanted to call on him tonight by the way she was going into heat while watching him walk.
Jessica and the clueless twins finally left after Jessica said we had to go out sometime. I sat back in my seat, attempting to do my paper. I was nearly finished when I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I raised my eyes to find Mr. All-American pulling the chair out across from me. He quickly introduced himself as Mike Newton. He was a senior and swore he had seen me several times around campus. He asked me for my number and said he would call so we could get together sometime, but I politely declined his request. When I told Rose and Alice about him later, they said I should give it a shot.
Both Rose and Alice always had dates on Friday and Saturday nights. I usually stayed behind and either read or went to a movie. It wasn’t that I had never been asked out before; it was just that I always stuck to my list. I decided that I would give Mike my number the next time I saw him and go out with him if he called. It wasn’t like I was going to marry him or anything.
The next day after I gave him my number, he called and asked me out for coffee. Everyone knew that coffee was no big deal. Coffee was more like an interview; if you liked what you saw, you proceeded to lunch. If lunch went well, you went for dinner, and then dessert.
I met Mike at a local coffee shop and discovered he was a really nice guy. He spoke of his volunteer work he did at a local animal shelter. He said he wanted to be a veterinarian after college. He told me he had come to college on a scholarship he received due to his father’s death in the Gulf War. The more I spoke with Mike, the more I liked him and decided if he asked me out again I would go. Mike did ask me to a party that following weekend. He was so sweet and called me every night that week and even left me cute notes on my car.
When Friday finally came, he showed up on time, complete with flowers in hand. The party was at one of the fraternity houses on campus. When we got there, the party was in full swing. Mike handed me a red Solo cup filled with cheap beer and led me further into the house. He introduced me to several of his friends while holding my hand. I had to admit I did enjoy the feeling of having a boy pay attention to me.
We had been at the party for a while, walking around and talking with his friends. I had set my barely-touched beer down hours ago and had refused anything else to drink. Mike said he wanted to show me something and led me up the stairs. Once we got up to what I now knew was his room, he opened the door and we made our way in. It was your typical guy’s room; dirty clothes on the floor, empty pizza boxes in the corner. He said he just wanted me alone for a few minutes. We sat on his bed as he kept playing with my fingers. He began to tell me that he thought I was very pretty and that he would like to take me out again. I smiled and thanked him for his kind words and agreed to go out with him again.
For the next week, Mike kicked it up a notch and was at my front door every morning to walk me to class. He then would take me to lunch and then walk me back home at night. I was beginning to think my ‘Practical Magic’ list was a silly childhood dream.
On Thursday of that week, Jessica was pounding on our door in hysterics. It seemed that Seth had finally taken notice of her, or rather her boobs, and had asked her out. She said he had been such a gentleman, opening doors, pulling out her chair for her, the works. She said after two dates, he even asked her to be his girlfriend. She said everything was going great and they were having great sex, the best sex she had ever had as she greatly detailed. Then today she wanted to surprise him and went by his apartment, only she was the one surprised when she found him in bed with another girl. I felt really bad for Jessica. I knew she had a huge thing for Seth when we were younger and now she claimed to be in love with him. She kept describing that it felt as if someone was ripping her heart from her chest.
Honestly, this made me question this feeling of love. If being in love was such a wonderful feeling, then seemingly painful when you fell out of it, I decided I would pass.
I had been seeing Mike for a few weeks when he said he had something special planned for me. Until this point, we had never defined what we were. He had never pressured me to do anything; he was simply being a gentleman. He picked me up and took me to dinner at a local restaurant. When we had finished dinner, he helped me into his car and then placed a blindfold over my eyes. He said he needed me to trust him. I had no reason not to, so I smiled and sat back in the seat.
Mike took me to a beautiful hotel. When we reached the room he had rented, he removed the blindfold. He told me that he had loved me since the first time he laid eyes on me. He said he wanted the entire world to know I was his.
Looking back, he never gave me the chance to respond. He dove into kissing me and lowering me to the bed. What happened next I could only describe as a bad remake of the scene form the movie ‘Love Potion Number Nine.’ Mike continued to kiss me and moan as he writhed against me. It was as if he was in his own world. He was grunting and groaning and his hands and tongue were everywhere. Suddenly, he seemed to have a spasm of sorts and then collapsed on top of me. Just like the poor monkey from the movie, he was immediately snoring in my ear.
As quietly and gently as I could, I removed myself from under Mike and quickly slipped out of the room, thanking my lucky stars I was still fully dressed. I called Rose from the lobby of the hotel to come get me. When we were back in our room, I told her all the details and she assured me it wasn’t supposed to be like that. She said that I had to kiss a lot of frogs to find my prince.
It was that night I decided that my list was definitely not a silly childhood dream. Love was an emotion I just didn’t need. Anything that caused physical pain was not something I wanted to volunteer for. It worried me that I had almost allowed myself to forget the specifics of my list for my perfect guy. I had come so close to settling.
I knew that what happened with Mike was not what sex was supposed to be, but it didn’t change that I wasn’t really all that interested in doing that, either.
So with a new determination, I took out my list I had made years before and made two more requirements:
- He must have a British Accent
- He must be a virgin.
With a huge smile on my face, I placed the list back in its hiding spot. I was positive I would never find a guy my age who met all of my requirements.
Graduation finally came and with that, a flurry of activity. Our entire family had flocked into town to watch the three of us graduate. After a very long a boring commencement ceremony and more pictures than I could count, we headed back home to Forks. We hadn’t really decided what we would do after we had finished school. None of us had full-time jobs lined up. My work with the Seahawks was on a volunteer basis. Mom and dad told us to take a break and that they had something they needed to discuss with us.
Once we were settled in, mom and dad explained to us that Nana had left me a large sum of money to be given to me once I had finished college. She had also left me two duplexes she had owned in Seattle. It was all mine to do with as I pleased. I knew that if Nana had lived long enough to meet Rose and Alice, she would have considered them her granddaughters as well. So I announced that I wanted to split the money three ways and share the duplexes.
I knew what I wanted to do with my portion of the money; I wanted to own a dance studio. When I told my sisters, they agreed. Rose wanted to teach self-defense and Alice wanted to continue designing dance clothing.
Mom and dad helped us hire an attorney and find a building that would suit our needs. We quickly purchased the building near a popular strip mall and began the renovations. Alice had a separate area built so that she could not only design dancewear, but also pageant clothing. We wanted to have a name that would encompass everything we offered.
It was one word, but it spoke volumes…Steps.
It took several months before the building was exactly the way we wanted it. Our attorney did some research and discovered we were the only dance studio within thirty miles. Alice’s shop was the only one of its kind in the entire city.
As luck would have it, a gym opened up in the vacant building next to us. It had state-of-the-art equipment and the owners were a couple of the Seahawks players. The manager of the place was a really sweet guy named Jacob Black. He was happily married with two of the most beautiful kids I had ever seen. His brother, Embry, asked Jacob about me. Rose said I needed to go for it as he was really cute. I told her he wasn’t really my type. Alice put her two cents in and said she wasn’t certain I knew what my type was. Rose reminded me that life wasn’t a Hollywood movie and that I shouldn’t just sit back and wait for my Prince to come, but that I needed to get out there and find him.
Alice laughed and said, “Give it up, Rosebud; she has a bad case of Prince Charming Syndrome.”
Alice was right, I did have it. I also knew I didn’t want to find a cure. I never had to worry if I looked okay when I went out. I never had to worry if he was really where he said he was going to be. I didn’t have to worry if he shared my feelings. My perfect guy was perfect, he would never hurt me, he would never stand me up or cheat on me. He was perfect in every way…because he didn’t exist
For the next six months, we worked very hard to get our clientele built up, keeping us extremely busy. I was able to let the issue of my lack of dating fly undetected. We had contacted all of the schools in the area and had a huge response. Rose was full up, booking her defense classes every week, and Alice had to hire two girls to help her keep up. My dance classes were also filling and I was able to hire Angela to help me teach.
It was a rainy Thursday afternoon and I was just finishing up. Rose had left early to get her nails done. I was just locking the doors when my cell phone rang.
“Yes, is this Ms. Swan?”
“Yes, this is Ms. Swan.”
“Ms. Swan, this is Kate Lewis and I’m a nurse at Virginia Mason Hospital emergency department. I have you listed as an emergency contact for Ms. Rosalie Hale. There’s been an accident; can you come to the hospital?”
With one phone call, my life would change forever.
Thanks again for reading,
- Chapter 4
This chapter is brought to you by American Airlines, as that’s where I’m currently sitting. I’m in flight on my way to….wait for it, wait for it, Seattle!
That’s right, my company requires me to attend a nursing conference every year and this year it’s being held in Tacoma. So a little later today, I’ll be landing in Seattle and renting a car and driving to…Forks! (gasp) (gasp)
I’ll be staying at the Cullen House, that’s right, they have a bed and breakfast that’s called the Cullen House.
Anyway, I want to first thank my amazing Beta, Dollybigmomma, who makes my mental ramblings look amazing.
Second, thanks to everyone who has placed this story on their favorites, you know who you are.
Third, I want to dedicate this chapter to my prince charming who as we speak is preparing to deploy to Bahrain to serve our great country. He’ll be away for a year and that’s a huge reason why I need fluff right now.
Now for the movie credits, “break the code” comes from a movie titled, Beautiful. It stars Mimi Driver who plays a young girl who wanted to be a beauty queen. She had no support system until she meets her best friend and together they try to make her dream come true. I won’t give away any of the movie in case you haven’t seen it, and I do recommend you give it a look.
“He’s an asshole…” I’m not certain there are too many people on this plant who haven’t seen Weird Science. It stars Kelly LaBrock who is created by Michael Anthony Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith. It’s such a great movie, plus you get to see a very young Robert Downey Jr. If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out.
SM owns it, I just like to kick it up a notch
I didn’t remember what it was like when my mother died. We had a million pictures of her around our home as I grew up. I think my dad still had a few home movies of the day I was born. He told me that I looked a lot like her.
When my Nana died, I vaguely remembered my dad telling me she wouldn’t be around to play with me anymore, that she had gone to heaven to live with my mommy.
Now I sat in my car trying to hold back the tears that threatened to fall. Rose was hurt. Rose couldn’t be hurt; she was my best friend, my protector, my sister. I was not finished with Rose yet. We hadn’t planned her wedding yet, nor had her three future kids called me auntie yet. Rose hadn’t taken that trip to Rome yet.
The nurse didn’t elaborate as to what had happened. She only said that I needed to get to Virginia Mason as soon as possible. Rose had insisted that we each buy a good safe car. I chuckled as I remembered her insisting that we buy BMWs, even though I thought a more modest car was just fine. She rambled on at the time that the Germans made cars that could withstand a crash, something about the engine designed to drop out in the event of a head-on collision. I hoped now all of that was true. I hoped her car had kept her safe.
The automatic doors of the emergency room slid open, revealing what appeared to be a hurried environment. There were medical professionals scurrying around, telephones were ringing, overhead paging, and the sounds of alarms going off in the distance.
I located the information desk and quickly walked over to find two uniformed women setting at the desk.
“Excuse me. My name is Isabella Swan and I was told my sister was brought here, Rosalie Hale.”
Both women looked up at me. The one to my left was a middle-aged lady with dark hair that was pulled back into a hair clip. Her dark blue uniform made her blue eyes stand out and they instantly reminded me of Rose.
“Good evening, Ms. Swan, I’m Nurse Kate, I’m the one who called you. Before I take you back, can I see some identification?”
I thought this was an odd request, but I decided seeing Rose was more important than wasting time questioning hospital policy.
Kate noticed my confusion and informed me that the accident that had involved Rose was the result of a tour bus colliding with several cars, Rose’s included. The tour bus housed a very famous rock band and with modern technology, screaming girls had already ‘Twittered’ the band’s location. I smiled as I handed her my driver’s license.
I noticed that Kate was very calm as she gave me back my license; I took this to mean that Rose’s condition was at least a stable one. She didn’t look at me as if she needed to call a priest or have me sedated.
Kate motioned for me to follow her down a very long hallway. A number of gurneys were pushed against the wall. It looked as if they were ready for multiple injuries.
As we passed the third door, I could hear what at this point could only be described as music to my ears; Rose was laughing.
“I know; he’s really easy on the eyes, but he’s so not my type.”
Rose was carrying on a conversation with a man who was helping her back into bed.
“Bella!” Rose all to cheerfully exclaimed. Even with what appeared to be a nasty gash above her left eyebrow, and what appeared to be a large bruise forming on her right cheek, she was still drop-dead gorgeous. “Bella, come and meet my new best friend, Riley.”
The man in question continued to tuck her into bed, pulling up the sheet and tucking it in around her hips. Riley then turned to me and explained that Rose’s doctor, Dr. Cullen, had just given her some medication for pain. It had left her high as a kite and pain-free. She was now full of giggles and unconditional love for everyone.
I made my way over to her bedside and quickly took her hand. Rose was dancing in her bed and singing her own version of ‘You Make Me Feel like a Natural Woman.’
“Bella, you haaaaave to see the doctor they gave me. He’s tall, dark…wait, no, he isn’t dark. He’s actually quite pale, but in a totally hot kind of way.”
I couldn’t help myself, as I had to giggle at her. Rose had never been a giggly type of girl. She was very strong and secure in herself. Whatever drugs this Dr. Cullen had given her, I hoped he could give her more to take home.
“THERE HE IS…DR. FUCK-ME-PLEASE!”
As a matter of clarification, you had to understand that I had seen many, many attractive men in my lifetime. You simply could not go anywhere with either Alice or Rose and not have GQ models approaching you. I had learned to simply smile and then become invisible. It had never bothered me that those men paid no attention to me; most of the time I still got free drinks and dinner out of the deal. This time, however, was different. One look and I lost all thought control.
He was beautiful. I knew that men were traditionally not considered beautiful, but he was, with his light brown hair with hints of red and gold highlights. His skin was so smooth, like he was carved out of marble. As he continued to enter the room, his entire face began to light up at the extremely funny yet highly inappropriate name Rose had given him.
“Well, Ms. Hale, I see the Versed I ordered for you apparently agrees with you,” he spoke with a chuckle.
His voice, I was certain, was my final undoing. Any chance I ever had to have a rational thought was lost when I heard him speak with the most sexy, pronounced British accent.
Cue the waterfall in my Vicki Secrets.
“Belllllla!” Rosalie’s high-pitched and quite squeaky voice summoned me, “Hey, I want you to meet my new favorite doctor, Doctor…”
The perplexed look on her face was altogether too cute. She quickly began to wave her hand in a circular motion as if that would help to somehow wind up her brain and his name would suddenly materialize like a scene in Harry Potter.
“Cullen.” Again, in the most brilliant British accent.
“Fuck, that’s right, Dr. Cullen. Dr. Cullen, I’d like for you to meet my sister, Bella Swan.”
I turned my attention from my quite happy and very-much-stoned sister to come face to face with a set of perfectly-spaced and indiscernibly perfect green eyes. Fuck me!
Dr. Green Eyes appeared to be as incoherent as I was as Rose tried to get his attention. Our eyes were locked as if in some sort of tractor beam. I didn’t think I took a single breath as I continued to get completely lost in his eyes.
“Dr. Cullen, what’s the word? When can I blow this popsicle stand? God, that’s funny, a popsicle can’t stand.” Rose was now lost in her own chemically-hazed world and began laughing at nothing in particular.
Apparently, her rambling was enough to bring both of us out of our staring game. He very quickly began to flip through pages on the clipboard that he was currently holding.
“Well, Ms. Hale, your x-rays lead me to believe that you may have a hairline fracture in your cheekbone. I’ve consulted with a colleague; well, he’s actually my brother, as to whether or not we need to do any further treatment. I’d like to keep you here for a while longer so we can continue to monitor your condition. My brother should be here any second…”
Dr. Cullen didn’t get to finish his sentence before the door seemed to fly open and in marched the biggest guy I had ever seen.
Again as if by magic, Rose appeared to instantly sober up. Her face went from giggle-happy to completely…horny.
The gorgeous hulk of a man whom I assumed to be Dr. Cullen’s brother stopped dead in his tracks as he laid his eyes on my sister. You could feel the shift in the air. I literally had to look away, as I felt like some kind of voyeur looking in on a very personal moment.
“Ms. Hale, Mrs. Swan, I’d like to sincerely apologize for my brother’s apparent loss of his manners. Our mum would have him drawn and quartered if she knew how rude he was being.”
Several things happened at what seemed like all once. First, Dr. Hulk came to his senses and began to apologize, in perfect American English, not with the thick British accent his brother had. Second, it hit me that Dr. British called me Mrs. and not Ms. Swan. Normally, I would never correct someone on that type of error. I couldn’t really explain why I felt the need to convey to him that I was very single. The odds were stacked against me that he would also be single. Based off his appearance alone, I stood a one-in-a-million chance against the fact that he was either married or had fifty-two women ready to fulfill all of his sexual needs.
As in true Bella style, being entirely too nervous, I quoted a movie.
“Dr. Cullen, I, too, feel the need to apologize for Rosalie’s earlier comment regarding your name. I’ve always thought we should have drowned her at birth. And please, it’s Bella, not Mrs. Swan; that’s our mother.”
I watched as his facial expression began to change. The crease that had once rested between his brows was now completely relaxed. His smile went from friendly and casual to a complete full-faced grin with amazingly white teeth and creases in the corner of his eyes. Just when I though he couldn’t get any more good looking, he did.
I wanted to know what other kinds of things would put that kind of smile on his face. What kind of tea or coffee did he drink? Did he sleep on the right or the left side of the bed? Did he prefer vampires or werewolves?
“Oh. Forgive me, Bella.”
The sound of my name flowing from his lips was like warm honey. I didn’t even mind that it sounded like he had added an “R” to the end and it came out as ‘Beller’ instead of Bella.
“I assumed you were married since, well, for one, beautiful women such as yourself are never unattached, and second, Ms. Hale already informed me that she was single. If you don’t mind me saying, your boyfriend or fiance is a very lucky man.”
Don’t even ask me where my boldness came from. To this day, I think it was osmosis from Rose and her happy drugs.
“Well, Dr. Cullen, I have neither, and your wife is very blessed.”
As if heaven was listening, the clouds rolled away and a choir of angles began to sing…
“Oh, Bella, Edward’s as single as the Pope,” the husky voice in the corner proclaimed.
Yes, there really was a God.
It was decided that additional testing would be needed to determine if Rosalie had a fracture or not. Dr. Cullen, or Emmett as he advised us to call him, personally took Rose down to radiology. I was told it would be fine to stay behind in her room. I decided to make a few phone calls, as I didn’t want Alice to get worried when she came home to an empty house. Now that I thought about it, Alice had been working really hard lately and I had to say I could not remember the last time I had even seen her leave the house. I would have to make it a point to get her a gift certificate to a spa or something. Her phone went directly to voicemail and so I left her a message.
I was about to make another call when Edward walked back into the room with two cups in his hands.
“I thought you might need a spot of tea. My mum always says it’s the proper thing to offer at times like these.”
He was too cute for his own good.
“Why, Dr. Cullen, what amazing service you have here at this hospital. Don’t you let the word get out that the physicians are serving up high tea to the waiting relatives now.”
The look on his face was priceless. Thank god he had a sense of humor and chuckled as he handed me my cup.
“Oh, yes, Bella, we’re instructed on how to serve quality tea while we’re in primary school, very British and all that you know,” he grinned and winked.
Yeah, I might have swooned just a tad.
Turned out Rose did not have a fracture, only some deep tissue bruising. So after several hours of testing and waiting, we were finally given the green light to take her home.
As we waited for the nurse to bring in the wheelchair, Rose wouldn’t shut up about Emmett. Honestly, I was happy for her, as it seemed he was just as enamored with her. Once the nurse arrived and Rose was safely seated, we began to make our way out. We had barely progressed into the hall when Emmett and Edward came walking down the hallway toward us. It was like that scene in that move where the sexy handsome guys are walking in slow motion.
“It’s okay, Jackie, we’ll take it from here.”
Emmett was too cute as he began to push Rosalie’s wheelchair down the hall.
“Again, Dr. Cullen, you might want to advertise this service you guys provide. I’ll bet it would triple your patient load.”
The smile on Edward’s face was enough to melt even the coldest heart.
“Oh, but Ms. Swan, we have a strict policy to only give this level of service to our most special patients.”
I had moved my car so that it was now parked under the awning of the hospital. Emmett made his way to the passenger door and began to assist Rose into the waiting car. It was a sight to see as he gingerly placed her seatbelt across her lap.
“Well, Ms. Hale, it’s now official. You’re no longer my patient. And since it’s now perfectly legal to ask this…will you do me the honor of having dinner with me?”
I decided to give them some privacy and took the long way around the car. As I rounded the back, I felt a warm hand grab my wrist.
I turned slowly to find Edward standing directly beside me.
“Yes?” It came out very breathy and I was instantly embarrassed.
“Well, I was wondering, since you were never my patient, if you would consider getting a cup of coffee in the morning with me? I have to catch a plane in the afternoon and I’d really like to sit down and get to know you a little better.”
“I’d really like that, Edward.”
“Splendid, say eight thirty?”
“Sounds great, eight thirty it is.”
He kissed my hand and gave me a smile that made my knees wobbly before calling to Emmett and they waved as they headed back inside. I slipped into the driver’s seat and Rose and I sat watching with our mouths hanging open as they walked back into the hospital, both of us thoroughly appreciating the view.
Coming or going, it was definitely a sight to behold.
Okay! Okay! Okay!
I nearly forgot to tell you about what the craziest part of my trip to Forks was. I had a connecting flight from Chicago to Seattle and during that flight they played the movie, Water for Elephants. Now mind you, I didn’t watch the movie because I couldn’t stop writing. I have to tell you that if you ever get the chance to visit Forks, do it. You have to bear in mind that if you’ve only watched the movie, it won’t make any sense. It’s a must to have read the books to understand everything. It was too cool to be surrounded by all things Twilight!
- Chapter 5
“Should have drowned her at birth,” was from Steele MagnoliasRevolving around Truvy’s Beauty Parlor in a small parish in modern-day Louisiana, STEEL MAGNOLIAS is the story of a close-knit circle of friends whose lives come together there. As the picture opens, we find Drum Eatenton shooting birds in the trees of his back yard in preparation for his daughter’s wedding reception that afternoon. Shortly thereafter, M’Lynn and Shelby (Drum’s wife and daughter) depart for Truvy’s to get their hair done for the wedding. “Just the sweetest thing,” Annelle Depuy Desoto (who may or may not be married because her marriage may not be legal) is introduced to Truvy’s customers as her new “glamour technician.” While in the chairs, the sour-tempered Ouiser Boudreaux shows up and entertains the assemblage with her barbs. It seems that the only one of the group who truly understands Ouiser is Clairee who is recently widowed and looking for a diversion. As she says, later in the picture, “If you can’t find anything good to say about anybody, come sit by me.” Filled with humor and heartbreak, these “Steel Magnolias” make us laugh and cry as the realities of their lives in tiny Chinquapin Parish unfolds.
Thanks to my beta, Dollybigmomma, for her amazing work once again!
Getting Rose home and into bed that evening proved to be quite a challenge. I wasn’t certain if it was the drugs Edward had prescribed or her future date with Emmett. Whatever the cause, she was acting like a giggling school girl. By the time I got her comfortable on the couch, she had planned her wedding and named their three kids. Honestly, I was happy for her. Rose deserved to be happy and have true joy.
I had just finished cleaning up the kitchen when the doorbell rang. Rose tried to get off the couch, but I quickly but the kibosh on her plans. I checked the peephole to see a tall dark-haired man standing on the other side. I opened the door to find a very nervous Emmett.
He apologized profusely for coming over at such a late hour, but he just had to make certain Rose was doing alright. I assured him it was very thoughtful for him to check on Rose and escorted him into the living room.
“Oh, um, Bella, before I forget, Edward didn’t get your number so I told him I would make sure you had his. He said he would meet you at the Third Street Coffee Shop in the morning.”
I smiled and took the number that was scribbled across a scrap piece of paper. I worried that Edward might be busy with patients so I decided to just send him a text.
Now you have my number. I look forward to coffee with you in the morning, is eight too early? X Bella
I had a reply from him almost instantly.
I hope my brother is behaving. I, too, look forward to coffee, and eight is perfect. Sweet dreams, Bella XO Edward
I remembered tossing and turning quite a bit that night. I remembered how I got out of bed hours before my alarm went off. I could remember accidentally putting Neosporin on my toothbrush instead of my regular toothpaste. Good times.
But by far, I remembered every single detail about the moment I watched Edward enter the coffee shop. How the room was permeated with the smell of brewed coffee and pastries. How the background music played a beautiful piano piece. Most of all, I clearly remembered the slow and yet heart-stopping smile that easily crept across Edward’s face when his eyes landed on me. I watched as he crossed the room with determination and swagger. How he confidently pulled the empty chair next to me out and with fluid perfection sat down.
“Good morning,” his accent was now riddled with roughness from what I assumed was lack of sleep.
“Good morning,” I responded.
He surprised me when he leaned forward and placed his cheek to mine and then kissed my cheek with the side of his mouth. Acting purely on adrenalin, I returned the European gesture and kissed his cheek in return.
“Have you been waiting long?” he questioned as he shifted back in his seat.
“No, not long at all.”
“Are you sure you’re okay? You sound very tired.” I didn’t want him to feel like he had to have coffee when he could have been in bed asleep.
“Oh, no, I’m fine; I have a long flight ahead of me that I’ll be able to sleep through.”
“Yes, you did mention that last night. Are you off on a long vacation?”
“No, not a vacation, it’s quite the contrary, actually. I’m actually flying to Mozambique to take over for a fellow physician who’s currently working with Doctors without Borders. His father is very ill and he needs to be with him. He has three months left in Mozambique and so I’ve volunteered to go in his place. I know if the roles were reversed, he would do the same.”
“Wow, three whole months?”
“Yes, in the middle of nowhere, with no running water or electricity.”
“I can’t imagine. I mean, I wouldn’t know how to act. I don’t even think twice when I flip on the light switch.”
“Don’t feel bad, Isabella, I’m also very guilty of taking things like running water and electricity for granted. However, to be honest, that isn’t even the worst part.”
I couldn’t imagine what could be worse than what he had just described. I began to think about hot showers and my blow dryer.
“The worst part is, I’ve recently met this incredible, beautiful woman and I won’t have any real communication with her for the duration of my stay.”
I couldn’t help myself as I began to smile. I closed my eyes as I began to chuckle.
“Can I safely assume that I’m said woman?”
“Oh, you don’t have to assume.”
Edward slowly reached across the table, placing his hand over mine. I wasted no time in threading my finger with his.
“Isabella, I have a little over an hour before I have to leave for the airport. In that hour, I want to learn as much about you as I can.”
I smiled and squeezed his hand.
“Well, first, you may call me Bella.”
“Alright, Bella, tell me everything. Tell me what makes up this extraordinary creature that’s sitting before me.”
So I told him about losing my mother at an early age and having my Nana taken from me. I told him of my passion for dance and my plans for Julliard. I watched as his face remained the same. Not a drop of pity or sorrow. I continued to tell him of how Rose and I became sisters, of my accident and change of majors. How Alice bounced into our lives. I told him each and every detail of the last twenty plus years.
“So, I have to ask, did you ever want to just say to hell with it and give up?” I remembered chuckling, and then him joining me. “What?”
“I’m sorry to laugh, Edward, but I’ve been asked that very question so many times in the last five years. I’ve wanted to give up on many things, but dancing has never been one of them.”
“You’re a very brave woman.”
“Bravery has nothing to do with it. It’s hard to describe the way I feel when I’m teaching one of my students and I watch as they lose themselves in the music as I do.”
I continued to tell him about opening the dance studio and how we wanted to offer a wide range of classes for every skill level and every age. I told him that my favorite class by far was our pole dancing class because it had three ladies that attended every week. They were the best in the class despite the fact they were all in their eighties. I told him how I made it a point to offer a class every Thursday after school for any girl or boy who wanted to dance but didn’t have the funds to pay. I even had a different professional dancer come in once a month to give lessons. Alice even got involved and started a gently-used dance gear exchange. She was always able to help girls or boys who needed shoes or clothes. I never wanted anything to get in the way of anyone’s dream of dancing.
I watched as he took in every word I spoke to him, his face changed as my story shifted gears. He laughed when I did and stayed solemn when things got heavy. However, he never removed his hand from mine. I felt many times how he would gently rub his thumb back and forth over my knuckles.
“So now that you know everything about me, tell me, what makes up this amazing man in front of me.”
Edward began to chuckle as he leaned back in his chair, his free hand rubbing the back of his neck. “Well, what exactly would you like to know first?”
I pondered that question for a few seconds. “Well, let’s start with the easy stuff.” I shifted my body toward his while resting my chin on my hand. “Okay, first question. Forgoing the whole ‘save the world’ theory, why did you choose to become a doctor?”
I could see the sparkle in his eyes as he copied my body movement.
“Well, you see, when I was twelve, my uncle Aro was a corpsman in the Navy. He would come to visit my family and he would tell my brother and me all of these amazing stories from the different battles he’d been in. He’d managed to be assigned several times to work with the Marines. Emmett and I would sit and listen to him for hours as he told us of the many men he’d saved.
“So there was this one summer that he took Emmett and me on a camping trip. We’d been hiking in the woods for about two hours when we came across two men who’d been calling out for help. We made our way to the area they were standing in to find their mate had fallen down a ravine. My uncle sprang into action and made his way down this muddy ravine and began to check this man over. I watched in amazement as he took ordinary items and began to attempt to save this total stranger’s life. It wasn’t very long before the park rangers arrived and took the man to the hospital. I knew in that very moment I wanted to be just like my uncle.”
“I’ll bet your uncle is very proud of you then.”
“Unfortunately, my uncle died a few years later, he never got to see me graduate medical school.”
“I’m so sorry to hear that. Well, okay, next question. Why do you have such a strong British accent and your brother doesn’t?”
“You’re very perceptive, and it’s an easy answer. Emmett is actually my stepbrother. My birth parents were never married. I was born in London and grew up traveling around with my mother since my father wanted nothing to do with me. We were in Chicago and I became very sick and so my mother took me to the emergency room where my dad, Carlisle, was working. They tell me it was love at first sight, and so a few weeks later, they were married. Carlisle had been married previously, but his wife had died in child birth, Emmett’s mother. “
“Wait, did you say a few weeks later that you parents were married?”
Edward’s face lit up as he leaned forward, “Oh, you heard me correctly. They met and were married in the same month.”
“Wow, that’s just…”
“They’re soul mates. After twenty years of marriage, they’re still sappy in love.”
I allowed his words to marinate for a few minutes, neither of us spoke.
“Bella, as much as I hate for this to end, I have a plane I have to catch.” He managed to move his chair closer to mine, our legs now touching. He leaned his entire body into mine, taking both of my hands into his.
“I gave my word that I’d help these people, but had I known I was going to meet you, I never would have agreed. I know that three months is a long time and I’ll totally understand if you meet someone else while I’m away. However, if you don’t, I’d like to take you to dinner. I’ll be back in Seattle at the end of May. Meet me atIl Mare on June first at seven o’clock.”
“Il Mare? Are you kidding? That’s an impossible restaurant to get into! You have to make reservations at least a year in advance.”
“Well, then I hope to see you there.”
So would you?
Review and tell me why you would or wouldn’t. Second, name the movie reference used in this chapter.
- Chapter 6
PRINCE CHARMING SYNDROME
First order of business as always is to thank my BETA for bringing me down off the ledge and getting my fingers to work again. Dollybigmomma
Second digbygirl was the first to tell me the title of the movie reference…..
The Lake House (2006
A lonely doctor who once occupied an unusual lakeside home begins exchanging love letters with its former resident, a frustrated architect. They must try to unravel the mystery behind their extraordinary romance before it’s too late.
Third is where I tell you the shocking truth that I do not own twilight or its characters. This plot however is all mine and the three voices in my head.
All movie descriptions come directly from IMOD and no copyright infringement is intended.
As far as the Lake house, if you haven’t seen it, you really should.
Emmett had quickly become a fixture in our home once Edward left for Mozambique to fulfill his obligations with Doctors without Borders. After a couple of weeks, I was no longer surprised to find him raiding the refrigerator at three o’clock in the morning. I couldn’t complain, as he always cleaned up after himself and had brought bags of food into the house on several occasions.
The surprise came about three weeks after my coffee date with Edward. I came home to find a large manila envelope lying on the bar. I traced a finger over the elegant script that formed my name and address. I made myself a cup of hot tea and settled myself in the middle of my bed. I dumped the contents of the envelope on the bed and chuckled as dozens of pictures fell out. One in particular was of Edward playing soccer with a group of children. The huge grin that was splayed across his face made me smile along with him.
The next was of Edward sitting in a circle of other men, his face this time was serious and he looked tired. The final one I examined nearly took my breath away. It was of a thin little girl who couldn’t have been more than three. She was wearing a cardboard tiara and held a stick that I was certain was her scepter. Edward was kneeling in front of her and he had one of her hands in his, kissing the back of it. I swear I could hear her giggle from here.
The final piece that lay on my bed was a neatly folded piece of paper. I slowly unfolded it and found it to be a letter addressed to me.
I realize you have no idea who I am or why I would be writing you. My name is Tanya and I am one of the nurses at the clinic here in Mozambique. I have had the privilege to work with Edward many times. Poor Edward has had to listen to me complain about all the guys who I have had to leave behind due to my job. Edward would always tell me that the right guy will find a way to work around my job. He was right of course. I’ve been seeing the same wonderful man for over a year now. Sorry, I tend to digress when I haven’t slept in a while.
In the years that I have known and worked with Edward, he has always been very dedicated to the work here. That is until this trip. I have found him on more than one occasion lost in thought. I finally confronted him the other day and that is when he told me about you. I wish you could have seen the sparkle in his eyes as he told me the story of how you two met. He went on and on about how he couldn’t stop thinking about you. He told me how he asked you to have dinner with him in June. That brings me to the reason for this letter, a letter that Edward would certainly kill me for even writing and so I ask you to keep this between us. Edward tells me you are the most beautiful woman he has ever seen and for that reason he is doubtful you will be single and waiting for him in that restaurant. I cannot emphasize to you enough that Edward is so worth waiting for.
I wanted a chance for you to meet the Edward that I know and love. I have enclosed a number of photos and I wanted to give you just a glimpse of what you could be missing out on. In the picture of Edward playing soccer, or football as he calls it, those are all boys who have been rescued from the warlords around here who go from village to village enslaving young boys. One afternoon, Edward was just kicking around a ball and one by one, those boys came to him and began playing football with him.
Next is the little girl with the crown, her name is Nieece and she is three years old. Both of her parents were killed by the warlords I told you about. She came to the clinic a very sick young girl and we discovered she has a rare form of leukemia. We didn’t have access to the kind of medicine to help save her and she died three days after this photo was taken. The day this photo was taken, she asked Edward to be her Prince Charming. You can see by the picture that she is knighting him. When Nieece died was the first time I have ever seen Edward cry. The next photo is of a tribe council meeting. Edward had to plead with the council to get them to allow work crews to dig a trench that would supply the village with clean water. He was successful and we hope to have the project finished before the rainy season begins.
I only ask, woman to woman, that you give Edward a chance. Please be at that restaurant on June 1st. It will be the best thing you ever do.
It was really a waste of time for Tanya to have written me that letter. I had every intention of having dinner with Edward. I couldn’t explain it, but I felt as if my entire world was about to change.
School was wrapping up in the area and I had received a phone call from a local cheerleading team. They had lost all of their strong members due to graduation and wanted to know if we could help them. I told them to meet me at the studio and we would sit down as a group and discuss it. I loved teaching anyone who was willing to learn and these girls made it sound like they really wanted to learn.
It was a few days later when I was reading my email that Lauren told me that the Seahawks were holding a competition for local dancers. They had been chosen as the field for the upcoming Super Bowl. The dance team would be neutral and they wanted young dancers from across the area to audition. Lauren was asking me to be a judge for the event. The idea hit me like a freight train. If the girls were truly serious about learning new dance moves, then why not try for this team? Lauren concluded the email with the best news of all. The grand prize was a twenty-five thousand dollar scholarship to the University of Washington.
As promised, all of the girls showed up on time for our meeting. The team had fifteen members and all were very excited to be in my studio. I listened as they each told me their personal story of why they wanted to improve their dancing. We discussed how much time and effort they would need to put into training. Finally, we discussed cost and they all agreed that wouldn’t be a huge problem. We decided that we would need to work five days a week for three hours per day. We would expose them to all areas of dance. We finished up and I said goodbye to each of the girls. They were all excited about the Seahawks audition.
I thought everyone had left when I heard a throat clear. There sitting in the corner of the room was Bree. Bree was the only freshman on the team. She reminded me a lot of myself. I asked her if she needed anything and she told me she was embarrassed to say anything in front of the other girls. Bree was from a single-parent home and she knew her mother would never be able to afford the additional cost of my dance classes. I smiled at her and asked her if she would be willing to instruct a Zumba class every Saturday during the time she was taking my class. The smile on her face was more than any dollar amount her mother could have ever paid. Honestly, I was so glad she agreed. Zumba was very popular, just not my favorite thing to teach, so she was really doing me a huge favor.
The girls were true to their word and they literally worked their asses off for me. It was the middle of May and we had just finished a really productive lesson. Bree was hanging around helping me clean up. She had this wonderful laugh that was absolutely contagious. Today, however, she was somber, as if she had something on her mind and so I left her alone. The girls all knew they could talk to either Rose or even Alice and myself.
“Bella, can I ask you something?”
“Absolutely, Bree. What’s up?”
She was sitting crossed-legged on the floor, toying with her dance shoe strings as if they held the key to the planet.
“What’s it like? How does it feel to be pretty?”
I was floored by her question. I had no idea what it felt like to be pretty, I had never thought of myself as such.
“Bree, why don’t you tell me, you’re one of the most beautiful people I know.”
She went on to tell me that she had a crush on a boy at her school. Apparently, he didn’t know she existed. She had seen him several times at parties and he had always ignored her.
“Bree, honey, always remember that high school boys are just practice for the game. Have fun and don’t take them seriously. If this guy doesn’t notice you, then find one who does.”
June 1st finally rolled around and I arrived at the restaurant at 6:45p.m. I slowly made my way up the elevator and to the hostess podium. I hadn’t told Rose about the date with Edward. If he failed to show up, I didn’t want it to cause any problems with her and Emmett. My heart was pounding in my chest as I cleared my throat to speak with the hostess.
“Hello, I believe you may have a reservation for Dr. Cullen?”
I held my breath as I waited for the man in the suit to find Edward’s name. I waited for him to say he had no such name listed.
“Certainly, would you follow me please?”
I was seated at a table and waited anxiously for Edward to join me.
Seven o’clock…no Edward
A quarter after seven…no Edward.
Seven thirty…still no Edward.
He wasn’t coming. Somehow, I knew he wouldn’t come. I closed my eyes and with a big sigh, fighting back tears. I gathered my purse and began to push my chair back. I needed to get out of here and let someone else have this table.
Suddenly, the bartender was placing a glass of champagne in front of me.
“I-I’m sorry, I didn’t order this,” I pointed at the glass.
“Yes, Ma’am, I’m aware. This is from the gentleman at the bar.”
I glanced over his shoulder toward the bar. The sight of Edward took my breath away. He was tanner than I remembered, but he was even more handsome. He raised his glass as if to toast me. I couldn’t help but smile at him. He smiled back and began making his way over to me.
“I’m so utterly sorry to have kept you waiting; I just couldn’t believe you were really here.”
I rose from my chair and wrapped my arms around him. His British accent seemed to have intensified in the three months he was away. Perhaps he had been around others who also spoke with a British accent. I didn’t really care as long as he kept speaking.
“I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.”
Somewhere along the way, his hand found mine and our fingers were now intertwined. Our dinner sat untouched in front of us as we continued to share what had happened during the past three months.
I told him about Bree and the audition, and he told me about sponge baths and mosquitoes the size of golf balls.
We laughed and talked for hours. Finally, he reached into his jacket pocket. I thought he was ready to pay the check and leave. He removed his cell phone and began to read what I assumed to be a text or email. He chuckled when he told me he didn’t miss the bloody cell phone.
“Um, Bella, it’s my brother, Emmett. Apparently, he and your sister are in the martini bar and want to know if we’d like to join them.”
“Edward…I didn’t tell Rose I was meeting you.”
He looked at me and began to chuckle.
“Please don’t think for one moment that I neglected to inform every bloke I know that I had a date with you.”
Honestly, I was surprised at his admission.
With his hand in the middle of my back, we made our way to the martini bar that was located two floors down. The ride in the elevator was quiet but not uncomfortable.
Edward held the door for me as we quickly made our way into the bar. Finding Rose and Emmett was effortless, as Emmett was the size of a linebacker.
The tables were all covered with white tablecloths, and a soft white candle glowed in the center of every table. As we approached, Emmett rose from the table as Edward pulled out my chair.
Rose gave me a look that clearly told me we would be talking later.
Before I could even decide what I wanted to drink, a large bottle of champagne was delivered to the table.
“Pardon me, Sir, but you’ve made an error, we’ve yet to place our order.”
God, his voice was doing things to my lady bits.
“If you will, Sir, it’s compliments of the gentleman at the bar.”
Emmett and Edward turned their attention to the very handsome man sitting at the bar.
“Son of a bitch,” Emmett swore under his breath.
The man was very handsome. His golden hair was perfectly groomed. His suit was definitely Armani. However, he quickly drifted into the shadows for me as my attention was focused on the strikingly beautiful woman attached to his arm. The couple slowly made their way to our table. It was as if time stood still for me. I would know her face anywhere.
Edward and Emmett again rose from their chairs as Edward moved to embrace the woman.
The sound of Edward’s voice brought me back to the present and I was certain I looked like a gasping fish.
“Isabella, I’d like you to meet my mother…”
“Esme Platt!” I finished for him.
I was shocked to say the least. Here stood my all-time idol. Esme Platt was by far the most graceful dancer of all time.
“Wait…what? Did…did you just say…your mother?”
- Chapter 7
I have to apologize to all of you for failing to highlight the movie quote. So this chapter I gave you guys the answer….sorry
Now I do have to say thank you to one of my reviewers who has all messages blocked, I wont say whom they are out of respect for their privacy, but thank you.
Also Happy New year to everyone!
Guess what? I still do not own twilight….
Movie quote last chapter,
“What does it feel like to be pretty?”
This is one of my favorite movies,
A mirror has two faces.
Rose and Gregory, both Columbia University professors meet when Rose’s sister answers Gregory’s “personals” ad. Several times burned, the handsome-but-boring Gregory believes that sex has ruined his life, and has deliberately set out to find and marry a woman with absolutely no sex appeal. Greg thinks he’s found what he’s looking for in Rose, a plain, plump English Lit professor who can’t compete with her gorgeous mother and sister. More out of mutual admiration and respect than love, Greg and Rose marry. Greg assumes that Rose understands that he is not interested in a sexual relationship. He’s mistaken, and their marriage is nearly destroyed when Rose tries to consummate their relationship. While Gregory is out of the country on a lecture tour, Rose diets and exercises to transform herself into a sexy siren in a last-ditch attempt to save her marriage.
Boring math professor Gregory Larkin comes completely unhinged by any thought of sex. He sets out to build a relationship with homely literature professor Rose Morgan based on a more intellectual level. They marry, but she misses the sex. While he is away on a lecture tour, she diets, exercises, and has a makeover, but that still doesn’t solve all their problems.
Relationship between two Columbia professors with frustrating personal lives for different reasons. Jeff Bridges searching for an ideal marriage and Barbara Straisand plays a woman no one finds attractive. Problems soon arise after a marriage without sex and get worse when she is transformed from an ugly duckling into a swan through diet, exercise and a make over.
PRINCE CHARMING SYNDROME
“Wait…what? Did…did you say…your mother?”
I was quite certain that I looked like a complete moron at that moment. I was just having such a hard time trying to process what had just happened. How could this even be possible? Esme Platt was Edward’s mother? My idol was…Edward’s mother.
“Dad, you do realize that you’ve made Edward and I look like cheap-ass schmucks in front of our girlfriends with the ordering of that champagne you just did, right? But thank you.”
I chose to ignore the label Emmett had just placed on Edward and my relationship. That was not to say I wasn’t hopeful, he was amazing from what I had seen, I was just not going to assume anything about the girlfriend comment.
That got my attention. Esme definitely had the mommy voice down to a fine art. She wasn’t even my mom and yet I sat up a little straighter.
“Mum, I want to introduce you to Isabella.”
Edward’s warm fingers had somehow found their way to my left arm. His touch was soft, almost feather-like, and I wanted him to continue.
Esme was exactly as I remembered her. Her grace and elegance shined all around her. The smile that lit her face was contagious and it made me instantly relax and feel as if I belonged.
“I-I’m sorry, Madam Esme, I-I…” With a deep breath, I closed my eyes and decided to quit acting like a completely mindless idiot. “I’m sorry for acting like I don’t have a single brain cell in my entire head. I’ve had the honor to watch you dance since I was a little girl in kindergarten. My ballet teacher first showed me your performance in The Nutcracker in London. I must’ve watched you dance for hours. I’d sit up in my room and try so hard to duplicate what you did so effortlessly. You echo grace and poise with each step you take. I feel as if I’m dreaming right now that you’re even sitting here in this room with me.”
I looked to Esme who had tears in her eyes. She slowly reached up and wiped them away with the tip of her finger. Not a single word was spoken, as if a spell had been cast over the entire table.
I didn’t want to have her crying and possibly leave before I had an opportunity to learn more from her. I had so many questions about how she danced.
“I remember once when I was about eleven or twelve and I came across an article where you were quoted as saying, ‘Fred Astaire may have danced on air, but Ginger Rogers did it backwards and in heels.'”
That was enough to break whatever spell had been cast as everyone began to laugh. I felt Edward’s warm hand as he slowly took my left hand that sat on my lap. The movement was so slow and fluid that I was absolutely mesmerized. I watched as his perfect pink lips ghosted over my fingertips, his thumb making slow yet deliberate passes back and forth. The look in his eyes was one I could not decipher. I knew for certain I would leave this table a different person.
“Esme, are you certain you don’t need any help with anything for Edward’s party?” Rosalie’s voice stopped Edward’s actions and returned my attention to the other occupants at the table.
“Thank you, love, but everything has just fallen into place this year. Isabella, can I look forward to you being in attendance?”
I had no idea what she was talking about. I had no doubt she could read the confusion written on my face.
“Mum, I’ve yet to formally extend the invitation.”
Honestly, I felt a little uncomfortable sitting at the table now. It was clear everyone knew what Esme was discussing and I was literally the odd one out. It was entirely possible that Edward had wanted to omit me from whatever party was being discussed; he certainly was not obligated to invite me anywhere. That thought did hurt just a little, as ridiculous as that might have been.
“My sincere apologizes, Bella. I may call you Bella, correct?”
“Thank you, I actually prefer Bella, so yes, please do.”
“Splendid. Bella, you must understand; I always forget that when our dear Edward is hollowed away at his work, he tends to forget the outside world. Clearly he’s had no contact with you and this must be the first you’ve been together since his return. Please forgive my presumption.”
“I’ll happily agree to accept your apology if you’ll agree to have lunch with me and let me pick your brain on teaching my students.”
“It’d be my honor to meet and discuss dance methods with you. However, Rose tells me that you offer an early morning yoga class at your studio. I’d like to attend if possible.”
“That’d be wonderful, I can’t wait.”
“Wonderful, then it’s all settled. And as for the party, I hope you’ll attend. It’s Edward’s birthday celebration on the 20th. It’s at his house and is going to be quite the event.”
Again, I didn’t feel really comfortable attending this party if Edward hadn’t invited me himself.
“Mum, you do realize you stole my proverbial thunder?”
“I believe it’s my privilege to request her presence.”
“I’m sorry, love, you’re correct; I was just caught up in the moment.”
The conversation suddenly shifted and to my surprise, Edward never asked me to attend his party. I remained rather quiet the rest of the evening as the conversation turned to talk of Edward’s medical interventions. I knew very few of the medical terms and so I had nothing to add to the conversation.
I glanced at my watch and noticed it was nearing ten thirty. Edward never let my hand go the entire time we sat at the table. I didn’t want to interrupt the men at the table, but I knew it was best I leave.
“Gentlemen, I’m so sorry to interrupt, but I need to head out.”
I let Edward’s hand go as I grabbed my clutch and began to slide my chair back. I had driven myself and I knew if I stayed any longer that I would not be safe to drive.
All of the men rose and Esme made her way around the table. Her hug was nearly magical as her sweet scent engulfed me.
Edward said goodbye to his family and insisted he would escort me to my car. The walk and ride in the elevator was again quiet, this time with the added presence of tension. Once we were under the awning awaiting the valet to retrieve my car, Edward finally spoke.
“Bella, I want to thank you for waiting and having dinner with me. I…um…well, I have to report back to the hospital day after tomorrow and so I’m certain they’ll assign me long shifts, so I may not get to speak with you very often, but would it…um…would it be okay if I called or texted you?” His hands rested in his pants pocket somewhat passively, and even in the poor lighting of the building’s entry, he was still the most handsome man I had ever seen.
Yet he had just given me the infamous ‘don’t call me, I’ll call you’ line. This was my first; I had witnessed Rose and Alice do this a hundred times, but I was always the one to feel sorry for the guy. Tightness in my chest began to spread and I could feel the tears begin to form behind my eyes. Never let them see you sweat came to mind and I straightened my shoulders and stood tall before I spoke.
“I had a really nice time, Edward, and I’m so happy to know that you made it back safely. I completely understand the whole issue of a crazy schedule as I own one of those myself. It was good to see you again and it would be fine if you called or texted me, that would be nice.”
And so with the best fake smile I could muster, I slid into my car and with a friendly wave and a heavy heart, I said goodbye.
I made it all of three blocks before I let the tears fall.
I didn’t sleep for shit that night. I just couldn’t figure Edward out. I thought we’d had an amazing connection throughout dinner, but then during drinks he must have changed his mind. That had to be it as he chose not to invite me to his party.
I was the first to arrive at the studio today. I needed loud, angry music and a good hard work-out. I was angry at myself for even being upset about this situation. This was why I had originally written that list describing my perfect man in the first place. If I had made certain he fit every single one of the items on that list, I wouldn’t be feeling this way…pissed.
I made my way past the front desk to the end of the hall where we had a small room that wasn’t really big enough for a dance class. I had insisted we go ahead and install a mirror and a bar in there. Today I was glad I had won that argument.
This morning I had dress in black yoga pants and a black razor tank. I had my light blue warm-up jacket on and had just thrown on my dance snickers.
I knew if I didn’t warm up my legs, I would pay for it for days, so I set aside my anger for a few minutes and slowly warmed up. Then I hit play on the iPod and let Rob Zombie scream at me.
Dead, I am the one, Exterminating son
Slipping through the trees, strangling the breeze
Dead, I am the sky, watching angels cry
While they slowly turn, conquering the worm
Dig through the ditches,
And burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my Dragula
Today there was no rhyme or reason to my dance moves. I was certain I looked like a washed-up Flashdance extra. An hour later and covered in sweat, I did feel better. With my mind unable to do anything but relax, I was able to process the situation with Edward. I would like to say that I blamed Tanya and her letter and photos for getting my hopes up, but she was just passing along what she thought she knew. Perhaps during the last part of his trip, he’d had time to decide that he didn’t want anything more than friendship with me. Why was I so angry and upset at this? My list did exactly what it was designed to do; it gave me guideline to follow so that I wouldn’t end up broken like Jessica.
With a new resolve, I left the room and headed back to the front desk. Rose taught the yoga class followed by a pole dance class. I would step in and clean the room and get the poles ready while she took a break.
When I entered the large studio, I found that it was already set up. Rose even had the dance floor lights on. She loved teaching this class and she was honestly really good at it. I made my way to the front of our building and could hear laughter. I rounded the corner to find Rose, Esme, and surprisingly, Jessica.
“Oh, Bella, you’re here!” Esme exclaimed as she moved toward me, wrapping her arms around me in a tight hug.
Even covered in sweat, Esme was the picture of beauty with her hair pulled back into a tight bun. Her dance clothes fit her like a glove.
“Bella, my love, only a mum would tell you this, darling, but you look like something the cat dragged in.”
Funny, an hour ago that was just how I felt.
“Well, it seems Rose and Emmett were the only ones who got a good nights’ sleep. My poor tea kettle got much the work-out last night. Edward doesn’t look any better than you I’m afraid, my dear.”
It felt like that moment when you walk into a room in the middle of a conversation where what you heard sounded really bad, but if you had heard the sentence before, it was totally innocent.
“Oh, my god, would you look at that…”
I had almost forgotten that Jessica was even in the room. I turned my attention in her direction and followed her gap-mouthed gaze.
Our studio front was much like any typical business in that it had one solid wall of ceiling-to-floor windows with the door in the middle, but our door was deliberately set to one side, offering a clear view. And what a view it was.
Standing in the parking lot was Edward, Emmett, and Carlisle. Edward was walking away from the adjoining building that housed Jake’s gym. He had on black basketball shorts that were hanging low on his hips, and his wife-beater was in the process of being pulled over his head. When he reached the classic white car the other guys were standing beside, he turned around.
Have you ever watched that Diet Coke commercial? You know the one, where the office ladies are all running around whispering, “It’s eleven thirty,” and you see them all pass by the receptionist, and then suddenly they’re all sitting in front of a large window when a set of scaffolding appears and behold, there’s this big muscle-bound hunky beefcake of a guy who has removed his shirt and is chugging back a Diet Coke, and the guy has muscles from here to tomorrow afternoon and simply gorgeous?
Oh, yeah, that one…
Well, when Edward turned around, I literally moaned. He made Mr. Diet Coke break guy look scrawny. His was ripped and cut!
He casually leaned back on the white car with his left knee bent and his shoe resting on the front bumper. I watched as sweat ran down his chest and I wanted so badly to go over and lick off each and every line of sweat…oh, god, who in their right mind licks sweat?
But god help me, I wanted to so bad. I watched as he raised his hand and ran it through his hair several times, spreading the sweaty strands as he passed. Was it insane to be jealous of a person’s hand?
Suddenly, he stood up straight and threw the wife-beater back on and I nearly ran outside screaming, “No! No! No! Take it back off!”
Even with his shirt back on, he was so goddamn handsome. I continued to stare at the Cambridge lettering splashed across his finely-chiseled chest.
“Are you macking on the car or the guy? Because I’d highly recommend you say you’re in lust with the white Mustang,” Rose warned Jessica.
Oh, thank you, Rose, for bringing me back to earth.
“And what if I say the guy?” Jessica said still drooling at the view before us.
“Then I’d have to take you over my knee, young lady,” Esme said sternly. “You see, the very handsome blond gentleman is my husband, and the dashing young men are my sons who have their hearts currently given to two beautiful young women.”
A rational person who had just listened to Esme utter that very lovely compliment about the men in her life would have reacted with, “Oh, who is your son in love with?” However, my brain was now going ninety miles an hour with Rose’s earlier comment.
“Um, Rose, did you say something about a white horse?”
Every head now turned in my direction. I heard the chime of the alarm on the door and turned my attention back to see the three men had now entered the room.
Emmett made a b-line for Rose, quickly scooping her up and spinning her around the room while covering her face in quick kisses. She giggled like a school girl. Esme and Carlisle were no better.
“Hello there, my name is Jessica and you are…?” Jessica purred, sidling up to Edward and trying to look seductive.
Poor Edward truly looked annoyed at the sound of Jessica’s voice. He took two steps backwards as she approached him more closely.
“Edward, is that your Mustang parked out there?” I asked.
“Oh, yes, it is. I just finished it actually.”
“Yeah, Emmett told me all about it,” Rose smiled appreciatively. “Bella, Edward here has been restoring the very first car he ever owned, a 1966 Mustang convertible.”
“Yes, well, it’s definitely been a work in progress. I found her sitting in a scrapyard. She was just a shell and I just felt so drawn to her. It’s taken me since I was seventeen to get her put back together.”
“So when are you going to let me take her for a spin?” Rosalie questioned grinning mischievously.
“Just kidding, Edward, I understand your love of cars. It’s your baby.”
“Mom, can we get some breakfast? I am so hungry,” Emmett said rubbing his stomach.
“Emmett, you’re always hungry, too bad these girls have to work or we could head over to Edward’s and he could show off his cooking skills.”
“Mum…” Edward’s voice was somewhere between embarrassment and a warning.
“Hey, how about Saturday? Rose, you’ve got to see Edward flip pancakes, he’s just as good as those guys at Benihana’s.”
“Emmett, that’s a famous idea! Edward, dear, are you free on Saturday?”
“I’ll have to check my schedule tomorrow. Bella, would you be free on Saturday?”
My brain was now trying to process everything. This was bad…
I did the best I could to rein in the overwhelming need to faint.
“Um, yes…I think I’m free.”
“I was also wondering, Bella, if you’re free for lunch today? I know neither one of us ate at dinner last night and so if you could manage to get away…”
“That sounds…nice. Is noon okay with you?”
“Noon it is.”
The diet coke commercial is real, it’s on you tube. I simply typed “diet coke muscle commercial” and it came right up. Check it out if you want an “Oh My” moment.
- Chapter 8
Thank you to every one who has reviewed and also every one who has placed this story on their favorites. It means the world to me.
A huge thank you always goes to my beta bigdollymomma.
Everyone on the planet knows I don’t own twilight no matter how many times I asked Santa for it….idiot!
PRINCE CHARMING SYNDROME
I didn’t have time to dwell on the fact that the more I knew about Edward, the more attributes he had that matched my list. Esme ended up staying for the pole dancing class and couldn’t quit chuckling about our two older ladies that also took the class. Once they were finished, it was nearly ten o’clock. I was fully expecting Esme to bid us goodbye and be on her way, but she had other plans.
She firmly yet politely told me to go grab my ballet shoes. I didn’t argue as this would truly be a dream come true. Once I had my old shoes in hand, I had her follow me to the classroom I had used earlier to blow off steam and clear my mind.
Once we had the door closed, she surprised me once again when she instructed me to have a seat on the floor and keep my shoes in my hands. I complied without question and sat down cross-legged against the mirror.
“I want to talk with you, dear; not as Edward’s mother, but as a friend.”
As she spoke, she grasped the bar in her hands and began to stretch. It was the same stretching moves I had done all of the years I had studied ballet.
“You, of course, aren’t obligated to answer any of my questions, but I think you may feel comfortable with me.”
She never looked in my direction as she continued to stretch. She was right; I didn’t have to answer any of her questions, but I knew that I could and she wouldn’t judge me or even breathe a word that was spoken in this room.
“I noticed the scars you have on your leg last night at the bar. I’ll tell you that I did question my son on what had happened and he told me of your horrific accident. I hope that was alright.”
I simply nodded.
“Well, then I guess my next question is what’s holding you back? Before you answer, I watched you fall back into yourself when my git of a son didn’t use the manners I’ve pounded into him at the table last night. It was extremely rude for those men to talk shop. I assure you they all received an ear full when I got them home last evening.”
I began to put my shoes on. I knew without a single doubt that I would be answering all of her questions. And so with my shoes secured in place I began to mimic her stretches.
“I don’t know if I’m holding back, per se. I suppose it’s more of being cautious.”
I began to tell her the whole story. I told her of my first horrific date my junior year of high school and how I had watched the movie afterwards and developed my own Prince Charming list. In all of these years, I had never shared this information with anyone. The words came easily for me. I didn’t have to look in her eyes, I just kept dancing. I spoke of the feelings I had after the accident and my realization that my Julliard dream was over. How I had fooled myself that dancing was over for me. Dancing was my passion, one that I would never be able to stop.
“So, Bella, if I understand you correctly, you’ve never had a relationship with a young man that left you with a broken heart.”
“You’ve created this list to keep from feeling the pain of first love that didn’t last.”
“Something you have yet to feel.”
“Let me ask you this. The first time after your accident when you put on those shoes you have on now, did it feel good or did it hurt?”
“Well, dancing grounds me. I forget everything around me and I feel free. I’ll always want that feeling. When I first got the okay from my doctors to do small dance steps, it hurt.”
“Did you give up due to the pain?”
“Clearly not…we’re here aren’t we?”
“What if you had a student who developed a blister the first time she put her shoes on, would you tell her to give up.”
“That’s silly, Esme, blisters are part of getting used to the shoes.”
She didn’t comment; she didn’t have to.
“So are you saying I should throw out my list and just see what happens?”
“Oh, no, my love, every woman should have standards. Let me ask you, though; can I hear your list?”
“Okay. Well, first, he must be a hero; he must give freely. Second, he must love music, since I love dance so much. Third, he must ride in on a white horse and save me. Fourth, he must be able to flip pancakes. Fifth, he must be generous and caring. Sixth, his favorite shape must be a cross. Seventh, he must be pure of heart; I would be his first true love. Eighth, he must have a British accent. And finally, he must be a virgin.”
We were both quiet for several minutes, just the sound of the music coming through the speakers. We continued to dance in sync with each other.
After another half hour or so, our steps began to taper off. I hadn’t even realized that I had just danced with the most amazing dancer I knew. I couldn’t help the smile that was now residing on my face. It seemed Esme knew me better than I knew myself.
“Bella, I believe that you’ll find a majority of the items on your list in my Edward. I will add that I have no idea whether he’s still a virgin or not. I can only say that during the time he and Emmett were growing up, Emmett was the one with the revolving door of young pretty girls. Edward had other interests, those interests I’ll allow you to discover on your own.”
A knocking at the door brought our conversation to a halt. I called for the person on the other side of the door to enter. And there he was; the very subject of our discussion.
“I apologize for interrupting, but the young lady at the front said this wasn’t a lesson and that I could just come in.”
“Oh, no, we actually just finished,” I smiled as I began to remove my shoes. Part of me felt sorrow as my dream was ending.
“Edward, dear, did you bring your car?”
“Yes, Mum, why do you ask?”
“Well, see there, Bella, he’s riding up on his white horse and rescuing you, even if it’s only from answering any more of my questions.”
The look of confusion was actually quite cute on his face. Esme and I broke into laughter that would rival a school girl.
Edward took me to a hole-in the-wall British pub about six blocks away. I had no idea it was even there. As we walked inside, the sounds of glasses clanking and men’s laughter filtered through the door. Edward ushered us to a small table in the back of the restaurant, far away from the noisy bar. The men that sat there paid us little attention and for that I was grateful.
We had barely taken our seats when the young bartender made his way to the table. His accent was much more pronounced than Edward’s or even Esme’s and I found myself struggling to understand what he was saying. I ordered hot tea and Edward ordered a pint of Newcastle ale. Once the bartender left us to look over the menu, Edward broke the silence.
“I have to ask, what was my mum interrogating you about?”
I had to giggle at his question. I looked into his beautiful green eyes before I spoke. “It wasn’t really like that. She actually helped me work out some issues I was having. She’s pretty great you know.”
His eyes never left mine as he chuckled and then took a drink of his beer.
“This I’m very aware of. I actually had some issues she helped me work out as well.”
I began to look over the menu at this point. I hadn’t eaten since lunch yesterday and I was very hungry.
“Bangers and mash? Blood pudding?”
I was certain Edward was getting a good laugh at my utter shock at the choices in food.
“I’d say bangers and mash for you, it’s simply sausage and mashed potatoes. It’s really good, actually.”
So when bar guy came back, I ordered bangers and mash and Edward went with fish and chips. He promised me he would share if I didn’t like the sausage.
“Bella, I really need to tell you a few things and hopefully when I’m finished, you won’t think I’m completely mental.”
“I promise to listen and if I feel you have the need of professional help, I have Emmett on speed dial.”
We both laughed and settled further into our seats. I had placed my arms on the table with both of my hand resting under my chin. Edward had other ideas, though, as he took both of my hand and intertwined them with his. His hands were so soft and warm. His long fingers played gently with my small fingers. It was comforting and I found that I wanted to always have him touching me.
“I owe you an apology; it was rude of me to ignore you last night during drinks.” I didn’t say a single word as I continued to watch him play with my fingers. “I want you to know that I was so surprised and so glad when I saw you sitting in that restaurant last evening. Honestly, I sat at that bar and watched you come through the door. I was helpless to even stand and go to that table and join you. I watched as you would smile at the patrons around you and how you would move the silverware around as if you were as nervous as I was. It wasn’t until I knew you were about to leave that I came to my senses. “
At this point, his fingers quit playing with mine and I looked up to his eyes and found his green one fixed on my brown ones. The room full of people faded away at that moment and I was afraid to even breathe, afraid the moment would dissipate as quickly as it came.
“Bella, I want you to come to my birthday party…actually, you’re the only one I want to come. Since I was a little boy, my mum has thrown these huge events at our birthdays and Christmas, and don’t get me started on when we graduated. It was during those celebrations that she taught us to be generous, not only to our guests, but to those less fortunate.”
He leaned in closer as he continued. “Bella, my family, well, we have a lot of money.” He seemed uncomfortable with this. “It’s partly because of my mum’s success and my father’s income, but more importantly, it’s due to my brother’s ability to read the stock market.”
His admission hit me and I thought about the fact that he had been able to take three months off work and travel nearly across the world and then was able to shell out several hundred dollars for dinner.
“Wait, Emmett has a knack for the stock market? Emmett shocks me most days that he’ even a physician; and now to learn he can handle money…”
“Sorry, no, not Emmett, my other brother, Jasper.”
This was news to me. Emmett had never mentioned having other siblings. Then again, he did have his mouth on Rosalie’s lips most of the time.
“Jasper was adopted when he was fifteen by my parents. His mother was a prostitute and her clients beat him most days. He came into my father’s clinic barely alive one day and my mum happened to have brought in lunch for everyone. She told my father that she was going to take care of Jasper and she did.”
This certainly was news, more Cullen men…hmm.
“Jasper isn’t like Emmett and me; I guess he walks to the beat of his own drum you could say.”
I couldn’t help my curiosity as I gave him the look that clearly said to continue.
“Jasper is a tattoo artist; he owns his own shop and drives a Harley. He doesn’t exactly fit into the stereotypical country club mold. He’s an amazing guy and he would give his life for us. He just freaks the hell out of most people the first time they meet him.”
With the information I now had, I couldn’t wait to meet him.
“Sometimes, people want to get close to us so that they can have us doing something for them. I wonder sometimes if Jasper looks the way he does to weed out the people who would just use him. It’s completely unnecessary as my family is constantly giving money to people in need, such as the ones this party benefits. It may sound crazy, but we actually sell tickets to this party. All of the money we get from the ticket sales goes to help women who are in shelters.”
Wow, what more could one say.
“I wanted to be able to approach you when I had the words correct in my mind. I didn’t want you to feel like you couldn’t attend because of the money; my father actually already handled that for not only your ticket but Rose and Jasper’s new girlfriend as well. I just wanted my intentions to be clear that I want you there with me, as my…date.”
I couldn’t help myself as I began to smile. He wanted to see me again. I wasn’t getting the brush off.
“Edward, I’d love to come to your party as your date. And even if I had to buy a ticket, I’d write you a check right now.”
The look of sheer joy on his face was my undoing as I began to giggle. This had turned out to be one of the best days ever.
“Bella, I also wanted to tell you that I find you to be one of the most beautiful women I know and I want to see where this connection I have with you goes. I want more with you, I want so many, many things with you and I worry that if I tell you everything that you’ll run the other way. I have feelings for you and I want to explore these feelings and see what they are. I don’t have a ton of experience with women, but I want this, whatever it is.”
“Edward, how about I attend your party and see what it’s like to be in your world so to speak, and then we’ll revisit the subject of labeling it.”
I still needed time to process all of this. On one hand, Edward was crossing off a lot of items on my list, but then what happened when he didn’t meet one of them? How important would that be to me? Would he fill enough of them to let me forget the rest?
So I purposely omitted the movie reference from this chapter, cause I need a huge favor.
About a year ago I began to read this story and please don’t ask me the name or the author cause that is what I am about to ask you guys.
It was about Rose, Alice and Bella keep going out on dates that suck. The story actually opens up as Bella is on one of these very dates. I remember that she took her dinner home in one of those Swan shaped tin foil wrap…anyway.
They make a pack not to date anyone for a little while, I think three months or so when they go to a bar and find Edward, Emmett and Jasper working behind the bar. For some reason Bella decides to play a joke on Edward and ordered like twenty pizzas in his name and then they hid in the balcony above the bar.
Turns out the guys found it funny and they start to try to get a date with the girls. However, they have the issue of the pact. The girls ask the guys if they know how to perform the flare with the bottles. They say that they do and so the guys do this crazy flare thing which includes doing body shots off the girls.
Another thing that happens is Emmett and Jasper send gifts to Rosalie and Alice but Edward doesn’t. Bella is extremely upset and just when all is lost, a huge bouquet of roses shows up.
So my favor is to see if any of you know the name of this fiction as I cannot remember finishing it.
Thank you all for reading and I hope you enjoy!
- Chapter 9
Thank you so much for the overwhelming response I got with my story question, literally two seconds after I posted twilightaddict84 answered my question.
The answer is boycotts and barflies; it has since been pulled because it is now a published novel. You can go to Amazon and buy it.
Now this chapter is short and I am sorry.
Okay enough of my mindless jabber.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to my Beta dollybigmomma who has once again taken my ramblings and made them all pretty.
This chapter does include a movie reference and I think it will be super easy to find.
Thanks for reading…
PRINCE CHARMING SYNDROME
I returned to my studio in time to see my cheerleading students warming up. I quickly changed my shoes and began our afternoon workout. I had given them an assignment last week to each come up with some unique dance steps that we would collectively critique. I wanted their steps to be theirs, not something I taught them.
I had found that in every group of young girls, there would always be a diverse amount of personalities that were trying to develop. This group was no different. One girl in particular, Kate, had not discovered that there was a huge difference between sexy and slutty. She had slutty down to a fine art. Maybe I could have her teach a lap dance class with Rose.
Watching Kate and her…steps…almost made me feel dirty, like I was sitting in a strip club surrounded by lonely men with dollar bills stuck to their palms. After only a few more moments, I could no longer take it. I jumped to my feet and stopped the music. I had Kate show me her dance again from the beginning, and then I made some adjustments. I told her that if she wanted to be taken seriously, she had to modify the way she presented herself. Then I had an amazing idea. I told everyone to take a break as I made my way into the front office to retrieve my video camera. Once I had the camera set up, I had Kate do her routine again, and then I had her watch herself. Kate kept saying, “Oh, my god,” over and over again.
“Miss Bella, I…I…”
“Nope, now do the same routine, and this time add the adjustments I just showed you.”
Again, I videoed Kate, but this time her facial expression went from about to have an orgasm to having a ton of fun. She was smiling. Again, when she finished, I had her watch the tape.
“Kate, I really like most of your dance moves, and if the other girls like them as well, I’d like to incorporate them into your routine.”
All of the girls agreed and so we went on to the next girl. After hours of laughter, sweat, and a lot of hard work, I said goodbye to my girls. I didn’t want to think about what happened when they went off to college and I wouldn’t get to see them every day.
Once I finished cleaning up the room, I made my way to the front office. As I rounded the corner, I came face to face with Alice. She had my group of girls huddled around her, showing them different samples of costumes she wanted to make for them. Alice had been all too eager to help with uniforms. She had told me that with all of the cutbacks the school system had had to do over the years, she felt obligated to make certain the girls still looked and felt good. She was going to be making them four different uniforms with a set of matching warm-up suits. She was going to let the girls go crazy with what she termed “dazzle” as she was adding crystals and rhinestones to the warm-up suits. I was excited because the girls were excited.
Once she was finished making the girls squeal like, well…like schoolgirls, Rose and I pounced.
“Mary Alice Brandon, where have you been hiding yourself?”
It had literally been several weeks since I had even heard her shower running in the morning. I had sent her several text messages and she had always responded in very short one or two-word answers.
“Okay, the truth is that I met someone and I’m not ready for you guys to meet him yet.”
She casually laid the fabric samples on the counter and began to play with an imaginary piece of lint. Rose and I looked at each other and rolled our eyes in unison.
“Alice, I, for one, am all about being private. But, honey, we’re your family and we’ll love you no matter who you’re seeing…unless he’s a wanted fugitive or married with ten kids,” Rose promised.
This time is was mine and Alice’s turn to roll our eyes.
“Ok, ladies, I propose a junk food night. No guys allowed, and we only talk about our guys for the first twenty minutes and then no more. We’ll all send a text messages to our guys and inform them that unless there’s a true life or death emergency, they’re not to call or text.”
Alice began to argue, but was quickly cut off.
“No exceptions, I’ll grab pizza on the way home and you, Rosalie, can grab ice cream and we’ll meet at home in one hour.”
We all agreed and then walked out together. I sent Edward a text so as to show the girls that I was serious about our no-guy night.
E~ My girls and I are having a boy-free night. Please respect and call me in the AM. Sweet dreams ~B
Only a few seconds later, I got an answer from Edward.
B~ This works to my advantage I am certain. Not to fret as I have been called into the ER on a case, sweet dreams, love ~E
That night as I sat in the middle of my living room, I had an opportunity to just relax and have fun with my sisters. As we ate pizza, the thought suddenly hit me that in all likelihood, this may be one of the final evenings we would be doing this. Rose, I was almost certain, would be getting engaged soon. Alice had explained that her new guy was a wonderful man she had met when she’d ran out of gas on the expressway. She told us that it was after midnight and she was prepared to just sit and wait until dawn as she had let her cell phone die.
Her new guy pulled up alongside of her and told her to keep her doors locked as he pulled out his ID. She said he asked her what was wrong and then took off. About fifteen minutes later, he returned with some gas for her tank and then told her he wanted to follow her to the gas station to make sure she got a full tank. Once she arrived at the gas station, he came to her car and began filling up her tank. At this point, she felt safe enough to get out of the car since she noticed there were three police cars in the parking lot. He introduced himself and shook her hand. She said that time seemed to stand still as her hand rested in his. Next thing she knew, he was placing a kiss on the back of her hand. He finished filling up her car and then refused to let her pay. He gave her a business card and said if she really wanted to thank him, she would come by his office and have coffee with him. He told her to go home and Google him. She did and found he was a local business owner. The next morning, she went to the coffee shop and grabbed coffee and pastries and then went to his office.
She said it was barely eight o’clock in the morning and yet every single person who worked there already knew who she was. They sat and talked for several hours and then he took her to lunch. She said it was like a fairytale come true when he asked her permission to kiss her. The look on her face when she described the kiss was enough that it didn’t matter what her fears were about us meeting him, we would love anyone who did that for Alice.
I awoke around three o’clock in the morning to hear giggling coming from Alice’s room. I slowly crept into the hallway to see if I could tell if she had someone in her room. As I stood outside her door listening, I felt a twinge of jealously as she was so happy right now.
“No, baby, you hang up first,” I heard followed by giggles
“No, I love you more…”
Oh, god, I was going to be sick. I knew she was on the phone, and since it was clearly after midnight, she hadn’t broken any rules. I quickly crept back to bed and was asleep before my head hit the pillow.
The next morning, we all left the house at the same time. We decided to grab breakfast at the diner down the street from the studio. We were all extremely quiet considering the conversation last night. We paid our bill and made our way back to the studio.
As I pulled in, I noticed a delivery truck parked outside of my office. Rose had already unlocked the door and the delivery guy was getting into his truck. He smiled and waved as he exited the parking lot. Once I was inside the building, I noticed a huge vase full of Gerbera daisies. They were so pretty as they sat on the desk, their white petals highlighting the dark center. I had always loved this type of daisies.
“Someone made an impression,” Rosalie’s sing-song voice came from the back.
I quickly crossed the floor and dropped my bag. I couldn’t quit smiling as I removed the card from the plastic stick.
I only hope that you’re smiling as big as I am right now. I have always thought that the daisy is the happiest flower and you, love, make me very happy.
Okay, in my defense, what I did next was a very rational and highly girlie move. I did the happy dance and, um, yeah, I squealed. I could not imagine being any happier than I was at that moment. Little did I know it was going to get so much better.
As quickly as I could, I fell to my knees and dug through my bag for my cell phone. I had no idea if Edward had worked late last night, and if so, I didn’t want to wake him. Okay, so yes, I did want to hear his voice.
E~ Do you have any idea how much I adore you right now? You’re so wonderful and I’m so happy it should be illegal. Thank you for the flowers, they’re almost as amazing as you ~B
I didn’t have enough time to put my phone back in my purse before it began to ring. The caller ID read Edward.
“Hello, Dr. Wonderful!” Yes, my voice was giddy…sue me.
“Hello, my lovely, I take it you got my gift.” His voice was like melted butter.
“You have no idea how happy you made me with these beautiful flowers.”
“Oh, Bella, you’re more than welcome, although I’m pretty happy myself right now.”
“Could you get any more perfect?”
“Oh, my sweet girl, I haven’t even begun to spoil you. Although you have some very curious nurses here at the hospital. They kept after me last night as to why I had such a big smile on my face.”
“Oh, really, Dr. Cullen? And just what did you tell them?”
“I simply told them I finally found the girl of my dreams.”
I gasped as I took in his words. I knew Edward was a dream come true, and he felt the same way for me.
Edward and I constantly texted back and forth for the next several days since we didn’t get to see each other very much due to his work schedule. We did get to meet briefly several times for coffee and talk about our day. As the day of Edward’s party grew closer, I became increasingly nervous. We had decided to discuss our relationship after his party. I knew that I didn’t need to attend his party to know that I wanted to be in a serious relationship with him.
Edward was very specific about how I was to arrive at his house. I thought he was being a little dramatic, but didn’t voice that to him. Emmett would come and escort both Rose and myself. Once we arrived, he wanted to give me a tour. That was as much as I knew; again, a little dramatic.
The big day had finally arrived, and by the time I stepped foot back in my home, I hoped to have a new title, Edward Cullen’s girlfriend.
- Chapter 10
Thank you to everyone who has placed this story on alerts. I am amazed everyday that you are actually reading my crazy ramblings.
We all know the story is mine but Dollybigmomma is solely responsible for it making any sense at all. Girl you are amazing and I can never thank you enough.
Last chapters movie reference was most likely the easiest one I have ever done. As you all know it is from the movie you’ve got mail. I just love that movie
Two business rivals hate each other at the office but fall in love over the internet. Starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan
Stephanie still owns those wonderful characters they just bug me to death to let them pretend.
Now for this chapter, it was so long and there is so much that is happening that I had to break it into two chapters. I wasn’t evil and I avoided any cliff hangers…you welcome.
PRINCE CHARMING SYNDROME
Emmett arrived with Rosalie just as he said he would. Rosalie had been spending more and more nights over at his house. I shouldn’t have been surprised when he pulled up in a Hummer. For a guy as big as Emmett, it just made sense.
Emmett, being the gentleman that he was, helped me maneuver into the back seat. I had chosen to wear a pretty yellow sheath dress with a white shrug. It was simple, but I didn’t think shorts and a tank top would look right.
Emmett held Rosalie’s hand the entire ride, resting on the console. I wasn’t certain exactly where Edward lived, but the houses seemed to get bigger and bigger the further Emmett drove. The car began to slow as I noticed a very long line of cars in front of us. I didn’t say a word as Emmett went into the left-hand lane and sped past the line of cars. After what seemed like forever, we finally passed the line which ended at a driveway that housed a huge set of iron gates. The gates appeared to have a guard shack and it was clearly manned with several security officers. Not long after, I noticed several more security officers along the side of the road. Emmett slowed to a stop as one of them approached the car.
“Afternoon, Mr. Cullen,” the man nodded his head at Emmett. He had dark sunglasses and a ball cap on his head. Once he was directly beside Emmett’s window, I noticed he had an earpiece in his left ear.
“Carl, how are things?”
“I’m certain they’re about to get better. Is this her?” the security officer motioned in my direction.
“Yes, it is. Carl, this is Bella.”
I noticed that another set of iron gates were located several yards down the street we were currently beside. I watched as Carl pressed what looked to be a remote while he spoke into the mouthpiece located on his wrist. And just like that, the iron gates opened. At the time, I was too overwhelmed to notice that located at the top of the arch that hung over the swinging gates was a cross.
Emmett began driving down the winding street that was lined with trees covered in Spanish moss. It was like a scene from Gone with the Wind. As we rounded the last curve, the house finally came into view. It was breathtaking. It was by far the most beautiful houseI had ever laid eyes on. The entire front of the house was covered in sandstone. It looked more like a castle than a house. As we got closer, I noticed that the line of cars we had passed were once again lining up under the awning of the house. This time, in addition to security, half a dozen valets were parking cars. I thought for certain we would have to sit in the long line.
However, Emmett began to shift the car again and suddenly we were driving on the grass and heading around the side of the house, the security guards directing us and not allowing any other cars to follow us. As we rounded the side of the house, I noticed Emmett press a button on the rearview mirror and one of the four garage doors began to open. Emmett quickly and skillfully parked the Hummer inside the garage. Once we exited the car, we walked toward to door to the house, passing several cars. The garage was double-sided and had another set of garage doors on the opposite wall. The garage housed eight cars; I couldn’t tell you what all eight were, but I did smile as we walked past Edward’s white mustang.
Once inside the house, it appeared that the door had opened into a hallway. Inside, there stood three men dressed all in black. The largest man approached us as we entered.
“I have her,” he quickly spoke into the microphone located on his wrist. I began to feel like the president was here or something.
The security guard moved to my left and Emmett was at my right as they escorted me down the hall. I tried to look around the house as we walked, but there was simply too much going on. People were walking around talking on cell phones; waiters were carrying drinks on trays. I could hear the sound of a base somewhere toward the back of the house.
We continued down the hall until we came upon a set of double doors. This time there were two security guards standing outside, blocking our path. Once we were standing directly in front of the door, the men turned the handles at the same time.
I wasn’t prepared for what I found behind that door. I was thankful I had two very big men on both sides of me. I noticed Edward making his way toward me and I tried to concentrate on the site of him as he walked across the room. He reminded me of a GQ model with his Khaki pants and t-shirt. His smile was my saving grace and he quickly embraced me with both of his arms. My arms went around his neck of their own accord. I closed my eyes as my nose found the crook of his neck. He smelled of soap and just plain man.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t get you myself,” his voice was barely a whisper as if it was only for me to hear.
“What is all of this, by the way?”
“I told you it was a little crazy. We always invite some pretty famous people. Like I said, I wish it was just you. But that’ll come later, I promise”.
Edward released me and as I took a look around, my panic returned. The room was enormous; the ceiling appeared to be a full two stories high. On one wall were massive windows that overlooked a huge swimming pool. Beyond the pool were several large white tents. One had tables and chairs set up under it. The next looked to have a number of bars, and the third looked to have a DJ and a stage set up. I had never seen anything like it.
On the wall to my left was a sitting area that had your typical leather couches and pool table. The television that sat opposite the couch was at least seventy inches.
That wasn’t what caused my panic. On the wall to my right from floor to ceiling were framed flags. Not just any flags, but the kind you see on the war movies, the kind that told you a hospital was near or the person wearing it was a medical professional. It was a red…cross. There had to be a hundred of them… his favorite symbol will be a cross.
This couldn’t be possible; this had to be someone else’s house.
“Edward, can I ask you something?”
“You, my beautiful girl, can ask me anything you want.”
“Whose are these?” I pointed at the flags.
I felt Edward’s arms encircle my waist as his chin rested in the crook of my neck.
“Well, when my Uncle Aro passed away, he willed everything to me. He knew I shared his passion for his collection.”
I closed my eyes and swallowed as I asked my next question. “So would you say that a cross is your favorite symbol?”
He chuckled into my ear as he gently kissed my neck. “I would say a definite yes.”
Edward let go of me as he made his way over to the wall. He pointed at one of the flags that hung nearly in the middle of the wall. A gold plaque was at the bottom, but I was too far away to read what it said. “This is my favorite one. This was used in the movie version of MASH. My Uncle once told me that the red cross is a universal symbol of medicine.
“When I was a little boy, he would tell me his stories of when he was a medic on the field. When I built this house, I told my builder that I had two rooms that I would not compromise on; this room to house this collection and one other.”
He crossed the room again and took my hand in his. He led me to a door that I hadn’t even noticed until now. Just as he reached for the door handle, he turned to me and said, “Close your eyes for me, I think you’ll love this.”
I did as he asked and closed my eyes…and held my breath.
“One…two…three…open those pretty eyes for me.”
This room was darker, only a few bucket lights illuminated a grand piano that sat in the center of the room. Three walls were covered from floor to ceiling with CDs. On the only wall that didn’t have CDs on it was displayed the largest stereo system I had ever seen.
“I have an enormous love of music, as you can clearly see,” he chuckled as he drew us further into the room. He led us over to the piano and raised the cover. His long fingers brushed down the keys and made soft notes come to life.
“My father plays, and I always thought it was rather romantic that he would play for my mother. She would dance around him. I can remember they would wait until they thought we were in bed and then he would start playing and she would dance around the room. After a while, he would stop and then he would dance with her.”
Edward was looking as if he was remembering them dancing as he spoke. The hint of a smile crossed his face as he continued to stare at nothing. I envied him in that moment.
“I always envisioned a love like that for myself one day. I wished for it actually.”
Esme was correct; he did seem to have a majority of the items on my list.
“Edward,” my voice was but a whisper. He turned his face to me. That far-off glow still lingered. I hated to bring him out of his warm memories. “Perhaps someday you can play for…me.”
As fate would have it, he didn’t get to respond as there was a knock and the door immediately opened, followed by the presence of a very large man.
“Sorry, Sir, but they’re ready for you and Ms. Swan.”
I wasn’t given time to question as Edward grabbed my hand once again in his. He led me back into the large room with the flags and then out through one of the large glass panels. As we walked around his enormous pool, I noticed that to my left was what appeared to be a loft area and several men dressed in black stood guard. I began to question what on earth was really going on here, why so much muscle was needed for what was to be a birthday party. A thousand thoughts ran through my mind until one very unnerving one halted itself…mafia.
Holy shit, could Edward and his family be connected to the mafia? I mean it made perfect sense. This would be a huge deal-breaker for me. There was no way in hell I would ever get involved with that. I would have to get Rose alone and tell her my suspicions. We would have to disappear, like in the witness protection program or something.
As we came across the entrance for the first tent, all thoughts of the mafia were cleared from my head. Standing not even ten feet from me was none other than Jon Bon Jovi. I didn’t even have a second to go all fan-girl when I noticed Usher getting a drink handed to him. But it didn’t stop there. The more I looked around, the more celebrities I noticed. Now all the security made sense.
The center tent was alive with drinking and dancing. Everyone was stopping and congratulating Edward on his birthday. I hadn’t noticed before that behind the three tents was this huge stage, like the kind you find at rock concerts. Edward never let my hand go for a second and made it a point to introduce me to every person who stopped him. I was on celebrity overload when we finally made our way to the bar at the back of the tent. Literally out of nowhere, a frozen drink was placed in my hand.
Next thing I knew, I was standing next to the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. Her skin was tan and flawless; her hair was wavy and curved down her back in perfect dark brown waves. Her face was so beautiful that I was certain she was a model. To this point in time, I had thought Rose was the most beautiful woman; however, she didn’t hold a candle to this woman.
“Edward!” Even her voice was beautiful and exotic, with just a hint of Spanish influence.
Before Edward could even acknowledge her or introduce her to me, she whisked him away and hugged him. Her hands were then on each side of his face as she kissed his lips. It was the first time I had ever felt like a voyeur in my life. I didn’t know how to react.
“Oh, my, where are my manners,” the woman spoke as she extended her slender hand in my direction. I noticed immediately her perfectly manicured fingernails and the ostentatious diamond ring that sat on her ring finger. “I’m Carmen, Edward’s fiancee, and you are…?”
Fiancee? As in getting married? As in betrothed? As in a hundred thousand dollar diamond on her finger? As in Isabella Swan, you’re an idiot! He was engaged? Of course he was engaged, he had never kissed me in all this time and now that I thought about it really hard, he had never even tried anything with me.
So back to the question at hand. Who was I? Very good question, Carmen. Now, I could have gone all screaming banshee and told the entire planet how he had said he wanted to see how this all played out between us, but that wasn’t me. I didn’t like to be that girl, that girl who was talked about and described as the crazy girl that Edward was nice to. So I did what I was good at and quoted another favorite line to her.
“Oh, pff, I’m only here for the food,” I said making a wave-off gesture with my hand.
I refused to make eye contact with Edward at this point. I needed to find an empty spot and get myself together. I knew on the outside I looked like the cool, calm, sweet girl. But trust me; on the inside, I looked more like Rocky Balboa about to go a few round with Apollo.
Then as if what I had just said was the fucking funniest thing ever spoken, the bitch, err Carmen, started laughing…really!
“Oh, my, Edward, I like this one.” She was laughing, like this shit was funny laughing.
“Please forgive my aunt, Bella. She always tries to get a rise out of people.”
“Oh, my goodness, I didn’t expect you to be so calm. I thought for certain you’d act like one of those girls on the talk shows and start swearing at me. Isabella, it’s a pleasure to officially meet you. I’m Carmen, Edward’s aunt. My late husband was the first to do things like this. He loved to see how people acted when they were, as he called it, squeezed.”
I got it now, she wanted to know my character, what kind of person I would be when the lights were off and no one was really watching.
“Yes, well, please call me Bella and it’s a pleasure to meet you.” Okay, it was total bullshit on my part because honestly, I did want to go all Jerry Springer on her ass, but I didn’t…yet.
Once someone else got Carmen’s attention, she politely excused herself, leaving Edward and I alone. Edward wasted no time in surrounding me in a hug and then pressed his lips beside my ear. “My mother hates Carmen; she says the woman must have been bitten by a vampire when she was twenty as she never seems to age.”
I chuckled as I snuggled further into his embrace.
I would recognize that voice anywhere. I spun around and came face to face with Alice. I had no idea she was going to be here, maybe Emmett invited her.
I noticed two things about Alice once I turned and faced her. One, she had this huge garment bag, and second, she had hold of a very handsome man’s hand.
“Hey, what are you doing here?” I questioned as I embraced her.
“It’s a party, dumbass, I was invited,” she chuckled as she hugged me back.
“Whatever, Alice, I’d like you to meet…”
“Edward, yes, I already know him, Bella.”
Okay, so now I was confused. I didn’t see Alice for like ever and still she knew who Edward was?
“Bella, I want you to meet my brother, Jasper,” Edward introduced.
I turned to follow the hand that was connected to my sister’s and came face to face with none other than the mysterious Jasper. From what I had been told, he was an odd person who knew how to play the stock market and dressed and acted funny. However, what I saw was a kind and wonderful man that had saved my sister one night on a freeway. I saw a man that made her giddy as a school girl. I didn’t care if he had two heads and ate nothing but French fries every meal, he was golden in my eyes.
I knew I shocked him when I bypassed the handshake and went straight for the hug. He smelled of cigarette smoke and warm earth and a hint of…Alice’s perfume.
“Jasper, thank you so much for helping her, she means the world to me.” I hugged him a little tighter and just before I released him, I told him, “But if you hurt her, I’ll take great pleasure in ripping those fang piercings out of your lip and shoving them up your ass…got me?”
“Yes, Ma’am, loud and clear.”
Now you all know what to do and I thank you in advance for doing it.
- Chapter 11
“I’m only here for the food” was from Ever after, a Cinderella story. This stars Drew Barrymore and Anjelica Husted. It is a really good version of the classic fair tail, if you haven’t seen…you really should.
Thank you to Dollybigmomma, I owe you more than I can ever repay. You never fail me when I send you the atrocity I call a call a chapter. You are truly my fairy god mother and make my wish come true.
A special thank you to everyone who has reviewed, it truly does give me inspiration to keep going.
PRINCE CHARMING SYNDROME
I had expected the worst when I was introduced to Jasper. I had imagined that he might have an extra eye or be missing a limb. The reality was quite the opposite. Granted, his polo shirt revealed arms covered in tattoos that began at his wrists and disappeared under the sleeves of the shirt, but he was otherwise fairly normal. Jasper was just as muscled as Edward and Emmett. His dark blonde hair was longer and did land in his line of vision. He was just as handsome as Emmett and Edward, too, with his cute dimples that matched Emmett’s. He wasn’t as tall as Edward, but not by much. The piercings on his face did nothing to distract me from checking him out…what, I was a girl.
“Alice has such nice thing to say about you, Ms. Bella. I feel as if we’re already old friends.”
I was surprised by his southern accent, as I thought he was local. It was refreshing, as even Alice from time to time would slip and say something in her “hillbilly accent” as she had titled it.
“Well, I thank you for being her knight in shining armor. Edward tells me you’re a whiz with the stock market. I may just have to have you look at my holdings.” Everyone laughed at my comment.
People were still coming up to Edward as we spoke, congratulating him on his birthday. This was an important event for him so I remained silent and simply smiled when they would interrupt.
Alice broke me away from ogling Edward as he spoke to one of the councilmen from Big Brothers and Sisters. “Bella, has Lauren spoken to you today?”
I turned my attention back to her. “No, but I didn’t bring my phone with me.” No sooner had I gotten the words out when Lauren appeared at my side. “Lauren?”
“In the flesh,” she grinned and I giggled as I threw my arms around her.
“What are you doing here?”
“Are you kidding? This is the event of the year. The dance team was asked to perform this year.” She pulled back and then looked to where Alice was standing. “I tried to get you on the phone, but Alice seemed to feel that you’d be otherwise occupied,” Lauren gestured toward Edward and then winked at me, “Not that I can blame you at all.”
I turned to look at Edward and did an internal sigh. He had a smile that could melt the coldest heart.
“Edward, I hate to do this to you, but I need to borrow Bella for a little while. I’m certain you’re aware of the events scheduled for tonight?”
“I was aware my mother had requested the team for this event,” Edward replied as he ran his hand behind and across his neck.
“Alright then. Alice, do you have everything?” Lauren asked.
With a head nod from Alice, I was grabbed by both arms and led away from the group. I turned to notice the guys watching us. Emmett adjusted himself and Edward and Jasper fist bumped.
“Would one of you crazy bitches please explain to me where we’re going?”
“We’re going to get you ready for Enrique Iglesias. He’s scheduled to perform in less than one hour and the team has been requested to dance during his performance.”
Last season, I had worked with the team on a half-time dance to the song, Tonight, performed by him. It was a popular dance hit and the crowd would really get into it. This, however, didn’t explain the need for me.
“Okay, but they don’t need me, they know the steps.”
“They don’t necessarily need you, they want you, or more accurately, Esme Cullen wants you.”
This was a surprise. I had never discussed my chorography with Esme, and furthermore, I wasn’t a member of this team.
“Wants me for what?”
“She wants you to dance with the team…for Edward.”
I threw my weight into my legs and caused all three of us to stop walking. “Wait just a minute; first, I don’t have my braces that I need for that level of dancing, and second, I don’t have my dance shoes.”
“Duh…that’s where I come in,” Alice rolled her eyes as she spoke, holding the bags she was carrying just a little bit higher. “I have everything you need, including one of the cute little outfits I made for the entire team for this event. Just wait until Eddie sees you in what I have.”
I knew I was outnumbered and outsmarted. “Fine, but I need to stretch if I’m going to do that dance.”
“Then quit stalling and let’s get going.”
The girls took me to the other side of Edwards’s house. We entered a patio door just as I heard the outcry of applause. I could faintly hear the voice of a man announce…Rhiannon. Two security officers were standing outside of the door as we entered. The room we finally settled in looked to be used as a sitting room, as a huge television hung on the wall. There were several mirrors set up around the room as well as several yoga mats on the floor. I noticed the television was showing what was going on outside, and sure enough, Rhiannon was currently performing.
Alice handed me a pair of dance shorts and a tank top. I knew this wasn’t what I would be wearing. I knew Alice better than that. I made my way over to the huge duffel bag that Alice had carried in and retrieve my ankle brace. I began to wrap my ankle up to my mid-calf in compression bandages.
As I started to stretch, I could feel the burn in the back of my thighs. I loved that feeling; it meant I was still alive and able to feel my legs. Bending over with my feet spread apart, I alternated between my left and right legs. Any dancer would tell you that you had to stretch in order to perform well. Historically, this was my favorite time to think, and this time was no different. As I continued to allow my mind to wander, the thought hit me like a freight train.
“Lauren, what’s so special about Esme Cullen that with one phone call, the team is performing in the off-season?”
Both Lauren and Alice began to laugh, along with all of the other girls who were also stretching.
“Bella, Bella, Bella…How much do you know about the owner of the Seahawks?”
I shrugged. Honestly, I knew next to nothing, only that it was a family that owned them.
“Good lord, Bella, one would think a girl would know a little more about the guy they were dating.”
“You really don’t know?”
Lauren went on to tell me that Edward and his family owned not only the team, but several sports organizations around the country. Standing in his house, I didn’t find that hard to believe.
“They’re a very influential family, Bella. When Esme said jump, I said yes, ma’am.”
“Well, Lauren, I didn’t know the family owned the team, and we aren’t dating.”
Alice rolled her eyes and then turned her back, returning to the project in her hands.
The girls were wonderful as they went through the dance routine twice with me. I was used to teaching and not dancing. I hoped I wouldn’t forget the steps or fall flat on my face.
Alice handed out the uniforms and I quickly and quietly changed into mine. I learned a long time ago that you shouldn’t argue with Alice when she had her mind set on something. She had a gift for costumes and she had never let me down in the past.
This time, however, I was questioning the length, or rather the lack thereof, of my shorts. I turned my body around and looked into the mirror to find my ass cheeks exposed by at least two inches. The halter-type top banded around my back, but only by about an inch and a half. This left my entire back and shoulders exposed.
The top was secured around my neck by three snaps and a strip of Velcro. It was blue sequined and the shorts were black spandex and tiny as hell. The only part of the outfit I liked were the boots, as they hid my brace.
“Well, she isn’t complaining,” Lauren mused to Alice.
“That’s because she hates it, but she won’t go against me,” Alice responded with a smug look on her face.
We were told we had about ten minutes left and needed to head toward the stage. The door opened and I thought it was security coming to get us, but I was wrong. It was Enrique. He was very nice and introduced himself. He took a great liking to Rose, and had whispered something into her ear. She rolled her eyes, yet smiled to his face.
We began to make our way out of the room and Rose waited for me to join her.
“Chin up, Sissy, at least this is the worst part for you.” I turned to face her, a questioning look on my face. “You know the part of the song where DJ Frank E raps his part?” I nodded my head. “Well, he’s stuck in Detroit and can’t make it, so Emmett’s going to jump up and rap his part.”
“So, what’s so bad about that?
“Think about the words, Bella…”
I had danced hundreds of times and before thousands of people, so why on earth was I so nervous now?
Kidd Rock was just starting his song, So Hott. As the driving beats rocked the room, I couldn’t help myself as I rubbed up against Rose and we began to dance. Not ten seconds later, the entire team was dancing along with us.
The cheers from the crowd brought me back to the here and now. Kidd Rock was extremely pleasant when he passed us backstage. Not surprisingly, he got two phone numbers before he left.
The game plan was to go like this.
Enrique would take the stage first due to the music, and his voice would begin almost simultaneously. We would have an eight count and then we would come on in two lines directly behind him and then cross before we got to him. The stage was a huge t-shape and we would be dancing on the top of the t.
The stage was illuminated with blue and white lights. The smoke machines were working overtime. The music began and so did the count.
Once I had made my way across the stage and found my mark, the whole world disappeared. I didn’t even look for Edward. I just let myself go.
Rose was to my right and my friend, Brandy, was to my left. There was a line in the song that basically went…if I had a type, it would be you. When he sang that part, he placed his arms around Rose and me. Acting purely on instinct, I shimmed my body down his and noticed Rose did the same thing.
Then the part that Rose had referenced came. Enrique stepped off the stage and Emmett stepped on. He came up directly behind Rose and began to grind on her while he rapped. I was having so much fun that I had completely forgotten that I was in front of a crowd. It wasn’t until I noticed Emmett giving someone in the crowd a double thumbs-up that I remembered where I was. I turned my attention and found Edward standing directly in front of me. The look on his face was unmistakable…desire.
The song finished and the crowd went wild. I was about to exit off stage when I felt a hand on my foot. I looked down to find Edward standing there with his hands outstretched upward, waiting to take me in his arms. I smiled and lowered my body until my hips were in his hands.
I was quickly whisked off and before I could get my breath, I found myself back in Edward’s home. I looked around and found myself standing in a large bedroom. The bed that sat against the far wall was huge. The four posters held up a massive wooden canopy. The large drapes that adorned each post were a rich gold fabric and had spirals embroidered into the fabric. The bedspread matched the fabric, as did the settee at the end of the bed.
Edward still had me wrapped in his arms as I looked around the room. I could feel his heart beating quickly in his chest.
“Please don’t be afraid, Bella, I only brought you here so you can change in private.”
I wasn’t certain where this was coming from so I turned my entire body to face him.
“Actually, I feel very safe when I’m with you.”
The smile that graced his face was priceless.
“I’ll just give you a moment to change. Your clothing is in the bathroom.”
He motioned to the left at the open doorway that housed the in-suite bathroom.
I took a good look around the room. From the amazing bed to the large windows that seemed to overlook the loft area I had noticed when I first came in, everything was over the top, the finest of everything. He had so much, and yet he wanted to share all that he owned.
“Edward, can I ask you one question?”
“But of course”
“If the house was on fire and you could take only one item with you, what would it be?”
I expected him to say his piano or the flags that hung on the wall downstairs, but what he said nearly made me cry.
Once I was dressed, we made our way back to the party. It wasn’t surprising that many of the guests were either drunk or well on their way. I had to laugh at a few girls who were shamelessly flirting with the guys, including Carlisle.
There wasn’t anyone performing at the moment so they had some guy playing DJ. He was really good and got the whole crowd going.
There was a group of girls that had been sitting around the pool the entire day, and each had tight little bikinis on. They were well on their way to being drunk off their asses.
One of the girls made her way to the DJ booth and began flirting with him. You could tell he had done this a time or two and was simply playing their game.
Edward had led us to a table where everyone was currently sitting. The guys hadn’t noticed the girls as they made their way over.
“Okay, ladies and gentlemen, we have a special request for the birthday boy….make it a good one, girls.”
The music started and I knew this couldn’t be good. It was My Pony by Ginuwine…amateurs. I sat back and watched as two girls each began to grind away on the guys. Poor Carlisle was about to have a heart attack and Jasper was struggling to keep from laughing. I was trying so hard to keep from laughing myself that I failed to notice that Rose and Esme had left and were now standing at the DJ booth. The music suddenly stopped and all of the drunken girls began to whine.
“Ladies, I give you credit for trying, you’ve got potential, but, babes, take lessons and learn,” Rose spoke into the microphone as Alice and Esme began to arrange four chairs in a line on the dance floor.
“Gentleman, if you please,” Rose motioned to the empty chairs.
Slowly and painfully, the four men made their way to the dance floor. I was nearly peeing my pants as I watched and tried to hide my laughter.
“Isabella,” Esme called into the microphone. “I know you’ve taken Rose’s class…front and center, Missy.”
Fuck my life!
“Now, to the young ladies that started all of this, I want you to find a seat and watch this very carefully. If you want more help, I have a class that meets several times per week.”
I watched as not only the giggly girls formed a circle, but many of the other guests did as well.
The only guy that didn’t have a girl with her hands on his shoulders was Edward. I quickly made my way over and stood behind him, placing my hands on his shoulders. I leaned over and whispered, “I’m so sorry.”
The unmistakable sound of Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard blared through the speakers. This was one of the first songs Rose used in her class. It wasn’t too risque, but it was sexual nonetheless. I straddled Edward and began to grind my hips into his. I then arched my back and ran my hands up my body to my throat. When I popped my body back up, I was sucking on my index finger and raising my entire body off of his.
I looked over and noticed the other girls were doing the exact same moves that I was. I was then able to let loose; if Esme Cullen was giving her husband a lap dance at this huge party, then I had no problem doing the same to her son.
Once the music ended, I was able to look Edward in the eyes. He hugged my body close to his and whispered in my ear, “Is that the only song you know?”
“No,” I responded out of breath.
“Do you do that on a regular basis with other guys?”
“Good, because those moves are all mine, got me?”
I didn’t have time to respond or question what he meant as the DJ announced the last performer was finally ready. Edward took my hand in his and we quickly made our way to the stage.
Usher made his way this time through the fog and began to sing DJ Got Us Falling in Love. It was a cute song and I danced with the girls while Edward continued to speak with his guests.
Once the song was over and Usher began his next song, I felt Edward wrap his arms around me as we faced the stage. You’ve Got it Bad began and Edward held me tight as I moved my body against him. I could feel his breath gliding across my cheek and I could hear him as he sang the words to me. As the song began to wind down, Edward turned me to face him. His eyes were glassed over and hooded with desire. As if in slow motion, his lips met mine. It was better than any kiss I had ever watched in any movie.
This was how my first kiss should have been. His lips were so soft, as if made from pillows. He didn’t try to lick me to death like a German Sheppard. It was warm and wonderful and filled with so much emotion. I could feel his hands as he made his way from my waist to my neck and back again.
When we finally broke for much needed air, the concert was over and workers had begun to dismantle the stage. Several guests were still wandering around drinking and eating.
“Stay with me?” Edward’s husky voice questioned. “I swear we won’t do anything you don’t want to do, but Bella, I’m just not ready to let you go yet.”
I couldn’t answer so I simply nodded yes. I wasn’t ready for sex yet, but I wasn’t ready to let him go, either.
This was where I wanted to be, wrapped safely in his arms, warm and secure, and maybe in the future, loved.
- Chapter 12
I have to take just a second and really thank dollybigmomma. I wish you guys could see the stuff I send to her that jumps all over the planet and she is able to redirect and make everything fall into place. This past week I have sent her so much and she has done her usual magic. I can never sing her praises high enough. Now I have to tell you that as I said earlier, I have been throwing her all kinds of stuff and here very soon I will be sharing with you.
Warning this chapter is the most angst this story will have. I wanted this to be fluff and I have tried to keep it that way.
Last chapter the movie line was…”If this house was on fire and you could take only one thing….
Ruby Pen was the first to review and get it correct, Leap Year, great movie, if you haven’t seen it you are missing out.
OH and before I forget, the story I couldn’t find about Edward being a porn star….
Yes well I found it and I want to share it with you guys!
Opposites attract by love2read30
PRINCE CHARMING SYNDROME
Less than thirty minutes later, I was standing under the most amazing showerhead I had ever felt. I remembered having a friend tell me she’d had one like this on vacation in Hawaii. The water seemed to come from the ceiling as if you were standing in the rain. To any avail, I loved it.
Edward had assured me that we didn’t have to do anything I wasn’t ready for. That was a very good question, what exactly was I ready for?
Once out of the shower and free from all the sweat, dirt, and extra makeup, I felt ten pounds lighter. Edward’s bathroom was just as over the top as the rest of his house. I took a big white towel off the towel warmer and wrapped it securely around my body.
I had to laugh when I looked into the mirror, as I expected it to be fogged over. However, I could feel air being forced upward from the lip of the mirror just like with the defrosters in a car. I felt like Will Smith in Independence Day when I said, “I have got to get me one of these.”
Alice had included a change of clothes as well as my favorite pajamas in my duffel bag. I would have to remember that in the future.
After I cleaned up my mess and brushed my teeth, I made my way back out into Edward’s bedroom. I tossed my bag by the door and then crossed the room and jumped on his massive bed. I laughed when the overstuffed mattress nearly swallowed me.
The opening of the bedroom door put a quick end to my playtime, as in walked Edward, freshly showered and wearing only plaid sleep pants. His hair was still wet from his shower and the towel he had used hung loosely around his neck. The low-hung pants only added to the appearance of his chiseled upper body, where I could now clearly see a light dusting of hair in the center of his broad chest. I knew he had caught me ogling as he began to flex his pectoral muscles.
I couldn’t help myself and I smiled as I looked him in the face.
“You’ll never catch me complaining when I find my girl checking me out.”
He made quick work of the distance and launched himself onto the bed beside me. The momentum caused me to be tossed into the air and my giggles to return.
“I swear I’ll never tire of hearing you laugh,” he said as his eyes now bored a hole into my very soul. He began to crawl toward me, like a lion about to strike, my giggles now a memory and my heart once again racing.
“You know, your bare chest is very distracting, Dr. Cullen,” my voice was low, almost a whisper.
“Do you really want to discuss distractions, Ms. Swan?” he asked, his face now hovering over mine, the smell of his soap and toothpaste wavering over me.
“I have no idea what you’re in reference to,” I feigned ignorance.
“Really? Then let me refresh your memory. I had to watch as my beautiful girlfriend had her delicious ass hanging above my face and I could do nothing about it.”
“I’m sorry, Edward. I didn’t think the shorts would be that short.”
Edward then moved to lie beside me while facing me, taking my hand in his. “Please, don’t apologize; I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I now have bragging rights. My girlfriend has an amazing ass.”
I took the opportunity to look into his eyes. He spoke nothing except the truth. He wasn’t embarrassed that his guests had seen my skimpy clothes. He really was going to brag about this. It also didn’t go unnoticed that he had called me his girlfriend, not complaining.
“Thank you for staying,” his voice was but a whisper as he kissed my knuckles.
“Thank you for asking. By the way, you said we would discuss having a relationship once I had a glimpse at your world.”
“Yes, I did. The question now is what do you think of my world?”
I snuggled in closer as I held back a chuckle. I didn’t want this to be a serious conversation; I just wanted to make him laugh.
“Well, honestly, I was a little taken aback at the lap dancing you received; is that a nightly event for you? I mean, I’m not sure I want my boyfriend getting felt up by anonymous girls.”
Just like I hoped, he began to laugh and then kissed my forehead. “No, lap dances are not a nightly occurrence. I was in reference to having my attention pulled in ten different directions. Can you handle that, sharing my attention?”
“Do I get to shower in your bathroom?” I questioned with a giggle.
“I’ll one up you, beautiful, I’ll shower with you to insure you have my undivided attention.”
This time it was I who got to laugh, although Edward wasn’t, he was serious. The moment was too much for me. I wanted to return to a few minutes ago when we were laughing.
“Edward, tell me something embarrassing about yourself; something no one else knows.” You could tell I had caught him off guard. His look of bewilderment saddened me. “Sorry, I’ll go first.”
Before I could say anything, he sat up in bed. “Okay, when I was a little boy, I had to go with my mother to her dance performances. I would sit backstage and watch as she and the other dancers would get ready. Looking back, I saw more naked women before I was ten than I did during college. Anyway, there was a time after Carlisle and my mom began to date that I was supposed to be asleep, but I was watching her dance in the practice room. I watched as she looked like an angel floating on air.” Edward lay back down and returned to facing me. “I never forgot that night. When I got into med school, I didn’t really have time for a girlfriend, but I still wanted a girl in my life. I had a number of casual dates, nothing serious, though, until my last semester. She turned out to be two-timing me with one of our professors. The night I found them together, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t get into another relationship with anyone who couldn’t dance like my mother.”
His eyes never left mine as he continued his story.
“That day in your studio, I watched you and my mother dance together. I watched as each of your faces mirrored the other. I watched as she would talk to you and you just took everything in. I knew then, Bella, that you were who I needed to be with.”
His admission made me gasp.
“Your turn, beautiful.”
So, I began to tell him about my list and how it came to be. I told him every single detail, from the kiss before prom to Jessica’s crying session. I told him how it frightened me when I saw his flags downstairs, and then to see his music collection. I told him how his mother told me basically to quit hiding behind a list and find out what life was really about.
When I was finished, Edward’s eyes looked heavily at the wooden canopy above us. His face looked as if he was having an internal battle about something.
“You do know I’m not a virgin, Bella?”
“I do now.”
“Does that change things for you? Can you live with all but one item on your list?”
“Actually, Edward, I’ve come to realize that even if you didn’t meet a single one of them, I would still feel the same about you. I’ve hidden behind that list my whole life. I’ve avoided the possibility of getting my heart broken because of what I saw others go through. But this feeling I have in my chest right now is honestly a feeling I don’t want to lose. So, to answer your question, yes, I can live with you not being a virgin.”
His eyes were now back to looking at me, a smile slowly forming on his glorious face.
“I won’t pressure you. If you’re saving yourself for marriage, I’ll understand if you want to wait, whether it’s a month, a year, or even ten years. I swear to you I’ll wait.” He kissed my forehead as he pulled me flush against his chest. “I can’t guarantee that I won’t be disappointed, however, as I am a man after all.”
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, the smell of his chest such a comfort.
“I’m not necessarily waiting for marriage; I just never really had the urge before.”
“So, if I walk around without my shirt on, you think you might get the urge?” he began to tickle me as he spoke his last thought. I knew he wasn’t serious.
After several minutes of comfortable silence, a muffled moaning could be heard from somewhere in another room. It sounded like a woman in the beginning stages of passion. My eyes shot open and I pulled back from Edwards’s chest.
“And that would be my fiancee, Aunt Carmen.”
I was dreaming about being massaged by wet feathers. Even in my dream, that felt off. As I began to wake up, I noticed a warm, large body pressed against me, some parts more so than others…Edward.
The events of yesterday came back to the forefront of my mind. As I became more and more coherent, I realized that the wet feather feeling was apparently Edward’s tongue and lips brushing along my neck and shoulder.
“Mmm,” I mumbled in response.
“Good morning, my love,” his voice was thick with sleep and even a hint of mischief.
I slowly turned into his embrace as he moved his kisses from my shoulder to my lips. Dear god in heaven, this man could kiss. I didn’t even care that I might have had morning breath. I just wanted him to devour me.
I whimpered helplessly as his hand trailed down my ribs, across my hips, and then rested on my butt cheek. The wake he left behind was driving me insane. As he continued to explore my mouth with his tongue and lips, his hand now forcefully drew my knee and leg up around his waist. It was at that point I noticed his very hard and pulsing erection pressing on my cloth-covered crotch.
His attention was then focused on grinding himself into my very alert core. His face was buried in my neck as he kissed, sucked, and nibbled the junction of my neck and shoulders.
I was on hormone overload and could not form a single word.
“Babe, I want you so bad,” he moaned his breathless request into my ear.
His slow yet deliberate hip action was increasing and I began to feel a tingling in my lower pelvis. I knew my orgasm was just seconds away and a large part of me wanted to throw caution to the wind and just let him take me over the edge.
However, the rational side of me knew this was a very bad idea. I wasn’t on birth control and I didn’t want my first orgasm to be from dry humping with him. Besides, I wasn’t certain he would just settle.
With a huge gulp of courage, I removed my leg from his hip and began to push him away.
“Edward, we have to stop.”
“Why?” he groaned as he continued his assault of my neck and tried to hitch my leg back over his hip.
“For one, I’m not on birth control.”
“It’s okay, I have condoms.”
The tone of his voice as he quickly dismissed my concern was enough of a push for me to move him away from me.
“It’s not okay, Edward. This is not how I pictured my first time…”
Edward was now half-sitting, half-leaning in the bed. His normally unruly hair was really messed up. His bare chest was flushed and his very prominent erection was now presenting itself from under the sheets. I turned my attention to getting out of the bed and heading for the bathroom.
“It’s not a curse, Edward, or a myth. I’m not like a fucking unicorn.”
I was angry now. Were the promises he had made last night to wait for me a lie? He had single-handedly taken my perfect morning and ruined it with his raging hormones.
Once inside the bathroom, I splashed water on my face and took several deep breaths. I didn’t want to be angry with him. I’d had high hopes for how this morning was to go. Now I just wanted to go home and forget the entire thing had happened.
I took my time getting dressed and finishing up in the bathroom. Once I was ready, I made my way out of his bathroom to find the room empty. I remembered that Edward’s bedroom was at the end of a long hall. As I made my way back downstairs, I could hear laughter.
Once I descended the stairs, I noticed the laughter was coming from the kitchen area where I had entered yesterday.
The kitchen was bigger than I remembered; I was surprised that you couldn’t tell a huge party had occurred here last night.
I noticed an empty stool at the bar beside Rose. I quickly took the seat and tried to remain hidden.
“Good morning, sweetheart, did you sleep well?” Esme didn’t let anything pass, did she?
“Just fine, thank you.”
I avoided looking at Edward. I knew it was such a kindergarten thing to do, but I was really uncomfortable right now.
“Bella, there’s coffee in the pot and tea on the bar,” Rose advised me.
“No, I really just need to get home and get my day started.”
I didn’t have to say anything else; Rose knew me better than anyone and covered for me. “Oh, shoot, today’s the deadline, isn’t it?”
“Yes, I still have a few loose strings to tie up on it before I hand it over.”
Rose stood and grabbed her bag off the floor. Emmett followed without uttering a word. The tension in the room was thick and I felt it best to leave as quickly as possible.
Esme came over and gave me a genuine hug. I hugged her back with just as much emphasis. “I’ll be calling you later, and you’d better answer, young lady,” Esme whispered into my ear.
I couldn’t respond, so I simply nodded.
As I was headed out the side door to the garage, my bag slipped off my shoulder and I had to stop and pick it up. My brace fell out and so I let the door shut. I quickly stooped down to shove my brace back into my bag and then stood and went to grab the door handle when I heard Esme’s voice.
“Young man, you want to explain to me why that girl just left without a word to you? What in the hell did you do to her last night?”
I didn’t want to hear his reply, I couldn’t. He would tell his mother that I was some sort of prude and that he never wanted to see me again, so I slipped out silently.
The ride home was quiet, and honestly, I spent the entire trip tracing over the word HUMMER that was stitched on the back of the headrest.
Thankfully, Emmett didn’t come in once he dropped us off. I didn’t stick around long enough to say anything to him. I headed to my room as soon as the front door was unlocked. It was then I was confronted with a very excited Alice.
“Well,” she dragged out, “Someone is doing the walk of shame this fine Sunday morning.”
“Save it, Alice, I’ve done absolutely nothing to be ashamed of,” I hissed as I continued past her.
Once safely behind my bedroom door, I tossed my body in the middle of my bed. I was tired, confused, and really pissed off. Had he told me the truth? Would he really wait until I was ready? He just didn’t strike me as the type of man who would say something he didn’t mean, yet his actions spoke louder than his words.
I was thankful that Rose and Alice left me alone all afternoon. I changed back into my pajamas and cocooned myself under my big fluffy comforter and watched movie after movie. It was easy to get lost in the drama that unfolded on my television screen.
It was just after five when three quick knocks sounded on my door. “Come in.”
The door slowly opened and inch by inch, the tall figure on the other side began to appear. He looked like hell with his sad face and his hair in twelve different directions. He stood in the doorway of my room with his eyes on the carpet and a brown paper bag in his hand.
“My mother told me never to let the sun set on your anger, and since it’s almost twilight, I felt the need to see you,” his voice was small, like that of a tiny boy in trouble. “I know you’re angry with me and I’m not here to change that; I’m here to, as my father puts it, grovel.”
I motioned for him to sit on the end of the bed. He tentatively sat on the very edge.
“I’m an ass. I take all the blame for this being a day from hell, well, hell for me, anyway.” His eyes were still downcast as he continued. “I’m so very sorry for my actions this morning. I told you I’d wait and first time out of the gate, I show you the total opposite.”
He sat the bag on the floor in front of him as he then turned in my direction. “You’re correct, Bella, you’re not a myth. You’re a wonderful, courageous, beautiful woman who has completely stolen my heart and soul from me.”
I refused to interrupt him.
“I consider myself to be the luckiest bloke in the world to have you. You’ve chosen not to share a part of you with any other man, and honestly, Bella, when I found out, I was so happy that I had a chance to be that man in your life. To be the one who held your hand and helped you take that step.
“When I went into my music room today, I remembered the way your laughter sounded and I nearly had a panic attack at the thought of never hearing it again; how by being a complete and total ass to you, it’s cost me never hearing that sound again. I can’t have that, Bella, I need to hear you laugh and yell at me for crazy things. I need to hear you sing in the shower and cuss at me when I snore in my sleep.”
I couldn’t help but giggle, he was so serious and I had to lighten the mood.
“You didn’t snore last night.”
“That’s because I wanted to make a good impression, so I stayed up all night and watched you sleep.”
“Tell me you’re kidding.”
“Whether you’ll give me another chance.”
“That, my Edward, depends on what you have in the bag.”
He reached down and grabbed the brown bag and then began to swing it back and forth. “I happen to have my favorite ice cream on the planet.”
“Then if you’re willing to share, you’re definitely forgiven.”
He grinned that way that made my heart speed up as he reached in and removed the white carton, followed by two spoons.
Yeah, definitely forgiven.
Ok so no movie line this chapter and I did that on purpose. I also left out what flavor of ice cream is Edwards’s favorite, I left that open for you to decide. Let’s see by a vote what flavor he brings, shoot me a review and tell me your favorite.
- Chapter 13
So this morning before I got ready to post this chapter, I ran out and got my copy of “Breaking Dawn”. I won’t give anything away when it comes to the DVD, but I will say this, as I watched a particular feature, I was reminded that Stephanie Meyers did more than write a series of books. She created a glimmer of hope. Hope that for every plain Jane girls out there, is her own personal Edward or Jacob, whom ever you personally, secretly wish for. So today, I say thank you to not only my Beta but Stephanie that you for creating these wonderful characters that I get to play with.
PRINCE CHARMING SYNDROME
Edward wasn’t kidding when he said his life was going to be crazy. I had seen very little of him since his ice cream apology. He did make it a point to call and text me every day. However, if he wasn’t at the hospital or in a meeting, he was sleeping.
My schedule wasn’t much better, as I had added extra dance classes for my dance team. The Cullen’s had for years hosted a Fourth of July party for the hospital employees. This year, however, Esme’s sister had been involved in a car accident and Esme had to fly across the country to help her. I was so glad the party was cancelled, as I was seriously tired.
I had visited my gynecologist after Edwards’s party and discussed birth control. After a very lengthy discussion, we decided the pill would work better for me instead of the shot. I felt better about being able to stop something immediately if I had to instead of waiting for it to wear off. I was lucky enough to start my period the very next day and so I had finished my first package.
Rose told me that when she took the pill, she would not take the last week of pills as they were just placebos and made to be reminder pills for you. I didn’t need a reminder and so I threw away the last week as well.
The end of August brought Esme back home with a request to have lunch with me. I was really looking forward to this as I hadn’t seen her in a long while. However, she was acting very nervous as we sat under her gazebo in her garden. I was worried that something had happened to her sister. However, she had told me before she flew back home that everything was just fine.
“Bella, love, I need to ask a favor of you.”
I loved Esme and would do anything in my power to give her anything she asked for.
“Of course, what can I do?”
“Well, I want to teach Ballet at your studio.”
I was shocked at her request; this was Esme Platt, world famous prima Ballerina. I could never afford her.
“Esme, I’d be honored to have you teach; however, I could never give you the salary you’d deserve.”
Actually, that was only the partial truth. I would admit that I was green with envy. Esme had poise and grace and she could make the clumsiest person walk a straight line. She was amazing and could teach steps that I could no longer do.
“Oh, my Bella, I don’t want to be compensated, I want to give a little of myself, teach someone else to love dance as you and I do.”
Well, I certainly couldn’t argue with that. So it was decided that she would be a guest instructor at our monthly free dance class. We routinely invited various professional dancers from various styles of dance to hold a class. Anyone could attend at no cost. This had been a huge success as most of the participants had returned to take other classes.
When it was announced that Madam Esme Platt would be teaching two classes per week, the classes filled up in seventeen minutes…yep, green with envy.
Esme pulled me to the side one afternoon and asked me what Tanya’s story was. I told her of her single parent status and that Tanya was teaching my Zumba classes just to be able to afford dance lessons. I agreed with Esme when she said she had huge potential to be a famous ballerina. Esme asked for permission to discuss with Tanya taking private lessons with her, free of charge.
Once Esme left that day, I had finally hit my wall and I began to sob. I took my phone out and called the one person who could fix this.
“Hello, love,” his husky British voice answered.
“E-E-Edward,” I sobbed into the phone.
“I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
I tossed my phone back into my bag and continued to cry. I was angry at myself for acting this way. I was throwing a tantrum like a spoiled four year old. It wasn’t long before Edward’s arms surrounded me and began rocking me back and forth.
“You have a big-assed baby for a girlfriend and you should dump her like a bad habit,” I sobbed into his chest.
“But it’s an amazing ass.” He always knew exactly what to say to make things better. “Care to tell me what has you so sad?”
I took in a deep breath and relished in his wonderful scent.
“Buy me a drink and I’ll tell you all about it.”
Later that evening, I found myself driving behind Edwards’s car. Once again, he was on his white horse to save the day. Edward instructed me to pull my car into the same space that Emmett had used the day of his party.
Once inside, he led me to the same room that I had changed in before the concert at his party. This time, however, it was filled with this huge, overstuffed couch. I sat right down in the center of it and what seem like only seconds later, my very handsome boyfriend placed a huge glass of wine in my hand. “So, what has you so upset?”
“Ugh, Edward, I’m so sorry. Your girlfriend is really being a baby right now. Honestly, I’m embarrassed to even tell you this.”
I took several large drinks of my wine before I admitted to him that I was jealous of his mother. Edward, being the wonderful man that he was, never said a single word or laughed. This should have been my first clue that he was up to something.
“So, have you spoken to my mum about your feelings?”
“Oh, no, Edward Cullen, and neither shall you. What’s said in this room remains in this room.”
“Oh, well…if you really want me to keep my mouth shut, it’ll cost you.”
“Name your price, Cullen.”
The gleam in his eye was bright enough to do brain surgery by.
“Well, I found out recently that I have a four-day weekend coming up and it just happens to be the same weekend of your birthday, and so if you want me to stay quiet, you’ll have to agree to go away with me.”
So that was how I found myself packing on a Wednesday night.
The plan was to drive the two hours to Lake Crescent; Edward had a cabin there on the lake. He had suggested that I call my dad and invite him over, but as it turned out, my dad had a workshop in Tacoma that weekend.
So as I continued to pack the comfortable clothes Edward insisted I take, I remembered that I had to pay some bills before I left.
As I made my way through the stack of bills I had, I noticed a postcard from my gynecologist that informed me that my pap smear was normal and to follow-up next year. The last envelope was also from my gynecologist and I figured it was just a bill. I had insurance so I chose to ignore it. If I would have known the importance of the information that letter held, I would have opened it first.
The drive to Edward’s cabin felt too quick as we talked about everything. We even had the past partners talk and I found out that Edward had been with four women. He assured me he had used a condom every time, but regardless, he had recently been tested and told me he had the lab reports if I wanted to see them. I told him I had started birth control and had been on it for three months. I also told him of my severe allergy to latex. He told me there were non-latex condoms on the market.
“Bella, when the time comes, if you want me to use a condom, I have no problem doing that.”
“There’s no but; I want you to feel safe.”
He was silent for several minutes.
“Bella, you need to understand that I don’t want an expiration date on us. I want a long and happy life with you.”
“So, if I insisted that you use a condom, you wouldn’t think I was just…”
“No, love, I want our first time to be magical. I trust you, and if it were just my choice, I’d want there to be nothing between us, but it isn’t just what I want.”
“So you’d be happy being my first and my last?”
“Happy, ecstatic, lucky, exhilarated…”
“Okay, okay, I get it…no condoms.”
When Edward first told me he had a cabin on the lake, I pictured a little three or four room structure. I really should have known better, as this was Edward Cullen we were talking about. His cabin was this huge two-story monstrosity. The steps that led to the front door had fall-colored plants on each side of the steps. The massive stone fireplace was what held my attention. It was so large that I swore you could stick an entire love seat in it.
Edward gave me the tour and then asked if I would like to have a drink with him down at the boat dock. The view from the dock was absolutely breathtaking. The sun was setting on the horizon and it looked as if it could fall into the water at any moment.
I melted as Edward wrapped his warm arms around me. I closed my eyes as I relaxed into his massive chest. I could feel his gentle breathing across my cheek.
“I love you.”
I quickly turned my face so that I could capture his lips with mine. I wanted him to feel the love that I had in return. I ran my left hand from his arm to the back of his neck. I wanted to hold him to me.
“I love you, too,” I spoke softly against his lips.
Edward had had the caretaker stock the kitchen with every food imaginable. Dinner consisted of steaks he had grilled, asparagus, and a salad.
Once we had cleaned up the kitchen, I went upstairs and changed into my pajamas. Once I returned, I found a plate of chocolate-covered strawberries and chilled champagne. There stood Edward in a pair of sleep pants and the Cambridge tank he wore outside of my studio.
With a huge fire blazing in the fireplace, I settled into the makeshift bed he had created out of pillows. He handed me a glass of champagne and quickly joined me as he placed me between his legs.
No words were said for several minutes as we both just drank in the moment.
“For what?” his voice whispered in my ear.
“For bringing me here, for loving me.”
His lips then captured mine. This kiss was like none he had shared with me in the past. I let him dominate the kiss and I was powerless to argue, not that I wanted to in the least. I felt the warmth from the fire and the softness of the pillows, the feel of his hands as he caressed my face and glided down my ribs, coming to rest under the swell of my breast.
His lips left my mouth and made their way to my neck, nipping, sucking, and licking. I felt his thigh slowly and deliberately pressing into my center. There would be no stopping this time. This was as perfect as I had ever imagined it. I loved Edward and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he loved me just as much.
We slowly began to remove each other’s clothes as the fire continued to crackle. Edward took his time, kissing every inch of skin he uncovered. When his mouth took in my left nipple, I thought I would lose my mind. The feel of his wet tongue as he circled the tip, alternating between sucking, licking, and gently nipping, was driving me insane with desire.
He began to place open-mouthed kisses from the center of my chest between my breasts to just above my navel. He again took my breath away when he stuck the tip of his tongue inside my belly button. With his thumbs inside the sides of my panties, he slowly and torturously lowered them past my knees and off each foot. He began to place open-mouthed kisses back up the inside of my thighs. He would lick long lines and then gently blow a cool breath over my wet skin.
He gently placed his thumb on the tip of my clit and began to draw slow circles as he nipped and probed me with his tongue. He replaced his thumb with his lips, gently sucking my clit into his mouth as his tongue flattened out and laved it firmly. When he took it between his teeth and flicked it with the tip of his tongue, I arched up off the pillows, screaming his name.
When Edward made his way back up my body, he made quick work of capturing my lips with his.
I had heard horror stories about how much pain the first time was for a woman. I expected this to be the same for me. However, he had me so worked up that I honestly never felt any pain, only the feeling of being full, and oh, did it feel good.
Edward was slow and patient, stopping to kiss me deeply several times until I was able to reach my climax. Once he joined me, he covered us with this amazingly warm furry blanket and I fell asleep wrapped in his arms.
The popping of the fire woke me in the wee hours of the morning and I in turn woke Edward, not that he complained one little bit.
The next morning, Edward woke me by running his fingers slowly and lightly along my bare back. We finally made it out of the makeshift bed in the middle of the afternoon. Once we ate lunch, Edward insisted we spend some time in the hot tub. He said it would help with any soreness I might be having. He didn’t argue when I helped him out of his swim trunks.
By the time Monday morning rolled around, we had christened his entire cabin, twice. As we began to pack the car, well, tried to pack the car, we found it very hard to keep our hand off each other.
We were about twenty minutes outside of Seattle when Edwards’s cell phone began to ring. I knew we were only minutes away from having to spend time away from each other again.
The phone call was the hospital. Apparently, there had been an explosion at the docks and a number of burn victims were pouring into the emergency room. Edwards’s father had called and asked for his help. I told Edward to drop me off at the studios.
I literally floated into the front door of my studio. I was still remembering being woken up by Edward this morning. Good god what that man could do with his tongue…
Once inside, I noticed Alice was seated behind the desk with Esme and Rose on each side of her, and she was sobbing hysterically. When she realized it was me who had walked in, she jumped from the chair and came running at me.
“Look at this shit, Bella! I can’t believe this is how they fucking tell you your whole life is about to fucking change!”
I blinked as she tossed the folded note at me. I sat my bag down and slowly opened the letter.
Miss Mary Alice Brandon,
Our records show that you were recently placed on the oral contraceptive, No-Worry 1/28. Due to an error in packaging, the manufacturer has recalled the lot number indicated below. Please check your current pill package to see if you have the effected lot number. If you do, contact our office immediately as you could potentially be pregnant.
Lot number 6001025PV
I noticed Alice and I had the same gynecologist and I suddenly remembered the letter I had received. My heart was in my throat as I took my package of pills out of my purse and turned them over and read the lot number, feeling the blood drain from my face.
Lot number 6001025PV
- Chapter 14
Thank you to everyone who has been reviewing. I have had issues trying to respond so please keep reviewing.
As always a HUGE thank you to my fantastic beta, you so rock!
PRINCE CHARMING SYNDROME
I couldn’t honestly say how I found my way home that day. I had no classes scheduled and so I chose to go home. Once inside my bedroom, I opened the discarded letter from my gynecologist’s office that sat on my desk. It was the same information Alice had gotten with the exception of the name. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. This wasn’t the time to fall apart. I wanted answers and I wanted them now. First, I sent Edward a text message. I knew he would not be able to respond right away, but he would eventually. He needed to know what was going on, I would hold nothing back from him.
Call me the second you get this, I don’t care if it’s late, I have to talk with you -B
I tossed my cell phone on my bed and then went to my computer. I Googled the name of the company and then read what had happened.
The article basically said that an error in the placement of the pills inside the packaging had occurred. Usually, the first three rows of pills contained the active pills and the last row was the placebo or the sugar pills. In the effected lot number, the order of the rows had been filled incorrectly, leaving the patient unprotected during the most fertile time of her cycle. The article continued to say that the number of packages where the error had happened were only about one in a hundred. The article continued to say that that particular lot number had had twelve thousand units made under it.
It was a little after nine when Edward called, and I could hear the exhaustion in his voice.
“Babe, I got your message, what’s wrong?”
“I’m so sorry, Edward, I need to talk to you and I can’t do it over the phone.”
“You’re scaring me a little, did I do something wrong? I mean, I thought this weekend was spectacular.”
“No, babe, you didn’t do anything wrong. Just…what I have to tell you is sensitive and I want to be with you when you hear this.”
Edward questioned if I was too upset to drive to his house. I told him I was fine and that I would meet him in an hour. He gave me the gate code and I shoved some clean clothes into a bag and headed for his house.
I was shaking like a leaf when he came in through the side door. I had chosen to sit at the bar in the kitchen. He had instructed me to make myself at home and so I had a bottle of water sitting between my hands.
Edward crossed the kitchen and took out a bottle of wine from the wine fridge.
“Red okay with you?” he questioned holding the bottle in my direction.
“No thank you.” If by chance I was currently pregnant, I knew wine wasn’t on the menu for me anymore.
Edward placed the bottle on the counter. Placing both hand down, he lowered his head before he asked his next question.
“Bella, are you breaking up with me?”
I didn’t look at him as I responded; I kept my eyes on the water inside the bottle.
“No, but you might break up with me once you hear what I have to say.”
He quickly turned in my direction and crossed the space between us.
“Did you cheat on me in the twelve hours since I left you?”
“Did you get married to someone in that time?”
“Then I highly doubt I’ll break up with you.”
I allowed myself to look directly into his beautiful green eyes as I took a deep breath and let the words fly.
“There’s a chance that I may be pregnant.”
“And…?” he encouraged me to continue.
“That’s it, that’s enough, isn’t it?”
“It’s not enough for me to break things off with you.”
Edward took my hands in his as I told him the entire story. I told him how upset Alice was and that Esme had heard everything. He didn’t try to say anything as I told him how I had gone to the website and read the article. When I was finished, he crossed the room and took his cell out of his jacket pocket. I watched as he pressed a few buttons and then held the phone to his ear.
“Page Dr. Dillon to this number please, thank you.”
He then came back to where I sat and grasped my hand. “Come with me.”
I followed him as he led me to the family room and I curled into his side as he wrapped his arms around me.
“Bella, I need to ask you a few personal questions.”
“When is your next period due to start?”
I moved my head back to look at him before I spoke. “Next Tuesday.”
Before he could ask another question, his cell began to ring.
“Bert, yes, hello, Edward Cullen here…Yes, everyone is fine. I need to pick your brain about a drug recall.”
He chuckled and tossed his head back.
“Yes, I’m certain it is.”
I watched as he looked in my direction and winked at me, placing his free hand on my knee.
“I believe the drug is No-Worry…No, I can’t imagine, either.”
I watched as Edward continued to talk to his friend. He would laugh occasionally and he would mouth that he loved me as he rubbed my knee. I was caught a little off guard that he was so calm. I mean in the words of Alice, this could be life-changing.
“Yes, Bert, give my love to your beautiful Connie. Yes, we’ll get together soon, have a good evening.” He ended his phone call and then turned in my direction. “Alright, that was one of my colleagues; he’s a gynecologist who’s been handling cases from this recall all week. He agrees that the amount of effected packages is very low and that your chances of being pregnant are low as well. Low, but not zero.”
I adjusted in my seat as my heart did settle out a little.
“Since your body has most likely ovulated, that’s why our chances are not zero.”
It didn’t go unnoticed that he said “our” and not “my” chances. Not going to lie, it made me smile.
“Now, what I’d like to do is have you come into the lab on Wednesday morning and let’s run a blood test. It’s the most accurate and we’ll have our answer.”
“Unless I start my period on Tuesday you mean.”
“No, even if you start, I want to run the test. With this drug being an issue, I want to make certain it’s your period and not what Dr. Dillon reminded me of, implantation bleeding, where the baby digs in and gets comfortable.”
He pulled my into his lap, making me straddle him as he held my face in his hands.
“Further more, this changes nothing, I love you and I want a life with you.”
I looked deep into his eyes and I knew he only spoke the truth.
“So, for now, we treat you as if you’re pregnant, no alcohol or stunt driving,” he chuckled as he said the later. “I love you, babe, and if you’re carrying my baby, I’ll love him or her also.”
Eight days never felt so long before. We agreed not to say anything to the family about the possible pregnancy. Alice had made an appointment and they had given her the same instructions that Edward had given me.
Tuesday came and went; my period, however, did not make an appearance. Edward told me it meant nothing as it could be stress keeping my period at bay. I was glad he was testing me tomorrow.
Wednesday morning finally dawned and I was still period-less. Edward wanted me to have him paged once I got to the hospital. I took a taxi because I didn’t want anyone to know where I was headed. I walked into the hospital and made my way to the receptionist desk. There were several people in line ahead of me so I decided to send him a text instead. In my hurry to sneak out of the studio, however, I had left my cell phone in my bag. So I waited for my turn in line.
There were two nurses behind the desk and I noticed they would giggle at each other after every person they helped. When it was finally my turn, I took three steps and placed my hands on the desk.
“Good morning,” I smiled. They ignored me.
“Did you see him this morning?” the blonde giggled.
“Yes, he told me he would see me later,” the dark-haired one said with a smirk.
“Oh, my god, that accent of his drives me insane,” the blonde responded. I looked at her name tag to see CLAIR written.
Finally, the dark-haired girl looked at me.
“Yes?” was her snide greeting.
“I’m here to see Edward Cullen, he asked me to have him paged, could you do that for me?”
She rolled her eyes and then looked at her friend.
“Doctor Cullen doesn’t see scheduled patients, he’s an ER doctor. You need to head over to the ER and wait to be seen.”
She then turned her attention back to her friend.
“Listen, Clair, I know Edward works in the emergency room; however; he requested me to have him paged at this entrance, so can you please do that?”
I smiled at her and then turned on my heels and took a seat by the window. I waited as I watched cars go by and people walking on the sidewalk. I noticed mothers pushing strollers with babies inside. I watched as a few daddies held children’s hands as they walked to their destination. I wondered if that would be us in a few months.
I continued to sit as I watched the minutes ticked by. Edward must have been really busy if he hadn’t answered my page in over an hour. I was about to go ask the women behind the desk to page him again when a husky voice sounded from my left.
“Bella, what are you doing down here?” Emmett questioned with a look of surprise on his face.
“I’m waiting on Edward. The nurses at the desk there had him paged, but he hasn’t responded,” I explained, trying not to show the nervousness behind my voice.
The look on Emmett’s face was now one of anger as he took my hand and approached the desk.
“Which one of you paged Edward? Don’t think about lying as I can call and have it checked.”
They simply looked at each other and not at Emmett. “That’s exactly what I thought.”
He then turned to me, “I’m so sorry, Bella, I just saw Edward, I’ll take you to him.’ He placed his large hand in the middle of my back and directed me toward which door to go in. He turned back to the two women at the desk, “Don’t think for one second you two aren’t in really big trouble; this is Edwards girl, he’ll hear about this.”
We stayed relatively quiet as Emmett escorted me through the long hallways. Men in lab coats would say hello to him and nurses would bat their eyelashes. I didn’t blame them; Emmett was a very handsome man.
We finally came to a closed wooden door. The gold nameplate read, Dr. Edward A. Cullen, MD. Emmett knocked twice and then twisted the knob to open the door. Edward was talking on the phone when we entered. He quickly looked up and a huge smile broke across his face.
“Mum, she’s here so I’ll ring you back when I know if she’s free for dinner.”
He crossed the room quickly and scooped me into his arms, peppering my face with kisses and I giggled.
“I expected you an hour ago, love. Did you have trouble getting here?”
“No, that would be the doings of the bobble-head twins at the front desk; they decided you didn’t need to be paged for Bella,” Emmett growled before I could say anything.
Edward frowned and shook his head as he grabbed my hand and led me out of the room. As we bid Emmett goodbye, Edward muttered congrats to him. I wasn’t sure what that was about, but I would ask later.
Edward’s hold on my hand felt warm and wonderful as we headed for the lab. I knew that no matter the test results, we would be fine.
Edward came to a set of glass doors that had large metal handles on them. Written in big block letters was the word LABORATORY.
Edward held the door open for me as I entered the large waiting area. Several people were sitting in the chairs watching a large flat screen TV that hung on the far wall. I expected to have to take a number from the ticket machine that hung by the front desk, but Edward led me to the wooden door that was at the end of the room.
Once inside the long hallway, I noticed several open doors with patients sitting in lab chairs. It was a very busy place. At the end of the hall sat a plump lady who had her glasses sitting on the edge of her nose. Edward approached her and she looked up.
“Oh, my, you’re here. Is it time already?” she glanced at her wristwatch as she removed her glasses with the opposite hand.
“Actually, we’re running behind a bit. Sorry, trouble downstairs,” Edward spoke as he leaned over and kissed her cheek.
“Oh, sweet boy, I don’t mind, you know that,” she replied as she brought him in for a hug.
“Shelly, I want you to meet my Bella. Bella, this is the best phlebotomist on the planet, Shelly Coop.”
I smiled as I held out my hand to her. She bypassed the handshake and brought me in for a tight hug as well.
“So, you’re the one that waited all that time for him? Good girl,” she teased.
I smiled as Edward again took my hand in his. “Yes, he was totally worth the wait,” I spoke directly to his face, and it was true; he was worth everything.
“So, Edward, we’re doing an HCG today?” Shelly spoke as she began to assemble her tools.
“Yes, and I want to wait for the results.”
Shelly began to pull clean paper down to cover the table she was standing by. “I want to lay her down; she’s so tiny that I’m afraid she may feel light-headed.”
She motioned for me to sit back and then lie down on the table. She took my right arm and placed it on the skinny piece of table that detached from the regular table. She smiled as she tied the tourniquet around my upper arm and then began running her fingers around on the inside of where my arm bent.
I looked up when I noticed Edward standing at the top of the bed. He was upside down to me, but still very handsome. I heard the paper crinkle as he lowered himself to come face to face with me. I giggled as his tie rested on my forehead.
“I love you, sweet girl,” he spoke as he kissed from my forehead down to my nose.
With a mischievous smile on his face, he moved to kiss my lips. The kiss was soft and sweet and I quickly became lost in the feel of his lips and the wonderful smell that was a combination of his aftershave and pure Edward.
I never felt the needle or when Shelly took off the tourniquet. The next thing I knew, Shelly was laughing and telling Edward, “With kisses like that, I’m surprised she hasn’t needed this test sooner.” I could feel the blush as it rose to my cheeks.
Edward slowly helped me to sit up as I could hear the centrifuge spinning my blood. Edward moved the small stool that had wheels to sit between my legs.
“Bella, this changes nothing, I still have plans for you and we’re celebrating tonight with our family, regardless of the results.”
I could only smile at him as he spoke his words to me while resting his forehead against mine, his arms wrapped around my legs and butt.
“Give me twenty minutes, Edward,” Shelly instructed him.
As I listened to the whirl of the machine, it dawned on me the conversation he and Emmett had had in his office. “Edward, why did you congratulate Emmett?”
He leaned back as he chuckled, “Well, seems that while you and I were away exploring each other at my cabin, Emmett and Rose were sitting in these very chairs.”
My eyes became huge. Edward’s smile became bigger and brighter. “Rose is pregnant,” he stated matter-of-factly.
I was trying to absorb what he had just told me. I had been so wrapped up in our issues that I never considered anyone else. My sister was going to be a mother; she would make a great mother.
“Is Emmett happy? I mean…”
“Did you not see the smile on his face? He already has names picked out.” I couldn’t help but laugh at his words.
Shelly stood beside a table, her hands covered in white gloves, her glasses again resting on her nose.
I held my breath as I watched Edward cross the room to look at the table. He kissed Shelly’s cheek and she began to clean the equipment she was using. His face was neutral and I was about to have a heart attack. He returned to his position of sitting between my knees and kissed my lips.
“Bella, the test was negative; it’s not our time yet.”
Edward again thanked Shelly and he held my hand as we exited the hospital.
Esme was having a celebration dinner for Rose and Emmett; she was thrilled to be getting her first grandchild. As we entered the house, I excused myself to use the bathroom. I couldn’t remember using it at all since I woke up and now that all the waiting was over, I realized I really had to go. Imagine my laughter when I discovered that I had started my period.
“Thank you, Lord!” I shouted as I had my confirmation that the test was indeed negative. I knew that one day I would want those results to be positive, but right now I just wanted to enjoy Edward and our time together without the complications of an unplanned pregnancy.
And enjoying him was something I planned to do liberally.
- Chapter 15
A huge thank you to everyone who is reading my dribble. I have had an awful week and I can only say that, it is a truly sad thing that the only male in my life that isn’t disappointing me is my dog. Last chapters movie line, Thank you, lord was from the movie” Where the heart is” Insangel was the first to correctly guess and thank you so much for you kind review.
We are getting close to the end, the next chapter is already with my beta extraordinaire. Who I cannot thank enough for all her hard work.
PRINCE CHARMING SYNDROME
As the celebratory dinner for Rose and Emmett progressed that night, it was apparent that more than pregnancy hormones were in the air. Unfortunately, both Edward and Jasper were receiving the short end of the deal as both Alice and I had started our periods within hours of each other. I had to apologize more than once for biting his head off. Alice was no better.
For Alice, it had been in the middle of giving the nurse a urine sample for her pregnancy test. She said her physician did the same thing as Edward and cancelled the urine test and ordered a serum test. Everyone was satisfied with the negative results, except Esme, she wanted more grandbabies to spoil.
As September continued, dance classes resumed for the beginners. Esme increased her classes by two a week so that she could have enough room to teach the little ones. I was not afraid to admit that I did feel left out a little when the little girls would have their lessons. I could only smile at my own personal memories of being in their shoes as a small child.
Edward and I attended the homecoming game at the high school. We watched my girls dance the routine they would be using at an upcoming competition. It was fun to watch the girls giggle as they would flirt and wave at Edward…couldn’t say I blamed them.
As Halloween neared, so did the dance competition my girls were preparing for. They had been putting in long hours trying to get ready. Esme and Carlisle donated the money for them to travel by chartered bus as the district had no money for the school buses to run the extra trip.
Esme and I stood in the stands as they danced their little hearts out, and I screamed so loud that I lost my voice. They got second place, but it didn’t matter, their squad had never won a single competition. We celebrated by taking the girls out for lunch.
Football season was in full swing for the professionals as well. This caused my time to again be stretched very thin. In addition to my regular classes, I now had Seahawk practice as well. Edward warned me not to work too hard and offered to take me back to the cabin after things settled down again.
Emmett wasted no time in proposing to Rose. They wanted a small wedding in Esme’s garden. Rose wanted to have it before she started to show. That brought us to what we were doing today, dress fittings. Rose wanted a particular color of dress, she didn’t care what the style we chose. Lillian, our mom, was having a fit that all of the girls wouldn’t be wearing the same dress.
“Mother, if this is such an issue for you, then don’t come,” Rose snapped as she went to try on her dress.
Rose’s grandmother was due to arrive at any moment and Lillian was on edge at the prospect of her mother’s arrival. Alice and I sat back and drank our champagne the salon provided.
Ginger, Rose’s very opinionated grandmother, finally showed.
Champagne on a mostly empty stomach wasn’t the brightest of ideas today. By the time Ginger arrived, Alice and I were in the giggle stage. Everything was funny at this point, including the floral print dress Ginger was sporting.
With the hugs and greetings behind us, Alice moved over so that Ginger could sit as well. One of the ladies that were helping Rose find a dress asked Ginger if she cared for something to drink. She looked at us and huffed when she noticed we were drinking alcohol.
“Didn’t your mother teach you any manners? Why would you drink in an establishment such as this?” she emphasized by moving her hands about the room.
“Girl, please, they’re the ones who keep filling up my glass,” I slurred, drawing out the ‘rl’ sound in girl while motioning for the nice lady to fill me up.
“I’ll have a cup of tea, good tea, Lipton if you have it,” she said a little haughtily, leaning into the lady as she spoke the later, “Lipton is the best tea you know.”
Call it too much alcohol, call it good taste, but I started to laugh. “Esme, sister here says Lipton tea is the best.”
Esme look at the three of us like we had just spit on the floor.
“What, you never had Lipton? You should try it, best on the market,” Ginger added in, gesturing with her hands.
“Yes, well, Lipton is fine for a backyard barbeque, but I prefer a good English tea myself,” Esme replied, heavy on the British accent at this point.
“Yes, well, I still prefer Lipton.”
It was a moment later that the curtain opened and a beautiful Rosalie emerged.
“Oh, my heavens,” Esme gushed.
“Rose, I-I…” Ginger tried to add, “…I cannot believe you’re going to wear white!” she shouted, setting her cup on the table in a rush, the spoon clanging to the floor. “White is for virgins, and we all know you’re no virgin.”
Everyone was now looking wide-eyed at Ginger, who had a look of disgust about her face.
“Actually, Ginger, wearing white as a bride has nothing to do with virginity. Wearing white came about during the Queen Anne reign. Wearing a white dress was a sign that you could afford a dress that would only be seen once,” Alice said while turning her entire body toward Ginger.
Ginger was speechless…for about half a second.
“And just how do you know this? Are you some sort of fashion expert?”
It was my turn to laugh. “Actually, she is.”
The day wasn’t a total disaster, though, as Rose found a dress, Ginger got her tea, and I got taken home by my very handsome doctor.
Rose had the luck of the Irish on her side as the day of her wedding arrived. It was early November and the sky was clear and the temperature outside was seventy-four degrees. Edward had rented large white tents and heaters just in case. Rose and Emmett had wanted something small and simple. However, once the mothers got a hold of the guest list, it quickly grew larger.
This was the second time in my life that I had seen my dad in a tux. Regardless, he was handsome, you couldn’t deny that.
Edward had also given his house as the bridal rooms for before the wedding, as Esme had given hers as hotel rooms.
Emmett refused to tell anyone where he was taking her on their honeymoon. I suspected it was somewhere warm so that she would be wearing as little clothes as possible.
It was my turn to walk down the aisle as Rose’s maid of honor. I nearly lost my breath when I saw Edward standing at the end beside Emmett. This wasn’t my wedding, but I could still picture Edward standing in his place, his tux tailored to fit, a white flower on his lapel, the ring to adorn his finger, announcing to the world he had promised to be mine.
I watched with the rest of the room as Rose made her way down. Quiet tears rolled down Emmett’s face as the big, muscle-bound man recited his vows to the woman of his dreams.
Rose’s hands trembled as I handed her bouquet back to her and watched as she took her first steps as Mrs. Emmett Cullen.
Come away with me, Nora Jones’ soulful voice echoed around the dance floor. My left hand was wrapped around Edward’s neck, his hand securely clasping my right. Dancing with Edward was effortless. The way he held me, like a piece of fine china, made me feel weightless. As crazy as it sounded, I felt as if I was riding on a cloud.
“Son, mind if I cut in?” my dad’s voice broke my cloud ride.
“And if I say no?” Edward’s voice was husky with just a hint of sarcasm.
“Then I would remind you that I’ve loved her longer.”
We all laughed as Edward kissed my hand and passed me to my father.
Dancing with my dad brought about a whole new feeling. I remembered that after he and Lillian had married that he would dance with her around the kitchen. I could remember thinking that someday I would dance with a man just like my father in my kitchen when I was grown up.
During the weeks after the wedding, Edward was at an all-time level of busy. I was thankful that I had so much rehearsal to attend to and didn’t have time to think about missing him.
The Super Bowl dance tryouts were absolutely crazy. I had never seen so many talented dancers in my life. Since I had several students that were trying out, I was asked to step down as judge. I gladly agreed. Not surprisingly, Tanya was the only one of my girls that made the team.
It was the first week in December when Alice and Jasper announced they were engaged. Alice wanted a huge wedding and Jasper told her to “do her thing”. She moved in with him, at his request of course, and began full steam ahead with their wedding plans. She wanted a spring wedding and to have all of her family in attendance. Jasper told her to just make sure she kept all the receipts and to spend whatever she wanted.
I was sitting in my living room on a Thursday evening when it finally hit me. I was all alone. Rose had obviously moved in with her husband, Alice was living with Jasper, and Edward was never home. Call it PMS, or the realization that I had been left behind, but the tears began to fall. That night was the first time I ever ignored a text from Edward.
Sleep never came to me that night. I laid on the couch covered in the ratty old afghan that my Nana had given me as a little girl. It was nearly four o’clock in the morning when the banging at my door nearly scared the life out of me. I had no clue who would be at my door this time of the morning. I made my way to the door and peeked through the peephole. A very disheveled-looking Edward stood on my front porch. I quickly opened the door and he pushed past me into the entry.
I looked at him as he stood in the hallway. His dress shirt was unbuttoned at the collar and his tales hung outside of his pants. His hair was standing on end as if he had been pulling at it for hours. He had one hand on his hip while the other was wrapped around his neck.
“Are we fighting?” he questioned, not looking at me.
“No, not that I’m aware of,” I responded honestly.
“Are you avoiding me for some reason?”
I didn’t answer him. I was avoiding him, and not just him, but life in general.
“Babe, do you have any idea how worried I’ve been?”
I walked passed him, back to my living room, falling down into the cushions. I crawled back under my blanket, my shield from the world.
Edward made his way over and sat down beside me, wrapping my entire body in his arms.
“I can’t fix it if you don’t talk to me,” Edward whispered into my ear.
After several minutes, I raised my head and looked him directly in the eye. “You can’t fix it. Nothing is broken; life just went on without me.”
He held me closer and began to kiss my forehead. I told him everything, how I felt alone and left behind.
“Well, I’d tell you to move in with me, but I know you would tell me no.”
Edward had already asked me to move in with him. I told him no at the time because I didn’t want Alice and Rose to be alone, but now I was the one that was alone.
“You’re right, Edward. I’ll be fine; it’ll just take some getting used to.”
“Babe, the invitation is always open, you can move your things in anytime you want.”
“I know and thank you, I love you.”
Edward stayed with me the rest of the morning. We made our way into my bedroom where I apologized to him properly for ignoring his text. After our pregnancy scare, Edward had sat down with me and together we chose a different form of birth control. For the first month I had it, he used a condom. Let’s just say I couldn’t wait to get rid of those things.
Super Bowl Sunday finally arrived and with it, a day that neither Edward nor anyone watching would ever forget. It all started when the entire team voted that I should perform with them during the halftime show.
Had I known then what I knew now, I would have watched from home.
I know, I know….I just really love the movie and I have watched all of them far too much this past week.
- Chapter 16
Alright we all know I own nothing associated with Twilight.
This chapter goes out to pinklady 34…here is your answer
PRINCE CHARMING SYNDROME
Edward told everyone who would listen that his girlfriend would be dancing in the halftime show during the Super Bowl. He was really cute about it, actually. After my mini breakdown, he asked me not to sleep at my house anymore. He told me it was because he liked waking up with me, but I knew he was doing this for me.
The night before the game, he took me downtown and rented us the presidential suite at a plush hotel. He didn’t want to have to deal with the traffic again; at least that was his excuse. I didn’t care really; Edward was so good to me, better than any fantasy man I could have wished for. He loved me for everything I was and everything I wasn’t.
Alice was livid when she discovered she would not be making any uniforms for the show. I tried to appease her by telling her she was the only one I wanted doing my hair and makeup.
The dance team had to be at the stadium three hours before kick-off. Everyone insisted on arriving together and hanging out in the owner’s suite before the game. Esme had been asked to assist with keeping the little girls safe and helping them rehearse one last time. The director had been asked to have about fifty of the six to ten year old girls stand at the edge of the stage and shoot footballs and t-shirts from handheld cannons as the halftime show was going on. Esme and several other ladies would be behind them to monitor them and help them reload the cannons. Once the footballs and t-shirts were gone, they would pass by the older dancers and do a series of cartwheels and backflips.
Usher would be performing during the halftime show and he had made it a point to introduce himself to each of us. With Edward being one of the owners, he was present at the ‘meet and greet’ Usher held. Edward informed him that the beautiful brunette that would be dancing next to him was not available. However, rest assured that I was cleaning up what Edward had really said.
I was so thankful that I wasn’t in charge of any of the planning or production of this event. I could without a doubt say that I would have pulled all my hair out. I had no idea how much planning really went into a performance that lasted less than five minutes.
It was twenty minutes to kick-off when Edward threw his arms around me and kissed me till I couldn’t breathe. Alice of course went ballistic when he managed to smear my lipstick. He held me close as he ignored Alice’s screeching. “I can’t wait to tell our children how their mother danced on national television.”
I smiled at the thought of our future children, a little girl who looked just like her father, or a little boy who had my hair and Edward’s eyes and face.
With one last kiss, Edward made his way up the back steps to the owner’s box to watch with the family.
The sound of the crowd was so loud that it caused the walls to vibrate. I stood to the side of the tunnel as the crew assembled the stage for Usher. Finally, it was time. After weeks of rehearsal and frustration, it all came down to this.
Usher would appear from what would seem like thin air. In actuality, he would be hidden by the fog machine and well-placed lights. The audience would be distracted by all of the different light shows that would dance on the field. A long black veil was placed from the tunnel to the stage and I was given only a few seconds to hit that stage before the music began. I closed my eyes and said a silent prayer, and then literally hit the ground running.
Usher would be singing his latest hit, More. Seven dancers would join him on stage and stand behind him and dance. Thirty more would dance in three parallel lines on each side of the stage, for a total of one hundred and twenty-nine dancers.
Tanya and I would be dancing on either side of Usher. The hardest part of the dance would come near the end as Tanya and I would be at opposite ends of the stage, and then on cue, we would begin to tumble toward each other and meet in the middle while facing each other and doing jump splits. We had only managed to hit the mark once during practice.
Everything faded as the music began. I couldn’t have stopped smiling even if a federal court judge ordered me to. This was what I loved to do. I let myself go and surrendered to the music. Usher was such fun when he came up behind me and began to dance with me. Edward would not be happy.
Finally, it was time for the final move. I made my way to my mark and took a quick look at Tanya. She was smiling nearly as big as I was. Time was up, it was now or never. I took a quick run and began to flip; as I came up, I prayed that Tanya would be in place, and she was. As my momentum continued to push me forward, I reached out and high-fived her and the crowd went wild. Once the tumble was finished and the show over, all the dancers front-flipped off the stage and moved quickly to exit the field.
The lights went out the exact second my feet landed on the field. I didn’t even have time to look up before the crew was rushing us off the field. I felt a hand shove me from behind and turned to find at least twenty girls trying to rush off the field. The producers had told us that we had to get off quickly so that the game could continue. If we stayed too long, the television network stood to lose millions in advertising revenue.
I clearly remembered several of my girls giving me quick hugs as we continued to run towards the tunnel. I noticed that the line was getting longer and thicker outside the tunnel.
As I continued to run toward the exit, I noticed one of the younger little girls, Madison, was looking lost. I let the girls behind me pass as I ran over to her and pointed to one of the assistants and told her to go to her.
I hadn’t realized I was the last girl to leave the field. I looked down and noticed my foot was standing on the top part of the number five. I chuckled as I thought about my dad always wanting seats on the fifty yard line and here I was standing on it.
The exit was still congested and it looked like no one was moving. I was now worried that the kick-off team would end up getting a delay of game penalty as I clearly heard the ref’s whistle blow.
I looked up to see that Madison hadn’t moved and was looking at me with panicked eyes. I stopped and made to run get her when I heard the sound of a scream followed by a jolt of extreme pain, and then complete darkness.
I left Bella standing in the tunnel awaiting her queue to take her place. She looked absolutely amazing in her very short shorts and sparkly top. My mother told me a long time ago that I was going to have to get used to having men looking at my Bella; she was a beautiful woman and I knew this.
When I got to my family’s box, I grabbed myself a beer and tried to relax. Bella had been working so hard on this routine and I wanted it to go well for her. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in her, I did. I just wanted it to be perfect, just like she was.
I would never admit to anyone that I ignored the game that day. I was too busy planning the weekend at my cabin that I had promised Bella. I had spoken to her father recently and had asked for his blessing in marrying his daughter. I planned to ask her on the same dock where I had first told her I loved her.
It was finally time and the halftime show was about to begin. I stood along the balcony, my eyes glued to the field. I’d had a conversation with Usher earlier. I had met him a few years ago at an event in New York. He knew immediately that I was in love with Bella and said he couldn’t blame me.
I watched in awe as Bella danced like an angel. I had grown up watching dance performances, but none of them had prepared me to watch her. She was in her own world, she was free and she was happy. I held my breath as I watched her take the quick run and then begin to do her flips, nervous since she had told me that they had only managed to hit this once in practice. I jumped up and down when she landed. Emmett and I high-fived as the music ended.
I was getting nervous when I noticed the tunnel was still packed and the girls weren’t getting off the field fast enough. One of the little girls had frozen and Bella was still on the field trying to get to her when the players re-entered the field, shouting slurs and taunts at each other. I watched in horror as a fight broke out. One of the defense’s tacklers took a run at the other team’s running back. The running back moved at the last second and the defense tackler charged into the side of Bella. His helmet hit her just below her left knee. His momentum caused her to go airborne, her body flipping several times into the air before colliding with one of the sideline benches and then flopping lifelessly onto the hard field surface.
Emmett was out the door half a step before I was. I didn’t recall how I got down the steps and onto the field. I remembered some cocky security guard tried to block my path as I charged passed him, to the detriment of his job.
I would never forget the look on my mother’s face as she knelt beside my Bella’s body. I felt my father clinch my arm and jerk me back.
“Stop, Edward, Emmett will help her.”
I jerked away and rushed to her side. Her face was already swollen and bruising, but that wasn’t what caused me to start to panic. Her left leg was lying at an odd angle, it was clearly broken. The area around her knee was excessively swollen and turning an ashen grey. I looked to Emmett who was already wrapping her thigh with an ace bandage; her femoral artery had been compromised. We had to get her to surgery right now.
I could do nothing to help her. All those years of medical school and I couldn’t have told you how to take a simple blood pressure right then. So I did the only thing I could do, I knelt down and took her tiny hand and wrapped it with mine. I kissed her forehead and told her over and over that I loved her.
My dad had called in a med flight to take her quickly to the hospital. Emmett had a team of colleagues on the line and waiting with the surgery team already scrubbed in. Emmett looked me directly in the eye and swore to me that he would make her better. I watched through blurred vision as the helicopter rose into the air.
Her surgeries took almost eight hours. Several bones in her face had been fractured, her left leg had been shattered below the kneecap, and her femoral artery had to be repaired in three places. She needed several blood transfusions. Once the dust settled, they placed her on the ICU floor. Only immediate family was allowed to be in her room; however, I challenged anyone to make me leave.
Nine days I sat by her side. I washed her hands and her face. I combed her hair and told her how much I loved her. I even begged her to open her big brown eyes.
Danny Miller was the football player who had tackled her. He had to be sedated on the field as he realized who he had tackled. He sat in the waiting room the entire nine days she was unconscious. My father and brother tried to tell him she was only resting so that she could heal. He wasn’t stupid, though; he had seen her leg before they took her away. It was bad, really bad, and we didn’t know if she would ever walk again.
It was early on the tenth day when she opened her eyes. I held her hand as she took her time fully waking up. I kissed her forehead and told her I had been waiting on her. I was so thankful she had finally woken up that I let my tears blend in with hers.
Now it was time for the hard part.
- Chapter 17
PRINCE CHARMING SYNDROME
I believed that at different times in our lives, each of us had our own very personal brand of hell to deal with. I was currently living in mine. It had been three weeks since my injury. I was finally moved to a private room last week after my constant begging of Edward to do something.
The physician that Emmett had brought in might have been a great surgeon, but his bedside manner sucked. The morning I awoke, he came into my room and told me that I needed to be realistic with my expectations of my recovery. He felt I should be thankful my injuries weren’t more severe. I felt he should get the hell out of my room, and I told his as much.
Charlie was thankfully in the room when I ordered the insensitive doctor out. I didn’t even have to say anything; my dad looked at me and simply said, “I’m on it.”
He asked Edward to join him in the hall and with a quick kiss and an ‘I love you’ whispered to me, Edward followed.
Bright and early the next morning, Dr. Gilbert Molina came bouncing into my room. Dr. Molina was the surgeon who had put me back together after my car accident years ago. I could clearly remember him telling me to get my big lazy ass out of bed back then. His visit today was no different.
He told me that when my dad approached him, he had at first declined to look at my records, saying regretfully that he didn’t have privileges at the hospital where I was currently being treated. My dad made a quick call to Carlisle and as if by magic, he was allowed access to my files.
“Bella, do you want to walk again?” he had asked me seriously.
“Do you really have to ask?”
“Yes, because this time it’s going to be a lot harder than the last. Your leg is weaker and the scar tissue is a factor this time. You have a long road ahead of you.”
The next several days were a blur of planning. Edward was in full recovery mode. He and my dad teamed up and this alone should have made me nervous.
Edward hired a physical therapist to come in everyday to work with me. He hired a chef to cook and he placed Esme in charge of the house remodel. Edward built a special room onto the back of his house just for me to have my physical therapy. He didn’t want me to have to wait for anyone or anything to get my therapy done.
When I was finally released, I refused to use the wheelchair past the front entrance of the hospital. I told Edward in no uncertain terms that I would walk again.
Riley Bears was good at what he did, which was torturing me. He was exactly what I needed. When I would get mad and cry when the pain was too great, he would get in my face and call me a baby. When I would get too cocky and then mess up, he would laugh at me.
It was the end of March and I had just gotten my walking cast the day before. Riley was being his usual obnoxious self and telling me that I needed to hurry up and get that hideous thing off before Edward found a new girlfriend.
I knew he was kidding when he said it, but it didn’t change the fact that I burst into tears. Standing in the middle of the balance bars, I cried like a baby.
“Bella?” Edwards’s worried voice sounded from across the room. Seconds later, he was standing at the end of the balance bars, his long-sleeved shirt pushed up to this mid forearm, his face covered in concern. “Come on, sweetheart, I want a kiss.”
I had been so determined these past few weeks, I hadn’t taken time to think about how this was affecting him.
“Babe, come on, walk to me, I really want to kiss those pretty lips.”
I looked at my feet and let the sobs go. I hadn’t cried this much in a long time and it had obviously been building. Edward cleared the distance between us in seconds.
He knelt down and wrapped his arms around my thighs. I didn’t have to say a word to him, he knew.
“Alright, beautiful, you’ve been working your little butt off,” he squeezed my left butt cheek to emphasize his point, “But I think you need a little break. I do believe that I promised you a weekend away at the cabin and I intend to make good on my promise.”
The cabin was as beautiful as I remembered. I looked at the massive fireplace and remembered the amazing night we had spent loving each other that first time. I was so tired from the drive over that Edward encouraged me to take a nap before dinner. When I woke, Edward had moved several pieces of patio furniture down to the boat dock and then placed several outdoor heaters around. Even with April fast approaching, it was still very chilly outside.
Edward carried me and placed me in one of the deck chairs. The sun had just begun to set as we ate hot soup and laughed at the silliest things. It felt good to think of something other than recovery.
After dinner was finished and the sky was covered in twinkling stars, Edward joined me in my cushioned chair. We sat for a while, neither of us saying a single word. I closed my eyes and relished in the slow rise and fall of Edward’s warm chest as he breathed.
“When I first saw you that day in Rosalie’s hospital room, I was completely lost. I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to cancel my trip to Mozambique and stay with you. Three months away from you was torture.”
He pulled me tighter against his chest as he continued.
“When I was away, I felt like my heart was torn, like my life was missing something. I knew it was you the second I saw you sitting in that restaurant waiting for me.”
Edward then maneuvered his body so that he was now hovering above me. I could still see the stars twinkling above us, the only sound being the lapping of the water against the dock and the hiss of the kerosene in the heaters.
“I want to be your prince charming, Bella,” he whispered, his eyes searching my face. “I want to be the first thing you think about when you wake and the last as you drift off to sleep. I want to star in all of your dreams and fulfill every fantasy you have.” The back of his hand now caressed my cheek, his lips grazing my forehead and down my nose. “But most of all, I want to look into the faces of our children and see the product of the love we have for each other.”
I knew what he was going to ask me before the words left his lips. He truly was my prince charming and he had already made all my dreams come true. He accepted me as I was, slightly broken, but determined.
“Isabella Swan, I promise to love you every single day of forever, will you do me the extraordinary honor of marrying me?”
Even though I was completely expecting it, the tears came anyway. Under the glistening stars and the man of my dreams, I pledged my life to him.
“Yes, I’ll marry you, on one condition…”
Monday morning, I found Riley pounding a nail into the wall of the room. He stepped to the side to reveal a wooden plaque that read,
Rise and rise again. Until lions become lambs.
The words could be easily seen from any machine in the room, and it was exactly what I needed.
With a new perspective and a huge goal, I took my place between the balance bars.
“So, I hear you conned him into marrying you,” Riley jabbed at me, a smile trying to emerge on his face.
“Conditionally, but yes, I’m marrying Edward.”
“Good, at least you’ll have someone to put up with your wrinkled ass.”
I couldn’t help it as we both busted out in laughter. Riley came around and hugged me and told me he was so happy for me and Edward.
“Alright, now let’s get busy; if you want to marry that limey Englishman, we have work to do.”
When I told Edward that the only way I would marry him was if I was able to walk down that aisle on my own power, he agreed.
We both knew this was what we both wanted.
Alice couldn’t understand why I refused to set a firm date for the wedding. I tried to explain to her that it would be too much pressure for everyone if I didn’t do well and we had to postpone the wedding. She finally came around after Jasper reminded her that she had to meet with the caterers one last time.
May 1st was an absolutely beautiful day in Seattle. The flowers were in full bloom and the birds were singing.
It was a perfect day for a wedding, Alice had picked well.
It was decided that I would attend as a guest and not be in the wedding. I had graduated to crutches, but I still had to wear a protective walking cast. I sat on the bride’s side next to Alice’s mother.
Poor Alice had been so stressed as her family refused to fly from Kentucky. Jasper remained cool and calm as he chartered a large bus, like the ones rock stars used.
By the time they arrived, you would have thought that was exactly what they were, stars.
Alice’s dad refused to wear a tux as he said they were too ‘highfalutin’ for him. He said the only time he would wear a suit was when he was buried.
With her signature ‘look’ in place, Esme stepped in and took him to the side and told him how quickly she could plan his funeral if he didn’t cooperate. He looked so nice in his crisp tux.
When the wedding was over, Edward told Alice’s family they could sleep in his house, but they insisted on sleeping on the motor coach. They had packed tents and fishing equipment and were having a ball on Jasper’s property.
June 15th at 8:22 a.m., Melody Grace Cullen came screaming into the world. Emmett was the poster child of proud fathers. He sobbed like a baby as he clipped her cord. She was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen and held, and I was not just saying that because I was her aunt, it was all true.
It was certainly no shock to anyone as Alice and Jasper announced they were expecting. I thought for certain Esme would bounce out of her seat when she heard the news.
Edward had been working really hard the last few weeks on opening a new rehab center. He and Emmett were surprised at the lack of available physical therapy personnel and facilities.
I was working just as hard to get out of this protective cast. July 10th, at almost six thirty in the evening, I called Edward and asked him when he was coming home. He advised me he was just pulling up and I told him to meet me in the flag room.
With Edward working so hard, I took the opportunity to work even harder. Dr. Molina came by and looked at my leg and gave me the go-ahead to remove the protective cast and try taking steps without it. For the past three days, I had done just that.
As Edward rounded the corner, he looked at me sitting on the large sofa. I smiled at him as he began to walk toward me.
“Stop,” I instructed him, my hand raised in his direction, “I owe you a kiss.”
He looked at me with bewilderment; he crossed his arms and gave me a look that told me to get on with it.
I scooted myself to where my butt was on the edge of the couch. I used the arm to help me to stand as I put my good leg out first, getting my balance before I looked up at him.
Edward only let me take a total of four steps on my own before he crossed the room and held me in his arms. I felt his whole body tremble and I was certain he was crying. However, as soon as I saw his face, I was proven wrong as his smile was the largest I had ever seen.
He was laughing, it was contagious and I quickly joined him.
“Bella, I knew you would do it!”
“You gave me quite the inspiration, Dr. Cullen.”
“Oh, that’s right, you have to make good on your promise, you have to walk down the aisle and marry me.”
And that was one promise I couldn’t wait to honor.
- Chapter 18
PRINCE CHARMING SYNDROME
Four years later…
“No, Daddy, I can do it by myself!”
My girls knew it was never a good thing to have their full names called out when they were being corrected.
Nine months to the day after our wedding, Madelyn Grace and Mackayla Gayle were born. After my injury, everyone agreed that it would be best if I stopped my birth control to decrease my risk of blood clots with my surgery. Edward was quite insistent.
I wouldn’t ever forget the look on Alice’s face when I told her she had one month to plan our wedding. Edward smiled as he handed her his credit card and told her, “Make my wife happy.”
“But Mommy, I’m a big girl now, I can do it.”
Maddie was my independent child. She wanted to do everything for herself, she never wanted help. I had no idea where she got that from.
Recently she had decided she could lace up her own ballet shoes and that she didn’t have to wait her turn to have Edward or Esme help her.
“Yes, sweetheart, you are a big girl, but you have to be nice to daddy and not hurt his feelings.”
From the minute Edward held our daughters in his arms, he was putty in their hands. Maddie had curled her tiny fingers around his pinky as he sang a lullaby to her in the delivery room. Mackie was my quiet child. She was content to tell stories to her dolls and stuffed animals, yet loved to cuddle with her daddy.
Esme was the happiest Nana alive I did believe. She had five granddaughters that she loved to play dance with. Esme took great pride in teaching ballet to them.
Melody was the oldest, Rose and Emmett’s first. Next came Violet, followed closely by Chloe, Alice and Jasper’s Irish twins. Then there were our girls.
Jasper and Emmett decided that there was entirely too much estrogen in their homes and quickly had a boy each, Jackson and Joshua, respectively. Jackson was the spitting image of his father, Jasper, minus the piercings, and Joshua was the cutest little boy with his father’s dimples.
Never being one to let his brothers outdo him in anything, Edward practiced heavily until I became pregnant early last year. Now I sat nursing our son, Mason Edward, whose eyes thankfully were as green as his father’s.
Once Melody was a year old, Esme told Carlisle that she wanted to build a room onto their house so that she could have a place to teach her granddaughters her love of dance. Carlisle chuckled at her and told her she was entirely too confident that she wouldn’t have anymore girls…I blamed him for the twins.
Edward finished the rehab facility just before our girls were born. He gave Riley an offer he couldn’t refuse when he asked him to be the director.
Riley was just as hard on everyone else as he had been on me and it paid off. Less than a year after the facility opened, Emmett and Edward had to open two more locations across Washington to keep up with the demand. Four years later, they had sixteen clinics in six states and plans to open more.
As for me, I could walk on my own pretty well now. I would never dance again like I did at the Super Bowl, but I could still give my husband a lap dance, which he asked for from time to time.
Alice was the proud owner of Simply Alice, a line of exercise wear that included pants designed for new mothers. It had a breathable material across the stomach area that held you in and kept you dry.
Rose and I still owned Steps, though I didn’t teach nearly as much and I had not choreographed again since the accident.
Tanya went on to study at Julliard. Edward insisted she stay at his apartment in New York City, as he told her he never used it anymore and would feel better having someone there. The truth was he bought it so she could live there safely…he just didn’t tell her that.
So I guess you’ve figured out by now that my list actually worked. I got the man of my dreams just like Sally did in the movie.
Yes, he wasn’t everything I had listed, but he turned out to be so much more than I could have hoped for in the things that really mattered.
Some may say that I compromised and I should have held out for a virgin. I disagree, it was more important for me to have a man who had a good heart than a man who hadn’t been with anyone else.
I leave you with this: Set your standards high, when you find the guy you think is the one, take a step back and ask yourself, does he meet all the important items on my list? If not, walk away. No one is more important in this world to make happy than you, everyone else that matters will fall into place once you are.
I was diagnosed with Prince Charming Syndrome as a young girl, it’s highly contagious and you get it by hearing my story…good luck finding your cure!
I have no plans for a sequel, but I do have several new stories in the works.
I’ve decided that I hate it when someone promises a quick update and then things happen and they can’t get the next chapter out. I’m just as guilty at major update failures. So instead of feeling guilty, I’m finishing them before I even post the first chapter. My beta, Dollybigmomma, is working feverishly to stay caught up with me…wait, wait, that’s a lie, she has a turnaround time of like six seconds…it’s me who she’s waiting on. So anyway, I wanted to give you all just a little teaser of my next story.
‘In the Hands of Fate’ has Bella and Jacob engaged to be married, but on the night of their rehearsal, Jacob does the unthinkable, shattering her world and her ability to trust.
That same week, the tragedy of September 11th happens and her brother, Emmett, enlists in the Navy. With Emmett away in the Middle East, Bella begins to send him care packages. One afternoon, she wonders, what happens when it isn’t the holidays, does anyone care for the single sailors then?
For ten years, she chooses a random single sailor to “sponsor” for the year and sends them care packages every couple of months. With each and every sailor she randomly chooses, they feel compelled to come to Seattle and thank her in person, but the thing is, every single one of them end up marrying one of her friends. With no more single friends, will this year be different, or will the hands of fate intercede once again?
This will not focus on 9/11; I don’t want you to think that, it’s more about the packages and how two people find each other across thousands of miles.
There is another story I’m also working on, but I’ll save that little surprise for later. I’m sure you’ll like it!
Thanks for reading and reviewing, and now please leave me and Dollybigmomma some love!
- Chapter 19
The most amazing thing has happened, my story, Hands of fate is currently one of the reccomended stories of the week over at “the lemonade stand”. If you would, head over there and vote for In the Hands of fate. This is a huge honor for me, kind of like the oscars. I am still pinching myself that this is all real. I thank you in advance for your vote.