-x-o-x-Accidentally in Love-x-o-x-
I was still thinking about Edward’s admission and our kiss in the parking lot when we checked in. I didn’t really pay attention to their conversation and simply handed him my driver’s license to give to the ticket agent. He was finished before I knew it, and we rolled our bags to the TSA station. Then he put his hand on my back as we made our way to the next security checkpoint.
We made small talk as he casually led us through the airport towards our gate. It was strangely normal to be walking beside him. Like something we’d done a million times. Looking around, I realized that it was obvious to everyone that we were traveling together, as a couple. We stood closer together than we had just days before. His hand gravitated to the small of my back. We shared secret looks and jokes and my fingers itched to take his hand in mine. I tried not to get too caught up in how excited it made me as I followed his lead through the terminal.
Just short of our gate Edward slowed down and pushed open the frosted glass door to the first class lounge.
I thought I was going to have a heart attack when I realized what he was doing, and I might have stumbled a little. “We can’t go in there!”
“Why on earth not?” he chuckled.
“We don’t have first class seats. They don’t just let anyone in there.”
I took a step back but he didn’t follow. Rolling my eyes, I wondered if he was used to doing whatever he wanted and getting away with it because he was so damn good looking.
He chuckled and shook his head, gently taking my hand and pushing through the door despite my protests. “It’s fine. We have first class tickets.”
“What? No. Really?” I sounded ridiculous, but I truly was surprised. I couldn’t even imagine what my face looked like. My eyes were probably bugging out a little.
“Really.” Flashing our boarding passes and a membership card or something at the hostess, Edward marched in like he owned the place. He put his laptop bag on a chair and ran a hand through his hair. “Coffee?”
“Always,” I laughed, still trying to get over my shock. I liked that he knew me well enough already that he didn’t wait for my answer before making his way to the coffee bar.
When he came back to the table his eyes met mine and his smile got a little bigger.
“What?” I took my coffee from him. It was the perfect cafe au lait color and smelled of hazelnuts and chocolate.
“Did you really think I was going to try to sneak in here or something?”
“I don’t know. I’ve never done more than look at the door to one of these places. I was waiting for some alarm to go off or for security to start dragging me out of the airport.”
“You’re so dramatic,” he teased. “Adorable, but dramatic.”
“Thanks, I think.”
He waggled his eyebrows just as his phone vibrated on the table, breaking the moment. It was a text from his sister Alice, reminding us to call when we got to the hotel. We stayed in the lounge until we had to board and were greeted by an overzealous stewardess. She was beyond helpful during pre-flight and take-off—and not a good way.
“I’m all set, thanks,” I told the flight attendant for the fifth time. “If you don’t mind, we’d like to be left alone.”
I don’t know how I said it while managing a smile. I was on to her. She didn’t give a fuck if I wanted anything, she just wanted to lean close to Edward. I swear to God she was rubbing her breasts on him.
Edward smiled politely and nodded in agreement with me. She touched him on the shoulder one more time and walked down the aisle before he turned to me with a raised brow.
“What?” I huffed. “Did you want me to ask for a drink so she could put her boobs in your face when she poured it instead of just rubbing them on your arm? I mean, jeeze, we’re in first class, you think she’d have some fucking manners.”
He grinned and I could see his shoulders shaking as he tried to hold back a laugh.
“It’s not funny. You paid a lot of money for these tickets—which you didn’t have to do, coach would have been fine—you shouldn’t have to put up with that.”
“She wasn’t really bothering me, but you’re right,” he reached over and took my hand, twining our fingers and resting our hands on his leg, “I paid enough that we shouldn’t have to put up with her bothering you. I’m sure she’ll leave us alone now.”
I glanced at our hands and then back at him, suddenly feeling much calmer. He smirked at me and raised a brow, silently asking if I was okay.
I sighed and nodded. It was all a little bit much. He squeezed my hand and closed his eyes. I tried to pull my hand away to get out my iPod, but his fingers tightened on my hand again.
“Let me get something out of my bag,” I said quietly.
He laughed silently but never opened his eyes as he released my hand.
Reaching in my carry-on bag I found my music player and my book. When I got settled and took Edward’s hand again, I could see that he was already asleep. His breathing was even and his face was relaxed. He almost looked younger that way, with no lines on his normally expressive face.
I watched for a few seconds, taking advantage of his slumber to really look at him. His cheeks were tinged with pink, despite having turned the vent on over his head the air in the cabin was warm and stale. His hair was mussed, but that was normal. It didn’t seem to have an actual style, just the tousled appearance that he’d been running his fingers through it all day, and he usually had. The color of his hair was interesting itself. It wasn’t auburn but it wasn’t brown either. It was a brownish-copper that I’d never seen on anyone before.
His chest rose and fell with each breath. I felt a strange urge to put my hand over his heart, but I resisted. I only allowed myself to reach forward and gently touch his crazy hair. I giggled a little when it bounced back up after I moved my hand away, but I caught myself and kept quiet so I didn’t wake him.
I wasn’t sure how the stars had aligned and we’d found each other, but I was no longer questioning it. We were where we were supposed to be and I was going to let our time together play out however it would. He wanted a reason to stay in Seattle and, while I wasn’t going to beg him to stay, I wasn’t going to pretend like I didn’t want him around. I had a feeling if Edward and I could stop fighting the connection we felt we would find that what was between us was so much more than a weekend.
With a glance at my book and then our joined hands, I sighed before settling in against him. I closed my eyes and listened to my favorite traveling music while I silently recited the facts about Edward’s family that I needed to remember.
I woke with a stiff neck and blinked as I remembered where I was. Lifting my head from Edward’s shoulder, the cord of my earbuds tightened and threatened to pop out of my ear. I reached forward thinking my iPod had fallen off my lap, and I fished around in the air for it. When I turned towards Edward I realized that I was all wrong.
I hadn’t dropped my iPod at all, it was tucked into Edward’s front pocket and the pull from my headphone cord was because he’d stolen an earbud. He was sleeping, his head angled away from me on the seat. His mouth was slightly open, our hands were entwined in his lap and my headphone was in his ear. He needed the sleep and trying to take my iPod back would have disturbed him, so I put my head back on his shoulder and closed my eyes again.
Eventually an announcement about preparing for descent interrupted my sleep. I sighed and tried to pretend like I hadn’t heard it. I didn’t want to wake up, but I was really warm—and suddenly I realized I was sitting in a position very different from the one I’d been in when I leaned against Edward to fall asleep.
I opened my eyes and looked down to confirm what I thought had happened. I groaned in embarrassment when I realized I was right.
Edward chuckled quietly, then turned and gently kissed my forehead. “Hey, sleepy head.”
I tried to be as casual as I could as I sat up, untangling our arms and turning my body, which had angled itself around him, to sit up straight.
“Here’s your iPod,” he said quietly, holding it towards me with the cord wrapped around it.
I raised an eyebrow, letting him know that I was aware that he’d hijacked a headphone.
He smirked. “Your playlist surprised me a little.”
“I travelled a lot with my dad, remember? We always listened to those bands.”
I smiled, tucking the music player back into my carry-on. My book had fallen onto the floor so I grabbed that and put it away as well.
Edward opened his mouth to speak but the annoying flight attendant picked that moment to put her hand on his shoulder. I couldn’t believe the balls on this woman.
“Please put your seats in the upright position for landing.” Her voice was sickeningly sweet and she hadn’t moved her hand off of my…off of Edward.
He turned towards her and, even though I couldn’t see his face, I could hear his voice. And holy shit it was hot.
“Our seats are clearly in the upright position and you are very close to crossing a line with me. Now, get your hand off of me and do your job.”
The woman’s face paled and it would have been a lie to say I felt bad for her. She tripped over her words as she tried to apologize.
“I’m so sorry. Really, sir. If there’s anything you need-”
Edward was still facing her and I almost expected him to tell her that she was digging her own grave, but he simply turned his back on her and smirked at me. “Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young? That’s what your father listened to on road trips? I kind of want to meet your dad.”
I let out a loud laugh and slapped my hand over my mouth, embarrassed at how loud it was in the enclosed space. Edward continued to smile and I knew he was letting me know that he didn’t want the flight attendant to ruin the good day we’d been having. She seemed to have gotten the hint that he was done talking her and moved down the aisle.
“I mean, you’ve got the whole box set on your iPod along with a couple Neil Young’s solo albums. Your dad instilled some good music taste in you.” He leaned towards me and reached up, pushing some of my hair over my shoulder. “Tell me, what are your thoughts on Dylan?”
“Bob or Jakob?” His answer was more important than it should have been, but music, especially the oldies that my dad had taught me to love, was important to me.
“Bob. Always Bob, and that goes for the Marley’s too.”
“Of course.” I giggled, but I agreed completely. He had completely passed that test. “How is it that we haven’t talked about music before?”
“I have no idea, but I’m much more excited about the conversation now that I know you don’t have a single Katy Perry song on your iPod.”
“What’s wrong with Katy, Doctor Cullen?”
“Nothing, if your fifteen.”
I rolled my eyes at him, then jumped a little in surprise as the plane touched down. It was Edward’s turn to laugh loudly and I tried to give him a dirty look but we just ended up grinning at each other. We turned our phones back on and finished getting our things together before the flight crew opened the door.
Edward’s phone buzzed steadily with messages and texts as we made our way down the jetway. He glanced at the screen and shook his head. “My sister, my brother and my father.”
“Wow, that’s not even who I was expecting.”
He quirked an eyebrow.
“Well, Alice was a given. I knew she would call, but I expected at least one message from your mother.”
“Let’s pray she doesn’t call. If I know her she’ll try to convince us all to get a hired car and come to the beach tonight.”
“We can, you know? I mean, we don’t have to spend the night here.”
At first it hadn’t seemed strange to spend the night in the city, but the more I thought about it I didn’t understand why we weren’t headed directly to the beach.
“No, it’s fine. This is what I usually do. I need a little time to, I don’t know, shift gears? I like to ease my way back into my family.”
“You’re not making me feel any better about meeting them.”
He put an arm around my shoulder and kissed the side of my head. It seemed natural and I leaned against him as we waited for our luggage.
We took a cab into the city and Edward pointed out landmarks as we wove through traffic. I meant what I said about not minding if we headed straight to the beach, but I had to admit I was really excited to have Edward show me around New York City. While I had a long list of things I wanted to do and see, I would be happy if we got to walk through Times Square and see the Statue of Liberty in the harbor.
Edward took his phone out of his pocket and glanced down at the caller ID. “Excuse me, it’s my sister.”
They talked for a few minutes before he put his phone away.
I pulled my eyes away from the skyline and turned towards Edward. “What’s going on with Alice?”
“They’re checked in at the hotel and asked if we want to meet them for a drink.”
“Sounds good to me, unless you had other plans.”
“No, not really,” he sighed, running a hand through his hair. “I thought we’d just play tonight by ear.”
I looked out the window again as the cab pulled over to let us out in front of an older building. The entryway was stately, with gold accents and script R’s identifying the Roosevelt Hotel. It was just the type of entrance I imagined from old movies about New York.
“Oh, wow. This looks great.”
Edward smiled. “Wait until you see the inside.”
A bellhop grabbed our luggage as Edward paid the driver and we made our way into the hotel. It was underwhelming at first; a tiled entryway with display windows for several of the retail shops in the hotel.
Edward had led us quickly up the stairs into the actual hotel lobby and it was something else entirely. We stood for a second and took it all in. A massive chandelier hung in the center of the room giving everything a soft, golden glow. Two seating areas flanked a table that held a large flower arrangement, and I could see a dark but cozy looking bar on the far side of the room. Straight ahead was a second receiving area that held a bank of elevators and a large reception desk. I looked up at Edward and he was smiling down at me.
“Ready?” he asked, inclining his head towards the desk.
“Yes, sorry. It’s just gorgeous in here. I got a little distracted.”
“Don’t be sorry. It’s a great room. I’m glad you like it.”
We waited for another couple to check in, then Edward was greeted like an old friend. “Mr. Cullen, good to have you back, sir.”
He read her nametag and gave her a charming smile. “Thank you, Zafrina, we’re glad to be here. Are the rooms ready?”
He cocked his head and they looked at each other in confusion. “Yes, rooms. I reserved a suite and a deluxe room with a king sized bed.”
“Yes, sir,” she smiled in relief, “and your sister Alice checked into the deluxe room about an hour ago. The suite is ready.”
“She what?” Edward looked shocked.
“Mrs. Whitlock came to check in and enquired as to whether you had arrived. When I told her that both of your rooms were vacant she said she must have misunderstood and cancelled their room.”
It was obvious that the Cullen family made a habit of staying at the Roosevelt, and the poor girl looked terrified at the thought she’d somehow inconvenienced him. I wasn’t sure that Edward could even comprehend what was going through her head, but I certainly did. She needed this job and she was afraid she might have just seriously screwed herself.
“Was that wrong, sir? I still have deluxe rooms available if you need one.”
I couldn’t stand to watch her suffer while Edward looked at her like she was speaking a foreign language..
“No,” I assured her as I put a hand on Edward’s arm. “That’s exactly what happened. I forgot to tell Mrs. Whitlock that we’d booked them a room.”
Edward’s eyes swung to meet mine and I nodded. We certainly didn’t need to have this conversation in front of the desk clerk.
“Oh, good. I mean, I’m glad that we cleared that up,” Zafrina said with much relief. She finished checking us in and gave Edward our key-cards, mentioning that we were in time for happy-hour at their rooftop bar.
“Thank you,” he smiled at her, his calm and charm had returned after being slightly flustered by Alice’s hotel room nabbing, “but we’re meeting my sister elsewhere.”
“Of course. Your luggage will be delivered to your suite shortly. Enjoy your stay, Mr. Cullen, Miss Swan.”
We stepped into the elevator and Edward sank back against the mirrored wall running a hand through his hair.
I was impressed at how well he’d held himself together; I knew he was just short of stroking out about his sister.
He looked at me and shook his head. “I’m so sorry. I fully intended you to stay in the suite by yourself.”
I snorted. “I certainly don’t need a suite, and really, your sister wouldn’t believe another word we said if she found out we weren’t sharing a room.”
“I wasn’t going to tell her,” he said in all seriousness.
“Oh, Edward, you really don’t know how women work,” I teased.
He dropped his back against the wall and looked at the ceiling. “I’m beginning to see that.”
I really didn’t understand how such an attractive man could be so clueless when it came to women, but he had some definite blank spots in his knowledge of the female psyche. He had been trying to be a gentleman, and I got that, really, but how could he not realize that everyone would be watching us? On top of that, did he not know I wanted to share a room with him? I was nervous as hell about it, but still.
I needed to get him back on the same page with me. With a sigh I turned around and stepped close to him so we were only inches apart. My hands framed his face and his head snapped up so he was looking into my eyes. I’m not sure where I got the courage, but I knew I really had to put myself out there.
“We’re going to share a room at the beach, right?”
He swallowed hard and nodded.
“Right, then this is for the best. Because I don’t know about you, but I’d kind of like the first night we sleep together to be without your family as an audience.”
He groaned and his hand came up to tangle in my hair. Our bodies drew closer as he leaned towards me and there’s no telling what could have happened in that elevator, but just then the car stopped and the door opened.
I took a step back and gave him my sexiest smile. “Shall we?”
He barked out a laugh. “Oh, I think we shall.”
-x-o-x-Accidentally in Love-x-o-x-
Things are heating up… And Alice is right around the corner!
Thanks so much for reading. So glad that you’re all still excited about this story. See you in two weeks!
Links for The Roosevelt Hotel – I fell a little in love with this hotel when I stayed there.