Prompt: #2/ Ballet Studio
Pen Name: Missus T
Pairing/Main Character(s): Edward/Bella
Fire and Rain Ch17
000ooo000ooo Fire and Rain ooo000ooo000
Despite being a sort of turning point, Christmas had been depressing. After my emotional morning at the beach, I needed New Years to be different.
The second I walked in the door I knew that I was in luck.
“Isabella!” Peter called. “Welcome to the first annual New Years celebration!”
“Wow,” I laughed. “First annual?”
“That’s the plan. Char and I got married last February, so this is our first New Year as a family. We decided it was time to start a tradition together.”
“Plus this way I don’t have to worry about driving his drunk ass home,” Char added, joining us in the living room. “Hey, Bella. Glad you could join us. Let me take your coat.”
I was glad to hear that this was party was new for everyone. There’s nothing like joining a group of friends and feeling left out when they reminisce about all of the previous times they’d been together without you. I felt like even though they had a general history, this gathering was a fresh start for all of us.
Dinner was delicious, and the conversation was light. Peter broke out a deck of cards and the guys settled in for poker while we women went to the living room to play Cooking Mama on Wii. Eventually that morphed into Dance, Dance Revolution, and before I knew what was happening I was drunk enough to play against Rosalie. I didn’t win, of course, but the years my mother forced me to spend in a ballet studio were finally good for something.
After a couple of rounds we were sweating and laughing so hard that none of us could dance anymore. It was perfect timing, as the guys came in and took over the TV to play Guitar Hero.
I’d like to say that I didn’t catch myself staring at Edward’s hands as his fingers moved along the buttons on the guitar, but Rose caught me, so there was no denying it. She was awesome about it though, simply raising an eyebrow.
“What?” I acted like it was nothing, but I’m sure she saw my blush.
“Did I say anything?” She sipped her drink and I could tell she was laughing behind her cup.
“Well don’t say anything. I’m not sure what it is.”
She choked a little on her drink. “Oh honey, you’re a widow but you know exactly what that is.”
“Rosalie!” I laughed, mortified.
“I’m just saying. You’re a widow, you’re not dead, and that is a fine specimen of man. A single man, I might add.”
I rolled my eyes. “Whatever. It’s not like I’m ready for… anything.”
I bit my lip and watched Edward, who still playing against Emmett, tapping out a Guns N Roses guitar riff. The song ended and they laughed and talked, high-fiving with Peter and Jasper. They had started to argue over who would play next when Edward’s eyes met mine. He grinned and gave me a small nod that did funny things to my stomach.
I didn’t realize Rose was watching until she snorted a laugh. “I’m not sure it matters if you’re ready.”
I took a sip of my drink, realizing it was almost gone. I wasn’t ready to think about what Edward’s look meant. Maybe it didn’t mean anything. Maybe it meant everything. Shit.
“I might need another drink.”
Char pulled the plug on Guitar Hero around 11:30 p.m. and turned on Seacrest’s, I mean Dick Clark’s, Rockin’ Eve. We set out some munchies and started to get the champagne ready.
I tried to avoid Edward because I was a chicken. The more I saw him, the more I realized just what I’d managed to overlook. It was kind of unbelievable—both how good he looked, and how blind I’d been. Was I ready for anything more? Why did I feel like I was in junior high? Maybe I should write Edward a note and ask if he liked me. Then I wouldn’t feel all embarrassed when it turned out he didn’t like me. And let’s face it, the odds were good that he wouldn’t. I may have been blind before, but not anymore. I knew that Edward and I were in different leagues. That was probably a good thing. I could covett him and not have to worry about ruining our friendship with some weird rebound fling.
Before I knew it Alice threw her arm around me, pulling me into the living room as she slurred something about there only being five more minutes until the ball dropped. Char and Rose came in carrying bottles of champagne and a tray of wine glasses. As the host, Peter insisted on pouring for everyone. Soon we were all holding champagne and listening to him wax philosophical, giving a toast about good friends and new traditions.
It touched me in all of the places I’d been struggling to keep under control. I found myself sniffling as the final countdown began. I felt a hand on my hip and turned to see Edward at my side.
I looked down at his hand and then back up to his face but I couldn’t read his expression. At first I thought it was sad, but the longer I looked at him I began to think it was hopeful.
I glanced around at our friends who stood in pairs and realized that we must have looked just like them. My eyes focused back on Edward as he raised a hand and brushed some hair over my shoulder. Then his fingers ghosted up my neck to cup my cheek. My breath caught and my eyes got wide but his were steady.
He held my gaze until everyone screamed “Happy New Year!.’ He leaned in and kissed my forehead. His arms came around me and I found myself quickly returning his hug. We had hugged before but there was something more about this embrace. It was solid. Promising. Everything I needed.
“Happy New Year, Bella,” he whispered before pulling back to look into my eyes again.
“Happy New Year,” I responded, barely getting the words out before Alice was practically jumping on me.
“Happy New Year, B! Aren’t you going to drink that champagne? I’ll have it if you’re not!”
I looked down at the glass in my hand and realized I hadn’t even taken a sip when the clock struck twelve. I’d been too busy trying to see into Edward’s soul. I thought that for a second maybe he’d shown it to me.
000ooo000ooo Fire and Rain ooo000ooo000