The dream is real enough that I don't at first realize I'm not awake. It's a repeat, this particular dream where Bella is hovering over me, her breasts brushing against me as she lifts and lowers, soft sounds escaping her throat. I can almost pretend it's actually happening, so I spend several minutes losing myself in her lush mouth. It's when I feel the tightening in my balls that I finally wake up with a gasp, feeling the wet stickiness on my stomach.
"Jesus H. Christ, a wet dream, really, Cullen?" I grumble to myself, immediately getting up and jumping in the shower. When I get out, I flip on the TV and start the in-room coffee maker, aka the portal to heaven.
I'm listening with half an ear as I wait for my coffee to finish, but I whip my head around when I hear Bella's voice coming from the television.
"Yes, Victoria, we're both okay. Riley will have to stay in the hospital for a few weeks, however. I believe Paul will be filling in for him in the meantime."
"If I can be the spokesperson for the show," the redhead looks around the table as though for approval, "I would just like to say that we're all grateful the accident wasn't worse." She gives a toothy smile towards the camera. She's never been my favorite anchor.
"Meanwhile, let's take a look at the five day forecast," Bella says in what I refer to as her newscaster voice.
I go back to tuning out, assuming it's rain in the forecast, and snatch my phone from where I dropped it when the battery died last night. Now that it's charged, I turn it on, impatiently waiting for it to boot up. I see immediately that I have missed calls and voicemails, and that Bella tried to get in touch while I was still in the air. I sink down on the bed, running my hand through my hair as I listen to her disembodied voice tell me she and her boyfriend were in a car accident last night and she wouldn't be able to meet me at the airport.
I feel like a dick, like Grade A Dick.
I was angry and hurt last night, thinking she'd blown me off. Turns out she was at the fucking hospital after an accident. I need to get ahold of her. I keep my eyes trained on the screen while she finishes her segment. She's wearing a black dress with a long, thick multi-colored sweater as she stands in front of the map of the United States. I can't help but watch her shapely legs in their knee high boots as she moves to the middle of the map.
As soon as she finishes, I pick up my phone and send her a text.
~I'm sorry I missed your call last night. My phone died. Are you okay?
I only have to wait for a few seconds before her response comes through.
~You made it alright? I'm fine, Riley crushed his tibia. He'll be in the hospital for a bit.
~I'm sorry to hear that. I'm not, but I'm guessing it would be impolite to say so.
~My last segment is at 9:45. Meet me downtown after for coffee, breakfast?
~I'll see you then.
I hurry to get dressed so I can meet her in time. I hail a cab again, thinking I should rent a car while I'm here.
When I reach the station, I get out and hand some money to the driver before hurrying inside the tall steel building. I have to search the directory, but I find her floor and head up, hoping to see where she works before she leaves. Turning the corner, I almost run right into the redhead I recognize as a co-anchor of Bella's. True to my word, I've followed her career online.
"Excuse me, Victoria, is it? I'm looking for Isabella's office." I offer her a crooked smile.
"Of course, it's down the hall, second on the right," she purrs before placing a well-manicured hand on my arm. "Is there anything else I can assist you with?" She's obviously used to being in the spotlight. Her strawberry blonde curls brush my cheek as she leans in even closer. "Anything…" Not freaking likely.
I take a deliberate step back. "No, thanks." I head in the direction she pointed out, breathing a sigh of relief when I catch sight of chestnut hair through the office door. Her outfit is even more stunning in person, the dress hugging her body in all the right places. Her heeled boots are tall and look sexy as hell. I look down at my own worn out Metallica t-shirt and jeans, then just shrug.
"Bella," I say softly, and she twirls around quickly to face me.
"Edward," she breathes, staring at me. We just look at each other for a few seconds before she finally closes the gap, hugging me hesitantly.
I wrap my arms around her waist, burying my face in her hair by her neck and inhaling deeply. She smells different than I remember, but it's a good smell, sultry and warm. I pull back, holding on to her waist as I look at her again.
"You look good, Bella, really good."
She smiles tentatively. "So do you. Was your flight okay? I'm sorry I couldn't be there, it was crazy last night. I got no sleep. Thank God for makeup artists."
"I'm sorry to hear about your accident. My phone was dead last night, and I didn't turn it back on until this morning. Do you need anything?"
"No, but I would like to hook an IV full of coffee right here," she says, tapping her inner arm. "Then I should probably visit Riley in the hospital."
"Of course. Would you like to head out for that coffee?" I ask.
She nods. "Let me grab my sweater and bag."
She picks up the sweater she was wearing on air along with a black bag and we head out the door. When we reach the ground floor, she takes my hand and leads me to the coffee shop down the street. I'm pleased to see they have Cuban coffee, and I order a cafe con leche. We sit, and she sets her purse on the empty chair.
"I bet you're wondering why I asked you to come for a visit." I watch her toying with her spoon.
"I'd be lying if I said no, but I happened to have other business here, too." Cover story, remember?
"Oh, really?" She sounds truly interested. Score one for me.
"My, ah, my career in soccer is working out. I've got a scout recruiting me for the team here. The Sounders."
Her eyebrows go up, and her mouth forms an 'O'. "That… that makes my reason for calling you easier."
"Easier?" I ask.
"Yes, I mean, I don't know if that's the correct word..." Now she seems flustered.
"Hey, it's alright. I understand, just tell me. It's just me, the same old Edward." I've scooted so far to the edge of the seat that I'm practically off of it, because I'm dying to know why she called.