…and ready for love

A/N: This is a special birthday present for my lovely beta and partner-in-slash, SorceressCirce. Happy birthday, lovely! I hope you’ll enjoy!
Thank you to fiberkitty, EchoesOfTwilight, kimberlycullen10, and ahizelm for your beta services, and other contributions.
As ever, Mrs Meyer owns Twilight. I just have her boys babble in my ear.

“Hurry up, Edward! We’re on next, and I want to catch Mom and Dad before they’re done.”

Rosalie was touching up her makeup as Alice adjusted her dress – a black laced bodice with crystals adorning it and white maribou feathers making up the skirt – making sure everything was perfect. Jasper was helping me with my bow tie, shaking his head with a grin at his twin’s words. He looked at me and rolled his eyes, muttering under his breath, “After all these years, you’d think she’d be used to this by now.”

I chuckled, humming my agreement as Jasper patted my shoulder lightly, indicating he was done.

“Thanks, Jazz.”

He nodded before walking over to Rose and Alice, checking to see if he could help with anything. We’d been involved in these competitions since we were kids. Dancing was in our blood, and everyone was involved in some way. Mom and Dad met during dance lessons when they were still in high school and were training for competitions themselves. They still competed – in fact, they were dancing at that very moment. If it weren’t for the need to change costumes between our own sets, we would be watching them right now, so I understood Rose’s hurry to see how they were doing.

Mom and Dad had married fresh out of high school and had been going strong ever since. Dancing was their passion, one that they had shared with their kids and one they passed on to every person willing to learn at the school they owned; the same one where Rosalie, Jasper, Alice, and I now worked in various positions. Alice took care of the books at the school, and she made all the costumes we used in competitions. Jasper, Rosalie, and I all taught different dance classes.

During competitions Jasper and Alice did all the behind the scenes work that was needed. Neither of them was into the competitions much themselves, but Rosalie and I thrived on it, as did Mom and Dad. It worked though; we all helped each other.

I stepped up behind Rosalie and smiled at her in the mirror. “I’m ready if you are, Rose.”

As I held out my hand to her, she smiled, put the lipstick down and straightened up, placing her hand in mine with a tight nod. She always got nervous before we stepped onto the floor, but once she was there she was all confidence and grace. It was partly why we worked so well together.

With a final tug on Rose’s dress, Alice ushered us out the door. “Come on, hurry, you’re up next.”

Rose and I nodded to each other and walked hand in hand to the edge of the dance floor, waiting for the current round to be done. I spotted our parents and pointed them out to Rose, who stood on her toes to catch a better look. They looked like a modern day Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, so in tune with one another. Dad looked very handsome in his tailcoat tuxedo, and Mom was absolutely stunning, looking very much the part of Ginger Rogers in the chocolate brown dress with black maribou feathers and crystal stones decorating the bodice.

Their round finished not long after we had gotten to the sidelines, and they gave us a wave as they exited the floor – they would get something to drink before coming to watch how Rose and I were doing. There was a brief interlude as we waited for our cue to proceed. The other couples around us were waiting patiently, though some fidgeted and tried to do last minute tweaks to their outfits to make sure everything was perfect.

My eyes traveled around the others, smiling and nodding in greeting to those that caught my eye. Before I finished my perusal, the cue was given for us to get onto the floor and get ready. I smiled warmly at Rose. Her eyes were bright with excitement as we stepped gracefully to our assigned place. Placing my free hand on her waist, we stood, waiting in our starting position for the music to start. Once it did, and the first notes of ‘Swing, Swing, Swing’ started, I let everything else fall away and just…danced. It was natural – as easy as breathing.

I knew we did well, that we looked graceful and like we simply belonged there on the floor. People always mistook us for a couple off the dance floor as well, but nothing could be further from the truth. Rosalie Hale was my sister, even if she bore a different surname then I. She and Jasper had been adopted by Esme and Carlisle when they were still toddlers. Technically, they were my cousins, as they were Esme’s sister’s kids, but when she and her husband died in an accident Mom and Dad had taken them in and later adopted them, so we had grown up as siblings. Alice was my actual sister.

For those not in the know of our family situation, though, we looked like a couple, which was something that always amused us. As I said, nothing was further from the truth. Not just because she was family, but…well, because I was gay. It wasn’t something I flaunted – but not something I hid, either. As it was, not many people knew. My family did, as did a few of our students and our closest friends. But other than that, no one was the wiser, and I didn’t mind.

We did two more dances – a Waltz and a Foxtrot – before we were done with that round, our last for the night as we had already performed earlier. Everyone stood on the sidelines, talking quietly among themselves. Some were standing in groups, taking the time to catch up now that the pressure of the performance itself was off, and they were able to focus on the people around them.

The family stood together, discussing how things had gone. Mom and Dad hugged both Rosalie and me as soon as we had gotten off the floor, saying how proud they were of both of us. It was always that way when we had performed, but it never failed to warm me, and Rosalie always beamed at the praise. To her, the encouragement of our parents meant more than any award we might achieve, and it was much the same for me.

We were talking about Mom and Dad’s routine when I heard someone calling Rosalie’s name and looked up at the familiar voice – Leah. My eyes automatically searched for the person I knew had to be close by. Jasper – who was standing right next to me – nudged my side with his elbow and tilted his head to the right. I followed his gaze and found who I had been looking for.

Seth.

I shot a glance at Jasper, scowling briefly at him even as my cheeks heated slightly. He just grinned at me and shrugged, whispering, “Dude, when are you going to man up and do something about it?”

My jaw clenched and I gritted out, “Shut it, Jazz. You know why I’ve never said anything.”

He sighed and nodded, clasping my shoulder briefly before turning to chat with our parents. Jasper was the only one I had ever confided in when it came to Seth.

Seth and Leah were another brother/sister partnership, and they had been dancing for almost as long as Rose and I. We’d met years ago during a state competition, and the girls had struck up a quick friendship, which had lasted through the years. They lived in San Francisco, so we usually only saw them during competitions, though Rosalie had visited them at one point.

Over the years, I had developed a bit of a crush on Seth. He had grown into a very handsome guy. He was around my height, slender but muscular, had broad shoulders, and long, silky black hair that he always had tied in a ponytail when he was dancing. Afterward, when he had changed into his normal clothes, he would always let it hang loose. Each time he’d run his fingers through his hair, I always had to physically stop myself from doing it for him. Leah and Seth were of Native American heritage, so their skin was a russet tone which they always played up with their costumes. They were both beautiful.

The only thing that had ever stopped me from acting on my desire to find out if Seth could possibly feel something for me – I knew he was gay, too, since I’d seen a few boyfriends tag along with him over the years – was the fact that he lived so far away, seeing as we lived in Los Angeles. I had no desire to deal with a long distance relationship, and since we were both close to our parents, there was no question in my mind that moving wasn’t an option.

As Leah and Seth reached us, we all hugged each other, congratulating the others on routines well performed. Before we could get carried away with conversation, though, the judges announced they were ready to declare the winners.

Mom and Dad got second place in their category, and we got so excited that we almost missed the announcements for ours. Leah and Seth got third place; Rose and I took second. We all agreed to go out for a drink to celebrate after everyone had changed. I felt excited. It had been a good night for our school, what with both Mom and Dad, and Rose and I placing as high as we did. I tried not to think about having to spend more time with Seth. It was both something I wanted and always tried to avoid.

Staying away was just easier.

We ended up going to a restaurant close to where the competition had taken place. The hostess rearranged some tables so that we could all sit together instead of spread across the room. Dad ordered a couple of bottles of wine to share, as well as water, and we shared a few appetizers between us since most of us hadn’t eaten much due to nerves. Rose, Alice, and Leah were huddled together, talking excitedly but in hushed tones, punctuated by the occasional squeal. Dad, Jasper, and Seth were talking quietly about something as well, though I tried my best not to listen in, choosing instead to talk to Mom about how we felt we had done and what we might improve upon for next time.

It had been three weeks since the competition and I hadn’t seen or heard from them since – not that I had been expecting to. In retrospect, I probably should have paid attention to what the others were discussing. If I had, then maybe I wouldn’t have been as surprised by watching Seth and Leah walking into our school.

I had been talking in the lobby with Emmett and Bella, discussing how their lessons were going to go since they had just signed up. Their parents were getting married – respectively, her mother and his father – and they wanted to be able to dance at the wedding. They would be taking classes as well as private lessons, which Rose and I would teach.

Emmett had just asked me a question but I hadn’t heard him, my focus having shifted to Seth as he grinned and nodded at me in greeting – I stared at his retreating form as he entered one of the classrooms. I finally snapped out of it when Emmett snapped his fingers in front of me – normally, this would have been considered a rude thing to do, and I had started to open my mouth to ask him what the hell he did that for, when I caught his eye.

He looked worried. “Hey man, are you alright? You kinda spaced out there for a second.”

I felt my eyebrows raise slightly in surprise. “I did? Sorry… yeah, yeah I’m fine, just got…distracted, I guess. I’m sorry.” I shook my head briefly before running my fingers through my hair with a sigh. “What were you saying?”

He narrowed his eyes at me for a moment, ostensibly to ascertain that I really was okay before repeating his question with a slight grin. After wrapping things up with Emmett and Bella, I had to hurry to my class. I had two classes left to teach today before I had to go to the theater for rehearsals. I was very much looking forward to them.

Not all my students had arrived yet, so I just let the ones that were there warm up for a little longer. As we were waiting for the rest of the students to arrive, I looked around the room at the various posters that hung on each wall that didn’t have a mirror on it. There were prints with Fred and Ginger, as well as Gene Kelly. There were a few others as well, but those were my personal favorites – Gene Kelly standing out among them for me. He was my inspiration, and I had long since been forced to admit that I had a crush on him. But could you blame me?! They just didn’t make them like him anymore. He could act, sing, and boy, did the man know how to dance – all that and he was…well…all man.

My favorite movie of his – one that I watched often, much to my family’s displeasure – was “Singin’ In The Rain”. I smiled as I stood in front of a poster of his from that very movie – it was the well-known scene of Gene dancing around in the rain with his umbrella. I was looking forward to being able to walk a mile in his shoes, so to speak. The rehearsals I would be going to were for the musical based on that movie, and I had landed the lead role – I would be playing the same character Gene had done; something that Alice had teased me about relentlessly.

Just as I thought of Alice, my attention shifted to her retreating form as she rushed into one of the classrooms nearby. Almost immediately, she hurried out again, this time with Seth and Leah in tow. I was tempted to go out and see what the fuss was about – Alice looked very excited for some reason – but the last of my students had arrived and it was time to start the lesson. Whatever was going on, I would have to wait to find out.

I had a hard time pushing away the thoughts about what might be going on, but I figured that whatever it was it couldn’t be too important or someone would have come and told me about it. So I focused on the students, and before I knew it, my two classes were over and I was rushing to get to the theater on time.

When I got there, it seemed there was more chatter than normal. As I walked up to the stage, I overheard bits of conversation about an accident. I hurried up to Marcus, our director, and was shocked to find him talking to Seth. What the hell is he doing here, of all places?

I waited for Marcus and Seth to be done, trying to not listen in, but when I heard Marcus say, “…appreciate you helping out, Seth. I don’t know what we’d do if Alice hadn’t suggested that you fill in the spot.”

“Wait, what? Who’s Seth filling in for?” I asked, looking between the two men.

Marcus turned to me, clasping my shoulder as he said, “Edward! Glad you’re here. I take it you haven’t heard yet, then?”

I frowned at him. “Heard what?”

Marcus sighed, shaking his head. “Ben was in an accident, broke his leg, so he won’t be able to play the part of Cosmo, obviously. Unfortunately, Eric’s being transferred to Seattle, so that leaves us without the understudy, too. Your sister came up with the perfect solution, though. Seth here played the part in San Francisco a while back, so he’s familiar with the play – and he’s agreed to step in. I know this is all incredibly short timing with how far we are in rehearsals, but without him I’m not sure what we’d have to do…”

He kept talking for a while longer as I just stood there, taking it all in as my gaze flickered from Marcus to Seth, who looked at us with some amusement in his face. It took me a moment to realize I was staring at him. It wasn’t until he cocked a brow at me and smirked, that I came to my senses and turned my attention back to Marcus, who had stopped talking and was watching me.

I cleared my throat, blushing faintly and praying that they wouldn’t say anything about my lapse in attention. I was going to be in a lot of trouble if I couldn’t get my act together – pun not intended – and focus on what I needed to do. Seth and I would be working very closely together. Too closely, maybe, I noted. I ran my fingers through my hair, feeling nervous for the first time. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to keep from reacting to him during the play.

Shaking my head at myself, I took a deep breath and smiled at Seth as I extended a hand to him. “Well, thanks, Seth. I appreciate that you’re helping us out. I guess you and I will need to do some extra rehearsing to make sure we’re, errr… in sync and all that?”

I felt my cheeks heat even further at my words, realizing the possible innuendo – something I was certain he had picked up on as well, if the smirk that pulled at his lips was anything to go by.

“Yes, we should probably do some, but for now I think we can just get right to it, see how things go?”

Marcus clapped his hands together, grinning. “Excellent!” He raised his voice and continued, “Attention, everyone! Be ready in five! Since everyone is here tonight, we’ll do the “Gotta Dance” sequence first. If that goes well, we’ll do “Fit As A Fiddle”.”

I let out a long breath, nodding at Marcus. I can do this…I think.

Turning to Seth, I said, “Have you been shown around?”

He shook his head, so I took him backstage and showed him where we’d be doing the costume changes and where he could put his things. I told him he could sit down wherever he wanted during “Gotta Dance” so he could see how it went, since Cosmo wasn’t in that bit.

I grabbed the prop black-rimmed glasses and went to take my place. I closed my eyes briefly in an attempt to center myself. I opened my eyes and glanced over my shoulder to see where Seth had gone to. When I didn’t find him, I put my glasses on and heard someone groan. I turned toward where the sound had come from, only to see Seth standing half-hidden behind the curtain, biting his lower lip as his eyes burned into mine.

I swallowed hard, but before I could react or even think, Marcus called my attention – we were ready to go. With a shake of my head, I forced myself to concentrate on what I was doing.

It took five tries before Marcus was satisfied with the results – at least enough to leave it for tonight. He wanted to see how Seth and I performed together. He called for a ten minute break, though, for which I was thankful.

I went in search of Alice, who was working behind the scenes as usual. She was one of the costumers and was busy with one of the girls. As soon as she saw me, she told the girl to come back in a few minutes. I waited until we were alone before I crossed my arms and scowled at her.

“What are you playing at, Alice?”

She feigned innocence as she looked up at me with wide eyes, the effect ruined by the grin that crept on her lips. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, dear brother.”

I narrowed my eyes at her and hissed. “Seth!”

She rolled her eyes and grabbed me by the arm, dragging me to an empty room and closing the door behind us before answering.

“You heard what Marcus said; Ben and Eric are both out of the picture, and I happened to know that Seth and Leah both played in the same musical a few months ago. It seemed like the perfect solution to me – now we have someone that knows what they’re doing, and the company isn’t out time or money trying to find someone else to fill the role. What’s the big deal?!”

Pinching the bridge of my nose, I sighed. “Nothing. Never mind… how did they happen to be here, anyway?”

She grinned, crossing her arms as she cocked a brow at me. “That, Edward, you will have to ask them about. I have to get back…and so do you. You have an act to perform. Come on…”

She ushered me out of the room, and the gleam in her eyes left me wondering just how much she knew about my feelings for Seth. Had Jasper ratted me out?

When I got back to the stage, I saw Seth talking with Marcus again. As I got closer, I heard them going over the act we were about to rehearse. As soon as Marcus saw me, he clapped his hands and motioned for everyone to take their places. Seth and I looked at each other for a moment as we were handed our props – fiddles – and got ready.

Once the music started, I tried to forget about everything else, but it was harder this time. I had to pay attention to him, had to pick up his cues and make sure we wouldn’t end up falling over each other – though that certainly had its merits, this was neither the time nor place for it. When Seth moved from the piano to come behind me to play the fiddle and dance with me, I almost lost my place. I could feel him, and I do mean feel him. He was pressed up against me, his arms around me so he could play the fiddle as we moved together.

He. Was. Hard.

Seth gave an almost imperceptible thrust with his hips, jolting me to my senses again. Thankfully, no one else seemed to have noticed a thing. I, however, felt the heat rise on my cheeks…and that wasn’t the only thing rising.

It took everything I had in me to just keep going. Marcus didn’t interrupt us once and we managed to get the entire song without any further hitches. After we were done, Marcus told everyone to go home for the night, but held both Seth and me back.

“You two looked great together. Seth, Edward, I would appreciate if you two could practice outside of rehearsals. We’re really pressed for time, what with the opening being in just a couple of weeks.”

I glanced at Seth, who was looking at me as he said, “Sure. Not a problem…I’m up for it.”

I swallowed hard at Seth’s words. “Of course.”

Marcus seemed pleased enough, told us to go home and get some rest and walked off, leaving us standing on the stage.

Seth leaned back against the piano, folding his arms across his chest as he watched me intently. I fidgeted, running my fingers through my hair and blushing faintly under his scrutiny. Though I kept trying to avoid it, my eyes kept raking over his body – taking in the intensity of his gaze as well as the evidence of his arousal. Both made my own body respond with equal measures of excitement and nerves.

What the fuck, Cullen? Now is not the time to revert back to ninth grade.

After a few minutes where neither of us spoke, Seth chuckled softly, lowering his head a little before looking up at me through his lashes. He unfolded his arms and placed his hands on the piano, causing him to lean forward a little.

“So…”

I swallowed back the “So…what?” that wanted to escape my lips, instead just raising an eyebrow in question.

His lips twitched, and I briefly wondered what was going through his mind before the words he uttered left me gaping and speechless.

“This would normally be the point where I say, ‘Your place or mine’, but since I’m not unpacked yet I think that’s out.”

He snickered as he took in the expression on my face. “Boxes strewn across the floor make…dancing…a bit hazardous, Edward.”

I felt the heat rising on my cheeks. Dancing had not been where my mind had gone after his comment, and the fucker knew it. His eyes were goddamn twinkling with mirth, and it was obvious he was trying to hold back his laughter.

I scowled at him, crossing my arms defensively and my tone was harsher than I intended as I said, “We can practice here, or at the school. There’s plenty of room there and I have the scores and everything we need.”

That seemed to shut him up. He straightened up, pushing himself away from the piano as he slowly breached the distance between us. He didn’t stop moving until he was mere inches from me and I could feel the heat that radiated off of him – the need to reach out and grab hold of him was overwhelming. I wanted to be enveloped by his heat in every sense, but I was afraid to move and not even sure why. All I could do was watch him.

He leaned a little so his face was right next to mine and I could feel his breath fan over my cheek as he spoke. “The school it is, then. I have a feeling we’ll need lots of practice. Just tell me when you want me to come, Edward.”

Ho. Ly. Fuck.

I gulped, turning my face slightly so I could see his eyes – and I will admit, so I could try to kiss him – but he pulled away and stepped back. He looked a little smug as he took in the shocked look on my face. My heart was beating so fast, I was sure he could hear it, if not see the blood pumping through my veins.

I felt off-balance, somehow, unsure of what to make of this. Normally, I never had much trouble reading people, but Seth…I wasn’t sure how much of what was happening was real and how much was just me reading too much into something because of how I felt for him.

It took me a minute to compose myself enough to give him a response. When I spoke, my voice was low and husky – I couldn’t have gotten it to sound normal if I had tried.

“I’ll be at the school all day. I have time between classes, if you don’t mind hanging around?”

He tilted his head, narrowing his eyes a little as if he was trying to read me and finding it as difficult to do as I did with him. Finally, he nodded and we agreed that he would show up early so we could work around classes all day. He made no moves, nor any further innuendo, and again I was left feeling off-balance. I had no idea if he was truly interested, or just playing, or even if it was simply all in my head.

I resolved to just leave it be. If he wanted me, he would do something. But if he was just playing around, I wanted no part in it. Worse, if it was all in my head then I didn’t want to risk the friendly relation between us and the Clearwaters. That simply would not be worth it, and besides…Rosalie would have my hide.

We went our separate ways and I spent the rest of the night at home – alone and slightly frustrated. I put in “Singin’ In The Rain”, and found myself watching it with new eyes. All the scenes Seth and I would be doing together, all the interactions I knew we would have during the play…

Yep, you’re in deep shit, Cullen.

The following day I woke up before my alarm went off, despite not having slept very well. Seth had been prominent in my dreams, leaving me feeling unsettled…and aching. I almost didn’t want to get up, unsure if I really wanted to be faced with him again, even as another part of me was longing to be close to him again.

I scrubbed my face, running my fingers through my hair with a huff as I got up and started my day. After a shower – during which I indulged in a fantasy or two about Seth as I jerked off – I went through my usual morning rituals and was out the door much earlier than normal.

When I arrived at the school, no one was there yet, so I unlocked the door and went to my classroom after having changed shoes. Trying to busy myself and not think about Seth, I set about queuing the music up both for our practice and my first lesson.

I knew Rose would be showing up soon, since she and I were supposed to teach private lessons for the first part of the day. Since she wasn’t here yet, and Seth hadn’t shown up yet either, I decided to practice on my own for a bit. I put on “Singin’ in the Rain” and hit play, making use of the few seconds fade-in to get in place.

I smiled as I closed my eyes briefly and let everything fall away and began to sing and dance. It felt good to just get absorbed in what I was doing. The only thing I was aware of was the music, nothing else – that is, right up until the end of the song. I swear, the timing could not have been better if it had been planned. Right at the point where Don realizes there’s a police officer behind him and he pauses, I noticed Seth leaning against the wall by the door, his legs and arms crossed. I couldn’t discern the look on his face as I finished the song, my eyes constantly going back to his.

When the song finished, I hurried to the player to stop it. As I turned to look at Seth, he was pushing himself off the wall with a smile and walked up to me. As he did, I allowed myself to take in his appearance. He was wearing black slacks, just like I was. Apparently we both preferred the style we had to wear for the contests. They just worked better, allowing for freer movement when dancing – and for me, it was almost work attire. He wore a white button down shirt, the top three buttons were left open, allowing me a view of his smooth chest, and I had to suppress a moan at the sight. His sleeves were rolled up, exposing his arms, and I wondered if he could have dressed to tempt me any more than this. His hair was pulled back in a ponytail, exposing his neck, and the urge to grab him was almost unbearable.

He was grinning as he stopped right in front of me, and his eyes were dark and so alive with…something, it took my breath away for a moment.

“Damn, Edward… looks like you could have given Gene a run for his money.”

I blushed at his words and averted my eyes from his – they were too intense, and I was afraid that if I kept looking, I would end up doing something stupid. After a moment, I cleared my throat and chanced a glance at him again – he was still watching me closely.

I muttered, “Thanks. I don’t hold a candle to him, though. No one really does.”

He tilted his head slightly, grinning as he said, “Oh, I don’t know… I think there’s a few things you have that he doesn’t.”

His eyes twinkled, and I was about to ask what he meant when he rubbed his hands together and asked what we would be starting with. I was beginning to think that he was purposely throwing me off-balance, as I constantly seemed to feel just off-center when he was around. I wasn’t sure whether or not I liked it.

After talking back and forth for a few minutes, figuring out what he had done in the play he had been in before, we decided to focus on a couple of scenes that was mostly just Don and Cosmo. I knew Seth was an excellent dancer, but I had no idea how he would be as Cosmo. The only thing I had seen him do was the scene we had done the night before. Cosmo’s role was more of a physical, comedic part, along with the dancing and singing. I had to admit, I was looking forward to seeing him in action.

Before the first lesson, we ended up reading a few lines and doing a repeat of “Fit as a Fiddle”. Emmett and Bella had walked in on us as we were dancing, and applauded as soon as we had finished, causing both Seth and I to take a bow and laugh.

Emmett clapped me on my shoulder and said with a grin, “Man, I’m glad we got here a little early, that was awesome!”

“Thanks, Em. Why don’t you and Bella get ready while I go find out what’s taking Rose. She should have been here by now.”

I glanced up at the clock above the door, frowning. She really should have been here already, and I was beginning to worry a little. I left Seth to chat with Emmett and Bella while I walked to the front desk. As soon as Alice saw me, she motioned me over, holding up a finger and pointing at the phone to let me know she’d be right with me. I leaned against the desk, drumming my fingers impatiently.

When I heard Alice’s “Okay, don’t worry, I’ll tell Edward. Give Tanya our love, okay? And keep us posted!”, I frowned.

As soon as she hung up the phone, she was beaming at me. “That was Rose. Tanya went into labor this morning, so she won’t be able to make it in today.”

Tanya was our cousin from Dad’s side, and Rose had been there during Tanya’s pregnancy. Tanya’s boyfriend had been killed in Iraq, and had no family aside from us. She had relied heavily on Rose, though Rose had not minded. In fact, she had insisted on being there for her. She’d even gone to Lamaze with Tanya. I was glad that she was there and that Tanya wasn’t going through it alone. We’d known Rose would be there when this happened, but Tanya had apparently gone into labor two weeks early, and we hadn’t quite counted on that.

I nodded. “Alright. I’ll figure something out for the lessons, but I’m not sure who can pick up her classes this afternoon, since I’m teaching at the same time.”

Alice waved me off. “Don’t you worry about that. As long as you have a handle on the lessons, I’ll worry about the classes.”

“No problem. Let me know as soon as you hear something, okay?”

I started to walk back to my room right as Alice said, “Of course I will.”

Emmett, Bella, and Seth were laughing about something as I walked in. I ran my fingers through my hair with a sigh as I tried to figure out how to go about this. Usually Rose would dance with and teach the men, and I the girls. Mostly, this was because that’s what people were comfortable with, though I knew how to handle both. Mom and Dad had taught all of us to dance in both roles. Narrowing my eyes a little, I watched them for a moment.

“Hey, Seth?”

He turned around to face me as I walked up to him, raising a brow in question.

“Would you mind helping me out today? Rose is at the hospital with Tanya, so I’m on my own.”

“Sure, I can do that. Might as well make myself useful while I’m here, right?” He paused for a moment, tilting his head as he said, “Labor?”

I nodded. “Yeah, she’s early.”

Turning to Emmett and Bella, I said, “You guys don’t mind, do you?”

Both of them were shaking their head, and Emmett grinned. “I’m cool with it, bro.” His grin widened as he looked at Seth. “As long as you think you can behave yourself.”

Bella smacked Emmett on the chest, hissing, “Emmett!”

“Ouch! What?”

He pouted at her while Seth laughed. “Oh, no worries, Em, I’ll be on my best behavior. You’re not my type, anyway.”

I glanced over at him and was startled to find that though he’d been addressing Emmett, he was looking at me.

I wonder what that’s about.

“Alright then. Let’s get started, shall we?”

After explaining briefly what was supposed to happen during this lesson, I started the music. Emmett and Bella showed what they’d been practicing on their own after our last lesson, and I could tell that they’d been trying hard. After correcting their posture a few times, I was satisfied that we could move on to something else.

Pausing the music, I turned to Seth. “Think you can help me demonstrate how this is supposed to look?”

The look of mischief in his eyes had me briefly reconsidering the idea, but the prospect of dancing with him was too enticing to deny.

“Sure,” he said.

I queued the music and stepped up to Seth, looking steadily at him. “Do you want to lead, or follow? I’m good either way.”

He stepped closer, placing his hands in position as he leaned forward a little and said in a soft, husky voice, “Normally, I prefer to lead. But for you, I’ll follow.”

I gulped and felt my face burning – I was pretty sure we weren’t talking about dancing anymore. Before I could react, though, the music started and I was snapped back to what we were doing.

As we danced, I had to admit that holding Seth like that felt damn good. It felt right, as if we belonged together, and I wondered if he felt the same thing. Pushing any thoughts of that aside for the moment, I thanked him for the dance and turned my attention back to the lesson. When I looked at Bella, she grinned and winked at me. I just shook my head at her. That girl was too much of a romantic for her own good.

Their lesson went by quickly, as did the rest of them. In between each lesson, Seth and I would practice. Alice had interrupted a lesson to let me know that Tanya was having an emergency C-section, and that she would let me know as soon as she heard any further news.

At the news, Seth grabbed my hand, squeezing it lightly and rubbing the back of it with his thumb as he watched me. I’m sure that the fluttering of panic I felt would be visible to him, and I was grateful for the comfort he gave even by just holding my hand.

It was difficult to continue with the rest of the lessons, but I knew there was little I could do. I fully intended to go to the hospital as soon as I was done, though, rehearsals be damned. Seth disappeared for a few minutes as I continued teaching, and when he came back, he jumped right in to help again. I was actually grateful to have him there, as he picked up whenever I got too distracted.

Finally, after three hours, classes were done. Seth and I walked to the front desk as I thanked him for all his help. He waved his hand dismissively and rolled his eyes. “Don’t mention it.”

I turned to Alice and asked if there was any news yet.

“No, not yet, but that doesn’t mean much. I’m sure she’ll be fine, Edward. The baby, too.”

I nodded, running my fingers through my hair irritably. I knew she was just as worried as I was. We’d lost too many loved ones already, especially the last couple of years, and the thought of losing Tanya and the baby made my heart ache. I leaned over the desk, grabbing my car keys, phone, and wallet from the small cubby I kept them in, and was about to say I was heading to the hospital when I felt Seth’s hand close over the hand I had my keys in. I looked up at him with a frown. “What?”

His gaze was level, though I could see he was trying to keep his emotions from showing. “I’m driving.”

“What? No, you don’t have to, Seth; I’m perfectly capable of getting to the hospital. Besides, you have rehearsals since you’re coming in so late in the game.”

He rolled his eyes and gave an exasperated sigh.

“First off, Edward, there’s plenty left for them to rehearse that doesn’t require me, because Cosmo isn’t in those scenes. Especially with you – Don, the main character – not there. Yes, there’ll be an understudy, but it’s you I need to work with in order to get accustomed to dancing and acting together. Today has shown that this isn’t going to be too big of a problem.”

He raised an eyebrow as if trying to get me to disagree. I couldn’t, so stayed silent as he continued.

“Second, I know Tanya, too. I want to see how she’s doing. And third…” He paused briefly, as if trying to figure out how to put his thoughts into words. He took a deep breath and tried again.

“And third, I don’t like the idea of you going alone. You’re upset and shouldn’t be driving. Let me be there for you, okay?”

My eyes searched his for a moment before I nodded, whispering a quiet thanks. He squeezed my hand gently and let go. I hadn’t even realized he had still been holding onto it, but the moment he released my hand, I felt the loss. Seth, however, turned to Alice, but before he could say anything she grinned and waved us off. “Go. I’ve already called Marcus to let him know what’s going on and that you might not make it to rehearsal tonight. He understands, and said that he hopes everything works out. Now shoo! I’ll be there as soon as I’ve locked up and gotten everything taken care of for the day.”

I couldn’t help but grin at my little sister. She never ceased to amaze me in how organized she was, or how she intuitively knew what people needed. Though, in this case, I suspected Seth had gone to her earlier when he had disappeared for a while. Alice stepped around the desk to give both Seth and I a quick hug, and then we were off.

Both of us were fairly quiet on the drive to the hospital. We had taken Seth’s black Shelby Cobra, rather than my little Chevy Bel Air. When I asked him how on earth he’d managed to get his hands on something like this – I knew these cars were expensive – he said that he and his cousin had rebuilt it together. Apparently his cousin was a mechanic who had made a bit of a name for himself back in San Francisco restoring classic cars.

We were just parking outside the hospital when my phone rang. It was Alice, calling to let me know that Tanya was okay and that she had delivered a healthy baby boy. After checking with her where we needed to be, we headed inside in search of Rosalie.

Rosalie walked up to us as soon as we got out of the elevator and hugged me tight. I saw Mom and Dad a little further down the hallway, talking quietly. I held Rosalie as we swayed back and forth – she was crying quietly, the emotions of the day finally coming out. I kissed her hair softly, murmuring words of assurance and comfort.

I was very aware of Seth as he stood close to us and put a gentle hand on Rose’s shoulder. He spoke softly to her. “How is Tanya?”

Rose lifted her face to him, refusing to relinquish her hold on me, so I just held her tighter as she spoke, her voice quivering with emotion. “She’s still in recovery. They had to sedate her, so we haven’t been allowed in to see her yet. They say she’s doing fine though.”

“That’s good. How about the baby… Alice said it was a boy?”

I glanced at Seth, glad that he was asking questions – because as much as I wanted to know the answers, I couldn’t bring myself to voice them. He smiled softly at me and nodded, and for a moment it almost felt as if he were able to read my mind. I turned my attention back to Rose when she sniffled before answering.

“Yeah…” She smiled faintly, her eyes becoming brighter – and not just from the tears that glistened in her eyes, but from pride – as she continued. “He’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen. He’s seven pounds, three ounces, and I think the nurse said eighteen and a quarter inches.” She turned to look up at me and chuckled softly. “He’s got hair, too…almost the same color as yours.”

I pulled back slightly and grinned back. “I can assure you, I had nothing to do with it.”

Tanya and I were the only ones who had inherited Grandma Cullen’s reddish hair color, though mine was distinctively more so thanks to my mother’s side. Everyone else in the family had inherited the more trademarked blond locks, except for Alice with her raven hair – one of the many ways she used to stand out. It sounded as if Grandma Cullen’s looks would live on for another generation, at least. The thought made me smile.

I kissed Rosalie’s hair again, before asking her softly if she was okay. She nodded and we finally stepped apart as she asked if we wanted to go see the newest addition to the Cullen clan. Seth and I both answered “Of course!” at the same time. We grinned at each other and Rose gave us an odd look before shaking her head and turning to lead the way to the nursery, Seth and I following behind her.

Mom and Dad had apparently been standing in front of the window of the nursery, since Rosalie stopped as soon as we had reached them. They gave both Seth and I a hug – the fact that they gave him one, too, made me pause as I realized I liked the idea of him being included in our family. A lot.

Shaking my head slightly, I paid attention to Mom as she was pointing at a crib about a foot away from us on the other side of the glass. The little sign on the foot of it read “Baby Boy Cullen” and I frowned as I read it.

“He has no name yet?”

Mom, Dad, and Rosalie all shook their heads. Rosalie said, “No, Tanya wanted to name him the first time she held him.”

“Ahh, okay.”

I placed my hand on the glass as I watched my baby cousin as he slept peacefully. I wanted to hold him, but I knew I would have to wait until Tanya was in her own room. I looked up at Seth as he put his hand on my shoulder, and I smiled at him. His eyes were on baby Cullen and he had a soft smile on his lips as he said, “He’s beautiful. Guess it really does run in the family.”

I didn’t know what to say to that, so I just stared at him, a little stunned at his words. He turned to look at me and squeezed my shoulder before letting go. He cleared his throat lightly, the faintest blush tinting his cheeks.

“I’m glad they’re okay, Edward.”

“Thanks,” I murmured.

He nodded quietly, turning back to watch the baby.

Mom stepped up to me, putting her arm around my waist as she looked up at me. “Shouldn’t you two be at rehearsals right now?”

I briefly glanced at my watch. “Yeah, probably. I just couldn’t not come here and find out how they were doing…”

Giving me a one-armed hug, she nodded. “They’re fine, honey. You should go, though; it’ll do you good to be active rather than staying here and not able to do anything but wait. I’ll be sure to tell Tanya you and Seth stopped by, and you can visit her in the morning.”

I hugged her back, kissing her on the cheek and smiled. She knew me too well. I would go crazy doing nothing, and would almost certainly drive everyone around me insane as well. I turned to Seth with a grin.

“What do you say, you up to going? We’ll be late, but we should still be able to get something out of it.”

He turned around, leaning against the windowsill as he rested his palms on it. He grinned and said, “I’m game if you are.”

We left after saying goodbye to the others and nearly got run over by Alice as she exited the elevator we were trying to get into. We stopped briefly to fill her in, asking if she was going to go to rehearsal later, but she declined and told us to go have fun.

The drive to the theater was spent in silence, too lost in thought to talk. It wasn’t until Seth had parked the car that I turned to him and thanked him for being there.

His eyes were warm as he smiled softly at me. “Any time, Edward.”

I nodded and got out of the car with a sigh.

Marcus had everyone take a break as soon as he saw us walk in. When we had reached him, he inquired about Tanya and congratulated me on my cousin, asking me to send Tanya his best wishes. Tanya had been in a few plays with us, so he knew her, too. After assuring him – and the few others who had gathered to hear about the news – I would do just that, Marcus filled Seth and me in on what they’d done so far.

He wanted to work on “Good Morning!” after the break, and if there was time, “Make ’em Laugh”. Seth grinned, and I silently hoped we’d get things down enough so that I would get to see him perform one of my favorite parts in the movie – and one of the harder parts to do justice to on stage.

After the break, Angela – who played Kathy – Seth, and I took our places and started the scene. Marcus only stopped us twice to change a few things, but over all things went smoothly and everyone was pleased with the results. We would only need to go over the scene a few times before we’d have it down. Marcus had us repeat the scene once before having us switch and work on “Make ’em Laugh”.

Though I was taking part in this scene, I didn’t have much to do since the spotlight would be mostly on Seth. I sat back and watched him as he sang, dancing around and for all intents and purposes goofing around just like Cosmo did in the movie. His flirting with the dummy was hilarious, and I watched in quiet awe as he flailed around before running up the partition that was set up for this scene and doing a back-flip – not once, but twice.

When he was done, everyone applauded. None of us had ever seen anything like it on the stage, and certainly neither Ben nor Eric had ever been able to put as much into the role of Cosmo as Seth had done. In short, he was absolutely amazing.

Marcus dismissed everyone for the night once we all calmed down, and then he walked up to us. He clapped Seth on the shoulder, grinning broadly as he said, “That was beyond anything I would have expected, Seth. We’re damn lucky that you moved to Los Angeles.”

I looked at Seth, who had an odd expression on his face as he said, “Yeah…lucky…”

Marcus patted him on the shoulder again before bidding us goodnight and saying he’d see us again tomorrow. I frowned at Seth who was watching me, still with that odd look on his face. I couldn’t figure out what was going through his mind – why was he looking like that?

I ducked my head slightly, looking up at him through my lashes. “So why are you and Leah here, anyway?”

Seth took a deep breath, letting it out slowly before answering.

“Leah’s here because of me.”

I raised my head, quirking a brow at him. “And why are you here?”

He paused for a moment, his eyes on mine as he spoke so softly I almost didn’t hear him.

“I took a chance…”

I blinked, letting his words sink in slowly. My eyes searched his as he continued to watch me. We stood like that for what felt like ages before he cleared his throat and ducked his head, effectively breaking the hold his eyes had on me.

We were standing close, within arm’s reach, but suddenly that was too far apart. He said he had taken a chance, and my mind raced with everything that had happened the last couple of days. Everything he had said, done. Everything fell into place, and all I could think to do was kiss him.

Closing the distance, I stepped right in front of him, placing my palm on his chest. He looked up at me then, his eyes searching mine, and I couldn’t help but smile at him. I leaned in slowly, giving him the time to pull away if I was wrong, but he didn’t – and the moment my lips brushed his, I felt as if I had come home. His response was tentative at first, our lips slowly melding together as his hands went to my hips, pulling me closer.

I let out a soft moan at the feel of him against me. He deepened our kiss, tilting his head a little as he opened his mouth, and I felt his tongue brush against my lips. My knees almost buckled as I opened myself up to him and he began to explore my mouth. His tongue against mine felt like heaven – his taste was something I couldn’t describe, but it had me craving more.

All too soon, Seth broke the connection, resting his forehead against mine as he tried to catch his breath. The smile on his face was almost angelic as he whispered, “I’ve been wanting to do that for years.”

I let my hand trail up his chest to his neck, cupping his cheek as I pulled away enough to look him in the eye. My heart was beating rapidly as I tried to find my voice. When I finally was able to speak, it was barely above a whisper.

“You’re not alone there.”

He pressed his lips to mine again, but before we could get too into it, both our stomachs growled, loudly enough to take notice. Chuckling, we pulled apart, and Seth took my hand in his, tenderly running his thumb over my knuckles as he smiled and said, “We should probably get something to eat; neither of us really ate anything today. Can I take you out to a late dinner?”

I grinned at him. “Planning to wine and dine me, Seth?”

He tugged at my hand, pulling me close to him and wrapped an arm around my waist. He leaned in and whispered in my ear, his breath fanning across it, sending shivers down my spine.

“You better believe it, sweetheart.”

He pressed his lips just below my ear, humming softly as he placed several open mouthed kisses along my neck. I tilted my head, and moaned a quiet, “Oh, God…”

He chuckled as he let me go, raising his eyebrow as he looked at me. “Dinner?”

All I could do was nod, because I was pretty sure that if I opened my mouth, it wouldn’t be a request for dinner coming out of it. He took my hand in his again, entwining our fingers together as we walked to his car. He asked where I wanted to go, since he was new in town and only knew of a few places, so we ended up going to my favorite little Italian restaurant.

Since it was relatively late for the dinner crowd, there were plenty of tables, and Seth got a fairly secluded little booth in the back. We ordered a cheese fondue appetizer to share, Seth got Parmesan chicken, and I ordered three cheese tortellini. Though I had joked about the wining and dining, neither of us had any alcohol since he had to drive – and I was secretly hoping he would come to my place after dinner, thinking we could get to the wining part then.

We talked as we waited on our food, mostly about the play – both of us seemingly unwilling to address the reason for his even being here in the first place. When the waitress brought our appetizer, I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I frowned slightly, feigning concentration as I put some of the cheese on top of a slice of baguette.

“So what changed, Seth? What prompted you to take a chance and move to LA?”

Taking a bite, I finally looked up at him and waited for an answer. His eyes darkened a little, a fleeting moment of sadness apparent in them before he seemed to push it away with effort. He sighed softly before answering.

“Did you know my Dad passed away a few months ago?”

Nodding, I reached over and put my hand over his as I said softly, “Yeah, I heard. I’m so sorry, Seth.”

He smiled sadly, flipping his hand over so he could hold mine, looking down at our hands. “It’s okay. It was sudden, you know? But Leah and I are fine now.”

He sighed and shook his head, looking back up at me. “Anyway…when he passed away, it got me thinking. He had a good life, you know? People he loved and cared for, that loved and cared for him back. He had always done what he loved doing, and he pushed Leah and I to do the same. He…he left something behind when he died. And I began to wonder if I had that. It took me a while to figure out that I didn’t. I want what he had though – well, you know what I mean…”

I nodded, waiting for him to continue, since he didn’t seem to be done yet.

“So Leah and I got to talking. She felt pretty much the same way I did, with one major difference. She wasn’t already in love with someone, and had no strings anywhere other than to me and our mother.”

He paused, letting his words sink in. I was shocked, not quite sure I was hearing him right.

He’s in love…with me?

He sighed softly, his thumb idly rubbing my hand as he lowered his eyes to our hands again.

“It took some doing, but finally we all – mother, included – decided that we had to just leave San Francisco. There were too many memories of Dad there, and after some discussion, we opted to come here. I wanted to see if maybe…” He took a deep breath and tried again. “I wanted to see if maybe you had feelings for me, too. If you and I could possibly be more than just casual friends that meet at the odd competition.”

His voice had gotten quieter with his confession and his eyes remained locked on our hands, almost as if he was afraid to see my reaction. The forward and flirting Seth was gone, replaced with an insecure young man who had just put his heart on the line and was waiting for it to be handed back to him. The need to protect him was strong, the need to love him even stronger.

I squeezed his hand lightly, my voice soft as I smiled at him.

“That’s one hell of a chance to take, Seth, but I’m glad you did. I’d like to see if we could be, too. I’d like that very much.”

Finally he looked up at me, his eyes searching mine as he smiled tentatively at me. “Really?”

I nodded, blushing a little. “Yes. Seth…I’ve had a crush on you for years.”

His smile widened, the joy he felt radiated from him as he watched me quietly. We ended up talking about how we felt, why we hadn’t acted before now, what we wanted for the future, what he and Leah were going to be doing for work. It felt like we covered everything under the sun and more as we ate.

After dinner – which he insisted he pay for, since he was the one who had asked me out – we got back to his car and sat. I wanted to ask him to my place, but it was already very late.

“Can I drop you off at your place? Or would you rather pick up your car?”

I glanced at him, wondering why I was nervous all of a sudden. Get a grip! I licked my lips before giving him a crooked grin.

“My place is fine, though I would need a ride to the school in the morning…”

He smirked slightly. “That can be arranged.”

He drove me home, parked in my usual spot, and got out to walk me to my door. He stepped up to me as I put my keys in the lock and put his hand over mine. He watched me intently for a moment, then leaned in to kiss me tenderly on the lips. Returning the kiss, I put my free hand on the small of his back, pulling him closer.

We stood like that for several minutes, just kissing before I pulled away with a sigh. I gazed at him and smiled.

“You know…it’s awfully late already. If you’re giving me a ride in the morning, it might be easier if you just stayed?”

I bit my lip, half-hoping he would just accept the invitation at face value, and half-hoping he would notice the deeper meaning. Either way, I figured I was good as long as he said yes. I couldn’t help but blush a little, though, at the thought of getting a different kind of ride from him.

He grinned at me, his eyes twinkling with mischief as he pulled my closer to him and pressed his hips to mine. I groaned softly, which only made him chuckle. His voice was a little deeper than normal when he spoke.

“You sure you want to wait for the morning for that ride, sweetheart?”

Instead of answering, I turned the key and opened my door, pulling him in behind me before closing and locking it again. Pushing him up against it, I pressed into him, kissing him hungrily. If he wanted me, I had no intention of waiting. He groaned into my mouth as we kissed, my hands reaching up to untie the leather cord that kept his hair in a ponytail. As soon as his hair was freed, I ran my fingers through it, loving the silky feel of it.

Seth seemed to enjoy the feeling of my fingers in his hair as I massaged his scalp, moaning softly as his own hands ran up and down my back. I felt his fingers tugging at my shirt, lifting it from my trousers gently before slipping his hands under the fabric. I shivered when I felt him gently caress my skin.

I wanted more.

As if sensing this, Seth pulled away from our kiss, his hands coming to rest above my hips. The warmth that spread from his hands was both maddening and comforting all at once. I wanted his hands elsewhere; I wanted for him to explore every part of me, just as I wanted to explore every part of him.

He smiled softly at me, his eyes appearing black as he watched me. “I want to do this right, beautiful.”

I nodded and grabbed his hand, kissing him briefly before leading him to my bedroom without bothering to turn on any lights. There would be plenty of time to give him the grand tour of the place – at least, I hoped there would be.

As we walked, I felt him grab my ass with his free hand, squeezing it lightly. I looked at him over my shoulder, cocking a brow at him, but didn’t say a word. He just shrugged and grinned at me, completely unapologetic. Not that I had minded.

I didn’t stop until we had reached my bed. I released his hand so I could switch on my bedside lamp before turning to Seth, beckoning him to me with one finger. He complied by grabbing my hips and pushing into me, his fingers digging into my flesh.

My fingers began to slowly unbutton his shirt as my lips found his. I needed to feel his skin against mine, needed to let his warmth surround and fill me in every way. He allowed me to get his shirt off, never breaking our kiss or moving to get my clothes off as well. It wasn’t until I had unbuckled his belt and pulled it out of his pants that he batted my hands away and began to unbutton my shirt.

As he was busy with my shirt, I let my fingers run lazy circles over his arms, loving the feel of his muscles moving under my fingertips. He pulled my shirt down my shoulders and I had to let my arms drop to my side to allow him to remove it. He pulled away to look at me, a look of quiet awe crossed his face as he took me in.

I let my own eyes wander across his chest and abs before finding my way back to his face. Stunning as he was, I still wanted more. I reached for his pants, unbuttoning them before lowering his zipper. Hooking my thumbs into the waistband of both his pants and boxer briefs, I slowly pulled them down, lowering to my knees so I could help him out of them and take his socks off at the same time. When I was done, I sat back on my heels, letting my eyes roam up his body before letting my fingers follow their path and standing up again.

“Fucking beautiful,” I murmured softly.

His eyes were smoldering as he watched me undress him. He had yet to say anything since getting into my bedroom, and I was about to ask him if everything was alright when he cupped my face in his hands, holding me in place. He leaned in slowly, pressing his lips to mine in an almost reverent fashion as he let go of me and let his hands drift down my body. He was being so tender, so gentle, that it only fueled my want for him more.

When he had finally unbuckled my belt, he removed his lips from mine and started to leave a trail of open mouthed kisses down my neck, to my pecs. He lavished attention on each nipple as he undid my pants and let them slide down my legs, leaving me in my boxer briefs as I toed out of my pants and socks – eager to just get closer.

I felt the vibrations of Seth’s chuckle on my skin at my eagerness, but he didn’t deviate from his path as he moved lower until he was on his knees, trailing licks and kisses along the V of my hips while pulling down my boxer briefs. His hands went to my hips, kneading my flesh as he looked up at me through his lashes. My breath hitched as he pursed his lips and blew across my head, making my cock twitch.

He looked so incredibly sexy and he was just so close. I ran my fingers through his hair as he blew another breath over my head teasingly and I moaned softly. “Fuck me…”

He chuckled again. “Oh, I plan to, sweetheart. But first…”

Instead of finishing his sentence, he gave a long lick all the way from the bottom of my shaft to my head, causing me to hiss and shudder. His tongue twisted around the tip before he let it slip between his lips, taking me in deeper, at a tortuously slow pace, until I hit the back of his throat. He set a slow but steady pace as he alternately licked and sucked my dick. I was torn between watching him – which was almost enough to make me come in and of itself – and closing my eyes to savor the sensations of Seth’s skillful mouth around my cock.

My fingers were tangled deep in his hair, not to set the pace, but to connect with him. He moaned softly around me as I massaged his scalp, making my legs quiver. I wasn’t at all sure I would be able to remain on my feet if he kept this up.

“Oh God, Seth…”

He hummed softly before relaxing his throat, taking me even deeper and swallowing around me.

“Fuck! So…feels so good, baby…”

He did that twice more before I couldn’t hold back any longer, shooting my load down his throat as he swallowed it all. He tenderly licked my cock, as if not wanting to miss anything I had given him. As soon as he released my softening dick from his lips, I let myself fall onto the bed behind me, grabbing his shoulders as I pulled him to me and kissed him passionately. I moaned softly as the taste of myself hit my tongue.

Seth pulled away slowly, nudging me so I would scoot up the bed. Once I had settled into the middle of my king sized bed, he crawled over my body, randomly placing kisses as he moved his way up. As soon as he was within reach, my hands caressed every part of him I could get to – I just wanted to feel.

His mouth latched onto my neck, sending shivers down my spine as he kissed, licked, and nibbled along it. I tilted my head, closing my eyes at the onslaught of sensations when I felt him lowering his body onto mine, thrusting his hips lightly. I wrapped my arms around him, rolling my hips to meet his. The friction our moves created was delicious, and I could feel myself hardening again already.

Seth hummed softly as his lips made their way to my ear and he whispered, “I want you, beautiful.”

I trailed my right hand up his back to cup his neck while my left went to his ass, pressing him into me as I bucked my hips up. My voice was hoarse with want. “Please…”

I turned my head to capture his lips with mine before nudging him so I could reach my nightstand. He rolled off of me to allow me room, but was back in an instant. I had grabbed the bottle of lube and a condom from my nightstand drawer, and I settled on my back again.

He leaned over me, his eyes intent on mine as he gently stroked my cheek with the back of his fingers. “So beautiful,” he murmured before kissing me softly on the lips.

Sitting up slightly, he grabbed the bottle of lube and poured some on his fingers, snapping it shut once he was finished and putting it aside again. I pulled my knees up, spreading my legs in invitation. With a grin, he teased my flesh for a moment before pushing a single digit inside of me. His other hand was caressing my thigh as his eyes wandered from his finger moving in and out of me, to my eyes.

I tried watching him, not wanting to miss a moment, but when he added a second finger and twisted them around just so, I couldn’t stop my eyes from fluttering closed. I let out a low moan while Seth’s hand moved from my thigh to my chest as he added a third finger.

After a moment, I felt him shift again as he leaned forward. His voice had taken on a low timbre when he spoke into my ear.

“How about that ride, sweetheart?”

I breathed out, “Fuck, yes…” before turning my face and claiming his lips with mine. He pulled his fingers out slowly, chuckling as I whimpered at the loss of connection. Sitting up, he grabbed the condom, ripping the packet open. Before he could put it on, though, I took it from his hands.
“Let me?”

He nodded, leaning back on his arms a little, his eyes on every move I made as I stroked him a few times. I put the condom on him and lubed him up. Part of me marveled as I touched him – I had fantasized about being with him so often that it almost seemed unreal to me.

Seth’s hand on my cheek brought me back to the moment and I lifted my gaze to his. He looked at me, smiling softly as he pulled me closer. His lips brushed against mine as he whispered, “I know…”

Somehow it felt as if he were able to see right through me, knew my innermost thoughts, but rather than it scaring me off it made me feel more connected to him. How was it possible for this to be real – for Seth to feel as I did and to have such a strong bond that was about to become so much more? At least, I really, really hoped it would – I didn’t just want sex. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted that, and lots of it – but I wanted what came after, too, just as much.

I kissed him soundly as I pushed forward, and Seth settled onto his back, his hands running over my sides, my back, everywhere he could reach. Once he was down, I straddled his hips and sat up – hovering just above him. He let go with one hand to guide himself into me as I slowly lowered my hips.

The feeling of him entering me was at once exquisite and burning – it had been a while since I had been with anyone like this. Once he was fully sheathed inside me, I had to take a moment – not only to adjust to the feel of him inside of me on a physical level, but an emotional one as well. I felt so full; it was almost too much.

Seth placed his hands on my hips, his eyes on mine, though he looked like he had trouble staying focused – his breathing was deliberate and I thought that maybe I wasn’t alone in feeling overwhelmed at being joined like this with him.

Placing my palms flat on his chest for leverage, I began to move – slowly at first, before needing more. Seth raised his hips, meeting me thrust for thrust as I set the pace. Before too long, both of us were lost in the moment, incoherent words tumbling from our lips as we chased after the bliss we knew awaited us.

When I lifted up and leaned backwards, my hands on his thighs, it changed the angle and I moaned at the new sensations it brought. I cried out his name when I felt Seth wrap his fingers around my cock and start to pump me in time with our thrusts.

“Fuck…”

“Oh God…”

“Close…please…want you…”

I couldn’t tell you who was saying what to whom at that point. I was completely lost to the feeling of Seth moving in me – the tightening of that coil in my belly as he brought me closer and closer to release.

Before it really registered with me, Seth let go of me and I whimpered. He placed one hand on my hip while he pushed himself up into a seating position. I had to shift my legs to compensate for the sudden change, and I wrapped my arms around his neck while his went around my waist. He continued to thrust in me, this new angle even more intense than the one before. My cock was trapped between us, the friction of our bodies driving me to the brink.

I moaned out, “Please don’t fucking stop…”

Seth gave a low growl which vibrated into my chest, before crashing his lips to mine. His movements were becoming more frantic and the way he claimed my lips was almost feral – all I could think was More.

It didn’t take long before my body shook as my release sped through me. Seth swallowed my scream and I felt him pulsing into me as he came right after me – his grip tightened as he thrust in me a couple of times, prolonging the moment for as long as possible. When we finally had to pull away just to breathe, I was still shaking. I couldn’t remember ever having felt as intense as I had just then.

I whispered, “Fucking hell…that was…”

He smiled, his fingers caressing my skin as he continued to hold me. “Amazing.”

We sat like that, wrapped up in each other – both literally and figuratively – for several minutes before he gave a deep sigh and slowly released his hold on me. I grumbled about having to move, not wanting to leave this happy bubble we had created. Seth chuckled softly as he said we had better get cleaned up and try to sleep. I sighed and nodded, moving carefully off of him, moaning softly as I felt him slip out of me.

He shook his head, grinning widely as he disposed of the condom and asked where the bathroom was. I tried to move to show him where it was, but my legs wouldn’t really cooperate, feeling more like jello than muscle and bone after what we had just done. Seth watched me for a moment before laughing and shaking his head. He leaned over me and kissed my forehead, murmuring, “Just point me in the right direction, beautiful, and I’ll be right back.”

I settled on my side after having told him where to find the bathroom and where everything was. Closing my eyes, I couldn’t stop smiling as I replayed the evening in my head. Seth returned shortly and I hummed as he tenderly washed away all traces of our love making. He pressed his lips to my shoulder and disappeared for a few minutes again. When he came back, he pulled back the covers and I slipped under them. He crawled in after me, covering us up as he settled on his back. He held his arm out so I could snuggle into him and I rested my head on his shoulder, wrapping my arm around him as I put my leg over his. The need to be connected, to touch, was overwhelming.

Seth gave a content sigh, his fingers caressing my arm. There was so much that I wanted to say, but when I tried to open my mouth to say them, the words wouldn’t come. I wanted to tell him that now that I’d had him, I didn’t ever want to let him go – that I wanted more. My hand traveled up to his chest, my fingers tracing soft, lazy eights as I tried to formulate my thoughts.

It hit me suddenly that after all these years, this had actually happened. I chuckled softly at the thought and I looked up when Seth squeezed my arm lightly as he asked in an amused tone, “What?”

“Just can’t believe this really happened…I mean, I can, but…”

He grinned crookedly and wrapped his arms around me, pulling me closer to him. “I know…after all these years…”

My eyes flickered between his, searching for any sign that this wasn’t something he wanted too.

“I’m glad it did, Seth. I want it to happen again.” I lowered my voice, adding, “Tell me you’re really here to stay, Seth.”

He shifted us so we were both on our sides and pulled my body flush to his, his face serious as he said, “Edward, I’m not planning on going anywhere. I won’t leave unless you want me to. It’s up to you, sweetheart.”

I couldn’t find any trace of hesitance in his eyes. Pressing him closer to me, I kissed him passionately, my heart jumping when he returned it in equal measure. After several minutes, I pulled away far enough to be able to speak.

“Stay here, Seth. With me?”

I didn’t know if he placed the cap back on the toothpaste, or if he left his dirty laundry on the floor, or if he had any other bad habits. All I knew was that after all these years of wondering, wishing, and longing…I just didn’t care. I wanted him by my side – every day, if he would let me.


Seth smiled and kissed me softly.

~*~*~*~

It had been two weeks since that night. Two weeks spent dancing, teaching, and rehearsing. Two weeks of going to sleep in Seth’s arms, and being woken up by featherlight touches and tender kisses. He had moved in the very next day – though we had agreed that he would still keep his apartment, mainly because he and Leah had gotten it together. This would allow him to have somewhere to go should we not work out, and it wouldn’t put Leah out, either. So far, he hadn’t left my side, and I loved every minute of it.

We were on stage, waiting for our cue to go on. The place was packed for opening night and the familiar thrill of going on stage and performing for a crowd shot through me. I glanced at Seth, who was watching me with a grin and a raised brow. We both took a deep breath and nodded at the other as we got our cue and got on stage. Before too long, we were singing and dancing.

Fit as a fiddle and ready for love…


A/N: I hope you enjoyed it. Leave my lovely partner-in-slash some love today.

5 Comments

  1. OK Nae your writing is always amazing, add to that the dancing, Gene Kelly, Swing Swing Swing, Edward starring in Singing In The Rain….yeah you know it was up my ally. You also know this was a toughie for me to read being the slash snob I am. But I loved it because it was your story bb, and beautifully written as always.I enjoyed it very much.Happy Birthday Jen!

  2. Wonderful! Really perfect, bb. Such a joy to read – as always!

  3. Loved it. You are such a great writer. You really know how to pull the reader into the story. ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm glad y'all enjoyed it ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I just got around to reading this and I LOVED IT!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*