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My heart raced and I surreptitiously wiped sweaty palms on my jeans as I watched him. He stood in line a few people in front of me, allowing me to observe him undetected. His tousled hair - which I was exceedingly familiar with, as I had depicted it numerous times in my notebook - ruffled in the slight breeze as the train pulled to a stop and the line moved forward.

I sat in my usual spot, across and to the left of him, and pulled out my magazine. I adjusted my sunglasses so he wouldn't notice me staring at him for the next fifteen minutes.

Okay, it was a little stalker-ish.

A lot stalker-ish.

But I couldn't help myself.

Ever since the day he walked into my Contemporary Moral Problems class, all torn jeans, tight t-shirt, and taut muscles, I'd been obsessed with Edward Cullen. He slid into a seat in the middle of the crowded lecture hall and even though I only saw his back, I couldn't take my eyes off him.

Then he turned as someone across the aisle said hello – and I caught a glimpse of sparkling green eyes and a wide, white smile.

And I was lost.

Sure, there are those who scoff at love at first sight. And until I saw Edward, I would have agreed with them. But somehow, as I sat in awe, completely ignoring the professor's lecture, I became a believer.

That evening was the first time I saw him on the train.

Like many UW students, I rode the Link from my apartment in downtown Seattle to the campus every morning, and back every evening after I finished my afternoon shift at Starbucks. I didn't notice him in line waiting for the train that first time because I hadn't been expecting him. If I had, I probably wouldn't have gaped like an idiot as he sat across from me, plopping his loaded backpack on the seat next to him.

"Hi," he said with a tentative smile.

I snapped my mouth shut and looked away, embarrassed.

"You look familiar," he continued, his beautiful eyes narrowing a little in concentration. "Have we met before?"

"Ummm…" I cleared my throat. "…Moral Problems."

He laughed. "Excuse me?"

I flushed. "We have Contemporary Moral Problems together," I clarified.

He smiled. "Oh… sure… Professor Jennings, right?"

I just nodded, flustered and unsure of what to say.

"I'm Edward."

"Ummmm… Bella."

"Well, ummmm Bella, it's nice to meet you," he joked, leaning back in his seat, his legs sprawled wide.

"You too," I replied quietly, bright red and searching for something clever to say. My eyes fell to his torn jeans, widening slightly at the skin exposed by the jagged holes.

The silence hung in the air for hours. Well, okay, it was just a few seconds, but it felt like hours.

Come on Bella, say something smart… or funny… or smart and funny… anything…

"Knock knock…" I blurted.

What was I doing?

Edward shot me an odd look. "Uh… who's there?"

Crap! Who was there?

I really hadn't thought this through.

I said the only thing that came to mind. "Ima?"

Edward smirked. "Ima who?"

I took a deep breath and gave in to the inevitable. He was going to think I was a nut. There was no turning back now.

"Ima here to fix your doorbell," I replied self-consciously.

Edward stared at me blankly for a moment, then chuckled. "That's a good one."

Oh God, he was humoring me.

Humiliated, I looked out the window and counted the seconds until my stop. I couldn't believe I actually told him a knock knock joke.

A knock knock joke! Seriously?

"Hey, you okay?" he asked and I turned back to meet his concerned gaze.

I couldn't speak. Mortification had rendered me mute.

Which was better than the alternative, as the whole 'knock knock' incident proved.

So instead I just nodded and walked toward the door, steadying myself on a handrail and watching as my stop drew nearer through eyes blurry with embarrassed tears. The train pulled to a stop and I stumbled out the door, only to hear Edward call out after me, "See you in class!"

Not if I can help it, I thought to myself. So the next day I sat in the back of the lecture hall, in the last row, last seat on the right. From my vantage point, I could see Edward, but he couldn't see me. I watched him turn and scan the crowd and wondered if he might be looking for me. Not taking any chances, I hunched down behind the tall guy in front of me until the professor began his lecture.

I avoided him after class as well, quickly leaving out the door next to my seat as he packed away his notebook and pen. And so began my daily ritual. I would enter right before class and hide in my seat, then watch him during the lecture, sketching his hair, or hands, or smile in my notebook. It was a good thing the professor also had his lectures online, because it was extraordinarily difficult for me to pay attention during class.

On the train, I sat as far from him as possible while still keeping him in sight, donning dark glasses and holding a magazine up like I was reading it.

It was very James Bond.

Well, okay, more like Chuck Bartowski.

If Chuck was a girl.

And worked at a Starbucks instead of the Buy More.

Edward cast a curious glance my way the first time I used my avoidance disguise, but I refused to indicate I saw him at all. He frowned slightly, his eyes flickering to me occasionally until I stood to get off the train. He moved forward on his seat and opened his mouth like he was going to say something, but I hurried through the door, pretending I hadn't noticed.

The next day, he started wearing sunglasses as well.

Weird.

Of course, like I was one to talk.

So we'd sit on the rocking train every evening and I would stare at him through my dark glasses and over my magazine. Then, with a silent sigh I'd stand and walk to the door, watching him in the reflection in the glass until the doors opened and I'd step out onto the platform.

It was a strange relationship, but it worked. Sort of.

Until I let my guard down.

It was a Friday and the girl sitting two chairs down (I always set my backpack on the chair next to me so no one could see my stalker-y Edward sketches) asked if she could borrow my notes from the day before. Unfortunately, said notes were lovingly decorated by said sketches along the margins, so I couldn't really give them to her and maintain my amateur stalking status.

They'd definitely qualify me for the pros.

Instead, I offered to e-mail them to her and I sat, my foot tapping impatiently, as she wrote her name and e-mail address on a scrap of paper. Edward picked up his backpack and turned to walk out of the auditorium, so I ducked down to tuck the note into my bag. When I emerged from beneath my desk, he was gone.

I let out a breath of relief and gathered my things, rushing out the door…

…and right into Edward's chest.

His broad, firm… and extremely nice-smelling chest.

I might have sniffed him a little.

"Whoa…" He smiled, grabbing my shoulders to steady me. "Are you all right?"

I stepped back, his scent lingering a little in my nostrils, making me slightly light-headed.

"Yes," I breathed, "I'm fine. Thanks."

He released my shoulders and tucked his hands into his pockets. I watched the motion covertly, taking in his black jeans (not torn this time), boots, and black t-shirt topped by a wrinkled red and black plaid flannel.

Mmmm… scrumptious.

I might have licked my lips a little.

Edward smiled and pulled one hand out of his pocket to run his fingers through his hair. His shirt pulled up a bit to reveal a sliver of stomach and the waistband of his underwear peeking above his low-slung jeans.

I might have drooled… just a little.

"Ummmm…" he began. "I'm actually glad I ran into you." He chuckled softly. "I mean… not that I ran into you… but that I saw you today. I mean… I see you every day… but…"

Was he rambling? Could he be… was he nervous?

He took a deep breath, releasing it through puffed cheeks and pursed lips. "Anyway, what I meant was that I was hoping to talk to you."

I was stunned. So I blurted out the first thing that came to mind, albeit a little rudely. "To me? About what?"

Edward reddened a little and looked down. "Nothing really… I just thought maybe we could get a cup of coffee… or something?"

Holy crap.

Holy crap!

He was asking me out. After the whole knock-knock debacle… and the apparent-ignoring-but-in-reality-stalking… he was actually asking me out.

And at that moment he was looking at me, waiting for an answer.

Say something Bella!

"Ummm… sure, I'd like that," I said and his smile brightened. "But I have to go to work now…" His smile faded a little. "You could come…" I added quickly. "I mean if you want coffee... I work at Starbucks…ummmm… so if you, you know want to come with me, you could have some coffee…"

Yeah. He gets it Bella. They have coffee at Starbucks. Brilliant.

"Are you sure that would be okay?" he asked. "I wouldn't want you to get in trouble or anything while you're working."

"I'm pretty sure my boss would be okay with me bringing in a customer," I said with a wry grin.

His lips quirked back at me and we walked the five blocks to Starbucks talking about school and work. I found out he was 22, an architecture major, and came from a small town on the Olympic Peninsula. I told him I was an Art major… and only taking Moral Problems for graduation credits.

When we arrived, I changed into my uniform and made him a venti latte, which he sipped while studying at a table in the corner. Now and then I'd feel his eyes on me as I frothed foam or pulled a pastry from the cabinet, but when I'd look up, he'd quickly look down at the book in front of him. I wondered how long he'd stay, but didn't know how to ask without it sounding like I wanted him to leave.

Because I really didn't want him to leave.

So instead, I'd smile at him on occasion – and plop down in the chair across from him on my breaks, sipping from a water bottle and chatting about nothing in particular.

"Who's the eye candy?" Jessica, the frizzy blonde working the drive-through asked, eyeing Edward appreciatively.

Mine. The eye candy is mine.

I tamed my inner cave-woman. "Just a guy from school," I said airily.

She leaned against the counter, tapping her front teeth with a long, red fingernail. "You gonna tap that? 'Cuz if you're not…" she tucked a curl behind her ear, straightening up and throwing her shoulders back as if bracing for battle. Her D-cups stood at attention. Actually, they always stood at attention. Silicone never took a day off.

"Real classy, Jessica," I said through gritted teeth. "Back off."

Jessica shrugged. "Sorry. Didn't realize he was spoken for." She walked back over to the window, calling over her shoulder, "If you change your mind, I'll be right here." She smiled evilly, then addressed the next customer through her headset.

Bitch.

Edward stayed at the table studying until my shift was over, then walked with me to the Link station. I watched him shyly out of the corner of my eye, searching for something to say.

He helped me out. "What was with that girl you work with? The blonde with the fingernails?"

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Is she… all there?" He tapped his forehead.

"Jessica?" I giggled. "Yeah, I think so. Why?"

Edward shrugged. "When you were in back, she came over to the table and whispered in my ear. I think she asked me to… bite her."

I burst out laughing. "That sounds like Jessica! She's quick to jump on any cute guy that comes through the door."

"You think I'm cute?" He smirked, turning around to walk backwards in front of me.

I blushed. "No! I mean… yes… I mean, Jessica obviously thought you were cute… you wouldn't believe what she said…" I fumbled.

"So you don't think I'm cute." His face fell, but he was obviously faking it.

"Shut up!" I rolled my eyes and punched him in the stomach. His very firm stomach.

Ripply… nice.

He clutched his midsection with a grunt and we walked down the stairs into the tunnel to get in line for the train.

"So what did she say about me?" he asked finally.

"What? Who?"

"Jessica. You said I wouldn't believe what she said."

I flushed. "Oh, that. It was nothing."

He eyed me carefully. "Doesn't look like nothing. You're blushing."

"It's really rude to point that out," I said, trying to change the subject.

He tucked his hands in his pockets, nudging me with his elbow. "Come on. Just tell me."

I sighed. "She asked me… if I was gonna… 'tap that'," I said quietly, making air quotes with my fingers. "Because if I wasn't, she'd be willing to."

I avoided his eyes, growing even redder - if that were possible - and waited for his laugh.

It never came. Instead, I felt his breath by my ear. "And what did you tell her?" he asked in a husky voice.

I gulped and looked away, unsure of how to respond.

Then I peeked at him, and saw the laughter in his eyes.

"I told her to 'be my guest'," I said with a glare.

He grinned. "Good to know."

The train pulled in and we got on, sitting next to each other for the first time.

"I should tell you something," Edward began, sliding a sideways glance my way. "It's kind of embarrassing."

I gave him a pointed look. "I think you owe me something embarrassing. I'm way ahead on that scoreboard."

He bit his lip and looked down at his boots. "I've kind of been watching you."

Huh?

"What?"

He refused to meet my eyes. "On the train every night. I've been watching you."

"You have?"

Edward nodded. "I wore sunglasses so you wouldn't notice. I'm sorry. I know it's creepy."

"Not that creepy. I mean it's not like you're a stalker or anything," I reassured him. "I mean just because someone watches someone… it doesn't make them a stalker," I said in a defensive rush.

Edward observed me through wide eyes. "Okay…" he said slowly. "I just thought you should know."

I took a deep breath to calm myself. I wasn't going to say anything else, but my curiosity got the better of me. "But why? Why didn't you say anything?"

He shrugged. "You just really seemed like you wanted to be left alone. You sat over there reading your magazine and never really looked up from it."

I squirmed, guilt and humiliation eating at me. "Well, to be perfectly honest…" I finally admitted, "I was kind of watching you too."

"You were?"

I nodded.

"I thought so." He grinned and I glared at him, but couldn't sustain it. My lips twitched and before I knew it we were both laughing hysterically… two crazy stalkers riding the Link into the night.

"What's up with you and the guy with the hair?" Alice perused the salad bar, using tongs to pick through the cherry tomatoes.

I coughed. "What?"

She cast me an intent glance. "I was in the bookstore the other day and saw the two of you pass by… you looked very chummy." She wiggled her eyebrows and I finally understood what had prompted this invitation to brunch.

Alice was my oldest friend – ever since my first day at Our Lady of Sorrows Elementary School. I was seven years old, and walked into Sister Mary Beatrice's classroom to 25 curious stares. Shy and nervous, I tugged at my knee socks and sat down next to a dark haired girl with a shining smile.

"Hi! I'm Alice," she said brightly. "Wanna be friends?"

And we were from that day forward. We were inseparable through our years at Our Lady, and then high school at JFK. Two good, Catholic girls in plaid skirts and cardigans who giggled about boys and smoked their first cigarettes and snuck their first drinks from Alice's parents' liquor cabinet together.

Now, much to her parents' pride, Alice studied fashion design at the Art Institute of Seattle… and to their chagrin, she lived "in sin" with her boyfriend, Jasper. We still saw each other all the time however, as their apartment was just a few blocks from mine.

"Bella? Something you want to tell me?" she prompted, plucking up a carrot stick and leaning back against the counter to munch on it expectantly.

I sighed. "It's nothing, Alice… really. He's just a guy in my philosophy class."

"Mmm hmmm…" she said disbelievingly as we moved to our table. "It didn't look like nothing… and you're blushing."

"I always blush," I replied stubbornly.

"Come on, Bella. I know you better than anyone. Spill," she commanded.

I didn't know why I fought it. I couldn't keep anything from Alice.

"His name is Edward," I began. "He's nice… we're friends." I toyed with my fork absently.

"And…" she prompted.

"And nothing," I said, flopping back against my seat. "I think that's all he wants to be."

"Why do you say that?" Alice mumbled through a bite of salad.

"We've been hanging out for weeks," I answered, lowering my voice a little. "He hasn't even tried to kiss me."

"Have you tried to kiss him?"

"What?"

Alice rolled her eyes. "It's the 21st century, Bella. You don't always have to wait for the guy to make the first move."

"That's not really my style, Alice."

"How's that working for you?" she asked with a smirk.

To be honest, it wasn't working that well. Edward was, in a word, driving me crazy. We got along great. He'd started sitting next to me in class, which cut down on my sketching, but it was worth it to have the real thing just a few inches away. Some days he'd walk me to work, then sit studying while I mixed frappuccinos and mochas. Other days he'd just meet me at the Link station and we'd ride home together – me getting off at Westlake, him continuing on to Beacon Hill.

We talked about everything, and always seemed to be laughing. But one moment, he'd tease me flirtatiously – and the next, he'd back off – just when I thought something… interesting… was about to happen.

It left me wanting and very frustrated. As a result, I'd find myself daydreaming about him at the most inopportune times… imagining running my fingers up under one of those tight t-shirts… or through that wild sex hair… or along the top of those loose-fitting jeans…

"Bella?" Alice waved her hand in front of my face and I blushed. She shook her head sympathetically. "God, you've got it bad."

I saw no reason to argue. "Yeah," I said with a loud sigh, "I really do."

"So," Edward began as we waited for the train Friday evening, "what are you going to write your essay on?"

Professor Jennings had assigned a ten-page essay on the moral issue of our choice. We had to present both sides of the issue – with complete notations and footnotes of course.

Hooray.

I bit my lip distractedly. "I'm not sure. Either animal rights, or genetic engineering I think. How about you?"

"Premarital sex."

I choked. "Really?"

"Yeah, I'm going to compare attitudes about premarital sex today to fifty years ago and use it to illustrate the Social Contract Theory."

"So you think society creates morality, and not the other way around?" I asked.

He shrugged. "Sure, at least when it comes to sex." He grinned when he said the word, and for some reason my skin heated.

I looked away as the train pulled up and decided to change the subject. "I wonder why there are so many people on the train tonight."

"It's the Block Party on Capitol Hill," Edward replied. "Around fifty bands will be performing this weekend. A lot of people park up here and just take the train down."

I nodded as we moved toward the open doors. "I don't know how we're all going to fit," I said, eyeing the already crowded car.

We stepped on, but all the seats were taken so we stood near the door, setting our backpacks on the floor between our feet. I clutched an overhead strap and Edward stood close to me, wrapping his hand around the pole near my head. His breath ruffled my hair and I could feel the heat from his body behind me.

Suddenly, the air felt thicker.

I had to get a hold of myself. I was becoming more obsessed with this man every second. Now, just because he was standing a little close to me, I was ready to turn around and pounce on him.

What was I? Some kind of sex-starved maniac?

The train lurched a bit and I stumbled, falling back against Edward. A low hiss escaped his lips… and I swore I felt… something… large… and hard.

"Sorry," I murmured over my shoulder.

Edward was silent, but I could swear his breathing had picked up a little.

Could I have imagined it?

For some reason Alice's words chose that moment to come back to me.

You don't always have to wait for the guy to make the first move.

He was so close behind me, all I would have to do was lean back just a little… just enough to see if I really felt… what I thought I felt.

Could I get up the nerve to be so… bold? What if he realized what I was doing? Would I ruin our newly formed friendship?

Again, the ghost of Alice piped up.

How's that working for you?

Ugh. How did she do that? Say exactly what I needed to hear – when she wasn't even in the same room?

The truth was, I loved being friends with Edward… but I really wanted… more. And as I thought about it, I realized that now was the perfect time to find out if he wanted more as well. If he didn't, I could play it off as innocent… an accident. As long as I was subtle.

I could be subtle.

So with a deep breath, I watched for an upcoming turn in the track and at the right moment, I moved back… ever so slightly.

Jackpot.

He was definitely… interested… at least a certain part of him was.

With a small smile, I started to shift forward again… but then I felt two hands grip me firmly around my hips, pulling me back.

Edward said nothing, just held me tightly against him as the train rattled and shifted. My shallow breathing sped and I held tight to the strap above my head, worried I would pass out – either from the lack of oxygen to my brain – or the rush of blood to… other parts of my anatomy.

The train rounded a corner and slowed to the Capitol Hill station. People milled around us, walking toward the doors and I released the hand strap, intending to move to an empty seat.

"Don't move." Edward's low voice rumbled in my ear, sending tingles coursing along my nerve endings. He pressed his erection against my ass slightly and I gasped, looking around the train to see if anyone noticed what we were doing. Most of the passengers had disembarked, but a few seats were still occupied. Fortunately, none of them seemed interested in us.

Edward continued to grind against me gently, his breath harsh in my ear. Unconsciously, I pressed back against him – and was thankful that his loose-fitting flannel shirt camouflaged our actions from the others on the train. His thumbs slid up slightly under my shirt to stroke at the skin on my waist. They dipped gently inside the waistband of my jeans as he drew small circles that raised both goosebumps and waves of heat.

My stop was next and I wondered what I should do. Edward made the decision for me as we slowed to a stop, leaning forward to whisper in my ear once again.

"Don't get off," he commanded, adding in a gravelly voice, "please."

I nodded, flushed, as more passengers disembarked, leaving only a middle-aged couple and an older man reading a newspaper at the front of the car. We were near the back, next to a floor to ceiling divider made of clear plexiglass on the top and opaque blue plastic on the bottom. Edward pulled me back onto his lap as he sat on the seat behind the divider. If someone were to look back, they would only see our upper bodies and assume I was merely sitting on his lap.

What they wouldn't see, was Edward clutching my hips and thrusting forward against my ass slowly and quietly, but very, very forcefully.

Sweet Jesus.

"Edward," I whimpered, my eyes half closed and breath escaping in pants.

"Shhhh…" he whispered into the back of my neck, planting soft, open-mouthed kisses along the collar of my shirt.

The train stopped at University Street and the middle-aged couple stepped off. The older man checked his watch and glanced our way, his eyes widening slightly before he turned away. I should have been embarrassed.

But I wasn't.

Because Edward chose that moment to bite - ever-so-gently - on my earlobe, and slide one hand between my legs. He stroked me softly over my jeans and I arched up unconsciously to meet his hand.

"God, you feel so good," he growled in my ear, pressing harder between my legs. I writhed, torn between pushing into his hand… and back into his erection.

Caught between a rock and a hard place… so to speak.

He thrust into me.

A really… really hard place.

My eyes strayed to the guy with the newspaper at the front of the car. He was pointedly not looking our way… but I knew he was fully aware of what was going on.

"I think we're being watched," I said breathlessly.

Edward froze, every muscle tensed as he looked toward the other man. Our breathing seemed louder as we stilled, fighting against our urges… our instincts… the only movement between us coming from the rocking of the train.

I could feel Edward's pulse pounding through me as we sat motionless, the air around us thick with lust… hot with need. I breathed it in and out, struggling to stay immobile.

"I want you," Edward whispered, and I trembled, my eyes falling closed. "I want you so much." His voice broke and he thrust once erratically, as though losing a battle with his self-control.

"God, that guy better get off soon… or I'll beat him to it," he said wryly. I laughed and he pressed his hand to my core gently. My laugh transformed to a quiet moan.

"Edward…"

The train pulled to a stop and Newspaper Guy stepped out quickly, obviously avoiding looking in our direction.

"Thank God!" Edward exclaimed as we pulled away from the platform.

I stood up quickly, spinning around to straddle Edward on the seat, crushing my mouth to his. He moaned, grabbing my ass to push me down on his erection, but I beat him to it, kneeling on the seat and grinding onto him as hard as I could.

It still wasn't enough.

He scooted forward on the seat a little and I wrapped my legs around his waist, forcing us into even closer contact.

Yes… Yes!

I could feel the throbbing of his erection – even through two layers of denim. And I knew he could feel my heat, which only excited me more. I slid my hands up under his shirt, running my fingers through his sprinkling of chest hair and scratching gently along his muscular stomach.

"Shit," Edward groaned, one hand on my ass and one in my hair, pulling my head back so he could suck and nibble down my neck. He tore off my flannel shirt, dropping it to the floor, leaving me in my pink tank top. He tugged one strap down my shoulder, along with my bra strap, and exposed my breast, moaning loudly as he sucked it into his hot, wet mouth.

I almost came right then. The things that boy could do with his mouth.

The train sped along the tracks and we were oblivious to the darkening night outside the windows. Edward used his nose to force my other breast free, sucking it hard as he gripped my ass and thrust into me. My hands moved to his hair, tugging it gently and throwing my head back in a mixture of pleasure and passion. I felt one of his hands run down the back seam of my jeans and when he pressed hard at the cleft there, I came apart.

I climaxed… hard… my blood running white hot through every vein… electricity sizzling along every nerve ending… and every muscle clenching tightly before exploding in an intense and unbelievable release. I barely registered Edward's shuddering thrusts as I collapsed onto his shoulder, floating down into a glistening pool of contentment, and basking in the afterglow of what had just happened.

Jesus. What had just happened?

Edward and I had just… well… dry-humped… on a train through downtown Seattle… a train that was at that moment pulling into a stop.

I blinked, then looked down at my bare chest. With a yelp, I jumped off Edward's lap and tugged my bra and tank back up, grabbing my shirt off the floor and jamming my arms through the holes. I clutched the front of the shirt closed, huddling into my seat as the train stopped, the doors opening and my face flushing in embarrassment.

No one got on.

I breathed a sigh of relief and finally spared a glance at Edward…

…who's head rested on the back of his seat, his eyes closed and a contented smile on his face.

"Edward?" I said quietly.

He opened one eye and his smile morphed into a sexy crooked grin. "Mmmm?"

I couldn't help it. I giggled.

"I can't believe we just did that."

He closed his eyes again. "I've been thinking about that for weeks."

"Really?" I laughed. "On the train?"

"On the train… on the counter at Starbucks… on Professor Jenning's desk… on the…"

"Okay, okay, I get it!" I laughed.

I couldn't help but notice how… relaxed… Edward seemed.

"Ummm… Edward… did you… you know?" I asked, blushing.

He cracked an eye at me again. "Did I 'you know'?" he repeated.

"Yeah," I waved a hand at his jeans, "… you know."

He smirked, but said nothing.

I looked away, unsure of what to say… unsure of where we now stood.

"So," I began slowly, letting my eyes take in our surroundings, "I guess I have to figure out how to get home."

Edward opened his eyes and sat up. "Bella…"

"I mean, I can probably catch the train going back the other way…"

"Bella," Edward interrupted. "I hope you know… I mean, I hope you realize that… this…" he said, gesturing between us, "this isn't something I do every day."

I blushed. "No. I didn't think that."

"I mean," he continued, taking my hand and rubbing his thumb over my knuckles, "you know that you're… important to me, don't you?"

"Am I?"

He rolled his eyes and tugged on my hand, tucking me under his arm. "Of course you are. I didn't want you to feel like you weren't… special. I didn't set out to molest you on the Link." He flushed and looked away. "I kind of lost control of myself."

I threaded my fingers through his on my shoulder. "You weren't the only one," I said wryly.

He turned back to me, examining my eyes. "You sure you're okay with this?"

"Edward. I'm very okay with this." I smiled, leaning over to kiss him softly. Our lips met, and the same electricity sizzled between us, but gentler this time… less urgent. I pulled back a little and he grinned down at me.

"I'd like to take you to dinner," he said finally. "There's a great Thai place around the corner from my apartment. Do you like Thai?"

"I love Thai."

"Good… okay…" His eyes dropped as he reddened again and I wondered why. "I just have to stop by my place first… ummm… maybe take a quick shower."

Reflexively, I glanced down at his crotch… Oh…

I couldn't resist teasing him a little. "Sometimes it sucks to be a guy, doesn't it?"

The corner of his mouth lifted in a sardonic smile. "Sometimes," he agreed. Then he pulled me closer to him, running his nose along my ear. "And sometimes it's really, really fun," he murmured.

My breath stopped and he chuckled.

We stood as the Beacon Hill stop came into view and picked up our backpacks, moving toward the sliding doors. The train jerked to a stop and I stumbled again, falling back against Edward.

He grunted and I felt him hard against my backside…

Again…

I looked up at him from under my lashes and he shrugged with a smirk, grabbing my hand and pulling me off the train.

We ran all the way to his apartment.