A/N: This particular bunny nagged me like crazy. I couldn’t concentrate on anything else until I wrote it out.
It’s my slide, not my playground.
I have no beta.
I looked out my bedroom window and watched as the heavy snow fell covering everything in a blanket of white. The temperature was frigid and there was a bone-chilling breeze in the air. The snowfall had already caused the Forks school district to cancel school the next day. According to the weather reports, this much snow was not too uncommon during this time of the year. It was, however, the first time it has snowed this much since I moved here.
I never really enjoyed the snow. Having grown up in a desert, my body was not acclimated to this type of precipitation. After living with my dad for a year now, I was still not unaccustomed to it. Snow was just too cold, wet, and sloppy. It was gross, and I hated it.
I suppose the snow was perfect since Christmas was a week away. I haven’t been in much of a Christmas spirit again this year. No one wants to be alone at Christmas.
Six months after I started to date Edward, he dumped me. His excuse was that he couldn’t handle pretending to be human while he was with me. Since I was nothing more than a human, it was just too dangerous and too much work to try to be with me.
Of course, I didn’t believe his lame excuse. He attended high school, for crying out loud. He and his siblings had to play human five days a week. His excuse was pathetic and cowardly. He just didn’t have the gonads to look me in the eye and tell me the truth.
That asshole broke my heart. What made it worse was his showing up to school after a long weekend with Tanya Denali on his arm. I knew who she was. He had lied to me once claiming that he was never interested in her. I call bull shit.
If it wasn’t for Mike, I probably would never have snapped out of my funk. Since I work with him at his parent’s store, Newton’s Outfitters, he and I got very close. It was while we were working when he came out to me.
He apologized for repeatedly asking me out when I first moved here. He was frightened to come out and was just trying to blend in and not create waves. I was shocked but had no issues with his sexual orientation. He was still Mike, my best friend.
Mike became a regular fixture around my house. My dad was very protective of him, ever since a group of Neanderthals at school decided to gang up on him. I immediately jumped in to get them to stop and one of the fools punched me. Charlie didn’t take too kindly to that idiot and his merry band of morons.
The only thing I remember was my dad and several officers showing up at the school and those overgrown apes were arrested. Mike and I were rushed to the emergency room even though I told Charlie that I was fine. He wouldn’t take no for an answer. Poor Mike had suffered a cracked rib and was covered in bruises. Ever since that day, my dad sort of adopted him which was a good thing since Mike’s parents didn’t like that he was gay and chose to ignore him.
The Cullens and Edward’s girlfriend were completely useless. Don’t try to tell me that the resident vampires didn’t hear Mike and I get attacked. In fact, I’m sure the mind reader heard it in the Neanderthal’s heads before it even happened. They chose to not help.
The Cullens are not as nice as they would have people believe. Of course, my opinion of them greatly diminished when they dumped me as a collective when Edward did. So much for friendship.
Ever since then, the rest of the school just gave me and Mike a wide berth. There were no more confrontations or physical violence. However, that didn’t stop the constant rumors. Jessica had the biggest mouth out of everyone because she was angry that Mike never was attracted to her. She took it personally.
My friendship with Jake fizzled out when I told him that just because I was no longer dating Edward that I was not going to just jump into a relationship with him. He cussed up a storm and accused me of leading him on. I told him he led himself on since I told him that I was never attracted to him.
So as of right now, I am single but not necessarily looking. While I no longer have romantic feelings for Edward, I didn’t feel like jumping into anything else. I didn’t want to complicate my life even more with a rebound relationship. That’s a mess that I have no interest in.
So now Mike and I were hanging out in my room making plans to go to the Christmas party on the eighteen at an under-twenty-one club that recently opened up in Port Angeles. Mike was trying hard to get me to agree to do the karaoke with him. My dumb ass made the mistake of singing while doing the laundry one day. Mike walked into the house and heard me belting out Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas is You and immediately jumped into trying to convince me to sing with him. He’s been nagging me ever since.
“Mike, can you even sing?” I asked him as I continued to stare out my window to watch the snowfall.
“Of course, I can sing. I’ve been taking vocal lessons for three years now,” he informed me looking every bit offended by my question.
I held my hands up in surrender. You never want to piss off Mike. He goes into crazy tirades that last for an eternity. “I didn’t mean to offend you. I was just asking. You never told me you can sing,” I pointed out.
“Sorry, it’s a touchy subject. My older brother, Taylor, always mocks me for it,” he admitted with a frown.
“Well, your older brother can go pound sand. Don’t let what he says get to you. I’ll tell you a secret,” I told him. He inched forward, looking a little too eager. “I took vocal lessons for years back in Arizona. I started when I was seven. Renee swore I needed to be trained operatically.”
“You are operatically trained? Like Beyonce?” he asked loudly.
“Yes, and keep it down. I don’t want the neighbors to hear,” I said trying to shush him. Mike always gets so loud when he’s excited.
“Hold on a second. Does anyone else besides me and your mother know that you can sing?”
“No, and I would like to keep it that way,” I said.
“May I inquire as to why?” he asked.
“The short version is that back in Phoenix, the second the theater arts teacher found out I could sing, I was getting hounded all the time to do a bunch of plays. I sing for myself not to please other people or to even impress them,” I explained.
“Fine, I get it. But your excuse with the plays doesn’t hold up here in Forks. The school doesn’t have a theater arts teacher and never puts on plays. So there really is no reason to keep your talent hidden,” he reasoned. I will admit that he did have a point.
I gave him a look. “You’re never going to let this go, are you?”
“There is no way in hell I’m letting you get out of this,” he told me. “Where’s your holiday spirit?”
“You know where it is,” I said quietly. I walked over to my bed and plopped down next to him.
“Bella, you can’t keep doing this to yourself. He isn’t worth the tears. One day, you’re going to find someone that worships the ground you walk on and once you’re his, he will never let you go. In the meantime, you gotta help me get myself a hot guy,” he reminded me before giving me a quick hug.
“It’s not that I’m mourning the loss or what-not. It’s just that this is my senior year, and I have never had a real relationship. I don’t count Edward as real,” I quickly explained.
“I’m glad you aren’t moping over him. He’s too far below you to even register. Girl, you just got to keep your prospects open,” he said trying to encourage me.
He was right. I know he was. I shouldn’t spend my precious time thinking about anyone who doesn’t give a damn about me. “You know what, Mike,” I said turning to him. “I’ll do the Karaoke with you.”
“Yes, I knew you’d break. Now, I think we should do your favorite Christmas song,” he suggested with a wink.
“Oh, hell no, I don’t want to be up on stage singing that. Everyone is going to think I’m singing it to Edward,” I grimaced.
“Fuck what they think. Sing it because you love that song and sound amazing when you sing it. We’re doing it for fun, nothing more,” he reminded me.
He was right once again. This was for us. The audience is just lucky to hear us. “Alright, but let’s start practicing it. I’m not used to singing it with someone else.”
Tonight was Thursday which meant that we had a full two days to practice for the Christmas party on Sunday night. I climbed into my closet and pulled out my Yamaha P-45. I carried it over to the bed and put it down. I then went back into my closet and grabbed the keyboard stand I had placed all the way in the back.
Once I got my Yamaha set up with Mike’s help, I pulled my desk chair over to it and fired it up. I played through a few scales as well as some Hanon exercises to loosen up my fingers a bit. My manual dexterity was not what it use to be, but that’s something I can fix if I practice every day.
“Bella, why did I not know that you can play the piano?” Mike asked.
“Same reason as the singing,” I replied.
We began to practice right away. Our voices blended very well together, and I was starting to really enjoy myself. We spent all day Friday and most of Saturday practicing until Mike brought up our wardrobes.
“Bella, we absolutely have to look hot. We’re going to be the center of attention for roughly three and a half minutes. We have to look good,” he pleaded. Mike knew I hated to dress up. It’s not that I didn’t like to dress up. It was a reminder of the past that I am struggling to forget.
“Fine, but I don’t want to hear it when I steal all the attention when I showcase my legs,” I teased as I kicked my leg out. I had great legs, and I knew it.
Mike fanned his face while saying, “You go, girl!”
It was Sunday and we were upstairs in my room getting ready. Port Angeles was a little over an hour away. The party started at six, so we wanted to get on the road soon. Thankfully, the roads were clear and there was no more snow in the forecast.
I finally chose a black leather mini skirt which I paired with a cobalt blue off-the-shoulder sweater and my knee-high black heeled boots. I did a smoky eye and paired that with velvet pink lipstick. I wore my diamond stud earrings and matching tennis bracelet. To complete my look, I chose to wear my hair down and just used a curling iron on it to give it some loose waves.
Mike chose a pair of black slacks which he paired with a tight blue button-down where he had left the first few buttons undone. On his feet, he wore an expensive pair of shiny, Italian dress shoes.
We stood in front of my floor-length mirror admiring our looks. “Bella,” he said as he wrapped an arm around my shoulders, “We look hot as hell.”
He was right. We did look good, better than good. “Damn right we do. Let’s get a move on. I don’t want to be late.”
We said our goodbyes to my dad and left. Mike was driving us to the party, and I was driving us home. Mike was excited which I could tell. He kept bouncing in the driver’s seat.
“Who knows, Bella? We may find our future boyfriends tonight,” he grinned.
“I hope you do. I’m nowhere near ready for that type of situation,” I reminded him. While I was getting over Edward, I wanted to discover for myself what qualities I found attractive in a man so that I can try to avoid any future players that may cross my path in the future.
“Then maybe you can just have some fun,” he said while wiggling his brows at me.
“Shut up and drive,” I ordered while giving his arm a light slap.
We finally made it there with fifteen minutes to spare. The lines were crazy but Mike knew the bouncer, so we got in with little to no hassle. We found a table that was close to the front, and I sat down while Mike signed us up for Karaoke.
While we waited, we each ordered a diet soda, and I ordered eggnog. Mike sneered as the waitress put my drinks down on the table. “How can you drink that concoction?” he asked.
“Easily,” I replied as a took a big gulp of it just to mess with him.
The party was in full swing. People were loudly singing along to the Christmas songs that were blaring over the speakers. Mike informed me that we were on the list at number fifteen. Meanwhile, I drank my eggnog and snacked on some gooey mozzarella sticks.
The competition was in full swing and everyone was enjoying themselves. Some of the contestants were obviously tone-deaf and not even aware of that fact. Regardless of how badly they sang, everyone was cheering them on anyway.
Finally, after an hour, our names were called. Mike gave me his hand and helped me up to the stage. Once I turned around to look at the audience, I nearly had a coronary. Sitting in the back of the club was the entire Cullen family along with Edward’s girlfriend and her family. They all looked shocked to see me standing up on the stage with Mike.
I winked at Mike letting him know I was fine. It was time I let loose and have some fun. The fact that the Cullens were here meant nothing to me. They meant nothing to me.
Our song cued up and I was up at bat. We had agreed that I would take the first verse then he would take the second. In the third verse, we would sing together.
The crowd was cheering and going insane. Men and women were catcalling us while others chose to whistle and yell. Many of them tried to rush the stage but security held them off.
We were having a blast and so was the crowd. The moment we finished, there was thunderous applause. We were given a standing ovation which wasn’t something either of us ever expected to receive. The patrons were calling for an encore which we luckily planned for just in case.
Mike walked over to the DJ and let him know what song we would be singing. After the introduction to Baby It’s Cold Outside played, Mike and I started to sing. This song was playful and fun and got everyone in the club swaying to the music.
We finally finished and the applause was insane. Mike helped me down from the stage like a true gentleman and we made our way over to our table. Men and women approached us in droves and we politely answered their questions. Mike managed to snag several phone numbers from a bunch of really hot guys. The few numbers he got from some ladies were quickly and discreetly discarded.
Even I managed to snag several phone numbers from some very attractive males and a few females as well. Mike kept teasing me about having a male harem which I smacked him for. However, I would be lying if I said that there weren’t a few guys that approached me that I wouldn’t mind seeing in a harem setting.
The manager of the club stood up on stage and called for everyone’s attention. That was when I learned that this wasn’t just your regular run-of-the-mill karaoke night at the club. Mike had signed us up for a competition. I threw him a dirty look for deceiving me.
“I know you’re pissed at me, but if I had told you, you never would have agreed to sing with me,” he admitted while trying to give me puppy dog eyes. I just picked up my last mozzarella stick and whipped it at his head. He caught it midair and took a huge bite out of it.
I grumbled under my breath about pushy lying males, while Mike just sat across from me grinning like an idiot. “Payback is a bitch, Mikey,” I reminded him. He hates being called Mikey, and I only use it when he knows he’s in big trouble with me.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have the result of the karaoke competition,” the emcee said over thunderous applause. “In third place, we have Courtney Walsh for singing Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree. Give it up for her folks,” he said. The applause was very polite and some of the men whistled at her as she went up to the stage to get her prize of fifty dollars.
“What the hell is the prize for first place,” I whispered to Mike.
“It’s a thousand dollars,” he replied. I just sat there and stared at him for a moment. That was a decent chunk of change for just singing for three and a half minutes.
“Alright, everyone, listen up. For second place, we have Joshua Grant for singing Come On, Christmas,” the emcee said as he waved for the guy to go up to the stage to get his prize of one hundred dollars.
Once he sat back down, the emcee raised his hands to get everyone to shut up. The club was full and loud, so the poor emcee had to practically scream into the mic to get everyone’s attention. “Alright, ladies and gentlemen, we are going to announce our first-place winners. This duo was my favorite this evening, and I can tell by the reaction they received that they were the favorite of many of you,” he said pointing to the crowd. “Our first place prize is hereby awarded to Mike Newton and Bella Swan for singing All I Want For Christmas Is You.”
The crowd went insane. There was cheering and both our names were being chanted. Mike helped me up the stage where he took our prize money and shook hands with the emcee who turned and shook my hand as well. We waved to the crowd as well as walked off the stage.
The Cullens and their friends even tried to approach the both of us. Mike told them off for me. “You can all take your sycophantic asses and stay away from Bella. She too good for the likes of you people.”
We made it back to our table where many more people approached us to either shake our hands or give one of us their phone number. By this time, Mike had accumulated a pretty big stack of phone numbers from some very hot guys. I couldn’t wait to see which one he calls first.
Just then we heard someone clear their throat to get our attention. A tall attractive man who was wearing a green dress shirt with black pants introduced himself. “My name is Stephen Higgs and I am a music producer,” he said as he showed us his ID. “I wonder if I might chat with the both of you.”
“Okay, Bella, do you have everything?” my dad asked as he put my luggage in the backseat of my car.
“Yup, I have everything. If I need something, I’ll just buy it while I’m there. I didn’t want to pack too much,” I told him.
“You are a rare breed, Bella,” Mike said with a laugh. “Most women, including myself, pack almost everything we own. You packed only two suitcases and your train case,” he said with a shake of his head.
“Don’t tease her too much, Mike. There are a lot of men out there that would appreciate that about her,” my dad said in defense of me. “Now, call me when you get there so that I know you both got to LA safely.”
“We will,” Mike and I said in unison.
My dad gave us both a hug and watched as we climbed into my car. Mike and I were heading to Las Angeles to record an album. I was going to miss my dad, but this was an opportunity of a lifetime, and neither Mike nor I were going to let it pass us by.
“You ready, bestie?” Mike asked as he grabbed my free hand.
“I’m ready. Let’s see what LA has in store for us.”
A/N: For now, my plans are to leave this as it is. I may change my mind down the road. We’ll see how it goes.