"A Case Of You" (Joni Mitchell)
(Alice a.k.a. Eric Northman)
"...the morning I wake up... before I pu-hut o-hon my-hy make-up... I say a little prayer for you..."
I swear, Burt Bacharach is a god! The audition today was my best ever, and despite the cute havable on the piano who kept giving me distracting looks all the time, I stayed completely focused. And I pulled it off live, ok? No full playback lip-synch shit with Alice Northman – I'm a singer, yeah Baby!
Ok, ok... everyone knows that Alice predicts the future based on people's decisions, right? Ha, I had already seen the producers' decisions in their faces while I was still performing. And I wasn't even in drag today; I was sporting my co(ck)stume, all serious artist in my True Religion denim hipsters and black tee... the thin black tee that makes my nipple rings wave hello through the fabric. And yes, I wore mascara. Because even if my house was on fire, I wouldn't walk out the door before putting some mascara on, ok?
Anyway... they lo-lo-loved me! All they needed to do now was call me and tell me I'm in the fucking show. Yes, life is good!
"...combing my hair now... wondering what dre-hess to-ho wear now... I say a little prayer for you..."
Still singing happily to myself, I turned the key in the front door. I felt like celebrating. Maybe my newly love-struck bestie Annie was up for a glass of wine or two? No, certainly not. I shook my head, smiling. She hadn't made it out of her apartment, or better, out of her bedroom, one single evening in the last week. Well, I couldn't blame her; Edward was simply adorable in every way. Lucky girl!
"...together, together, you're here in my heart and I will lo-" I froze when I heard a loud groan from upstairs. I recognized the voice at once.
Holy honker! Were they getting at it in the stairway now?
No, there were footsteps, descending slowly. "Edward?" I asked.
The answer sounded like a sigh, "Alice..."
A moment later, my utterly gorgeous friend came into sight and I clapped my hands, excited with the prospect of sharing my triumph with someone.
"Baby, guess what! I just had an audition for the upcoming show in the "Blue Banana", and I swear, I bleeeeeeew them away! First the producers said I was too tall, go figure, but then Alice, the unstoppable, entered the stage and-" I faltered and gasped when Edward stepped into the light; he looked like bad news. As if all color had left him, crestfallen, absolutely terrible. And oh – that groan just a minute ago? Damn, and I was babbling here like a...
"Sweetie, what's wrong; are you sick?"
He stopped at the bottom step, ran his hand through his hair and nodded yes, wordless.
"Poor baby! Is Annie not home?"
He groaned once more and closed his eyes as if in pain. He shook his head and mumbled, "She's here."
And finally it dawned on me that the love birds must have had their first fight. Couldn't be too serious though, fond as those two were of each other. Yet the little prince seemed pretty worn out. Poor kid, fighting with Annie was no fun, that's for sure. I stifled a giggle and stepped towards him to give him the special Alice First Aid treatment.
"I really think you need a hug. Come here, honey," I crooned, not bothering about the panicked look in his eyes as he tore them open.
I enveloped him in my arms before he could even react and smiled smugly as his body, rigid at first, softened after a few seconds. His arms came up, and he put them around my waist, a little awkwardly; his forehead fell onto my shoulder, and then he whispered, "I fucked it up, Alice. She doesn't want me anymore."
"Ah... nonsense," I mumbled. I was having a little trouble focusing on my solacing task, suddenly painfully aware of the fact that I was holding Mr. Sex-on-a-stick close to me. Very close to me. Jesus Canoodle Christ, he felt awesome! My pecker came to life…I considered forgetting about showbiz and make comforting Edward my full-time job instead, when he suddenly pulled away and gasped; a scandalized expression on his face.
"Alice! What the fuck?"
Damn, yes... may I introduce you? Please say Hi to little Eric.
"Sorry, Edward," I smiled wryly and adjusted myself in my suddenly too tight jeans, "I can't help it. Jesus, I'm gay and under thirty - that shit is automatic. Besides, have you looked into the mirror lately? I would probably get a boner even if I was straight. You're just too hot, baby."
"Fuck," he groaned, "that's not funny, Alice, really..."
"Ok," I said, putting one hand on his shoulder with an arm's length between us, "why don't you come in with me and tell me what's going on?"
"I don't really feel like talking right now," he said and hung his head.
Damn, I couldn't bear to see him like this. Sad beautiful pumpkin broke my heart. "We don't need to talk, ok? Just come in and stay for a while. You can't go home like this, I won't let you." He opened his mouth to speak, but I cut in, "Don't argue with Alice, my sweet friend, I'm going to win anyway. Aaaaaand... I have something to make you feel better, I promise."
He snorted mirthlessly, "I doubt it, but yeah... why not. Just please don't hug me again, ok?"
"That's my boy!" I cheered and pulled him into my arms again. He was bristling, but just a little...
Oh boy, cheering Edward up wasn't easy. I could tell he wasn't particularly comfortable with me babying him the way I did, but he was obviously too worn out to fight me off. He didn't even say anything about the leather couch noises; he just dropped himself onto the cushions, leaned back and fiercely rubbed his eyes with the palms of his hands. I kneeled in front of him, feeling very 'Geisha', to take his shoes off. He muttered a lukewarm protest, but I shushed him and lifted his legs onto the couch, making him lay down. He shook his head, but I think I noticed a hint of a smirk... ah, that's so much better!
"Ok," I said, rubbing my hands, "Since you're not into talking tonight, how about watching a movie together?"
"I'm not into watching a movie either. I don't watch movies," he replied sullenly.
"Oh, but you will like this one, trust me!"
Holy Judy, spank me if my voice didn't sound like a coked up Canary Bird. I blamed it on the aftermath of my audition high, but hell, who was I kidding? I looked down at him with a shit-eating grin, enjoying the double eye candy of my current two fave pretties combined: Fuckhot Edward horizontal on my fuckhot designer couch. Amen!
"Whatever, Alice..." He closed his eyes, defeated.
"Ok, baby, don't go anywhere, I'll be right back!" I called over my shoulder as I walked – no, as I danced into the kitchen to fetch some wine and crackers. I was like, hey - DVD night with Edward, yeah! Sorry, Annie, but really... YEAH!
And so, surprise, surprise, we were watching 'Twilight' together. Or better yet, Edward was watching 'Twilight', and I was watching Edward watching 'Twilight'. When KStew's voice started over the Bambi intro, he recognized the prologue and admitted he hadn't read much more than the first two chapters of the book yet because he - gasp! - found it 'poorly written'!
"Why did we become friends again?" I wondered loudly, and he actually snickered. Damn, I was good – Edward was relaxing more and more. I couldn't wait for the cafeteria scene, cue entrance: The Cullens. How would he react, seeing himself? I mean, hell, he was like Rob's twin brother. This was going to be fun!
But much to my disappointment, the scene came and passed, and all he had to say was, "Do you think, Rosalie is a good name for Annie's new budgie?" What the fuck?
I answered a little huffily, "No. If anything, it should be Esme. You'll see why."
He mumbled, "Ok," and after a few minutes he yawned and laid his head on my shoulder; which I happily considered the closest to kiss-and-make-up I would ever get. He even allowed me to stroke his hair. I guess he was really down and needed comfort. Maybe their fight had been more serious than I'd thought? Anyway... his hair – man, it was soft and I loved to have my fingers in it. It was really... nice, and I was pleasantly distracted. After a while though, I just had to ask.
"What do you think about the actor who plays Edward? Don't you notice anything?"
"What do you mean," he asked drowsily, "his bad make-up?"
I sighed. "You're a lost case, aren't you? No, I mean, doesn't he remind you of someone?"
We'd made it to the meadow scene by now, and Edward lifted his head off my shoulder to watch more intensely, which made me regret having asked. Then he said, "No. Should he?"
"Ay chihuahua, Eddy, you're driving me nuts! He looks like you, for crying out loud!" I exclaimed, unable to hold back any longer.
He furrowed his brows and leaned forward, his eyes glued to the screen, where Robert Pattinson was just declaring himself the world's most dangerous predator. "Not at all," he said, "why would you think that?"
Well, maybe Rob's make-up was really bad. I reached under the couch and produced my beloved US Weekly Special, "The Sexy Stars of Twilight". I skimmed through it until I found my favorite Rpattz pic and shoved it under Edward's nose. He stared at it silently; his brows knitted together even more and then he nodded a reluctant yes.
"Ha!" I said triumphantly.
He kept on staring at the picture, and all of a sudden he was sad Panda again. Uh, that went totally wrong. "What is it, honey?" I asked.
"Does Annie think I look like him, too? I mean, is that why she..." He turned to face me, and I winced at how downcast he looked. "Is that all it is about, Alice?"
"God... no, silly!" I took the magazine from his hands and tossed it onto the floor. Then I cupped his angel face with both hands. "Listen to me, sweetie, Annie fucking loves you. She loves you, ok?"
He looked like he was going to cry. "She said, she doesn't."
"What? No way... why? When?" Annie, you stupid bitch!
Edward turned his attention back to my TV screen where Bella and Twilight-Edward just shared their first kiss. "Today," he answered almost inaudible, "just before you found me in the stairway."
I rubbed his shoulders soothingly. "She doesn't mean it, sweetheart, you know that, right? Won't you tell me what happened?"
He didn't take his eyes of the screen. Movie-Edward had just crashed into the wall with the kissus interruptus, and his tortured face mirrored my friend's expression so much, it was ridiculous. As the famous line 'I can never lose control with you' was spoken, Edward winced and closed his eyes. "This is some crazy shit..." he muttered, shaking his head.
With a strong feeling that our DVD night was over, I reached for the remote and pressed 'Pause'. Rob's face froze; a mask of hurt... not good! I switched the TV off too. Edward kept on staring at the blank screen. I cupped his cheek, which made him turn his head and look at me.
Ok, got it. They had a fight. Lovebird One had lost it and had said something really cruel which she didn't really mean. However, Lovebird Two had taken it to heart, because he was just as over-sensitive as he was sexy. But now Aunt Alice was here, ready to work her magic and fix shit. It couldn't be that bad, right?
"Baby... what happened?"
"I threw a vase at her."
Oooookaaaay... that's pretty bad!
"Edward... please tell me, you didn't!"
He shrugged helplessly and looked down on his hands. Translation: Oh yes, he did. Damn, those two didn't do things by halves. Their first argument and they both hit each others' weakest spot with instinctive certainty. Great!
"Honey, did you know that Annie was married?"
His head jerked up. "No! I didn't... she was married? She isn't...?"
"Divorced," I hurried to say, as I saw the panic in his eyes. Gosh, those green eyes...
"And what-?" He didn't get it.
"Her ex-husband was abusive... when he lost his temper he turned into a brainless brute, ok? Fuck, let's call it what it was – he used to beat the shit out of her, with increasing regularity. She got a restraining order against him after the divorce, and thankfully that piece of shit stays away. But you see how you... I mean, throwing things at her isn't exactly the way to make her declare her love to you, ok? You've probably scared her to death."
And there you go... he's crying for real now. Jesus...!
Edward wiped his eyes angrily before the tears that dwelled in the corners of his eyes could run down his face. "God, I had no idea, Alice. She never said anything. I don't know... what am I... fuck!" He let his head fall forward against my shoulder and sighed heavily. "What am I supposed to do? Help me... please, Alice, I don't know what to do." It was almost a whimper.
I raised my hand to gently stroke the nape of his neck, and said softly, "Why don't you tell me what the fight was about, from the beginning, and then we'll come up with a plan to fix the mess you two have made?"
My sad, beautiful friend took a deep breath, and then he told me... everything.
I don't know what had possessed me to actually believe you were just into me because I resembled some actor you had a silly crush on. I mean, deep down I knew it wasn't like that. But for a moment, everything just came together... those photos Alice showed me, and the movie. I realized that I had even said a few things to you that could have been taken from that damn movie, and I thought that maybe I had just somehow matched your Twilight fantasies or something. I'm sorry I thought so low of you. I was just confused.
When I heard about your marriage, when Alice told me about your abusive ex, I knew I really had fucked it up royally. I understood why you would have done and said anything just to get rid of me. And I would have understood if you'd never wanted to see me again. I had no idea how to fix it, or if it was even possible to fix it.
If Alice hadn't been there for me... well, there's something strange about Alice. I don't know how she does it, but I already felt a little less forlorn just seeing her in the stairwell. She made me lay down on the couch I hate, and made me watch that silly movie that you two love so much. She made me accept her caressing touches and it wasn't even awkward. And finally she made me spill my guts.
I don't think I have ever talked so much in my life. I told her everything, Annie. About myself, my past and present, how we met, what you mean to me, everything. She is a good listener. She didn't say much while I was talking, except when it came to my synesthesia. She got really enthusiastic about it, it was crazy. She knew what it was. She said she had read a lot about it and found it absolutely intriguing. I had to answer countless questions; she wanted to know every little detail about it. And she made it sound like I had a precious gift or something; she seemed to envy me, actually.
And then I told her about our fight, Tom's flowers and the card and the things you said. I told her about my anger and the Black, and how it suddenly was gone. I told her how I had pressed to hear you say you love me and how it had backfired. And when I finally had told her everything, I felt as if a weight had been lifted off of me.
Alice once again assured me that from all she saw and heard and knew, she had no doubt that you loved me. She said, that she had never seen you as happy or so open to a man before, and that she really wondered why you hadn't given me my own key to your apartment yet.
She also confirmed that I truly had screwed things up. As if I didn't know already. But she wasn't happy with your behavior either. In her opinion, I had been right to stand up for myself and tell it like it is; she said she really liked me like that - just minus throwing vases at my girlfriend, of course. She had me laughing finally. She is so strange, pink and yellow Alice.
I said that you always refused to see yourself as just that, my girlfriend, and that it was part of what nagged at me. Alice got a bit mad and started pacing the room, muttering something about shaking some sense into both of us. At that point, I was pretty much determined to go back upstairs and talk to you. I felt like we could figure things out, however bad we had fucked up. But she suggested a phone call first.
I told her that we had never exchanged numbers for some reason, and that pissed her off even more. She was all like, 'What the fuck is wrong with you guys,' and, 'You two are like first graders or something!'
She made me get my cell out and hand it to her so she could type your number in. But as soon as she had it, she raised her brows and asked me if I knew that I had fifteen unanswered calls. I remembered that I had switched off the alarm earlier. It could only be Law anyway, but fifteen calls? I looked over Alice's shoulder when she checked them. The last two were from Law; the other thirteen showed a number I didn't know.
Alice squealed because she recognized the phone number. It was yours. I could hardly breathe; my heart was beating so hard I thought it would break through my chest. Alice danced around, laughing and clapping her hands. 'I knew it, I knew it,' she almost sang the words.
I didn't dare to call you back. Your calls could have meant anything... maybe you wanted us to make up, or maybe you wanted to tell me to stay away and that you never wanted to see me again. How should I know? I called Law instead.
He didn't even say hello, he just yelled at me right away, 'Where the fuck are you? I've been trying to call you for hours! And what have you done to Annie? She is out of her mind, insane with worrying about you!' I told him I was with Alice and that I just had muted my cell, and he sighed. After a moment he asked, more calmly, whether I was ok. I said yes, and then I asked him about you and when you had called him.
He told me that you hadn't called but had come to Park Road Village looking for me. I couldn't believe it. You had come looking for me. Law said you had gotten into a fight with Lucy, which he thought was absolutely hilarious, and he wished I could have seen it. Apparently, Lucy had started bitching at you, because you had told her you were looking for your boyfriend. I wanted to cry when I heard that. But most of all I wanted to run and find you and take you in my arms and tell you how much I loved you.
All this time, Alice was cheek to cheek with me, listening and gasping every now and then. And suddenly she snatched the cell from my hands and shouted, 'Hi Law, this is Alice, we'll call you back, ok, bye!' Then she threw it back to me and nearly screamed, 'Call her, call her!'
My hands were shaking so much that I almost missed the buttons...
When I got off the train, I picked my cell out of my purse for the umpteenth time to dial Kiddo's number. He hadn't gone home, and no one knew where he was. The nauseating idea that he might have done something to himself because of my stupidity just wouldn't go away.
Please, God, I know you probably have no idea who I am, because I really haven't talked to you much lately. So just in case, this is Annie Portman, ok? And I'm not asking for myself... but please, please, please... let him be ok! Don't let anything happen to him just because I've been such a stupid bitch!
The phone in my hand rang, ending my religious moment abruptly, and I jumped. The display showed just one letter, 'E'. In my wild haste, it had been all I could manage to type when Law had given me his number.
Fucking thank you, God, that was quick!
I didn't wait for him to speak. "Edward, are you ok?"
There was a moment of silence, before he answered, "I am now... I think."
I couldn't hold back the silly tears when I finally heard his voice. "Oh my God, I was so worried, I thought you... damn, where are you?"
"I'm with Alice. I... I just talked to Law, and he said-"
"Stay where you are, I'm almost there. I can see the house already; I'll be there in a minute!" I half-sobbed the last words, and my feet started to run all by themselves. When I rounded the entry, the front door flew open, and there he was... upright, and in one piece, and so beautiful. My knees nearly gave way with relief.
And then I was in his arms. "Annie..." was all he said.
"I know, Baby, I know..." I answered breathlessly, "I couldn't find you, and I was so scared!"
My beautiful boy. My beautiful boyfriend... we clung to each other, slowly rocking back and forth. It felt so good to hold him and to be held by him, but still...
"We need to talk, Edward."
"Yes," he whispered.
There was a throat-clearing, and then Alice chimed, "Well, you two are quite an adornment to the doorway and I bet the neighbors really do enjoy the show, but maybe you should get a room or something..."
I pulled back to look at Kiddo. His green eyes were a bit moist, but bright. They were full of questions, but I could also see strength in them, a new confidence I hadn't seen before. And I liked it.
"Let's go inside," I said.
We didn't need to get his stuff out of Alice's apartment; his backpack was dangling from Alice's index finger, and she smiled and rolled her eyes when Edward snatched it as we passed her by. We hurried upstairs and had hardly made it inside when we stumbled against the wall, kissing and tugging at each other. There was nothing tender about it, our kisses were demanding, aggressive and needy. In no time, we were panting. So much for talking...
"I'm so sorry for what I did," he whispered against my lips between kisses. "I didn't mean to scare you." His mouth was on my neck now, while his hand caressed my ribs right underneath my breasts.
I raked my hands through his hair, urging his head further down. "But you did, Kiddo, you scared me." I moaned as he cupped my tits and licked his way down to my cleavage.
"I'm sorry," he said again, "I'm really sorry..." His lips closed around my nipple over the fabric of my blouse and he bit down lightly.
My girly bits went up in flames and a hissed 'Fuck!' escaped me. I pushed him away a little to get some room to maneuver, and reached down to unbutton his jeans. He let go of me and both his arms fell down to his sides. He looked down on my busy hands, his chest heaving.
"I'm not sorry for what I said though," he declared, "I meant every word."
There it was again, that new confidence, and hell – it was sexy! Suddenly I couldn't wait to get him naked; I got down on my knees, impatiently pulling his jeans and boxers down all the way. His engorged cock sprang free and I took him into my hand, squeezing gently. I glanced up at him from under my lashes and smiled. He looked slightly confused, apparently waiting for me to stand up again.
"Annie?" he said, breathing heavily. And then his eyes widened, as I bent forward and briefly swirled my tongue around his tip. "Oh, fuck..." he moaned. His arms went up to brace himself against the wall. I had never done that with him before, so he was definitely surprised. I licked him once more, and he groaned, "Jesus!"
It was so fucking hot to see him like this; he was so responsive, I could probably cum just from watching his reactions. I wondered if this was his first blowjob. Stroking him slowly, I said, "I am sorry for what I said, I didn't mean a thing. I was so stupid..." I licked around the tip once more, and he drew in a sharp breath through his clenched teeth. God, I loved this...
"God, Annie..." he whispered between pants, and one of his hands gingerly touched my head. I closed my lips around the head of his cock and sucked, while I continued pumping him with my hand. He closed his eyes. "Oh my god, oh my god... oh fuck, Annie...!" He got really vocal, and I loved it. Jesus, my pussy loved it! I was so wet, and he hadn't even touched me. I took as much of him as I could, and started bobbing my head up and down on his shaft. His legs began to shake, and I knew this would be quick.
"Annie, I... oh fuck," he groaned, "I'm going to... oh God, I... Annie, move!"
I wasn't much into swallowing, never been, so I took his advice and got on my feet. I continued stroking him, as I brought my mouth to his ear. "I want to try, Edward," I said, "I really want to try to be your girlfriend."
His hips jerked and within a second, he came all over my hand, crying out, "Jesus... shit... oh... fuck..." He was so gorgeous. And he was loud, such a turn on. I kissed him ferociously, giving him a taste of himself, and we both moaned in unison.
I leaned my forehead against his, as we tried to catch our breaths. After a while I whispered, "But I swear to you, if you ever –ever – do anything like that again... throwing things, breaking furniture, lose your temper like you did... I will end this, us, in a heartbeat."
"I know," he said, stroking my hair.
"So you better try hard, Edward. And I promise I will try hard too. Because I really don't want to end this, ok?"
He swallowed and nodded. "I love you, Annie."
Ok, Portman... say it! Out loud!
"I love you, Edward."