Viva Las Vampire
The Cullens hit Vegas for Bella and Edward’s wedding, but wherever Bella goes, trouble is sure to follow… CSI Crossover, although, you don’t really need to watch the show obsessively or anything to understand.
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Chapter 8: Aesthetic
You gotta help me out
It's all a blur last night
We need a taxi 'cause your hung over and I'm broke
I lost my fake ID
But you lost the motel key
Spare me your freakin'
Dirty looks now don't blame me
You wanna cash out
And get the hell outta town
Don't be a baby
Remember what you told me
Shut up and put your money where your mouth is
That's what you get for waking up in Vegas
Get up and shake the glitter off your clothes now
That's what you get for waking up in Vegas
-“Waking Up In Vegas”, Katy Perry
It was one of those rare rainy nights in Vegas. The strip was less crowded as many tourists retreated to the inside of the warm and dry casinos to gamble away their travel money. Some residents and wanderers, however, seemed to be unperturbed by the heavy rain and walked the streets.
One of the residents, a man, was leaning against a brick wall, sheltered by an overhang. He surveyed the Strip through the curtain of water running off the building. He could smell everything on moist days like this, like the endless rainy days in Washington when the burning smell of wet concrete would engulf him, except since then everything smelt a tenth-fold stronger wet.
That’s why her scent appeared on his radar long before usual. He’d seen her yesterday with her family, but she looked more drowned now. If he didn’t recognize her scent, he never would have associated the clean-cut woman from before with this soggy girl who fancied a walk in the rain.
A couple loose blonde tendrils were escaping from the hood she’d pulled over her head to protect her hair. Beforehand it had been flawless, hours of effort devoted to ironing, brushing and curling, he suspected. But now her tresses were probably getting tangled under the woolen hood of her coat, balling at the base of her neck. Despite her mild attempts to shield her head from the pounding water, her face was damp, massacre smudged under her eyes.
Yes, she was a bit of a mess, but compared to the other soaked travelers she was still extremely attractive. Many men walking by, like himself, found their eyes braving the rain to travel from the visible full lips and perfect nose up her clear skin to try catch a glimpse of the rest of her face. Plagued by queries on if her eyes were as perfect as the rest of her appeared.
Under her dark coat she wore tight pants and flat shoes, her legs should have been cold through the thin material but the blonde didn’t feel anything, she had long gotten use to the cold.
“Hey Baby, you wanna party?” Some idiot was trudging up the street behind her.
He saw her fists clenched, but she didn’t slow her pace. Tough town. Pretty girl walking alone. Night. Not a good combination altogether.
“Bitch, I’m talking to you.”
Not quite drunk, he’d had a bit of Vodka, the man against the wall could smell it on his breath as The Idiot perused the girl a dozen feet behind.
“What’s you’re hurry, honey?”
Another man had joined The Idiot and all three of them were walking up the wide sidewalk getting closer and closer to him.
“Hey, Bitch, where ya’ going?”
He wondered if, before, he would have jumped forward and risked his neck against the men for the girl. Give her a chance to run? Throw a few punches? What was that country song that they played on the radio? He began to sing in a soft eerily pleasant voice:
“And Johnny said take my money, take my wallet, take my credit cards, Here’s the watch that my grandpa gave me, Here’s the key to my car, Mister give it a whirl, But please don’t take the girl…”
He didn’t know if in his previous life he would have done anything, of course back then he wouldn’t have smelt her, wouldn’t have known that those men had no idea what they were doing.
But now, he knew that this girl could take care of herself.
Bella was surprisingly swift in her journey up to the Cullen’s suites. Well, okay, she tripped once, but who left that old lady there, anyway?
Bella banged with both of her fists on Jasper and Alice’s door, the shopping bags she carried slipped down her wrist to gather at her elbows. They knocked into each other as she pounded, adding to the racket.
“Alice! Anyone! Help!”
The door flew open so fast, revealing Alice, that the tiny vampire had to reach out and grasp one of Bella’s frantic fists before it made contact with her face.
“Bella, what’s wrong?” Alice guided Bella into the suite by her fist and kicked the door softly closed.
“Edward’s gone! He was there one minute and we were about to…and then I open my eyes and he was gone! And I called him and he didn’t come! He ALWAYS comes when I call!”
“Bella, calm down, it’s okay!”
“Okay? What do you mean okay! He could be half way to Italy by now?”
Rosalie entered clad in a tight fitting blue shirt and cotton pajama bottoms. “Who’s going to Italy, now?”
“Bella, he’s not going to Italy.” Alice assured her.
“Why’s Edward going to Italy?” Rosalie smirked.
“Not willingly! But he just disappeared!”
“What does Italy have to do with anything?” Rosalie directed her question at Alice.
“Hello? Edward’s missing!”
“Where is he?”
“If I knew that, Rosalie, he wouldn’t be missing!”
“But I thought he was in Italy?”
“Rose, you know very well he’s not in Italy.”
“Yes, but I want to know how Italy factors into everything.”
“Bella, what’s Italy got to do with anything?”
“I just thought that the only people who could make Edward disappear were the Volturi?”
“You think the Volturi took Edward?”
“So, it’s not the Volturi?”
Edward’s world was suddenly brought into heart-stopping, on a matter of speaking, color. Neon color to be exact. You’d think he would have gotten use to neon after being in Vegas for a few days, but apparently not.
“Glad you could join us, man.” Emmett said, his pale features were lit with a devilish a smile and gleaming with the remnants of the drizzle just beginning to pick up outside. In one hand he dangled the black bag that had presumably been covering his brother’s head.
“For the love of all that’s holy…” Edward groaned as he looked around to confirm his surroundings.
“Oh yeah, man! We’re giving you a proper send off into matrimony!”
“And a strip club factors into this how? Oh, hi, Jasper.”
“Jacob? I thought I smelt something….”
“We found him in the street.”
“And dragged him to a strip club?”
“He doesn’t seem to mind…”
Indeed, Jacob seemed content to look morbid in the back of the booth beside Jasper and stare at his drink.
“Okay…but what about Bella? We didn’t just leave her alone in the middle of Vegas?”
“Oh, the girls will take care of her,” Emmett assured him, “don’t worry. Now, who wants a lap dance?”
“So you’re a hundred percent sure he’s okay?” Bella asked the umpteenth time as Alice began the second coat of red polish on Bella’s toenails.
“Yes, Bella, he’s fine. Now, don’t worry! This night is all about you!”
“Yeah…” Bella displayed her best awkward smile. She had been mostly un-conversational other than to be constantly reassured of Edward’s security. She hadn’t not been aware of his relative location since he’d purposely separated himself from her in hopes of her being able to forget about him. Fat chance.
Edward being snatched from right out in front of her had left her obviously rattled. She had been convinced the Volturi had gotten wind of the rouge running around Sin City and had swooped in and plucked her fiancée up to wisk him away for interrogation about the situation…
She mentally shook herself before turning back to the flat screen television which was featuring a showing of ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ which Alice had ordered on pay-per-view and deemed appropriate for their impromptu bachelorette party.
“You’re engaged! We never think this would happen for you! Never. Never. Taki, didn’t we say that…”
“We never think this day would come. Never.”
Edward glanced over at Jasper who was staring at the ceiling his eyes scanning the dimly lit tiles. He seemed to be counting them, lengthwise. His mind was mercifully blank expect for the narration of: …Seventy-eight, seventy-nine, eighty, eighty-one….
Beside him, Emmett shot occasionally bewildered looks at his brother, shocked anyone could count ceiling tiles at a strip club. He shook his head and turned back to the stage.
Edward heard Emmett growl, look at the legs on that one. Boy, I could go for some white meat right about now. Hehehe…
Edward pinched the bridge of his nose. It was going to be a long night. He looked up and began to count tiles, widthwise.
60 tiles in, he was broken out of his reverie by Emmett ducking suddenly under the table. From some unseen location he removed a bottle. An extra strobe of light swept over their table and Edward saw it glinted red.
“Come on we’re doing shots!”
He began to line up the empty shot glasses on the table, leftover from alcohol long since pointlessly consumed.
Their scantily clad waitress chose that moment to reappear. She looked warily at the bottle in Emmett’s hand. As much as leaving would please
him, getting kicked out of a strip club would not deem the night a success.
“Hey,” Edward whipped out a bill and gave the girl his best you-didn’t-see-anything look.
See, in return, gave him her best anything-for-you-baby look whilst accepting the money.
“Rose, where are you going?”
Bella’s head snapped around to see Rosalie by the front door. She’d changed out of her sleepwear and into a sweater and skinny jeans. Bella resisted the urge to glare, Rosalie was the only real person she knew who could pull of skinny jeans. Designers made such pants with the aspiration they could end up paired with those legs.
“Out.” Rosalie responded finally, pulling on a black hooded coat. It was unnecessary, she could wander through Antarctica in a bikini and not feel a thing, the coat was just a prop. Or possible a vain attempt to protect her hair.
“I’m going for a walk.”
Alice gave her a look pointed that plainly spelled out you-should-be-ashamed-of-yourself-for-bailing-on-her-party but as soon as Rosalie glanced out the window she needed to be outside in the rain. She loved the rain. It was constant and alive. And when it rained in Vegas: it rained hard, quenching the desert’s infinite and unsatisfiable thirst.