Title: Vegas
Author: ExcentrykeMuse
Fandom(s): Twilight & The Vampire Diaries
Pairing: Bella/Elijah, Edward/OFC
Summary: Alice and Rosalie take Bella to Vegas for her bachelorette.  What they didn’t realize was that Bella would meet a certain Original while playing Poker … and would fall in love.

Warning(s): Supernatural Creature, Lemon, Cheating

“No,” Bella whined as they entered the club.  “Why am I here again and in this dress?”

“It looks gorgeous on you,” Alice insisted.  Unfortunately, in this rare case, she was right.  It was the only reason Bella had put it on at all.

“How much did it cost?” Bella insisted, looking down at the white satin cocktail dress.  “This may be my bachelorette but do I really have to wear white?”

“Yes,” Rosalie insisted, her voice bored.  “Remember when we were born.  Remember when Edward was born.  You’re wearing nothing but white.”  Bella wanted to scream that it was the twenty-first century, but she knew it would fall on deaf ears.  “Now,” Rosalie continued, “you have your banker’s check because you seem to want to gamble instead of going shopping, and I’m at the bar.”

“And I am dancing,” Alice said.  She was wearing this overly expensive purple number.  She was also staring at the dance floor quite intensely as if she was waiting to meet someone there.  Odd.  Alice was a bit flamboyant but even she couldn’t muster up a dance partner out of thin air in the three hours they had been in Vegas, changing and getting ready.

Bella just rolled her eyes as she bought her chips.

One thing most people didn’t know was that Charlie loved to play poker.  Billy would come over and she, Billy, Charlie, and Jacob would play for all Saturday afternoon.  Bella was actually pretty good.

She threw in a chip.

“One thousand,” the man in the suit murmured to himself, reiterating what the amount was that she had just thrown into the pot.  He was simply gorgeous in a dark blue suit and purple tie, dark brown hair cut closely yet stylishly to his head, and brown eyes.  He must have been in his early thirties.  Out of the original seven players, only he and Bella were still in the game.  Just looking at him made Bella fight down a blush.  “I call and raise you two thousand.”

It was more than a blush, actually.  Heat pooled between her legs and she fought not to squirm.  Poker, she told herself.  This is about poker, not about the looks he’s giving you over his cards.  Those are probably just to set you off guard.

Bella raised an eyebrow.  “I call,” she said, tossing in the chips and looking at the small pile that represented over nine hundred thousand dollars.  She was playing with the big leagues.  Bella had worked her way up from the small bets earlier in the evening until she had been invited to the high rollers.  Then she lay down her hand. “A straight in diamonds.  High Jack.”

The man in the suit sighed and folded.

She smiled.  It was only partially because she had won.  Now, however, she could smile at this gorgeous man.  Hopefully she wouldn’t dream of him tonight and talk about him in her sleep.  She did have a separate room from Rosalie and Alice, but she still didn’t want to sleep talk about someone other than her fiancé.  Somehow one of the Cullens would be bound to find out, even if she did have complete privacy here in Vegas while she slept.

“I bow to your excellence at this game,” he said, British accent sending a chill up her spine.

“You are a formidable opponent,” she complimented.  A man came over and wrote her a check for the amount of money she had won before collecting the chips.  She still had over fifty thousand in chips by her side, which she was carrying around in a small pouch with her.

“I notice you haven’t had a single drink,” the man said smoothly.  “May I buy you one before our next game?”

“I’m the wealthy woman,” she teased.  “Shouldn’t I buy you one?”  Her brown eyes met his.  She hoped she was flirting correctly.  But why did she want to?  She was engaged to Edward—but this man’s eyes—“I did win a pretty penny.”

“This hardly hurts my checkbook,” he admitted, helping her from her seat.  Rich then, like Edward, and yet not like Edward.  Edward splashed around his wealth.  This man just showed it off in the suits he wore, in the games he played, in the tone of his voice. “Please.”

She stood and allowed him to lead her to the bar.  “I should warn you that I am underage,” Bella whispered, somehow trusting this stranger, “but don’t tell anyone that.  My fake identification is quite good.”

“They don’t check,” he whispered into her ear from behind and a shiver ran up her spine.  Again.  This really was bad for her health and state of mind.  “At least not when I’m involved.”

They slipped into the bar and she put her purse down.  “A scotch, straight up,” he ordered and turned to her and she just shrugged.  “And a glass of your finest champagne for the lady, no matter the cost.”

“Thanks,” she said.  They stared at each other for a few moments until their drinks came.  His eyes were so beautifully brown and held promises and desires that his face didn’t even hint at.  It was uncanny.

“This is good,” she complimented.  “My fiancé would be horrified.  I’m being corrupted.  Gambling, Vegas, Drinking.  It would insult his Victorian sensibilities.”

“This isn’t your first time gambling.”

She smiled at him.  “Well, he doesn’t know that my dad enjoys a game with friends every weekend when he’s not fishing.  What Edward doesn’t know, won’t hurt him.  What’s your excuse?”

“My brothers are—a handful.  I’ve always enjoyed the game.  It’s a well kept secret.”  He smiled.  “I generally win.”

“We can have a rematch.”  She shrugged.  “Apparently there are private tables and I got an invite earlier this evening, though I’m sure you received one as well at some point.”

“So this is your bachelorette,” the man said, ignoring her earlier statement.

“Unfortunately,” she admitted.  “Edward’s sisters dragged me here.”  She played with her ring.  Bella would never say it, but she really thought it was the ugliest piece of jewelry she had ever seen.  “They must be here somewhere.  Rosalie said she’d be at the bar but she seems to have moved somewhere else.  It wouldn’t be ladylike to gamble so she must be dancing.”  Bella shrugged.

“You don’t want to get married,” he said perceptively.  “Why then?”

She smiled, playing with her drink.  “You’re not a teenage girl.  You can’t understand.  Who are you, anyway?”

“Elijah Mikaelson,” he introduced himself.

“Bella Swan.  I—he’s so insistent on marriage.  I’m a teenage girl who just wants—“

“Sex,” he answered, as if reading her mind.  “You said he had Victorian sensibilities.  Right.  You’ve been blushing this entire time when you haven’t had your poker face on, and I don’t think it’s the alcohol.  Do you see your sisters-in-law anywhere?”  His voice was solemn, intent, as if he were planning something.

“What?”  She glanced around.  “They’re dancing with men who look suspiciously like their husbands on the dance floor.  Oh good God, Edward’s over there!  Has he ever heard of privacy?  Why won’t he let me out of his sight for one minute?  I can’t even sleep without him coming into my house!” 

Elijah looked minutely surprised by her outburst but hid it well.

Bella fumed internally.  Edward.  Why did she put up with it?  Even though she didn’t love Jacob, she should just marry her friend and allow the pack to take care of her.  It would be a way out.  Charlie’s gun wouldn’t work on Edward, although she slept with his old service weapon under her pillow.  Somehow Alice had never seen her get it out of the old safe.

Strangely, though, Edward seemed to be dancing with a Hispanic girl.  Bella squinted at the dance floor.

“Cold ones,” Elijah murmured, grabbing her hand and leading her out casually, his body position between her and the dance floor, their half consumed drinks left behind.  They entered a cab and they ended at the Bellagio.  “Tell me ‘no’ and I’ll stop,” Elijah swore and then he swept his hand through her hair and kissed her.

It wasn’t cold.  It was warm and soft and she couldn’t help but lean up, her hand on his shoulder, and Bella kissed him back.  She squeaked when his tongue slipped between her lips.

“You really did mean the Victorian era, didn’t you?” he teased and she only nodded.

“Well, kind of. He was born in 1901.  We met in Biology class.”

“So, he’s either a teenager or about twenty,” Elijah murmured, kissing her lightly and leading her out of the elevator and toward a room.

Bella barely noticed it because he was kissing her again.  His hand went to the back of her dress and she felt it unzip.  Her body felt warm and hot and she pulled herself closer.  She loved Edward, her mind reminded her, but Elijah… Elijah…

He was warm and human and he didn’t burn her skin like Jacob.  She didn’t even think how he knew about vampires, or “cold ones,” as he and the tribe liked to call the Cullens.

Pulling off his tie and sweeping his jacket off his shoulders, she pulled him closer by his lapels.  “Oh God.  I’m a cheater,” she whispered.

“He betrayed you first,” Elijah whispered.  “He won’t treat you like the woman you are, Bella: a young woman of the twenty-first century.”

They fell onto the pillows, her heels kicked off and his trousers partially ripped and half on the bed and half on the floor.  Warmth fell from the tips of his fingers when he touched her and they both pulled away and looked into each other’s eyes.

“What’s that?” she whispered.

He, however, didn’t answer.  “Your eyes were brown.”

“Yes, they are.”

“They’re unnaturally ice blue now,” he murmured, kissing her deeply again and reaching behind her for her bra.

“I, what?” His lips descended on her breast and she was lost.

Bella wasn’t sure how long it lasted.  His hands were all over her, and she ran her fingers through his hair and over his chest and his backside, his muscled thighs moving against her as he thrust within her.  When she called his name, she felt no guilt and afterward she lay curled in his arms.  Hair fell into her eyes and she blew it out of the way, until she noticed something and sat up, pulling her hair in front of her eyes.

“Am I hallucinating?” she asked, looking at him.

“It’s pure white.”  He ran his hand through the thick mass.  “And your eyes.”

She bolted toward the bathroom, not caring that she was naked, and looked at herself.  Her eyes were indeed ice blue, practically white, and her hair was the color of newly fallen snow.  Elijah was right behind her, his body glorious.

“I look like my mother,” she stated, “except her eyes are a darker blue and her hair is golden instead of white.”  She ran her hand over her now sharp collarbones and then cheekbones.  “I didn’t look like this.  My face.  I don’t look like myself.”

“I doubt you could use your I.D.,” Elijah remarked.

“How are you not freaking out?”

“How aren’t you?”

“I can run,” she whispered.  “Alice has been hijacking this wedding and I couldn’t get out.  I realized sex wasn’t worth it, but it was out of control.  I couldn’t get out.  I couldn’t get out.”  Tears were streaming down her face and Elijah pulled her close and kissed her temple. 

“You have over nine hundred thousand in your purse.  We’ll get you clothes, buy you an I.D., cut your hair.  A new cell phone, you’ll disappear.”

“I’m sorry,” she whispered.  “Whatever you were expecting, it wasn’t this.”

“It doesn’t matter,” he murmured.  “All that matters is that you’re here in my arms.  Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny.  Cold ones won’t be able to go outside.  Come to bed.  Let me love you.  You’re still beautiful, Bella, and still the same strong woman who had a poker face which could still fool me after all my years of reading people.”

“I need a new name,” she realized.  “Oh God.”

“Is Bella short for something?”


“Sabella then—it’s the Italian form—and choose a new surname,” he suggested, pulling her toward the bed, kissing her.  “You’re still beautiful, Bella.  So beautiful.”  He held her face in his hands and then made love to her, his hands circling that spot between her legs before joining with her.

“What are you?” she asked, as she came down and lay on her back, her hand tracing up and down his arm.  “You know about cold ones.  They call themselves vampires, but they’re so different from legends.”

He took a deep breath.  “Look at me, Bella.”

She turned her head and looked into his brown gaze.  Veins formed around his eyes and then fangs descended from his teeth.  Bella reached out and touched them carefully and he gasped.  Kissing his lips briefly, she pulled away.  “You’re an actual vampire then.”

The veins disappeared and he nodded.  “I’m a thousand years old.”

“I’m nearly nineteen,” she said.  “Perhaps I’m a bit young for you.”

He chuckled.  “You’re an old soul.  That poker face is not the face of an eighteen year old.”

“Mom says I was born middle aged.  God, what’s happened to me?”

“I think your father is not your father,” Elijah offered.  “Have you been—different—before this?”

“Edward and Aro Volturi can’t read my mind,” she offered, causing him to look at her in astonishment.  “Jane, of the Volturi guard, can’t cause me pain.  I’m unusually pale, even though I grew up in Arizona.”

“You said you looked like your mother.  Did you ever look like your father?”

“Just the brown hair, but not really even that.  Mom got pregnant with me when they were just kids and they married early.  Why?”

“I think your father may not be your biological father.  If I’m not mistaken, you’re a nephil, a child of a fallen angel, Bella.  Your looks give it away.  The fact that you don’t have wings show that you are not an actual angel yourself.”

“But why now?”

“You’ve come of age as a woman.  You’ve made love.”

They looked at each other and Bella laughed.  “This is priceless.  I’m the daughter of a fallen angel!  I’m not even religious!”

He traced her cheek lovingly and she moved into the touch.  “Sleep.  We’ll gather supplies in the morning and change your appearance a little more.  Then we can play poker tomorrow night if you want.  Somewhere else so that your ex won’t find you so easily—though your smell has strangely changed.  They probably wouldn’t even tell it was you if you walked right up to them and told them.”

Bella wasn’t certain when she fell asleep, only that she was wrapped in the arms of Elijah. 

Alice had made the call just before they got on the plane.  “Edward,” she said quickly.  “Bella completely disappeared from my sight as soon as she stepped on the plane.”

Edward sat with the phone in his hand, thinking of sweet Isabella and how—uncertain—she was about the wedding.  And if Alice couldn’t see her, clearly the mutts were involved.

He hated Vegas.  Edward had been there once before, in the twenties, and it was just as loud and flashy as he remembered it.  He quickly saw Alice and Rosalie on the dance floor and she motioned him over along with Jasper and Emmett, who had of course insisted on coming as it was “Vegas, Baby!”  Jasper was there simply to see Alice.

Then he saw her.  She was smooth curves and grace, her Hispanic features bringing out her Latin beauty.  Her blood smelled smooth and cool and didn’t make his throat burn and her mind… her mind…

He zeroed in on it and their eyes met.

And I’m perpetually single and I bet he won’t even want to dance with me, the girl thought.

Glancing around the club and seeing that his siblings were occupied, Edward couldn’t resist this strange siren, and moved up to her.  “Care for this dance?” he asked in his musical voice, trying not to bend down and brush her lush hair away from her face and kiss her.  He’d only ever kissed Bella, and he had barely done that.  This beautiful girl—she—he wanted to—but no—he had to remember Bella—but he couldn’t frighten her and he couldn’t think of another woman, even if she was his fiancée—God, his thoughts were confused—

She looked up at him, shocked.  Her mind was completely blank, but then she nodded.

There was a flash of white near the bar, but then it was gone.  “Let’s get a drink,” Edward murmured into the girl’s ear after a few dances and she looked up and smiled at him.

He didn’t sleep, of course.  Edward also didn’t get intoxicated.  Adora, however, was another story.  Staring at the wedding band on his left hand, Adora sleeping in his arms, he knew he could just leave and have the marriage annulled.  He would be married to Bella by the end of the week as planned.

What was he thinking?

Then Adora’s surface dreams came to him.  She liked it rough.  She adored it when he held her down in his vampire passion and bruised her; she cried out for more.  Bella would never be like that.

No, the monster inside of him whispered, he was too afraid of hurting Bella who could trip over air.  Bella was like a doll.  Adora was a woman who would make a formidable vampire… and he knew, somehow, that despite the transformation, she would keep her soul… it was preposterous to think that this beauty could ever be soulless.

Bella awoke to the smell of chocolate and fresh bread.  She sat up, a little confused, and felt sheets pool around her and cool air touched her skin.  Her naked skin.

It all came back to her.

“Good morning,” Elijah said, leaning toward her and kissing her.  “I bought you a robe in case you were feeling a little more modest.”

“Thank you,” she murmured as he produced a robe of oriental silk and she slid it on.  She moved to a little table where a tray of a croissant, various jams and cocoa were waiting for her.  She smiled and noticed that Elijah was dressed in gray slacks and a button up white shirt.  He’d chosen a light blue tie and was wearing a matching vest.  “No suit jacket?”

“It’s early yet,” he told her as he sat across from her.  “Your hair has grown.  Maybe if we just get you bangs, it will be enough.”

Bella looked at him oddly and glanced at her hair which now not only went to her upper back but fell in loose waves to almost the small of her back.  “I—how strange.  I hope it doesn’t grow any longer.—Are you not eating, Elijah?”

“I fed,” he informed her.  “I hope that doesn’t offend.”

“The Cullens eat animals, but I’m assuming actual vampires drink from humans?”

He nodded.  “I know of one who drinks from animals but he’s supposedly weaker than actual vampires.  I’m the oldest of my kind, so I wouldn’t know the distinctions of much younger vampires.”


“My brothers, sister, and I are the Original vampires.  I will tell you the story when you have accustomed yourself to the new changes in your life, Bella.  Have you thought of a name?”

“Sabella Elizabeth something.  I always hated the middle name Marie.  Maybe I should be Blanche Elizabeth as a private joke.  Forget that I was every Italian on my father’s side.”

“I’ve lived a thousand years.  I would recommend staying with your name, or close to it in this case.  I was originally Elias, which is translated into English as Elijah.  It’s easier to remember and will help you gain your reputation.  As the daughter of an angel, I would highly doubt that you are not immortal.”

She nodded.  “Sabella Ingram.  I love Jane Eyre, and, well, her name was Blanche or ‘white’ in French.”

His brown eyes sparkled at her in amusement.  “Then that’s who you shall be,” he said, smiling.  “We should wait a few days to see if you change anymore before getting a new i.d.  I can compel any human or vampire into letting you into casinos and clubs, so you need not worry.”

“You’re willing to keep me around that long?” she asked, a little surprised.

He looked at her calmly.  “I’m willing to ‘keep you around’ as long as you will allow,” he told her honestly.  “You are free to walk away whenever you see fit.”

They stared at each other for several long moments before she saw what she was looking for in his eyes and nodded.  “What did you bring me?”  She looked at the bags.

“I took the liberty of borrowing your clothes and buying you an outfit for the day,” he told her and she went and found designer jeans, a loose peasant top, and a leather jacket.  Some cute sandals that matched were also included.  And somehow he had even managed to guess her bra size although her dress didn’t require one the night before.  The very thought blew her mind.

“You’re not like Alice at all who tries to make me look like a runway model,” she said in surprise.  “I’m sure these cost a fortune, but I’ll look normal—apart from the hair and the eyes.”

“You struck me as both sophisticated and ‘down to earth,’ forgive the reference.”  He gave her a small smile and she hesitantly walked toward him and kissed him softly.

“Can I still do that?”

He didn’t answer her except to tangle his hand in her hair and kiss her deeply until she was out of breath.

“I suppose we should cash in all those chips and then grab some clothes,” she sighed.  “And alter my hair a bit.  Join me in the shower?” she invited.  She stood and led him toward the bathroom.  They didn’t make it out until well past noon.

There was a light tap on the door, and Edward got up, only to show in an angry looking at Alice.  “Your wife is not named Bella Swan.”

“No,” he answered carefully.

“Bella is also missing.  And we have to tell her because I already see Adora as a vampire.  She has the ability to influence the weather, interestingly enough.  Aro will be gunning for her as soon as he finds out about her in about three hundred years.”  She sighed and sat down on the couch in the main sitting room.  “Thank goodness we all got separate suites once we realized you boys were coming, although we didn’t tell Bella.  I take it you were—passionate—with your new bride.”

“That is not something I am discussing with you.”

“Course not,” she smirked, before turning serious again.  “But Bella, Edward.  We have the dress and the invitations have gone out—and your bride is waking up.”

She is Adoracion Cullen.  Adora.  I’m not giving her up.”

“You’ve been obsessed with Bella for two years— She’s my best friend.”

“I don’t care,” Edward said, getting up and looking out the window, his skin sparkling.  He quickly pulled closed the curtains.  “Adora’s blood soothes and she’s magnificent.”

Alice only sat there, looking at her hands as they heard Adora mumble to herself in Spanish and quickly get dressed.

She came out of the bedroom a little worse for wear in a green party dress, her make up slightly smudged, and her black lush hair a little wild.  “Eduardo,” she murmured when she caught sight of Edward.  “I thought you left—“  She looked utterly confused.

Edward quickly walked over to her and took her hands.  “Why would I leave?” he murmured, running his finger over her wedding ring.  “My sister just dropped by because we disappeared last night.”

Adora glanced at the ring and stared.  “That wasn’t a dream?” she asked in shock.  “How much did we drink?”

“A bottle of champagne?” he teased, smiling.

Alice quickly came up.  “Adoracion,” she said with a careful Spanish accent.  “Would you like me to go get your things out of your hotel room so you can get dressed and ready for the day?  That way you can have time to talk to Edward?”

The girl looked at her, startled, and then nodded.  She disappeared back into the bedroom and appeared with a motel keycard.  “It’s nothing like here,” she apologized.  “Just a room and everything’s in the suitcase.  There are no roaches,” she promised.

Alice smiled kindly and hugged her.  “Of course not, and I wouldn’t care if there were.  I’m Alice, by the way.  Alice Cullen.”

“Alice,” she murmured.  “Adora Marcel—Adora Cullen?”

She looked at Edward in confusion.

“There’s time enough for that,” Edward promised.  “Now, let’s get you some food.—And there’s something I have to tell you.”

“Tell me?” she questioned.  “You want a divorce.  I’m Catholic, Eduardo.  We had sex—we cannot get an annulment from the Holy Father.”

Edward shook his head.  “It’s not that, Adora,” he whispered, kissing her lightly.  He pulled open the window to show how his skin sparkled in the sunlight and she gasped.  “I’m one of God’s creatures, but I’m not quite human.”

Her hair now layered and with edgy bangs, Bella was sitting at a high stakes poker table in a deep blue dress.  The afternoon was spent shopping with Elijah helping quietly.  Despite what was originally planned, Bella wanted to go back to the same casino, and they now watched out for the Cullens.  At about eleven, the Cullens came in, fanning out, clearly looking for her.  The Hispanic girl was strangely with Edward, though she eventually went to the dance floor with Alice.

Elijah made a bet.  Bella glanced down at her cards as Edward came up and whispered something in Elijah’s ear.  She could almost hear it, as if the wind were trying to speak to her.

Elijah’s face betrayed nothing, but he only said, “Once this hand is done.”

“I think it’s done now.”

The woman to Bella’s side folded.

Decisions, decisions.  Should she call on a full house with a high of tens or should she raise another five hundred?

“I think that you do not know with whom you are dealing, cold one.” Elijah replied harshly.  “Miss Ingram?”

She glanced up from her cards, her face unreadable.  “Call,” she said, throwing in her chips.  The next man called and lay down his hand.  He was out.  The next player was also out.  Elijah lay down his hand in triumph, although Bella could only read it in his eyes.  “Spades trump hearts,” she told Elijah, placing down the cards. 

A waiter came up to her and offered her an invitation to a private table. 

“Mr. Mikaelson,” she said, collecting her chips.  “A private game?  I’ll buy you a drink as an incentive.”

Edward put a hand on Elijah’s shoulder.  “I believe Mr. Mikaelson and I need to have a chat.”

“Do you?  I think he disagrees.—That girl over there is also waiting for you.”  She nodded her head toward Adora, who was now at the bar.  “How are you even in here?” Bella asked.  “You must be younger than twenty!”  She called the waiter over.  “Check this boy’s i.d.  I think he’s here under false pretenses.”

Inclining her head toward the private tables, Elijah followed her.  “A very dangerous game, Miss Ingram.  Do you think I could not deal with a mere boy?”  His eyes betrayed his amusement.

“I think I enjoyed annoying him,” she teased.  “I’ve been terrorized for too long.  He also looked me directly in my eyes and did not know me.—Also who was that girl?”

Elijah looked behind them, running his hand soothingly down her neck.  “They’re wearing matching wedding bands.”

“Edward?  Married?  At my bachelorette?”  She was completely confused.

“Hush, darling,” Elijah murmured as they took their seats.

The cards were dealt.  “What are we playing for?”

“Sexual favors?”  Bella placed that girl out of her mind.

His eyes gleamed.

Adora let Edward carry her across the threshold.  The honeymoon suite had been booked a few nights before they had arrived, so they had to settle, unfortunately, but Edward didn’t care, as long as he had Adora.

Rosalie had looked the girl up and down and said something about immigrants so quietly that Edward could barely hear her.  Obviously, he was now not talking to her.  Alice had tried to take her shopping but Adora had absolutely refused.  When Alice had showed up with new clothing, she had shut the door in her face.

“She is trying to be nice, I know, but I will not allow you to amass credit card debt,” she told Edward plainly. This only made Edward laugh.

Still, she was a gorgeous woman of twenty-two.  She didn’t quite seem to realize that Edward’s body was technically seventeen.  He had no intention of telling her unless it became necessary.

“Tighter,” she begged, as Edward held her wrists down and pumped into her.  “Tighter, mio amore.  Eduardo, Eduardo, Eduardo!”  She screamed and Edward flipped her over, his hands still over her wrists as he thrust into her.

As he came down from his pleasure, he could hear her raspy breathing and smiled smugly to himself. 

“Who was that man,” she questioned, “the one at the poker tables?”

Edward immediately stilled.  “What man?”

“The one with the beautiful woman with the white hair.  You were talking with them briefly.  I thought you didn’t gamble.”

“I don’t,” Edward said harshly.  “I’m just looking for a friend of Alice’s who came here with her who seems to have wandered off.  I thought I’d given her a hand.”

“Mio Dios,” she whispered.  “I hope this friend is all right.”

Edward didn’t want to think of Bella, not when he had Adora in his arms.  “Think of something else,” Edward said.  “I’m sure she’s fine.  She’s a cop’s daughter.  She knows how to take care of herself.”

“As you say, Eduardo,” she whispered, kissing him lightly.  “Now, I know you don’t sleep, but it’s nearly dawn, and even I must get some rest.”  She snuggled into the curve of his body and he smiled into her hair.  It smelled of wild jasmine, so seductive, so perfect.  How could he have ever thought that Bella Swan was the one for him?

“You don’t like her,” Bella said as she came up to Rosalie, drinking a glass of champagne.  This was her third day of drinking only the bubbly drink to see if she could stay alive on it, and it seemed to be working so far.  Perhaps it was the nectar of the gods.  “Your—friend—with the bronze hair decided to harass my lover awhile back so I decided to watch him and saw him with that Latina goddess; I’ve seen you also watching them.  Are they newly married?”

“Edward, my brother,” Rosalie spat, “came to surprise his fiancée on her bachelorette.  He met Adora on the dance floor and married her that night.  Bella’s gone missing.  I never liked Bella but even I can see how cruel Edward’s stunt is.”

Bella cocked her head.  Edward had cheated on her?  Granted, she had cheated on him, but still… She hadn’t gone so far as to elope… Elijah had warned her, but to have confirmation from Rosalie …

“Are your brother and his bride happy?” she asked.

“Sickeningly so.”

“And on that note,” Elijah said, coming up to Bella and taking her glass of champagne, “it’s nearly six in the morning and you need to get out of the delectable outfit, my darling.”

“Make me,” she teased.

His eyes gleamed, and he kissed her lightly.  “Miss Ingram.”

“Mr. Mikaelson,” she replied as he led her away from Rosalie.

They barely made it back to the hotel room.  She used his tie to draw him to the bedroom, where he actually ripped the dress from her.  “I liked that one!” she complained.

“I’ll buy you another tomorrow afternoon,” he promised as he kissed her languidly. 

“If you promise,” she whispered as he carried her to the bed.

“Edward has remained married,” she confided as she fought back sleep.  “It seems we replaced each other on the same night.  How odd.”

“Perhaps it’s for the best.”

“Perhaps,” Bella agreed.  “I’d like to meet her, though.  Morbid curiosity.”

“Then we’ll contrive it,” Elijah promised, kissing the top of her head.  “Anything for you, my darling.”

It was later that week when Jasper found her alone at the bar.  She already had her fake i.d., which claimed she was twenty-one.  “You know Mr. Mikaelson,” he said by way of greeting.

“We play poker,” Bella responded.  “I will not introduce you to him, even for business purposes, however.”

“It’s not that.  He was last seen with my future sister-in-law.”

“Strange.  I’ve been gambling with him all week.  We’ve also been sharing a hotel suite and I haven’t seen anyone.—Maybe she split.  Got married on the sly to someone she met on the dance floor.  It’s been known to happen.”  She shrugged her shoulders.

“Bella’s not like that.”

“This is Vegas.  It changes people,” she responded, accepting her drink, which was on the house.  The casino loved her.  She was well dressed.  Beautiful.  Exotic.  And caused people to lose money.  “Anyway, Mr. Mikaelson did not do anything with this Bella.  He would never cheat on me.  He’s far too noble.  If he was the last one to see her in this casino, she probably got drunk and he saw her to a cab, and he went back to gambling and forgot about the small kindness.  Now, please, you’re wasting my time.  I was going to try my hand at roulette.”

She made her way over to the table and saw that Elijah was watching her.  He took her drink from her and held his open palm out to her.  “Blow over the dice,” he murmured.

“Whatever for?”

He leaned in and whispered “for luck” in her ear.

They fell into bed several hours later.  Bobby pins littered the room, their shoes kicked off.  His socks were on the desk, his belt over the television and his pants kicked off near the bathroom.  As skin moved against skin, she breathed in deeply, her head thrown back.  Tracing the muscles of his arms, Bella reached down until she could feel his hips as they thrust into her.  Elijah’s hands were holding her legs up so they were bent and crossed over his upper legs and they moaned and gasped together.

He kissed along her collarbone as she came back to herself and her eyes fluttered open.  Hearing her heartbeat pick up, he traced her sharpened cheekbones and then kissed her lips lightly.  “I want to give you something I have never offered a single woman, even when I was human and believed myself in love with a woman named Tatia.”

His voice was solemn, smooth, and damn sexy.

Bella nodded, recognizing the solemnity of the moment.

“I know you didn’t want to marry Edward.  I know you were coerced—blackmailed—into the situation.  However, I want to marry you.  My family has a saying, Always and Forever.  I want to offer you that.”

“It’s been less than a week,” she whispered.  “Surely you’ve had lovers that you’ve perhaps had for decades, maybe even centuries.”

“Never centuries,” he disagreed.  “There has been one that I have met with on and off again over centuries, but it has never been steady.  She reminded me of someone I once loved.”

“Then why not offer it to her?” Bella asked, searching his eyes.

“I do not love her,” Elijah answered.  “I never saw a future.  With you, with you,” he whispered.  “You kiss the blood off my lips although you’re not a vampire.  You accept me.  And I know you’re confused and vulnerable, so I would never pressure you, but I understand.  I have been where you are.  When I was one of the first vampires created, there was nothing like me on this earth.  I had to slowly learn.  I felt alone, although I did have my brothers and sister.  Let me be there for you.  But more importantly, we are equals.  I have never found that.  I love you, although I do not know how or why it should have happened this quickly.”

“I’m just a girl from Phoenix and then Washington.”  She stroked his cheek.  “My only claim to fame is being engaged to a cold one, surviving a cold one bite and the Volturi, and then somehow being the daughter of an angel.”

“You are light and acceptance and a heart so full of love, ready to be given, but you’ve never found anyone who would accept it—not even that Edward.  Let me love you, Sabella Ingram, Isabella Swan.  Let us walk through the centuries together.”

She breathed out in confusion and rolled onto her back and stared at the ceiling.  She had long ago taken off her engagement ring, but in that moment she missed the familiar weight.  “I don’t want a large ceremony,” she said.  “I’d rather just put on that white dress I was wearing when we met and find a chapel here.”

“Then that’s what we’ll do,” he promised.  “Tomorrow morning we can go for the license and we can book the chapel here.”

“Always and Forever,” she made him swear.

“Always and Forever.”

Bella stood waiting for the car to be pulled around when she saw Adora coming out of the Bellagio.  “Hello,” she greeted.  “I’ve seen you in the casino.  Taking in the sights during the day?”

“Yes,” she answered, the hint of a Spanish accent.  “My husband is sleeping.”

“You’ve tired him out then,” Bella laughed, looking up at the sunshine.  It seemed like Edward along with his siblings were trapped in doors.  “Honeymoon?”

“No,” Adora answered.  “I came for a friend’s birthday and met him on the dance floor.  I heard his brother mention that he was here to surprise his fiancée, but then Eduardo—Edward—proposed and he was perfect and, well, I didn’t think about it—“  She sighed happily.

Bella raised an eyebrow.  “What happened to the fiancée?”  Her voice was a little colder than she meant it to be. 

Adora looked at her assessingly.  “She disappeared.  She was playing poker, seemed to go to the bar with a man, and then was just gone.”

“Just like that?” Bella looked away.

“Just like that,” Adora confirmed.

Elijah jogged up and kissed Bella softly.  “The car will be here in a moment, darling.  I made sure they had all your luggage packed.”

“You know I don’t care about the clothes, although you bought it all for me,” she laughed, “although I did beat you at cards and could well afford it.  This is a young lady who also got married to a complete stranger during her time in Vegas.”

Elijah nodded to Adora, clearly not wanting to kiss her hand like he usually did when he was introduced to women.

The car rolled around.  “Are you ready, my love?”  He held open the door.

“Adoracion,” Bella said, pausing and looking at the woman.  “Tell Edward Cullen that he shouldn’t be so overbearing that a woman will do almost anything to escape marrying him, even disappear with a stranger at her bachelorette.  Enjoy your marriage.  I hope he treats you better than he treated me.  I was Isabella Swan, by the way.  Obviously, I’m someone else entirely now.”  She gave a small smile.

Elijah helped her into the car and then went over to the driver’s seat.  They then drove away, leaving a gobsmacked Adora behind.

“Was that really necessary?” Elijah teased.

“I’m sure you would have done the same to Edward.”  Bella turned and smiled at him.

“I would have done worse,” Elijah confided.  “Much, much worse.”


One thought on “Vegas

  1. Found and re read my all time favorite.. Did not realize you’re the author and had another platform for your stories… Always found ‘Vegas’ on…
    Wonder what the Cullens dad when Andora told them about meeting Bella and her husband… Or what Elijah’s siblings thought of his new wife…


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