|Flirting with Disaster
Author: NyteRock PM
AU, all human. The girls meet their dream guys and it seems like things might just be perfect. But when James, an old friend of Edward’s with a disturbing criminal background, comes into town and fixates on Bella, things get complicated. And dangerous.Rated: Fiction M - English - Drama/Romance - Chapters: 17 - Words: 95,486 - Reviews: 497 - Favs: 286 - Follows: 411 - Updated: 09-28-09 - Published: 09-28-08 - id: 4563567
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I don't own them. I'm just using them for my own fun and games. : )
AU. BxE, AxJ, RxEm
The girls meet their dream guys and it seems like things might just be perfect. But when James, an old friend of Edward's, comes into town and fixates on Bella, things get complicated. And dangerous.
This is an 'everyone falls in love' story as opposed to an 'everyone is already in love' story and I'm pretty sure someone, or multiple someone's, is going to be OOC for part or all of this little tale. Just keep an open mind and try to enjoy. : ) : ) : )
"No. Absolutely not!" I shook my head, folding my arms across my stomach. "There is no way I'm wearing that! Especially not out in public!"
"Oh, come on, Bella. Please?" Alice begged, her lips pressing out into a pout. That pout had been known to melt men where they stood. I wasn't having it.
"There's nothing there, Alice! It's all straps and… and… what is that?" I fingered the leather outfit, my expression bewildered. Even if I had wanted to wear it, I wouldn't have known how to even begin putting it on.
"This," she explained, holding out the biggest scrap, "is what is called 'club wear'. And it's sexy." She held out the leather for me to go try on. "Come on, at least try it on. Then if you don't like it, we'll find something else."
Yeah, right. I knew better. If I tried it on, it would be the same as admitting defeat in her eyes. So I kept my arms crossed and shook my head again. "No, Alice. Find something else now."
She sighed, an exaggerated sound that let me know she thought I was being unreasonable. But she put the leather contraption back and we started searching again. We passed dresses and skirts and various other items that I couldn't even imagine putting on. There never seemed to be enough fabric to cover all the bits that needed to be covered. I shook my head again, this time to myself, wondering how I let myself be talked into this.
My birthday was this weekend and Rosalie and Alice, my two sometime irritating best friends, were damned and determined to get me out of my so-called shell and introduce me to their version of fun. They'd convinced me to go out with them this weekend, check out the club scene, maybe meet someone and have an actual date. And they both seemed to think my wardrobe lacked sufficient 'club wear' as Alice called it. I personally thought they were the ones being unreasonable.
It took almost an hour for us to make it through the entire store. Each outfit Alice picked up seemed to have less fabric then the one before it and I got quicker at dismissing the things I didn't like. Which was, namely, everything. It wasn't until after we'd left and were back in the car, heading to our next destination, that Alice explained most of the clothes had been slutty because that was where strippers usually went to get their stage outfits.
She either didn't see the glare I gave her or she ignored it. I didn't bother saying anything, knowing she'd just shrug it off and chalk it up to being willing to try.
I sulked through the rest of the day and a dozen more stores before we finally made it home. I knew she was disappointed that I hadn't liked anything even a little bit but I was kind of relieved that now I could just dig through my insufficient wardrobe and find something I was already comfortable with. After all, if it was in my closet, I'd bought it and therefore liked it.
"I wish you'd let me find you something to wear this weekend, Bella." Alice said as she unlocked the door to our apartment. We'd just recently moved out of our dorm rooms and into an apartment with Rosalie.
"I don't mind you finding me something to wear but I would like to keep my assets hidden, you know." I dropped my purse on the coffee table, glad to be rid of it. I hated carrying that thing around but when we out, I needed something to keep my wallet in. So, the purse.
Alice dropped onto the couch while I stuck a bag of popcorn in the microwave. Three minutes later I poured the contents into a large bowl and went to sit next to Alice. She hit play on the remote and I offered her the bowl, kicking my feet up on the coffee table as whatever movie was in the DVD player started.
Halfway through Mr. and Mrs. Smith, somewhere around ten thirty, Rosalie walked in, her heels clicking loudly on the floor. Someone was angry. The expression on her gorgeous face confirmed what her heavy footsteps had suggested. She dropped onto the couch beside us and I offered her some of the remaining popcorn. She grabbed a handful and started putting it in her mouth one piece at a time.
"What's wrong, Rose?" Alice asked, leaning forward to see around me.
She stared at the TV screen for a few minutes, finishing off her handful of popcorn, before she spoke. "Why do you guys let me date jerks?"
Uh, oh. Boy trouble. Definitely not my area of expertise. I leaned further back into the couch as Alice leaned across my lap, draping her torso across my legs to put a comforting hand on Rosalie's thigh. "What happened?"
Rosalie took a deep, calming breath and grabbed some more popcorn. "That jerk said I was too self absorbed to be dating material."
I fought not to smile, licking my lips to hide the effort. I'd met the guy she was talking about. John, I think. And while Rosalie might be self absorbed at times, this guy had narcissism down to an art.
Alice didn't even try to hide her smile. "Aw, come on, Rose. He's not exactly one to talk about being self absorbed, right?" It was eerie how we all seemed to be on the same brainwave sometimes.
Rose straightened a bit and a slight smile touched her lips. "Yeah, you're right. He did have a bit of a thing about himself, didn't he?" It didn't always take much to cheer Rosalie up.
Alice grinned and looked at me as she sat up. "I'd say so. You know he told me to grow my hair out longer because he didn't think girls with short hair were attractive?"
I laughed out loud and Rosalie grinned. "Really? When was this?"
Alice joined in the laughter. "A few days ago. While he was examining himself in the mirror, waiting on you to get ready."
Rosalie shook her head in amazement. She did somehow pick the most interesting guys. But, her standards were a bit higher then Alice's and tons higher then mine. Especially since I didn't really have any.
"So did you break up with him?" I asked.
Rosalie nodded, stealing another handful of popcorn before Alice put it on the coffee table. "Yeah. I couldn't take it anymore. He made me want to shoot something."
I shuddered at the thought of anyone making Rosalie mad enough to actually do harm to someone. Rosalie wasn't exactly pleasant when she was pissed. Come to think of it, neither was Alice. But I'd take the pixie before I'd take Rosalie.
"Alright, so now we're all dateless for this weekend. What do we do now?" I asked, munching on my own handful of popcorn.
Alice gave me a gentle shove to my shoulder. "It's your birthday, silly. This weekend we party and forget all about boys and their stupid issues!"
Rosalie and I laughed. "Here here." Rose said.
I shook my head and stood. "Well, on that note, I'm off to bed. If we're going out tomorrow night I need my beauty rest." I said sarcastically, playfully making fun of the both of them who ranked beauty sleep up there with breathing and eating in the necessities category.
Rosalie shoved me and Alice tried to trip me up as I tried to get away from the couch. I caught myself and stuck my tongue out at them as I turned towards my room. I was almost to my door when a hail of popcorn pelted my back and, laughing, I quickly shut my door.
"Better luck next time, girls!" I shouted through my door. I heard their answering laughter as I locked my door, not wanting them to get any cute ideas about tag teaming me in my sleep. It had happened before.
I set my alarm and crawled in bed. I had to work morning shift at the coffee shop tomorrow so I could have tomorrow night off and I needed to get some sleep, otherwise I wouldn't be doing anything after work. I turned the lights off and snuggled under the covers, falling almost immediately in a deep sleep.
I pulled into the driveway with a sigh, turning the car off and just sitting there, wondering what I had been thinking, letting Emmett set up me up on a date. Or more specifically, Emmett's friend who I didn't know and obviously didn't know me. I definitely did not like the dumb blonde type.
I leaned my head forward, pinching the bridge of my nose as I tried to force my headache to go away. I'd spent the last two hours listening to the pointless yammering of my petite, busty, clueless date. Sure, she was cute and if I'd been all about the physical, I'd have definitely taken her home and enjoyed myself. As it were, I preferred a little bit of intelligence with my bedmates and this girl was seriously lacking.
I sighed again and got out of the car, clicking the alarm on as I walked up the three steps to my front door. A short struggle with the deadbolt - the damn thing kept sticking - and the door opened up to my dark living room. I didn't bother to flip the lights on, having lived here long enough to know my way around in the dark.
I went into the kitchen and pulled a beer out of the fridge, cracking it open and picking up the house phone. I dialed Emmett's number from memory and waited for three rings before he picked up.
"Hey, man. What's up?" Emmett was smiling, I could hear it in his voice. And it just irritated me all the more.
"Don't ever, ever let that friend of yours set me up again." I almost growled the words into the phone as I took a swig of beer.
Emmett cleared his throat. "Uh, who did you get set up with?"
"Jessie. I think." I winced, thinking about her bringing back my headache. I turned and dug through one of my cabinets for the Tylenol.
Emmett whistled on his end. "Damn, dude. I'm sorry. I definitely told her not to set you up with Jessie. I guess she misunderstood me."
Emmett knew the kind of girls I liked. It was why I had trusted him to let his friend know. I guess his friend hadn't listened.
"Yeah, well. I think I lost a few brain cells of my own, tonight, Em. I've had more intelligent conversations with my wall."
Emmett laughed and choked, sputtering. I guess he'd been trying to drink something. "I'm sorry, man. Hey, I'll make it up to you. We'll all go out tomorrow and I'll buy your drinks. Sound good?"
I sighed, again, taking two of the Tylenol I'd found. "Sounds like a plan. Maybe we can find someone for Jasper. That boy's been alone for too long."
"I hear that." Emmett said. "He's just too picky."
I laughed under my breath, knowing full well that Jasper's problem wasn't that he was too picky. It was that just attracted the kind of girls he didn't like. He, like me, liked a good conversation to go along with his good sex. I just had better luck. Usually.
"Alright, man. I'm gonna crash. That girl gave me a migraine." I pinched the bridge of my nose again, willing the Tylenol to work faster.
Emmett laughed. "Sorry, man. I'll see you at work tomorrow."
I nodded to myself. "Yeah. Later, man."
I put the phone back in its cradle and headed down the hall to my bedroom. I plugged my dead cell phone into the wall charger, letting the phone rest on my nightstand. After a quick shower, my headache had dulled to a slow throb, and I crawled under the covers. It took another fifteen minutes for the pain to dissipate and I was finally able to fall asleep.
When I woke the next morning, it was to my phone ringing instead of my alarm. I pulled myself up on my elbow and reached for the annoying thing, silencing the ringer before answering without even glancing at the caller ID.
"What?" Not my most polite method of answering the phone.
"Forget to set your alarm?" Jasper's amused voice woke me completely. I glanced at the clock on my nightstand and cursed, jumping out of bed so quickly I barely missed banging my shins on my nightstand.
"Yeah, man. Sorry. I'll be there in twenty." I hung up on Jasper's laughter.
I dressed quickly, pulling on the jeans and t-shirt with the Long Riders logo on it that was my work uniform. Five minutes later and I was backing my bike out of the garage, figuring it'd get me through early morning traffic a lot faster then the Volvo would. I shrugged into my jacket and pulled my helmet over my head before hitting the road.
I made it to work with five minutes of my estimated twenty to spare, thanks to a few miles of riding on the shoulder of the highway to get around a traffic jam. I parked the bike in the back and hurried inside. I found Emmett in the employee's lounge, half asleep on the couch. He nearly jumped out of his skin when I dropped my jacket into his lap.
"Jesus, Edward! Can't a guy get some sleep around here?" he grumbled.
"If I can't, you can't." I said, grabbing the jacket and hanging it up in the closet. Mine was the only one in there today. Guess Jasper and Emmett carpooled again. They lived close enough to each other that it made more sense when Jasper didn't want to ride in. Emmett had yet to buy a bike, claiming he was waiting. For what, I didn't know, and he wouldn't tell me.
"So what's the plan tonight, Em?" I asked, slouching down on the couch next to him.
He shrugged, the movement as lazy as the rest of him. "Go out, get drunk, get laid. What else?"
I shook my head, running my fingers through my bronze hair. "We should make it a priority to get Jasper laid. We're letting our boy down."
Emmett's laughter bubbled up from his chest but barely escaped his lips. "I hear that. Alright, so plan is, go out, get drunk, get Jasper laid, then get laid ourselves."
I snorted a laugh at his brilliant planning skills. Not that I could really complain. I kind of liked the plan myself. "Alright, then." I looked up when I heard Jasper calling for us from the showroom floor. "Time to get to work, bum." I said, pushing myself up off the couch.
"Least I got here on time," he grumbled, dragging himself to his feet.
I grinned. "Fat lot of good that did you."
He saluted me with his middle finger as we walked out.
We kept busy until lunchtime and then it seemed like no one wanted to even come look at bikes. Jasper and Emmett took the opportunity to catch up on some of the paperwork necessary for running the shop while I borrowed Emmett's Jeep and went to get lunch.
I pulled up in front of the Twilight Café, Jasper's requested lunch spot, and climbed out of the Jeep. The café was about as busy as we were with the exception of the lone college student sitting on one of the couches in the back, typing furiously on a laptop balanced on his knees. Two girls were behind the counter, chatting aimlessly.
"What's Alice got planned for your birthday, Bella?" One of the girls, the taller one, asked.
The other girl was leaning against the counter with her back to me. Her shoulders lifted in a shrug, making her dark hair cascade across her back. "She wants me to go clubbing with her and Rosalie tonight." Her tone made it clear how very little she enjoyed the thought.
The other girl laughed as I walked up to the counter and nodded her head toward me. The girl who didn't like clubs, Bella, turned and froze, staring at me like a deer caught in the headlights. I arched an amused brow as I took in her expression and then let my eyes wander over the planes of her face. She was rather pretty, the lack of makeup accentuating her face rather then leaving it plain.
She recovered quickly enough and dropped her gaze to regain her composure. It sometimes bugged me when girls got tongue tied around me, my green eyes seeming to captivate them, but it was oddly cute with her. I gave a small shake of my head and offered a small smile.
"Don't like going out to clubs, huh?"
She blushed and brushed a stray strand of hair back from her face. "Um, no. Not really. What can I get you?" All business now. I was a tad bit disappointed.
I placed my three sandwich orders and paid, watching her as she went back to where I assumed the kitchen was to make the sandwiches. The other girl, a tall, leggy redhead, came over and leaned her elbows on the counter in front of me.
"Do you like going out to clubs?" She asked, a teasing smile on her glossed lips.
I smiled again, more then willing to do a little harmless flirting. "I love to. Me and my boys go out almost every weekend."
Her smile brightened up her face, blue eyes sparkling with barely contained mischief. "Ever go clubbing with a coffee shop girl?"
I shook my head, my gaze darting back to where the girl, Bella, had disappeared to without my consent. "No, can't say that I have. I've heard you girls are all a bunch of boring types," I said, teasing.
She gave an expression of mock offense as Bella came back with three Styrofoam boxes in hand. She set them down on the counter and studiously ignored me while she packed them up. She handed them to me with a barely audible have a nice day, another blush coloring her cheeks. I wondered what brought on the blush this time as I took the bag with my food.
I turned and started toward the door, tossing back a lighthearted, "Happy birthday, Bella."
The redhead giggled and I heard her tease Bella about having a crush and then a sharp smack that sounded like someone's hand meeting someone else's arm. More laughter followed me as the door shut behind me and I joined in with a chuckle as I unlocked the Jeep.
Here we go again, Edward, I thought, charming all the girls, innocent and not so much. I shook my head to myself and headed back to the shop, food in hand. Emmett would get a kick out of this story.
Good? Bad? Keep? Scrap?
Review and let me know if I should continue or scrap it.
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