Author: badjujube PM
Edward is a driven PhD candidate with a personality problem. Can a ridiculous, directionless undergraduate help him lighten up? AH, E/BPOV alternate. Miniscule chapters. Complete.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 50 - Words: 82,794 - Reviews: 1,032 - Favs: 626 - Follows: 352 - Updated: 01-17-11 - Published: 06-04-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6024699
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
S.M. owns it but I have inserted foul language and Edward being a jerk, just to warn you.
So I am wandering up and down the street between these two houses in the near dark like a creep because I wrote the address down but I can't tell whether it says 703 or 708 because my handwriting is an absolute disgrace and I can't call her because of course I let the charge run out on my phone.
I am feeling a bit out of place and awkward because Alice's house is in this really nice part of town and the last thing I want to do is attract the negative attention of someone's guard dog or have someone's nanny think I'm there to steal the children. Although, I have to say that most of the people in this neighborhood actually have those little, highly groomed dogs that don't intimidate me as much. I can tell this about the dogs because I passed a bunch of people while I was driving around in my gross-polluting, rusty truck with it's shrieking fan belt. I feel like I was attracting a great deal of attention from the people out walking their small, fancy dogs and pushing their expensive European strollers. At least on foot I'm less conspicuous. I'm dressed nicer than usual because I had a job interview today and I am wearing slacks and a blouse rather than my usual dirty tennis shoes, hoodie and jeans.
Finally, I decide upon one of the houses (708, in case you're wondering) because there's a bunch of rooms lit up and Alice told me that she lives with her parents and a couple of brothers. Crossing my fingers like I'm in fourth grade I knock on the door.
Within seconds the door flies open and I'm looking at the most beautiful man I've ever seen outside a fashion magazine. He's at least six feet tall, slim build, pale skin and dark red hair. He's wearing a pair of dark framed glasses, a dark suit and silk tie and he's yelling into a cell phone.
"What you don't understand, Ben, is that putting the wrong music in the end scene is going to cost us another day and maybe screw up our deadline!" He is furious and although he has opened the door he's not looking at me.
So I say, "Hi," quietly, hoping that Alice will appear and save me from hot, angry guy.
He looks at me and his nostrils flare at me in irritation and shaking his head he says, "What are you wearing?" I look down at what I'm wearing and wonder if his house has a dress code or something.
Before I can answer he looks away and, still blocking the door, he yells into the phone, "Well, I will save your skin, again, and bring the disk by right now, on the way to the party." He pauses briefly while he reaches for something out of my sight and comes back with a messenger bag and grabbing my arm he walks out the door.
"You're late and I've got a stop to make. Let's go." He drags me down the walkway to his front door and I am trying to pull away but he is strong and I am afraid to interrupt him while he is yelling at "Ben".
"Of course it matters!" Hot, angry guy is still yelling into the phone as he pushes me into a little silver Volvo parked in the driveway. I am too intimidated to jump back out and I am hoping that he is taking me to where Alice is and this will all work out great. I am not an optimist by nature, however. Generally, my glass is not only half empty but may have been spit in as well.
Hot and Angry is driving now and I am clutching my bookbag to my chest, watching him as he yells on the phone to the unfortunate Ben. He looks over at me at one point and shakes his head dismissively before looking back to the road and continuing his diatribe into the phone. I look at my clothes so see if I've gotten poop on myself or something.
"Listen, I'm going to need a dress or something for my date. She showed up totally unprepared. Do you have anything? Maybe Angela left something? What size are you?" I realize he's asking me this last question but all I can do is stare at him. He wants me to change clothes? What date?
"Hello? What size to do you wear?" He now looks almost as angry with me as he was with Ben. I decide to let him get off the phone and have one confrontation at a time so I tell him, "Six? Eight?" shrugging my shoulders.
He lets out an exasperated breath and turns back to his yell-fest with the mysterious Ben all the while navigating the streets of Seattle with one hand occasionally on the wheel and sometimes on the horn.
"You know, it's not like we don't have any competition out there. I feel like I'm the only one who cares here sometimes!" There's a really brief pause before he responds, "Well I'm the only one who cares about doing a quality job, clearly. Never mind, we're here."
He pulls up to a small house and gets out of the car, finally hanging up the phone. He reaches back into the car to get something out of his bag and while he is swearing and fumbling with the light in the car I say, "I'm sorry, but I think there's been a mistake."
He doesn't seem to hear me and I clear my throat and start to talk again but he pulls a jewel case out of the bag and heads into the house.
I am just kind of stuck there wondering what to do when he looks back at me and says; "Well? Are you going to change your clothes outside?"
I don't really want piss him off anymore but I decide to not let this whole clothes-changing thing go any further.
"I'm sorry," I say. "I think that there's been a misunderstanding." He tilts his head at me and blows a big aggravated breath out of his mouth for like the billionth time. At the same time the front door opens and this skinny guy in jeans and a sweater and no shoes steps out onto the front porch. He's got brown hair and glasses but not fancy designer frames like Hot and Angry but wire-rimmed ones.
"You guys coming in?" he smiles at me apologetically. I feel really bad for this guy because he's been getting yelled at and it's kind of awkward having a conversation like this so I get out of the car and walk over to the porch.
"You must be Ben." I put my hand out to shake his and the skinny, barefoot guy gives me an awkward smile. "I'm Bella." I turn to Hot and Angry and continue, "I am meeting Alice to work on a project for our Sociology class."
Hot and Angry is dumbfounded for a second and then he rolls his eyes, "You're not Kristen?" he says. I shake my head.
"This is great!" he pulls at his hair and begins pacing the porch. "Why didn't you say anything? What's wrong with you?"
"You grabbed me and pushed me into the car and you were too busy yelling at Ben here to listen to me!" I am angry now and I've definitely caught his attention because he turns on his heel and whirls around to point his finger at me.
"Do you know what you've done? I've got a party to be at in…" He looks at his watch. "Ten minutes and it's fifteen minutes away and I am never late." He looks at me for a hard moment. "You'll have to go with me. Ben, do you have something for Beatrice…"
"It's Bella and I'm not going with you. I am working on a project with Alice."
"Bella…" he grabs the bridge of his nose and squeezes it, closing his eyes. I am pleased to see that I am less attracted to him than I was before owing to his unpleasant personality.
His phone rings and he opens his eyes to look at it. He hands the phone to me. "Here, talk to Alice." I take the phone from him and answer it. Before I can say anything Alice starts talking.
"Edward, there's a woman here who says she has a date with you?"
"Alice, this is Bella."
Alice kind of screams into the phone and I have to hold it away from my ear. In the meantime the men have gone back into the house. "Bella, what are you doing with Edward?"
"It was kind of a misunderstanding, Alice. He thought I was his date. I'll be back in a couple of minutes."
"Sorry about this, Bella. Can I talk to Edward?"
"Sure thing, Alice. Let me find him." I walk into the house and look for him. The house is decorated in a pretty standard twenty-something college student way with non-matching drapes, game systems and Star Wars posters. He and Ben are sitting in front of a computer and Edward is gesturing at something on the screen angrily. He's got a piece of black clothing in his hand.
"Hey, uh, Edward, right?" I look at him and hold out his phone. He looks up at me with irritation and gets up. He tosses the piece of clothing to me and says; "Here you go." He walks over to me to take the phone.
"Alice, I'll bring her back in a few hours. I have no choice if I want to be on time."
Ben looks at me sheepishly and gestures to a door off of the room we're in.
"You can get changed in there. Angela is about your size so that should fit. Uh, I'm sorry, Angela is my girlfriend."
"That's really sweet of you, Ben, and it was really nice to meet you but I'm not going anywhere with that guy." I smile at him. Edward is listening to what Alice is saying on the phone. He tries to get a word in a few times but I have spoken to Alice and I know how hard it is.
"Yeah…That's…Exactly…Ok. Thanks, Alice." He hangs up the phone and sighs again before looking at me. He tries to smile at me in what I assume is supposed to be a friendly way but he is so worked up that it actually comes out kind of demented because he's smiling while baring his teeth.
"Bella, I am sorry for the misunderstanding. I should introduce myself properly. I am Edward Cullen, I'm Alice's brother." He holds out his hand to shake mine and I take it reluctantly.
"I was expecting a blind date to take to an important faculty party and I assumed that you were her. Now I'm running quite late and I would really appreciate it if you would accompany me?" I am not sure what to think about this sudden transformation but I feel kind of sorry for him because he may be smokin' hot but he's got an obvious personality disorder.
"Ok, but I need to get back to Alice before it gets too late and I'm not changing."
He grimaces. "What you're wearing is unsuitable to the occasion and I assure you that you would feel uncomfortable." The previous, irritable Edward is starting to return and I'm regretting agreeing to this. I catch Ben's eye just then and he is wincing. I get an idea.
"I'll make you a deal." I square my chin at him. "I'll wear this and go to your party if you apologize to Ben for being such a prick and yelling at him."
A look of surprise comes over his face and he nods his head slowly but his perfect jaw is still clenched.
"Fine. Now go change." I look at him expectantly. "Please," he adds and I go to the room that Ben had gestured towards earlier.
The item of clothing turns out to be a black dress that fits me alright except that it was a little long. I pull my cardigan that I had been wearing on top of it as it is a chilly night and I glare at the paleness of my legs. The flats I am wearing look decent without socks. There is no wardrobe change on earth that is going to make me look like I belong with the guy out there in the living room but I guess that I can survive one party like this. If nothing else, it was sure to make him uncomfortable to apologize to Ben. Which I hoped I hadn't missed out on.
I walk out to the living room again where Edward and Ben are looking at a computer screen, this time more quietly.
"Well, did he apologize?" I ask and they both spin around. Ben gives me a smile and says: "Hey Bella, that looks great on you!"
Edward is sizing me up carefully and looking less pleased, says: "Do you wear make-up or something?" Ben jabs him in the ribs.
"No. Do you?" I ask. "Clearly you use hair products and go to the nail salon." Edward looks at his hands, which I had been joking about but did look beautiful. He probably did get manicures.
"Ben and I have made our apologies. Can we please leave now?" Edward gets up and walks over to the door.
"Thank you, Ben. I'll get Angela's dress back as soon as possible. It was nice meeting you." I smile at him as I walk out the door.
"Yeah, uh, good luck, Bella." Ben waves weakly from the doorway as I get into Edward's Volvo and we drive off into the night.
a/n: Let me know what you think…JuJu