|Fridays at Noon Outtakes
Author: troublefollows1017 PM
EPOV outtakes of Fridays at Noon. Maybe there will be other POVs in the future. Can't say for sure. Chapters will be in no particular order. Will post them in the order I write them.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Angst - Edward & Bella - Chapters: 17 - Words: 71,260 - Reviews: 2,823 - Favs: 1,598 - Follows: 1,558 - Updated: 01-01-13 - Published: 02-21-11 - id: 6764961
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 4 Outtake EPOV
"We need to make a stop before we go to lunch."
"Where to, Mr. Masen?"
"Crown Plaza. We need to pick up my lunch date."
"No problem, sir."
I had been waiting for this day all week. Isabella aka the Waitress Who Dared to Walk Out was going to rue the day she fucked with Edward Masen. I had Peter gather some intel. She unfortunately was squeaky clean, leaving me little to work with, but then I got a call from Lauren. Lauren was in town for a job. I began to plot my revenge. My revenge was almost six feet tall and had legs and breasts most women would die for. My revenge was going to blow Miss Swan away.
Did she deserve this? I had decided yes. Once I got over the initial shock of the audacity she showed, I wavered between being a tiny bit happy and tremendously pissed off. I'd been leaning towards pissed most of the week, but there was part of me that foolishly felt something I hadn't ever felt. Hope. Hope that maybe there was someone in this world that didn't see me with dollar signs floating around my head. It was stupid really. That was all anyone ever saw. It was all I ever really let them see. Isabella was certainly no different, I told myself.
Lauren was waiting outside the hotel. She was always an eager one. She was in town for some photo shoot or something like that. Why she was in town was not my concern. How she could be of use to me today was all I cared about.
"Well, if it isn't the most gorgeous man in the whole entire world," she said as she slid in the backseat with me. Her hand went right for my thigh, high up on my thigh nonetheless.
Lauren was always very good at showing her appreciation for the money I spent on her. Today, we would see if she could really earn her lunch. Miss Isabella Swan was going to see how a woman should treat me when I invite her to join me for a meal. She was going to see firsthand what I expected.
An ever-present doubt entered my consciousness. Was she going to give a shit? Would Lauren's presence matter to her at all? The girl left; she took off after paying the fucking bill. No woman had ever run out on me before and nobody ever bought me dinner.
What was her game? Was it possible she wasn't like everyone else?
I tried to shake off my doubt. Of course she was like everyone else, and I was Edward Masen. No one walked out on Edward Masen. She was trying to prove something. Maybe she had wanted me to come running after her. I was sure of it once I figured out what the hell was going on. But then, she didn't call. Didn't try to find out why I didn't come after her. She didn't seem to care that I ignored her all week long. Girls played games with me sometimes. They played coy. They played hard to get. But they all wanted me in the end. They all pushed me away with one hand while holding on to me tightly with the other.
Not Isabella, though. She walked out and never looked back. What the hell was that? I half expected her to beg my forgiveness when I showed up today. The jury was still out on whether I would consider it.
She was nowhere to be seen when the hostess escorted us to the private dining room. Admittedly, I looked for her as we passed the large main dining area, mostly to make sure she was here. I didn't want her to miss my surprise.
"I love this place!" Lauren gushed. Lauren loved this place because it cost a fortune. She loved it because anyone who was anyone came here to eat.
I played along; this was my game after all. Women like Lauren annoyed me, however. I wondered if they really believed half the crap that came out of their mouths. I knew I didn't. Women like Lauren told me what I wanted to hear. If I told them I loved to kill puppies, they'd tell me they loved it, too. I swore my sister and maybe my aunt were the only women in the world who shared their honest opinions with me.
Lauren and I were flirting just the right amount when I heard the door. I could swear I smelled her before I saw her. Freesia and jasmine. I wanted to bottle that damn smell and have it pumped in every room I was in. Damn her.
She cleared her throat in an attempt to get our attention. "Welcome to Eclipse. My name is Isabella. Can I get you something to drink before we go over today's specials?"
The sound of her voice weakened my resolve, and I didn't like it one bit. She was not going to weaken me. I was going to crush her. Lauren slid back in her seat, and I lifted my eyes to the enemy.
Fuck, she was beautiful. The way she looked at me, it was like she was seeing through me, through the act, but that was impossible. There was just a hint of fear. Be afraid, Isabella. Be very afraid.
I ordered drinks and an appetizer, reminding her that I was the wealthiest one in the room and she missed out on the benefits provided to those who played nice. She smiled and nodded politely. She was out the door before I could do some real damage.
I was left feeling there had been something missing in those big, chocolate brown eyes. There was no remorse. I expected a tiny bit of remorse at the very least. Instead, she gave me nothing. It was very frustrating. I became determined to have her begging at my feet before this lunch was over. Lauren was doing her part to help me out. I knew she would. Lauren loved any attention she could get. It was kind of pathetic actually.
The entire lunch, Isabella came in, did her job, and barely reacted to my manipulation. I was ready to start fucking Lauren on the table when I noticed a slight crack in Miss Swan's tough exterior. It appeared as if I was getting under her skin a bit. It wasn't remorse, but it was something. Isabella didn't like Lauren, of that I was sure. I didn't really like Lauren either. I usually enjoyed her company. I enjoyed most women's company when they were trying to please me.
Today, though, Lauren's touch made my skin crawl. Her words were empty. There was absolutely no depth to the woman. She wasn't like Isabella, who sparked my interest like no other. I had never spent so much time talking to a woman about her instead of me, but there was something that made me want to know this girl. Isabella. Even her name enchanted me. Fuck.
When Lauren and I finished eating, I noted her need to freshen up, and that was all it took to get her out of the room. I knew she'd be in the bathroom for the next fifteen minutes, making sure she looked flawless for me. God forbid one hair was out of place.
Isabella came in to check on things, her ponytail was a little loose and one strand of hair was beginning to fall out of it. I wanted to touch it, twirl it around my finger. Isabella didn't spend hours looking at herself in a mirror. Not that she needed to. She was simply lovely with no effort required.
"How was everything?" she asked impassively.
My head was all out of sorts, and it was really pissing me off. I took a deep breath and put my game face on. It was time to watch her grovel.
"Everything was perfect." At least it was going to be perfect as soon as she gave it up and told me she regretted what she did last Friday.
Beg. Beg for my forgiveness.
"I'll be sure to pass that on," she replied and turned to leave.
What the fuck?
"Isabella, can I ask a favor?" She was not walking away without giving me an apology, without explaining herself.
She turned around so slowly and answered hesitantly, "Sure."
I asked her to check the bathroom for me, making it all too clear that I was appalled by her little disappearing act last week. Now, she would most definitely grovel at my feet.
"I left because you're a pig!" she shouted all flustered and enraged. "I left because I have never been so insulted by someone in my entire life! I thought we were on a real first date, but you quickly proved me wrong and naive."
She was angry at me? That was laughable. Who did she think she was going out with? Wasn't I known for being the guy who was never photographed with the same woman twice? Didn't my goddamn reputation precede me? Who was this girl?
"What do you want from me, Isabella? What did you think was going to come of this?" Hell, what did I think was going to come of this?
"I have no idea what I was thinking because you are the most infuriating person I have ever met!"
"Oh, back at you, little girl!" I fumed, standing up and moving towards her. She made me want to shake her. What was it about her that had me tied in these knots?
She moved away from me and played cat and mouse. I followed her around and around the table. She spat out words like multiple personality disorder and monster. She made it clear that I disgusted her with my insinuation that the only thing she was good for was a good fuck.
Trust is not something I give to anyone easily. On our date, I could feel myself wanting Isabella in ways I hadn't ever wanted people before. I felt myself wanting her to know me. It had started out like some stupid fairy tale. Then, Peter called and told me he was now certain Nomad Industries had its hands on information pertinent to the Denali Project. Someone had betrayed me. Trust no one, I told myself. Trust no one.
Isabella paid the price for my lack of trust. It had been my test. Make her think it was all about the sex; and at first, she had led me to believe that she had failed like all the rest. But she left. She wanted nothing to do with me that night. Now, here she was shouting at me about it. She wasn't wrong to be mad, but no one ever admitted being mad to my face.
"Who do you think you are? Nobody talks to me like that. Nobody walks out on me. Most women would immediately regret walking out on someone like me," I huffed. Why didn't she just act like everyone else? Her unpredictability allowed her to haunt me.
"I have no regrets. I don't know who you thought I was, but I am not interested in being with someone because of his money or fancy clothes. What is not as important to me as who someone is. Your money, your wealth does not impress me, Mr. Masen."
Her words hit me like an electrical current to the heart, jolting me to life. Was it possible someone like her actually existed? She went on to inform me that my looks and my money and gifts did nothing for her. She spat words like kindness, decency, humility, and charity at me. Words that described people who were not like me. Words that described those who were content without power.
I was all about power. Isabella couldn't care less about power. She informed me that she was nothing like Lauren and therefore not someone who should appeal to the likes of me. The funny thing was, I believed her. Her fire and her passion on this particular subject were undeniable. She was not like Lauren. She was not like anyone I had ever met before.
Fuck. Isabella was exactly what I was looking for in a woman but never believed was possible. She looked like she was going to cry, and strangely, that wasn't what I wanted anymore. I didn't want to break her. I wanted to fucking kiss her. I had wanted to kiss her for three weeks now. Every damn day, it was the first and last thought I had, not to mention the multiple times it popped in my head throughout the day. I had jacked off to the thought of her coming undone underneath me for days now.
"You are a complete anomaly, that's what you are. Like no one I have ever met. What if I thought you weren't like every other woman, like Lauren, who has tried to weasel their way into my life by spreading their legs and giving me what they thought I wanted? What if I was hoping you were the one that could help me be the guy who didn't need a mask? What if I did what I did because I needed to be sure?"
She kept backing away from me. I needed to touch her. I needed to grab a hold of her and prove to myself she wasn't a figment of my imagination. She made me believe I was going mad.
"Stop running away from me, goddamn it!"
I threw down a chair, my rage uncontainable. Isabella stopped moving and the fear shone brightly in her eyes. I approached her like she was a scared animal, slowly and without any sudden movements. I wanted her to stay still. I was going to touch her. I needed to touch her. I lifted my hand to her cheek, and she closed her eyes for a moment. Her skin was soft and warm. I imagined she felt this way everywhere. How I wanted to find out if that was true.
"I don't apologize. Ever."
This was so true. I was a bastard. I was arrogant. I didn't care about anyone enough to care what they thought of me. This was why I was alone.
"But I was wrong last week. I was wrong to assume the worst. I was wrong to treat you so disrespectfully. For that, I am sorry. You're a good person, Isabella, and I should leave you alone because I'm not sure I am."
That was bullshit. I knew I wasn't a good person. I was most definitely the bad guy. She was so right when she called me a monster. I was heartless and soulless. If I were her, I would run away from me as fast as I could. Isabella was what I was looking for. She would be so good for someone like me, but I couldn't possibly be good for someone like her.
"On the other hand, I have no doubt that I am a selfish creature, and even though I know I should leave you alone, all I have thought about since the moment you dumped all those fucking nickels on my desk is this-"
Kissing her was like nothing I had ever experienced before. I had kissed many women. I had kissed more women than I could remember. No one ignited a fire inside me like Isabella. I have never wanted someone as much as I wanted her. All of her. All the time. Damn her.
Her lips were soft and molded to mine like they were meant to be kissed by my lips and mine alone. She parted them ever so slightly and I could feel her tongue against my bottom lip. There was a twitch in my groin. I was never going to be satisfied. I pulled back and pressed my forehead to hers. This woman was going to be the end of me, and I had only been on half of a date with her.
"Come to my house tonight for dinner. No pretenses. No expectations for anything but dinner and conversation." And more kissing. "Give me one more chance to impress you, even though I know I don't deserve it."
She closed her eyes, and I could almost see her telling herself to say no. What was happening to me? I had come in here fully expecting her to beg my forgiveness and throw herself at me in an attempt to get another chance. Yet, here I was, begging and apologizing. This was beyond messed up. Still, I wanted her to say yes. I needed her to say yes.
"Okay," she whispered.
"My driver will pick you up at six," I quickly stated. She had said yes, and I didn't want to give her the chance to change her mind.
"No. I want to drive myself so I'm free to leave anytime I want, but I promise to be completely upfront about that if I do."
No one said no to me. This woman was unbelievable. I contemplated her condition. No reason not to give in to this one request. As long as she came, I didn't care how she left.
Lauren returned, and I sent her to the car without any discussion. She had served her purpose. Now my mind was set to a single purpose - wooing the unwooable. Isabella needed to fall for me. I needed her to fall for me. I could not be the one who needed more.
I paid the bill and took her breath away with one more kiss. I was never going to be able to think about anything else the rest of the fucking day. Soft pouty lips were going to be in the back of my mind until I was connected to them once more.
I slid into the backseat of my Mercedes. "I have a meeting in about fifteen minutes. Once you drop me off at Masen Corp, you can deliver Miss Mallory back to her hotel.
"But I thought-" Lauren began.
One look told her she should just keep her mouth shut. We were done here.
Back at the office, I was definitely distracted. I picked up my phone and dialed Peter. It was early for him, since he did most of his work in the wee hours of the morning. This time of day, if he was awake, he was probably gaming online. Peter was the kind of guy who believed you could live a satisfying life through the avatars you created in all these weird game sites. His avatar probably looked nothing like him, although I'd venture a guess that wasn't what he told anyone who had a female avatar. Sad thing was the people with female avatars were probably no more female than Peter was buff and good-looking.
"Masen, to what do I owe the honor?"
"Just checking to make sure you have nothing else on the Swan woman?"
"Isabella Swan," he said with a disturbingly enamored sigh. I would hurt him if he told me he jacked off to her picture, which I was sure he had. "Sorry. I told you, this girl is like virgin snow. There is no dirt. I couldn't find a school detention or a traffic ticket."
Same thing he told me when he first looked into her. No one could be that good. I could hear moaning in the background.
"Dare I ask what is going on over there?"
"Sorry, I was indulging in a little adult entertainment when you called." The noises ceased thankfully. "I will tell you that I do not think the lovely Miss Swan is a virgin, though. Did you look at the medical records I sent you? According to those, she was regularly getting birth control shots while in college. Then about four months after she graduated from college, she stopped. I'm guessing the guy that could get her pregnant was sent packing. She goes in for regular checkups, but is either not getting any, switched to another form of contraceptive, or wants a baby. Take your pick."
I rolled my eyes and pinched the bridge of my nose. I had asked him to be thorough. It was my own fault. I should have checked her out personally. I did hack into her Kodak Photo account to look at her pictures. I guess I wanted to see what she found important enough to capture for a lifetime. The recent albums were full of pictures of her roommate and a small group of friends. She had several pictures in a folder labeled FL VISIT. It contained pictures of her and woman with an eccentric taste in clothing doing strange touristy things all over the Sunshine State. It wasn't until I clicked on a close up of their two faces that I noticed they had the same color eyes. They were the warmest brown with subtle flecks of gold. I realized the woman was her mother. She was younger than I imagined. She must have had Isabella at a young age.
Then there was an older file labeled MIKE. She appeared to dump all the pictures of this guy Mike into one file, picking them out of all the other files. He was the ex. I gathered that much. He was the one that she used to get shots for, thankfully to prevent procreating with him. I didn't like him. He was nothing special. What in the world did someone like her see in someone as obviously average as him? He was out of the picture and had been for some time, according to what I dug up on him through a simple Google search and then a slightly more complicated look into his emails.
"That's all I need to know. I'll let you get back to your...entertainment." I shuddered at the thought.
"All right. Oh, one more thing," he said, causing me pause. "I did look closer at her spending habits. She donates a shitload of money for someone who doesn't really have any. I mean, not a shitload like you have a shitload. You have a motherfucking shitload. She barely has a handful but donates more than I do."
I shook my head. "What are you talking about?"
Peter flooded me with information. "The girl must be a sucker for everyone who comes calling. She donates to the ASPCA, you know that animal rescue charity that sucks you in with those sad ass looking dogs and that even sadder Sarah McLachlan song? I think every time Miss Swan stays up too late, the woman falls prey to that fucking commercial. She writes checks left and right for five or ten bucks to common things like the Red Cross and the American Lung Association, but she also gives money to the Alaskan Conservation Foundation, what the fuck? Reading is Fundamental. That must be a teacher thing. She really likes the Retired Police and Firefighters Association. Her dad's a cop, so I kind of get that one. Still, there were close to ten charities she gave a little here and a little there to last year not mention I think she bought Girl Scout cookies from every little girl in the fucking Seattle metropolitan area. She wrote out checks to fifteen different troops. I'd bet she donated the damn cookies after she bought them on top of it. There's no way she ate all those cookies. She is tight. You know, little but with curves in all the right places."
"You need to stop talking, Peter," I nearly growled.
"Oh. Okay. I'll let you go."
I hung up and ran all ten fingers through my hair. Isabella Swan. The woman was exactly what I called her earlier - a complete anomaly. Women like her did not exist, at least not in my world. That was not counting my sister or my aunt, who were genetically predetermined to better the world. Maybe that was what Isabella was, one of those rare people. A natural rescuer. A true do-gooder. Beautiful inside and out. Fuck.
I spent the rest of my day lost in thought, thinking about those eyes of hers and imagining kissing those lips. I got little done, although there was little to actually do. All week I had laid traps for my spy. I would unearth them soon enough and they would pay dearly for their betrayal.
I ended up getting home around six. I had a half hour before Isabella was to arrive. Charlotte had been given specific instructions and was busy in the kitchen.
"I assume you got everything you needed?" I said, joining her next to the stove. I had no idea how to cook but liked to pretend. I stirred the sauce she had simmering.
"I did. Now, get out of here so I can have it all done in time." She swatted at me to get away. The kitchen was her domain. I would let her get away with talking to me like that only in this room.
"Seven o'clock. That's when I'd like dinner served."
"Seven it is. Do you think she has a particular wine preference?"
I had no idea what kind of wine she preferred. I only knew my own preferences. "I'd prefer some Riesling with dinner." Then I quickly added, "If she wants something else, you can go with that, though."
I should be a good host. This was a second chance date of sorts. I should at least try to make a good impression this time.
Charlotte smiled. "She must be someone quite special to be allowed to choose which wine you drink with dinner."
I narrowed my eyes at her. "Don't you start with me."
"What?" she asked all false innocence. "I'm just saying you rarely bring dates to the estate. That in and of itself is a sign this woman is different. Now, you say she can have final say on the wine. This is not the usual way you do things, sir." She was smirking at me, and it was pissing me off.
I ran a flustered hand through my hair. "Fine, I want Riesling with dinner. Period."
"Don't go getting all worked up. It's not a bad thing for you to be doing things differently. I can't wait to meet her."
"Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves. This is only our second date. You will maintain a safe distance." I pointed a finger at her in warning. "Do you hear me?"
Charlotte put her palms out and shrunk back. "I hear you. I will not do anything or say anything I shouldn't. I promise. She's really cute, isn't she? She must be smart, too. Is she smart?"
I rolled my eyes. Charlotte was worse than Esme with all this motherly need for me to settle down. "Dinner. Seven."
I left and went into my office. I messed around with my iTunes. I created a new playlist and started loading it with songs. It was becoming quite an eclectic mix. I realized they all had a common theme. I placed the Usher song that was playing two weeks ago at Le Venin and knew what I needed to name this playlist. Isabella. From the Beatles' Something to Bruno Mars' Just the Way You Are. The songs were all about her or how she made me feel. I clicked on the Bruno Mars song and couldn't help but think about those lips of hers again. I could kiss them all day if she'd let me. Something was definitely wrong with me.
I was about to pour myself a drink when my phone rang. It was my sister; there was no avoiding the call. Isabella was due any minute. I shouted for Tyler, who popped his head in the door.
"When Miss Swan arrives, have her wait for me in the family room."
He nodded, and I answered my phone.
"I was going to kill you if you let it go to voicemail." My sister could be so annoying. She sounded far away and the connection was not the greatest.
"Do I ever let you go to voicemail?" I asked, leaning back in my large leather office chair.
"Too many times for my liking. You know I call because I love you. Sometimes I think you avoid me because you hate that I love you so much."
I scratched at my head. She wasn't really wrong.
"Aren't you on vacation? Why are you calling me on vacation?"
"This is not a vacation, this is a mission, you dope."
My sister could be jet-setting around the world. Vacationing anywhere she wanted. Instead, she spent what little time off of work she had going to third world countries to improve the standard of care in their hospitals.
"I just wanted to know if you would do me a giant favor." She was funny. The hesitancy in her voice would lead someone to believe I had ever turned my sister down when she asked for something.
I never turned my sister down. I never would.
"What do you need, Alice?"
Her words came quicker now. "They are trying to raise money for the hospital here, which is completely ill-equipped to deal with burn victims, by the way. They're lacking supplies and facilities. I'm not asking you to build a hospital. I just want to get them more supplies, maybe help build a maternity ward. If I made a donation in Mom's name, would you match it?"
"I'll triple it. Quadruple it. Whatever you need. Can you send the details to Alec? He'll take care of it," I replied, loosening my tie just a bit and unbuttoning the top button of my shirt.
"I knew you'd say that!" she exclaimed. I could almost hear the smile on her face. "This would make Mom really happy. You should see the little babies here. They are so tiny and there is no NICU."
I did not need to think about my mother right now or babies. I rolled my head from side to side, suddenly feeling the tension in my neck and shoulders.
"I have to go, Alice. I'll talk to you when you get back."
"Oh, okay. What's going on? You got a hot date or something?" I could hear her laughing.
"For your information, I do have a date. I'll talk to you later."
"A real date or one of your dates?" I pictured her making air quotes around the word dates.
"I'm going. Goodbye."
"Why so secretive? Unless...it is a real date. It is, isn't i-"
I hung up on her, unable to have this conversation with her. My phone rang seconds later. This time, I let my sister go to voicemail.
Tyler knocked on the open door. "Miss Swan is waiting for you in the family room."
"Thank you, Tyler," I said with a nod.
She came. I stood up and poured myself a glass of scotch from the decanter on my bookshelf. I swallowed down the shot's worth of alcohol, hoping it would calm my inexplicable nerves.
Was I nervous? Why in the world was I nervous? I knew why. What if after tonight Isabella decided she wanted nothing to do with me? Would I be able to deal with that? Would I be able to move on as if she didn't exist? To all intents and purposes, she was just a simple woman. Yet, there was nothing simple about her at all.
I poured a second glass of scotch and shrugged out of my suit coat. I ran a hand over my hair, hoping it didn't look like an unruly mess. Rubbing my eyes, I took a deep breath. She was just a woman. I charmed the pants off women all the time. Miss Swan would be no different.
"Did you know the woman drives a truck almost as old as my mother?" Tyler asked as I stepped out of the office.
Peter had sent me her driver's license information and everything from the DMV. I did know she had a truck registered in her name. I walked to the front door and peeked out. The thing was ancient looking and had tires that looked like they were as old as the fucking car. Thank God she made it here in one piece.
I confidently strode down the hallway to the family room. She had her back to me when I entered the room. She was looking at the pictures displayed on the bookcase. Esme had several pictures framed and set out around the house. She had been the one to help me decorate the estate. She wanted it to be my home. She kept using that word whenever she talked about it. A home should be where you feel safe, where you know you are loved. Those were not two words I was very comfortable with.
I couldn't fight the feeling that Isabella's presence in my home caused me, though. It was this weird combination of excitement and fear.
She turned and blushed a lovely shade of red. She wet her lips with her tongue before she spoke.
I could kiss them all day if she'd let me.
"I assume you had no trouble finding the place?"
"No," she said with a shake of her head. "Your directions were great."
She was absolutely beautiful. She was dressed casually in jeans and a green top that purposely slipped off her right shoulder, causing images of me running my tongue along the crook of her neck to flash through my mind. I needed to kiss her. Now.
I teased her about her car as I made my way over to her. She smiled in a way that made me want to do more than kiss her. I stood in front of her and dipped my head near that crook. I wanted to taste her skin so badly.
"Perhaps I should keep you here all weekend and have Brady drive you into the city on Monday with me," I whispered into her ear, resisting the urge to devour her. She was biting down on her lip and that was a problem. I couldn't kiss her with that lip trapped between her teeth.
"Don't do that," I demanded as I pulled on it loose with my finger. So soft, so warm. I pressed my lips to hers, unable to deny myself a second longer. It was even better than I remembered. She tasted like peppermint as I pushed my tongue into her mouth. Fuck, I was done for. The things kissing this girl did to me. I cupped my hand behind her neck, letting my fingers glide through her hair. I needed to have more of her. Now.
Isabella had other ideas. She pushed on me until I relented. She might have stopped me, but she had liked it. I could tell by the way she kissed me back and the way her cheeks turned a deeper scarlet color.
"I was promised dinner and conversation. That was all I agreed to tonight," she stated fiercely. She was all fire and spark. She wasn't going to let me get away with anything.
I needed another drink. I was going to have to occupy my hands and mouth or else they were going to find their way back to her. All night long.
"I'd be lying if I said I hadn't been thinking about that since I left you this afternoon." I poured my drink, hoping she didn't notice the effect she was having on me. "If you're hoping for an apology, you won't be getting one. As I told you earlier today, I don't apologize."
I smirked, proud of myself for not letting her see how she weakened me. When I turned to face her, though, her expression looked discouraged.
"What?" I asked, staring into those eyes. Her eyes had been haunting me for days. I hoped they would reveal what made her suddenly unhappy.
She shook her head but didn't answer my question. I hated that. I was about ready to demand she answer me when Charlotte walked in with a glass of wine for Isabella.
"Dinner will be ready at seven, as you requested, sir."
I tore my eyes away from Isabella. "Thank you, Char."
With wide eyes, she gave me a thumbs up and mouthed, "So cute." Jesus, she was killing me. I told her to get the hell out of here with my eyes. She took off smiling.
"You have so much music." Isabella's back was to me as she scanned my wall of CDs.
She had a gorgeous body. She was petite but curvy in all the right places. Her jeans hugged her tiny ass perfectly. I wanted to run my hands over the hump. I wanted to squeeze her there and force her body against mine. I wanted her to be able to feel what she did to me. The thought of it caused my dick to spring to life. It was going to be challenging to keep my promise of an evening filled with nothing but dinner and conversation.
We discussed my musical preferences or perhaps my lack of a preference. I explained my sound system and pressed play on the remote. I forgot I had been listening to the Isabella playlist before I was interrupted by my sister.
"Sounds like I was thinking about you before you got here," I admitted as the Bruno Mars song floated through the air around us. She turned deliciously red again and shook her head. "You doubt me?"
I embarrassingly told her I had made her a playlist in honor of my second chance date. She must have thought me a fool. Kings of Leon came on next like my computer knew exactly how I was feeling. For some reason I wanted to be somebody to Isabella. I was still wooing, hoping she wasn't completely unwooable.
"I do appreciate the chance, Isabella. I hope you believe that." I took her wine glass. I needed to feel her again. I needed to kiss her again. I started with a little dance.
She looked petrified.
"You're difficult to read, Isabella, but I know fear when I see it. What are you so afraid of?"
She laughed softly. "You," she replied honestly.
Me. She was afraid of me. She should be afraid of me. I was a disaster. I wanted to be somebody but was I really capable of being somebody worth getting a chance with someone like this woman in my arms? I didn't do love. I didn't want anyone to love me. What was I doing? I was destined to break her, if not now, someday when I couldn't be what she wanted, what she needed. If she wanted and needed me at some point, which was a ridiculous thought.
"I don't want you to be afraid of me." I really didn't, but it was a completely selfish desire. "I promised dinner and conversation. We should eat."
I led her into the dining room where Charlotte served us a delicious meal. I told Isabella a bit about the estate. Asked her about teaching and why she chose English Literature. She was an avid reader and knew her stuff when I asked her questions no one else I shared a meal with would have ever been able to answer. After we ate, I showed her around the house. She was polite and asked questions about the architecture and interior design. I played her one game of Wii in the game room, but the woman was terrible. Her coordination was not the best.
As we headed upstairs, she asked about the bedrooms and I couldn't help giving her a hard time. The thought of Isabella in my bedroom made my body react in ways that weren't exactly gentlemanly. I was almost more excited to show her the library. I knew she'd like that.
"Geez, what's in the basement? No dungeons or torture chambers down there, I hope."
Immediately a chill ran through me. It was as if the lights dimmed. My heart began to race, and I swear I could hear water dripping. I clenched my fists. Willing this shit to go away. Not now. Not now.
"There's no basement," I told myself, pushing forward. I was not in the basement. I was in my house. My house. Safe.
Isabella's phone began to chirp. It was pulling me back to reality and testing my last nerve. I wanted to rip it out of her pocket and throw it against the wall. I wanted to smash it into tiny pieces.
"Check it, Isabella, so it doesn't continue to interrupt us."
I was so fucked up. The tiny beads of sweat were forming, so I wiped my forehead. My breathing still wasn't right. I needed to pull my shit together. Her phone beeped again. I was going to fucking snap.
"Am I keeping you from something?" I practically shouted. I was so damn irritable.
"It was Jasper. I turned it off so it won't bother you."
"It's rude to text someone when you know they're on a date. He could learn some manners."
The spirited Miss Swan would not take my shit. She put me in my place, letting me know her best friend was trying to be funny and cheer her up even though she had ditched him to be with me tonight. I was such an asshole. This was my curse.
"I apologize," I said, taking her upstairs. We needed to go upstairs, go as high as we could go.
Isabella let me in on her roommate's interesting sense of humor. The two of them had spent some time wondering how the other half lived. Jasper was comparing me to Bill Gates. Bill Gates and I had nothing but money in common.
"What were you imagining exactly?" I asked her, wondering how her mind worked.
"I said you probably lived in a castle."
"A castle?" She amused me. "Like turrets, dungeons, and moats?"
"Not the moats," she replied with a shrug.
She really was extremely amusing. "Not the moats," I repeated under my breath with a shake of my head.
I felt calmer the moment we stepped into the library. There was something about this place that made it easier to deal with the disorientation I felt sometimes. It was never dark up here during the daytime. The solarium and the rooftop patio reminded me that I was free. I could look up at the sky anytime I wanted.
"These are my favorite rooms," I admitted sheepishly. Maybe she would think it was stupid. Isabella had her back to me as her fingers danced across a row of books. She wouldn't think it was stupid. She would be the only one who could get it.
"I think they're mine, too. Have you read all these books, Mr. Masen?" She wanted to know about me.
"No, but it's on my bucket list to do so."
"You have a bucket list? What else is on there." She wanted to know me.
"That's kind of personal, don't you think?" She couldn't know me. If she knew me, she would leave.
She didn't like that answer and kept pushing. She needed to know me. Could I let her? I took her out to the patio. I wanted to show her the view.
"I've never brought a date here before," I told her. "I don't let people into this part of my life, usually. I'm a complicated man, Isabella. I can't deny that."
I wasn't telling her the whole truth but at least part of it. I leaned against the railing and looked up at her gorgeous face. She was smiling, trying to ease my fear. That was quite possibly an impossible task.
"Now Mr. Masen, you are more difficult to read than anyone could ever be, but I know fear when I see it. What are you so afraid of?" she asked, like I had asked her earlier.
There was only one answer to that question. "You." Isabella and the feelings she stirred in me were scaring the hell out of me. "I have secrets, and I have demons; things that sometimes make me someone people don't like very much. For some reason, I want you to like me."
She took a deep breath and listed off the things she had enjoyed about the evening. "I like your house. I really like your cook. I love your library. I'm not a fan of the mood swings, but this date is a million times better than last week's."
She made me smile, and I wanted to kiss her again, badly. "So you could foresee perhaps liking me in the future?"
"If you let me win at Wii next time, maybe I'll think about it," she joked.
I laughed in a way I hadn't in a very long time. "You know you suck, and I'm very competitive."
She shrugged. "You want me to like you..."
That was exactly what I wanted. I wanted her and pursuing her was the last thing I should do to her. I was a selfish prick.
"That I do, Isabella. That I do."
My lips dove in as if they were quite possibly the most selfish part of me. Now that I had tasted her, I was never going to get her out of my head. My hands cradled her face, allowing me the best access to her mouth. I kissed her deeply, passionately. Her small, gentle hands held onto my waist. Her tongue was as playful as mine. We spent several minutes kissing. Wet and erotic kisses, sweet and chaste kisses, even hard and demanding kisses. Her lips were most definitely made for me. I could kiss them all day if she'd let me. God, I hoped she'd let me.
A/N: I don't own Twilight.
Well, now you have a better idea of what Peter can do for Edward. I think this chapter outtake is timed perfectly with where we are in the story! Good choice only a bird! Thanks to momof4luvntwisaga for catching the little inconsistencies. Hope you all enjoyed it!