|Just Call Me Bella
Author: ocdmess PM
"To work her way through college, Bella Swan takes a job as a phone sex operator. One night an upset, drunk man calls. When he keeps calling, night after night, she starts to grow attached. Soon she has to decide: is he worth breaking the golden rule?" - fluffy angst and the promise of adult situations.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 12 - Words: 29,695 - Reviews: 1,789 - Favs: 1,305 - Follows: 2,006 - Updated: 03-15-13 - Published: 11-24-12 - id: 8732889
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Just Call Me Bella
Chapter 10 – "Chicago"
I looked up at Edward, gazing into his green eyes. There was so much going on between us. Two complete strangers, with nothing but bad encounters in the past, yet here we were. Feeling things that were completely illogical. I wanted him so bad. I had never wanted anyone like I wanted him. I wanted to get to know every inch of him, mind and body. I wanted to be his savior. I wanted to help restore his faith in women. In people. I could fix him.
If he'd let me.
Ever so slowly, his face inched closer and soon his lips were on mine. They molded together perfectly. I almost hated him for making me feel like this. I felt… completed? As if I had searched for something for so long, and finally found the missing piece. I had been searching without even knowing.
I parted my lips, slowly touching his lips with the tip of my tongue. This was too good.
After a moment, he pulled away.
"I have to go," he said, his voice conflicted.
"Why don't you stay?" I asked, pleading. "You… you can stay with me. Here."
He smiled crookedly.
"I have to leave. I have to go back to Chicago, but I promise you I'll be back."
"But you're not leaving yet, are you?"
"No, but I need to get back to Emmett's and book my tickets. The sooner I leave, the sooner I can get back," he said.
"Why do you have to go?"
"I told you, I have some things to deal with."
"You're a very secretive person," I noted.
"I'd call it self-preservation," he said. "I don't know you. I don't know your story. I need to protect myself, otherwise you'll kill me the same way Irina did. It's nothing personal, I just… I need to get to know myself, and find out what I want out of life. In order to do that, I can't divulge everything about myself to you just yet, because I don't even know who I am. Does that make sense?"
I sighed, smiling sadly at the fact that he really did take Bella Mia's advice.
"Yes, it does," I replied. "I understand completely."
"I hope it's okay."
I nodded. "It is, don't worry. Take your time. I probably have a little soul-searching to do myself. Let's… let's take things slow."
He hugged me again and I closed my eyes as I relished in the feeling.
"I have to go now, though," he said, letting me go. "Can I call you?"
I stepped away from him, almost immediately mourning the loss. I grabbed a piece of paper from the side table, scribbling down my number in sloppy writing.
"Don't let me down again," I said, only half-joking as I handed him the note.
"I promise," he replied. "See you soon."
He kissed my forehead, before heading out again.
This time, he didn't return.
I didn't hear from Edward in a couple of days, and while I missed him, I knew it was for the best. I signed in on the line, keeping occupied by working and studying. I resisted the urge to cancel the calls that wasn't Dude, because I had a feeling Dude wouldn't be calling Bella Mia anymore. She'd probably served her purpose.
I was wrong.
Two days after Edward left my apartment, his familiar voice was on the line. I didn't know what to say or how to act. It was all different now.
"Hey stranger," he said, as if nothing was wrong. Why was he calling Bella Mia?
"Hey you," I replied, my voice low. "Long time no see… or talk." I tried to act as naturally as I could, but it was difficult.
"Yeah, it's been an interesting few days… or week?" he said, making it a question. "Wow, we haven't talked in quite a while, have we?"
"No, we haven't."
"Have you missed me?" he teased.
"I… yeah," I said, my voice barely audible. What was he doing?
"I'm going to Chicago," he said, his voice not as light now. "To see my ex."
"Is that a good idea?"
"I think so, yes," he said. "I need to see her, have my closure, as well as arrange a few things with school. I've decided I don't want to become a doctor anymore."
"I can't explain it, it's just… I need to do this. I'm soul-searching." He said the last part with a laugh, as if the idea amused him.
"Huh… so why are you calling me?"
"Because I want to thank you."
"Yeah, for giving me very useful advice. I feel… free now, much thanks to you."
"You're welcome?" I said, making it a question because I didn't know who he was actually thanking. Was it me or Bella Mia who had helped him? Was he just pretending that he didn't know who I was?
"I also want to ask you something…"
"I'm leaving for Chicago tomorrow. My flight leaves at six. I still want to meet you, so if you want you can meet me at-"
"What about Bella?" I cut him off.
I was met with silence. I couldn't even hear him breath. My heart was racing, feeling like I had run a marathon. I was angry. I was mad. I was sad. I was… I didn't know what I was. Why did he want to see Bella Mia? Wasn't I enough? Was fooling around with other women a part of his soul-searching?
"How do you know about Bella?" he asked, his voice a little colder now, hesitant.
"You've only been talking about her for weeks."
"But I've never said her name."
I swallowed thickly. "You must have, how else would I know it?" I asked, playing the only card I could, making him believe he had slipped.
"I don't believe I have," he argued, sounding confident. "Tell me, how do you know?"
"You told me."
He sighed deeply, sounding frustrated.
"Fine," he said, even though it was clear he didn't believe me. "Will you see me? It's not a date, I just want to meet the person that helped me." His voice was different now, as if he was trying to say something else, as if he was trying to pull something out of me. He sounded neutral, but there was an undertone of something else there too.
"I figured that much, I just thought it was worth a shot."
We were both quiet for a moment. I got the feeling he was trying to say goodbye to Bella Mia. To cut her out of his life for good. He wasn't going to call her again. She had served her purpose now. Or so it felt anyway. Maybe I overreacted.
"I'm glad I got to know you," he said quietly. "Thank you for all your help."
"I won't be calling again."
A lonely tear slipped from my eye, I wiped it away quickly.
Even though I knew Edward was still in my life, it hurt to hear him say goodbye. In a way, he was saying goodbye to me. It hurt.
The line went silent and I slowly dropped the phone, wondering why I felt so empty inside.
Edward texted me when he was waiting for his flight, just saying hi. He texted me when he got off his flight, just saying hi. He was being cute and every now and again, I texted him as well.
Just got back from school, just wanted to say hi.
Just got back from a walk, just wanted to say hi.
Just woke up, just wanted to say hi.
Our texts were pointless without any meaningful message, but it was enough for both of us. It served the purpose of letting the other know we were thinking about them, without adding pressure of having to come up with a meaningful response. We had no idea where we were headed, especially not now with him in Chicago so this was the perfect way of trying to stay in touch without any strings attached.
I spent some time with Rosalie and Emmett. I was sad to notice that both of them seemed more relaxed and happy now that Edward was gone. When Rosalie left for class, I stayed behind to talk to Emmett.
"What's up?" I asked him, he shrugged. "So… Edward left."
He smiled crookedly, he hadn't been his usual jubilant self in quite a while.
"Yeah, I guess it was for the best," he said somberly.
"You say that as if he's not returning," I replied.
"Well, why would he?" he asked confused. "I mean, he didn't have the best time here and frankly, he and Rose hated each other. I see no reason why he'd wanna return." He sighed deeply. "I'm kinda relieved he left. I know I'm a douche for saying it, but it's been stressful. Rose has been in the worst mood and lashing out on me because she couldn't get along with him. I hate that they never got along, because he is my favorite cousin. He hasn't been himself since the breakup, and what the hell… what do people expect from him? The bitch ruined him completely. She had been manipulated Edward for years, of course he'd been having some issues adjusting once their relationship ended. It's pissing me off that Rose can't recognize that."
I looked at him in surprise, I had never seen Emmett so riled up before.
"Wow," was all I said.
"I know," he said, sighing again. "I suck. Edward sucks too. He's been acting like a complete douche, and he had no right to let his shit affect other people too. He especially had no right to let it affect my friends… but still, I had hoped my friends would be a little more understanding, since he's the one being unstable right now. He's not in his right mind. He'll have to redeem himself for what he's done eventually, but until then, maybe some support would have been justified, you know?"
"I appreciate that you forgave him though," he continued. "For the things he's done, I mean. The restaurant and stuff."
"No need to thank me. As you said, he's the one unstable, not me."
"You were always wise beyond your years, little one," he joked.
"I learnt from the best, bigger one," I joked in response. "And for what it's worth, I hope Edward comes back so you guys can start over."
"Yeah, but if he does, he can't stay here. Otherwise I might end up killing myself."
I chuckled, but the joke left a bitter aftertaste.
Edward had been gone for a week, Christmas was almost at the door now and I wondered if I would get the chance to see him before then. I wondered what I would get him for Christmas. Would it be weird if I gave him something? We weren't a couple, obviously, but we were dating now, weren't we? And people who dated each other gives each other presents, right? I had no idea. I was so confused. I decided not to let obsess over it. If I found something that clearly screamed "Edward", then I'd buy it, but I wasn't actively trying to find something.
I worked less and less hours on the line. I was starting to wondering if it was even worth it anymore. I had saved up enough money to last me a few months without starving, and I could probably make it last even longer if I went all out on coupons or something. It would be enough for me while I searched for a new job, something I wouldn't need to be ashamed of. A job where I could be myself.
I had realized that I would have to tell Edward about Bella Mia eventually, but the longer I could postpone it, the better. I wasn't up for that particular conversation. I had no idea how he would react. But he deserved to know, I couldn't keep this from him. If we walked down the road of seriousness, I would have to tell him before we had gone too far.
It had been a few days since Edward had texted me, so I decided to poke him. I wasn't being clingy or anything… just flirty. At least that was what I was aiming at.
"Just wanted to say hi," I texted him.
I put the phone down, smiling and nodding to myself. It was our usual routine, nothing out of the ordinary. It was perfect. I had wanted to put down something more, like, 'I miss you' or something, but that felt a little too soon. Our texting hadn't gotten serious enough to warrant that yet.
I stared at the screen, as if I expected him to drop everything in order to text me back. A minute went by, two, three… fifteen minutes later, when I was zapping through channels on my TV, my phone buzzed. I fumbled as I reached for it and my smile was wide when I saw his name on my screen.
But as I read the text, my smile faltered.
"Stay the fuck away from me."
I frowned. What the hell? Was he breaking up whatever it was we had by texting me crap like that? Had he become Doucheward again? Was that the reason he hadn't texted me? I pursed my lips, my jaw tensing. If this had been any other time, I probably would have let it go, but I couldn't. I couldn't just walk away after a text like that. So I did the only thing I could do: I called to confront him. I expected his cold dark voice to answer, but I was greeted with something else entirely.
"Yes?" a woman said, her voice silky smooth, but deadly at the same time.
"This is Bella, is Edward there?" I asked, my voice steady and calm.
"Sorry, he's not available right now. But please feel free to stay the fuck away from my boyfriend, okay?" the woman said, her voice still silky smooth. It was kind of eerie.
"Excuse me?" I said, not able to help the giggle that escaped me. "I'm calling from Seattle Medical Center, it's about his- eh… internship next semester."
I was met with nothing but silence, and I smiled to myself in victory. Who knew I could improvise?
"So why did it say 'Bella' on the caller ID?" she asked eventually. I facepalmed, damn it.
"Because I have called him before."
"And why do you guys text each other like, every day?" she continued.
I sighed deeply. "Fine. Just let him know I've called, okay?"
"We'll see about that."
And then she hung up.