I stalked out to my car and made sure to slam my door, hoping that whatever deity cast me to my own personal hell heard and knew that I was pissed at them. Edward Cullen and I were going undercover together. I couldn't stand the guy on a normal day when he was safely across the entire floor from me. Now they expected me to spend an undefined amount of time with him, living in the same house, pretending to be married to his pretentious ass.
Pulling into my driveway, I noticed Alice's car.
Shit, Wednesday night dinner.
"Bel-la!" Alice sang as I walked inside.
"Hey Ali, whatsup?" I asked as I threw my keys on the table and slumped down in a chair, sighing.
"Rough day at work?" You have no idea. My silence must have been longer than I realized because soon she was waving her hand in front of my face trying to get my attention.
"Where'd you go Bella?" She asked, smirking.
"Sorry Ali, I just got some pretty infuriating news at the office today. They expect me to go undercover with none other than your brother. Me! And him! It's like they think we aren't at each other's throats every minute of every day," I said exasperatedly.
She rolled her eyes and surprised me by laughing. I gaped at her and probably looked like a fish blubbering above water.
"Sorry Bella, I just think its funny how much you two can't stand each other, yet you two are the two most similar people on the face of the planet. Look, I know that you can't stand him but he really isn't that bad of a guy once you get to know him. Yeah sure, he can be an asshole, but he also has a good heart," she said for probably the millionth time since I had proclaimed my hatred for her older brother.
"Yeah, well you must have to dig really deep to find it," I muttered.
"Oh, Bella. It won't be too bad. When does this rendezvous start?"
"Tomorrow," I grumbled.
"And… can I have the details?" She asked sheepishly. She always tried to get this information out of me every time, even though she knew it was confidential. Alice had always been into crime novels and mysteries, and she definitely tried to live vicariously through me. Sometimes she asked if she could see my files and help me solve a case. She knew her attempts were unnecessary since I would absolutely lose my job and be put in jail if I ever shared them with anyone who wasn't authorized, but that sure didn't thwart her efforts.
"You know I can't do that, Ali," I giggled.
"Belllllll-a!" She whined.
"Sorry pipsqueak. So, whats for dinner?" I asked, effectively changing the subject.
Since we had all moved out on our own, Rose, Alice and I had all been getting together for dinner on Wednesday nights. We alternated houses, and it just so happened to be my week. Which was probably a good thing considering I had been ready to come inside, curl up on the couch and watch movies that made me feel better about myself while I ate Chinese takeout.
"I was thinking we could just order Chinese?" She said, knowing that it would make me feel better.
"Ugh yes please!"
Rose walked in a few minutes later and we all decided to sit down on the couch and drink wine until the food arrived. Alice and I met Rose when we moved to Seattle to go to college. She was one of the most devastatingly beautiful women I had ever seen, with Alice as a close second, and she was also fierce and willing to stand up for what she believed in. We had all hit it off instantly and had been inseparable since.
"Okay, you guys. I met a guy!" Rose said excitedly.
Alice and I squealed in excitement and bounced up and down while at the same time bombarding her with questions.
"His name is Emmett and he is a firefighter. He's so hot you guys, like my dream guy, but on top of all of that he is so smart and sweet and down to earth. He even thinks it's sexy that I'm a mechanic! I mean, out of all of the guys that I have dated, none of them have particularly liked my career. Em is really into classical cars and he even took me to a car show for one of our first dates. He is literally as close to perfect as it can ever get," she swooned.
"You need to bring him to the next dinner we have when I get back! I want to meet this guy," I told her excitedly.
"Oh I definitely will. Ali you need to bring Jasper so that they can meet! I really think that they will hit it off!" Jasper and Alice had been engaged for a few months now, so I knew she was excited to finally have someone to talk about relationship stuff with.
Eventually, the food arrived and we watched all of the new episodes that we had to watch of The Bachelor. Alice and I had been watching this show for years, and we introduced Rose to it when we all became friends. This was something that we had done every Wednesday night since, as long as the show was on. Once it was over, everyone got up to leave.
"Alrighty, Bella. Good luck tomorrow and please try to call or text us whenever you can! We will miss you!" Alice said while wrapping me in a vice-like hug.
"Yes, agreed!" Rose said while she joined in on the hug fest.
"Okay, okay, you guys!" I laughed, "I promise I will. And I will be back soon enough. Love you guys!" I called out the door as they walked to their cars.
"Love you!" They said in unison.
I smiled as I watched them drive away, then I closed my door and headed up to bed. Tomorrow was going to be a long day, after all.
When I walked into the office the next morning, I was greeted by two agents already fully dressed in their field attire. They escorted me to a briefing room, and I was relieved to find that Edward hadn't arrived yet. While I waited, the office assistant Angela brought me some coffee and we held some idle chit chat until the door banged open. Edward walked in without looking at me.
"Bella," he acknowledged me with a curt nod and took a seat at the other end of the table. Angela excused herself, leaving the two of us alone. I started fiddling with my pen, which was a nervous habit, desperately wishing that someone else would come in and break up the awkward silence. Edward was typing a message on his Blackberry, effectively ignoring me. I dropped my pen from my awkward fingers and bent under the table to pick it up.
"Ow, fuck!" I said as I hit my head on the table on the way up. For some reason, I had always been a very clumsy person when I was not in the field. That was when I was able to hone my senses and really concentrate. I looked up into Edward's eyes and saw a flicker of… concern? What the hell?
"Are you okay, Bella? Jesus, you're bleeding," he said.
"I'm fine, Cullen. I must have nicked my forehead on the screw," I snapped. So maybe I was being a little rude, but this was Edward. And even though I was pretty sure he was at least attempting to be nice for some inexplicable reason, it was a knee jerk reaction when it came to him.
His eyes hardened back to their natural state of hatred as he turned back around and slumped down in his chair.
"Alright, Swan," he snapped right back.
These next few weeks were going to be from hell.
My glowering at him was interrupted by the Chief walking in. He handed us each a file and didn't waste any time getting to business.
"Alright, James Baratta has relocated to a new Suburb development in west Seattle. We have purchased the house across the street, and you two will be posing as Isabella and Edward Adams. Your first names are common enough, so we aren't too worried about giving you any new ones. You are a newlywed couple who has just purchased your first house. In this," he threw a folder at me, and then one to Edward, "you will find everything you need. New driver's licenses, birth certificates, social security numbers, wedding rings. Your house will already be assembled when you get there, so you won't have much to worry about when you get there. We had movers there yesterday to maintain the illusion."
He went on and on briefing us about our past as a couple, and he explained in depth everything that we would need to know before beginning the mission. We were to keep a close watch on his house, and try and get some information on him that would put him away forever. If he was using this house as his new headquarters, gaining information would be fairly easy. If he wasn't, we were going to have to do some serious recon do find out where the meetings would be held.
We were each given a few more items and asked if we had any more questions before we were escorted to a shiny new Volvo.
"This will serve as your new car, Edward. Bella, your car is already at the house. Both of the cars and the entire house will be equipped with surveillance technology, and you will find everything that you need for this mission there."
He handed us both two small briefcases.
"There are some earpieces in here, and you are going to use them as your main source of contact between headquarters and the house. Of course, in order to talk to us, you will either have to call or use the headsets. But this way, if we have any new info, we will be able to get it to you as soon as possible. Do you two have any questions?"
We both shook our heads no.
"All right. You two are my best two agents, I trust you know what to do from here. Good luck," he said while turning around and walking away.
Edward grabbed the keys and walked towards the driver's side.
"Who said you get to drive?" I asked impatiently.
"Oh, Bella, dear, we do need to keep up the illusion that we are a couple. This is intended to be my car, correct? So why would you be driving it?" he smirked.
"Alright," I said curtly. I walked to the passenger side and got in while mumbling about the asshole I was now eternally bound to.
We drove in silence until we were about a street away.
"Alright, Edward. No matter how much we can't stand eachother, we need to keep up this act. So when we get there, we need to make it believable," I said.
He just nodded in agreement.
Pulling up to the house was surreal. It was more like a mansion, which I guess would make sense. A mob boss wouldn't have less than one of the nicest neighborhoods in Seattle.
It was a two story, white pillared house with floor to ceiling windows throughout the house. The front yard had a huge weeping willow in it, and there was a wraparound porch.
"Wow," I breathed. Edward just nodded in agreement. Didn't he ever have anything to say that wasn't snarky? Or would he just stick to head nods to keep this charade up. Yeah, we could say that he is a mute. I'm sure that James would believe that.
"Alright, wife, lets get the bags out of the car and head inside," Edward suggested. Edward was around to my side in seconds, opening my door for me.
"Thanks," I said unsure.
"It's for the love of the façade, darling," he whispered in my ear as I stood up. A weird electrical sensation went through my body as I felt his breath graze my neck. What the fuck was that?
He chuckled slightly as he reached around me to grab my bag. I realized that I had been standing here in shock for far too long, so I grabbed a few more bags and walked up to the front door with Edward. We walked inside, and it was even more beautiful than the outside. It was decorated tastefully, and the entire interior was neutral with pops of color and pattern here and there. It fit nicely with my new 'career', which was to be an interior designer. This would allow me to work from home, giving me an excuse for not leaving often on the weekdays, plus I had dabbled in it some at school, so I would be able to take clients if the situation called for it. Edward's new job was to be a contractor, having just gotten a new job at a company only a few miles down the road. He would really just be going to headquarters periodically to give any new information, and receive intel himself.
We walked back outside to get some more of our bags, but we were stopped short in our walkway by a man of large build with blonde hair. He stuck out his hand to shake.
"You must be the new neighbors. I'm James."