Yeeaaah! I'm back baby! Haha! Guess what gave me the inspiration to get this story off of hiatus? *ahem* Magic Mike XXL (believe it or not). Seriously, that movie was smokin' hot and surprisingly, it also had a touching story behind it. I applaud the actors and all their 6/8-pack glory.

Alright then… I've been gone for about a year (I think). Forgive me. But RL can be a pain sometimes. However, I do have a short break, so pray that I get to write as much as I can before RL strikes back (aka College).

I won't keep you any longer… enjoy the show.


CHAPTER 3

"Oh my fucking God."

"Mhm."

"Oh, heaven.. Mmm."

"Yes."

"This is… oh Lord…Bella!"

I giggled.

"You. Are. A. Goddess." Alice wiped the sauce off of her plate with the last garlic bread before moaning again. "This is sooooo daaaamn gooood, woman!"

"I'm glad you liked it." I smirked, refilling my glass of Zinfandel.

Because of all the nerves and pent up sexual frustration I've been gaining since… him this morning, I decided to cook one of my grandmother's old recipes to keep my mind occupied.

Milk braised pork shoulder with French mashed potatoes on the side. And gravy (of course).

It must have turned out pretty well because Alice's plate was squeaky clean.

"More wine?" I offered. She nodded and I poured.

"Do you have any white wine?"

I scoffed at her. "Alice, everyone knows that beef goes best with red. If you want white, then you should have asked me to cook fish."

She raised her hand. "Alright alright. You're the wine expert. Seriously though, this dinner tops any date I've had in the past year." She gulped down her wine and reached out her glass for a refill.

I gave her a sad smile. "I'm sorry about Darren. He's an asshole for leaving you like that."

Alice sighed more of relief than sadness. "Don't be. It was inevitable anyway. I don't even know why I put up with him for a year."

"Was it the sex?"

She made a look. "Sex was mediocre. I swear, the only time I ever really enjoyed sex with him was when I was drunk. Even then, he always came first! Can you believe that?"

I laughed. "Are you fucking serious, Alice? For one entire year, you've been sleeping with a guy who wasn't a proper gentleman?"

She groaned. "I know. I know! I just… like having a boyfriend. Now that I'm single, I feel like such a…-," I glared at her and she shut up. "Haha. Uh… a very independent woman?"

"Nice save." I sneered.

She chuckled and tucked her legs beneath her on the couch. "I can't even remember the last time a guy made me feel… urgh! You know? Like one look would make my panties drop in a second and he needs to just take me right there in the middle of the hallway."

I choked on my wine. "Aha. Yeah." I grabbed a tissue and Alice stared at me curiously. "Hallways. Pshh. Haha. Very funny." I cleared my throat.

Though I kept my eyes on my wine, I could feel her intense stare. "Yeah. Funny." She cleared her throat. "Bella?"

"Mhm?" I stared.

Her eyes grew to slits. "Haallwaays." My face grew warm and her eyes bugged out. "OH MY GOD!"

Stupid fucking blush!

She pointed her finger at me. "Tell me every fucking thing and don't leave a single detail out."

I forced out a chuckle. "I'm sorry, but I have an early gig tomorrow. Look at the time, oh, you best be leaving." I smiled, clearing out the plates.

"Isabella Swan. You know I'm not leaving until I get every single juicy detail." She followed me to the kitchen. I groaned. Who was I kidding? This is Alice for heaven's sake. If I don't tell her, she'll find out eventually.

… … …

"Oh my God." Her eyes bugged out as I finished. I looked at her shyly. "This is… Oh fuck! This is… Bella! You've found your guy!" She squealed.

I scowled at her. "What! No! I tell you that I burlesqued a man and made out with him the hallway and you tell me he's my man?!"

Her face was ecstatic. "YES! I feel it! Bella, do you have any idea how hard it is to find a man who makes you feel that sizzle? Damn…," she laughed, "not a sizzle… a burn. That's exactly what you and Edward have. A buuuurning passion! I swear, Bella, if you don't contact this guy, then I will! Because I'm your best friend and I want you to find your perfect man."

"Don't you dare! And he's not my perfect man!"

She smirked, not believing me for a second. "He is. Believe me. You know I'm always right about these things."

"Yeah well, you should get your premonitions checked. I've only known the guy for what? Two days? And he has done nothing but rile me up."

"Oh I bet he riled you up. I bet he riled you up real ni-,"

"ALICE!"

"What? You did it first! Burlesque? Come on, Bella! You must have been every man's wet dream that night!"

I covered my ears, blushing. "I'm not listeniiiing!"

She laughed. "Oh this is too much fun!" She downed the last of her wine and grabbed her bag. "Listen, I have an early client tomorrow so I have to go, but when he contacts you, I need to hear the next episode."

I rolled my eyes. "Alice, there isn't going to be a next episode! This is the business world! I can't!"

She smiled. "Believe me, there will be a next episode. Call me. Oh, and you should probably get that." She smirked before opening the door.

"Get what?"

Just then, my cellphone rang.

"That." Alice smiled. "Ciao, Bella! Love you! I'll see you tomorrow!"

I shivered. Sometimes that pixie gives me the creeps.

... ... ...

"Boss."

"Mhm?" I looked up from my strawberry cream batter.

Monica, my pastry chef smiled at me and whispered, "Hate to break it to you but you're giving Julio and the boys a show." I immediately dropped my finger from my mouth and cleared my throat. Monica chuckled quietly to herself before moving next to me. "Oh my God, what were you thinking?"

I scoffed. "What are you talking about? Nothing!"

Yeah right.

If licking strawberry cream made me think of naughty thoughts then I wondered what the bread buns would make me think.

Hmm… he did have a pretty nice-.

"Ah!" I slapped my cheeks. Stop it, Bella!

I glanced at Monica and her eyes glinted slyly. "This is the first time I've seen you this way. Something must have gone down, Boss."

"Oh, get back to work, Mon!" I grunted and heard her laughing behind me as I walked away.

I checked the main courses and made sure they were properly stored in the chaffing dishes before heading to the cake.

I announced to my crew that we had about an hour before loading everything in the truck and they replied enthusiastically. I headed to the sound system and played some rock music to get the groove going.

I always loved working with music. Thankfully, my crew did as well. It was like a party in here whenever the last hour was on.

Iiiiiii'm (drumbeats) hooked on a feeling!
I'm high on belieevin'

I sang out the words together with my Larry and Justin. When they work as my main chefs by day, but by night, they're actually one of the most fabulous jazz singers in the state.

"Ey, Boss! Cake check please." Tido, my sugar guy called. He's actually a chocolatier, but since he was a pretty fabulous fondant designer, I decided to nickname him.

"Alright, Sugar. Yes! That looks lovely." I looked over his work in the four-tier wedding cake. "Do we still have small white flowers?"

He nodded. "The stephanotis? Yeah. We still have a few from yesterday."

"Alright, fill the top and sprinkle the sides with those blue sugar beads." I smiled.

"Got it."

Ah, I loved my job. Sometimes a little too much. My mother worried that I'd marry it instead of a real man. But my business was good and The White Swan Catering Co. gained a bit of popularity in the short time that I'd founded it. Since business was so good, I decided it was time to expand. It was exhausting to have a solid booked month and with a crew of seven people, I knew we needed a break.

I was lucky to have such a talented and crazy ass crew. Even in times of distress, I knew I could count on them.

That's why I was hoping for that large Larchmont space. It was just perfect.

Even if it meant having to do business with him. I haven't heard from him since that day… not that I was expecting anything, but I will be expecting a call soon about the space.

I still couldn't believe everything that happened.

One. I practically seduce a guy.

Two. Turns out he's the son of Carlisle Cullen, a man I might have to do business with.

Three. I make out with him outside the janitor's closet.

Applause people. Was my life turning into some kind of romantic comedy?

I sighed. If only.

Romantic comedies always had a happy ending. I feared mine wouldn't. If I wasn't careful, it can turn into one gigantic mess.

Once everything was locked and loaded, we headed to our destination.

Today was a small backyard wedding. They're usually my favorites. Simple, quaint and a house with good food. The day was going well, until I got a phone call from a very annoying person.

"Hi bitch!"

I groaned. "Jane, I'm working." I whispered, heading outside for a moment after giving Monica my tray of appetizers to serve.

"Are you free this Tuesday?" She asked, obviously ignoring my statement.

"Depends on what you mean by free."

"Are you forgetting that it's my birthday?"

I blinked. "Oh. Yeah, sure I'm free."

She laughed. "Relax, bitch. The girls and I in Volterra are having a lingerie party at my place and you and Alice are sooo going."

I chuckled and shook my head. "A Lingerie party? Are you serious?"

"Yes! Don't be a party pooper and DON'T dress like a prude, all right? I'm giving a prize to the best dressed."

I laughed again. Some people never change.

"What else is involved in this party?"

"Well… lots of alcohol, that's for sure, and you do know that I have a stripper pole, so we'll be having fun with that. Oh! And before I forget, think you can sneak in some food for the party? Remember when you made homemade pizza and those hot wings?"

"I knew it."

"Hey, it's MY birthday! Please please pleeaaaaase!"

"Okay, okay! Fine. Consider it my birthday gift to you." Why I always end up agreeing, I'll never know.

"So you'll go?!"

"Yes, yes, I'll go. But I'm seriously really busy now so I've got to go."

"Yay, thank you! Okay! See ya! Bye."

I hung up and began to think if I had enough time to go shopping after this wedding gig.

"Hey Mon! Know any good lingerie stores around here?" She raised a brow at me and smiled like a kid in a candy store. I sighed. "Not like that! My friend has a lingerie party!" I said in a low voice.

She winked. "Right. A party." She giggled. Forget it, even if I explain, she probably won't believe me. She gave me the address of a store near my apartment.

I headed straight there after we packed up. Thankfully, the store was open until midnight. Huh. Turns out they get a lot of customers at night. People these days are dirtier than I thought.

After trying on a couple of things, I settled on a nice lacy blue bra and panties that had a nice black garter belt. The stockings I picked out were classy with a black line riding up the middle. I nodded in satisfaction, thinking that this would most likely pass Jane's standards of 'Not a prude!'

I paid for it and headed straight to the groceries for dinner ingredients. I thought a nice light salmon would do the trick tonight.

The rain started to pour as I made my way home. I held two bags of groceries in one hand and my umbrella in the other as I walked towards my apartment building.

Though I loved rainy days, I particularly despised it right now, and these paper brown grocery bags certainly were NOT helping. I had to stop halfway as I made my way up the stairs when I felt something about to poke a hole through the paper and drop.

"Oh… damn it."

I didn't see the person coming out of the building as my umbrella blocked the view, but a hand shot out and reached my bags, fixing my balance and saving my groceries. Thank goodness. "Thank you so much." I smiled as I lifted my umbrella to thank the Good Samaritan.

"No problem at all." He smiled. But as our eyes met, the smile quickly disappeared.

It must have been my imagination. My mind was probably playing tricks on me. It was teasing me. Yes, that's it! Because how could he possibly be at the steps of my apartment building looking just… fine in that Stanford hoodie and casual jeans?

"Bella?" He stared at me in disbelief.

Edward. Fucking. Cullen.

I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding and made a step back.

Big. Mistake.

"Wha-," It was too late when I remembered we weren't on even ground. The last thing I saw was his face in alarm before I fell sideways down the fucking stairs.

I squealed in terror and finally hit my head against the pavement. "OW!"

"BELLA! Oh fuck…" It wasn't another second later before I felt a pair of strong hands holding me. "Are you alright?" His voice sounded immensely alarmed and concerned.

I moaned and tried to sit up. "Whoa whoa there… easy." My head spun slightly and I felt a little grateful for the coolness of the rain falling on us. One hand supported my back and I felt the other lightly caress my forehead, brushing my hair away.

Dizzy dizzy…

"Shit, you're bleeding." He said in alarm.

My eyes finally shot open and I stared at him. He was too close.

My vision swims.

"I'm bleeding?"

He nodded, his expression, worried. "Yeah, you have a nasty gash here."

My hand reached up to my forehead, feeling a bit of pain.

Unfortunately, I made another mistake of looking at my hand. "Oh shit."

That was the last thing I remembered before passing out.

A/N: Pray I update soon. But this will be a slow story. Just warning you. I'm beginning my thesis this semester.
Mwah!
Reviews make me update earlier ;)