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"I need help."
"What's going on?"
"Well for starters," I begin, "I have blood on my shirt." No response. "I expected a shriek or at least a bit of concern, Rose."
"Sorry, I'm watching TV. What'd you say?"
I groan. "Can you come get me? I don't want to spend money on a cab and I've been drinking, so I can't drive. And—"
"Where are you?"
"I'm at Liam's place. But I'm not like, inside, so can you hurry? I'm waiting outside. By the garage. I'm standing by a trash can, to be more exact."
"Right, okay." I hear some shuffling and a sigh on her end. "Should I be worried?"
"More for Liam's ego and less for my well-being. I'll explain when you get here, okay?"
I give her the address before we hang up. And then I wait. Nearly half an hour goes by before a car that isn't Rose's slow-rolls in front of the house. It's dark outside, so I can't see who's driving. Not until the window rolls down and I recognize Edward, Rose's boyfriend.
"What are you doing here?" I call from the safety of the dim porch light.
"Rosalie sent me."
With hesitation, I acknowledge this is my only option. Well, calling Rose back and giving her a guilt trip is another option, but that requires time and energy from me, and a conscience on her part. None of which either of us have. So.
I head over to the car and carefully get in, offering him a small, sarcastic smile. "Hi," I say, slowly drawing out the word.
He frowns, turns on the dome light to inspect me. "Should I call 9-1-1?"
"It's not my blood."
"Says the soulless murderer."
"Liam bled on me."
"Did he get his period?"
I give in and smile, noting his dislike for a guy he's met twice. "Give him a break."
"Well, what happened?"
"I don't want to get into this because it's pretty embarrassing. And I really don't want to tell you, of all people."
Edward puts the car in park, taking a moment to scratch his beard. "Please. Enlighten me."
"Okay." I cross my arms, realize they're resting on the dried blood that's coating my shirt, then quickly unfold them. "So Liam is an idiot. But he's the only idiot interested in me right now. We went out for drinks, and we were gonna hook up. Finally. Every time we're about to, he just freezes, and I don't know. Maybe it's me."
Edward gives me a look. "It's definitely not you."
I clear my throat, keeping my eyes away from his. "Anyway. So things were getting pretty… heated, and he was on top of me and we were kissing and—"
"Feel free to skip this part."
"Well, no, that's just it. Nothing happened. All of a sudden I felt this wetness on my face and my neck, so I freaked out. He turned on the lamp and I realized that his nose was bleeding. It took him a minute to catch on, because he's a dumbass, so I was just lying there covered in his fucking blood. And he was still straddling me, blood dripping all over my shirt."
"Wow, that is embarrassing. Things were getting heated, yet your shirt was still on?"
I resist the urge to shove his shoulder, and instead give him a pointed look. "Can we go? I kind of want to change my clothes."
Edward laughs quietly as he pulls away from the curb.
After a minute I ask, "So Rose was too busy watching TV to come get me?"
"The Real Housewives of Blah Blah couldn't wait."
"Oh my God, I knew she watched that show! I caught her once but she denied it."
"And that's not a deal-breaker between you two?" I tease.
"No, but the first time she bleeds on me, I'm out."
I try to contain my laughter. "I'm glad my shit-show of a night brings you so much joy."
He merely grins, obviously pleased with himself.
We sit in a comfortable silence for a few minutes, until he begins drumming his fingers on the steering wheel. "Do you maybe wanna go get a drink?"
I point ahead. "Turn left here, then your second right. And uh… I mean." I motion over my dried-blood-stained attire. "I'm not really…"
He glances over, shrugging. "I can wait while you change."
"What about Rose?" It's a simple question, but the lingering pause from him creates a tension that wasn't there before.
"Well. She'll be engrossed in her show for a few more hours. It's a marathon, Bella. Save me."
I tell him which house is mine, then he slows to a stop. My chest begins beating faster and I hate it. The way he's looking at me makes me feel exposed, but I don't hate it. Which makes me hate it. Because he's Rose's boyfriend. And he's just asking to go out for a casual drink. I shouldn't make this weird, but I did, and even though it's only awkward in my own head, it's crippling enough to keep me from getting one drink with him.
"Okay. Well. I'll see you around?"
"Definitely. Thanks again for picking me up."
I give him a small, appreciative smile before unbuckling my seatbelt and getting out of the car. Like a gentleman, he waits until I've unlocked my front door and waved him off before driving away.
Once I'm inside, I immediately rid myself of all bloodied clothing, pour myself a large glass of wine, and block Liam on all social media.
Hiiiiii. Long time, no see! I've missed you guys. Don't question my interest in writing fic again-it ~does feel weird, yet so right. And yeah. We'll see how this goes.
Kim and Vic: sorry I didn't warn you I was going to post this. Thanks for dealing with my impulsive scrub-ass.