Update: Posted this late last night, so I didn't get a chance to thank all the wonderful authors/judges, hosts, betas, validators, and secret keeper of the P.S. I Love You Contest: Sri , purpleC305, TwiSNFan, purpleC305, NKubie, owlsarebirdstoo, juniperjulip, EdwardsFirstKiss, Ninkita, Kimmie45, BellaFlan, BoydBlog, LyricalKris, content1, redtini and 2old4fanfic. A special thank you to the banner makers: IpsitaC77 and JavaMasta. I can barely photo shop, so I'm in awe of your skillz. Yes, that's skillz with a z.

An enormous giant teddy bear-sized thank you to my beta, JulieToo. She's basically the reason my words make sense, people.

To everyone who entered-I basically didn't think I had a shot with all the seriously damn good entries. Y'all intimidate and inspire the hell out of me, and I'm grateful for anyone who read my little story.

To everyone who read, left a review, and/or voted: Holy crap guys. Thank you. Seriously. *shyly sending good holiday vibes*

WARNING: SHAMELESS PIMPING AHEAD. Lastly, if you're interested in reading a (slightly) mature Bella and a (slightly) nicer but still scrumptious Edward, then check out my first full length story-Unfinished. Not as sparkly fun as this one shot, but it's a real as hell love story with some nice little moments :) Happy holidays, you guys! Thanks again!

June 6, 2016

It's barely noon and I'm already second-guessing myself. This needs to stop. I'm here, after the big goodbye with my parents, who gave me sad Bambi eyes and vaguely threatening guilt trips. I could practically hear my mom's uterus crying in pain whereas mine is still jamming out to "Welcome to New York".

Sidenote: there aren't really any great anthems about D.C., unless you're counting the National Anthem. Or maybe the opening theme to House of Cards.

But I made it! My fun hobby turned livelihood for Off the Record, one of the fastest growing interactive news and media sites in the country. It's the Mark Zuckerberg to Buzzfeed's Eduardo Saverin, the Andrew Garfield to their Tobey Maguire, the Taylor Swift to their Kanye West. I checked it yesterday, and the two articles that popped up next to each other were, "The Absence of Disease-An Exploration of Epidemics and the Syrian Refugee Crisis" and "27 Times Grey's Anatomy Made You Bawl and Punch Your Pillow".

My parents are so proud.

The headquarters are scattered across four floors in a sixteen story building that's identical to its neighbors. Good news: it's the typical, bustling tableau of metropolitan life rife with possibilities. Bad news: A Chipotle just opened up on the first floor, and both my wallet and waistline are going to suffer as a result.

People seem nice here; I met Tim, the IT guy this morning to go over security credentials, my laptop, and awkward small talk. He seems like a good guy, but I think he prefers being by himself, what with him avoiding eye-contact and bobbing his head rhythmically every time I opened my mouth. I almost reached out to hold his head still, but you know. Professional boundaries and all.

Crap, the boss wants to meet me, and I've been sitting at my cubicle doodling in a journal for the past half hour. They can't fire me for doodling right? I mean, as far as he knows, I was working on my first article idea. Which I'll be doing. Because this journaling is more of an "every once in awhile" thing, even if Dr. Renner suggests I keep it up.

Ok, he just did the universal head nod that politely means, "Get your ass in here.'

June 8, 2016

So the metro's pretty cool. It certainly looks a lot cooler than the T. And I don't know why everyone's constantly complaining-there's a train every 3-4 minutes. Calm down, people. There's going to be a long-ass line at Starbucks no matter how early you get there.

Jake, my boss and Entertainment editor, is one of the most energetic and peppiest guys I've ever met. That's got to be medically induced right? I'm thinking Prozac and Adderall. He's another nice guy who is kept occupied by a million other tasks, which is why I've been assigned a mentor.

Enter Edward Cullen, who was nominated for a Pulitzer last month for his covering of the Syrian refugee crisis. Apparently, he's an investigative reporter, and a Big Fucking Deal. Jake practically had an orgasm when he discussed his portfolio, which is admittedly impressive. It's actually a bit intimidating, especially because his topics are politicized and heavy, with the goal to spread awareness and raise questions. I've been hired as an advice columnist for the confused masses in the D.C. metropolitan area, so I just want to offer my thoughts on how to deal with an ex-boyfriend or quarter-life crisis. Pictures of cute animals possibly included.

Hey, there's scientific evidence that shows dopamine is released when we see puppies and kittens. And science doesn't lie.

Welp. Time to meet the elusive Mr. Cullen. Maybe he'll be a nice guy too.

June 10, 2016

NOPE. I can say unequivocally that Edward Cullen is one of the most arrogant jerks I've ever met. And I used to work with surgeons, for whom the term "God complex" was invented.

I walked down two floors to get to his office, which was the biggest and window-iest office in the corner. Of course he gets the corner office. At this point, I was more than a little impressed and excited to work with someone who clearly has a lot to teach.

Only here's the thing-he doesn't want to. He barely looked at me the entire time, fussing with the papers and pens on his desk instead. When I finally asked if he'd reviewed any of the writing I'd sent, he looked at me and sharply said, "Look, I'll be straight with you. I don't have time to teach a blogger how to write. I'm not here to hold your hand and guide you to journalistic success. You have two options-find another mentor who can, or figure it out yourself. Any questions?"


My mouth gaped. Who the hell did this guy think he was? Just because he's a talented writer meant he could dismiss me or my work? Fuck you and your weird penny hair color.

Sidenote: I think it's artificial but Edward Cullen doesn't strike me as the type to pick up a box of L'Oreal Intense Medium Auburn.

So I calmly replied, "Yeah, just one. When did that stick up your ass first appear? Or is that something you were born with?"

"Excuse me?" His tone was a clear dare, one that I gladly took him up on.

"Oh, I don't think I need to repeat myself," I replied saccharinely.

He sat back in his expensive leather chair and crossed his arms, which were disgustingly muscular, like the ones you see on Brawny/Mr. Clean products. Yeah, it's time to stop cleaning my apartment. "You majored in Biology, minored in English, and your only practical writing experience is through a blog." He emphasized "blog" the way Gordon Ramsay probably yells "McDonald's".

So I explained that my silly little blog got over a quarter-million hits before I was offered this job. And then I thought, you know what? I'm not going to play the "whose dick is bigger" game with him. Although if the game is who's the bigger dick, then he'd win.

"I don't need to prove myself to you; that's been done with the hiring managers and the editors who all vouched for me." I took a step closer, lowering my voice. "Look, if you don't want to do your job, that's fine. I'll figure it out." I resisted the urge to point two fingers at my eyes and then back at him. Because that only looks cool in sitcoms.

His eyes narrowed, the bright green glowing with annoyance and something that looked almost like...wariness? The muscles on his forearms flexed, but I forced myself to hold his gaze. Why is an investigative reporter so muscular anyway? Isn't he supposed to be constantly swamped, jumping from one phone call to the next, and coping as a secret alcoholic?

We both stood there for a few seconds that felt like agonizingly long minutes, until he blinked and shuffled the papers on his desk again. "Great, then you can show yourself out." His head bowed as if he was pretending I was no longer there.

I can't tell if it's unfair someone who's this talented and good-looking has such a shitty personality, or if it's just the universe balancing him out. For whatever reason, I was disappointed by our meeting. I still am. I understand any reservations he might have had, but to be completely dismissed without even reading what I've written? Now that's a dick move. The Ron Jeremy of dick moves.

So I said, "I'm sure no one's ever told you this before, so I'll be the first. You may be this amazing writer, but you're also a huge disappointment. As a mentor, co-worker, and person." He didn't even look up, and I walked out and went back up to my cubicle.

Ugh I just noticed I wrote the word "window-iest". Apparently, Sullen Cullen also makes me a bad writer. Thank god we won't be seeing or talking to each other in the future. Good riddance.

June 12, 2016

So I went out for the first time this weekend! Small, squirrel-like steps to meeting people and finding some friends. The thing is, I'm not sure if that's what happened last night? Four creepers had their eyes glued to my cleavage the entire two minutes of our conversations, and one girl kept excitedly punching me in the arm. She invited me to sign up at her kickboxing gym, which is...well, that made sense. I politely declined. Do you burn calories from being punched instead of the other way around? If so, then damn, last night was a great workout.

It's weird-I was surrounded by people in the bar, all of whom were chatting and drinking and hanging out like it was a scene from How I Met Your Mother, but I just felt alone. I mean, do you just go up to someone and start talking? Is that weird? Do you try to eavesdrop and jump in at the first opportunity, like *lingers before suddenly dashing in* "OhhhHH! I know, that movie was ridiculously underrated, right guys? Right? Guys?"

This is what happens when you go to college at 14. Your social skills are impaired for life.

Womp womp. I think I'm going to cut this short before I pull the world's tiniest violin out and weep in the corner. Maybe I'll meet some people at work. Work friends are a thing, right?


June 14, 2016

So I found a great place to have lunch-this small, quiet room tucked in between the blue conference room and and a writer's office. One of the Health & Wellness reporters-Tanya something. I wonder if she's a super peppy, Fabletics-wearing type or more of a New Age, incense-burning yogi? Either way, I bet she has killer abs.

I've been reading some of the original articles and content from Off the Record in an attempt to learn more and figure out where I fit. There's a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor and fun, which just makes serious articles like Cullen's even more misplaced. Or impressive? There's no doubt he's a great writer, Pulitzer nom or not, with the uncanny way he describes emotions that seem to bleed from every scene. I almost cried from reading one passage about a tree, when it was made clear that tree stood stubbornly among the burning chaos and refugee camps, a metaphor interwoven throughout the article.

Based on the comments, he's pretty well-liked, and there were even a couple of comments over his appearance. The cream of the crop was, "I want to wrap my fingers around that Mufasa mane of yours and guide you to my holy land you scrumptious ginger you". Bwahahahahaha. God, I love the Internet sometimes. I'd pay money to see the look on his face if he ever saw that.

Whoops, staff meeting time. Time to present my ideas.

June 15, 2016

Another unsuccessful happy hour. I guess that's why people don't go out on Wednesdays? Real slim pickings there. There's another "new person/transplant" thing this weekend, so I'll have to check that out. Damn you, TV shows that build up unrealistic expectations of making friends in a new place. I'm looking at you, Friends. Oh, and being on a break does not excuse your fuck boy actions, Ross. #Bullshit #Semantics

Ahem. The staff meeting! I can't believe I didn't lead with that. Surprisingly, it went well. My responses earned a few reluctantly cracked smiles and a double crack-enhanced thumbs up from Jake. Maybe this wasn't such a crazy idea after all? Sullen Cullen just sat there, pouting. Ok, it was more of a frown. When asked about his "mentorship", I breezily replied, "He's great. Very helpful, with detailed comments and fun trivia facts." This caused his frown to deepen to Voldemort levels, and I had to cough to hide my laugh. Seriously, if he wasn't such a jerk I bet he'd be a decent-

Crap, my mom's calling again.

June 16, 2016

Reader questions:

In love with best friend who doesn't notice him. Wants to know if he should make a move or keep pretending to himself. Love Actually, unrequited love, etc.

Likes bf's friend but he's around 24/7. What to do? Commit murder and bury the body. Ha. Sock and lock system?

How do you make new friends after college? ….Bueller?



Green apples

Ground turkey

2 cans of tomatoes/chilies

Taco seasoning


How is this related to my writing? This is so not professional. No more grocery lists!

June 19, 2016

So my happy hour endeavors keep failing. People are nice here, but damn, put away your business cards. I have a margarita in my hand, dude. Not a job opening.

Social aspects aside, I really like the city, and spent all of yesterday at the Library of Congress, which is officially my second home. God, I love libraries. My best friends have always been my books, which is partially why I spent so much time in school to begin with.

Am I Belle from Beauty and the Beast?

Sigh. Maybe I should have gone to Seattle instead? I'm not a fan of overcast weather, though, but I don't mind rain. Plus, there are tons of hot doctors there. Granted, I'd never go back on account of what happened, but you know. The what ifs.

I can't believe it's been two weeks since I moved here. My walls are still mostly bare, aside from a few family photos. I just ordered a welcome mat yesterday, even if it's more ironic at this point. It's fine-I have to work on my responses anyway, and keep reading and learning to improve my writing. That's the reason I came here, and that's what I need to focus on.

Still, just because no one's ever going to read this-I wish I had someone other than my parents to talk to.

June 20, 2016

I think I made a friend! Turns out Tanya Something or Denali, is a pretty cool person. She heard me giggling over the latest comments on "35 Reactions Every Twenty-Something Will Understand", and asked if she could join me for lunch. Apparently she thought my responses in the staff meeting were hilarious and appreciated the balance of truth and humor.

In other words, she's my new best friend.

We have a crazy amount in common-taste in TV, movies, and books. She's actually not like either of the two stereotypes I'd pictured, and just enjoys trying out different exercise programs and dietary trends. She's got a Master's in public health and wants to approach her articles from that perspective, so it's not all "Five ways to kick that belly fat" and "Paper: safe for eating too?" We're meeting up for drinks next weekend! Might I actually have some fun in the city?

Anywho, I have to get back to writing. But progress! I'm so excited that I don't even care how sad this looks on paper right now. Much.

June 23, 2016

Huh. Something weird happened. I'd emailed my drafts to SC as a formality, but didn't expect him to read them. Actually, Tanya was nice enough to provide some helpful feedback and tips, so I didn't think I'd need his help.

The surprising thing isn't that I'm wrong. It's how he told me.

He sent me an invite to review my draft in his office around 3, and I legitimately stared at it like it was an email from my ex, Max, who broke up with me because we were "too different". He wasn't wrong-and now I have a rule about not dating idiots with a foot fetish. Ugh.

Disturbing tangent aside, I accepted it and went down to meet him, where he told me he had read through my stuff. ! He crossed his arms and cleared his throat. "You've got...potential. There's a few ambiguities and style inconsistencies, but it's not bad." Is that a pig flying outside my window?

I blinked rapidly. "Um. Thank you. I had someone read over it so it's been edited." #Humblebrag

He rolled his eyes. "Well, it's still a long way off from being published. Set something up in my calendar-we'll discuss the changes then."

I knew he'd reveal his rotten jerk center. "Is this you offering your help? Because last I checked, I get to say no." I mean, I won't.

He smirked and leaned back in his fancy, Swedish chair. "You won't. Because you're not an idiot. Like you said, I may be a disappointment, but I'm an amazing writer."

I clenched my fists. "Fine. But if you think I'm going to stand here and take-"

"Doesn't it get tiring to put on your feminist pants and defend yourself all the time?" He cocked his head, smirking slightly.

"Probably just as tiring for you not to be an asshole," I fired back.

His green eyes flashed as he stood up. And this part-I mean, truth be told, he basically stalked towards me. I gulped but otherwise didn't move. He's not wearing Spandex, but it's obvious how lean and muscular he is underneath the dress shirt and jeans. A swimmer's or soccer player's build.

He leaned against his desk lined with all of those prestigious and pointy writing awards, and studied me. I stared back and took in the messy hair, the defined jaw, and the blazing, darkened gaze. He looked like he wanted to strangle me, and I'm sure it was reciprocated.

How the hell am I supposed to work with him?

June 27, 2016

Oh God. Alcohol is poison. Just because I know what's happening to me does not make it less painful.

I'll keep this short because I think I'm going to throw up again. Last night, Tanya and I went out with some of her crazy, wonderful party friends. We bar-hopped along 14th St and I remember drunkenly laughing and dancing and drinks...blerguhhhhhh

Just threw up again for the second time this morning. Has water always tasted this disgusting?

I did have a really fun time, even before I apparently got shitfaced. I guess trying to pinpoint my tolerance (and metabolism) is now like a game of Where's Waldo. You're frantically looking for that candy cane-striped fucker until it finally hits you, and you're so proud for a moment until you realize how much time you've wasted. And then you feel so sick that you throw up…?

I'm not making any sense, which does make sense. I'm going to keep lying here until I can open my eyes without wanting to dive face-first into a toilet. But successful weekend was succe-oh shit-

July 2, 2016

I've decided Edward Cullen is like Grumpy Cat-it's obvious how moody and cantankerous he is, but it's also weirdly fascinating. You can't help but wonder how he's almost always like this. If he tried to smile, would his face collapse with the force of his lips going in the other direction?

Although he has pretty nice lips. Full, surrounded by "I don't give a shit" o'clock shadow. Not enough to look like a lumberjack but-

Holy shit. What. Am. I. Typing.

To nobody's surprise, there's been a lot of back and forth between us, speaking at each other vs. speaking to each other. Every three arrogant comments he makes are followed by a decent piece of advice. His observations have been strangely insightful and even useful-which is the only way I tolerate our daily meetings.

Yes, daily. He vowed that since he's publicly "taking me under his wing" then he wasn't going to let me embarrass him. This from the guy who said he didn't have any time to help me at all.

I mentioned some of the books I'd been reading to become a better writer, and he automatically started to shake his head. "The only way you can become better at something is if you practice. And learn from the best. Since you're already doing the latter, you might want to spend more time on actually writing than reading about what other people do." I pointed out that a lot of famous writers received their ideas while reading other writers' works, and he grumbled, "You're not writing a fucking novel. You're an advice columnist, which is a different medium. People read your responses for entertainment value, not to actually improve their lives."

This of course, led to another half hour debate of the legitimacy of his work vs. mine.

In some ways, I see his point-I don't expect to save people from themselves or vice versa. I hope people chuckle or a smile at my words. But his explanations still diminish what I'm doing, and I don't know how to convincingly defend myself without sounding as arrogant as him, or bring up unnecessary details from my past.

At least I know I'm getting better? The comment he left on the last draft was: "Revise and address edits below. I think this is actually publishable."

Such a sweet talker.

July 5, 2016

Fourth of July weekend! I spent most of it on rooftops, hanging out with Tanya and her friends, shooting back jello shots and frozen margaritas. And this time, I only threw up once! Progress!

Plus, I just submitted my final copies to editing! After weeks here, the first responses to the Work in Progress column will be published! I don't think I've felt this nervous/excited since the night before moving here. I don't think I've felt this desperate to prove myself since the first day of my rotation. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh refresh refresh REFRESH

July 5, 2016

Work in Progress-Column #1, Issue 1

Hey there,

This is so cliché, but I have feelings-strong ones-for my best friend of almost nine years. We met in high school, and now we're both working in the city. I've tried dropping hints when we're both single, but she doesn't seem to pick up on them, and sees me as a buddy. Should I just go for it or keep on pretending?


Hi Banger,

Your problem is a common one, but that doesn't make it any less painful or complicated. Real talk: do you think she's completely unaware of how you feel or is she gently telling you she's not interested? If you know her well, especially around other people, then hopefully you can gauge her interest in becoming more than friends with you. If there's a chance, and not just unnecessary heartbreak, then tell her how you feel. Using your words and your gestures. Just don't hate or blame her if she says no; it's not her fault she's uninterested any more than it's yours for having those feelings in the first place. The real question here is, if she says no, can you respect her wishes and choose to be a real friend or will you have to keep pretending?

Also, your username implies you have an amazing DJ career. So at least you have that.

Platonically yours,



I love my boyfriend, but (you know there's a but right) his roommate is around us constantly. They're clearly in the honeymoon part of their bromance, and I feel it encroaching on our relationship! I don't want to be a nag, but how do I get us more alone time?


Hi Shep,

Oof, setting boundaries with the bros is a tricky balancing act. Or at least it can feel that way. You don't want to be the controlling bitch who tells her BF where and when he can be, even if sometimes you both don't need to stay up playing Call of Duty with empty beers cans strewn around the apartment. #RealBrosCleanTheir Shit

Listen, it's understandable you want to stay away from being a "bad girlfriend", but unreasonable for you to stay silent about your concerns. If he truly deserves to spend that time with you, then he'll hear you out, because that's what he should do. Not just as a "good boyfriend", but as a person who cares about you. Use your words, girl. And listen to what he has to say, because hopefully that's what he'll have done for you.

Woolfully yours,



I just moved to this city, and I'm having a hard time making friends. I've been meeting tons of people, but it's been difficult to hang out with anyone. It almost feels awkward to suggest meeting up again at a future date, or maybe that's just my insecurity. Anyway, got any tips?


Hi Cat,

What's your number? I'm allergic to cats, so unfortunately you won't be able to bring all 35 of them, but I frequent the Library of Congress and the Lincoln Memorial. You know, where the cool kids hang out.

In all seriousness, I think meeting people is especially challenging in a place as transient as a city. I recall feeling alone when I first moved here even when I was surrounded by people in a bar. The only friends I have now are work friends, so I would start there for convenience. If there's no one age-appropriate or interest-appropriate, then I would join a few online groups. Ones that don't start with "tin" and end with "der".

Honestly, making friends is similar to dating-you seek people out through common interests and try to make plans with them. Just remember to never compromise your time and be strung along, because that can happen, even in friendships. If you're not a creeper and a nice person-which I suspect you are because I assume that's my audience-then you'll definitely find friends who like you, respect you, and are willing to make time for you. Those are the people you want in your life, and you deserve nothing less. Even if you find yourself surrounded by empty Ben & Jerry's containers, just remember that you're definitely not the only one.

Patiently yours,


July 6, 2016

Holy shit. Apparently, S-I mean, Edward mentioned my column to some of his writing buddies, and they spread the word about my first post. And I mean, high and wide, far and low-

In other words, the site crashed last night. And now I'm a meme? #WIPItGood

What the fuck is going-

Staff meeting time. Gulp.

From: TDenali

To: BSwan

Date: 7/7/16

Subject: Spill spill spill

I knew all those daily meetings weren't just technical and for editing! The way he was looking at you during the staff meeting, plus using his writer hotline to alert the masses? He wants in those stylish yet tasteful pencil skirts, girl.

He may have the personality of a 68 year old, but his body is most def not. He wore a muscle T to the company picnic last year, and I swear I heard an audible sigh ripple through the staff when he took his jacket off. It was glorious. Those forearms, unf.

Anyway, we still on for this weekend? There's a new bar opening in Shaw!


From: BSwan

To: TDenali

Date: 7/7/16

Subject: I'm classy as hell

...And you know it. Plus, I checked and he's done this before. Two months ago, he helped publicize Nathan's sports podcast. He's mentoring me, so it looks bad on him if I mess up. This was all just to make him look good, Tanya. That's why he does everything.

Nice! Is it the new Korean/Mexican fusion place? I've been craving some kimchi tacos.


From: TDenali

To: BSwan

Date: 7/7/16

Subject: You're delusional as hell

He mentioned the podcast during an interview with WaPO. He didn't reach out to his poker group and specifically mention Nathan. Stop being intentionally obtuse.

Not to mention the way he stared at you the entire time during the staff meeting. I don't usually meet his eyes because I'm afraid I'll see the end of the world, but dayyuuummmm. He looked like he was going to pick you up, throw you over his shoulder and club you repeatedly, if ya know what I mean ; ) ; ) ; )

Nah, it's a French place. I'm down for grabbing some Taqueria though.


From: BSwan

To: TDenali

Date: 7/7/16

Subject: Lunch plans

I didn't, which is why the three winky face emojis were so helpful. Queen of subtlety, you are not, Tan.

You're wrong. He always looks like that-angry at the world, kind of constipated. It doesn't resemble anything else. And even if he did want me in that way, I don't want him. So there.

Great! I have lunch plans today, but let's go tomorrow?


From: TDenali

To: BSwan

Date: 7/7/16

Subject: It's with him, isn't it?

When you fuck him, you realize we're devoting an entire day to discuss that experience, right?


From: BSwan

To: TDenali

Date: 7/7/16

Subject: Maybe

...Either way, it's none of your business, is it? :P


July 8, 2016

Fun fact: Edward has sisters. Four of them, to be exact. I don't think I could have handled that much estrogen. He says they're consistently meddling in his life, which is why they're planning a celebratory party for his nomination. And calling every five minutes. "I'm pretty sure I'm adopted," he said wryly.

Not so fun fact: I think I actually might like him. As a person. He's apologized for his behavior initially, before he read my work. That's actually why he reached out like he did-to make up for his shitty introduction. "I know I'm not the easiest person to work with," he said. And then went back to eating his sandwich.

I blinked. "That's it? There's no explanation or but statement?"

He swallowed. "Nope. If you don't want to keep working with me, then that's your choice. I'm going to work you hard, but I think you and I both know it'll be worth it." He smirked before taking a sip of his water.

I blushed, and cursed my reaction. Stupid Tanya and her stupid suggestive emails.

We talked about the article after that, and I asked him about his research on the Syrian refugee crisis. He said he had studied abroad in Syria when he was in college, so to him, covering it was a no-brainer. He reached out to the host family he stayed with and that's when he decided to explore the human costs of the crisis. It's impossible not to be inspired by the way he talks about this, all low determined rumbles with unrestrained urgency. "The Pulitzer is great, but hearing that someone became invested and felt something about this issue-that's the reward. That's the whole fucking point," he explained.

I even got a sneak peek at what he's working on now. It's taken him months of research, but he's going to take a closer look at the opioid epidemic and the social, political, and economic factors that led to its rise.

Whereas one of my questions this week asks if women should go full Brazilian or if that's sexist.

He shook his head, wiping his mouth. "Most guys don't care about that shit. The fact that they get to see a naked woman is good enough."

"Is that your personal opinion?" I asked sarcastically, raising an eyebrow.

He leaned a bit closer and stared at me unblinkingly. "Let's just say that if I had a naked woman under me, she wouldn't be thinking about her grooming habits. She wouldn't be thinking anything at all." His voice was thick and throaty, and I had to fight a shiver. FIGHT.

...And now I'm thinking about those forearms and what they'd look like grabbing onto a sturdy bedframe, as he-

Welp, bedtime.

July 25, 2016

Just submitted my next few responses! Now that I've been publishing some of my work, other staff have popped by my cubicle and offered their congrats and compliments! I think I actually have fans! *pops champagne*

As promised, Edward's been er-keeping me occupied these past few weeks. For some reason, he prefers to meet in person because he hates the back and forth with emails. "Why would I spend an hour getting something done when I can finish it in a few minutes?" He growled.

"Because technology makes everything more efficient?" I answered innocently.

His lips twitched. "I'm not letting you hide from me that easily," he replied, his hands over his head. Does he know that's the best angle for those damn forearms? Maybe he practices this in front of the mirror, flexing?

He smiled with shark-like satisfaction. "Even if you did, I'd just find you. Again and again."

CREEPER ALERT. I held my hand up. "That's the worst thing you've ever said to me," I pointed out. "I get that you're a caveman and all, but please try to suppress your animal urges."

That smile grew. Jackass. "Why should I? What would you do?"

I glare, my skin prickling with heat. "You don't want to find out."

His shrewd gaze lingers on me for a few seconds more as he drummed his fingers on the table between us. "Well, I'd hate to prove you wrong. Let's talk about the last draft."

With that, the familiar tension passed again. This is getting too weird. The worst part is, I'm uncomfortable...but it's not entirely unwelcome.

Oh god, I can't even say it. But damn, my dreams have been interesting these past few days. Last night I dreamt that he swept away all those awards and papers from his desk, took off his shirt with that one handed backwards grab every hot guy is trained to do, and then I hopped my ass onto that table and reached for his belt as his hands grabbed and pushed me closer to his crotch, grinding and rolling and kissing and ripping and thrusting-

I need some water.

August 2, 2016


One of my good friends said something pretty sexist last night, and while I didn't confront him about it, I'm still bothered by his comment. Should I bring it up or just leave it alone? I don't want to make things weird between us.


Hey Wonderland,

I think you answered your own question and just want some cheerleading, which I can do but without the outfit. And maybe the pom poms too. What he said still bothers you, so you should absolutely address it. If he's really a good friend, then he'll listen to what you have to say. If he does or doesn't agree, then it's time to dump his ignorant ass. Remember-people aren't born jerks, they're given opportunities to be created. So don't give your friend that opportunity. Or use this opportunity to find a better friend. We might get a female president; it's time to get with the program and out of the rabbit hole.

-Whimsically yours,


Hey WIP,

I got out of a long term relationship a few months ago, and just started dating. I have no idea what I'm doing, and even though I know my ex and I are over, I keep comparing every guy I meet to him. Should I keep dating?


Hey Over,

You're totally allowed your moment of insecurity, but trust yourself when you say you're over your ex. Accept that he might pop up every once in awhile, especially when you're trying to move on and find a better, more compatible partner. If you truly don't feel ready, then take a break to focus on you-pick up a hobby, binge something on Netflix, clean your apartment. But keep in mind that when it comes to dating, none of us really know what we're doing. That's what makes meeting the person who's worth it all the more satisfying.

-Optimistically yours,


Hey W,

I'm a bit of a late bloomer, and just became sexually active with a guy I'm dating two weeks ago at 25. I'm pretty sure we're going to see each other naked soon, and I don't know if it's fashionable to go completely bare or keep it European? What should I do?


-Hey Voom,

There's really no standard, despite what you see in the media (re: porn). Some people think that going full Patrick Stewart is desirable, while others think you'll attract a Jared Fogle. As long as you're happy with how you look, then that's all that matters. He's a guy who hopefully likes and respects you-he should be lucky that he gets to see you naked in the first place. You're all the vavavoom, bare or not, that he needs.

-Groomingly yours,


August 5, 2016

Whew. Another long, exhausting week complete. Instead of going out with Tanya, I decided to grab dinner from Chipotle and marathon Parks and Recreation instead. Mainly because I'll be spending my evening tomorrow schmoozing at Edward's nomination party…

Ok, yes. He invited me, and it probably isn't the smartest idea, especially given my out of place fantasies as of late. We still argue, but it's filled with heat-I feel like I'm one of those frogs dropped into a simmering pot, not realizing they're being boiled alive until it's too late.

Wow, that's morbid. No more listening to Serial before bedtime.

I'm not sure how to process this. Edward is a smart, funny, and interesting guy. He's even managed to minimize his jackassness, and it feels like he's been...increasingly flirty. He asked me if I were single the other day, and I was so taken aback that I stammered out a yes. He nodded before ducking his head, but I didn't miss the small twitch of his lips.

What is happening? Does he actually like me? Is this just physical? Can I even answer the same questions about him?

Maybe I'll figure it out before I show up at the party tomorrow. Ugh, my stomach hurts.

August 6, 2016


Remember when I was hungover a few weeks ago and felt like I was dying? Yeah, I don't either. I've thrown up three times now and consumed nothing but wheat bread and hot water. That barely stayed down. I don't have a fever so it's not the flu, but it could be some other type of infection. I'm not on any medications so it can't be a side effect. I haven't consumed any alcohol in the past 24 hours. Definitely not pregnant. Why would-

Wait. No. NO.

The burrito bowl...has betrayed me?!

August 6, 2016

I don't understand what I've done to deserve this rather violent bout of food poisoning. Is this payback for the chapstick I stole from Walgreens in the 9th grade? If so, I regret my decision. Mostly because the color made me look like a deranged clown hooker.

At least I managed to email Edward in a rare moment of consciousness earlier to let him know I won't be making the party tonight. Not that he desperately wanted me to be there or anything, having mentioned my invite in a "P.S." of an email. Way to make a girl feel special. See? Clearly I've just been delusional. He and I are not-

Shit, someone's at the door. Wait, it's almost midnight and I'm not expecting anyone. Am I about to get axe-murdered? Who-

Oh my God. It's Edward.

August 7, 2016

So here's a weird sentence: Edward Cullen, formerly known as "Sullen Cullen", stayed in my apartment last night. He showed up, visibly angry, demanding to know where I was, until he saw me wrapped around a giant afghan and five blankets like a walking yurt. I swear I saw something that looked like concern in his eyes….until he left without saying anything.

Exhausted beyond belief, I just closed the door and crawled back into bed. A half hour later, he was back again, only this time he brought groceries (?):

I cleared my burning throat. "What are you doing here? Why aren't you at the party?"

He calmly unpacked the groceries, pulling out a giant container of broth, vegetables, and chicken. The fact that I didn't throw up from the smell alone indicated an improvement in my condition, btw. "Party's over. You're sick, and you need chicken soup. Not the store bought shit, either."

I'm sure I looked bewildered as hell. I actually thought I was hallucinating, or had already passed and this was my version of crossing the river Styx. So I didn't say anything, and went back to bed. Eventually, I felt pressure near my feet and turned to see him sitting there, on my bed (!) with a bowl of steaming soup.

He gently nudged me. "Come on, you need to eat something."

I burrowed deeper into my soft blankets. Warm. "Your bedside manner needs work."

More gentle nudging. "Bella, sit up for me. Just for a few minutes."

My eyes stayed shut. "Say the magic word." Evidently, I'm healthy enough to still fuck with him.

He growled. "Please."

So I opened my eyes and carefully sat up. He gently tipped the bowl towards my mouth, and I took a few slurps. And not lady-like, delicate sips. Lengthy, dog-slobbering slurps. Damn, that soup was delicious. When I finished, he set the bowl down on my nightstand and took my temperature, even at my protests. I passed out again shortly afterward, so I'm not sure what he did around my apartment (#strangerdanger), but when I woke up it had been completely fumigated. The dishes were done, the garbage taken out, and a giant pot of homemade chicken soup sat in my fridge.

Here's an even weirder sentence: Edward Cullen, with all his Grumpy Cat-ness and smirky suggestive comments, would make a decent boyfriend.


From: BSwan

To: ECullen

Date: 8/8/16

Subject: Thanks for the memories

...And the chicken soup. Frankly, I'm impressed that you can cook. You don't seem like the domesticated type.

Next time you have food poisoning or the flu-I'm there. I can't make you homemade chicken soup, but you will weep at the awesomeness that is my lasagna.


From: ECullen

To: BSwan

Date: 8/8/16

Subject: What do they say about books and covers again?

Too bad I'm not a fan of lasagna. I stayed half-awake for most of the night because of your snoring, Swan. You're going to have to do better than lasagna. Tortellini, at least.


From: BSwan

To: ECullen

Date: 8/8/16

Subject: How Italian do you think I am?

Careful Cullen; you're the sick, vulnerable one in this scenario. There are many other things that I can do to you without your knowing. Legal things, but still. Be very afraid.


From: ECullen

To: BSwan

Date: 8/8/16

Subject: Italian enough to make tortellini...google it

I think your "threat" has the opposite effect of what you intend, Bella. But I'm more than happy to accommodate your twisted fantasies. I wouldn't have guessed you prefer being on top.


From: BSwan

To: ECullen

Date: 8/8/16

Subject: Bite me Cullen

From: ECullen

To: BSwan

Date: 8/8/16

Subject: Don't tempt me Swan

From: BSwan

To: TDenali

Date: 8/8/16

Subject: Continued professional work discussions

NOTHING HAPPENED. For the last time, stop smiling and winking at me. It's weird, and I don't feel that way about you. Not because you're of the same sex either, but because you're a freak.

IF something were to happen….how would this work? Is there a rule against co-workers seeing each other?

I can't believe I'm considering this. You'd slap me if this were all in my head, right?


From: TDenali

To: BSwan

Date: 8/8/16

Subject: Sexy, sexy, sex time

Bitch, please. You know the highlight of your day is having lunch with me.

I look like that because I'm thrilled for you! There aren't any rules, and I don't think I've met any of his other girlfriends or whatever since I started working here. He's pretty reclusive, if you haven't been able to tell. Not that he can't get it, but I think you're safe on the STD front. Although you should both definitely still be tested! #NationalSTDTestingDay #publichealth

I mean, he stayed in your apartment and slept over. He cleaned your apartment, fed you SOUP, and did your DISHES for god's sake. I'm a feminist and all, but that alone is worth the price of admission. If his twin brother did that for me, we'd still be rolling around in my bed.

Just ask him out for drinks and then coquettishly lure him back to your place, pushing him down on your bed before having your way with him. Or wow him with your wit and charm. Whatever gets you laid. I've mentioned you need to get laid, right? When was the last time you had sex?

You crazy kids equally excite and frustrate me. Now go get it girl!


From: BSwan

To: TDenali

Date: 8/8/16

Subject: I hate you

You and I both know I'm not answering that. At least not in an office email! What if the IT guys read this and know everything about my non-existent love life? What if Anonymous hacks us and leaks everything? *frantically deletes Internet search history*

Fine, I'll ask him out for drinks. Because this weekend was pretty cute. Wait, does this mean Edward Cullen has more game than I do?


August 9, 2016

Well, I almost did it. I almost asked him out, despite my insecurities and concerns. I thought this weekend meant...something, and I guess I was completely wrong.

Somehow I feel even emptier than when I had food poisoning. More to come.

August 10, 2016

Apparently, Edward's been a shitty mood all day, snapping at other writers and even chewing out Jake out in their monthly meeting. Jake-who's like a bunny hopped up on PCP.

Where to begin? I went down to his office yesterday to ask him out for drinks or coffee, but instead of his usual smirk or raised eyebrow, I got an inquisitive look, the kind that makes you think they know something you don't. So I stammered and danced around a bit until he interrupted me with this bombshell:

"Bella, did you previously practice medicine?"

My eyebrows tried to make a run for it, as my mouth gaped. "E-excuse me?"

He leaned forward, his hands clenching the edges of his desk. "You're Izzy Swan, aren't you? The child prodigy who graduated from medical school at 22?"

SHITSHITSHITSHITSHIT. I swallowed, feeling my stomach drop. "What are you really asking?" For once, my voice was much quieter than his.

He ran his fingers through his hair as I frantically tried to think of something, even though I was pissed as all hell that he had found out. I had fought to keep that information confidential; it was actually one of my requests when I had been hired. No one should have been able to find out.

Counterpoint: he's an investigative reporter. Well, fuck.

He searched my eyes with his, the intense green bright with confusion. "You were a pediatric oncologist, weren't you?" His tone was calm but after all the time we'd spent together, I detected the determined steeliness underneath.

"Please let this go," I pleaded softly, my voice uncharacteristically solemn. I'd long since given up trying to explain or justify my actions, especially when I didn't have to. Maybe foolishly, I had hoped that when I told him, on my own terms, he would understand.

His expression grew shuttered, even a bit agitated. "I don't understand. Why would you leave and come here to be an advice columnist?" His derisive emphasis on the last two words made me wince, and I forced myself to think of the techniques I'd learned in therapy to ground myself.

It felt like the first day all over again, when he dismissed my work without taking a glance. He sounded like my mentor who asked me why in the hell I'd ever abandon my training. He sounded like Dr. Renner, the therapist who gently advised me to reconsider my choice.

So I forgot the chicken soup, the mentorship, the possibility of anything more. He'd clearly worked hard to find the answers, so I'd give him exactly what he wanted.

"I was 13 when I decided to go to medical school, as a high school senior." I waited for the widening of the eyes or open mouthed shock but he just kept his gaze steady on mine, completely in journalist mode. "I didn't have any friends and I barely knew how to interact with people my age. So I spent most of my time volunteering at the local hospital, specifically with kids who had been diagnosed with cancer. The staff and the patients were inspiring, and I admired their constant optimism and dedication. I followed their lead and specialized in pediatric oncology, eventually doing my residency at Mass Gen in Boston."

I felt like a fruit that still needed a day or two to achieve ripeness, but was forced to be peeled and prepared for consumption now.

"Everything was great," I continued shakily. "I loved the staff and my patients, even though the work was a lot harder than I'd anticipated. I lost five patients my first year, but I convinced myself that this was normal. I couldn't save everyone. One of my favorite patients was actually this twelve year old from Omaha. She was obsessed with some ridiculous advice column-Dear Maggie, I think it was called. She made me read it to her every day, and I happily did so even when I could barely keep my eyes open."

I looked away, glancing at the ceiling before staring at the corner of his desk. "She had acute lymphocytic leukemia that was too advanced so there were limited treatment options. And then one day, she didn't wake up at all. That was last October, and when I decided to take a break from medicine. Six months later, I started a blog loosely inspired by Dear Maggie, and left my job permanently."

My eyes met his again, and I could see the sympathy infecting his objective gaze and the shock that had already started to morph into an unspoken apology. But it wasn't enough, so I took a shuddering breath to find some stability, making sure my voice was clear and strong with what I said next.

"I know you think what I do is frivolous and unimportant. I'm not reporting on the state of any wars, economic affairs, or political negotiations. I'll probably never be nominated for a Pulitzer. But sometimes people want to escape from how unfair and dark the world really is. Knowing what happens and how the world works does not make it easier to deal with, so if my unimportant little column provides some kind of relief, however temporary, then I can live with that. Trust me when I tell you that's much easier to live with than telling parents that their child isn't going to live to past her next birthday."

I managed to smile bitterly and blink away the tears. "I wasn't there on Saturday, so I never got the chance to tell you-congratulations on your nomination, Edward. You truly deserve it."

And then I strolled out of that office. I'm proud I made it home before I started crying.

From: TDenali

To: BSwan

Date: 8/12/16

Subject: Baseball bats and camo

I have plenty of both. And I have a car for a speedy getaway.

For the record (see what I did there?), I think it's kickass you were a doctor. The prodigy, eh, I always knew you were a nerd. Don't start thinking ya betta than me, Swan. I can still take you in public health trivia. #TriviaTuesdays

Has he reached out to you? Are you going to reply?

At least come over for tequila and ice cream. I can pick up some Everything but the… and Cherry Garcia.


August 15, 2016

I thought the weekend would make me feel more optimistic, but it's only made me realize that I'm in way deeper than I realized with this jerk/jackass/asshole. Why would he pry into my past and interrogate me? Why would he spend all of that time helping me become a better writer if he doesn't even take me seriously?

Whatever. It's time to move on. It doesn't matter how I feel-I don't believe he respects me and what I do, which means we don't have a future together. Back to work and giving advice to people. Whoo. I wonder what-


August 15, 2016


I recently started to mentor a co-worker after a particularly disastrous introduction. Her writing is filled with personality and heart, which is why I told her to stop reading those horrible "Writing for Dummies" books. She doesn't need them, and it's clear that she'll barely need me in a few weeks. The problem is, I want to keep spending time with her, not just as a co-worker but as something else. What should I do?

-Edward Cullen, professional jackass


We've been getting lunch a few times a week now, and it's become the highlight of my day. Sometimes, it's the only thing I look forward to-seeing her, teasing her, wondering what it'd be like if I just reached over and kissed her. I've considered asking her out for drinks or something casual, but I've been told I'm a stuffy asshole. Maybe it's all in my head. What should I do?

-Edward Cullen, king of jerks


My family threw me a party for me, and I invited her. Normally, I'd have a good time, but she never showed up. It felt like leaving your house with everything but your keys. You look like you have everything you need-shirt, pants, shoes, phone-but then you reach into your pockets and realize the most important thing, maybe the only thing that matters, is missing.

So I went over to her apartment and found her, gaunt and miserably sick. I ended up staying over and making her chicken soup, which somehow became the best part of my night even though we barely spoke.

I don't think this is temporary anymore, WIP. What should I do?

-Edward Cullen, confused idiot

Hey WIP,

So I fucked up. Spectacularly. I crossed boundaries I shouldn't have, and further proved that I don't respect her work, which used to be true. I cared only about finding answers to my questions, and I think I hurt her in the process.

I just want her to know that I'm so incredibly fucking sorry. If someone else had treated her the way I did, then he'd be in the hospital right now. If that someone were a woman, then I'd have yelled at her in my loud voice.

She doesn't have to forgive me, but I can't help but wonder if she'd allow me to prove that I respect her and what she does. To somehow fix this. What should I do?

-Edward Cullen, journalistic asshole

August 15, 2016

Shit he's coming. WIP, what should I-oh, wait that's me. Damn it!

From RClemmons

To TBaumgartner

Date: 8/15/16

Subject: Something out of the Notebook

Seriously, that whole thing was fucking adorable. Why doesn't my boyfriend ever do something like that?

Poor Bella. She looked like a defenseless deer in the woods sitting in her chair when Edward strolled to her cubicle. Opening and closing his mouth. "I don't deserve you," he started. Whoo, that gravelly voice of his. "But I want to." Shit just got real, y'all. Did anyone know there was something going on between these two?

Bella's lips pursed and she stood up, crossing her arms and staring him down. Literally standing up for herself, no matter how hot the guy. #I'mWithHer

And then her priceless response: "Prove it."

Loooooove! Bow down, y'all because there's a new queen in town.


From: TBaumgartner

To: SWilson

Date: 8/15/16

Subject: That kiss though

I don't know about you, but I am so jumping my boyfriend when I go home tonight. Goddamn, that chemistry. I thought they would just get to it right there, with the way he held her and her arms clasped around his neck. I have a newfound appreciation for Edward Cullen's death glare.

They both moved at the same time, right? It's a bit disturbing how obsessed I am with OTR's newest (and only) power couple already, but I need to know! They're like our Kate and William!


From: SWilson

To: EStengel

Date: 8/15/16

Subject: Bedward

Oh my God, the thing with the WIP posts? RIP ME. Who would have thought there was an actual beating heart under that navy shirt-clad, rippling exterior? And who cares if she's a prodigy who left medicine? Bella's an amazing writer and a hilarious chick. We both routinely catch up over the Bachelor by the kitchen, since it's apparently too good for anyone else here. This from a website that posted, "15 Reasons why Anal Sex is Underrated".

When's your brother back in town again? It's not tonight, is it?

From: EStengel

To: AMcKay

Date: 8/15/16

Subject: Estrogen overload

I think all the women on this floor are going insane over what just happened. Thank god my girlfriend doesn't work here; today's display would've put my birthday flowers to shame.

The WIP thing was pretty creative though. Who knew Cullen had game? I still think Bella's way too good for him. We talked about the Seahawks vs. Patriots game for like twenty minutes last week. If I wasn't happy with Grace, I would have asked Bella out a long time ago.

We still on for the winery on Saturday? Grace said it might rain so we might need to bring raincoats or something, even though I told her we should probably just reschedule. This led to another hour-long fight over how I never listen or support her.

Hopefully Bella's not that crazy.

August 19, 2016

I slept with him on the first date. I know it's kinda slutty, even though it's 2016 and slut shaming shouldn't be a thing but-

Oh my God, it was so worth the wait. He picked me up at my place, drove me to this nice Georgetown restaurant on the waterfront, and we spent hours there, just talking, laughing, sipping. He said that everything he wrote in the WIPs were true, and that he hadn't been sure if I felt anything for him aside from annoyance or anxiety (yupp). Apparently, he was impressed by my writing but couldn't have predicted his interest or attraction to me until it hit him the night of his party, when I wasn't there.

I told him that I wasn't going to waste my time with someone who doesn't respect me or my work. I even opened up a bit about my experience with treating Betsy Randall, the girl I'd mentioned previously, and barely held it together.

He confessed he's not the best communicator (ha) and shouldn't have attacked me the way he did. "I was biased against you, and you're right. You may not be reporting on the current news topics, but that doesn't make your words less meaningful," he acknowledged. "I should have tried to understand even before you told me."

My shoulders relaxed. "Thank you," I replied quietly. "This doesn't mean you're off the hook though."

He smiled. "I know."

As for my past, he doesn't think less of my decisions at all; if anything, those are the reasons that-

And then he stopped talking abruptly. I'm still not sure if I wanted him to finish his sentence.

No, I guess I don't. But I wonder what it would be like if he did. Would it be at a nice restaurant, overlooking somewhere scenic? Would he look at me like no one else has before, and smile like he's got a secret? Would he stroke my cheek and inhale shakily, as I prepared myself? Would he sound like he meant it, in a way to no one else but me?

Would I say it back?

From: TDenali

To: BSwan

Date: 8/22/16

Subject: Pay up bitch

C'mon. I saw you both walk out of here together last Friday. And now you have a weird limp. Spill it, Swan.


From: BSwan

To: TDenali

Date: 8/22/16

Subject: Nosy bitch

Fine. But only because you've been there from the beginning and I still owe you after the last time I puked all over your Pradas. Sorry.

I'll fast forward past the date, since you'd probably skip it anyway. We went back to my place and drank some water to sober up. We were on the couch when he made his move. This isn't surprising, but damn he's a good kisser. He knows exactly where to push and lick and taste, until my clothes became uncomfortably heavy on my skin. I felt like I had to be naked and feel his skin on mine, as tightly against it as possible.

So I was.

It wasn't perfect, but it was us. I remember digging into smooth, warm muscle while his hands left marks on my hips, thighs, and butt. His mouth traveled everywhere and I copied the same trails on his body, leaving behind small marks of my own. At some point, it wasn't fun anymore-it was excruciating. I needed him, and practically sobbed when he finally slid in. His eyes were almost black, the pupils swallowed whole, and I smoothed his straining shoulder muscles as he forced himself not to move, knowing I was still adjusting. When I finally nodded and told him it was ok, he clenched his jaw and went deeper. So much deeper.

Needless to say, I totally get why you're so sex-crazed now. It's not like we had ten thousand orgasms or everything he did was super awesome, but damn did he try. At one point, he had my legs on his shoulders and it felt like we were both in some pornographic yoga/cardio fusion class. I don't think I've ever had an Orgasm with other guys before, since they usually finish before I do, but Edward held out like a marathon runner. He tried different things, at different angles, for different lengths of time. When it finally happened, I think I saw Jesus and gave him a high five.

We slept until noon the next day, when we cuddled and split a pint of Half Baked. Which might have migrated from the container and consumed...elsewhere. Heh.

Congratulations, Tanya. I'm officially as dirty-minded as you are. Not that Edward seems to mind ;)


November 1, 2016

Wow. I don't know whether to be horrified or impressed. This was supposed to be your professional writing notebook? You barely wrote about work and only included a handful of WIP entries. If anything, this is proof of how deeply in love with me you were/are.

I'm sure we'll have an interesting discussion about some of your observations (Grumpy cat? Really Bella?) but for now, I'll answer one of the outstanding questions that you never followed up on. Not that I blame you, since you've been too exhausted to keep up with journaling at night anyway. #SorryNotSorry.

It was a Tuesday afternoon, and we were having lunch at that coffeeshop with those gingerbread cookies that you secretly love but say you can't have for stupid reasons. Yes, telling me it'll go straight to your ass is a stupid reason, Bella. If anything, that's just an incentive for me to secretly crush them into your coffee.

We had both just finished lunch and you were talking about the next WIP entry. I can't remember what exactly it was, because I was too busy thinking of how to tell you. I thought about doing something with WIP, similar to what I'd done before, but this felt more private. I told our entire office how I felt about you because I wanted to, but the only person who needs to hear this, is you.

I think you noticed me staring and being a little too quiet, so you narrowed your eyes. Your nose did that twitch, like a rabbit, as if you can smell when something's suspicious. You asked me if something was wrong, and I just smiled. This caused you to raise your eyebrows in alarm (thanks for that), and I leaned forward, grinning.

"I love you," I said quietly but firmly.

Falling in love is like experiencing the first snowfall of the season. You watch the snowflakes start to pile up the night before with a picture of what the next day will look like, but you don't get that childlike wonder or excited hope until the next morning, when you stand there and feel like you're witnessing something extraordinary, even though you know this happens all the time.

"I love you too." Watching your face light up and soften, your lips automatically curl into a smile, as if it were a reflex?

It was my Christmas morning.

I mentally reached up to dog-ear the page we were on, already thinking of all the possibilities that lay ahead. I've been in love with you for a lot longer than you probably want to know, Bella. And while we're on that topic-I'm going to ask you what might be the most important question of our lives one day. And I hope that you'll say yes.

From: BSwan

To: ECullen

Date: June 6, 2017

Subject: You're an idiot

But yes.



From: ECullen

To: BSwan

Date: June 6, 2017

Subject: I'm your idiot

Until death do us part. Make sure you have your draft in by 5 PM.