A/N: *waves* Hi everyone! This was inspired by "Want You Bad" by The Offspring and was written for the Beyond the Bedroom contest, but I ran out of my personal free time, so I couldn't finish and submit it. I have added more stuff to it off and on since then, so it'll end up being a little bit longer than the contest's 10k word limit. Update schedule is planned for once a week (every Friday)!
My beautiful fic wifey, blueeyedcherry, beta'd this, but she hasn't looked at it since I tweaked it, so any errors are mine. I will eventually replace chapters with fixed versions if need be.
DISCLAIMER: This story is mine; Twilight and its inclusive material is copyright to Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended.
"Edward, you have a call waiting from Canvas magazine."
I turn toward the front desk, catching Billy's eye. He points at my office door—like I don't know where it is—as he answers another call. The smartass, wheelchair-bound man of sixty wanted to keep working after a car accident left him paralyzed, but he couldn't stay on as a mechanic. He's a strong-willed man, and after several failed attempts at trying to do everything he did before the accident, he agreed to work the front desk. He realized that he was still damn good at the hood level of a car, but not so much with the underbelly, and would assist as often as he could.
I sigh and put down my spray gun, glad the call is now instead of after I've started the paint job. I hate stopping once I've started. I weave my way through the shop and close the door once I'm inside my office. Picking up the phone, I press the button next to the flashing light and start what I'm sure will be just another request for a new, one of a kind design.
"This is Edward."
"Hi, Edward, this is Mary with Canvas magazine. How are you today?" the happy woman on the other end of the line asks.
I'd like to be a dick and tell her I don't have time for pleasantries, but they've helped put my work out there, so I can't. "I'm fine, and yourself?"
"Oh, just as wonderful as ever," she says with a giggle. I roll my eyes and nod, knowing this girl probably begged to be the one to call me again. The ladies love my voice over the phone because, as one source phrased it, "it's like phone sex." "Anyway, I'm calling because we have a new issue coming out in a couple of months and we want to feature you, your shop, and your work with one of our models, so we need to set up a time to come by for the shoot …"
I nod along, even though she can't see me, as I absentmindedly organize my desk, acknowledging her in the appropriate places—until one detail breaks through my distracted mind.
"So, my boss, myself, the photographer, and Bella will be there for the photoshoot this coming Saturday, and Sunday—"
"I'm sorry, could you repeat that last name?" She didn't just say—
"Bella. She's the model we'll be using for the piece." She pauses for a couple seconds, then continues, "Is there a problem? Bella is one of our best, and I don't know if I should be telling you this, but she fought really hard to be the one–"
"No," I interrupt. "No, it's fine; great, actually! I was just, uh, making sure I heard you right." Good cover, dude. I roll my eyes at myself and she continues talking. A couple of minutes later, I hang up the phone and relax back into my chair.
Bella Swan. I haven't seen her in person for almost two years now, and we've talked only a handful of times during that time. Sure, we follow each other on our professional social media, as well as on our private accounts, but we're hardly on with our busy schedules. Or maybe it's just me? That's the thing about best friends, though—you can spend months not talking and then pick up right where you left off.
Growing up together, we shared a lot of firsts. We admitted our first crushes to one another on the same day. Hers was a boy by the name of Tyler Crowley and mine was Jessica Stanley. We shared our first cigarette, cliff-dive, tattoo and piercing, but we were never each other's first kiss or sexual experience. As a matter of fact, the only intimate thing we'd shared was a drunken kiss at midnight at the age of twenty-two, during a New Year's Eve party. It was never brought up again since I always feared it would ruin our relationship. But now, as successful adults, I don't think I can take it anymore. My twenty-eighth birthday just passed and hers is in a couple months' time, and neither of us has found that special someone—our partner-in-crime.
I've been a pussy for far too long, so enough is enough. I've been in love with Bella for what feels like our entire lives. She's everything I want and need, and as a tattooed and pierced pole fitness instructor and model, she fits perfectly in my world.
(end of phone call)
"Take care. Bye!" Mary ends the call, clasps her hands in front of her on the desk, and then looks at me. Her poker face is fucking perfect. Bitch.
"Well? Are you gonna tell me or am I gonna have to threaten your Milton-like stapler?" I say with frustration as I reach over and pick up her red stapler, holding it up by my face.
She laughs, "If we weren't friends, you'd be in trouble for that little outburst. But, yes, I'll tell you, so relax, stapler hater. He sounded a little surprised, so I said what I needed to, but it wasn't needed. He said it wasn't a problem, but actually great." I smile and nod, satisfied with that answer.
"Now," she makes a shooing motion, "go away. I have a few other calls to make for Irina, and I may have to do some begging. Alistair really fucked things up the last time we had to work with these clients." She shakes her head in disapproval, muttering about needing a raise if things work out.
I chuckle as I stand and turn to leave, smirk on my face. In six days, the highly-sought-after, custom auto body detailing man will be mine, and this issue will officially confirm it to the world. Finally, Operation: Edward's Mine is a go.