Hi all! Short first chapter. The rest are longer. This will update weekly, as it's pre-written. Enjoy!
Many thanks to Sarcastic Bimbo for her super beta skills. And her hilarious facebook memes.
I've never spent a lot of time thinking about how I'm going to die, but I never expected it to be on a running trail in Discovery Park. I'm literally about to puke my guts out, but I can't stop. There's only half a mile to go, and then I can get in my car and die in peace.
Half a mile. Half a mile.
The desperate, pleading thought runs through my mind on repeat. My feet pound the gravel trail to the rhythm of heavy, thumping bass as my legs feebly attempt to eat up the distance. The minuscule breakfast of Gatorade and Advil sloshing around in my stomach doesn't do much to motivate me, but a hangover isn't an excuse to skip my workout.
This punishment is thoroughly deserved.
Another Saturday morning, another headache, and a one night stand I already regret. It's not a regular thing for me, but the walk of shame is real. I swear everyone around me can see it, even though as a guy, it's not nearly as obvious. There's no smeared makeup, and if my clothes are wrinkled and my hair is a mess, well, that's easily ignored. Lots of guys are generally disheveled much of the time.
I don't know why I do these things, but my best guess is it's out of boredom. A shitty excuse, but it's all I've got. What else is there to do when one is single, relatively young, and in possession of a rather large disposable income? I don't have a lot of free time, and I'd never see the light of day if I stayed in my apartment all the time. The hospital is like a tomb lit with fluorescent lights, and I'm itching for fresh air, sunshine, and freedom at the end of every shift.
My mother tells me I need a girlfriend. Someone to come home to, a sympathetic ear and a pair of caring arms. Yeah, my mom is a sappy as it gets, but she's a smart woman. The trouble is, as much as I like the idea of someone steady in my life, it seems women only want me for my money, or the possibility of becoming a doctor's wife.
So here I am, bored to death, hungover, and alone. Trying not to die while I get my five miles in, and praying I can leave last night's mistakes in the dust. Other runners cross me on the trail, casting looks of sympathy at my flagging pace. I'm sure I look like death: pale and clammy, dark circles under my eyes like bruises. At least, that's what I looked like in the mirror this morning before I laced up my running shoes.
I don't realize my phone is ringing at first; it blends in with the repetitive EDM pulsing through my earbuds, matching the pounding hammer in my skull. Catching the call a few rings in, I lurch to a stop at the side of the trail to answer, eternally grateful for the excuse to take a breather. Now, if I can keep myself from puking, I'll count myself lucky.
"'Lo?" I try not to huff into the mic, but the hangover isn't helping and I can't freaking breathe. I'm bent over at the waist as I try not to suffocate.
"Edward?" a small, female voice asks through the crackle of an unsteady connection.
"Yeah... who's this?" Shit. Did I give my number to that girl last night? Stranger things have happened, and while I was hammered, I don't think I was that hammered. She should have taken the hint when I pulled the disappearing act, but I've known a couple girls who were on the desperate side, showing up at my favorite bar and trying to bring me shit at the hospital.
God, I'm such a fucking tool.
"Hello? Edward? It's Bella."
"Bella?" My shoulders sag in relief. At least I won't have to start screening my calls—yet. Her voice is a welcome one, and I smile in spite of my impending death.
"It's Emmett's sister, you moron." She sounds a little miffed, like I she thinks I can't remember her. I can almost hear her rolling her eyes.
I smirk, my mood brightening, and I wonder if the Advil is finally kicking in. It's good to hear Bella's voice; it's been too long.
Her face flashes through my mind—large, sable eyes and dark, shiny hair. My mind also supplies visions of soft-looking, shiny lips, sweet, perky tits; a phenomenal ass, and great legs; thoughts which I try valiantly to ignore. My best friend would rip my balls off if he knew I ever thought of his baby sister in any way that wasn't saintly. But I do. Frequently.
"I know who you are, Bella," I laugh. "I'm just surprised to hear from you. What's up?"
I haven't seen Bella since Christmas. She's busy with graduate school, and I'm working long shifts at the hospital and/or constantly on call. Between attending surgeries and administering the good drugs, anesthesiologists rarely get a break. We're in high demand due to a nationwide shortage, which means I'm every surgeon's bitch. I straighten to my full height and wipe sweat from my brow with the hem of my jacket as I wait for her response. I catch a whiff of whiskey and my stomach threatens to revolt again. That's right—I'm sweating buckets in March. Fucking hangover.
"I sort of need a favor. I need—" she begins, but then she's cut off by the clash of loud noises over the line.
Is that yelling? Some sort of metal slamming around? It sounds like giant robots in a boxing match. Where the hell is she?
I make my mind stop wandering and concentrate on helping Bella. "Sure, anything. What do you need?" Emmett would kill me if I left her hanging. Any chance to see her is also a bonus.
"I..." The rest of what she says comes out in an unintelligible jumble. Stupid cell phones.
Pulling the phone away from my ear for a second, I check the coverage—five circles. "I'm sorry, what? I couldn't hear."
"I. Need. You. To. Bail. Me. Out," she says slowly, like she thinks I'm being snarky.
I grin. She's always been such a little smartass. "Bail you out? Of where?"
It's the ass-crack of dawn—way too early for her to need help getting out of a bad date. I frown at my next thought—maybe it is way too late. What if she already spent the night with some idiotic frat boy? Damn it, I might have to beat the shit out of some undeserving douche just for touching her. Then again, maybe she needs a ride.
Please God, let it be that last one.
She huffs out a breath, obviously out of patience. "Of jail, Edward. I need you to bail me out of jail."
What in the ever-loving fuck?
What do you think of our Edward? I think it's fair to say he makes a few bad decisions, but I like him anyway.
Send me some good vibes; Mr. Araeo will be in England next week, so I'll be outnumbered by the Minions.
See you next week.