The next morning, the sound of loud knocking woke me. Rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, I glanced around the room wondering what time it was.

I tapped my phone and the screen lit up. What the... it's seven in the morning?

Somebody better be freaking dying.

Still grumbling, I threw on my robe ignoring my pajama bottoms; whoever it was, they weren't staying long.

My bare feet padded against the dark wood floor and into the living room of my one bedroom apartment. Straight ahead situated against the opposite wall, was my dark gray chaise sectional. It was scattered with a few soft throws, and accompanied by a matching arm chair separated by a round end table

I paused mid-step squinting my eyes against the blinding sunlight streaming in to my left from the modestly sized window behind the arm chair.

Ugh... I forgot to close the curtains last night.

Another round of loud knocks resumed beating against the door.

"I'm coming!"

I hurried past the tiny dining table and kitchen to the entry of my apartment. I rose up to my tiptoes glancing into the small hole of the door before throwing it opened.

"Are freaking kidding me, Alice? It's seven in the morning. This is barely acceptable when I like you, much less when I'm mad at you."

"I know, I know. I just couldn't wait any longer."

"Yes, you could have." I rolled my eyes annoyed.

I left the door hanging opened and scurried back to the living room throwing myself face down into the sofa.

The door clicked shut followed by small timid steps approaching the sofa. I felt the cushion at my head sink down.

"Bella, I understand why you are upset with me–"

"I'm hurt, Alice."

"Please, let me explain?"

I cracked an eye open and peeked up at her; Alice's bottom lip jutted out in a pout.

With a groan, I sat up tucking my legs underneath and tightening my robe around me. "Fine. Explain yourself."

"Thank you," she began. "The same day you told me that you and Jake had a date, was the same day mom came to me wanting to take Edward out. I swear! I knew how you'd feel about it and not hesitate to bail on Jake. And after I had worked so hard to get you to go out with him."

"Seriously Alice? He could have waited another day or another week if I saw fit. That was an important moment I missed with Edward." I grimaced internally how that sounded and tried to move on before Alice could comment. I saw a look of satisfaction cross her face unsure of what that meant. "Besides, it didn't work out just like I told you it wouldn't."

I expected an outburst or at least a lecture of how I wasn't trying hard enough, but it never came.

"That's good." She said taking me by surprise.

"Good? I don't follow. I thought you were Team Jake."

"I was–just listen, okay?"

I waved my hand indicating that she could continue.

"We wanted to keep it small, just family–you know how Edward is. And of course you were included in that from the beginning but once I realized the coinciding dates I explained it to mom. She understood and we agreed to have him another dinner after he started the new job to celebrate again so you could be there. So we were going to keep it quiet. At first." I felt slightly guilty for my behavior after hearing about the second dinner. Alice chuckled. "Edward, the little snot, walked in on the tail end of our planning and figured out quickly what was going on. He had only one request, the restaurant. It's his favorite. Anyway, we continued the planning and Esme asked me if you were sure you wanted to go out Jake. I was just about to answer when Edward popped his head up from poking around the fridge and was all like, 'what do you mean Bella's going out with Jake? And who the hell is Jake?' As to which I replied, 'why do you care?'

"He said he didn't, he was just wondering. I called bullshit and asked him again why he cared. He spewed some crap about you being like family and just wanting you to be safe. But I knew better." Alice grinned triumphantly. "He likes you!"

I impassively stared back at her unsurprised by her declaration.

She raised her eyebrows as if waiting for me to react."Um... I expected a bit more of a reaction. You don't act surprised at all!"

I sighed. "I'm not."

Alice stared bewildered at me."You knew? I nodded. "Why you didn't tell me?"

"I wanted to Ali, I did. It's just, I wasn't hundred percent sure. There's been a few moments that made me feel like he did, and then some that didn't. I just wanted to be sure before I said anything. He's your brother, not a random guy. I felt like I needed to tread carefully. I care about this family way too much to jeopardize it or cause unnecessary drama." I spoke passionately hoping I conveyed how much the Cullen's really meant to me.

"I guess I can understand that."

I let out a relieved sigh."We did talk a little last night but a lot is still up in the air."

"Oh that reminds me, I didn't even get to the rest of my story."

I raised a hand halting her. "Hold that thought. Coffee?"

"Please!" She threw self back into the sofa adjusting more comfortably. A sense of normalcy filled the air; we both knew the worst of our fight had passed.

I grabbed two k-cups from the pod carousel I had placed beside my Keurig, that sat in the corner of the counter up against the wall. One cup at a time I began making it the way we liked; a splash of creamer, no sugar in Alices', and an unhealthy amount of creamer and sugar in my own.

I handed her a cup and she took a sip groaning in delight. "Oh God... so good." She whispered reverently.

I silently agreed taking a long drink as well. I needed this. It was till way too early.

"Okay," I snuggled with a throw getting comfortable. "Go on."

Alice dove back into her story. "So after Edward's little outburst, I had an idea. I called Jake and planted a little bug in his head that he should take you to the same restaurant we were going to be at. He fell for it obviously."

I shook my head at her antics. "And what if I would have been enjoying myself? What would have you done then?"

"I would have left well enough alone. Anyway, I didn't matter cause I spotted you both at your table when I was coming from the bathroom and you looked very unhappy."

"I didn't look unhappy." I snapped at her. "Sorry." I immediately apologized. I couldn't help the need to defend Jake because he tried so hard and he was still one of my best friends.

"It's okay, but you really did. Like I said, I wouldn't dare have bothered you if you actually looked happy, but you looked like the floor couldn't swallow you up fast enough. Every time he touched you, you'd visibly cringe."

I didn't want to believe it was that bad but at the same time, I knew it was most likely true.

"A went back into the party room and asked Edward to find the waiter knowing he'd see you two. I wanted to see if he'd react as strongly to actually seeing you. He agreed easily enough needing to use the restroom anyway. I followed him and once I saw you both eyeing each other–the sexual tension palpable–I knew I did the right thing."

"I can't believe you pulled that off. You looked genuinely so surprised to see us."

"I know. I'm good, I should have went into acting."

I couldn't help laughing and before I knew it, we were both holding each other laughing in earnest allowing the stress of the morning to melt away.

Once the moment passed, we sat comfortably in silence for a while sipping our coffee's.

"Unfortunately, your matchmaking didn't pan out well." I informed Alice.

"Why the hell not?!" There it was. That's what I expected earlier.

So I started from the beginning, sparing no details leading up to last nights dinner. "I really like him Alice, but I wasn't sure I could be with someone who doesn't know how to communicate with me... so I left him to wait me out for a change."

"Let him wait longer. The idiot deserves to wait at least as long as you had to...moron." Alice grumbled under her breath.

"I know, but if I'm going to forgive him and move on I don't want it to linger, I just want to be done with it."

"I don't blame you at all. But look, he's my brother so I feel like I can confidently say that while yes, he can be a moron, he doesn't usually repeat the same mistakes twice. If he recognizes his mistakes, you can almost bet he's learned from it."

I wanted so badly to believe her; more than I wanted anything before. It just wasn't that easy.

"Alright." Alice sat her mug down and looked at me; determination gleamed her eyes. "Go get showered and dressed. No more boy talk. We are going for mani/pedi's and a full body massage. You need to unwind and destress. And I'm a mother of a two month old, need I say more?"

"Speaking of which, where is my niece?"

"Jasper is watching her. I haven't been away from her yet but this was important."

"Is he going to be okay for that long?"

A loving smile graced her features. "Yeah, I already talked with him before I left about going."

I raised an eyebrow. "You were that confident I'd forgive you so quickly?"

"Well, I hoped." She shrugged. "He told me to go for it, that I deserved it. Besides, he's amazing with her. I tell you, every time I see them together I fall deeper in love with him."

I watched Alice sighing with contentment and love. My heart ached slightly as I wondered when I'd finally have that.

"I have no doubt." Even I could hear the longing in my voice. "Anyway, the spa and mani/pedi's sounds great, but it doesn't have to be your treat. I got it."

"Yes it does. My treat for my deceit, that rhymed." She chuckled. "Although, that feels like a strong word... my slyness? No... cunning? Oh I got it! Craftiness–"

"Alice!"

"Right, sorry! Anyway, it's also for my brothers idiocy. Please?" She pouted.

"Fine."

Alice's clapped happily and I hurried off to shower and get ready.


"My body feels like jello." I mumbled as I relaxed back into my chair. My feet had been soaking for a while so the nail technician placed my foot onto the towel and began her work.

"I feel relief in places I didn't know existed." Alice commented shutting her eyes . She had the right idea. I closed mine as well and enjoyed being pampered for a while.

We didn't speak again until I heard the other technician informing Alice that she was done. I glanced over at her toes that were painted midnight blue matching her fingers. I couldn't pull it off but Alice wore it well. "They're so pretty." I commented.

She carefully wiggled her drying toes with a grin. "I wasn't sure at first but I absolutely adore it."

I peeked at my toes to see how much further the technician had to go. She was finishing my last toe painting on the deep plum I had chosen, also on my fingernails, with careful strokes.

I didn't usually indulge in colors because of my work instead keeping them neat and trimmed with a clear coat. But since there wasn't an actual rule against it as long as they weren't chipped or artificial, I decided to go for it.

"I love it!" Alice leaned over her chair the best she could to get a better look at my toes. "I think that color looks fantastic on you."

"Me too." I smiled.

"Mrs. Hale and Ms. Swan." A woman I hadn't seen yet greeted us with a bright smile. "Your chairs are ready for you, if you'd follow me?"

Alice jumped up as if she knew what was going on. I followed confused; as far as I knew the pedicures were the last thing we were doing.

"Ladies," She directed us each to a chair. "Your stylist will be with you in just a moment." With that she left us to wait.

"Stylist? Alice, what's going on?" I figured it out obviously, but I didn't know this was a part of the plan. I needed her to explain.

"I went ahead and booked an appointment to get our hair done when we got here. You don't have to do it, but I am. I need a change, but I wanted to make sure you had the option."

I studied Alice's straight light brown hair unable to imagine it any other way. Then I gazed into the mirror at myself wondering if I needed a change as well. My plain brown hair was waist length with a light wave to it.

My stylist appeared suddenly asking what I would like done. Squaring my shoulders, I told her what to do.


Alice slid into the drivers seat throwing on her shades before starting the car. I continued to stare at her as she drove away from the spa.

Not only did she chop off her hair into a short bob, but she also darkened it to the darkest brown there was before actually being black. I hardly recognized her, but it looked amazing!

"Would you stop staring?" Alice grumped. "It was flattering at first, but now it's getting on my nerves."

I chuckled tearing my eyes away. "Fine. You can't blame a girl for staring though. You look so different."

She shrugged. "I wanted a 'mom' hairstyle that still made me feel sexy and beautiful."

"You succeeded. Jasper isn't going to be able to keep his hands off of you."

"I know." She smirked. "What about you? You look gorgeous!"

I pulled down the small mirror messing with my hair once again. I didn't go crazy, but it was now shoulder length and I had them straighten it. Sure, it'll go back to wavy after the first wash, but I wanted to see how it looked. I also chose to do a subtle ash brown balayage. And I'm loving it.

"I'm really glad I decided to do it. I didn't realize how much I needed the change."

"I'm glad I could help." She grabbed my hand squeezing it before placing it back on the steering wheel.

Once we arrived at my place, I gave her long hug and thanked for the pampering. "Anytime!" She threw me wink then took off to get back home.

I stepped in the elevator and directed it to the fifth floor.

As it rose, I scrolled through my phone checking my notifications on Facebook. I hadn't even used the account in over a year but I decided show off my hair.

It came stop and the doors parted slowly. I passed through turning to my right; my place was at the end of the hall.

I hesitated as neared my apartment.

Leaning against the wall beside my door was Edward. He ran a hand through his hair, a gesture I now recognized indicating his nerves.

"Bella?" Edward straightened up getting a better look at me.

"In the flesh." I replied sarcastically.

"You look different... I mean beautiful. Beautifully different." Edward stumbled over his words trying to explain.

"Thanks. Alice and I decided to try something new."

"Alice?" He asked.

I moved forward slowly to reach my door. "Yeah. We had a spa day, wait till you see her." I smirked.

Edward laughed. "I can imagine. Once when she was sixteen, she dyed her hair neon pink. Mom and dad actually liked it, so she went back and had them go back to her original color. I guess the satisfaction of thinking you're rebelling is ruined when your parents approve."

"Sounds like Alice." I laughed with him.

My hand rested on the door knob and I turned to look up at him, only then realizing how close he was. "What are you doing here? And how did you find out where I live?"

"Alice."

Of course.

"After our fight last night, and you told me your feelings about how unsure you were about how I felt about you, I just couldn't wait to talk to you. But if you want me to go, I will. Just say the word."

Alice and Edward were like two peas in a pod; once an idea came to fruition, they had to zero patience.

Sighing, I studied the features of his beautiful face. His short copper hair laid messily in different directions, only enhancing his handsome features. I wanted to run my hand through it as well, feeling his soft locks between my fingers and then follow his smooth flawless skin down to softly gaze the dark shadows forming under his eyes; across his pouty red lips.

While deep in thought, I had reached up unthinking and was brushing a finger across his jawline. His eyes bore intently into mine as he leaned his head into my hand holding it to his face.

Closing his eyes, brought his free hand to the back of my neck pulling me forward until our foreheads rested against each other. We stayed still barely breathing unwilling to move an inch apart.

Before long though, I felt him move forward, grazing his lips with mine. As he was about to apply a little pressure to the almost kiss, I pulled back slightly.

"We need to talk" I breathed.

He became still under my touch and then reluctantly detangled himself putting a little distance between us. "Okay."

I huffed feeling put out that I stupidly didn't at least get a kiss before opening my big mouth.

I unlocked the door, and stepped in allowing him to brush past me. I closed it, and then leaned against it gathering strength. Having him here, alone, was clouding my judgement to actually talk to him especially after the little episode out in the hallway.

"Pull yourself together, Bella." I whispered under my breath before joining Edward, who had moved to stand at the door of the balcony off the living room.

He must have heard me and turned to face me as I approached. His face was clouded with nerves vulnerable, yet still breathtakingly gorgeous. "You ready to talk?"


So... is Alice forgiven? Also, I know there wasn't much Edward this chapter but Alice needed some Bella time lol. There will be plenty of Edward next chapter! Let me know your thoughts! :)