Just a little story...


The invitation was in the mail yesterday. I haven't opened the motherfucker. I'm still bitter as fuck even after all these years.

I didn't love her - not really I don't think - but I'm still pissed on principle.

She didn't owe me shit, but Emmett, my own goddamn brother, what about him?

It's fucked up to send me that shit and expect me to want to send congratulations or take a front row seat to that fuckery.

Being subjected to a second round of humiliation - no fucking thank you, sir.

Shoving the unopened envelope in a drawer, I pour two mugs of coffee, adding a shitload of creamer to one.

I never even bought creamer until Bella.

Grabbing both mugs, I push open the doors and step out onto the balcony. She's not out here yet, so I set hers on the edge that separates our apartments. This has kind of become our thing - bullshitting and coffee every morning before we go our separate ways for the day.

Some days she annoys the hell out of me and other days I want to hop the stucco divider and fuck the shit out of her. We haven't taken our relationship in that direction, though, so it'd be kind of a shock if I was to do that one day. Fun, I'm sure, but a real shocker no doubt.

There's not much to look out at here. More apartment buildings. The courtyard. There's a jacuzzi just below us on the left and the pool and gym about 100 yards to the right.

Not a bad place to live at all.

Esme - that's my mom - is calling me, but I ignore it for now. I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to hear about it. I don't want anything to fucking do with it.

I didn't always call her Esme. It wasn't until I found out she knew my brother was fucking my girl behind my back that I felt mom was too intimate for someone who'd betray me like that.

My own mother - who would have thought.

Yeah, it was six years ago, and I should get over it, but I'm the king of holding grudges, and I don't forgive and forget. I don't need that type of negativity in my life.

I need a damn cigarette is what I need.

Bella's going to be pissed, but screw it. If there was ever a time to ruin my lungs, the time is now.

It's funny that we're neighbors - morning coffee buddies, evening drinking buddies - and we've never been in each other's apartments. Never hung out outside these balcony walls. She made me quit smoking for fuck's sake, and I've never even seen what she hides beneath those clothes of hers.

I guess I'm okay with that. She's a good friend - funny as hell, and not bad to look at. Sex would just ruin what we have.

"What the hell, Edward?"

Damn, I didn't hear her doors slide open.

I shrug and finish it off, tossing it into a cup on the table before facing her. "It was a one off. I'm sorry, okay."

She glares at me but still accepts the coffee I hand her, sipping on it while she stares at me. "Smoking kills you, but more importantly it can kill those around you, so don't be a selfish dickhead."

"Gee, way to kick me when I'm down," I say, leaning my elbows on the divider, discreetly checking out her tits.

"What's with the woe is me bullshit?"

I flick her in the forehead for that cute little comment, laughing when she chokes on her coffee. "My ex sent me an invitation to her wedding."

"You're kidding me," she says. "Why would you go to your ex's wedding?"

"Because she's marrying my brother."

"You're lying," she says, and I shake my head, taking a sip from my lukewarm coffee. "Wait, you're not lying?"

"No. My ex is in fact marrying my brother."

"Please tell me you aren't the best man. Are you going?"

"Only if you go with me." What the fuck did I even just say? "Forget I said that. I'm not all about witnessing their happily ever after. I'm not going."

"Oh my God, do you still want her? She's with your brother now. Fucking her would be like fucking him." She looks so disgusted at the thought, it gives me a good laugh.

"So, basically what you're saying then, is he's fucking me?"

She opens her mouth, closes it before opening it again and then closing it. I kind of feel bad for the little dork, so I tell her all about my humiliation and family betrayal.

I was 18, and Rosalie had been my girl since we were 14. We were having a good time - that high school sweetheart bullshit. She was giving it to me on the regular, and I was all for that shit. I was a teenage boy, fucking sue me. I don't know if I was in love with her, but we were tight and all about each other.

Turns out while she was giving it up to me, she was falling madly in love with my older brother and vice versa I guess.

After prom senior year - we were king and queen, America's sweethearts shit - I walked in on them and what I saw, that wasn't first time drunk shit, that was I've done this a million times I love you shit. I didn't cry because fuck that, but I tore that room apart - too bad it was my own goddamn room.

They were going behind my back for months - fucking months, and I was a clueless idiot. Mom knew Emmett had a thing for her, encouraged him to follow his black soulless heart, and he did. I guess it didn't matter that what he wanted was already mine.

I could have loved her, but I'm glad I didn't. This shit isn't even about her anymore. Brothers don't fuck brothers over like that, and what Emmett did without one iota of remorse - well, he's the biggest douchebag I've ever known in my 24 years.

Fuck him and his wedding.

"Wow," Bella says, draining the rest of her coffee. "I think you should go."

"Come again?" I must not have heard her right.

"Yeah, just go. Show them you've moved on - that you're better than those scumbag bitches. When is it?"

"Who fucking cares?"

She rolls her eyes and leans on the divider, giving me a whiff of something tasty. "Do you want them to think you've just been wallowing in self pity the past six years? Come on, you've got bigger balls than that. Show them."

"You want me to show them my big balls?"

Damn, she set herself up for that one.

"Fine," she shrugs, smirking a little. "Let them believe you're still crying…"

"I never cried."

"...that you're still pining over a girl that didn't want you…"

"...oh, she fucking wanted me."

"...that you weren't man enough to move on."

This bitch, I swear.

"Fine, I'll go, but you better believe you're coming with me."

"What?" She laughs. "I'm not going with you."

"Yeah, you have to. You can be my little lovebird." I say, chuckling, the plan forming beautifully in my head.

"No, but thanks for asking. You have fun, though." She reaches out and pats my cheek like a condescending little fucker.

"Hey, this was your idea," I say, grabbing her hand before she pulls away. "I need a date and who better than my little coffee buddy?"

"You can't be serious."

Nodding, I release her. "Do I look like I'm joking?"

"What do I get out of this?"

"A date with this pretty face, duh."

"Go get the…"

Her doors slide open and the bronzed gym rat from Building B walks out. Is she for real? She spent the night with him.

"Hey," she says. "I thought you would have left already."

Ouch.

"Yeah, so last night was fun," he says. We make eye contact, and he gives me a chin lift, and I do it back feeling like a complete douche. "We should do it again sometime."

This shit is so awkward. I start to slowly back up, not wanting to witness the poor dude's ego deflating, but Bella speaks before I can get away. "I'll call you."

Shit, she's not going to call him. Take the loss, dude. Take the fucking loss.

I can't look away from this trainwreck. He tries to kiss her, but she gives him the cheek, and then he smiles all awkwardly before letting himself back into the house and hopefully out the front door.

"Really, Bella," I say. "That was harsh."

"Screw you, coward."

"You want a piece of me, is that it? I'm flattered, but I'm not looking for a relationship right now…"

"You're not my type."

Huh? I don't waste my time calling her out on her lies.

"So, you gonna go with me or what?"

"Fine."

"You can't do this shit, though." I say, gesturing between us. "None of the antagonistic wicked witch of the west shit."

"I know what I'm doing," she says, handing me my mug. "I'm going to make the bitch regret fucking such a pretty face over."

"You think I'm pretty?" I flutter my lashes, and she snorts.

"Pretty ugly."

"You are ice cold."

"Let me know the details - you know, whenever you man up and open that flimsy little envelope."

"Go away."

She laughs and takes her ass inside, and even though she's annoying me with her sass, I want to climb the wall and follow her through those doors and show her who's boss.

I go to work instead.