Disclaimer: Twilight belongs to Stephanie Meyers. I'm just having some fun with her characters.
I watched him pull up his black briefs. The way they clung to his thighs and ass was distracting. Edward himself was distracting.
He was up and out of bed after he caught his breath. He came and that was that. His cigarette hung loosely from his lips as he sat on his open window sill.
His father's dog tags swung in the air from his neck as he leaned over rubbing the heel of his hand into his eyes. The guy was beautiful, tall, chiseled, and lean. His auburn hair with natural blonde highlights sat chaotically on his head, always.
His mother lost it when he pierced his slightly crooked nose when we were in college and it only got worse with each tattoo he added to his right arm. She said "What would your father think?" and "No one will take you seriously professionally".
Unfortunately, Esme Cullen ate her words and got off his back after he invested in his second business, a tattoo shop in Soho. He told his twin he knew their mother only wanted what was best for them. They both knew he was right.
I grabbed my dress off the floor.
"You leaving?" he exhaled his smoke over his shoulder.
I nodded, throwing my dress on over my head. I saw my black lacy boy shorts across the room, right where he flung them earlier.
I felt his eyes on me but I knew he had nothing more to add. He never asked me to stay, he would just busy himself after. This started a few weeks ago at Rose and Emmett's engagement party. He initiated it and I was willing.
I met him and his twin sister, Rosalie after I moved to Forks for my senior year at Forks High. Back then I arrived with dreads, a nose ring, and in clothes not appropriate for the Pacific Northwest. I hadn't fit in at all, but that wasn't my thing anyway. I enjoyed my solitude.
My dad chalked my appearance up to my mother and the commune I grew up on. When my mother met her now-husband, Phil, her lifestyle changed immensely and I couldn't keep up so she shipped me off to Charlie.
I thought Charlie would have rules, being a cop and all, but he told me that as long as I kept my grades up and none of his deputies had to pick me up then we were good. To this day he was my favorite parent.
Everything before Forks was simple. Renee homeschooled me up until that point, a good thing she got her degree in education before abandoning Charlie. I helped out in the communal greenhouse a lot during my days. I think that's what led me to get my degree in nutrition from NYU.
I had grown up without the noise of the outside world. Dad would take me on trips for his visitation each summer, so I wasn't completely ignorant to the world around me when I moved in with him.
Rosalie Masen-Cullen was not the friend I expected to make when I arrived in Forks. Mrs. Cope had asked her to be my Senior Buddy for that first day since our schedules mirrored each other. I spent the day watching the population of Forks High throw themselves at her, but only for them to be iced out.
She wasn't like that with me. She seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say, where I came from and who I was as a person.
Edward Masen-Cullen was a different story. As close as he was to his sister he had only ever been polite to me. He was like that with most people, the school's all-around nice guy. When Rose begged me to apply to NYU and all the other schools they had, I did. If I would have stayed in Phoenix with Renee, I would have never gone to college.
What I was then, is a long way home from who I am now. I taught at a yoga studio in the west village and worked as a nutritionist at Mount Sinai. Rose and I were still roommates along with Emmett.
When I arrived downstairs Edward's driver Sam was waiting for me. "Bella," he greeted with a smile.
I nodded but looked for the Uber I ordered in the elevator.
"Edward asked for me to take you home," he informed.
"Sorry, I ordered an Uber," I explained, spotting the Ford Expedition coming my way.
Sam pulled out his phone with a frown and texted away.
I waved at him before checking the plates and getting in the Uber. If Edward wanted Sam to drive me home, he should have said something. I wasn't sure if he offered Sam up for other women he entertained but I was fine to order myself a car.
It was close to one when I got home, the lights were off except for the kitchen. I followed the light where I found Emmett making a sandwich.
"You just getting in?" he asked, wiggling his brow.
"Yes," I laughed, rolling my eyes.
"Are you seeing someone now?" he asked curiously.
I shrugged, they knew I dated but never anyone serious. Rose teased me that my romantic life was an enigma. I guess maybe it was. Edward surprised me at their engagement party when he grabbed my hand dragging me to the coat check.
No words were exchanged, we just started going at it. Maybe I should have said something, asked him what this was, but I was too much of a coward to find out. He started acting weird when Emmett proposed to his sister, so I chalked it up to that.
"My buddy Jake was asking about you," he said, lining his meat up.
"What was he asking?"
"If you were seeing anyone?"
"Jake was the brute, yeah?" I asked, leaning against the island.
I saw him a few times at the party, he was a muscle head like Em, but surprisingly taller. Short black hair, very tan, bright white teeth, and dark eyes. Very put together.
"He's not a caveman," Emmett laughed. "He's an associate with me at the firm."
"Can you see me dating a commodity broker?" I asked skeptically, raising an eyebrow.
I might not have the dreads and my clothes are a little chicer these days, but the hippie in me won out. I loved Emmett but I wasn't about to get involved with someone chained to corporate shackles.
"I'm a commodity broker," he scoffed in offense. "I'm not telling you to marry the guy, just think about it. He'll be at Ed's gallery opening on Friday."
"But I'm Rose's plus one," I trailed off. Edward never gave me a direct invitation. Rose said it was because he knew I would be her permanent plus one for the rest of our lives. That was before she met Emmett and he became a permanent fixture in our lives. Oddly enough Emmett got his own invites.
"And Jake is mine," he grinned. "He kept trying to talk to you at our party but you were hard to find."
I rolled my eyes grabbing a bottle of water from the fridge. "Okay, I can meet your friend on Friday."
"Hmm, that was easier than I thought it would be," he mused.
"I'm just gonna say hi."
"There it is," he chortled.
I punched his bicep before heading up to my room. Rose and Em had the second floor where I had the third all to myself. We've lived here since we graduated. Rose wouldn't let me talk about moving out but I knew once they were married or a kid came along I'd need to find a place.
I saw I had one missed text from Edward.
Get in the car, Bella.
I wonder what he thought when he found out that I hadn't gotten in the car.
I sighed thinking about how he had me pressed against the window of his loft. My hair wrapped tightly in his fist as he plowed into me from behind. His other hand gripped my hip. I had only ever been with passive guys. Rose had said my type was a non-threatening bohemian. She wasn't wrong.
Edward wasn't passive though. He knew how to command a room. He charmed anyone he interacted with. In high school, he was the ultimate leader. Captain of the football team, class president, and valedictorian. He excelled at everything he did. Rose said he was his father's son.
Not growing up in Forks, I hadn't understood how established the families of that town were. Edward Masen was a hometown hero that served his country in two tours of Iraq, until a drunk driver of all things took his life. Edward was in the car with him. So for someone to witness their father's death at the age of five, it was shocking he was so seemingly well adjusted.
Teenage Edward was very well adjusted. Now he was rich and successful thanks to listening to his own instincts. When I heard the word entrepreneur, especially in New York, I'd roll my eyes, but that's what Edward was. He'd invest in mainly nightlife and entertainment and it would turn to gold. He started Masen Industries, an investment firm last year. He hit the ground running ever since.
After a shower, I got ready for bed. I drifted off to thoughts of Edward and the feeling of his emerald green eyes boring into mine as I came.
"Hey, wake up," I heard before the shaking started.
"What if I had someone here?" I asked sleepily.
"Em said he talked to you last night, so unless you shoved the guy up here before you went into the kitchen, then I knew you would be alone," she explained as she eyed me. "You might have not had anyone up here but you had sex last night."
I tiredly shoved at her.
Rose, like her beloved, was a frat boy. She was crass and loved to talk about boinking. Though I was comfortable with my body and sex, I didn't flaunt my sex life up for gossip as she did.
I grew up in a freeing environment, though most people on the commune explored openly. My mom made sure I was on birth control at fourteen and carried condoms at all times. "All I need is your Dad taking you away because I let you get knocked up," she'd say. I was very prepared when I lost my virginity to my bunkmate Seth at fifteen.
"Is there a reason you're waking me up," I glanced at the clock. "at seven?"
"Edward texted me that he got us brunch reservations in Brooklyn," she said, giving me another shake.
"He got you brunch reservations," I said, closing my eyes.
"No, he said 'You and Bella better be here at ten'. Directions then followed," she said.
This caused me to open my eyes. He never directly said my name before. His invites to her were usually vague.
"What about your significant other?"
"As much as he likes to eat you know he's not one for brunch," she pointed out.
She was right, Emmett's idea of brunch was beers at a sports bar watching any game at 10 a.m. He hated having to dress up on a weekend.
"Give me an hour to sleep and then I'll join society," I said.
She agreed but took that as an invitation to cuddle me and go back to sleep too. I shook my head but drifted off.
At nine forty-five we arrived at Sunday in Brooklyn looking for Edward. If we couldn't find him, he surely could find his sister with her bold floral sundress on. I was more muted with a white sundress and olive chunky cardigan.
I spotted Edward first but wasn't expecting his guest. Jasper Whitlock had been Edward's college roommate turned business partner for the last nine years. He and Rose were frenemies and that was putting it nicely.
Jasper was a very pretty man with his tallness. He was lanky with nice muscle definition, not too big or too skinny. His blonde curly hair was in a man bun. His shirt was just as florally and bold as Rose's dress, matched with skinny white jeans.
Edward had Gucci aviators on, though I doubt he even knew the designer. His personal shopper would just drop stuff off for him. Rose said at least he had the common sense to pay someone to dress him. It was Esme's job before the shopper came on the scene.
His holey white t-shirt with dark worn jeans made him look rumpled, but good at the same time. These two didn't have to put in the effort to their appearances like we had to.
Both guys stood when they saw us approach. Edward hugged his sister first then me. He kissed my cheek while Rose was distracted by Jasper.
"Rose, always a pleasure," Jazz sniffed.
She glared at him as he moved onto me.
"Bells," he grinned, giving me a tight squeeze.
He knew. I knew he did.
Edward pulled both our chairs out for us to sit. Rose eyed him, probably because he was never this attentive with me.
"So where is Ali?" Rose asked Jazz.
"The Hamptons," he snipped looking at his menu.
Edward shook his head at her in warning. Jasper and his boyfriend Alistair had a very passionate relationship. Madly in love with a dash of chaos. One time, I watched Alistair chuck a full wine bottle at Jasper in a fit of rage at a dinner party.
"Bells, what's your class schedule like this week?" Jazz asked, looking at me intently.
"Uh, I have mostly early morning classes before I need to be at the hospital," I explained, glancing up from my menu. "Are you thinking about taking a class?"
"Something like that," he grinned mischievously.
I smiled politely, not sure what to make of that. As I went back to my menu I almost jumped when I felt Edward's knee nudge between mine. The smirk he tried to hide annoyed me.
I didn't say a thing or even acknowledge him. I tried to widen my legs so I didn't feel him but that only caused him to bounce his knee back and forth between mine.
We drank our mimosas while Edward sipped his beer. Jasper suspiciously asked me a lot of questions. When the gallery opening came up Rose took it upon herself to gush about her and Emmett trying to set me up with Jacob.
"So Bells is bringing a date?" Jazz asked side-eyeing Edward.
"No, Emmett is," I said dryly, picking at my fruit bowl. "I've been Rose's date to everything for the past ten years."
"Oh stop, Jake is a catch. Just you wait," she said knowingly.
I glanced at Edward and he looked unbothered by the whole conversation.
"Who are you bringing?" she finally asked her brother.
"Irina," he said simply.
I frowned, he hadn't had Irina on his arm for a while now. It had been at least a few months since any of us had seen her around.
"Such a stimulating conversationalist," Jasper laughed.
That caused a giggle to erupt out of me. Jazz grinned, reaching over to squeeze my hand. Rose hated to side with him but admitted he was right.
Edward looked indifferent like he didn't care about what we thought of Irina. I pushed my seat back slightly, sitting up straighter. He was still slouched in his seat, I crossed my legs giving him a good kick. Nothing, not even a flitch.
After we polished off our second pitcher of mimosa's Rose declared she had to meet her soon-to-be mother-in-law for wedding planning uptown. Even though I was the maid-of-honor, Rose knew better to ask me if I wanted to join them.
Edward asked for the bill and paid. Outside of the restaurant, Jasper wrapped his arm around me guiding me down the street. He waved his free hand up calling a "Bye, Edward," behind him.
"Fuck you," Edward called.
"So," Jasper started a block later. "Why does our dear friend Edward have photos of a naked you sleeping on his phone?"
I stopped walking as my eyes widened. He had what on his phone? I tried to remember when I could have possibly slept at Edward's. Two weeks ago I dozed off after round two that night but it couldn't have been longer than fifteen minutes. I left right after I realized we never talked about sleepovers.
"The look on your face has me worried," Jasper said frankly.
"Well I didn't peg Edward to be a creeper," I said bluntly.
"To be honest, I think when he took it was meant to be something for only him. I got bored when we were doing a walk-through of the gallery and snatched his phone."
"He just let you have his phone," I said raising an eyebrow.
Edward wasn't a sharer.
"I just said I snatched it. In my defense, you're his wallpaper so that made me dig deeper."
"His wallpaper?!" I shrieked.
"Not the nudey photo, the wallpaper you were clothed and sitting in that big leather chair of his," he reassured.
I held my face in my hands peeking through my fingers. "How many photos of me does he have?"
"Two, max?" he questioned, as if he was lying. The way he was carefully regarding me made me think there might be more.
I squinted up at him. "How many other girls are in there?"
"Other than the ones in group photos? None."
"Why is he so complicated?" I groaned.
"You can tell me to fuck off but what exactly is going on?"
"I don't think I even know. It started at the engagement party. I thought it was a one-time thing but we've kept it going at other places and now he's been booty calling me to his place."
"So it's just fucking?" he asked not buying it.
"I thought so, but now you are telling me he has photos of me on his phone."
"Don't take this the wrong way, but you've always kind have been around. I just assumed you had a fuck buddy arrangement for years."
"Yeah, since I've known you both I've always caught him watching you when we're out. You're less obvious but he just can't help himself."
"Edward barely speaks to me," I insisted.
Jazz looks at me like I'm crazy. "We just spent two hours at brunch," he laughed in disbelief. "The man could tell me your whole life story, Bells."
"How much did you drink at brunch?" I frowned.
"Okay, this is probably me breaking some hetero form of bro code, but remember when we first met?" I nodded, thinking back to almost nine years ago.
It was at a party about a month after we moved into the freshman dorms. Edward brought Jazz so Rose could finally meet him. Rose would never admit this out loud but I was almost certain she was into him. Jasper also wouldn't have come out until two years later.
"Ed thought I was sweet on you, and gave me a huge lecture about how you were off-limits. I made a crack about Rose and he could have cared less."
I shook my head at him. I remembered hearing Tyler Crowley in high school saying some lewd things about me. Edward responded by calling me a little weirdo and told him I wasn't worth it.
If I was being a little honest that was the day my crush on Edward dimmed. To my face, he'd always been pleasant but I was Rosalie's soul sister as she dubbed us he wouldn't be anything but. It didn't help that the girls that hung around him were very vocal about his…talents.
After high school and college, the women he was seen with were notable in his industry. They ranged from TikTok stars to bartenders. Rose would say he's an equal opportunity dater, Emmett scoffed at that.
"He's horny," I reasoned.
"Okay, then why you when Irina is willing?"
"Well now that she's back, I'm out of the rotation," I shrugged easily enough.
"Bells," Jazz said empathetically.
"Stop, Em wants me to meet Jacob. If he's friends with Emmett, you know he's a good guy," I said, trying to convince myself more than Jasper.
I could feel those blue eyes on me. "Call me if you need me," he said when he hugged me.
As the crowd on the sidewalk maneuvered around me, I realized at this moment I regretted sleeping with Edward in the first place.
A/N: When I struggle with other fics I write things like this to get me out of my funk. These two and their co are going to be interesting. This title stems from Ed Sheeran's Bad Habits being stuck in my head as I wrote. Let me know your thoughts! A thank you goes to CoppertopJ for taking a look at this!