Dear Readers!

I am translating this story from Italian. It was titled 'In tempi di tempesta tutti i porti sono buoni'.

All characters/people are property of the book authors.

Please forgive me for mistakes and probably wrong expressions, as my native language is not English.

Thoughts are written in italics as usual on these pages.

I thank you in advance for reading this story and hope you enjoy it. I appreciate every review you write to me.

Beggars Can't Be Choosers

Chapter 1


Finally. Out of the plane and off to the outside. I hate planes, but what the heck ... that's the fastest way. What you don't do for your friends.

Their call for help was unmistakable.

"Help us, Alice, please, please, will you?"

Since I had nothing better to do at the moment, I packed my bags and got on the plane and now here I was.

Now I was standing here, waiting for my suitcases ...

Where are they? I hate the waiting.

Bella sounded really desperate, and Edward was not inferior to her.

Oh, those two. I had missed them so much. I hadn't seen them for far too long. We were in contact ... vacation cards, e-mails and phone calls ... But we had not seen each other for almost three years. Something always came up, with me or with the two of them. They were so sweet together. Sweet as pie. Cute. That was the best description for my two friends. Edward got a job as a composer and Bella followed him. How could it be otherwise. Bella could do her job anywhere. Book writer and reasonably successful at that. Both were reasonably successful, but they lived their lives quite modestly. Finally ... my four suitcases. Shit, they're heavy. I didn't pack that much. It was all Rosalie's fault. She wanted to help me so badly, that's what I got. Alice, Rosalie just watched. Yeah, fuck you too! All right, load up and let's go. Let's see where they are. How some people ran around like that. Tzz ... Hadn't they ever heard of a hairdresser or matching clothes? It seemed they hadn't. Oh, there were Bella and Edward. Oh holy crap! I'm going to be sick. What had these two been doing?

"Alice!" shouted Bella, and Edward stood next to her, holding the other hand she wasn't waving.

I waved back.

Oh my God, my retinas are damaged forever. How could THIS happen. No wonder they need my help. You can't do that. Not one bit. Oh shit. The hair of both and the clothes. Shit, where did they find them? Flea market or used clothing collection. Shit doesn't even begin to describe it all. Bella, there are hair treatments and with Edward ... hair gel yes, but not gobs of that. Oh, I'm getting even worse. The closer I get, the worse the details get. Was the sweater knitted by Edward himself? Nothing against homespun, but this? The colors ... the pattern ... Holy Mother of God! And Bella! The skirt and the blouse ... what kind of material was it? Synthetic? Perlon? Straw?

Slowly I pushed my baggage cart in front of me and approached the absolute disaster.

Bella called me two weeks ago and told me that she and Edward had been invited to a gala. Actually, they lived in seclusion and showed themselves little in public. But Bella's book was an enormous success and success just attracted the public and the press.

I was supposed to help her find a dress and for Edward a suit ... and do the cosmetic stuff.

No problem, I thought to myself.

And now this.

Hard work lay ahead of me.

I planned already everything in my mastermind.

Waxing, pedicure, manicure, new hairstyle, the complete package and that for both. Well, Edward certainly does not want to be waxed.


Finally I had arrived. I hugged first Bella and then Edward.


I beamed at her. Small tears gathered in my eyes from joy and from horror.

I loved them both ... idolatrously.

"How was your flight, Alice? Are you feeling okay? You look kind of sick."

Well, that's no wonder.

"I'm fine and the flight was okay. I'm so happy to see you both."

And that was honestly meant. My two Bunnys.

I pushed my horror to the back of my mind and gave myself over completely to the joy of seeing them both again.

How I had missed them!

"Come on Alice, let's go. The car is outside."

Edward took the baggage cart from me and pushed it towards the exit.

Quite the gentleman. As always.

I linked arms with Bella and we followed Edward.

When we arrived at the car, my jaw dropped.

An Audi, and what an Audi it is.

"Bella, my darling, do you have anything to tell me?"

I looked at her in amazement.

She smiled at me, and Edward gave her a little kiss. She blushed.


"Well, Alice. Maybe I've been a little understating the success of our work. But let's not talk here. At home, okay?" she said, pushing me toward the back car door.

Edward came rushing up and opened it for me.

"Thank you."

"You're welcome," he said gallantly, indicating a slight bow.

They both got into the car - and how could it be otherwise ... Edward also opened her door for Bella.

The ride was quiet, and I watched Bella and Edward.

In love like on the first day, that was not to be overlooked. How long have the two been together now? Let's see. Ten years? Could be eleven by now.

Edward steered the car through the big city traffic.

Horrible. Major city. Although ... there's certainly some good shopping to be done here, and it was absolutely unavoidable, and not just for me. I'll definitely have to completely re-dress the two of them. From socks to underwear.

We left the annoying city traffic behind and entered a quieter area.

The houses ... heck, no houses, villas ... stood on both sides of the road with enough distance between them. So you also could not look into the plate of the neighbor.

Edward slowed down and pulled into a driveway. These wasn't too long and then a house came into view.

Goddamn it! What haven't they both told me? Pretty much everything, it seems.

"Our house, Alice. Beautiful isn't it!"

Bella's eyes beamed at me, and I beamed back.

Gee whiz. You've got some explaining to do.

"Yes, a nice house."

My emphasis was on house.

"When were you planning to tell me all this. Hmm ...?"

Bella squirmed and Edward grinned to himself.

"Come inside first and I'll make us some coffee. Edward will take care of your bags."

We got out and walked to the front door. Bella unlocked it and we entered the HOUSE.

It wasn't as huge as the other mansions, but at least house wasn't the real description for it. It was more like a small castle over three floors. With turrets and battlements, sugar-sweet, nice, cute ... sigh ... adorable.

I followed Bella.

The interior was actually quite normal, just a bit ... more expensive?

"Honey, I'm taking Alice's suitcases up to her room," Edward called behind us.

"Yes, do that, my Honey Bunny. We're on the terrace."

We went into the kitchen and Bella turned on the coffee maker.

"Come on, let's go outside. It's so beautiful today. I'll just get the cups really quick."

"Let me help you, Bella," I offered.

"Thank you Alice."

We got cups and saucers from the cupboard and carried everything outside, sat down and I looked around.

A beautiful spot on earth. Quiet and harmonious. You felt as if you were in the country and not in the big city.

"Come on, tell me. What have you been hiding all from me? So much for ... 'It's okay and we'll be fine'," I said and looked her in the eye.

Bella was sliding back and forth in her armchair, playing with her fingers, and she was unmistakably nervous.

That's right, honey, squirm and come clean.

"You know that I wrote a book and that it was quite well received. What you don't know is that the book was published not under my name but under a pseudonym."


Uh ...?

I looked at her uncomprehendingly.

"Tiffany Mayer," she said quietly.

I choked on my own spit.


"TIFFANY MAYER?!", I screamed, totally shocked.

"Yes," she said cautiously.

She was totally uncomfortable with all this. She became more and more nervous.

"I'm going to go check on the coffee. Be right back."

She hurriedly got up and went into the house.

I sat there transfixed.

Shock ... severe distress. Now I realized why they needed help. Tiffany Mayer! I must have read the book five times, unaware that my best friend had written it.

Shock hit me and I gasped.

I always thought it was funny that the names in the book resembled ours. Bella, Edward, Rosalie, Emmett, Esmé, Carlisle, Alice, and Jasper. Although I couldn't do anything with Jasper. Holy crap! The book was just made into a movie.

Bella came back out with a pot of coffee and Edward followed her. They sat down across from me and looked at me.

Carefully. Did I see fear in her eyes?

Bella poured everyone a cup of coffee and handed me the sugar.

She had not forgotten.

"Why didn't you tell me about this?", I asked, slightly annoyed.

"I don't know. It's kind of never come up."

She looked at Edward with a pleading look, who said, 'Give me a hand! '

"It doesn't matter now. Let's get started then. Why do you need my help?"

"So there's the gala and I don't know anything about fashion ..."

... As if this could be overlooked ...

"... And you have always been good at such fashionable things. And so I thought I'd ask for your help," she finished, looking at me pleadingly.

"You ... respectively you two have never been the fashion icons. Sure, I'll help you. Gladly even. How did you avoid the public? There must have been a lot of inquiries?"

"That's why the stage name. Not to cause a stir. You know me. But now it's unavoidable and we have to go there. Edward is supposed to get an award."

Award? For what? Why?

She saw my questioning face and went on. Explained to me that Edward composed film music and listed some films in which his music was played.

I felt worse and worse. The two of them were something like superstars.

"I understand you guys. But Bella, there's so much professional help available. Not that I'm complaining ..."

"You're my best friend and I don't like it that way ... so the strange people. Please Alice, you can do it, I know you can."

Her voice became more and more pleading.

Of course I will help them, no question.

"I'll help you; I told you. Don't worry. I need to digest all of this first. Tiffany Mayer. Bella, that's so great. I'm so happy for you."

I was almost bouncing on my armchair with joy.

Edward looked at me, beaming, and Bella did the same.

My two idiots. Sigh. This could be something.

Our conversation rippled along, and we brought ourselves up to date in terms of the latest gossip.

It was getting to be evening and Edward suggested we order pizza.

Super idea.

An hour later we were sitting in the living room with a bottle of wine and delicious pizza.

"Do you actually plan to get married someday?", I asked, looking at them both.

"Well, we haven't really thought about that. "

She smiled at Edward, and he kissed her on the nose.

What a sweet pair they are.

"Eventually. We don't want to rush into anything."

"Rushing into it? Bella, you've been together for over ten years!", I said, amused. "Or kids? A little Edward and a little Bella, that would be something!"

They both turned red.

Why? It's just a normal question

They both looked at each other, desperate.

That's funny. Are they embarrassed? Let's test ...

"You must have a busy sex life, don't you?", I asked hypocritically.

Bella choked on her wine and Edward turned as red as the prettiest red apple on the supermarket shelf.

"Alice, you can't say the 'S' word. In public also still," she said, shocked.

Holy shit! They are still as uptight as they were back then.

"Bella, we're not in public, we're at your house on the sofa ... in your house! Sex is not a bad word."

No wonder they walked around in such funny clothes from grandma's junk box. No further development, even though they lived in the major city. There was no way around having to deal with words like that. You couldn't hide from them. Couldn't you? Apparently so, when I look at the two of them. Uptight is an understatement.

"Alice," she hissed, "please stop. This is embarrassing," she whispered.

Edward looked at me as if I had grown a second head.

This had to be changed and pronto.

"Uh ... I'll just go to my music room and ... um ... play some more," Edward stammered, leaving the room in a hurry.

"Bella, don't be so uptight. Sex is something normal between two people. You do it with Edward, don't you?" I asked her.

She looked at me in despair. Her blush became even darker.

Was that even possible?

"Sure Edward and I ... um ... have intercourse."

The last word she whispered.

"Bella, please say sex once."

Inwardly, I laughed. That is so funny.

"Alice, I can't do this!" she breathed.

"Why not? As I said, it's not a bad word."

I tipped more wine into her glass, and we toasted each other.

Honey, I'm not letting you off the hook that fast.

Bella weighed herself safe.

Not for long.

"So how often do you guys have ... intercourse?", I asked with a neutral expression.

"Alice, this is none of your business."

You bet, little girl. You and Edward need to come out of your shell. Very well, let's go in a different direction for now.

"Where did you get your clothes? You've always had no idea about fashion ... and Edward, too. But those things you're wearing, that's impossible. What for do you have so much money? Go shopping, treat yourselves."

"Alice, you know I hate shopping," she countered.

"We'll change that. That's why I'm here," I said, already looking forward to an extensive shopping spree.

This is going to be fun.

I poured her some more wine.

Maybe she'll loosen up a bit. 'Alcohol loosens the tongue', my grandma says.

I kept my talking topics pretty simple.

Bella got a new bottle of wine, and I opened it. After another half hour, Edward joined us again and Bella started chuckling.

Target achieved. So, let's continue with my little interrogation.

"Have you ever had sex in an unusual place?", I asked as kindly as I could.

Bella started chuckling again and Edward immediately looked away.

"No, Alice. You only do that in bed," Bella chuckled.

"Darling, you've had too much to drink. Come on, let me take you to bed," Edward said desperately, now looking at me angrily after all.

I don't believe it.

"No, Honey Bunny, I don't want to yet."

Edward sat back down and looked at his fingers.

The two seem to be more prudish than prude. Not an easy task. But the beautification of the two comes first, I can do the loosening up on the side. Edward is a little problem. I don't know if I'll be able to convey that as well with him. Maybe I should call Emmett, then Rosalie can come right along.

"Um ... Bella, Edward, what do you think about me calling Rose and Emmett. You haven't seen the two of them for a long time either and they would certainly be happy to visit you. What do you say?"

This is the best idea I've had in a long time. Great job, Alice. 'Patting yourself on the back boosts your self-confidence', my grandma says.

They looked at each other and communicated without words.

Amazing. My two lovebirds ... It was love at first sight with them. Oh yes, those were the days when we were all one unit. Sigh.

"Why not, actually," Edward said, beaming. "We haven't seen her in a long time. Call her, Alice."

I didn't need to be told twice.

"I'll do it first thing in the morning," I said smugly. "They'll be happy."

"This is going to be great, isn't it, Edward," Bella said, snuggling into Edward's side.

He nodded and kissed her lightly on the lips.

Oh yes, love must be beautiful. My prince has not yet reported. He should not wait so long, I'm not the youngest anymore.

"Yes, my darling," Edward breathed.

"Let's go to bed, shall we? I'm tired. You don't mind, Alice, do you?" asked Bella languidly.

"You go ahead. I'll finish my wine and then go to bed, too."

"Your room is just up the stairs, second door on the left. The bathroom is just across the hall," Edward said with a smile.

I nodded and he took Bella in his arms and carried her up the stairs. She giggled and gave him a kiss. He laughed and stroked his nose over hers.

Oh, my two sugar babies.

"Thank you and see you in the morning."

I waved to the two of them and grabbed my wine glass.

There they went and I sat here thinking about what I was going to do with them.

Emmett would work it out with Edward and Rosalie could give Bella and I a bit of a hand. It's going to be fun. What worried me a little, but really just a little, was that they were so reserved. So 'loosening up' was also on the agenda. A spa day, for both of them of course, was an absolute must. They are so beautiful and hide that behind impossible clothes and even more impossible hairstyles. But for what there is Alice and a 'beauty temple'. It will be fine. I'm so excited, no one will believe me. Tiffany Mayer. That's a tough nut to crack. 'Till Breakfast' was currently my favorite book of all time and the second installment 'Till Lunch' would be out in four weeks. I'd been looking forward to that for six months. Isabella Swan, that little minx. We'll work it out somehow, Alice. That's no problem. Bella has such beautiful long hair and Edward with his unusual hair color ... brown with a reddish tinge. The best hairdresser can't get that right. Yes, Mother Nature has made an extreme effort with these two. Bella with her flawless skin and beautiful face and Edward, six feet three inches, well-toned and pure eye candy. Well, when I'm done with them anyway.

I drank my last sips of wine and made my way upstairs to my room.

'A little sleep can't hurt', my grandma says.

Getting ready for bed, I slipped into it, tucked myself in, and looked forward to the things that might come.

Sleep tight, Alice.

I closed my eyes and turned back and forth on the exceedingly comfortable mattress to find an ideal sleeping position.

Yes, that's it. We'll work it out somehow. My name isn't Alice Brandon for nothing. That's right, baby, we can do it.