"I'm not coming over anymore if Alice is going to treat me like Guinea Pig Barbie when I do," Bella complained.
I was bemused, unsure whether Bella was truly that oblivious or merely being difficult. She was disarmingly observant most of the time, but her mother's genetics had to assert themselves occasionally, I supposed. Perhaps tonight was one of those times.
Once again, she blindsided me. Most women enjoyed being beautiful, and beautiful didn't even begin to describe Bella tonight. Beautiful was everyday for her. Tonight she was stunning. She should be basking in her glory, or perhaps coyly blushing at the transformation Alice had wrought. But there she sat, glowering at me like I'd kidnapped her at knife-point and was demanding her ATM pin.
My cell phone rang, and I glanced at the number. Bella's house. Charlie had considered grounding Bella to keep her home tonight but the policeman in him decided to be fair and let her enjoy her Junior Prom. I only hoped Bella hadn't somehow talked him into following his paternal instincts instead.
Bella's inviting lips turned down in confusion. "Charlie?"
"Edward." He cleared his throat. "Um... Apparently there's been some confusion. Tyler Crowley is here and he says that he and Bella have planned on going out tonight since early March."
"You're kidding!" Alice only saw him showing up at Charlie's house. We never dreamed he'd actually press it this far. I grinned despite myself.
"What is it?" Bella looked panicked, probably wondering what Charlie was up to.
This was entirely too good. "Why don't you let me talk to him?"
Tyler had vacillated between starting a fist-fight with me and finding a more devious means of revenge. While his thoughts often centered on Rosalie and her pranks, he didn't dare to cross her again. I had hoped for him to simply go away, but this was infinitely more enjoyable. I was going to owe Alice an entire wardrobe.
"Bella?" Tyler asked hopefully.
The sound of her name on his lips awoke a viciously territorial part of me. "Hello, Tyler, this is Edward Cullen. I'm sorry if there's been some kind of miscommunication, but Bella is unavailable tonight."
"But she — "
"To be perfectly honest," I cut him off, triumph swelling in my chest, "she'll be unavailable every night, as far as anyone besides myself is concerned. No offense. And I'm sorry about your evening." I snapped the phone shut with a satisfying sense of finality. She's mine.