An:Yes, I' m alive. Sorry. Again, always. Sorry.
When she went out of the changing room, the situation was embarrassing. Edward was there, ready to be out of Barney's and she… she felt like a fourteen year old schoolgirl all over again.
And she liked it.
It was strange. They barely spoke to each other, they didn't look at each other, though both wanted desperately. It was just…strange. But not that it-doesn't-feel-good strange, the it-feels-so-great strange. And that, was the strangest thing of all.
They parted quietly, murmuring forced words of courtesy, stonewalling to the next day at work. An entire day at work with Edward. In the same room. Bella wanted to groan.
She was so frustrated, she didn't even notice she didn't buy the skirt.
Ok. Don't panic. Everything's gonna be alright. Ugh. Now she was a Bob Marley-ish girl.
But he was right. Everything would be fine. Now she'll pass those glass doors, enter calm and collected, act professionally and normally because: Nothing Happened Yesterday. Absolutely nothing.
Repeat with me: what happened yesterday? Nothing.
Are you sure? Yes!
Didn't hear it! Say it again! Yes!!!
Oh my god!!! She was cheerleading herself!
She wanted to cry. But she couldn't because in that moment the doors of the elevator opened and she was faced with the vision of her office at the end of the corridor.
C'mon Bella, she told herself. You can do it.
She started to march, chanting in her head a mantra, a wish, a plea to the Big-Man-upstairs, if there was even one: maybe he wasn't there yet, maybe he wasn't there yet.
Maybe …she pushed the doors open…she was fucked.
Because he was so there. Already.
He looked up from his place, smiling slightly "Hello Bella" he said. His voice was so…warm. And hot. Oh God. Why didn't she notice sooner?!
"Hello Edward". Wow! Her voice didn't tremble, she sounded so…sure and confident.
"So, I was thinking" he started, staring right into her eyes "about yesterday."
Oh god. He regretted the kiss. Not that she didn't. she regretted it so much. It was horrible. Really. So…vulgar, and tackish and…his lips were all… all… well… it wasn't that good.
"Yes?" she said, sounding sure, feeling anything but.
"So… have you thought about it?" he asked her.
"Umh…yes" she said. Smooth Bella.
"So?" he asked, eager, leaning in front of his desk.
Oh god. So…what?
"Uhm… I don't know" she said. When you don't know what to say, stay vague.
"You don't know?" he repeated, knotting his eyebrows together. "What are you unsure about?" he inquired.
Oh just about a million things. "Uhm…some little things…you know…I'm not accustomed to-"
He held a hand in the air, signalling her to stop "I know. Hell, I knew this would be difficult, but don't worry Bella, I'm here with you"
She felt so relieved, she felt like she could barely breathe since the start of the day. "Oh thank you Edward. It really means a lot to me, you know I-"
"I know. Deciding the end is the worst part. So, please tell what you thought of doing" he said.
Oh. Deciding the end. He wasn't talking about their kiss. He was talking about the book. The chat they had yesterday about the ending. Chat…more a …discussion.
"Yeah" she said putting on a forced and fake smile that seemed to convince him. 'Now Bella', she thought to herself , 'think of something plausible'. "I wanted to tell you that I completely agree with you" she said hurriedly, so fast she realized her words only after she spoke them. She agreed with him on what?
"You agree with me on what?" he asked, confused.
"About the ending" she responded. Did she have any control on her body today?
He looked perplexed "Really?" he asked, his hand on his chin "But I assumed you thought it was an idea worth of a fucking republican, a damned priest and a character of Seventh Heaven" he said, mocking her.
"Yeah, well… I think that this may be good." She started "I mean teenagers nowadays are too light with sex" look who's talking, she said to herself "Sex should be more …valued. I think we should return to our former beliefs… make Love , not sex" Oh dear God what the hell was she saying. Former beliefs? Please… " sex is something…sacred. It should be treated with respect. People should conserve themselves until marriage for the person they love. It's like a …gift. Would you give you loved one a damaged cardigan for their birthday? I don't think so!" she explained energetically. Oh god…she didn't even like cardigans." And then-"
"Okay" he interrupted her "I think I grasped the main concept." He said chuckling. Then he was serious, looking at her intently "Are you sure Bella? Yesterday you were so opposed to the idea…" he trailed off.
She smiled. Shit. "I'm not opposed anymore. I really thought about it. You're right". Her poor, poor little story. Completely ruined.
He rose his eyebrows " You're sure?"
She nodded, the plastic smile still plastered on her face. There she had it, the new title for her next book: "How to destroy your career, work and ambitions with four letters".
He smiled a bright, contagious smile. Those lips, so rosy and full…
"Ok, then. We have our ending". And he returned to his seat.
The morning went on rather uneventfully, not even a call from Alice. Bella had to make a mental note to call later, not an e-mail, not a text, a call.
And she was writing the dullest ending in all history of literature! It was so corny and honey-ish, and…sickeningly sweet. Bleah. She was sure she had become a diabetic.
They ordered food, Edward complaining about the disgusting Chinese dishes, and Bella enjoying hearing him complain.
What could she do? What did she feel? Edward was…Edward. He was her father, her brother…no, scratch that, definitely not her brother… her best friend. He could really click with her. She felt so safe with him. So at ease.
But, on the other hand, they were co-workers. If something went wrong…it would be horrible. Catastrophic.
No. She couldn't let this happen. She wouldn't. It was just a kiss. Nothing more. Nothing less.
"Bella" he called her, she raise her eyes to meet his "I was wondering if you would like to go out with me tonight, for dinner".
"Sure." She answered.
What?! No! No, no, no, no, no, no, no! What about "I won't let it happen"?
What about no affairs between her and Edward? No! This wasn't going as planned. But she couldn't control her mouth. The word just escaped from her lips before she could stop it…
He smiled "Ok. I'll pick you up at nine" he said.
She nodded, smiling "Sure". What the fuck? Sure? Could she not speak another word that day?
She re-thought it again : oh God…
Blue chiffon dress. Blue silk slip. Blue lace tights. Blue suede shoes, a Charleston type.
So much blue. But she was pretty. Nice, elegant, classy and sexy. Nothing over the top. Nothing too much. Sober. Calculated. Like Edward was.
She was ready a half an hour early. She was sitting on her couch, ready, staring into the empty space. Thinking.
And the doorbell rang. Her heart jumped in her chest and her breathe caught. Ok breathe, she thought to herself. In and out.
She went to the door, and stopped right in front of it. She couldn't do this. She didn't want to. It will go badly for both of them and their friendship. One of the few real relationships of her life, would be ruined. She couldn't allow it. She couldn't bear it.
She opened the door and her resolution crumbled to pieces.
He looked simply wonderful. With a black shirt, black suit trousers, black jacket. And the most red roses she had ever seen in one hand.
"Hi, Bella." She didn't know if it was his voice in general, or his voice pronouncing her name, but it gave her chills. Good chills. He gave her the roses, still smiling. "I hope you like them", he said, in his honey like voice.
She looked at him and then smiled. He was giving her flowers. And they were all for her! The most wonderful roses were hers! She sprinted to get a vase, hoping to seem collected and composed like a true lady. A true woman.
When she returned with the vase in which there were now the roses, Edward looked at her with a perplexed expression on his face "What? No snide remarks like: 'Oh Edward it's so cliché to bring roses, and red ones! I at least expected you to be more original than that! Like…peach roses!'" he conclude smiling.
She stared at him. She wanted so much to raise her eyebrow and ask him "Are you finished now?". But instead she simply said "Thank you".
Yes, totally like a fourteen year old.
He nodded, smiling slightly "No problem" and then he jumped off the couch…when did he sat on the couch? And started to walk toward the door, grabbing a coat "Is this yours?" he asked. She nodded, looking stupidly at him as he opened the door of her house. "C'mon then. Let's go eat". He said, smiling, looking like an old south gentleman.
She followed. Screw him. She had lost once again.
But, there's always a but, she did indeed have fun. At least, in the taxi.
They were once again Edward and Bella, freely talking and joking and messing around.
After ten minutes they arrived in front of a nice restaurant. The whole building was white, pure bright white. Bella briefly wondered how it could be that white with all the pollution, but her thoughts were diverted thanks to Edward's voice "Here we are." He said.
The restaurant was wonderful. It was classy, but not too much. It had a relaxed yet composed atmosphere, where you were so at ease that you could almost fall asleep feeling completely sure that nobody was going to steal your purse. The tables were numerous, each had a white tablecloth on it, and on every table there were vases with white roses.
White was the main theme.
A young nice waiter approached them, smiling enthusiastically. "Hello sir, ma'am. May I help you?" he asked professionally.
Edward smiled "I booked a table for two. Masen."
The waiter nodded. "Sure, sir. Please, follow me" he gestured with the arm to another room of the restaurant. This second room was smaller and more private than the other one. There were candles lit in every place, and a band was playing soft jazz music. The waiter gave them the menus.
"Wow. That's a really nice place Edward" she commented, not really sure what to say. She was so uneasy. She didn't know what to say, what to do, what to drink, what to read, what to feel! Why was she feeling like this while Edward was so…relaxed? How could he be like this?
Oh, God. She got it. She finally got it. This wasn't a date! Not at least in the romantic sense. That was why he was so …not-embarrassed! Because there were no feeling involved. At least on his part, she thought sadly. Well, it was better that way. No feelings, no illusions, no heartbreak, no awkwardness. Yup, definitely better that way.
"What do you want to order?" he asked her.
She tried to focus on the menu. "Uhm…I think I'll have…uhm…let me see…marinate egg yolk with parmesan fondue and black cod glazed with honey coffee and broccoli and…" he interrupted her.
"Chocolat crème with black olives and capers ice cream" he choose for her.
She looked at him, confused. "What?" she asked.
He smiled "I guessed. You seemed unsure. I'll take what the lady has" he said to the waiter.
The dishes were the most delicious thing she had ever tasted in her whole life. They were orgasmic.
"Mmmm they are so good. It's wonderful Edward" she said.
He smiled "I'm happy you're enjoying the dinner" he said, his hands under his chin. He sighed.
"What?" she asked, happy and light.
"Bella" he started, looking at the table "Do you understand that that's pretty much the longest sentenced you spoke to me this evening?" he asked.
Her smile disappeared. "What? No!" she corrected him indignantly "That's not true! We have…"
"Have what?" he asked, slightly animated "Have sat at this table, eating this delicious and expensive food, trying to ignore each other? No, sorry. You were the one trying to ignore me!" he said. He looked so sad. She didn't like it. Edward was so beautiful when he smiled "I brought you here because I wanted to spend some time with you. Because I like you Bella" he admitted "Not as a colleague, not as a friend. I like you" he sighed "as a woman. I kissed you goddamnit!" he exclaimed, throwing his napkin on the table.
"And I'm trying, really hard. But" he looked at her straight in the eye "If you're not interested, just tell me. This won't change things between us at work. Everything would be the same. I will change author if you cannot bear my presence. Anything at this point would be better than this!" he gestured her.
She kept looking at him. She hadn't processed his words yet.
"I'm sorry Edward. But I'm scared. I really am. I don't know what to do" she smiled, her eyes watery " in these few months I gained the best friend I could have ever hoped for. He's the one who guides me through everything. And now, he's not here to guide me, because he's the destination. And I really don't know how to get there. Because I'm a baby. A whiny baby. And I'm clumsy. I'm not good at reaching destinations. I break things. And I'm afraid that if I don't move right I'll lose my guide and my destination all in once. And I'll be lost. And the problem is: I don't know what the right move is. So I'm stalling." She finished, a tear brushing her cheeks and falling to the cloth "I'm stalling".
He looked at her "Maybe this is a mistake. Maybe we shouldn't go for it." He stood up "I'll go pay the check".
There it was. Her chance. She had what she had wanted all along, and she didn't even move a finger. He was right, it was a mistake. Exactly what she thought all along.
Her hand shot out to reach his, stopping him "No, this is not a mistake. I like you too Edward. I like you as a man. And I think we should go through with this. Only, please, give me some time to adjust." She smiled "I'm not good at these type of things".
"Are you sure?" he asked, looking ahead, standing in his full height above her. "I mean, because if you're not sure, then we should not…I could get-
He was stopped by her lips. They kissed passionately, compulsory. Her arms shot to his neck, bringing her closer to hi face, while his strong arms circled her waist, bring her closer to his body.
When they parted for air, they both smiled and she looked at him. "Yes, I'm sure".
He chuckled "Ok".
She grabbed her coat and looked at him, embarrassed "That's the most non-romantic first date in history. A fist date should be fun, sexy and romantic. Typical of me" she said, feeling guilty.
He caressed her cheek "Typical of us" she smiled "That means I'm forced to take you to many other dates then, Miss Swan, in hope to repair to this one" he said jokingly.
"Many others?" she asked, curious.
He nodded "As many as you want".
They both went to pay the check. Edward did for both of them.
After that, Bella spent the best night of her life.
And they didn't even had sex!
AN: for those who are probably wondering, like my wonderful Beta, if this is the end. No, there's still so much more.
Thanks for reading. Review!:D
Hope you enjoyed.