Jessica's Phone Call
Chapter 4 – Cafeteria
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight, or Edward, or Carlisle. . . damn. Yes, I know Carlisle's not in this story, but it's never wrong to mention Carlisle!
Author's Note: Sorry for the delay in updating. RL has a way of getting overwhelming sometimes!
This is the last chapter of the piece. Thank you to everyone who's been following this story. You guys make my day!
As I said before, this story was conceived and written before the release of the Midnight Sun draft. I posted it anyways. My Jessica is a lot meaner than SM's, but I think she must be mean for Edward to dislike her so much. I hope you enjoy this take on her.
As always, a huge thanks goes to KlutzLikeBella. I'd be lost without her! KLB wrote an awesome Jasper and Alice story called "Battle Wounds". I highly suggest you check it out. She made me fall in love with Jasper!
I thought he would never shut up. Mr. Varner droned on and on, under the pretext of getting us ready for the review Trig test next week, but I think he just liked the sound of his own voice. I mean, how many ways could there be to say the same thing!
I used the time to decide how to get Bella talking about her date last night with Edward. There was too much I wanted to know, so much I needed to know, and she was holding out on me. Frankly it was really annoying. After all, I had practically introduced them on her first day at school. She didn't even know his name until I told her! She owed me! I was the reason that plain Bella Swan had won gorgeous Edward Cullen!
Finally the bell rang, shutting Mr. Varner up mid-sentence.
I turned to Bella, ready to begin my next round of questions. I thought that if I implied a few wild accusations, that Bella might open up to deny them. I could learn a lot from the things she denied, especially because I knew I'd be able to tell when she was lying to me. It was time to implement phase two of my interrogation!
As I opened my mouth to speak, she said, "In English, Mike asked me if you said anything about Monday night."
What?! Oh, I forgot Bella and Mike had first period English together. Mike was asking about me? Excellent! I knew he had it bad for me! My Gawd, what had Bella said to him? Sometimes she could be so thick – I worried about how she had answered him.
"You're kidding!" I gasped, hiding my concern about what exactly she said. She wasn't very smart about when it came to what guys were thinking and I worried that she might have ruined all my plans for Mike. "What did you say?!"
She smiled at me. "I told him you said you had a lot of fun – he looked pleased."
Ok, ok. Not too bad. But I needed more details to know for sure what he'd been thinking. Bella could be oblivious where guys were concerned, so I'd need more information to analyze this for myself.
"Tell me exactly what he said, and your exact answer!" I ordered.
Thankfully she didn't hold back on the details this time.
Her eyebrows furrowed as she thought back to Mike's exact words. "He asked if we enjoyed Port Angeles. I told him it was great and that you got a cute dress."
"You didn't tell him what it looked like, did you?" I gasped, horrified that she might have spoiled the surprise. I wanted Mile completely unprepared for how hot I would look the night of the dance. And if word got out about my dress, other girls might copy me. The girls at school were so envious of me.
I was just debating exchanging the dress for another, when she said lightly, "No, of course, I didn't tell him. I thought you'd want to surprise him." And she winked at me.
"Oh, good. So what'd he say then?"
"He asked if you had said anything about Monday night and I told him you had a really good time."
"Oh my God. How exactly did he ask that? What did his face look like? What tone of voice did he use? Was he excited, happy, bored - what?" I shot the questions at her like bullets – no, like a battlefield general. This was, after all, my battleground. I knew guys – how to get them, how to keep them, and what made them tick. This was my area of expertise.
As I guided Bella through my analysis, I could tell she was impressed at the amount of information I could get from the tiniest detail. Watch and learn, Bella!
We continued the careful dissection of Mike's thoughts and intentions through Spanish class in hushed whispers. Bella was obviously fascinated by my technique for deciphering hidden messages. I was happy that I was showing her the light. This was far more important for her to learn than Spanish. And I enjoyed playing the role of teacher. It was empowering.
I was also hoping to show her what type of information I needed about her relationship with Edward. It would be rude of her to hold back on the goods about that, especially after I told her everything about Mike. I had confided what he said, how he said it, what he probably meant by saying it, the meaning of his body language, how much he liked me and how far I'd be willing to let him go with me. That's how friends acted! They talked. They shared. Bella really had a lot to learn about being a good friend.
When the bell rang for lunch, Bella leapt out of her seat. She grabbed her books and jammed them into her backpack. Wow. I'd never seen her want out of class so badly. She must be meeting with Edward.
"You're not sitting with us today, are you?" I asked though the answer was obvious.
"I don't think so," she hedged. Ugh, we weren't back to this tell-me-nothing attitude again, were we? She was going to drive me crazy! Had she learned nothing in the last hour?
She was finished packing up her things and I had to rush to keep up with her. There was no way I wouldn't be there to see if she was eating lunch with Edward or not. I'd be on her like white on rice until I had my answers; I wasn't letting her out of my sight. I would walk to the cafeteria with her. I refused to miss the look on her face when he either showed up or stood her up. Either way, it'd be entertaining.
I didn't have far to go for my answers though. Leaning against the wall right outside Spanish class was Edward Cullen. Wow. For the second time that day, he fried my brain. His grey sweater was stretched across his magnificent chest, emphasizing every rolling muscle. His long fingers were curled casually around his books. My brain flashed me a brief picture of the places I'd rather see his strong hands. God . . . can't . . . breathe . . . look away.
I tore my eyes back to his face, but was distracted again by his hair, which was in its usual careless disarray as if some girl had just been twisting her fingers through it while screaming his name. My heart was pounding as I quickly went through a list of the places I could drag him for some privacy – the janitor's closet, classroom 8A that no one used because of the leaky roof, out behind Building 4…
My fantasies were brought to a screeching halt when I realized he was staring at Bella. Even more importantly was how he was staring at her. His attention never wavered. He never looked away from her face no matter who passed in front of him in the hallway, and believe me, I saw a few girls try to get his attention as they passed him.
He looked at Bella like a dying man who'd just found redemption.
There was no doubt about it. My fried brain struggled with the conclusion it had reached. Edward Cullen was in love. My God – Edward Freaking Cullen was head-over-heels, desperately in love with Bella Swan.
Oh. My. God.
I was torn by this revelation. Part of me was upset that Edward was off the market. And it had happened so fast that there had been no time for me to act. How was I to know he would decide to finally take an interest in the girls at school? There had been no hint, no clue to allow me time to get close to him, to make sure I was his choice. The window of opportunity was obviously only open for a brief moment and I'd missed it. I pouted a bit about that. Then again, there was no way this would last. Bella Swan was plain and, quite frankly, not very interesting. And Edward was . . . well, Edward was a god. He was so far above her. He'd dump her in a week; maybe less if he got everything he wanted from her fast enough. She was so needy, he'd never be able to put up with her for longer than that. And if I played my cards right, I'd have a front row seat to see it. I'd be the first to know and then I'd be first in line to comfort him after the break-up. Yes, that would be perfect. And in the meantime, I had Mike – cute, sweet Mike.
So I decided to continue to be Bella's friend, her confidante. It just benefited me in so many ways. I just had to sit back and watch it all unfold.
Tearing my eyes off Edward, I looked over at Bella. She was flushed, short of breath and her eyes were glassy. Yeah, I'd feel that way too if that man were looking at me that way.
I rolled my eyes at her in disbelief.
You are so going to tell me . . . every . . . last . . . detail, Bella, I promised her mentally. "See you later, Bella." I told her to be sure she understood that I would be expecting details – great, gory, fascinating details.
I got my lunch and quickly sat down at our usual table. Angela, Lauren, and Mike sat down next. I was pleased when Mike chose to sit right next to me. I've obviously still got it!
Lauren was chattering pointlessly to Tyler as they sat down. I held up my hands to signal a stop to the conversation. Even people as the next table stopped talking to look at me.
"Remember what I told you this morning?" I asked archly.
At their blank stares, I rolled my eyes. "To keep your eyes on Edward Cullen and Bella today?" I used the tone of voice I usually saved for my stupid younger cousins.
At their looks of dawning understanding, I continued. "Well, keep your eyes on that door," I told them, pointing to the cafeteria doors. Saying "I told you so" had never felt this good.
Right on cue, Bella and Edward came through the doors. They were standing close together but not touching. I focused intently on deciphering their body language.
Edward led the way to the lunch line while Bella followed in his wake. As they moved through the lunch line, she looked uncomfortable and fidgeted with her jacket zipper. Edward couldn't keep his eyes off Bella. He looked like he was trying to read her body language too. I smirked to myself. It was so clear that they hadn't broken any physical barriers yet – not only had they not slept together last night, but clearly they hadn't even kissed yet. Their awkward lack of touching practically screamed the truth.
I was pleased. It proved my skill at reading people – I knew Bella wasn't lying in Trig class. More importantly, it showed that while I may not have touched the beautiful Edward Cullen, neither had Bella. She was no better off than me. I smirked to myself. And on top of that, I had Mike and would be kissing him (and maybe more than just kissing him) on Saturday!
But the grin slipped off my face when I remembered that Bella would be with Edward Saturday all day. Hunh. Lousy tramp.
I turned away from Edward and Bella to see Mike's concerned face. His blue eyes seemed to shine as he watched them. I wasn't worried, though. Mike couldn't still be interested in Bella, could he? Of course not.
I wiped the frown from my face and smiled seductively at him. "You look upset about something," I said to him, to bring his attention back to me. I also wanted to hear him admit that he thought Bella was pretty low, now that she was throwing herself at Edward.
He finally turned back to me. "What?" he asked confusedly.
"What are you thinking?" I asked him more bluntly, but softened my words by looking at him coyly from under my lashes.
"I was only trying to figure out what was so interesting about Cullen all of a sudden," he said.
Hm. Well that wasn't the reaction I was looking for, but at least he wasn't pining over Bella. It was time to get his focus back on me.
"Well, I'd much rather talk with you than think about them," I told him softly. This was really only a half-truth. I did want to speak with Mike, but I also wanted to watch Bella and Edward. So as Mike chattered on about our History paper and making plans for this weekend, my eyes also followed Edward through the lunch line. He paid for both his and Bella's lunches. I noticed there was no discussion of this between them. He simply paid for it and she gave it no thought. Hmmm. That meant something. I stopped to analyze exactly what. I realized it spoke of a familiarity between them. They were communicating non-verbally, probably on a subconscious level. I didn't like it.
I watched them walk to the same table they had sat at before. Amy Gardiner and her cheerleader friends were sitting at the other end of the table. Amy's mouth dropped open when she noticed who had just sat down. That's right, bitch. I told you Edward was going out with Bella, I snarled at her silently and made a mental note to rub her nose in that later.
Realizing that my competitive look might be showing on my face, I quickly changed it to a sweet smile and looked Mike in the eyes. I still wanted him to think I was spellbound by the boring small talk he was making. Well, to be fair, Mike's conversation wasn't boring and on any other day it would have fascinated me; it was just not as interesting as watching the Bella/Edward drama unfold at the other table. So I made interested sounds, like I was listening to Mike, and stealthily watched the action at the other table. I wished I were close enough to hear them. It seems I'd just have to make the best of reading their actions and body language, but I was very good at that. Bella was sitting with her back slightly turned towards me, but I had a clear view of Edward. And really who wouldn't rather watch Edward than Bella?
Edward pushed the lunch tray to Bella, obviously offering her the first choice of the food he'd bought. She picked up an apple, but played with it, rather than biting it. Hmm. Maybe she didn't want to look like a pig in front of him by eating anything except fruit. I could understand that.
They spoke briefly and he took a bite of the pizza. As I watched him eat, I realized I could watch that man and his mouth all day. Damn, he was sexy. My breathing was slightly erratic as I imagined what I'd rather he did with that mouth of his. I couldn't help but compare him to the boys at my table. I turned to glance down the table and saw Mike, Eric and Tyler all also eating. Ugh. Gross. They'd stuffed their mouths so full, their cheeks bulged. They looked like zoo animals eating – like a camel or something. I wrinkled my nose and returned to studying Edward.
Maybe if I gave Bella a breakdown of what Edward's body language said, Bella might be more willing to share other information – like exactly what happened last night. I smirked. Give a little, get a little.
Suddenly, Edward laughed. Wow. Bella made him laugh. I couldn't remember hearing him laugh before. What kind of laugh was that though? I stopped to analyze it. He had sounded sincerely amused – no sarcasm, no suppressed irritation – just a genuine, relaxed laugh. I'd have to tell Bella later. Maybe I'd better convince her that he was laughing at her…. She might leave him alone sooner if she thought he was making fun of her by being with her. Maybe that's what this was—Edward dating Bella for some kind of bet or something. That had to be it. Edward would never really date her, but no man likes to lose a bet. I let my mind play with that for a moment before I remembered the way he was looking at her outside of Spanish. Damn it. That couldn't be the situation.
Just then, Edward's eyes snapped to mine. A shiver went down my spine. It was strange how the Cullens could be like that – one moment so beautiful it made your eyes hurt, then in the next moment, they seemed . . . different . . . no, that wasn't the right word. I struggled to find the right expression to describe the feeling they invoked. 'Dangerous' sprang to mind, but that made no sense.
I shook my head to clear the silly thought. Edward was beautiful. That's all that mattered. Beautiful people weren't dangerous. All the Cullens were beautiful. All the more proof that I belonged with them. I just had to play my cards right.
Edward's attention was drawn back to Bella, when she lifted his pizza and took a bite exactly where his mouth had just been. His eyes widened with surprise and even at this distance, I could see his breathing hitch. Even as annoyed as I was by his reaction, I had to admire her move. She'd played it well. By touching her lips to where his had just been, she had obviously sent his mind reeling down paths of where else he'd like to see her put her mouth. She was better at this than I thought. Damn her.
As they continued talking, I noticed that they gravitated towards each other. More than ever I regretted that I couldn't hear them; their conversation looked very intense. They were so wrapped up in each other that they seemed oblivious to the many eyes watching them. I thought Amy was about ready to get up and punch Bella. Well, ok, I was exaggerating, but she clearly wanted to tell Bella off. I wondered if she would. I also wondered if there was any benefit in encouraging Amy to express her jealousy later. What would happen if Amy blew up at Bella? I'd have to think about that. It was definitely something I wanted to see, though.
Between watching Bella and Edward, I also glanced around the lunchroom to see who else was watching them, as I had suggested before school this morning. To my delight, I found a large number of people were focused on them. Well, I hope they remembered that I had called it! I told them about this before they saw it with their own eyes. That's right – me! It was all me! I sat up a bit straighter and threw my shoulders back, feeling very good about myself. That is, until I caught sight of the guys at the jock table. They were watching too . . . wait a minute . . . they were watching Bella! And it seemed they liked what they saw!! No, no, no! This wasn't the way it was supposed to go! Edward was not supposed to be making her look more attractive!
In absolute disgust, I put my mind to regaining the upper hand in this situation. I listened intently to try and hear what I could of Edward's words. I cursed under my breath when I still couldn't hear him or Bella. Damn, why'd they have to sit so far away! It wasn't fair.
Getting frustrated with trying to make out what they were talking about, I looked over to see what the other Cullens thought of Edward's defection to Bella's table.
I grinned wolfishly when I saw their reaction. My, oh my, they weren't happy, were they? I chuckled. Catching Mike's quick look my way, I composed myself and batted my eyes at him innocently. He smiled in confusion and turned back to listen to Eric.
I returned to studying the Cullens. Rosalie looked ready to kill. She was glaring at Edward and Bella and I could see her lips moving fast. Only Emmett's hand on her shoulder seemed to be keeping her in her chair. What I wouldn't give to be able to hear what she was saying! Or what Emmett was saying to calm her down. Maybe she was upset because Edward was dating outside of the family? Oh my god, imagine!
Jasper looked pissed too, but he wasn't speaking. He glared off into the distance away from the rest of his family. His lips were pressed tightly together like there was a lot he'd like to say.
But he kept quiet. Probably for Alice's sake. She held his hand on the table and was obviously trying to make peace with both Jasper and Rosalie. I could tell by her expression and by her hand rubbing circles on the back of Jasper's hand that she was trying to calm him.
Then I suddenly remembered the fight I'd noticed earlier on their walk into school. Was Jasper angry about Edward or was he mad at Alice? Oh, it was too much to hope for!!! If Alice and Jasper were on the outs, then it was just possible that they were headed for a break up. Either way, he seemed even madder than he had this morning.
I reminded myself to keep my eye on that couple. Maybe Edward wouldn't be the only "Cullen" man to become available?
Hmmm. That raised an interesting question . . . which of the two foster brothers would I prefer if I could have either one?
Jasper was obviously the strong silent type. He was older than Edward (and therefore also older than me) and undoubtedly more experienced. His tall lanky body looked rock hard under his shirt. I licked my lips wondering what his skin would taste like . . . It was an effort to tear my eyes away from him.
And my attention drifted back to Edward like a moth to flame. Damn, he was gorgeous. It almost came as a shock every time I saw him, like my brain couldn't possibly remember his absolute perfection. My heart started hammering as I studied his unruly bronze hair, his strong hands, the lean muscles of his forearms that I could see where he had pushed up his sleeves, his sculpted chest that I could glimpse in the V of his grey sweater. . . Edward, definitely I'd pick Edward. He'd be my choice, hands down.
Mike bumped into me as he stood up. "Coming, Jess?"
What? I was slightly confused. Lunch was over already? I gathered my things, while Mike waited for me. It seemed oddly symbolic – Mike waiting for me, while I waited for Edward. It seemed right. Mike would do just fine until I got what I was waiting for. I would wait and watch and bide my time. Just as soon as Edward was free, I'd be there for him. He'd be mine then – all mine.
I smiled up at Mike and let him lead me from the lunchroom.
End Note: And that is where I'll end this story. Jessica's path at this point in Twilight diverges from Bella's for a number of chapters and I'll leave her to pursue her own life. Besides there's only so much of Jessica's thinking that any of us can take!! LOL
Please let me know if you enjoyed the story from this POV and if this is the way you saw Jessica too. I'd love to hear your thoughts. :D