A/N: Hey there. This chapter's a bit random, but provided me with a few good laughs. It sort of gets the ball rolling at the end. Haha. This story is taking awhile to do so, but thanks for sticking with me guys! Think we could get to fifty reviews? Longest chapter yet I believe. I'm going away this weekend and next week is assessment free so I'll either be writing more chapters or studying for exams haha. We'll see.
Um listen to... The Best Damn Thing by Avril Lavigne for this chapter. It's upbeat.
The day was cluttered. I assumed we would split up into groups or something, considering our large number, but Alice insisted we stay together and 'enjoy the experience'. I think she mostly wanted to keep an eye on me to prevent from buying anymore khaki skirts or sweatpants.
So, I now stood between Emmett who was trying to determine the identity of a fabric-y black contraption, and Jasper who was frowning and comparing two identical bras with two significantly different price tags; both of which Alice was buying. He sighed, and proceeded to place them back into the cart under Alice's warning gaze.
"One has a silk protecti-" She started to insist but Jasper cut her off with a look that clearly stated he would prefer to live off of penguins for the rest of eternity than hear the end of that sentence. She shrugged and carried on, throwing bits and pieces into the already overflowing cart.
"Bella..." she began ominously, her gaze finding me examining a shimmering, forest green pant suit ensemble. I looked up, worried.
"After this department store, me and Rose are headed to that lingerie boutique-"
"We were just there."
"That was a pet store!" She exclaimed and continued, "But we were going to take you along..." She winked.
I rolled my eyes.
Alice barked a short, enticing laugh.
"I don't believe I asked your permission."
I would have been horrified at her response, but you see, I was maxed out. Edward chose this moment to make his appearance, his eyes alight with excitement.
"Have you SEEN the size of the dressing rooms?!" He yelped, grinning from ear to ear. I raised an eyebrow.
"Have you ever been shopping before?" I asked, incredulous. He paled a bit, if that were possible.
"Well...not- personally...I have read about it though." He insisted, slightly abashed. This angered me.
"You have been needlessly throwing me to the wolves," I gestured towards Alice and Rosalie who were currently fussing over a feathered boa I found repulsive on sight, "while you had never personally been subjected to such traumas?" He appeared to not hear me, now preoccupied with a pile of men's ties that had been marked down, humming enthusiastically while doing so.
I looked at Emmett to share this slightly staggering moment of my cooth vampire boyfriend loosing his cool to discounted, mass-produced clothing. But he was snapping the elastic in a pair of pink, fruit of the loom panties with a look of fascination. I sighed. This day had barely begun, and already I wanted to crawl up in one of the changerooms and pray for death.
Alice had managed to drag me (I'd be lying if I said figuratively) to LaSenza with her Rosalie and I now slumped disheartened in the corner of my dressing room, staring down my current enemy. I would not try it on. I would say I had, but had founded it not to be my style. There was not a snowball's chance in hell I would have that ... hideous-thing touch my relatively clean skin!
"Bella?" Rosalie called from the other side of the dressing room, that now seemed quite distant.
"Mmmhmmm?" I answered back, trying to sound the image of innocence.
"Alice and I want to see what it looks like."
"Um...I don't know, you guys." I whimpered pathetically. I heard Alice's impatient exhalation of breath and the irritated tapping of black-painted fingernails on the wooden door.
"Bella..." Rosalie's voice was less friendly now. Our 'sometimes' truce was on a hiatus, it appeared.
I almost began to reach for it and jolted out of my sudden fear of being murdered by a sinfully gorgeous blonde vampire.
"No!" My voice came out a high-pitched squeal. I could hear my two sisters collapse into a riot of giggles at my outburst. I would not succumb to their misplaced, childish laughter.
"Bella," Alice tried to coax, sighing off her last session of giggles. "If you don't put it on yourself, we'll put it on for you." Her voice held an edge of threat to it, sharp as a razor. I gulped.
"I doubt it." This catalystic murmur of my voice had not meant to be spoken aloud, nor be heard by the hyper-sensitive ears that lingered outside the doorway, with only a cheap piece of metal to snap in order to break through the barrier.
Before I had a chance to regret my words that I hadn't anticipated leaving my mouth, Rosalie had me pinned to the floor and Alice proceeded to strip me of my baggy jeans and gray sweater. I shrieked.
"GET OFF, GET OFF, GET OFF, GET OFF!" I was flat out screaming. I was freakishly ticklish, and had managed to spend close to two years around a perceptive, literally inhuman family without it coming up. I writhed on the ground in involuntary, unhappy, laughs that erupted from my shaking chest. Even in the considerable circumstances, I still had a chance to acknowledge my bare body with a hot, scarlett blush. It was quick and Rosalie deftly sprung to her feet, and Alice tugged my hand into stand position. I took a self-loathing, humiliated glance in the mirror and I felt hot tears spring to my eyes.
There I was, completely de-Bella'd, with my feminine parts enclosed in a sickly sweet shade of pink. My chest was strapped and lifted into an embarassing amount of cleavage and attempted to feign an innocent appearance, juxtapositioning a ridiculous-looking cerise-coloured bow. My stomach betrayed my lack of muscle and shone a ghostly white and trailed my eyes down to a match pair of pink panties with disturbing amounts of ruffles trimming the sides. But that was absolutely, without a doubt, completely and totally not the most embarassing part of this. Not by a long shot. There, hooked to the hideous pink underwear, were a pair of appalling, hooker-esque fish nets, criss-crossing frighteningly down my long pale legs. I let out another scream.
"I'M A SKANK!" I yelled, horrified.
My sisters were having a fit and so quickly that I couldn't be sure, Rosalie was snapping photos on her hot pink Crzr. Before I had time to strip off the awful monstronsity, a beautiful, but horribly familiar voice was calling my name to where we all stood, with our different emotions boiling. However, I was so deeply upset, I could think of nothing but the disgusting pink tainting my innocent frame.
"Bella?" Called Edward, and multiple footsteps were to be heard along side the gorgeous voice.
I remained in a trance, glaring at the mirror. Alice shook my shoulder. Rosalie coughed.
"This is about to get either extremely hilarious, or very stressful." I thought I hear Rosalie mumble under her breath. I couldn't be sure. My mind was quite far away. The door that flung wide open certainly shook me out of that state.
My body could not have reacted faster to the most potent kind of humiliation. It was one thing having two girls that I knew had seen it all, and this was merely a very embarassing joke to them, but to have three grown boys, gawking at my lack of clothing ('provocative' if that were possible on such a plain figure) made my gag reflex ignite and I willed my brain to shut down so I could pass out, and self medicate. My face pulsed a bright burgundy that I was sure would never simmer again to my original pale; I would be perpetually sunburnt. I soon heard a girlish, high pitched shriek. I wondered where it came from.
Before I had a chance to blink, Edward's protective arms were like a stone vise around my body, I was suddenly in my original clothes, and a quiet scolding was emanating from his icey looking lips. The department store was a blur and I imagined people would be staring, but it was hard to care when all my embarassment and irritation had dissipated because of the stone arms I loved so deeply cradled me. His snarls that echoed so loudly in his chest, next to my ear were the only thing that continued to unnerve me.
We were seated comfortably, conservatively , in the food court, I, with an orange julius placed firmly in my hands and a box of greasy fries sat next to them. Edward stroked my face with the back of his hand repetitively, concerned etched on his remarkable face. I didn't have the heart to tell him my uneasiness had not completely been from Alice and Rosalie's barbie workshop but the fact that he, Emmett and Jasper had not failed to miss the show.
"Are you alright?" he spoke softly, as if not to frighten me.
I could not resist a giggle.
"Well, I can't deny that was the single most embarassing moment of my life, but you're overreacting a bit." I was staring at my drink, my cheeks flushed a bit.
He sighed and broke into a bit of a chuckle. And then growled.
I looked up and the rest of the Cullens were trouncing over to us, Alice grinning like a psycho.
"Don't believe you're invited." Edward rejected their arrival. Alice ignored him and sat down.
"Aw, come on, Edward, we warned her fair and square!" she spoke sweetly.
Edward turned to give her a stare that emanated hate, but stopped abruptly at Jasper's expression.
I was so frustrated in general. Frustrated at Alice's persistent guiltrips for me to go shopping with her, frustrated at what had happened, frustrated at being my conservative self, frustrated at the whole day, I just wanted to end it.
"You know...Why don't we go finish shopping? Go find a hotel." I was mediating even though this was somewhat my fight.
Everyone's faces were shocked that I was 'willing' to spend more time being Alice's and Rosalie's coat hanger. Edward's look was the most questioning.
"Come on," I grumbled, uncomfortable with all of the eyes on me.
That was the first time it happened.
A spikey blonde haired boy approached me as we all stood, and grinned at me expectant. I blushed.
"Hey." He stated simply.
"Hi..." I greeted back, somewhat mockingly.
"So...wanna grab a coffee?" His invitation caught me off guard, but before I knew it, Edward had reached my frozen, confused hand, and whisked me out of the food court before I could even blink at this Abercrombie and Fitch model-esque boy.
I could hear the rest of the Cullens peeling out ear-rippling laughter.
I was stunned. Firstly, I was in L.A.. Weren't there more stunningly beautiful model/actresses/singers in every square metre? Being completely blatant, I was a downright dog compared to any of them. Secondly, was he so blind as to ignore the unmissable gestures Edward threw me clearly implying we were an item? And did he have no self-preservation instincts? He must have seen Edward's enormous brothers.
We were in a secluded corner of Aeropostale before anyone could manage anything but melodic cackles.
Edward, however, was peeved.
Alice was grinning innocently, but I could not be deceived. She was up to something.
Edward spoke calmly, surprising contrast against his face.
"I guess you should tell her how appallingly rude you've been today, Alice."
A/N: Bet you've got no idea what's going on!
Don't worry! You'll understand soon enough!!
Enjoy my lovelies.