Title: First Kiss
Category: Books » Twilight
Author: Katerina Petrova Salvatore
Language: English, Rating: Rated: T
Genre: General/Romance
Published: 06-22-08, Updated: 11-19-10
Chapters: 6, Words: 14,328


Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Title: First Kiss
Author: Franzalexa
Date written: June 22, 2008
Disclaimer: Everything you recognize is not mine. Twilight, as we all know, is Stephenie Meyer's.

Summary: B/E all human. Sixth grader Isabella got her first kiss from the most popular high school freshman, Edward. Unfortunately, Edward moved out of the USA, and it was not until ten years later that the two meet again out of destiny. R&R

Warning: Characters are OOC and go by different names to make this story go. If you don't like the idea of it, then you're free to leave this story and move on to the next. Fanfictions are stories written by fans in their imaginative way, so please don't flame me if I write my story this way or that way.


CHAPTER ONE

"Umm, Ed, I'm not exactly sure how this goes," I said hesitantly as he led me to the room behind the mahogany door, away from everyone in the living room.

I saw Ed flash a grin. Oh, how I loved that crooked smile of his! Every girl in school talked constantly about that infamous smile! He was perfect—everything a school girl wanted for her first crush. I hoped that someday, I would end up with someone like him, if not with him (since that's pretty much a hopeful thought).

"Don't worry, Isa, I'm not gonna hurt you," he said in his most charming voice. I knew I should feel lucky that I'll be doing this with Ed Cullen, but it was something else when you're doing something for the very first time, especially when you were not even supposed to be there but your best friends just insisted that you come anyway. Ed held my hands and looked me in the eye. "This is not your first time, is it?" he asked me simply.

I kept my composure and gathered all the courage in me before I lied, "Of course it is not." But it was. I was only twelve years old. How was I supposed to have experience in anything like this at all? A chaste kiss on the lips would be the most a twelve year old girl should get, and that was really what I secretly meant when I lied. I knew he probably thought I'd kissed a guy or two, considering I hung out with the most popular girls in my batch, but it's nothing like that. I had never been kissed by anyone at all! Sure, I had friendly dated a few guys, and trust me, they were all just hang outs. Anyway, none of them ever went past the first dates, and of course, considering my age, I was not supposed to go farther than an innocent kiss on the cheek! I was really picky when it came to guys. Not that the guys I hung out with were not good-looking or anything, but of course I wanted to have someone decent and intelligent at the same time.

"Great, so this should be easy," he replied in a smug. "Before you know it, our seven minutes will be over." He looked at his watch and said, "Make that six." But I did not want it to be like that. I mean, even if I made a fool of myself, I knew I wanted to have my first kiss with Ed! He's in high school, he's hot, and he's every girl in our whole school wanted. Heck, even senior girls hit on him sometimes! And who was I to deprive him of his fun. I mean, I was not exactly sure he wanted to kiss a twelve year old, but he seemed fine with it, so really, I had no say in it. Plus, I knew that deep down I was grateful for this chance to have my first kiss with the popular Ed Cullen. It was an opportunity a lot of girls in school would die for. I was in sixth grade, and he was a high school freshman. So really, who was I to say no?

"Okay, so are you ready?" he asked me, as he put his hands on my waist. I smiled confidently and nodded my head. Soon, his face was like a centimeter away from mine and our lips touched. I immediately shut my eyes like it was reflex action. The kiss was very chase, innocent, and plain to say the least. Undoubtedly, I had feared that I would be embarrassed since I was inexperienced in this field. The most I knew about kissing was about my best friends (Alice, Francesca, Kate, and Rose) escapades with their boyfriends. Luckily, Ed was kind enough to treat me gently, so my anxiety before the kiss happened was practically senseless. The next minutes were spent with Ed and I looking at random things in the room, or at least that was what I was trying to do because I was so shy to look into his eyes.

"HEY YOU TWO! GET OUT OF THERE ALREADY!"

We heard voices from outside the room. Of course our seven minutes was over. I could not help but feel sorry and relieved at the same time—sorry that I would not have his attention after this and relieved that I would finally be able to not look stupid in front of a popular high school freshman.

"Damn!" Ed said at the same time I thought of it. I looked into his eyes and saw frustration, was it? Wow. Or maybe I was just imagining things. What could he possibly want to do with plain, silly Bella? He gave me a charming smile and so in return I gave my best smile back. I tried my best not to jump at the boy and kiss him again. Yes, I was in love with the boy, okay? Who would not be?

Like before, he was a gentleman as he led me out of the room and then we faced our friends. The boys were wolfwhistling at Ed and then some guy named Mark high-fived him. I met the grins of my friends and took my seat. Alice was grinning like a madwoman. "So, how was it?" she asked in her singsong voice. I just gave her a sly smile and then looked at the other direction where the man of my dreams was seated.


I woke up with the sound of rain dropping from the balcony of my apartment. God, I had that dream again. I did not know why, but for some reason, I had been bringing old memories back. I had dreamt of the exact same dream for the third time this week. It was painful enough that I did not get to see Ed after that summer day, and it had been what, ten years? Well, it was an innocent crush. Really, it was not like I was in love with the guy!

I took the blanket off my body and slipped into a shirt. I did not need to open the blinds to see it was dark outside. Without putting an effort to get dressed decently, I went to the living room and opened the television. I got a bowl of cereals and some milk then I run an episode of my favorite show, One Tree Hill. It was an episode from the third season, when Brooke and Lucas got back together. It was so sweet when Lucas told Brooke how he was the guy for her. This, by far, was my most favorite episode. But the writer had to ruin Brucas and run PUCAS by the fourth season, which was very much a badass thing to do, considering how Brooke and Lucas perfectly fit each other.

Then I heard a loud crash from the hallway. I got nervous and immediately, I grabbed my baseball bat from the back of the door. I did not think anybody would go home to anybody's apartment at this time of the day. It was 2 am, for Pete's sake! So I thought of only one thing: it was a thief.

I slowly opened the door and made sure I did not make much noise. As soon as I saw where the noise was coming from, in spite of the darkness, I saw a figure of a man, trying to unlock Mr. Brigg's apartment. Mr. Brigg was the old man who lived next to my apartment. He was around 70 years old, living all on his own, with the occasional visits from his only child, Amelie.

"What do you think you're doing?" I asked in the bravest voice I could muster. The man looked at me. For a while he looked scared and then I saw that look disappear from his eyes as he looked at me up and down. Oh crap, I was only wearing a shirt! "Stop staring at me, you perv!" I told him. "You should leave now, or I'll call security."

The man laughed at what I said. "No need to do that, miss. I have my keys, see?" He showed me the keys. So… he wasn't a thief?

I sighed in relief, knowing that it wasn't one. I exhaled, not knowing I had been holding my breath for too long. "But—Mr. Briggs! He lives there!" I said silently.

"Umm… I think he used to," he answered. Even in the dark, I could see his lips form a smile. So Mr. Briggs moved out? How come I did not know? Was I that much of a loner these past few days that I did not know my neighbor moved out of his apartment?

"Oh God, I'm so sorry! I did not know he moved out, and it's like 2 in the morning! I did not think someone would come here at this time of the day, let alone move in," I told him apologetically.

"It's okay," he replied. He still looked scared, though.

"What?" I asked him. Then I noticed he was looking at the bat I had in my hands.

"The next time I move into another apartment, I should probably choose a better time than 2 in the morning," he said as he successfully opened his door.

I laughed lightly. "Ahhh well, I should probably go back to my room. Sorry again for this. Good night-"

"Edward," he stated his name as he held out a hand. I took it and said, "Bella." Then I realized I did not really see his face tonight, err, or this morning. I think there should be a law that keeps the hallway lights all the time.

"You too, Bella," he replied.

And with that, I went back to my room in a hurry, realizing that I was not very decent the entire time, and I was more embarrassed that I was about to hit my future neighbor with a bat.


So, did you like it? Please REVIEW and I promise I'll update asap! Merci! (:


Chapter 2: Chapter 2

A/N: Thank you so much for the warm reviews, everyone. Three hundred people have added my story to their favorites and story alerts in barely three days. I did not expect you guys would be so responsive to my story. Also, you guys could also check out my other stories if you have the time. Please do not forget to leave a review after reading this chapter. I would love to have as much reviews as the first, if not more. Let me know what you guys think about how the story's progressing. I hope that's not too much to ask. (:


CHAPTER TWO

For the second time today, I got up from bed. I was able to sleep for like five more hours before I finally decided I should really get up. It was now eight in the morning—not too early, and not too late for a Saturday morning. I was supposed to go on my daily jog at six but then I completely forgot about it once I got back to sleep. Since I had my early breakfast about six hours ago, I just grabbed a glass of milk from the fridge and decided what I would do the entire day. And then I remembered what happened last night, or like this morning. Oh my god, I completely embarrassed myself in front of my new neighbor, Edward! Pacing around the living room, I decided I would do something for my new neighbor. Nothing too fancy like cookies—he might think I'm actually flirting with him. Then I remembered I had some dough chilled in the fridge overnight. So I decided I would go for something simple for breakfast like one my favorites pain au chocolat croissant. I just had to do the dividing, then the chocolate, and then the turnings, then finally the baking. While it was in the oven, I took a shower, slipped into a pair of jeans and some shirt from Mango. I did not even bother to put on some powder or lipgloss. I just blow-dried my hair then I took the croissants from the oven, let it cool for some minutes, then I put them in a nice package.

Mr. Brigg's apartment, or Edward's, was in apartment 218, right next to mine. I hesitantly rang his bell. By the time I got there with the bag of croissants held by my nervous hands, I was considering going back to my place and forget the whole thing. Did I not say enough of the apologies last night? But I was too late to go back because now, the door was opening.

"Hi," I nervously said. I had to admit that in the next two seconds, I was absolutely surprised by the godly sight before me. This man could be a Hollywood celebrity or something. If I had not had my enough share of meeting and going out with celebrities, I would so be starstruck right now. But then I knew that he was not a celebrity. Otherwise, I would have recalled his face in one point or another. I was not able to see what Edward looked like last night since it was really dark in the hallway at two in the morning. Even then, I did not expect him to look this good. Well, if this was Edward.

"Are you Edward?" I asked. The man had messy copper hair and golden eyes. He was not that buff but the muscles were all in the right places. He was like a foot taller than me. I looked all over him. He was wearing some shorts and a white plain shirt, and it seemed like he just got up from bed. It was unfair how this man, although he seemed to have just gotten up from bed, looked all gorgeous even then.

By now, this man was smiling back at me. If he was Edward, which I was like ninety percent sure of right now, it probably struck him that I was the girl with the bat.

"Hi. Yes, I am Edward," he said in a soft and almost sexy voice. I then noticed that out of everything that happened last night, I missed the fact that he had a bit of British accent. I wondered if he was European.

I smiled awkwardly and courageously tried to look into his eyes. "I am—"

"Bella, right?" he continued.

My knees turned weak as he gave me the most amazing smile. "Ye-ss," I almost stuttered. "Ahh well, I baked some croissants for you, Edward. I did not want you to think you lived next to a psychotic woman who could kill you any time."

We both laughed at what I said. I gave him the bag of croissants, making sure I did not do anything reckless in those three seconds of time. "Ahhh, I did not really fear that," he told me. "Well thank you very much, Bella. It's really warm of you to do this."

"Do you like it here?" I asked him. But I knew for sure that he would. Mr. Brigg had a bigger luxury apartment than mine. I knew that his rent cost like two thousand dollars more. Don't get me wrong, my apartment was like one hundred and seventy five square meters, but Mr. Brigg's was like three hundred and something. I had been there a couple of times when Mr. Brigg sought for someone to talk to. The old man had lived in that apartment for three months and it was his choice because his only daughter Amelie, who was now thirty five years old, got married. Of course, being the kind father he was, he wanted her to have his old house in Forks. But then naturally, Amelie who loved her father so much had always tried to persuade him that it was not necessary for him to move out. However, Mr. Brigg rejected the idea. He thought he would be a nuisance to his daughter's new life. And now it seemed like fortunately, Amelie succeeded to make her father agree. But for real, who would really want to grow old in a busy place like Seattle? Yeah, I thought so.

"Yes, of course," Edward replied. "Do you want to come in?" he kindly offered.

Again, I hesitated. I did not really plan on spending the day with my new neighbor, no matter how gorgeous he looked like. But then, would it hurt to spend like fifteen minutes to get to know the person who would be living next to me from now on?

"Sure, thank you," I replied courteously. He guided me to his living room and I saw that he had fixed pretty much everything.

"Wow, how did you do this so quickly?" I asked him. There were a few boxes left everywhere but everything major was already settled.

"Well, someone's been receiving my furniture for me this past week, but I just moved in last night, as you can remember," he answered humorously.

"Oh," I replied. He beckoned me to sit on his red lovely couch. "Thanks," I said again.

"Hmmm... These smell really delicious. I haven't had breakfast so thank you," he told me. Naturally, I was glad that I was able to be of service. "But don't expect you'd make it up for me already. You owe me dinner, at least."

Wow. Did he just ask me out? Or maybe I was just being crazy.

"Uhh, again I'm sorry about what happened last night," I told him apologetically.

"Nahh… Everything's good. But you still owe me dinner," he said so bluntly.

It was not like I was completely opposed to the idea of going out with this hot man who lived next to me, but I did not know him just yet and I would not go out with someone I barely knew. Moreover, it was just too soon for me to go out with another man.

"So, where are you from?" I asked him quickly.

"Well, I just came from London last night. I have lived there most of my life," he told me.

Ahh… So he was British. I thought so.

"What made you decide to move here?" I asked him curiously.

He smiled and answered my question, "Well I heard there were a lot of gorgeous women in this area, so I thought to myself, 'Why don't I make my life a bit more fun?'" I did not really think he was talking about me. Immediately, I came to the conclusion that he was the ladies' man. He seemed to catch my reaction so he continued, "No, for real, I moved here because my work's based here for the next year."

"What do you do?" I asked him.

"I work for a multinational company that invents and develops medicine." So he was intelligent, eh?

"So you're a scientist?" I asked him in surprise. I did not really think he looked that much in love with books.

"You didn't think I could be one, did you? Actually I'm a doctor and a scientist."

I left my mouth open for like two seconds before I came at a good response. "Well, I thought you might be working as a model or something." Great, Bella, that was just great!

He laughed lightly. "Well if you thought of that then maybe you are one. Are you a model?" he asked me.

What the heck, of course I wasn't. At 5'4", how could anyone be a model? Plus, I was not even that thin! And really, I was not that beautiful. Even until now, I still had not learned to convince myself I was what other people thought of me. Sure I always belonged to the most popular groups in high school and college, but really, I was not that special!

"No!" I said it as if it was the stupidest idea.

"Ahh well, you could have fooled me," he told me. Was he that much of a jerk? I mean, he could pass as a snob celebrity or something.

"I actually work for Vogue." With that, I saw him look at me with a sparkle in his eyes, indicating his amusement.

"And you said you weren't a model."

I looked at him with just as much mirth. Did he really think I could pass as a model? "Well, Edward, I work as an events manager, and not as a model."

"Well, you could at least be some photo model," he insisted nevertheless.

"You flatter me too much, but I'm not that brave enough," I told him in all honesty.

"Well last night proved otherwise," he commented with a smirk. I raised my right eyebrow in an 'Is that so' look.

"Well I better get going and let you have your breakfast," I told him as I stood up and reached for the door. "If you need some help with anything, don't hesitate to ring me. I might be unavailable most of the time, but I might stay the entire day today—that is, the sun goes out, I suppose."

"Expect me to ring you in an hour or something. I most probably need your company, Bella," he told me bluntly. He walked me back to my door and then he thanked me for the time I spent with him.

"You're welcome," I told him. And he really was.


Chapter 3: Chapter 3

CHAPTER THREE

The entire weekend passed by without much thrill. I spent the entire Saturday doing some errands for my boss Julia. It was not a working day for me since I really did not have a new event to plan since the last event I held had just finished last Friday, so as you would expect I should have been free for the weekend to say the least. However, my boss had other plans for me so I had to go to work in late notice. She had to call me at the wrong time and ask me to get some of the new wardrobe from one of our best fashion designers who happened to be located in Seattle right now. And since I was the one who was in Seattle, the job was given to me. I was asked to fly back to New York ASAP and bring the whole thing with me. I did not complain, though. I enjoyed my work very much.

Don't get me wrong, it was not like I was a big fan of the fashion industry—not at first, anyway. If you want to know what happened, I took Organizational Communication for my college degree. Upon graduating my course, I really did not have an idea about what I wanted to do so I ended up being persuaded by my best friend Alice to accompany her in finding a job. Alice had always been my best friend. She and I were best friends the moment she asked me to sit on her jacket and draw some flowers with her. Knowing Alice, she was very much fond of fashion and the like so she ended up filing my applications to fashion companies like Vogue where I ended up working for. Luckily, my degree was made to be of use somehow and I learned to enjoy my work eventually. Alice, on the other hand, ended up designing her own fashion line and knowing how awesome her fashion sense had always been, she was now considered one of the best designers in New York. Most of the time she went everywhere and by everywhere, I do mean around the world.

Anyway, that Saturday, I talked to Julia. She was this beautiful woman in her early thirties. She reminded me very much of my other best friend Rosalie, only Julia had brown hair. Like most of the employees of Vogue, she was one of the fashion enthusiasts, and like most of them, she was one you would call a snob. Nobody got along with her that well. In fact, nobody could really get along well with anybody who had a high rank in the company. As an events organizer, I was considered important in the company and if there were events to be held in New York to cater to, it was just me, my colleagues Jean, Franco, and Elle who would be given the job. There were just the four of us who were mainly held responsible for the job. I guess you could say we were the heads of the events committee.

Julia had just given me two new projects for this coming month of September. Our Fall line had just opened on August but knowing Vogue, fashion never stops, and so for September, perhaps there were about five main events to be held. I was told that Elle would be helping me in one of the events so I would not have to worry about the deadline. So that meant that I had to fly back to New York again. Did I not just arrive here yesterday? I hated flying. I really did. But flying was one of the requirements of my job. So naturally I went back and forth from New York to Seattle. New York was my workplace but Seattle was my home since college. Well, it was not really my home. You see, I came from this small town in Forks, Washington. My mother Renee and my father Charlie still lived there. They had always been the happy couple (A/N: Yes, they're together in my story). I had yet to convince myself that I needed to permanently relocate to New York. But I loved Seattle so dearly that I had to keep my apartment in this place.

Sunday passed by quickly and that day was spent in my room mostly. I had to savor the last day I could spend in Seattle for what would seem like a week before I would be able to come back again. So that meant I would be leaving Seattle again and go to New York for the entire week and then go back to Seattle when I could. Julia already booked a flight for 4 am Monday. I know it was too early for a flight but at least she gave me a free Sunday.

Thinking about how I would spend the entire day in my humble apartment made me wonder how my new neighbor Edward was doing. He had told me that he would ring me yesterday but he never did. Oh, but of course! I was not around! Or maybe because he was not really interested in me at all. I was too much of a plain Jane. And most probably he already had a girlfriend. That's right—a man that gorgeous could not possibly be single! I threw the brochure I had in my hand in frustration. Where it came from I did not know.

"What am I thinking?" I asked myself. I could not be infatuated with him, could I? Of course I was not. I had just met him yesterday and even though he was utterly gorgeous, that gave me no reason to consider him special among all gorgeous men I met everyday in work.

"But he is! You know he is!" a voice in the back of my head said. What the hell was I thinking?

That afternoon, my best friend Alice gave me a call out of the blue. I was really surprised that she called at this time of the day. It was already 7.06 in the evening and knowing Alice, she was always busy with work and when she was not busy with work, she was busy with her boyfriend Jasper. Alice and Jasper met during college, and they hit it off from there. We all went to the same college. Most of our other best friends went to different universities, however. Rosalie Hale went to NYU. Francesca Lafferty went to UCLA. Those two I rarely saw since college, but we still kept in touch.

"ISABELLA!" her loud voice rung from the other line.

"Alice?" I asked in surprise. "What made you call your best friend oh so suddenly?" I said sarcastically.

"Oh Bella, my Bella, you know I am dearly sorry for not calling you since last week but you know how busy we both get," she reasoned. Yes, she was busy.

"I know, Alice," I replied. "You know that's fine. So what made you remember me and call?"

"You won't guess what Jasper and I had in mind!" she exclaimed.

"Probably not," I answered like the dull person I was.

"Oh Bella, we are going there for the next two weeks! Aren't you excited? Jasper was given some amount of vacation from work and I said why not spend that time with you so we can all get together and catch up on things?" She was still much energized. She never run out of emotions, did she? It had been a while since Alice and I got the time to just hang out as friends. If I was not mistaken, it had been more than a month since we got a day to ourselves as friends. She and Jasper lived in Hollywood California. I was not sure if Jasper minded going to Seattle for his vacation.

"Not at all! He's seeing some of his family in the area so he's just as excited as I am!" Alice replied. So that was good.

But I had to tell her I would not be around that entire week. "Alice, I'm sorry to have to say this but I have to go to work this week and it won't be until the weekend 'til I'll be able to come back here again," I told her regretfully.

"Is that so?" she asked sadly. Her exhilaration suddenly died down.

"Yeah, but you and Jasper could live here while I'm gone for the moment. You know you are always welcome in my apartment," I said.

"Oh thanks, Bella. I guess we'll just have to wait for you, won't we?" she replied.

"Yeah. You know what, I'll just give my keys to the receptionist and tell her to give them to you when you get here. Is that all right?" I said. From there, we talked about their plans during their stay in Seattle for the next two weeks.

Suddenly, the doorbell rang so I had to make Alice hold for a while. "Hey Alice, could you stay put for like thirty seconds? I just have to get the door."

I opened the door and it revealed my hot neighbor Edward. Why it had taken him so long until he finally rang me suddenly got out of my thoughts and I ended up leaving my mouth hanging like a fly could come inside any time.

"Hi Bella," Edward greeted. I realized I must have looked so stupid for not being able to greet him as early as possible. Had it been like a minute or something?

"HELLOOOO BELLA?" I heard from my phone. Alice must have thought the line died.

"Oh, sorry, hold that thought!" I told Edward. Great, Bella! Just great! That would make him think you're really psychotic. Answer that to a hello.

I got the phone back to my ear and said, "Hey Alice, can I call you back?"

"Who's that voice? He sounds hot." When Alice said this, I instantly blushed. Edward was undoubtedly hot.

"I'll tell you about it later, okay?" I told her. Of course I was not going to talk about Edward in front of Edward. That was just… plain stupid?

"Hmm! Okay!" Alice replied cheerfully. "Call me again whenever you're free. I'll be staying up until forever. You know me." After that, we said our goodbyes.

"Hey Edward!" I greeted him. Too late, was it? Of course it was!

"Umm… hi," he said again. Wow Bella, great work!

"Please come in," I invited. My hands were suddenly starting to sweat.

"Oh, can I say no to that?" he replied humorously with a light laugh.

"If you don't want to, it's totally fine. You know it's not going to break my heart," I told him in the saddest voice I could muster. Why I was playing this game I totally did not understand.

He gave me a smile that made my knees very, very weak. "Thanks, Bella."

"So what brought you here?" I said immediately. One moment I was starting to gain my composure then the next second I started losing it.

"Uhh…" He seemed to not have the words for my question.

"Oh no! Not that I was minding your coming over, of course! Please do sit down, Edward." I beckoned him to the nearest couch.

"I'm sorry to impose on you, Bella, but I just had to ask if it would not be much for you to accompany me to dinner tonight. You see, I heard from a friend that there's this amazing restaurant in 23rd Avenue and I wanted to try it. If you're free, that is." So dinner was really on? Oh my gosh, I thought it was just a joke! I never thought he was serious. There were too many beautiful women in Seattle that could hold his interest. Was it my lucky day or what?


A/N: Would Bella say yes because she's just too infatuated with the new guy or will she say no because she had booked a flight the next early morning? Who is Jasper visiting in Seattle? Wouldn't you like to know?

My updating this story solely depends on the reviews I get from the readers. So if you want an update soon, what are you waiting for? REVIEW! (:


Chapter 4: Chapter 4

A/N: This story has gone as far as 12,000 hits, can you believe it? Thank you to everyone who sends reviews. You guys are the cause of this update. (: This chapter is one of my favorites. It's Twilight meets Gossip Girl. No, Gossip Girl does not exist, but Bella meets the characters of Gossip Girl when she goes back to New York. I could not think of someone she could work for, so I made her work for Eleanor Waldorf and the rest is history. Haha. :P

I already replied to everyone's review (if you were signed in when you sent yours), and for those who were asking about other stories I write, I do have three Twilight stories, and you can check them out on my profile page.


CHAPTER FOUR

"I'm sorry to impose on you, Bella, but I just had to ask if it would not be much for you to accompany me to dinner tonight. You see, I heard from a friend that there's this amazing restaurant in 23rd Avenue and I wanted to try it. If you're free, that is." I never actually thought that he was serious about going to dinner. I looked at my watch instantly, just to check on the time, and saw that it was almost thirty minutes past seven pm. I really wanted to go out with him but I thought it would be too much too soon, and not to mention I had to be at the airport at two in the morning, which required me to leave my apartment at about one. I did all the calculations in my head when I received the call from Julia so it did not take that long to remind myself of my schedule.

I looked at Edward who was still standing there in all his glory, waiting patiently for my answer. He did not, not once, look elsewhere besides me. "I'm really sorry, but I can't, Edward," I told him regretfully.

He looked really disappointed for a split second but he regained his composure in a nanosecond. I knew it! he was the ladies' man! "Of course," he replied.

I smiled at him apologetically and said, "Please don't take it personally, I just have to do some stuff tonight."

He waved his hand in the air, saying it was no big deal. "I understand," he said, chuckling lightly.

"I'm leaving tonight for New York. My boss is a total freak and she's making me do this event and she wants me to start on it ASAP, so I really have to leave," I told him, hoping he would not think I rejected him because I was seeing someone else. He smiled the moment I finished my statement.

"How long will you be gone?" he asked, curiosity evident on his face.

"Umm," I bit my lip before continuing, "about a week."

He looked sad for a moment then he said, "So I guess I'll be seeing you in a week, then?" I nodded my head in response.

"Can you wait 'til then before you go to that restaurant?" I bravely said. "I want to accompany you, if your offer's still open." I smiled.

He smirked. Oh my god, those lips were just very tantalizing. I wondered how soft they'd feel on mine. Snap out of it, Bella!

"So I'll wait for you, then," he replied enthusiastically. I was happy-dancing in my mind.

"Okay," I said, smiling at him like a grade schooler. I was really excited to go out with him. I mean, he was really good-looking, and he was nice, and he was smart- and ahh! I thought he was perfect!

He took out his phone from the right back pocket of his jeans and said, "Do you mind if I call you when you're in New York?"

I smiled even more. I knew I was blushing by now because I felt my face heating up. "Yeah, okay." He handed me his phone and I pressed the keys to my number. "There you go," I said, handing back his phone.

For about five seconds, we were just looking at each other, not knowing what to say next, probably. Well, that was what it was in my case, I did not know about his. He pursed his lips and pinched his nose. I raised my eyebrows as I watched his actions. I thought I knew someone who did just that! But… I could not remember who it was. Then I thought that maybe it was just someone I watched from a movie or something of that sort, so I immediately dismissed the possibility of being reminded of someone I had personally known.

"So, I should probably leave you to doing your thing," he said, finally.

I bit my lower lip, not knowing what I should say to make him stay longer, but I was not successful in getting any idea. "Right, that thing…" I replied unthinkingly. "Thanks for dropping by tonight and asking me to dinner, Edward. And I'm sorry it could not be tonight."

"Nahh, that's okay. There are other nights, right?" he said lightheartedly. Did he really mean that?

I smiled in satisfaction. "Yes, other nights," I replied.

The flight to New York was kind of depressing. My iPod ran out of battery on the first thirty minutes because I had forgotten to charge it. I could not think of anything else to do so I slept through it all. When I arrived in New York, someone from the company was already waiting for me and he got all my stuff from the bags section. I did not have to bring too much stuff with me because I lived in New York too, so that meant half of my possessions were in my apartment in New York. I lived in the Upper East Side. I did not choose to live here but the company had provided for me as soon as I got my job. They thought of me as an asset, so they made sure to provide the best for me. I was simply grateful for their kindness and I knew I could not ask for more. There was only light traffic on my way to my apartment, thankfully.

As soon as I got home, I called Julia and told her of my arrival. "That's great, Isabella," she had said. "I expect you to show up at the Waldorf's tonight. They're hosting dinner and we're working with them for the next event." I had the whole afternoon to prepare for Eleanor Waldorf's dinner.

It was really good that I had learned a lot from my job. At least now I did not need Alice or Rose to dress me up every time I had somewhere to go to. I was fully capable of handling myself, unlike my past self, say about ten years ago. I was pretty much responsible, and I was proud of myself. I chose to wear my hair up, then I started working on my makeup. I aimed for a smoky pair of eyes in shades of black and silver that made my brown eyes stand out. A pair of black stockings and low cut black boots finally matched my little black dress from Fendi's Fall 2008 Collection. If Alice saw me right now, I had no doubt she would be proud too.

When I got to The Palace, I hurriedly got to the elevator. I had to ask someone to hold it for me because I did not want to be late for dinner. Julia would be so pissed off if I was late, considering I was the head of the event. "Please hold it," I said, almost shouting. I was so embarrassed when I got inside the elevator. There was only one other person, and he looked cute. I wondered if he was a model working for Eleanor. "Thanks," I said, not bothering to look at the man for I knew I would just end up blushing.

"You're welcome," he said in a very sexy voice. Damn it, I could not concentrate. "Are you heading to Eleanor's dinner?" he asked.

I had to turn to face him when I answered or else he might think I was rude. "Yeah," I said quickly.

"I'm Jake—Jacob Black," he introduced himself, holding out his right hand for me to shake.

I smiled weakly and replied, "Hi, I'm Isabella Swan." I did not think it would be appropriate to introduce my association with Eleanor to him because I did not know what his was either. I immediately thought he was one of Eleanor's models, so I did not have to ask further. His physical appearance already gave out the fact that he modeled for Eleanor. He was very tall, around 6'5, probably, and he was undeniably tall, dark, and handsome.

But he beat me to it, "You work for Eleanor? Are you like the new face of their campaign for the Fall line?" Another one who thought I was working as someone other than an events organizer, uggh. Were people actually that open to women four inches shorter than 5'8 working as a model?

If it was possible, my cheeks burned even more. I still could not control the way my cheeks burned whenever I was embarrassed. "No!" I said almost too loudly.

He chuckled. "Okay, you don't have to be too defensive about it," he said in between laughs. I was not being defensive; I was just repulsed by the idea of me being a model. That was utterly impossible because one, I was not a goddess, and two, I did not think I could ever do what models do, posing and acting all the time.

The elevator opened, finally. I was personally greeted by Eleanor herself. Good thing it was not Julia. I was not eager to see her face just yet. "Oh, Isabella, it's really great to work with you again! I specifically asked Julia if I could work with you and fortunately, she did not say no! I am just looking forward to working with you again!" Eleanor said fervently. I really liked Eleanor because she was a lively woman in her forties. She was not one of those rich women who were so stiff all the time. Eleanor was a lovely woman. "Oh, Jake, there you are!" She turned to acknowledge Jake's presence for a while, then she turned back to me. "He's one of my models. Let me introduce you to my daughter, Blair. I wanted her to work on this project too, so I thought it would be good if you could give her a tip or two." I smiled at Eleanor. I had not met her daughter personally before. The first time I worked with Eleanor was last season's campaign, and Blair was supposedly touring Europe with her boyfriend. I followed Eleanor to the dining area where a dozen guests were already gathered. I did not have to be informed who Blair Waldorf was. I knew her from all the local papers. She was talking to her best friend Serena van der Woodsen. They were both very popular in the Upper East Side. "Blair, honey," Eleanor called the attention of her daughter. Blair looked at her then she immediately noticed my presence. "This is Isabella, she's the one I was telling you about," Eleanor told her.

Blair gave me a weak smile. I did not really know if she liked the idea of working with me, or under me. "It's nice to finally meet you, Isabella," she said sweetly. It was so sweet that it almost sounded bitter, if you know what I mean. "And this is my best friend, Serena. She'll be working in this campaign as well, only she'll do the modeling. We're really looking forward to this event."

"Hi," Serena smiled sweetly. Of course, all Upper East Siders were raised for moments like this. "I've heard a lot about you. You're very famous in organizing events."

I was flattered by her comment. "Uhh, thanks, I guess."

I noticed they were both eyeing someone behind me. I turned around and saw Jake. So they liked Jake? "He's really cute," Serena commented.

Blair raised her eyebrows. "Not my type, S. You know me. I'm still not over that man I met in London last month."

Serena laughed lightly. "Oh come on, Blair. You should get over him. You and he dated for what, like two weeks? And clearly, he's not that pleased to find out you lied about your age. He's a doctor, B. Look at that man, he's clearly available for you. And I know he would so gladly go out with you." Wow, so Blair must be like really into this guy she met in London. I heard she'd spent the whole summer there and she just got here two weeks ago.

Blair checked him out again. "That's Jacob Black," I told them. They looked at me eagerly. "I don't know him. I just met him on my way here," I added. I knew there must have been a million thoughts running in their head.

We all had dinner the moment the clock struck seven pm. It was a very eventful dinner. I sat beside Julia who was keenly talking to the producers of the campaign. I was not very talkative, so I did not have much to say during dinner. They just discussed what they specifically wanted for the campaign. My mind was wandering back home in Seattle, thinking if my friends had gotten to my place safely, and of course, what Edward was doing.


EPOV

Monday was an uneventful day. I did not have much stuff to do and I did not know anyone else in the building but Bella, and she was apparently not here. I had a scheduled dinner with my cousin though, so I went to take a quick shower. I was dressed by six thirty, and then Jasper made a quick call to confirm where we would have dinner. Jasper lived in California with his girlfriend, whom I would be meeting for the first time tonight. They both flew to Seattle to meet up with me and some other friends, according to Jasper. I had been in London these past ten years and Jasper was so excited when he found out that I moved back here in the United States.

We met at Pete's restaurant. It did not take too long to find my cousin. It had been at least four years since I'd last seen him when he and his family visited me in London. "Hey!" Jasper greeted in excitement as soon as he saw me. We shared a big brotherly hug and then I noticed a pretty girl with black hair who shared the table with us. "You must be Alice," I said, smiling at her. "Jasper has told me so much about you."

Alice giggled. "Oh I hope it's just the great things about me," she answered. "It's really nice to meet you, Edward. Your cousin's very fond of you, you know that, right?"

The waitress took our orders and then we chatted throughout dinner. "Actually, I lived here for like most of my childhood," I told Alice. It was true. I had lived in the United States until freshman year of high school, and then I had to move to London because my mother's mother wanted us there.

Alice looked at me curiously. "You mean you were originally from the United States?" she asked.

"Yes, I used to live in this small town in Washington called Forks. It's really rainy there all the time," I said nonchalantly.

"OH MY GOD!" Alice squealed. I just blinked my eyes at her, not knowing what got to her.


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Chapter 5: Chapter 5

CHAPTER FIVE

APOV

"OH MY GOD!" I shouted as soon as realization finally hit me. This guy who was sitting before me, who also happened to be my boyfriend's cousin, was Edward Cullen from school! "You are Ed fucking Cullen!" I said, too loudly. A lot of heads snapped to look towards our table and I felt red when I realized it so. I saw Jasper choke on his grilled steak. "Babe, are you all right?" I asked Jasper and handed him his glass of wine.

"Yes, didn't you already know that?" Edward answered hesitantly. He still did not remember me, I was sure.

"Alice Brandon from Forks, remember?" I asked him, smiling widely. I could not believe I did not pay attention to what Jasper had told me about his cousin. I frantically recalled every time we had talked about his cousin and could barely remember him telling me his cousin's last name was Cullen. I would have put two and two together, no doubt.

"You two know each other?" Jasper asked intriguingly. He was wiping the corners of his mouth with his napkin.

"Alice?" Edward said in disbelief; his eyes gave it away. "Oh my, you surely have changed!" Edward stated. Back in my younger days, I used to keep my hair short and spiky. Now, I kept it long and in curls. "Wow, that's just amazing!"

Believe me; I knew how amazing it was. I bet Bella would be so thrilled to find out that I saw her long-time childhood crush again. "I know! I mean, it's been so long! I honestly did not expect you to remember me since we were barely friends and all!"

"True, but we hung out before I left, remember?" he replied. How could I forget? It was the day he gave my best friend the most wonderful kiss of her life.

I laughed lightly and said, "Ahhh! The old times! How I miss them!"

Jasper smiled at the two of us. "Well, isn't it such a small world? My cousin and my girlfriend know each other from ten years ago."

"Well, Edward was very popular during his years in Forks. I recall every girl running after him, literally. Remember Lauren Mallory, the senior head cheerleader?" I asked Edward, who was now red in mortification.

"Ahh, I tried to forget her. I honestly haven't thought of her since I left the United States," he answered nervously. This made me laugh hysterically while Jasper looked at me questioningly, waiting for the story to be told.

"Lauren Mallory was a Senior. That year, Edward was a freshman, and it was rumored that Lauren Mallory picked a fight on every girl who was rumored to be dating Edward," I informed Jasper between giggles I could hardly suppress.

"Woah, I am not surprised of your popularity, cousin. Look at you!" Jasper agreed without hesitation.

"Well, he was quite the ladies' man back in the day," I supplied eagerly.

"I did not go out with a lot of girls, and you know it," Edward replied defensively. "Those were just rumors. Plus, you and your best friends were quite the most popular girls in middle school, as I recall."

"Do you remember my friends?" I asked him, hoping he still remembered Bella.

"Isa, I remember perfectly well. She was the last girl I kissed before I left the United States," he answered to my satisfaction. I was glad he was able to recognize that single fact that made my best friend's heart go fonder for a week or so.

"Isa?" Jasper asked curiously. He was probably putting two and two together, knowing Bella and I went to school together ever since forever.

"Yes, Isa," I answered. "The last time I got to hang out with your cousin was before summer break,"—Edward interrupted—"that summer before I left the United States when we played seven minutes in heaven at Francesca's house."

I giggled and nodded my head elatedly. "Exactly," I replied.

"How are your best friends, by the way?" Edward asked curiously. He was probably trying to beat around the bush by asking about all my best friends instead of just Bella.

"They're all well," I answered shortly. I wanted him to ask me about Bella if he really wanted to know.

"Uhh," he hesitated. "How's Isa?" he finally asked.

I gave him a smug expression and said, "Well, she's in New York right now. She's a big-time worker for the fashion industry."

"Holy crap, you mean Bella?" Jasper said outrageously. This caused quite a few heads turning towards us again.

"Who are you talking about?" Edward asked, confused.

I turned to Jasper and nodded my head again. "Yes, Isa's Bella. Bella's full name is Isabella, and you know that, but she used to go by the name Isa in grade school," I told Jasper informatively.

"Wow, isn't Bella such a popular name nowadays? My neighbor actually goes by the same name. I wonder how many people have that name," Edward said absentmindedly.

I looked at him in wide eyes. He could not possibly be talking about the same Bella, could he? Bella had not told me about any new neighbor, and I was sure if she had seen him, she would have suspected it was the same Edward; then again, I had not suspected Edward was Ed. He looked a lot different from his fifteen year old self.

"Aww, Edward, Bella's a special name, don't you think?" I asked him.

"Yes, I do. My neighbor's actually special, if you catch my drift. But she's always so busy, and I haven't had the chance to go out with her yet," he said sadly.

"That girl must be blind to not notice you," I replied rationally.

"Or she's just really smart. I mean, honestly, I'm not that good, Alice," he replied humbly.

Jasper laughed so hard. "Are you fucking kidding me?"

"I couldn't agree more, babe," I said to Jasper.

"Well, tell me about Isa," he asked me shyly.

I could not help but smile even more widely. Jasper was grinning. "Oh she's quite the lady," Jasper answered for me.

"You know her too?" Edward asked.

"Duh," I answered quickly. "Bella and I are still best friends. Jazz is my boyfriend so he knows half of what I know about Bella."

"Yep," Jasper replied, popping his p.

"Is she…" I could tell Edward was interested to know if she was still as pretty as she used to be, or if she was single, perhaps?

"She's beautiful and single," I answered excitedly.

"Unfortunately, she's immune to hot guys," Jasper said matter-of-factly. "She works around them all the time."

"Wow," Edward said, surprised. "What's she doing?" he asked.

"As I said, she's in the fashion industry," I answered.

EPOV

"You mean she models?" I asked Alice interestedly. I would not be surprised to know that Isa turned out to be a model. She was never a tall girl back in the day, but she was very beautiful. She was probably the most beautiful girl I had seen back in my youth. I could never forget those brown eyes and those soft pink lips I had grazed mine on. It was a game, but heck I enjoyed it.

"No, not really. She's not that amused by the job. Not that a lot of people tried to get her into it. I mean, she's really beautiful and sexy," Alice answered animatedly.

"Yeah, she's pretty stubborn," Jasper added.

"So what does she do?" I asked impatiently.

"She works as an events organizer," Alice answered finally.

"Bloody hell," I exclaimed, pinching the bridge of my nose as realization hit me. All this time, we were talking about my gorgeous neighbor, Bella. I had thought Bella had become a common name nowadays when Alice told me Bella was in New York. Then again, Bella my neighbor was in New York right now. She went back and forth here and there.

"What?" Jasper asked in concern.

"I think we've been talking about one Bella all this time. I mean, I'm not exactly talking about Bella my neighbor, but you are talking about Bella my neighbor. She lives next to my apartment and I can't believe I actually did not get it right away, but she's the same Isa. She's just as beautiful—no, even more, and she has the same job, and she's in New York right now," I said without bothering to breathe until I was done talking.

"No way!" Alice said in disbelief. She stood up from her chair in excitement and started jumping up and down like a kid.

"Honey, sit down,"—Jasper pulled her down to her seat and said—"Wow, that's just…" Jasper was at loss for words.

"I know," I answered, staring blankly at nothing.

"Well, that's just amazing! I'm sure Bella would be so delighted to know that you are finally here again. I mean, she was a bit heartbroken when you left school, and we had no clue where you had run off to," Alice replied sadly.

"It was in such short notice. I didn't know our family had to move to London the next day when I had found out," I answered truthfully. When I was told we would be moving to Europe, I was the least bit interested but I had no choice since our whole family was moving.

"You're not leaving any time soon, are you?" Alice asked hopefully. I smiled at her and assured her I was not. "Great!" She giggled. Jasper smiled.

"So we'll be staying these next two weeks in Seattle, and I think we'll be spending more time than we had anticipated," Jasper said coolly.

"What do you mean?" I asked him.

"Well, Bella has given me her keys to her apartment, and we'll be staying at her place these next two weeks, and she comes back this weekend!" she said happily. I could not help but feel happy too.

"Damn, I still can not believe I actually did not think it was Isa. I mean, I should have known by the way she looks. I guess I was just overwhelmed by her beauty and personality when we met a couple of days ago," I said, still wondering how I could have possibly missed it.

Jasper and Alice laughed. Alice said, "Well, I would not blame you. Bella has sure grown up into a woman a thousand times more beautiful than her grade school self. I mean, she was pretty back then but now she could attack her prey without even knowing it."

I chuckled at Alice's statement. It was true. Bella had quite an effect on me.


BPOV

"Are you serious?" I asked Julia. She had just told me that she needed me to go to the head office the next day already.

"Dead serious," she answered. We were still at Eleanor's dinner party and it was almost midnight. "Eleanor's daughter will be in the office the next couple of days. She wants her trained."

"I understand," I answered. I honestly had nothing against working with Blair although she scared me a bit.

"Good," Julia said, smirking. She turned around and then walked away. I did not know if she was leaving the party already but I really did not care.

"So, is she your boss?" I jumped literally when I heard someone's voice. Turning around, I saw it was Jacob, the guy from the elevator, who also worked as one of Eleanor's models.

"Yeah," I answered, biting my lower lip.

"She's scary," he said jokingly.

"I know," I responded with a laugh. "You don't want to get on her bad side. She is absolutely frightening," I told him.

"Ahhh, let's hope I won't even get to see her good side. I don't like working with the likes of her. But if I have to, I guess I will have to just do it, won't I?" he said, rubbing his chin in thought.

"Oh, don't worry. She won't be working much on this project. I'm under her but she rarely checks in on the campaign until everything's final," I said, smiling.

"So you'll be like the boss of this campaign?" he asked hopefully.

"Not quite. I mean, I'm not really the boss since the boss would have to be Eleanor. And then next to her would be Julia, then it's me," I replied. I did not realize how close we were to each other until we heard someone clearing her throat.

"Ahem," the voice said.

I walked a few steps back away from Jacob in embarrassment and went to face the person who was now next to us.

"Hi…" It was Serena who standing next to Blair. I was sure Blair was the one who had cleared her throat.

"Hey," I answered shyly, so did Jacob.

"So do you guys want to get a drink, cos I'm thirsty," Serena said. She was obviously referring to Jacob.

"Uhh, sure. What would you like, Bells?" I looked at Jacob in shock. He already had a nickname for me and we had not even known each other that long.

"I'm fine, I could get a glass of my own, thanks," I answered timidly.

"Oh, okay," Jacob replied sadly. "How about you, ladies?" He turned to Serena and Blair.

"Let's just get our drinks together," Serena beckoned Jacob. With one last look at me, Jacob walked to the refreshment table with a happy Serena holding on to his right arm.

"Well, Serena's taken a liking to him. I told her to go for him since I'm not interested in the guy and he's apparently single since he's flirting with you," Blair told me nonchalantly. I dared not look at her, scared of how she could be if I did.

"Well, they look good together," I replied seriously. I did not like Jacob that way so I was okay with it if he went out with Serena. Plus, models were not really my type. I liked them smart and hot at the same time—just like...

Tonight
Lightning strikes
Let's go into twilight
First time I saw you
(When we first met)
I had the fever

(As bad as it gets)

You let me see

(Much in my eyes)

It was so smooth, sparkle and shine
And it shined

My phone rang and I saw Edward flashing on the screen. I smiled excitedly. I had wondered all day long if it would take longer for him to call me, because if he did not call today, I would call him myself. I looked at Blair who was eyeing nobody in particular and I said, "I have to take this."

She smiled at me in pretense and said, "Go ahead."

"Hey Edward!" I said, too happy to hear from him.


A/N: Ahh, finally, Edward knows! I am so glad one of them finally knows! And of course it had to be Edward because he had to make up to Bella for leaving after the kiss. I mean, if you were Bella, a sixth grader, who just received your most anticipated kiss and he left all of a sudden without even telling you, would you not feel so bad?

Next chapter: Bella finally gets done for the week and goes home to Seattle. The two couples enjoy a lovely dinner together. So who's pretending?

Please let me know what you thought of this chapter! Suggestions will be highly appreciated! Thank you so much!


Chapter 6: Chapter 6

A/N: I am very sorry for the unbelievable delay in updates. First Kiss was my first Twilight story, yes, but I, unfortunately, just left it hanging because I decided that I wanted to write other stories, too. More importantly, real life got in the way. :-(

To all of you who are reading this chapter right now, thank you very much for sticking with my story. I will try to update as often as I can.


Dinner Date and Acting Lessons

Chapter Six

To my surprise, the week flew by in a rush. Work was hell but tolerable enough. I had experienced worse.

Before I knew it, I was hailing a yellow cab back home.

I handed the cab driver a twenty which made him really happy for the five dollars tip. "Thank you so much, ma'am!"

I smiled brightly at him and said, "I liked your service so thank you!" He had brought me home in less than thirty minutes. Who wouldn't be happy?

I grabbed my one luggage from the trunk with Chris's (our valet) assistance. "Thanks, Chris! I got it from here," I said with a smile. I didn't want to bother the guy anymore. Sure, there were three of them assigned for the tenants but I just didn't want to bother anyone if I could do things myself.

I was raised to be an independent woman. Things that I could personally do myself would be handled by none other than moi.

"You're welcome, madame!"

I reached my door shortly with a loud sigh. I was so excited to be home, to see Alice and Jasper, and to be with Edward. Here we go!

"Jasper, is that you?" I heard Alice say from the kitchen.

Was she actually cooking? What the heck? Now that's new!

"No, babe, it's me!" I shouted gleefully. I took a flight twelve hours earlier than planned and didn't tell Alice and Jasper because I wanted to surprise them. I didn't know if there was a point to it, but knowing Alice, she did love surprises so whatever floats her boat, right?

"Oh my gosh!" Alice squealed in excitement. "This is so awesome! You're early! Wee!" She ran as fast as she could and then immediately enveloped me in a hug. I dropped my bag and gladly returned the sentiment.

"I missed you too!" I said, giggling. Some things just never change.

"I have so much to tell you! I've been waiting too long because you know I can't keep secrets that well—" She was suddenly interrupted by Jasper and Edward appearing at my doorway.

I immediately blushed at the sight of Edward. He was much too good-looking for his own good.

Jasper cleared his throat to get our attention.

"Honey, what do we have here?" Jasper addressed Alice with knowing eyes. I observed the two curiously. What were they up to?

"I see you've met Edward!" I said, finally acknowledging Edward's presence in the room. He looked so good just leaning on my door so carelessly.

Were scientists and doctors actually this hot?

"Well yeah, we have. He's my cousin and you know you can't choose your family, so what the hell, right?" Jasper said in a joke.

"Oh please, sweetie, you know you love me," Edward replied humorously.

My eyes widened in surprise and I'm sure my mouth may have gaped a little. "You're cousins?" I exclaimed quite loudly. "Wow!"

Super wow. Those two men were hot as in delicious-yummy-hot. Of course they were related. Duh.

"Yeah, remember when I told you that Jasper was visiting family around here in Seattle? Well I actually meant Edward. So yeah, that's it. Meet Jasper's gorgeous and very available cousin," Alice said excitedly.

"I already met the gorgeous neighbour last week," I whispered at Alice, blushing.

"Oh, did you?" Alice said innocently. "Well he's super yummy and available," she said with a suggestive smile. I knew what she meant. "Aren't you, Edward?"

"I don't know about yummy but I'm not that available. I already have my eyes on this girl," he said, smirking.

"Really?" I asked, eyebrow raised and all. "Wow, you move on quite fast," I commented quickly.

I carried my bag to the living room, my spirits suddenly down in disappointment.

Alice nudged me in the elbow. "He meant you, silly Bella!" she whispered in my ear.

"Oh!" I said, quickly.

Edward grabbed my bag from my hands and carried it in one hand. Damn, the man was strong. "So you didn't tell me that you would be here this early. I was going to the airport to pick you up."

I felt my lips tug into a smile as I realized that he had cared enough to plan on picking me up at the airport. He was so sweet!

Before I realized what I was doing, my arms flung around Edward's body. Shit, I'm actually hugging him and I can totally feel his chest tighten and all the delectable muscles!

Quickly, I attempted to remove my hands but he was faster; he held me in place and I felt him sniff on my hair. "You smell so good, like strawberries and freesia."

"Well that's a prettier reunion, isn't it, Jazzy?" I heard Alice say.

"Thanks for planning on it anyway," I said to Edward quietly. "That's so sweet of you."

"Anything for you, love," he replied sweetly.

Did he just call me 'love'? I think butterflies suddenly over-populated my stomach. I felt hot in my cheeks and I was quite sure that I was already as red as tomato.

"So, how about that dinner we planned earlier?" he asked, while still holding me in his arms. I could definitely stay here forever.

In his arms, I felt safe. Edward was definitely something and I was just quite sure that I didn't want to let him go, that I wanted him.

I want you.

Jasper and Alice laughed hysterically. Shit, did I just say that out loud?

I looked up at Edward to see him looking at me with such passion and intensity in his green eyes. "Did I just say that…"

"I want you too, very much, actually," he replied with a finality in his tone.

Oh well. Get over your embarrassment then, Isabella.

"So, dinner tonight?" I suggested with a wink.

"Wow, this place looks very stunning!" I took in the view as Edward parked his silver Volvo around the corner of the restaurant. It looked snug and inviting.

Edward smiled at me in satisfaction as he pulled over and unlocked the doors. He practically ran to my side of the door to open it for me. Such a gentleman.

"My friend told me that it's a really great restaurant. He actually knows a lot of good places to go to," he replied as he locked the doors to his car.

I took in the interior design of the restaurant; it was very much Italian and if I didn't know for sure that I was in Seattle, I wouldn't be able to tell that I was in the States at all. The architect and interior designer of the restaurant did a magnificent job on the design as a whole. I easily got the feel of Italian air.

"Good evening, sir!" The hostess greeted as we came in. I didn't miss the look she gave Edward as her eyes hungrily roamed his body up and down.

I rolled my eyes at her. Couldn't she be more obvious?

I also didn't miss the fact that she tried to completely ignore me. Sure, Edward looked quite dashing in his black button-down top and faded Levi's. I would have ignored her, too, had I not finished personally checking him out thirty minutes ago when he had showed up at my doorstep.

Ha, take that, he showed up at my doorstep, not yours!

I did an internal squeal as I felt myself getting giddy over the whole thing. Edward was too cute.

"—Hale…"

Hale, what? He shared a last name with Jasper?

Shit, I didn't even know the last name of my date. How bad was I?

"This way, sir," the hostess beckoned with a sickeningly sweet smile. She led us to a table in a very secluded corner and handed us the menu.

"Your server will be with you in a minute. If you need anything, don't hesitate to ask for me," she addressed Edward. Yup, she completely ignored me.

"Ah, yes, I'm fine. My girlfriend will appreciate that, thanks," he said dismissively.

The hostess blushed in embarrassment, perhaps. I just smiled at her and batted my eyelashes just to annoy her even more.

Wait, Edward just called me his girlfriend!

When we were finally left alone, he apologized. "I'm sorry for making you uncomfortable in any way. She was terribly rude to you and I didn't know what would stop her from doing so."

I shook my head, smiling. "No, it was fine. She was just admiring you, that's all," I said, smirking.

"You didn't mind that I called you—"

I smiled widely, and said, "No, not at all."

He smiled at me spryly and took my hand in his.

Why is it that I find his smile very familiar?

I knew there was something that made me regard him as someone I had known for a long time. I just couldn't explain why but I knew that there was this connection between the two of us…

"So, you share Jasper's last name?" I asked curiously. I had, in fact, paid attention to that part of the conversation between him and the flirtatious hostess.

He ran his other hand through his hair quite nervously.

Once again, I found him very charming. So cute, to be honest.

"Hello, my name is Mike. I'll be your… server tonight. Are you ready to order?"

My iPhone went off and I saw on my screen that it was Julia. Ugh. "Edward, will you order for me? I just have to take this call. It's my boss," I said apologetically.

He nodded in understanding as he reluctantly let go of my hand. I watched him with a smile and almost forgot about the call. He was just too sweet and endearing.

"Your phone, ma'am." I turned to the blonde man and smiled at him weakly.

"Right," I said as I left the table to find the restroom.

Julia wanted me to go back to work one day earlier than planned. She already had her secretary arrange my flight schedule and accommodations. Damn work. I loved my work and all but right now, it was quite disturbing to think about anything work-related. I was starting to have a decent social life once again and I just couldn't be bothered by work. Not that I had any choice, anyway.

I returned to our table to see Edward talking to the server animatedly. He was now all smiles, on contrary to how I left him not too long ago. I approached the table hesitantly. It seemed as though he and Mike actually knew each other, or even were good friends.

"Hey, everything fine?" I inquired, unsure.

"Yeah, I'll come back with your food shortly, madam!" Mike said, grinning. He looked at me like he had known me from long before.

"What's going on?" I asked Edward. "He was quite weird."

Edward chuckled and explained, "I just knew Mike from long ago. We went to grade school together."

"Oh," I replied, lamely. I thought he came from London? "How's that possible?"

He told me his life story while we waited for our food to be served. By the time Mike returned with our food (actually served with men in black suits—just quite classy), I gathered that Edward spent his childhood in Washington but attended high school in London. He also said that his family still lives there and actually requests that he does not drift so far away but he wouldn't be persuaded.

He spoke very fondly of his family. I knew he loved them all so much although he wouldn't exactly say it. I recognized absolute delight in his eyes as he spoke of his dear mother Esme and his father Carlisle who worked as a neurosurgeon. I imagined Carlisle as the older version of Edward. I was already excited to meet him.

Edward ordered a variety of pasta and pizza. I especially loved their Alfredo fettuccine and their vegetarian pizza. They were genuinely Italian, Edward said. As we ate our dinner, we continued to share stories about each other.

"Why did you come back to the states, then?" I asked him boldly. I didn't want to be too forward but I was just interested to know. It seemed like he had a wonderful life in London, so why would he give up that much convenience to be apart from family?

"I really loved Washington when I was a kid. I had so many friends here and I've been trying to contact every one of my close friends and Jasper's been really helpful about it," he answered.

I just didn't think I could buy it.

"You moved for your friends?" I said in disbelief.

"Well, that's a good part of my reasoning, but other than that, I just want to be independent. Moving away to Washington—or say, moving back—is what I've always wanted to do. In the states, everyone's so free and independent and I like that," he continued.

"So, it wasn't a bad break-up with your girlfriend of ten years or some criminal record you're trying to run away from, then?" I joked, laughing.

"No, not really," he answered vaguely. I gathered that it was a story to be told another time, then.

I didn't even notice that time was passing by so quickly. "Are you ready for the check, sir?" Mike came back with our bill, still smiling at me knowingly.

"Do I know you?" I finally asked him.

"I can only hope that you remember me, Bella Swan," he answered with a grin.

How many Mike's have I actually met in my life?

"I'm sorry…" I trailed. I really couldn't remember him.

"Mike," Edward said warningly.

Mike raised his hands up in defence and said, "Fine, I won't kill your buzz. But just gotta say that I'll sure look out for the two of you in the future. You're very much welcome here," he said amiably. "I'm sorry, I didn't exactly introduce myself. I'm Mike Newton and I co-own this restaurant. I'll leave my business card with you and hope that you'll come back again."

I gaped at him in wonder. How come he personally served us tonight? I looked around at the other employees of the restaurant and actually noticed that Mike dressed differently. Oh, well.

"Wow, thank you," I answered, still in shock. "It's really nice to meet you, Mike. I'll make sure that my friends will know of this place. It's absolutely superb and the food's incredibly amazing."

I watched Mike slip the black leather into Edward's hands. I expected to find a white paper of some sort for the bill but instead I saw a silver strip of –

Edward looked at Mike with his mouth ajar in amusement. "Thanks, man," Edward said as he shook hands with Mike. "We'll definitely come back very soon."


To Be Continued…

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