Disclaimer: You know I don't own them.
Author's Note: I didn't get a chance to reply to all review, I apologize. I just wanted to pump this out as fast as I could--and replying to all those reviews takes a lot of typing haha. Alright, let's wrap this thing up--enjoy my loves!
Misadventures in Online Dating
Chapter Twelve: Of GNO's and Happy Endings
Friday, July 4th
Turned out my determination to tell him wasn't as strong as I wanted it to be. I knew that I needed to talk to Edward, I wanted to, yearned too—but I had no idea what to say. I preoccupied myself with any task I could find. I'd just have to work up the courage to call him. Today, I reasoned that I couldn't call because he'd be busy with his brother's bachelor party…tomorrow was looking up, though. Or, maybe, he would call me if he really wanted to understand what he had seen.
I plopped down on the sofa, having just cleaned the entire kitchen and turned on the television.
"Guess who just called me?" Alice said as she came down the stairs.
"Who?" I asked, not interested.
She rolled her eyes at me. "She invited us for a Girl Night Out."
"It's the Fourth of July, Alice. Are you going to a barbecue or something?"
"No—she just doesn't want to be sitting in the house alone, thinking about her fiancé and his bachelor party. I laid out something pretty on your bed for you, and after you change I'll help get you all glamorous." She was keeping herself from squeeing, I could tell.
"I'm not really in the mood, you know. I'd rather just stay here and watch television or something," I told her.
"You rarely watch that thing," she said, gesturing towards the screen. "Besides, I already told her we would go."
This was a battle I wouldn't win, I already knew that. It was actually very rare that I ever won a disagreement with Alice. She had an annoying tendency to always be right, to always point out the true facts that you couldn't skate around.
"Fine," I grumbled, turning off the TV before trudging up the staircase and into my bedroom. On my bed there was a dark green dress that I hadn't ever seen before. Alice must have gotten it for me during one of her shopping expeditions.
I took off my jeans and tank and shimmied into the mid-thigh length dress. It hugged my curves tightly and it actually felt pretty comfortable.
Alice came knocking on the door seconds later, her timing impeccable.
"It's not locked," I called out, going into my closet to find a pair of shoes I might be able to get away with wearing tonight. I couldn't pull off heels, and Alice hated every single pair of my flats.
"Ah, perfect fit," I could practically hear the smile in her voice.
"Where are we going to go, anyhow?"
She shrugged, "We'll think of something. I'll even invite her over for the night—we can turn this into a slumber party of sorts."
"Jolly good," I said, sarcastically.
Alice grabbed a pillow from where she sat on my bed and tossed it at me, throwing me off balance. I stumbled and put my hand against the wall of my closet to prevent from falling over completely.
"I'll be in my bathroom, for whenever you're ready," she said, getting up, "and don't keep me waiting."
She left my room and I grabbed a pair of strappy white heels—if they could really be called that; they couldn't have been more than one inch.
I sat the shoes at the foot of my bed and walked out of my room and down the hall to her bathroom.
She brought a stool for me to sit on and already had her make-up products spread out on the counter. Even the curling iron was plugged in—though my hair didn't need any more curls.
"I was thinking a cute, curly ponytail with your bangs down—oh, and the green eye shadow I've been dying to try out on you. Sound good?"
No, not in the slightest.
"Sure, let's just get it over with…"
We met up with Rosalie at a Coyote Ugly bar that was holding a shindig of sorts—to celebrate the day.
"We'll have a few drinks, maybe a few shots, dance, and then we'll leave, okay, doll?" Rosalie asked, sweetly.
She had been rather cheerful since we picked her up. It felt truly awkward to be going out with her, since we weren't necessarily really friends and she and Alice usually only associated because of Jasper. I suppose she was just being nice to keep her mind off of Emmett and the shenanigans he was probably getting into.
Thinking of that made my brain wander to thoughts of Edward. He would be partaking on said shenanigans too, wouldn't he? I honestly couldn't picture it, but with a little persuasion from his brother I don't know what he could be doing.
Thinking of him made me feel even sulkier, and I resented this bar even more.
We were seated at a table inside and Rosalie ordered us all Apple Martinis.
"You're both invited to my bachelorette party, by the way. It's in a week, and the wedding on Sunday."
She and Alice then started a conversation on weddings and I tuned them out as best I could. I didn't have a wedding to be thinking of, hell I didn't even have a significant other—and it was way too early to consider marrying Edward. Though the thought of him wearing my wedding band, announcing to all the hussy's that he was taken, sounded very appealing. Just the thought of him with another woman made me squirm.
I sipped at my Martini as my eyes roamed around the bar. I tossed my hair over my shoulder as the music grew louder and the bartenders jumped up on the bar starting a routine.
Just like the movie.
The waiter came to our table and my attention turned to her. She sat a drink down in front of me.
"Uhm, I didn't order this," I told her.
"It's from the gentleman in the back, the one in the blue shirt," she said, stepping aside so that I could see him.
He smiled and winked at me, raising his shot to me before drinking it.
"Erm…thanks," I said, moving the glass to the center of the table.
She walked away and Alice and Rosalie were staring at me, grinning widely.
"Bella often forgets how amazing she looks and doesn't pay attention to the men that are so openly eyeing her," Alice said to Rosalie.
Rosalie rolled her eyes, "You've got to be more confident with what you have. Some people call me conceited or vain, even, but I take it all in stride."
"I don't want the drink," I told them.
Rosalie shrugged, "I'll take it."
She reached for the drink and sipped at it twice before downing the entire thing.
"Come dance with me, girls," she said, moving her chair back and standing.
"I'm not really in the mood for dancing," I told them, shaking my head.
"You either come with us, or get left here alone where that guy may just bite up the nerve to come talk to you," Alice teased after she stood up.
I didn't want her to be right—not this time. I could fend for myself for a bit, I was sure.
"I'll be here, watching to make sure no one spikes your drink," I told her, looking pointedly at her unfinished Martini.
She shrugged before walking away with Rosalie. I sighed and leaned back in my chair, setting my purse on the table.
They danced for twenty minutes, possibly more, but when they sat down once again, exhausted, Rosalie ordered more drinks.
"Last round and then we can go home?"
Rosalie threw a look at me, as if I were ruining her night.
"Okay, Bells. I can tell you're not enjoying yourself in the slightest," Alice said on my behalf.
"Thank you…and I'm sorry it's just, there's too much on my mind. Everywhere I look—something reminds me of him," I explained.
"The guy that bought you the drink was cute," Rosalie said, shrugging.
"Was he?" I said, unaware. "I can't imagine anyone looking as wonderful as Edward."
"Oh…you really like him?" she asked.
I nodded, "And I messed things up so horribly I don't know if he'll ever talk to me."
"Hmmm," she hummed, taking her new drink in her hand and sipping at it. "I could have Emmett talk to him…if you want?"
"No, no. Don't do that, please," I said.
Alice rolled her eyes, "Let's just finish these drinks."
Monday, July 6th
The evening with Rosalie over passed as smoothly as one could have asked for. Now, as I sat at my work desk, I would have given anything to be back at my house. Work was an excruciating task with the atmosphere tense enough as the final billboard for Cullen Automotives was set up. Tanya seemed to be at her worst when Edward stopped showing up, I received such snide remarks from her on a daily basis—it was getting to be all that I could handle.
There was a knock at my door briefly before it swung upon to reveal Alice.
"A man named Paul is here with gifts from Edward, a celebration for the closing of the deal," she announced, opening the door fully.
I could see him gathered around some of the other workers.
"They're waiting on Miss Tanya to pop the bottle of Champagne," she rolled her eyes.
I did as well.
I pushed away from my desk and stood up. A part of me had been pushing off calling him, saying he would show today if he really cared—but he didn't.
Tanya arrived at the center of the commotion moments before we did, smiling at the sight of the extravagant looking cake, the champagne bottle, the wine glasses, and the roses.
"This is really too kind of Edward. Paul, you must send him my regards."
It sounded to me as if she spoke only for herself, not for the business.
I resisted the urge to snort as she touched the roses, "Oh, how sweet of him," she said, seeking out the card to read. Her eyes immediately shot up towards me and she threw me a rather annoyed look before ignoring the flowers, picking up the bottle of champagne.
She popped the cork off, sending suds flying over the tray that everything was placed on, she let out a small squeal before holding it up and everyone applauded. She began to pour some into all of the offered glasses, motioning for everyone to take one as they filled.
Once we all had glasses she raised hers in a toast.
"To a wonderful business juncture, may we soon work with Edward Cullen and his enterprise soon again," she winked at Paul and lifted her glass a bit higher before drinking it. I raised mine, but didn't drink. The cutting of the cake began—I didn't want any of it either.
Edward's employee, Paul, picked up the flowers and walked towards me. I could only imagine the confused look that was plastered to my face. I shot a look at Alice who hid a smile behind her wine glass. She winked before walking away in the direction of her office.
"Bella?" Paul asked, to which I nodded. "Edward sent these especially for you," he said, offering them to me.
I took them with an unsure hand, reading the card that was addressed to me in his extravagant script. There was nothing more than my name but what else could he say there? It was nothing, but so much at the same time.
"Thank you," I said, smiling graciously.
I wanted to hug the flowers to me, but I figured I would look rather silly doing that.
I stuck around for a little while the celebrations continued, but a little after Paul left I decided to take my leave too.
I went back to my office, placing the flowers at the corner of my desk. I waited there for a moment, wanting very badly to call Edward. I reached for the phone, but suddenly became aware of someone else in the room.
"Hmm," came the drawling voice of Tanya.
I brought my hand back to my side and leaned against my desk, not in the mood for her at all.
"Perhaps if you spent more time working and less time sleeping with the clientele."
I gritted my teeth, holding myself back from snapping at her.
"It's no wonder he stopped showing up here if you hadn-"
"Tanya, why don't you do me a favor and shut the hell up?" I cut her off, pushing myself away from my desk and walking closer to her. "You have no idea what you're talking about. You're the one that threw yourself at him—don't take the fact that he turned you down out on me."
"Dearest, Isabella. You think he turned me down? Did you ever ask him how our date ended?" She appeared unfazed by everything else I had said.
I sighed, not wanting to deal with the foolishness any longer. It hadn't occurred to me to inquire, I didn't think Edward would stoop so low. She was probably bluffing.
"You are a self-righteous bitch, Tanya. I happen to know for a fact that the mere sight of you makes Edward want to run a thousand miles in the other direction." I walked closer to her, and she took more steps back, standing outside of my office now.
She shook her head, not believing it. "How could you-"
"I don't want to hear anything you have to say. Not now, not ever again. So please try not to speak to me for the rest of my time here. Consider this my two weeks noticed." I slammed the door and breathed deeply.
I sat at my desk and put my head in my hands—she had to be one of the most infuriating humans on the planet. If she could even be considered human—succubus fitted her a lot better.
My door flew open and then closed and I looked up.
"What the hell just happened? Everyone in the office is talking," Alice said, coming closer to my desk.
"I put in my two weeks notice," I told her.
"Everyone heard that part—and I'm right behind you on it. But what happened? Why did you go off on her?"
I shrugged and told her the story.
Her mouth hung slightly agape when I finished. She promptly closed it and grinned at me. "Way to go, Bella. Now all you need to do is call Edward."
I shook my head. "I can't."
"Why not? He sent you the roses, didn't he? He wants to talk with you."
I sighed, "All right. I'll give him a call."
"Good. Let me know how that goes," she said before leaving my office.
I didn't want to call him just yet, but I felt I couldn't put it off any longer. I knew his cell phone number by heart, having studied it intensely over the past few days on the card we made for him. I opted on calling his office first, though. Maybe I would get lucky and he wouldn't be in or something.
The phone rang twice before it was answered. I expected it to be a secretary or a receptionist but it wasn't. It was Edward.
My breath got hitched in my throat. "Oh, crap."
"Bella?" His smooth voice sounded surprised.
"Edward," I couldn't help myself but to say it out loud. What would he think of me calling? I wondered. "I thought that if I—oh, it was just silly," I rambled, not wanting to explain myself any further.
"What's silly?" he asked.
"I didn't think you'd answer," I told him after a moment of silence.
"Did you not want me to?"
I told myself that's what I wanted but deep down, it would have killed me even more to have him not.
"No, I'm glad you did, I am," I told him. "But I just wasn't expecting you to. I've been meaning to call you, to talk to you for a while but I couldn't bring myself to do it."
"Did you get the flowers?"
The question kind of took me by surprise.
"I did, thank you. They're beautiful…they're sitting on my desk right now," I said, looking at them. "I'm really glad you sent them, too. It gave me a little more encouragement—though it's harder to be more encouraging than Alice."
He didn't say anything and I felt myself growing nervous. I spoke up again before the silence drowned us.
"Look, Edward, I can't do this over the phone. Would you be able to meet me, tonight?" I asked. I wouldn't blame him if he said no.
"Sure," he replied, though I was hoping he would have said something more—but I would take what I could get.
"Around six?" I asked.
"I'll be there."
"I'll see you then…bye." I could have squealed or jumped with excitement but I held it in. I didn't want to scare him off. I hung up the phone and sat back in my chair.
This could be it, this could change everything for us.
Alice took off almost as soon as we got home—telling me not to screw this chance up. I would heed that advice.
I busied myself around the house, cleaning and making a dinner. I wasn't sure if he would be hungry but if things went according to plan, hopefully we could dine together.
When I heard the knock on the door, I could have sworn that my heart stopped. I didn't hesitate as I walked to the door. I swung it open and took in the sight of him standing there. I smiled and greeted him, watching as he pulled at his tie, letting it hang loosely around his neck. He looked, if possible, even better than I remembered. Devastatingly handsome.
I invited him in and we began to talk. It panned out smoother than I could have asked for, all up to the minute where we kissed. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before in my life. Gentle, yet urgent. Almost as if he needed more, and I was only too happy to oblige.
"Hmm…now how about that spaghetti?"
I grinned and took a step back from him, hating to put a distance between us but I figured—hoped—there would be more time for closeness later.
I began to make plates for the two of us, but stopped in my tracks as something dawned upon me.
"Wait a second, don't think you're getting off that easily."
He looked at me, surprised.
"What happened on the dates you went on?" I asked, sprinkling parmesan over the pasta.
"I went on two," he said, simply.
"Three—you have to include Tanya."
"Okay, three. They were nothing of importance. Tanya and I had dinner, she invited me to her place and I said no. Lauren was a girl I went to college with and she was more obsessive than she let on, nearing the brink of stalker. And lastly was a girl named Jessica—you saw me with her. She was somewhat dimwitted and rather annoying," he shrugged.
"And you didn't take any of these girls home? Or go to any of theirs?" I couldn't help but to ask. He was absolutely gorgeous, girls had to be throwing themselves at him al the time—I wondered how he responded.
"I went to Jessica's place, but I backed out of it before long. I didn't even kiss her," he told me, and there was a sincere, honest look to his gaze.
I nodded, carrying our plates to the dining room table.
"Come sit," I told him as I went back to the kitchen to grab a few drinks. Once we were both situated, we started to eat in silence. A welcomed silence, for once. I was soaking in all that had been said, all that happened.
And I was yearning to kiss him again.
Was this really happening? Had I fallen asleep at my work desk? Or was I actually having dinner, in my home, with Edward Cullen.
It happened. And the night passed without interruption. We finished our meal, sat on the sofa and watched television until I started to get drowsy—the day was finally wearing me out. He insisted on carrying me up to my bedroom but made it very clear that he wanted to take things slow when I asked him to stay. I didn't feel rejected, I actually felt…honored. He cared that much.
He delivered the sweetest goodnight kiss I ever received. I heard the door opening and closing then—Alice had returned.
"You'll be hassled on your way out," I told him, snuggling up in my blankets.
"I can handle it," he replied, sounding sure.
"Will you call me tomorrow?"
"I definitely will," he promised.
I sighed, feeling content. He kissed me on the cheek and left my room, turning the light off on his way out.
Sunday, July 12th
Edward had called the following day, and during dinner, he'd asked me to be his date to the wedding. I was nervous when Alice and I arrived. She immediately left me to seek out Jasper, but luckily I wasn't alone for too long—Edward me only a few minutes later.
He leaned down and kissed me in greeting.
"I've missed you," he whispered in my ear, sending chills down my spine.
"It's been less than a day," I teased.
"I know, but I can't get the thoughts of you out of my head."
"I'll take that as a compliment," I said.
"You should." His hand wrapped it's way around my waist. "Now, for you to talk with my parents—as my girlfriend.."
I opened my eyes in shock. Though it had occurred to me that they would be here, but I didn't think he would take this moment to introduce us. It was so soon.
"Edward I…" I trailed off, shaking my head.
"Don't worry, love. They adored you when I was just a client—my mother will love this. There are two seats next to them, for you and Alice. I have to go in the back and get things ready or we'll be running late." He leaned down to kiss me once again.
I nodded, understanding. He didn't appear nervous at all, walking down an aisle with everyone's eyes on him and one of Rosalie's friends attached to his arm. I wasn't too happy about that, but he assured me it was me that he would be thinking of.
I took my seat next to Esme and she wrapped her arms around me in a hug. Carlisle smiled from beside her, greeting me warmly.
"I hear you're dating our son, now," he said.
I nodded, laughing. "It's a long story, actually."
"Hmm, dear, we would love to hear about it."
"Perhaps a little later," I said, practically pleading. I didn't want to unleash the tale on my own, maybe Edward could just tell them and I would nod and smile at the appropriate parts.
We made a little small talk but got silent as the music played and the wedding ceremony commenced.
Friday, August 8th
The time seemed to pass by so quickly with Edward now. Over the span of nearly a month, more and more of his belongings started to show up at my house. With Alice moved out, I didn't mind. I asked him to stay over, usually, and he now complied. I planned on asking him to move in with me soon enough anyways.
I was preparing a dinner for us when the phone rang. I asked him to answer it and he did—I couldn't hear him too clearly from in the kitchen but he said it was Jacob for me.
I wondered what he could be calling for, but I didn't mind the interruption. I just hoped he hadn't popped up into town again.
"Bells?" he asked.
"Hey, how are you?"
"I'm good…who answered your phone?" he asked, sounding rather protective.
"Edward. He practically lives here now."
"So everything worked out for the two of you, then?"
"It did," I replied. "After so many mishaps, things could only get better right?"
"I suppose," he said, dryly.
I rolled my eyes, walking back into the kitchen.
"And to what do I owe the pleasure of your call?"
"Am I interrupting something?" he asked.
"No, but you usually only call every four months or so—you're kind of early," I teased him.
He chuckled, "I was just checking in on you, really. I saw the guy Alice was dating on television the other day."
"Jasper? I saw it too. The behind the scenes look of him recording, that was pretty nice," I said.
"That's the one."
It was silent for a while before I spoke up again. "I don't mean to cut it short Jake, but I have to attend to our dinner."
"I know, I'm sorry. Just take care of yourself, all right? And if you ever need anything, I'm just a phone call away, okay?"
"I know that, Jake. Thank you. You know I love you," I told him.
"Love you too, Bells. I'll call you again soon."
"Don't make promises you won't keep, mister," I scolded.
"I'll call when I call, how does that sound?"
"Sounds more like you. Talk to you then, bye." I quickly hung up and focused in on the food cooking on the stove.
Edward walked up behind me, his arms snaked their way around my waist. It felt comfortable, it felt right.
"What was that all about?"
"Just Jake being Jake," I told him nonchalantly.
"Mhm," I nodded, for more reassurance.
"Will I ever get to meet him, properly?"
"Do you want to?" I asked, wondering why he would.
"I want to be involved in any aspect of your life you welcome me into, Bella," he explained.
It sounded so sweet, and I could only hope that we remained this way.
"You will be," I promised to him. "It's not like I can keep anything from you, anyways."
He chuckled, placing a soft kiss on my neck before leaving me to sit at the dining room table where his laptop was set up.
"Not on any internet dating sites, I hope."
"No," he shook his head. "I deleted mine when you deleted yours. I'm just blogging."
"Blogging?" I asked, turning to look at him with an eyebrow raised.
"Yes," he replied, shortly.
"And might I read this?"
"If you want," he shrugged.
I wiped my hands off on a towel and went to take look, placing myself on his lap to read what he had written.
Online Dating it was called.
Over the past few months I have learned that there are many intricate twists and turns to online dating. I had never taken it seriously until it was practically forced upon me by my own mother who worried she would never live to see the day I gave her any grandchildren. I still didn't take it seriously even after she set up a profile for me. However, after a few weeks I got into the flow of how things worked and it was a lot more interesting that I gave it credit for. Of course you have to look out for potentials stalkers, molesters, sex offenders, etc., etc..
Once you get pass that though, you're given the opportunity to meet amazing individuals. I was lucky enough to meet the right individual. She's unique and astounding in ways I never thought possible. In a turn of events, we wound up knowing each other in real life through a business juncture and well, let's just say that got pretty confusing. Through it all, though, we worked it out and I am currently dating the most beautiful, intelligent woman I believe this world has to offer. If you haven't given it a shot, or if you're a doubter like I was—give it a second thought. Try it out, if you don't like it you can always just delete the profile. I'll tell you now I probably snagged the best there was out there, but you can look and find someone suitable for you.
I've since moved on to blogging, clearly. We'll see where this takes me—it's mostly for something to look back on in the future. And for my mother—who's growing more computer savvy than me—to look at and keep up with my life through so she doesn't pester me every few days about grandchildren.
All I can say is that the commercials and ads aren't all hype—you really can find true love out there if you just open your eyes and look.
I finished reading it and smiled, did he really think all those things of me? There was even a picture at the end of the article—the two of us at the wedding. We looked…exuberant, and happy. Just standing next to him made me appear less dull in his shadow. I smiled and turned a little on his lap to face him.
"You really think I'm beautiful and intelligent?"
"Who else could put in their two weeks notice and wind up getting their old boss's position?"
I grinned, wrapping my arms around his neck.
"Guilty—but she did have it coming."
"I agree. And, Bella, you really need to stop doubting your beauty. You're gorgeous."
I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. "Hey, you've done your sweet talking for the day."
I leaned forward and kissed him, deeply, sensuously. His arms went to rest on my hips and I turned so that I was straddling him on the chair.
He chuckled softly, breaking this kiss to take in the new position before resuming it. His lips were so soft against mine, and his hair so silky between my fingertips. I could get lost in his embrace, in his love.
"Bella," he said, sounding alarmed after a moment.
"Hmmm?" I hummed, not wanting to stop the kissing session.
"I think dinner is burning."
I gasped, shocked and jumped up off of him. Clearly I couldn't let myself get too carried away with it all—it just might cause me to burn the house down. Who knew what else I'd forget about while pressed against him?
Well, for all I cared the world could freeze over so long as I was next to him, touching him, when it did. I felt too much compassion for him already—especially the latter part of the word—and I knew, deep down, that I didn't want to spend a moment of my life, intimately, with anyone else, ever again.
He made me happy, and I hoped I was able to do the same for him. This, was good, being his girlfriend was amazing. I could only hope that one day, in the true fashion that all my friends were following, I would wear a band on my finger and add the name Cullen to the end of mine.
-Le Gasp- That's fin, for this folks! No worries, there should be an epilogue of sorts after. Sorry to the people that were hoping for this to be a whole lot longer, but I didn't want to drag it out and beat it to death, I'd rather end it early and happy. Please, please review though, and tell me what you think! I'd love to know. Also if you're looking for information on my future fics please visit my livejournal community erraticmuse. Join it if you have LJ, and you'll get delicious goodies. This has been an enjoyable ride, I promise you that. I hope to see you guys around on my other fics, too!