What happens when Bella saves Edward from the clutches of a skank in a coffee shop? He wants her to be his girlfriend of course! The problem is, they only just met. Will she say yes?
First and foremost many thanks to my beta, the Queen of Derbworld. Without her assistance, this chapter would have been full of misplaced comma's and a total grammatical nightmare. You make my days complete and fun; I am honored to be your Fan Club President.
This story came to me one besotted evening and has been sitting on my computer for a few months. So now I'm posting.
I also want to thank Goo82, Ereeen and cdunbar for their encouragement to continue this drunken idea and being my practice readers. I LOVE YOU ALL!
I promise nothing great and don't even care if you review. This is more or less for my own entertainment. Feel free to come along for the ride.
"Eddie!" My body stiffened automatically at the sound of the banshee's voice.
"Yoo hoo! Eddie!" The banshee was closing in. I could feel a change in the air as it suddenly became very thin and I was struggling to breathe. I made no effort to turn around; instead praying to whoever might be listening that the very mouth of Hell would open right then and there in the middle of Starbucks and swallow her whole.
I suddenly felt two very cold and clammy hands wrap across my face and cover my eyes. Damn. No such luck.
I could feel the hot breath on my ear before the words had even emerged. Then, in what I'm sure she thought was a seductive voice she said, "Guess who Eddie?" My first guess was Death, as that was something I was desperately wishing for at that very moment. She was still uncomfortably close to me, her jaw smacking what I hoped was a piece of gum and not a condom from some kind of freak encounter before she decided to get a drip coffee. It wouldn't have been the first time.
I eventually sighed in reluctance and said, "Hello Tanya." The hands were slowly removed from my face, all the while dragging her acrylic nails in the process. I wonder if she could gouge my eyes out with those things?
As my eyes re-adjusted to the light, I could faintly make out her physical form standing before me. I couldn't decide if this was better than her standing from behind. I eventually decided that it was better for her to be where I could see her. Emmett's words echoed in my head: "Careful not to bend over unless you want them to check your oil." I made a mental note to thank Emmett. The banshee spoke again.
"I can never surprise you Eddie!" Her voice was shriller than ever at that statement. Had she raised it any higher any dog within a 10-mile radius would be the only ones able to hear her. I struggled to keep my face from revealing too much of how appalled I was as I quickly took in her appearance.
Her smile was wider than ever, her teeth so white it was nearly blinding. I hoped that I would never encounter her anywhere at night or where black lights might be present. Her unnaturally tanned skin had a striking resemblance to leather. And the hair. Dear God the hair. It was bleached so far beyond blonde so that it was white. Any real or natural beauty Tanya may have had was gone long ago thanks to repeat trips to a plastic surgeon. The most noticeable of all the "corrections" done over time were her very large, silicone-carrying breasts. She had been in for implants not once, not twice, but THREE times in as many years. They were oddly-shaped mounds and seemed to have a mind of their own, landing wherever they wanted under, and almost out of, the too tight tank.
Eye contact Edward, eye contact. Don't forget what happened last time. A few years ago, Tanya had arrived to a family gathering too soon after a visit to the plastic surgeon. Her nose was still bandaged, her lips swollen from injections. They reminded me of those candy wax lips we used to play with. It was difficult to understand what she had been saying, but somewhere in the conversation I realized that she said she was going in for yet another round of implants. Tanya had taken my gasp of shock from her announcement for a gasp of desire. The aftermath was, well, horrifying. My body let out an involuntary shudder at the memory and I suddenly had a strong desire to scrape my tongue.
I had known Tanya most of my life. Her family was very close friends with my own. I had been subjected to countless torturous encounters with her throughout the vast majority of my existence, mostly because of joint family vacations. I had become somewhat of an expert of evading her when I knew she would be in town. However, today was an exception.
I offered a small smile, checking my peripheral vision for any escape route out of the coffee shop. Much to my dismay there was none. Apparently 7:30 in the morning is their busy time. Damn, damn and double damn.
With as much sincerity as I could muster, I said through nearly clenched teeth, "Tanya, how nice to see you. What brings you here?"
"Didn't your dad tell you?" I shook my head no. "I live here too!" Oh dear Lord. Now would be an excellent time for that hellmouth…..
My eyes widened in response to this and my smile got ridiculously larger. An involuntary reaction to the shock I'm sure. At least I didn't gasp.
I cleared my throat and found my voice increased in pitch, "Really? That's…um….that's great. When….how….er…did this happen?" I was completely nauseated. My father knew about this and didn't at least warn me? He knew of my distaste for Tanya but always reminded me that he and her father went way back and that I was always to be a gentleman. I would need to have a chat with Carlisle later.
"Oh Eddie! I knew you would be excited! It all started…."
Oh God, that voice. I decided that was probably what it would sound like at the gates of hell when I arrived. I winced slightly as she spoke, trying to tune her out and instead focus on conversations buzzing around me.
The couple to the right was reminiscing about their romantic interlude only a few short hours ago. A man to my left was in deep conversation with another patron about his massive lawsuit against his ex-wife for having him unwillingly committed. The girls in front of me were shamelessly flirting with the boy at the counter, trying to get extra foam on their lattes. I continued to smile & nod at Tanya, as though I were paying attention.
I hadn't even made my order. To hell with the coffee Cullen! You need to get out of here! Breathe Edward, just breathe. It will be ok….
The false reassurances I offered myself were futile. I could see the possibility of imminent escape was, at best, non-existent.
It was at that moment I felt pressure on the small of my back, like a hand. And what was that? A shock? It was strangely warm and comforting. The voice of the banshee stopped and was replaced by that of an angel.
"Hey baby. Sorry it took me so long to get here, but traffic was a bitch." I glanced down at the sound of the voice and had my suspicions confirmed. Jesus does love me! I was doing the Snoopy dance on the inside but surprisingly retained my composure. Standing before me was the most gorgeous woman I had ever laid eyes upon. She was like an oasis in the desert. Her eyes were deep pools of chocolate, her face heart-shaped and warm. And her hair, oh her hair was amazing. There was nothing processed or fake about it. Long and wavy and what was quickly becoming my favorite shade of brown ever. Exquisite. I wanted to run my fingers through it, but shook the urge as I realized I had no idea who this woman even was.
She snaked her arm around my waist and pulled me closer. I instinctively wrapped my arm around her. This was definitely not something I wanted to end anytime soon. I locked my eyes with hers and watched a blush creep into her cheeks. She lowered her head a bit but never lost eye contact as she looked up through her long lashes. Who is she? As I found myself getting hopelessly lost in her eyes, the banshee chose to speak again.
"Excuse me, who are you?" The angel gave me a quick wink and shifted her gaze to Tanya. I followed suit. This is not good. Tanya had narrowed her eyes and much as she could. Unfortunately after so many face lifts, it was physically impossible for her to adjust the look of her eyes too much. But are they supposed to change color? I always thought her eyes were blue….I didn't realize how dark they were…..
"Hi, I'm Bella." The angel held out her hand to Tanya and received a sneer instead.
"Tanya. How exactly do you know Edward?" This had to be a first. Tanya never called me Edward. It was always Ed or Eddie, much to my chagrin. I shifted my eyes back to the angel, Bella, to hear her response.
"I'm his girlfriend." THANK YOU JESUS! I will see you on Sunday.
Tanya's mouth opened, but surprisingly no sound came out. I could see the wheels turning as she looked to me for confirmation of this juicy little tidbit.
"That's right, Tanya. Bella is my girlfriend." I couldn't wipe the stupid grin off my face.
She tried to narrow her eyes again. "That's funny, your parents didn't mention anything about this when I talked to them a few days ago." Her face was smug. I started to panic, but again my angel came to the rescue.
"Oh, well our relationship is only very recent. We haven't really even had the chance to tell anyone. In fact, you're the first." The words flowed from her mouth so effortlessly. I wished very much to check and see if she literally had a silver tongue. She continued on with her little fib.
"It was really nice to meet you Tanya, but if you'll please excuse us, we have a very big day planned and need to get going." Bella shifted her arm from around my waist and grabbed my hand with hers. She then started to pull me away from what I had deemed the worst situation of my life.
I turned around and waved goodbye to Tanya. The poor girl was still standing there, head cocked to the side in confusion. Bella continued to pull me through the crowd. Damn she's strong!
We finally reached the door and stepped outside. The weather was cool and damp. There was a slight breeze in the air that caused Bella's hair to shift. Holy shit she smells good. It was simply mouthwatering. The scent put me on sensory overload. I could practically taste her.
She continued to drag me down the street a ways and then suddenly stopped as we reached the corner. We were still holding hands when she turned to face me, blushing yet again.
"I'm really sorry about that," she said in a quiet voice. "You looked like you were in need of a rescue back there."
I gave her hand a little squeeze and smiled. "You have no idea how grateful I am for the rescue. I thought I was going to have to yell fire if I had to stand there any longer." She tossed her head back and gave a small laugh. I could listen to that all day. It's perfect. I took the opportunity to step back and get a better look at her. She was petite, at least half a foot shorter than my six foot frame. Her pale skin was perfect; flawless and glowing. She had full, pouty lips that were completely kissable. Her outfit was casual and hung just right, unlike Tanya's attempt at dressing in children's clothing. After tucking the mental image away for later, I locked eyes with her once again.
She seemed to be nervous, biting her lower lip and shifting her eyes back and forth between my own and the ground. Funny, she seemed so confident earlier. I lowered my head, trying to get her to look at me.
"So tell me, is this something you do everyday or am I your first?" The gorgeous blush returned in full force. She released my hand and allowed her hair to form a curtain around her face. I reached over and tucked it behind her ear. She looked up, still biting her lip. God, that is so very hot when she does that.
"Actually, it's not something that I normally do at all. My friends do it all the time, but I've watched them for so long it's almost like second nature to me. They have groomed me, so to speak, to learn the ways of the force." She laughed again. It was so intoxicating. She tapped the side of her head.
"I have a built-in radar of sorts. My friend Alice calls it the D.I.D.-dar" I scrunched my eyebrows and cocked my head in curiosity. "Otherwise known as Dudes in Distress." I raised my eyebrows and laughed.
"Dudes in distress, eh? So is that like their job or something?" What an interesting concept; women "saving" men from other women. I stepped back and crossed my arms across my chest.
She sighed loudly before starting. "Something like that. It's, um, well you see….ah…it's a bit embarrassing. "
"I have time if you do." I really wanted to hear this story. She looked up at me, a slight look of panic in her eyes. She swallowed hard. I smiled and chuckled.
"Well, it all started when we were out for drinks a few years ago. We went to a local club and noticed some less than desirable looking woman trying to pick up on some very nice looking guys. Alice and Rose, my gorgeous and overly-confident friends, took it upon themselves to initialize a not-so-covert mission to save the guys. They said it was because they hated to see such hotness go to waste," she said, rolling her eyes. And cue the blush. "They both walked right up, strutting their stuff, and within a matter of seconds said skanks were gone and I was flying solo for the rest of the evening. And thus, D.I.D. was born."
I scoffed, "Your friends completely bailed on you? That was rude of them." Her eyes widened and her mouth formed a small "o".
"No, no, it wasn't like that at all! What I mean is, I'm used to it. Rose and Alice are extravagant women, confident. And did I mention gorgeous?" She lowered her head, as if in defeat. "They are my very best friends and would do anything for me, but when it comes to guys I'm a bit of a lost cause. I could never bring myself to do what they do." I raised my eyebrow and smirked. "Well, except for today. You should know that it really it is completely out of character for me to be so bold, but I couldn't watch you suffer any longer." Her confidence seemed to be returning as she held her head a little higher.
She leaned forward and whispered, "Besides, she really was kind of scary looking." It was my turn to toss my head back and laugh.
"You really have no idea," I said with a chuckle.
I took her hand back in mine and raised it to my lips, offering a small kiss. Somehow I knew it would invoke that blush I loved so much. I was right.
"And once again, I thank you. Up until the moment you arrived, I was praying for a miracle," like the hellmouth, "and there you were."
"Well," she started shyly, "it was my pleasure."
If it wouldn't have been completely inappropriate to do so, I was seriously contemplating pushing her up against the brick wall and having my way with her. I chuckled a bit to myself. What would Esme think? Oh God, Esme. Tanya has probably called her already. Well, this should be interesting.
"I think you should know that woman in there is regrettably a close family friend and that is not necessarily the last time I am going to see her. I can guarantee that as soon as the door closed she was on the phone to my mother, informing her of our little encounter. You've really left me in a bit of a pickle girlfriend. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to tell my mother when I arrive home empty handed." Her face immediately dropped and a look of shock set in.
"I…uh…well, it's….uh…I really don't know how to respond to that." She started to become rather fidgety, wringing her hands and chanting oh god, oh god, oh god. "Shit! I really didn't think this through," she mumbled. "First time I actually listen to Alice and Rose after constantly hearing 'put yourself out there Bella', and 'take a chance Bella', and what happens? He actually knows the girl and his mother will expect to meet me!" Her little rant was quite humorous, had it not been for the fact she was actually starting to panic and unbelievably turning paler.
I tried rubbing circles with my thumbs on the back of her hand. "Well, what do your friends do?" Way to go Cullen. Don't even know the girl 15 minutes and already you've got her freaked out about meeting your mother.
"Well that's just it! This has never happened before to my knowledge!" She started to fan herself with her tiny hands. "Oh God, I'm going to be sick." She released my hand and walked over to the curb, sitting down with her knees drawn to her chest. She started to mumble again, "Great Bella, way to go. Could you be any more stupid?" She looked like she was going to cry. I rushed over and sat down next to her, putting my arm around her shoulder.
"I'm sorry, you don't really have to meet my mother. I was just taking advantage of what I found to be a humorous situation and instead have driven you to tears. It really is ok. Tanya, the 'less than desirable woman' you saw in there, is not really a problem. Honestly, she's been after me for years with very little success." I chuckled softly. "It's not really as if my mother will be disappointed that I avoided her. She would eventually like to end up with very non-ugly grandbabies." Bella looked up and met my eyes again. She smiled softly and nudged me.
"Thanks. Sorry for having a near meltdown there. It's just that the thought of dating someone like you was a bit intimidating. And then meeting your mother? Holy hell."
I smiled and said, "What do you mean, someone like me?" Her eyes bulged again.
"I'm really on a roll today, huh? Well, look at you!" she said, gesturing with her hand.
"I'm quite familiar with how I look. I do tend to look in a mirror occasionally. What I want to know is, what did you mean someone like me?" She bit her bottom lip and turned her head ever so slightly, a faraway look in her eyes.
"How do I put this? YOU are gorgeous. I am Bella. Bella is plain. Bella is ordinary. Bella doesn't date guys like you. In fact, Bella doesn't really date at all." She shook her head and averted her eyes back to the ground. Gah, why does she do that! I placed my finger under her chin and turned her head to face me.
"Bella, you ARE gorgeous. And if anything, I wouldn't mind at all if you were with someone like me. Really, would it be so bad?" I couldn't believe this woman! Did she really not see herself clearly? Only moments ago she was saving me from the grasp of the devil himself and now she was doubting her beauty.
"You know what," I thought aloud, "really, would it be so bad?" She was probably going to run for sure now. I was afraid to look at her as I continued, so I looked up at the sky. "We have a very interesting situation on our hands. By now, most of my family has probably been informed of my 'relationship', as they all gossip like a bunch of old ladies. It really would be a shame to show up alone and disappoint them. Their lives are really so hum-drum, a little bit of excitement, like a girlfriend could really make their day." I finally turned my head back to meet her eyes, which were wider than ever. "Wouldn't you like to show off your superhero skills again and make my family's day?" I should have felt shameful for pulling the guilt card, but I really didn't care. I wanted, no needed, to know this woman and if this was the way to do it, so be it.
"You're serious." She looked perplexed.
"Very," I offered firmly.
"I don't know," she started. "Won't that be kind of weird? I mean, I'm not really your girlfriend, so how is that supposed to work?" Her face was a canvas of mixed emotions. Her bottom lip was jutted out in a bit of a pout. Well, at least she's not biting it anymore. Although, I could help her with that.
"How about we make a deal? Since you have unabashedly announced yourself as my girlfriend to a woman that is about as likely to withdraw from life as a virus, let's make it official." I watched as she shifted a bit on the curb and appeared to be squirming. I removed my arm from her shoulder and once again took her hands in mine. I leaned in close enough to kiss her and softly said, "Bella, will you be my girlfriend?"
I heard her take a sharp intake of breath and watched as her eyes rolled back into her head. I managed to catch her before she cracked her head on the ground…..