As early as breaking dawn on Saturday, Jasper was already at my door. If it wasn't for the cup of white chocolate mocha latté he brought, it would take at least thirty more minutes before I left the comfort of my bed. But he was Jasper, and he knew me and my addiction to caffeine. And he had always been a great friend.
"You're a real angel." I grabbed the cup from him excitedly. He was already dressed for our trip, wearing a crisp gray tee shirt and white khaki shorts to match his French espadrilles.
"I thought you said I'm God Himself?" Jasper jested. I threw a fluffy pillow at him and he ducked just in time. "Your bags are already in the car so we're just waiting for you. Edward's downstairs, too."
Say what? Did he say that Edward was at my house?
"What? Why is he here? I thought-"
"Relax, babe. He's downstairs by the pool. I didn't tell him to make himself comfortable so I doubt he's looking through your nude baby photos or anything," Jasper chuckled happily.
"Oh," I said in nonchalance. "Give me five minutes and I'll be ready to go."
"Sure," he replied, knowing fully well that I meant thirty minutes, yet he had a beautiful smile on his face. If only all guys could be as patient as him.
Around forty minutes later, I was finally good to go. Although I was wonderfully dressed in a gorgeous Marc Jacobs white sun dress and comfy orange Tory Burch sandals, I was still a nervous wreck when I reached downstairs and found the two brothers watching Fast and the Furious 6 in the entertainment room. Edward had never been to my house and I was not prepared to have him over. My parents were always traveling, same as my brother, so it was practically my home. So, maybe, just maybe, I wondered what he thought about it...
"Hey," I said in greeting. The two boys seemed engrossed with the action film and I could not blame them. I did not know a thing about cars and heists yet I followed the series myself, and I bet the boys were totally in love with it, too.
Jasper did not care much for cars, but he had a thing for Gal Gadot, the Israeli actress who played one of the supporting characters, so it was understandable that he did not realize I was in the same room as them. I smiled anyway.
While Jasper had this whole pretty boy look going on, Edward was totally different. He was ruggedly handsome and sexy, and he looked like he belonged here at home, with me...
Woah, back up!
"Hello, Isabella," Edward said in his deep, velvety voice. Curious, did he always greet girls like that? Any woman would fall at his feet. He gestured to the seat next to his, and I wondered if he felt even slightly uncomfortable that we were this close to each other, because I was a fucking mess.
"You going to finish the movie?" I asked him. Yup, I was lame as a fog when it came to starting conversations with strangers (sexy ones, at that). "We can bring the DVDs, you know."
"Right." Jasper shifted in his seat and looked for the remote control. "We'll just bring these, yeah?"
See? He was obsessed with Gal Gadot.
"Sure, Jazz." I watched him go through my Blu-Ray collection and pick some more DVDs. Obviously, we needed movies for when we had nothing else to do.
"You look beautiful, Isabella," Edward said in a low voice, it was almost impossible for me to make out the words.
"Uh, thanks, I think," I said, shyly. I looked away, hoping that he wouldn't see me blush. There were dim lights in the room but he was a man of many talents; he could see through the dark too, for all I know. "You always look handsome." My brain filter was malfunctioning at the time, apparently.
He chanced a look at Jasper and then back at me before he quickly brought my hand against his lips. It happened so fast that I almost thought I was simply hallucinating.
"Okay, I'm good to go," Jasper announced with a tap on his blue Nike backpack. "Bella?"
"Yes!" I yelped in surprise. "I'm sorry, what?" Jasper's words did not exactly register in my brain.
"I asked if you're ready to go," he clarified.
"Oh, she is," Edward answered with a sexy smirk.
Less than one hour with Edward and he was already giving me a whiplash. He had been cold since the our first encounter at school, so what changed? Mindfucked; that, I was.
It did not take too long to go to Malibu, especially if you rode a private helicopter. The Cullens were loaded and they enjoyed all kinds of luxuries in the world. They came from old money, so the family would not want for anything in the next ten generations or so. Even then, Doctor Cullen actively sponsored charities left and right. They might as well be one of the richest families in the western United States.
When we, meaning Jasper, Edward, and I, reached the beach house, that was when I came to the conclusion that Edward's plus one would not be joining us this weekend. In my head, I was giddily jumping up and down, alternating between various dance moves. Or maybe I spoke too soon because before Jasper could even fish the keys out of his pocket, the door opened to reveal a blond statuesque who immediately rushed to hug Edward.
I wasn't able to completely process the turn of events. Sure, Jasper had told me that Edward was seeing a girl and that said girl would join us in our little trip, but then, ugh! Why did she have to actually show up?
"Bella!" Jasper almost pinched my arm. He had been calling my attention for a while now, and I was left at the doorstep, while Edward and the blond bombshell had made their way inside. "You okay?"
I looked around, and quickly came up with a good excuse: "Yeah, I'm just lost in the beauty of this place. The beach looks absolutely divine. So warm and inviting... And, uh, it's an amazing house."
"I'm glad you like it. We used to spend summers here when we were little. I can't even remember the last time I went back here," Jasper said, almost sadly. I didn't know what happened to keep him away from this beach house, but I sincerely hoped that he planned on coming back soon. It would be great to have the girls and Emmett over. "Come inside, I'll give you a tour of the house."
True to his word, Jasper gave me the grand tour, and he did it thoroughly. It was a cozy bungalow spread over seven hundred square meters of floor area. There were five bedrooms in the house, four bathrooms, and two restrooms. There was a cute kitchen completely furnished with appliances, and a nice living room where guests are entertained. There was also a lovely patio just in front of the house, about fifty yards away from the clear, crystal blue water. I was already excited to dive in, but that would have to wait. Surprisingly, a lap pool and a jacuzzi were also constructed in the backyard, and I thought to myself that the caretaker surely enjoyed his job. We ended the tour in Jasper's bedroom, which was no smaller than his room in LA.
"Shower with me?" Jasper invited with a smirk. He already lost his shirt and shorts. How could I say no?
We had taken our time in the bathroom, and Edward was impatient as he knocked on our door, inviting us to eat lunch. Needless to say, he looked grumpy when we sat down with him and, apparently, the girl he was seeing.
"We didn't have the chance to get introduced earlier. I'm sorry about that; Edward forgets his manners sometimes," the blonde said in apology. Edward didn't bother to put a word in. "I know you're Jasper and Bella. I'm Tanya." She sounded so sickeningly sweet that I just wanted to strangle her, or Edward.
"So pleased to meet you. Edward's mentioned you a lot," Jasper, always the gentleman, said, as he reached for Tanya's hand and offered a kiss. It used to annoy me how he always did that gesture when being introduced to a lady (he had his way of knowing which ones deserved a kiss on the hand), but now, it no longer fazed me. Not even a little bit. Jasper was a charmer through and through, and nobody, not even I, could blame him for it. Heck, I sorta fell for it once upon a time.
"Oh, you are such a charming young lad!" Tanya exclaimed with a smile, displaying her perfectly aligned white teeth. Damn, I should've seen at least one flaw by now.
"And you're gorgeous! Now I understand why the boys are so taken with you!" Without warning, Tanya jumped me in a tight hug. Edward coughed loudly, which caught my attention. I swear he looked funny, like he was trying hard not to laugh. It was awkward, especially when she started running her hand up and down, almost reaching my ass, before she let go.
"Yeah, good to meet you, too," I said in the most saccharine voice I could come up with. First look at her and I already knew that I didn't like her. We wouldn't get along well, that's for sure.
"All right, now that you all know each other, can we eat? I'm starving!"
"Do you like the ravioli, Bella?" Tanya inquired curiously. "Edward told me that it's your favorite, so I made it myself. I bought enough food to feed us until the next weekend!"
No way did she cook this feast! There were at least four dishes on the table, besides the appetizer and salads. It was impossible for one person to accomplish so much in so little time, unless she had help from others. I smiled anyway and quickly said, "Yes, it tastes good. Thank you. That's very thoughtful." I didn't want to admit it, but even the food that she made was perfect. Goddamn.
"Oh, you should thank Edward," Tanya replied with wink followed by an: "Oww!" I saw the two of them exchange glares with each other. Tanya reached for something under the table, and if I didn't know that they were together, I would've thought that Edward had kicked her in the foot, or something. How odd.
After lunch, we all went our separate ways. Reluctantly, I watched Edward go with Tanya, while Jasper and I headed to our room.
I always loved my sleep time, and Jasper was none the wiser to allow me to snooze off. He quietly laid in bed with me and I was more than grateful for the peace. The last thing I saw before my eyes shut was him smiling at something on his iPhone.
A couple of hours later, I woke up with a clear head. Jasper was nowhere to be found in the room, so I took it upon myself to do a bit of exploring. The bedroom was really nicely decorated with vintage furniture and there was a balcony right outside, allowing a perfect view of the beach. It was very lovely, probably one of the best I had ever been to, and it was impossible not to enjoy the peace and quiet. For a minute, I just listened to the serene sound of the waves crashing against the shore. There were some birds chirping in the background, too.
"Did you know that we used to spend summers here when were young?" I almost jumped up in surprise at Edward's voice. There he was on the next balcony, in his almost naked glory, smoking a cigarette. The way he dragged the stick into and out of his mouth so agonizingly slow was too sexy. That should be illegal. Girls in school would pay thousands of dollars to see this.
"You smoke?" You couldn't blame a person who had just woken up. If I was being honest though, the sight of Edward in little clothing might have also added to the haze I was currently in. "I mean, duh," I added, pointing at the gross stick in his hand.
"I quit a long time ago but sometimes, I just need to, you know," he answered truthfully. I nodded in understanding. But not really. "I wanted to apologize to you..."
"What for?" I asked, confused.
"The way I handled things back then. I should have been more mature about it. It's just that you caught me off guard, and that was quite a surprise... Our circumstances are complicated." He couldn't have worded it better than that.
"For the record, I honestly thought I would never see you again," I started, then immediately clarified that I was no slut. "I don't sleep around. I really don't. I just need you to know that it was a one-time thing for me," I admitted shyly. "And Jasper and I were broken up at the time. I didn't cheat on him." Just like ripping a band-aid.
He took another drag from his cigarette while I patiently waited. I didn't know what for, but even a grunt would do. "Come on, say something."
"Nothing's changed, Bella."
"Does my age really bother you?" I just had to know.
"We shouldn't be friends." Well that came out of nowhere.
"What the fuck?" Well I guess I said that one out loud. I gaped at him like a fish out of water.
"Trust me, it's better this way. Not that I don't want to be friends with you." The dude couldn't make up his mind. For someone who's about to attend Medicine school, this one's got a ton of problems in the future.
"If you're smart, you'll stay away from me." He did have a point. It would be difficult to be friends with someone you find ultimately attractive. Yeah, that could be a real issue.
"Well, let's just say for argument's sake that I am not smart, can we be friends?" Cliché lines sometimes work, who knows?
He laughed, a little too quietly to my distaste, as he threw away his burnt stick into an ashtray. "Maybe."
A/N: Honestly, I couldn't help myself with those lines. Haha. Who's still with me? :) Do let me know if you're still interested to know more. ;)