The Ultimate Mission
"Fear is not a weakness. No. Fear is a good thing. To fear something is to respect it. Without fear, there would be no caution."
Sincerely, I was psyched right now.
I had gone out in Bella's Porsche and bought myself a little dress at the mall for my date on Saturday. It was a metallic silver and had little sparkles all over. There was a faux diamond under the low neckline. I loved it the moment I saw it. I had to snatch it up from some redheaded chick. Through scratches and credit card swiping, I prevailed. I had black heels and silver earrings to go with it. I couldn't wait to really wear it and strut. I hadn't spent a good time out in a while.
That phone call had certainly changed things.
It made me feel more confident and sexy. I felt like superwoman and could do anything.
I was practically glowing, God.
I licked my lips as my stomach decided to growl.
OK OK. I had put my poor belly to work and it needed some food and energy. There there...mommy sees a McD's sign flashing. Don't you worry.
Yes yes. I talk to myself when I'm alone. I'm that popular.
And that bored with just myself in the car.
I and Bella's Porsche pulled up into the drive thru. I proudly ordered myself a Big Mac. What can I say? I felt confident. I didn't feel like a pathetic fatty as I paid for my greasy bag of goods. I would always work it off later on the stairs before I went home. Unlike Bella, I had my own little house all to myself. I just worked in the apartment building as the head honcho. So much fun right.
So I pulled up into the parking lot with a smile and my new purchases. I had already began chowing down on my meal. So yeah, I had to be careful with my greasy fingers. I didn't want to ruin the dress or the car's natural sheen. ZING!
I felt famous almost! My cheeks hurt so badly I was smiling so hard.
I went up to my desk and quickly stuff my bags under. I would put them up when I got home. I wanted to brag--tell--Bella all about my day. Hopefully, she could explain this Cullen guy to me a bit more. And I hoped that she wouldn't be upset or mad that I 'borrowed' her card. It was on the car so technically, it wasn't that important. That was my defense anyway.
I hoped it would work if Bella did happen to...blow up. And she hasn't done that in months. Only when I really mess up do I get an ultimatum and such. It made me watch my back for a while. OK, it made me paranoid basically.
But that's what best friends do, right?
I grinned to myself as I checked my messages.
Only ole Mrs. Courtnie had called down to talk and make conversation. She loved being a busybody. She couldn't really help it. And now that she was older and couldn't get around as much, she craved the company and gossip as always. I smiled as I listened to her message. Then I froze.
'And when are you gonna get hitched? You too old to be single nah, and I know you got your eye on someone. You just lemme know when to plan your weddin' ya hear meh? Matter of fact, I bet you with him right nah, yes you is with God as mah witness!'
I slowly breathed through my nose and relaxed my hunched shoulders. Mrs. Courtnie was just being herself. She knew that women today were so very independent. I wasn't nowhere near ready to marry. I was still partyin' and livin'...well, not on the wild side but on the free side. Marriage had so many obligations that I knew I wasn't mature enough for. I hated rules and all of the weight that came with it. Really, I wasn't getting married at all. But knowing Mrs. Courtnie, she might just think I'm a scared little thing of love, not marriage.
I smiled again, chuckling quietly. I loved Mrs. Courtnie but sometimes that ole woman needed to keep her nose outta people's business. Still love her though.
I rubbed my neck, soothing the muscles as I walked towards the elevator. Bella had to still be up there, no doubt finishing her pity party. I wanted to cheer her up or at least put some emotion into her other than sadness. Even if it had to be anger. I welcomed that more than what she was when I left.
I opened my eyes very very slowly.
I almost closed them again.
He was standing right in front of me. His warm, calloused hand stroked my cheek. Haydn smiled at me gently and pressed one last chaste kiss on my lips.
I was reeling from the emotions as he showed himself out the apartment. He didn't say a word. I couldn't say anything either. I was too frozen, too confused, too--I had no clue what I was feeling at all. I couldn't even make myself walk over to the couch and collapse.
So I collapsed right there on the floor.
"That--That so did not happen." I whispered breathlessly, feeling my forehead.
Really? Was it so crazy to believe that he actually liked me enough as to be so bold?
RAP RAP RAP!
Followed by: "Bells! Bella! I've got something to tell you! I know you're in there! I can use my key, you know."
I shook my head and smiled half-hearted. She could let herself in. I was in no mood to get up.
Sure enough, the doorknob rattled as she worked the lock. Then, she was here standing over me with a shocked and confused face.
"Oh..." Cheyenne sank to my level. I rested my head on her welcoming shoulder.
"Hey, Chey." I said quietly.
"Oh sweetie, you're not crying over that jerk are you? Because..."
I shook my head immediately. "No way. He's history. It's...something else. Something else just happened and it could be--good?"
Cheyenne pulled back to stare at me questionably.
"Uh, not following."
I sighed and wrinkled my nose.
"You know my...co-worker, Haydn Banks? The one you had a crush on until you found out that he had a supermodel of a girlfriend?" I hated to bring up the past but....
Cheyenne wrinkled her nose. That wasn't exactly a fond memory for her. "OK, I'll bite. What's up?"
I mumbled my answer. Cheyenne frowned at me and put a hand to her ear.
"Didn't catch that? Speak up babe."
I sighed. I would have to admit it sooner or--now.
"He kissed me." I whispered just a little louder.
It reached her loud and clear.
I closed my eyes as I saw her face take on a mask of--indifference.
"Chey, say something."
Then I saw her eyes sparkle and I knew she wasn't mad, just blindslided.
"Well, all I have to say is..." She smirked at this point in my suspense, "Why you and not me?"
I crossed my eyes and said playfully, "Because you'd smother him with all your talk about clothes and makeup! At least I can talk about something worth listening to!"
Cheyenne scoffed and rolled her eyes. She was so loving this. "ZOMG, Isabella. He only kissed you because one of the co-workers double dog dared him to! I bet he's collecting his winnings right now!"
I laughed at her and she joined in. Soon enough, we had tears in our eyes and cramps in our guts.
Cheyenne sighed and rolled back onto her back.
"But seriously, what are you going to do kiddo?"
I peeked at her. She was staring at the ceiling with a faint smile.
Shrugging, I sat up and leaned back on my palms.
"I know that someone is cruisin' for a bruisin' once I get out of here." I cracked my neck, making Cheyenne wince. "He just loved confusing me. That's what it looked like."
"How did you let him go without a scratch? That's not like you Bella." Cheyenne thought aloud.
I smiled wryly. "Mistake duly noted."
Cheyenne laughed and held up her hands in mock surrender. "Hey, I was just pointing out the unusual."
"Yeah? Well, I live the unusual every freaking day. It's normal for me."
I shook my head to rid it of the weird mojo. "But hey, what was your big news that you had to barge in here for?"
Cheyenne flushed bright red in zero seconds. "Oh! That...it's nothing. Seriously...."
I had her in one of my famous headlocks in like, zero seconds.
"Tell me." I said in my sweetest voice, tightening the hold just a bit.
"Gack!" Cheyenne choked. I knew I'd get it out of her. That was 'can't breathe speak' for 'I give!'. I was an expert in the language.
I deposited Cheyenne's limpish body onto the floor. She wheezed and sputtered.
"I will...ack... never get used to having a spy for a friend. I will so...bleck...sue you for this!" Cheyenne weakly threatened.
I leaned down to her level. "Oh? And who's going to believe you sweetie? You forget who I work for?"
Cheyenne sighed and rubbed her neck, which, yay me, was not bruised or discolored at all. A month ago and she would have been a perfect shape of plum purple.
"OK, you suck."
"It's this guy." She fessed up.
My ears perked up. Cheyenne hadn't been with a guy in like, forever in girlspeak.
"I found this card in your car and it was on the floor so you thought it wasn't important so I helped myself and I'm sorry if you liked him or whatever but he sounded insanely hot and rich and I got a date with him soon and will you please say something before I barf and freakin' shit my pants?!?!?!?!" Cheyenne blubbered on and on.
I cracked up laughing. Cheyenne just stood there, looking dumb.
"Girl, that dude was a total...tool! I mean, he was sitting there acting like he was God's gift to women! Yea, he's hot and rich so you'll have fun looking at him. But it doesn't look like you'll have intelligent conversation with him." I let her know the ups and downs of this player.
"Hmm." Cheyenne mused. "You think he's worthless. That means he's gold for me!"
I rolled my eyes. Yeah, I had pretty high standards for everything. I was Isabella Swan. I strived for the best in everything. It was kinda harder with people. But I didn't do too bad. It was just the whole concept of Haydn and his walking away without a limp that I had to fix.
"So where's he taking you to?" I prodded. "What are you wearing?"
Cheyenne told me the frenchy name and my eyes widened. He was stinkin' rich!
"Chey, you're going to have to sew a few diamonds on that dress. Hon, this is a place for royalty and politicians and shit." I warned her quickly. I was not letting my girl go out like a bum in a sackcloth, no matter how cute it looked.
Cheyenne's face fell. "You mean, it's that bad?"
I nodded slowly. "You have to make mortgage payments just to buy the food."
I knew. I had been. On one of my undercover missions, I had to be a rich, snotty girl who just so happened to be a spy. It was fun. Really, those were my good moments.
"Wah!" Cheyenne wailed at me. I wanted to hit her one. This was not the time.
"Chey, I'll lend you one of my things. It should be...suitable. And it won't be that uncomfortable. You love things sparkly, don't you?"
Cheyenne nodded furiously.
"Beauty is pain."