Mornings! Gah! I hated mornings. I really hated mornings when my annoying pixie of a best friend would jump on the end of my bed and dance like a maniac singing "Wake up Bella" like she was currently doing.
"Alice Cullen!" I shrieked in outrage "You are killing me here. It is too early to go shopping. Leave me sleep."
Alice responded by ripping the covers off of me and exposing me to the cold air of my bedroom. I gasped in outrage and glared at her. "Get up Bells. Go have your shower, and I will brew you some coffee."
I huffed but threw my legs over the side of the bed grumbling to myself about the weak moment in which I had given Alice the key to my town house. Shooting her one last death glare, I stomped into my bathroom slamming the door behind me. Shopping. I hated that almost as much as mornings. Alice loved shopping. She would compete in shopping if it were an Olympic sport and take home the gold without breaking a sweat.
I reached into the shower and cranked on the hot water. It was easier to give in to Alice now than to draw out the torture. I stepped into the shower and began washing my hair, resigning myself to the fact that I would spend the day being shoved in and out of several Alice approved outfits, and then be poked, prodded and plucked before being dragged out to some nightclub with Alice and my other close friend Rosalie Hale.
I finished washing my hair and body and rushed through shaving my legs, only cutting myself once in the process. I mentally groaned as I blotted the cut, wondering if I could be any more disabled. I shut the water off and quickly stepped out of the shower and wrapped a thick towel around my body. The ends of my hair were dripping down my back, but I didn't care. I had just detected the heavenly smell of fresh brewed coffee and it was calling to me like a siren's song. I instantly decided that I would grab a cup and bring it into the bathroom to sip on while dressing and getting ready. I turned and descended the stairs and into my kitchen.
"Alice, pour me a cup of bean juice would you?" I yawned and stretched up on the balls of my feet and then froze when I heard a familiar masculine chuckle coming from behind me. Oh no. No, no, no, no, no! My face flushed a deep red and I slowly turned around and met the mischievous green eyes of Alice's cousin Edward who was sitting at my kitchen table with his hands wrapped around a steaming cup of coffee.
Edward Masen! Edward Masen was sitting at my table looking more like a Greek god than anyone should after coming off a twelve hour night shift. I assumed he was just getting off as he was still wearing his EMT uniform pants and a tight white t-shirt and his eyes were tired looking. He smiled at me and quickly averted his eyes "Good Morning Bella." His voice was full of laughter and I gasped as I remembered that I was standing in front of him clad only in a towel. Shit. Shit.
I flushed an even deeper shade of red and stumbled backwards out of my kitchen and directly into Alice's small frame. My eyes filled with angry tears of humiliation and I spun and raced up the stairs before they could fall. I could hear Alice calling out behind me, but I ignored her and ran into my room closing the door behind me. I leaned against the door and slid to the floor and put my head in my hands. Why me? Why hadn't Alice warned me that he was here?
I had secretly been in love with Edward Masen since I first met him a year ago. I had just moved into my town house the day before when and he and Alice came to welcome me to the neighborhood. I had been so lucky to get into the small community compound in which I was living in Seattle. It was quite exclusive, and I had been on a list for months before getting the call that a unit was available. Alice promptly informed me at our first meeting that we would be the best of friends. She was right.
I was, however, instantly intimidated by Alice and Edward with their striking good looks. Alice Cullen was an exceptionally tiny woman with big blue eyes and short spiky black hair. She was always perfectly coiffed and dressed in the latest designer fashions. She worked as a fashion designer for one of Seattle's most elite clothing stores and simply radiated confidence and energy.
Edward Masen, Alice's cousin and roommate, was tall and lanky and had muscles in all the right places. I was instantly mesmerized by his velvet voice, tousled bronze hair and stunning green eyes which were ringed by the longest black lashes I had seen on a man. He worked as an EMT and seemed to be oblivious to the fact that the sight of him in uniform left scores of women drooling in his wake. Despite being the best looking man I had ever laid eyes on, he was unattached and had been since I had known him.
I sighed, stood up, walked over to my dresser and looked into the mirror. I knew I was plain. I had long thick brown hair which had a tendency to wave and curl, pale albino skin and big dark brown eyes. I had a decent body, but lacked the full blown curves most men seemed to want. I had never been in a serious relationship and had little to no experience with the opposite sex which made me painfully shy. I didn't stand a chance with Edward; he was way out of my league.
I shook my head and quickly grabbed a pale blue blouse and my dark wash jeans. I finished dressing and sat down on my bed to pull on my socks when I heard a soft knock at my door. "Come in," I mumbled and looked away not wanting to explain my foolish tears to Alice.
"Hey." It was Edward. His soft voice was apologetic. "I didn't mean to embarrass you Bella. I just wanted to beg a cup of coffee. You know Alice doesn't keep anything but instant in the house." He held up his hands in surrender with a gentle crooked smile on his face.
I sniffed. "It's okay Edward. I just wasn't expecting to prance around half naked in front of company. I would've worn the good towels for that." I tried to joke it off and faked a smile as I stood up. Edward gazed at me with a worried look in his eyes.
"You can come here for coffee anytime. I already told you that," I reminded him gently.
He seemed to relax and smiled as he held his arm out to me in true gentlemanly fashion "Shall we then?"
I grinned at him, nodded and took his arm and walked down the stairs to where Alice was waiting with a cup of coffee for me. I wondered at the electricity his touch seemed to instill in me. Did he feel this too? Alice didn't say a word at our appearance, but her eyes were twinkling and she had a knowing smirk on her face. Shit. She knew. I flushed with embarrassment and refused to meet her eyes as I sipped at my coffee.
Alice turned to Edward and asked "Hey Edward, what are you doing tonight? We are heading out to a club. Maybe you should come with us?"
I groaned. Edward's head shot up and he gave me a penetrating stare as he answered Alice without looking away from me "Can't. I am working nights again."
Was that disappointment I saw in his eyes? Maybe he wanted to go with us so he could meet a woman. I was glad he couldn't come now; it would kill me to watch him flirt with someone when I so desperately wanted him to look at me. I broke his stare and sighed looking down at my coffee. Dream on Bella.
"Who all is going?" Edward questioned his voice suddenly tense, his expression wary.
"Bella, Rosalie, Emmett, Jasper and I," Alice answered quickly. "We need to find a man for shy little Bells!" She started giggling at the horrified look on my face while I thought of the many ways I could kill her. What a way to make me look like the fifth wheel. How much more could I be humiliated this morning? I cringed and flushed a bright red again.
"I think Bella can do that just fine on her own." Edward's tone was sharp and I stared up at him as he pushed back his chair and stalked over to the sink with his empty cup. "Thank you for the coffee Bella, I am going to head home and leave you ladies to your shopping." His expression was thunderous and I stared at him confused as he turned on his heel and headed for the door.
I turned back to Alice with a questioning look. "Alice 1, Edward 0" she crowed with a gloating look on her face. She stared at me and I could see the wheels turning in her head. I knew whatever she was planning, it involved me and I was suddenly nervous.
I stood up abruptly wanting nothing more than to escape her knowing smirk. Alice grabbed my arm in a vise like grip and yanked me back down into my chair "So Bella," she sang happily "how long have you been in love with my cousin?"