A/N- I know that some of you were expecting another chapter of Trapped in Heaven, and I promise you that it is coming. I have been in a funk lately, so I haven't been writing. I am almost done with the next chapter and will be sending it to Clarisa later this week, but in the meantime, I am starting a new story. It is losely based on the movie The Wedding Date- I hope you enjoy it and I hope you will check out my one shot for the steamy movie cross over called Agent Swan. It was silly but fun to do. Please not the M rating as it does have a big lemon.
I have to let you all know about a great story that I have been following. It is called Staged Beauty. They have had it over at Twilighted, but the author recently put it on this site. You can find it under Rhea12. Please go read it, it is awesome and just getting started. We need to give her some Fanfiction love.
Review and let me know what you think. I have written this in the 3rd person omniscient POV. I hope you like it.
Disclaimer- I own none of the Characters in this story.
This is Insane
Bella sat in the crowded restaurant looking at the door for the fifth time in five minutes. She arrived early for her appointment, hoping to get a look at the man that would be joining her before he sat down. She grabbed a sugar packet from the container and fiddled with it while trying to decipher how she had gotten herself in this mess. Of all the crazy things that she had ever done to get her mother to stay out of her love life, this was the most desperate. She hadn't told any of her friends that she had hired an escort to pretend to be her boyfriend, embarrassed by the thought of all the laughs she would receive.
She took another look at the entrance and then glanced at her cell phone. It was five minutes to the big reveal. She laughed to herself again, hoping against all hope he would at least be decent company and would not make her feel awkward or crazy for coming up with this plan. She threw the sugar packet on the table, blew a long breath out of her lungs, and then glanced up at the door. She was immediately met by two of the most beautiful green eyes she had ever seen and a smile that sent her heart into overdrive. He's too good looking. Please don't let him be my date, please don't let him be my date, she muttered under her breath, but when he started walking towards her table she returned his smile.
"Isabella Swan?" he asked in the most velvety voice she'd ever heard.
"Yes, but please call me Bella. You must be Edward," she replied while rising from her chair. She was amazed that she had been able to speak at all, as she had never spoken to anyone as beautiful as the man in front of her.
She held out her hand to shake his, but he lifted it to his lips and placed a sweet kiss on it before giving her another dazzling smile.
"It is a pleasure to meet you, Bella."
Bella blushed profusely as she quickly took her seat to prevent her legs from giving out on her, surprised by the jolt of energy she felt rush through her at his touch. She pulled her hand back gently and placed both hands in her lap, gently rubbing the spot where his lips had practically burned her skin.
"Please sit down, Edward," she said more confidently than she felt.
Edward pulled his chair out and she glanced over his well formed body. She was stunned to find herself staring at his sculpted chest. Her face turned a deeper shade of red as his eyes met hers again, essentially catching her checking him out.
"Relax, Bella; I promise I won't bite, well. unless that is part of the job," he teased, trying to make her smile. Bella laughed and the tension was broken for the moment.
"Thank you for coming to meet me and agreeing to this ridiculous scam. You must think I am some desperate woman who can't get a date, but there are reasons why I am doing this," she stammered, unconsciously telling him more than she meant to.
"Everyone has their reasons, Bella. I am not here to judge you; I am here to help. But why don't we just talk and have a nice lunch instead of getting into all of that now? Suffice it to say, I am pleasantly surprised and grateful that I will not be spending the holidays with a 40 year old divorcée trying to get her groove back," he said laughing.
She joined in and let out a sigh of relief at his humor. She was also grateful that he seemed to accept her nervousness and appreciated his attempts to calm her. The beating in her chest subsided a little and she relaxed back into her chair.
The waitress came by and took their drink orders as they silently scanned the choices on the menu.
"What are you going to have, Bella?" Edward asked. She glanced over the top of the plastic menu and smiled.
"I think I am going to have a burger and fries." She wasn't concerned about the no-eating-in front-of-good-looking-men rule that she knew many of her friends prescribed to. She smiled to herself, knowing that Edward would never be interested in her in that way, so she was safe to eat normally.
"That sounds perfect to me as well." He smiled as he placed the menu on the table as she followed suit.
"So tell me about yourself, Bella," he began as he stared into her eyes.
"Well, there is really not much to tell. I just turned twenty-six years old in September. I graduated from Dartmouth a little less than two years ago with my MBA in Comparative Literature. I accepted a job as an editor at a publishing company in Manhattan, and I am currently writing my first novel."
"Wow, I am impressed," Edward said with sincerity.
"Don't be; it hasn't paid off yet. I have to get my book published, which is really why you are here," she said quietly.
The waitress came by and brought them their drinks, and Edward ordered for both of them. His eyes rested on hers again with curiosity and concern.
"Bella, you don't have to explain anything if you don't want to. Just tell me what you need me to do for you while we are with your family. I don't want you to worry about me, or what I think; this is all about what you need."
"I kind of want to tell you--I mean, maybe I need to say all of this out loud so I can hear how crazy this whole thing is so I don't waste your time."
Edward watched her closely as he pondered her words. He was trying to make this situation more comfortable for her, but he realized that maybe she was right, so he turned his complete attention to her.
"In that case, I am all ears," he said as he took at sip of his coke. Bella watched his mouth open to place it on his glass and a shiver ran through her spine as she caught a glimpse of his tongue. She was mortified at her lustful eyes and looked down at her lap where she folded the corner of her napkin over and over, trying to gain some control over her body. Maybe this wasn't a good idea, she thought.
"My parents have never really been accepting of my life choices. My mom and dad really just wanted me to go to community college, get married and have babies. When I told them I was going to Dartmouth, they were very disappointed, especially when I decided on continuing with grad school." Bella stopped a moment to take a drink of her iced tea and glance up at him to make sure he hadn't dozed off and then she continued.
"Since then, my mom has been driving me crazy about dating, even to the point of setting up a profile on for me. I have tried many times to explain my situation, and so about six months ago, I told her that I was dating someone. So basically I lied to my family so that my mom would get off my back."
"That makes sense. So now I am guessing the jig is up if you don't produce said boyfriend," Edward remarked.
"Exactly. I guess I didn't think it through. I have even gone as far as bringing my neighbor over so that she would hear a male voice in the background. Now she has insisted on me bringing my boyfriend home. I tried to say that my boyfriend had to stay in town, but then she threatened to come here. So here I am, spending my saving on this farce instead of paying extra on my student loans."
Bella finished her story and looked down again at her hands; her long mahogany hair fell across her face, effectively hiding her behind the curtain.
"Well, Bella, don't worry. I promise that I will dazzle your mother and she will leave you alone forever," he stated confidently.
"I have no doubt, but I have to warn you, Renee will probably try to get you to propose before the trip is over. So I guess what I am saying is that I apologize in advance for any humiliating or awkward moments my parents subject you to." They laughed together at the comment, alleviating even more tension.
"So, what have you told your family about your boyfriend so I can familiarize myself with the details?" Edward suggested.
Bella smiled. "That is the good part. I haven't told them anything, except that he is my age, a professional, and extremely handsome."
"I'm surprised that your mom let you get away with that." Bella laughed out loud.
"It wasn't easy; besides, I am a horrible liar, so I told her that it was new and that I wasn't giving her any details, especially his name, because I knew she would stalk him and try to call him. Plus I avoided conversations that involved my non-existent faux boyfriend." Both of them laughed at her predicament as their food arrived.
Bella sat across from Edward as she ate and wondered about his life. She wanted to know how and why he was an escort, and why he even took a job that would take him away from his family at Christmas time, but she didn't know if that was professional or not, so she kept their conversation to normal topics.
After their meal, there was an awkward silence until Edward finally spoke.
"Bella, I know we leave on Friday for Washington, so why don't you tell me about your family. Where do they live exactly and is it just your parents, or do you have siblings?"
"It is just me and my mother, Renee, and my father, Charlie. They live in a small town north of Seattle called Forks. My father is the police chief, though I believe he is considering retirement in the next year or two. My mother works as a teacher at the local elementary school and she also does a lot of fundraising for the schools. She is a great lady, just nosey as hell." She laughed again while she thought of her mother. She was pushy and overbearing and a control freak when it came to Bella's love life, but she was also silly, absent-minded and a bit of an eccentric. Bella loved her completely.
"What about you, Edward? I am not sure if you are allowed to tell me your real story, or if we have to come up with something together. I feel kind of stupid because I'm not sure how this works. I don't want to be unprofessional or make you uncomfortable in anyway."
Edward laughed and threw his head back in amusement. He was touched by her concern.
"Bella, you make me laugh; you are quite charming. I like that you are worried about me being uncomfortable, but my job is to be whoever you need me to be."
Bella thought about his words and smiled back at him, feeling a little embarrassed.
"I would really like you to be just you, but if you are worried about my mom googling you and most likely calling to hound you into proposing when we get back, then you can use a different name." Edward laughed again and then reached out across the table and lifted Bella's hand in his.
The familiar spark spread through her, causing her to shudder slightly. She look a deep breath in as she tried to regain control of her body.
"I think I will take my chances," he replied, giving her hand a squeeze before releasing it again.
"Well, I guess that means you get to fill me in on who you are, Edward… what's your last name?" Bella winced. She felt bad that she didn't know his last name and had been dominating the conversation all night.
"Cullen, Edward Cullen." He grinned.
Bella looked at her watch and realized that they had been talking for over two hours. She instantly worried that she was being charged by the hour.
"We really have a lot to discuss, but maybe I should do that with the agency, I mean I know the price has been established, but I don't want to keep you, if you need to go."
"Don't worry Bella, I am fine. I have cleared my entire day, so if you want we can go somewhere and talk. We have to make up six months of dating in an afternoon, so we have our work cut out for us."
"My place is not far from here. Would you like to go there, or is that too intimate?" Bella turned crimson red when she said the word intimate, and she fell once again behind her curtain of hair, feeling stupid once again.
"You look beautiful when you blush. You shouldn't hide it. Your house will be perfect," Edward said while moving her hair to the side of her face, revealing her beautiful chocolate brown eyes.
"Thank you," she muttered. She grabbed the check, threw down the cash and stood up. Edward followed her lead and stood up. He somehow felt uncomfortable watching her pay for their meal. He had never felt uncomfortable before, as he knew it was part of the contract that the client pays for all expenses, but somehow with Bella it just felt wrong. Edward brushed off the feelings of discomfort and walked out of the restaurant behind Bella.
"I'll just follow you in my car," Edward suggested, and they made their way to Bella's house less than three miles away.
Edward pulled in behind Bella and then hurried over to her door to help her out. She smiled at him as he noticed the nervousness on her face again. His hands remained in hers as she smiled at him before they walked up the stairs to the house.
They entered the nice two story brownstone and Bella immediately took Edward's coat and hung it up. Edward looked around the living room and noticed that the hardwood floors were a deep brown that matched her eyes. He also noticed her stereo and her wall-to-wall bookcases, each packed full with books. The modest comfortable furniture fit in nicely with the hominess of the house.
"Very nice place, Bella; it suits you," Edward commented.
"Thanks; would you like a tour?" she asked.
Bella led Edward through the old fashioned dining room into the kitchen. It was good sized kitchen with lot of gadgets on the counter.
"Do you cook?" he asked.
"Every chance I get. I love it, but I still don't know how to cook for just one, so I eat leftovers until I can't stand it and then I make something else. I like to try new things."
Edward could picture Bella in her apron, cooking a meal. She seemed so comfortable in the kitchen and he wondered if he would get a chance to taste her cooking while they were in Washington.
"That is wonderful. I can cook breakfast food, but other than that I am worthless in the kitchen. Maybe I will learn a few tricks from you," he mentioned as he ran his long fingers over the countertops. Bella watched him closely as he took in his surroundings. She was still mesmerized by his entire presence. He was manly and graceful, and he seemed so confident without being cocky. He definitely had the characteristics that she had always dreamed of, except even in her fantasies she had never pictured someone this handsome.
She led him upstairs to the bedrooms; she pointed out the guest bedroom and then led him into another room that was set up like a den or a library with even more books.
"Wow, you sure have a lot of books," he said, tracing his fingers along the spines, searching for titles that he recognized. He found several that he knew, and some he had never heard of.
"I keep most of my library downstairs, but these are all the books I have edited in the last two years, and some duplicates of my favorites, in case I want to read in bed."
She led him down the hall to the master bedroom. It was a large room with a giant four poster bed and an office set up in the corner by the window.
"So, is this where all the magic happens?" he asked innocently.
Bella's eyes widened and she blushed again when he realized what his comment must have implied.
Bella composed herself and laughed.
"If I had any magic happening, I wouldn't have had to hire you," she teased and then felt instantly embarrassed at her own comment and what it could have implied. She stuttered as she tried to backtrack.
"I mean… not that I expect magic from you… I meant… ughhh," she muttered.
Edward tried to hide his amusement as he went to her and put his hands on her waist trying to get her to look up at him.
"Bella, I am sorry if I embarrassed you. I was referring to your office, and where you write," Edward said sweetly.
Bella put her hands over her face, humiliated to have assumed he meant anything sexual. She laughed at the last exchange until she wanted to cry.
"Edward, it was my mistake. Please, can we just forget the last two minutes happened?"
"Deal… let's go downstairs and chat," he offered as he wrapped his arm around her and walked out of the room and down the stairs.
They talked for hours about their likes and dislikes, and about her family. He told her more about himself.
He was finishing his doctorate in psychology and was going to be starting his residency soon, so that he would be able to start his own practice. He had worked as an escort throughout his college career because it didn't take too much time, and the pay was excellent. He also thought it was excellent experience in understanding women and their issues. He didn't go into detail, but as he spoke, Bella wondered what he had learned in his experiences as an escort.
She had wanted to ask him personal questions about the escort business, but she didn't want to pry into his business. Edward seemed comfortable at his job, but she wondered if he was required to be intimate with his clients. It saddened her to think of Edward getting paid for sex. She wasn't sure why it mattered to her, but the thought made her sick to her stomach.
Edward told her about his family. He had an older brother named Emmett and a younger sister named Alice. His father was a general practitioner at a local hospital in New York and his mother was an interior designer. Both of his siblings were married and he was the proud uncle of his brother's two boys. He seemed very close to them, and it saddened Bella that he would not be spending the holidays with them because of her.
"Edward, I feel bad that I am taking you away from them during Christmas. If you want to back out, I understand," Bella offered.
"Bella, I am fine. I have been with them for twenty-six Christmases so I will be fine to miss just one. Thank you for being worried, but I have already considered this and discussed this with my family."
Bella glanced at the clock and noticed that it was close to 8pm.
"Oh Edward, look at the time. I feel horrible that I have kept you so long."
Edward glanced at the time as well and only laughed. He was extremely surprised that they had talked for over five hours, and he could have gone another five and not even thought about it. Talking to Bella was easy for him. He didn't feel like he was working; he felt like he was on a date. He instantly pushed that thought from his mind as he thought of the one thing that they hadn't talked about all evening.
"Don't worry; I have enjoyed talking with you, Bella. I am relieved that we have such a good rapport together. It will make the two weeks together more enjoyable."
"I agree; you don't know how happy I am that I don't feel awkward around you. I will need a good friend with me to deal with my mother. Thanks for taking time with me today, for making this so much easier for me," Bella said sincerely.
Edward suddenly looked uncomfortable, like he wanted to say something, but he didn't know how.
"There is one thing that we should probably discuss before we get on the plane. I don't want this to be awkward, but we haven't talked about the physical part of being a couple. If we are going to pull this off for you, I need to know how affectionate you want me to be with you in front of your family."
Bella's face flushed again.
"Just another detail I didn't think through. I'm sorry Edward; this is just strange all around. I mean, we really don't know each other that well, so will it be strange for you to hold my hand or hug me?"
Edward laughed out loud again.
"Bella, are you serious? I am getting paid to pretend to be your boyfriend. This isn't about what I am comfortable with; it is about you and what you need from me. I am fine with anything; it is just my concern that we will appear awkward if we aren't comfortable with each other physically. I mean, we should probably practice a little before we are in front of your mother."
Bella's heart fluttered at the thought of his hands on her. She wondered if he meant that they should practice right now. She didn't have time to think anymore about it as he reached over to caress her arms. His hands slowly went up to her face as he felt the warmness of her blush. His palm flattened out on her cheek as she leaned into his hand. Her eyes shut, soaking the sensation of his touch. She felt his body move closer to her as his lips lightly brushed against her forehead, and then moved closer still to place a sweet kiss on her lips. Her body relaxed as she leaned in to the kiss. She hadn't realized that she had failed to take a breath until he spoke.
"Breathe, Bella," he whispered against her lips as she let out the breath she was holding while it fanned his face. He pulled her into an embrace, his arms wrapped around her softly as his lips left hers and moved to the side of her face.
"That wasn't so bad, was it?" he whispered against her ear. She couldn't find her voice, so she just shookher head. She melted in his arms as she inhaled his scent. He even smelled wonderful, like fresh fallen rain or a cool ocean breeze. Bella thought it was heavenly.
Edward released her and smiled.
"Don't worry about anything; we will make this work for you. Do you trust me?" he asked.
"Yes, thank you, Edward. You really are worth every dime." He smirked a bit before standing up and taking Bella's hand in his.
"You are a great girl, Bella, and I am looking forward to hanging out with you for the holidays. I will see you here at 9am on Friday, right?"
"That sounds perfect." She walked Edward to the door after retrieving his coat. He pulled her into another embrace and kissed her cheek.
"See you Friday, Bella," he said and then he was gone.
Bella closed the door and sighed loudly as her body went limp against the cold wooden door, replaying the kiss in her head. She smiled and thought that maybe going home for the holidays wouldn't be so bad after all.
A/N- So Tell me everyone, Do you like it? Review, Review, Review!