Firstly: Thank you for humoring me and answering my questions last chapter! Most of you did, which, honestly, I wasn't expecting. :)
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Another thing: I won't be replying to reviews from now on. Sorry, the situation is kinda complicated. I will try to get back to you if you have a question, though.
Okay, I think that's it. On with the chapter. Enjoy!
I couldn't help but whistle as I walked back to my apartment. My phone was still clutched tightly in my hand. I was almost afraid that if I put it in my pocket the number would somehow disappear.
"Hello, Mr. Cullen," Frank, the elderly doorman, said to me.
I smiled back at him, stopping to talk "Hey, Frank. How are you?"
"Can't complain." I smiled. I got the same response everyday.
"And Margie?" Margie was Frank's wife. They had been married for thirty years, but they were still as in love as the day they married. I could tell by the way frank spoke of her.
I had befriended Frank when I first moved in, and I enjoyed talking to him each day. He was kind as well as wise. He was a good friend.
"Doing well. She's knitting sweaters furiously. Our grandkids are coming for a visit this weekend, and she wants them each to have something special."
I smiled at the love behind the action. I had yet to meet Margie, but she sounded like someone I would want for a grandmother.
"And how are you on this fine night? You seem happier than usual." His sharp eyes scanned my face. "Is it a girl?"
I didn't say anything, but my face heated up a bit and must have showed my surprise. He gave me a knowing smile. "Ah, so it is. And what girl could have caught the attention of the elusive Edward Cullen? She must be a special one."
"She is," I murmured, thinking about Bella.
His eyes softened. "You're head over heels already, boy. I know the feeling. Treat her right, and don't let her slip away."
"I won't," I promised both him and myself.
Before I could say anything more, he had ushered me into the lobby. I made my way to the elevator, the doors opening with a muffled ding. I stepped in, thinking of Bella. I glanced down at my phone. I scrolled down to her name again, my finger hovering over the talk button. I wanted to call her so badly, even though I had just been with her. I wanted to hear her voice again. I wondered where she was right now. Had she made it home safely? Was she getting ready to go to bed?
My finger twitched toward the little green button, but I slipped my phone into my pocket to be safe. It was better if I didn't call her right now. She needed time to calm down, no matter how much I wanted to wish her goodnight.
The doors slid open, the bell sounding again to alert me that I was on the fifth floor. I stepped off, making my way over to my apartment.
I reached the apartment and put the key in the lock. As I stepped in, I couldn't help but wonder what Bella would think of my apartment. I looked around at the large space. It was beautifully furnished with a very modern taste, but that was more Esme's doing than mine. I kept it neat, but other than that, it looked like any other bachelor pad. All chairs facing the huge plasma screen, not many homey touches, and tons of surfaces to put a beer bottle.
If Bella moved in with me, I was sure she would brighten this place up a bit. She…
Whoa, back up, Cullen. You just met the girl, and you're already thinking about having her move in? If you keep thinking about her like this, you are going to scare her off.
I had to take this slow. I'd just call and ask her to go out with me, and we'd go from there.
A familiar ring tone filled the room. Alice.
She launched straight into a monologue, talking at top speed. "So, you met a girl, right? Oh, of course I'm right. You really liked her? I knew you would! We have to meet her. I have a feeling this is the one for you. Oh, this is so exciting. My loner brother will finally get a girlfriend! Oh, we're going to be like sisters. And best friends! Another sister! You know what that means, right? Another shopping partner! Oh, I hope she has good taste. Obviously she's very beautiful – I knew that just because you were interested in her. And –"
I cut her off. "Alice, phones are for conversations. And a conversation involves both sides talking. How did you even say that all in one breath?"
"Don't try to change the subject, brother dearest. This phone call is about you and this girl. I can't wait to meet her!"
"Alice, don't get ahead of yourself. I haven't even asked her out yet." I held the phone away from my ear, waiting for the eminent screech. Alice didn't let me down.
"WHAT?" she screamed. "Why didn't you ask her out? It's obvious you like her. Oh, I swear, if I was there right now, I would slap you so hard…"
"Take it down a few octaves, would you? You sound like a banshee."
"Shut up, Edward. Do you realize what you've done? By the time you do ask her out, she could have found some other guy she likes. One who's less annoying than you. By that time, she might already be married!"
"Alice, it is not going to take me that long to ask her out. Besides, I didn't ask her out for a reason," I told her, a bit annoyed with my sister's assumptions.
"Really? And what, pray tell, would that reason be?"
"Because I kissed her."
Another screech came, but I cut her off. "Let me finish. I kissed her, and she kind of freaked out."
"She got freaked out about kissing a guy she had just met. Which is understandable. But, we talked, and everything's cool." I kept my explanation short and simple. "So – I decided to give her some time to calm down before springing the date question on her. But I got her number, and I'm going to call her within the next couple of days."
"Oh." She made a small sound of understanding.
I chuckled. "I'm not as clueless with girls as you might think. There's a method behind the madness. Believe me, I wanted to ask her out on the spot so badly." grinned, knowing that she had not expected that. "And, now, sister mine, is there something you'd like to say to me?"
She heaved a sigh. "Sorry I jumped to conclusions," she mumbled.
"As you should be," I said smugly.
"Hey, don't get cocky. You're going to need my help with this girl. We both know it already. So be nice."
"Yeah, I know." I flopped back on the couch, looking up at the ceiling. "She's amazing, Ali. I've only known her for half a day, and I already know that."
Her voice softened. "You really, truly like her?"
"Yeah. I do. I just hope she takes me."
"Don't worry. She'll be lucky to have you."
"Thanks. You're not bad at the whole moral support thing when you out your mind to it," I teased.
She giggled. "Don't get used to it. This is a rare, once-in-a-blue-moon thing. But, like it or not, you are my big brother . I figure that means we have to be nice and loving and supportive a little bit of the time."
I grinned up at the ceiling. "And tease each other all the rest."
You know the drill. I beg and plead for reviews to feed my addiction, you press the little green button and write me a little something because you are kind, amazing, wonderful, awesome-tastic people (Is the flattery working? Are you reviewing?!)
Next update will be in two weeks – I'm going on vacation. But, in the meantime, feel free to read and review the BPOV of this. It's called "A Kiss with a Side of Fries" (I really like chapter two of that one. Chapter five too. Yes, that's right – chapter five of the BPOV is already up! *le gasp*) Go! Go read it if you want to live!
Quote of the day: Families are like fudge – best with a few nuts.