Title: Duplicity and Love
Summary: Can you fall in love in 10 days? Can you push someone to the edge of insanity in 10 days? Edward is a bachelor risking fifty grand on the line and Bella is a writer for a prominent woman's magazine. Loosely based on How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days. AU, AH, & OCC. Canon pairings.
Disclaimer: Twilight belongs to Stephenie Meyer I own nothing.
Comments: I love the movie and thought it could be fun to write the Twilight AH version of it.
A/N: Someone told me that when inspiration strikes it is better to write it down. I do that probably way too often. :)
If you've seen How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days then you know this shit will be funny. And I'm telling you now: There are a few key scenes that I'll work into the story, however; I have taken some creative libirties and changed a few things just to make this story my own. It's very loosely based on the movie. Rated M for swearing and other stuff... nothing hardcore though.
Thanks to my beta, staceygirl aka jackbauer. She has done a wonderful job working on this and making sure my ramblings make sense. If you aren't reading her current story Good Enough then go scurry over to my profile and look at my favorites; it's listed under there. You'll love it. It's got FBIward and Nurse Bella.
The light scraping of my heels on the concrete sidewalk and the hustle and bustle of people made me dread coming to work day after day. All the coffee I consumed before reaching my workplace did not help to relieve my annoyance. I really disliked my job, and what's worse, I felt guilty for disliking my it. Some people don't even have a job, and here I was complaining about what some women would deem the coolest job around.
I was a writer. Well, I'd like to have called myself one, but my varied pieces of work said otherwise. I wrote for a very popular woman's magazine call Poise. Itwasa modern fashion forward magazine specializing in fashion, beauty, health, and men. It was swanky, but not thought provoking.
I'd been here for almost a year, and for the life of me I wished I worked at a better magazine. Don't get me wrong, the magazine was great if you're interested in the topics it provides. I, however, was much more interested in political science and world news. My dream was to work for Newsweek or Time or US News and World Report. The main reason I wasn't working at any of those places was because Poise hired me when I needed it. After I got my Masters in Journalism, I was in desperate need of a job and all my dream options weren't hiring, but Poise was. So there I was on another Friday. Thank goodness it was the end of the week.
I pushed a stray piece of my hair behind my ear and stepped into the overcrowded elevator. The early smell of body heat was slightly overwhelming, and I silently wished the elevator would go five times faster so I could get to my cubicle and detoxify myself from all these people.
After what seemed like minutes, I finally left the elevator and made a beeline for my cubicle on the 18th floor.
"Good morning Bella," Angela Webber greeted me. I liked Angela. She was a year or two older than me and had been working here for about two years. She was nice and quiet and very smart. We got along very well.
"Hey Angela," I said. "We still on for tonight?"
Angela, our friend and co-worker Jessica, and I were having a girls night out. Dinner, clubbing, the usual.
"Definitely," she replied. "Jessica is going to need it."
"Oh no," I whined. "Not again."
Angela followed me to my cubicle and nodded sympathetically. "I'm afraid it's that time again."
Great. Just great. As if today couldn't have been any more shittier, Jessica had to be home with a broken heart.
"When did it happen?" I asked.
Angela leaned against my doorway or what could have passed as a doorway if I had door…
"Yesterday night. He did it over the telephone."
"That sucks," I said sadly. "So I guess it's my turn to fetch her in time for the meeting."
"Yup. But that's not till later. Anyways, I'm going to finish up my piece. See you in a few."
"Later," I said lazily.
Our monthly staff meeting was today and luckily it didn't start till eleven. I enjoyed our monthly meetings. They were a bit unconventional, but overall okay. Our editor, Tanya Denali is very enthusiastic and sometimes a bit overbearing, but I admit she did a fantastic job at keeping everyone on their toes.
While Angela went to her desk, I set my purse down and powered up my computer. My morning ritual consisted of checking my e-mail and getting my article ready to be sent out to publishing. After I worked on the computer, I would get up and go get a mid morning snack. Then Angela and I would chat till the meeting time.
Fifteen minutes into answering some of my fan mail (yes, I'm actually quite surprised I even have any), I felt my eyes closing. Ugh. I hate Fridays and what I hate worse is when I don't even have the interest and strength to stumble along like the rest of my co-workers.
"Hey," I said getting up from my seat and poking my head out of my cubicle to speak to Angela. "I'm going to get a granola bar. Do you want something from the machines?"
Angela tried to suppress a smirk. "So it's one of those days, huh?"
"You have no idea."
"I'll take the chocolate chip please."
"K. I'll be back in a few."
I selected the slightly healthier granola bar with oatmeal. I was tempted to get the chocolate chip one but thought better of it. It's too early in the morning for chocolate I silently scolded myself.
I set Angela's bar on her desk and walked back to mine.
Sitting down with my snack in hand I opened up a Word document and scanned to see if I needed to add any last minute touches on my latest How To: article. This one was called How To: Get a Better Body in 7 Days. I'd had to really commit to exercising and eating healthy in order to write a good article. One other thing I disliked about my work is that I have to actually be determined and committed to my How To articles. I write by example.
Even though I complained about my job a lot there were certain parts I did like about working at Poise. Besides having two good friends who I got to work with. I usually liked the how my articles turned out and enjoyed the process of writing them.
After finishing up my granola bar, I printed a coy of my How To article for Tanya to look over. After she gave me the 'go' sign, I'd send it to the publishers.
The morning picked up and by ten thirty, Kate, another co-worker, announced that our staff meeting would start at eleven on the dot.
Sighing, I got up from my chair and waltzed over to Angela.
"You get the coffee, and I'll get Jessica."
"Here," Angela replied and handed me a bag. "Samples. Make sure she uses the concealer."
"Good thinking," I said. "Alright wish me luck."
"You'll be fine. Just tell her I'm getting her a White Chocolate latte, and if that doesn't work just drag her."
"Excellent plan," I laughed. "Okay I'm out of here."
I slung my purse over my shoulder and headed for the elevators. Once I hit the lobby area, I made a beeline for the parking structure and easily found my Ford Focus.
Jessica lived close to work and I was grateful that I didn't have to drive far. When I pulled up at her complex, I sucked in a breath and gave myself a pep talk.
Okay, you can do this. We've all been through tough breakups before… Jessica more so than others and that's okay! She's your friend Bella, and it's your turn (again) to pick her back up.
I knocked on her door, but there was no answer. I knocked again and still no answer.
"Jessica! It's me Bella!" I called through the door. "Open up please!"
Another minute passed, and then finally she opened the door.
Jessica looked like hell. Her hair was in a messy knot falling from the top of her head. Her eyes were red and swollen from crying, and her nose was pink.
"Jess," I said consolingly. I stepped through her door way and gave her a hug. "Look today the sun's out, and we have a staff meeting! And you know what that means, White Chocolate latte!"
"Bella, I don't think I can get out. I'm going back to bed."
"No!" I cried. I gently took her arm and said, "We will fix your love life after the staff meeting. You need to be there Jessica, and I will not watch your career die because of some guy."
Jessica looked appalled. "He's not just some guy. He's the one."
"Okay, he's the one. And I promise I will be all ears for you after the staff meeting. Please, Jessica, you know Tanya can be a hard ass."
"You're right," she conceded. "It just hurts so much!" she wailed.
"And it will hurt less during lunchtime," I replied. "Come on, you need to get dressed, and here are some samples that Angela gave me. Make sure you put concealer on, okay?"
She nodded her head in agreement.
"Good. Now we have fifteen minutes, and then we need to be out of here."
I followed her to her bedroom and went to her closet. I picked a white pleated skirt and a pink v-neck sweater.
"Here," I said tossing her the clothes. "Wear this. You'll feel better."
Jessica took the clothes and went to the bathroom to change. Five minutes later she emerged and looked slightly better. I got up and took the knot out from her head.
I worked silently, and within minutes I had her hair hanging down and tangle free. Jessica gave me a smile of thanks, and we headed out to my car. Once inside the confines of my Focus, Jessica burst into tears, and I automatically handed her my tissue box. After she dried her eyes, she rummaged through the bag of samples that Angela provided and set to work on her makeup.
"I just don't know what went wrong!" she groaned. "We had such a wonderful connection and then all of a sudden it's over! I am so confused!"
I parked the car and looked at her. Jessica has a tendency to fall in love easily. She falls fast and hard and more often than not, she ends up heartbroken.
"Well," I said contemplating,. "maybe he just needs some space. You know guys don't like to be smothered."
"But if he wants space, he could've just told me. Why did he have to end it?"
"I don't know Jess. But we'll get to the bottom of this later, okay? Angela is meeting us with coffee!"
"Thanks Bella. I'm so glad I have you to pull me back to reality."
"What are friends for?" I smiled.
We got out of the car and went to the lobby. There, was Angela with a tray of drinks. She gave me my mint mocha frap, and Jessica took her white chocolate latte.
"I am so mystified!" Jessica burst out again. "Mike is the one, girls. I know he is."
"What happened?" Angela asked softly.
We got inside the elevator and Jessica told us she really fell for this Mike guy. He was tall with a baby cute face and sapphire blue eyes.
"And when I told him I loved him, he just smiled at me and I knew he felt it too."
"When did you tell him?" I asked.
Jessica hesitated, "After five days."
I narrowed my eyes.
She sighed, "Two."
"Jessica!" Angela and I chastised her.
"I felt sentimental," she huffed.
"Okay, then what happened?" Angela asked as we stepped out of the elevator.
"He got all weird and busy, and I kept calling him and calling him…"
"You kept calling him?" We chanted.
"Yes, but he doesn't have caller I.D!" she insisted. "Oh well, it's over. I blew it."
Neither Angela nor I answered. It was clear to us that Jessica did quite a number on Mike, and this problem would have to wait till after work.
The three of us went upstairs to the conference room, at least that's what the little sign on the wall says, but inside it's more like a lounge. There are couches, chaises, coffee tables, and chairs. Tanya liked for our meetings to be in a calm and stress free environment, her words not mine.
Angela, Jessica, and I sat on one of the couches and slipped our heels off. Rule number one in Tanya Denali's meetings was that no one wore shoes during the meeting. Rule number two was that everyone had a drink or ate some of the snacks that she provided. I'm happy to say she provided good snacks and not the cheap stuff you got from Costco.
"Welcome everyone!" Tanya said brightly. "Shoes off, and let's all gather together. Kate, how's your piece on the herbal skincare that gives out rashes?"
Eww. For the next ten or so minutes I closed my ears. Some of the topics could be quite enlightening, but others were scary.
"What's next with How To with Bella?"
My head snapped at Tanya. "My finished draft for How To: Get A Better Body in Five Days is finished." I handed her my paper. "Just needs your okay."
"Excellent," said Tanya skimming through it. "Send me a copy via e-mail and I'll have it to publishing by then end of the day. Have you thought about your next piece?"
"Ummm.. No," I admitted.
"Well brainstorm some ideas. We need to get a head start. Jessica, were is your health article? I haven't received it in my inbox."
Jessica looked down at her shoes sheepishly. "Umm, I don't have it finished yet, Tanya."
"Why not?" Tanya asked.
"I… haven't been able.."
"She got dumped again," Kate interjected.
I gave Kate a hard look. That just wasn't cool.
"Oh no!" Tanya sighed sympathetically. "I'm so sorry Jessica."
"Thanks Tanya," she mumbled in response.
"How are you doing?" Tanya asked.
"I haven't slept all night. I've been crying almost all day, and I haven't eaten."
"Good for you!" Tanya cheered. "This is just another experience worth writingabout."
"Tanya, I can't write about my personal life," Jessica said horrified.
"I understand," Tanya replied. "Who here is willing to write about Jessica's personal life?"
Kate immediately threw her hand in the air. Jessica looked like she wanted to die.
The words were out of my mouth before I registered what I said.
"I'll do it."
The room fell silent, and Tanya turned her attention back to me. She arched her brow and motioned for me to continue.
"Look at Jessica," I started. "She's a beautiful and bubbly young woman. Any man would be so lucky to have her, but she makes all the typical mistakes that drive men away." I gave Jessica a sorry look, and she nodded in understanding. "A lot of our readers go through heartache just like Jessica. I could do a little experiment. I'll find a guy and do everything that drives men away in relationships. I could take notes, and it'll be a how to date in reverse."
"Fantastic! I love it!" Tanya said. "How To: Lose A Guy in Ten Days."
"Five is too short, and we go to press in twelve."
"Well, it's settled," Tanya said. "As soon as we're done here, I want you to go scouting around for a guy. I want this story ready for next month's issue, which we'll be getting ready next week."
"I'm on it Tanya," I promised.
The rest of the meeting was uneventful. I blocked everyone out and started to think about what I had just done. All I wanted to do was to help Jessica and have her keep any ounce of dignity she had left in tact. Now, I found myself in a project that I wasn't sure I was qualified for.
Me? Date a guy as an experiment? Could I really do this?
After the meeting, I walked down the stairs with Angela and Jessica trailing right behind me.
"Bella, I can't thank you enough for your help back there," Jessica said gratefully. "I don't know what I would do if Kate ended up writing about my business…"
"You don't have to thank me, Jessica. I'm happy to do it," I half lied.
I went to my cubicle and shut the computer off. I gathered some of my papers and folders and walked over to Angela's desk.
"Ready for lunch?"
"Yeah," she answered and waved her arms for Jessica to follow us.
We took my car to a nearby Thai restaurant. It was small and lucky for us not crowded at all. The three of us sat in a booth and ordered two Thai iced coffee's and a Thai iced tea.
Jessica and Angela frequented this eatery often, and on my first day at Poise they offered to take me to lunch and brought me here. Now, the three of us eat lunch here about three times a week.
We all had our usual dishes: Pad Thai, Tom Yam Goong, (which is a spicy shrimp soup) and the Phad Kaphroa.
As soon as our drinks came, Angela suggested that Jessica take the time now to tell us about Mike.
By now both Angela and I were used to Jessica's love struck disease. She often fell in love easily, but went about dating the wrong way.
"Why does this always happen to me?" she cried. "I find an amazing guy and then before we can even reach our two week mark he's gone!"
"Jess," said Angela hesitantly. "Did you ever think that maybe you were overzealous?"
"What do you mean?" asked Jessica somewhat worriedly.
"Well, honey, it's always the same thing. You meet a guy, and he's the one. You go on a date and start forming the wedding in your mind before you reach dessert. And…"
I had to cut Angela off now, before she really stuck her foot in her mouth.
"What Angela is trying to say Jess, is that guys look at dating differently than girls. To us, or to some of us, it's about finding the right guy to settle down with, but to guys it's all about having a good time. And their good time is different than our good time. You have to remember that subtlety works better with men."
"Do you think I really blew it with him?" she asked sadly.
"I don't know Jess, but maybe you should take a break for now. Or at least wait till my next How To column comes out."
"Okay," she sighed. "I guess taking a break isn't so bad."
"Are you two really broken up? Like, did Mike say he doesn't want to see you anymore?" Angela asked.
"He said he needed time, and that things were moving too fast. He also said he doesn't want us to contact each other for a while… It's over isn't it?"
Ouch. Mike sounded like a world class jerk of a guy. Sadly, I couldn't say he was any different from the next guy.
"No, it's not over," I said thoughtfully. "He didn't say he wanted to break up. He just needs a timeout, and this is good. This gives you time to calm down."
"I suppose," she said ruefully. "So any plans for finding your own guinea pig? You have a new article to write."
"Yes, I was thinking I'd find him tonight when we go out."
"Good idea. There'll be plenty to choose from tonight. Are you excited Bella?"
"No," I answered truthfully. "What if I can't pull it off?"
"Well if I can mange to make Mike run for the hills, then I'm sure you can do the same to your guy. If you need help, just call me," Jessica said with a little laugh.
We enjoyed our lunch and came up with a game plan for that night. After lunch, I dropped them off at the front of the office and then sped away to get ready for my new experiment.
A/N: So there is the first chapter.
Bella is off to find her little lab rat. And yes, they are all canon pairings and Edward will make his gorgeous entrance in the next chapter. Chapters will alternate between Bella and Edward's POV.
Tanya as Lana makes me ROFL. Haha when I wrote that part I was totally running that scene from the movie in my head. Anyways, I'm hoping to update weekly but we'll see how that goes. I'm in school again and working on my Bachelor's degree in early eduation. Already I've got five papers under my belt... I know-sucks.
Till next time.