SM owns all I just play God with her characters.
No lead up or explanation. My amazing friend Detka reminded me that people were still waiting for this story. Don't know who you are, but in the crazy event you really exist, here you go.
Her dark blue eyes were casting their judgment upon me. I could feel it. She took a long, slow swig of her microbrew and shook her head in contemplation, and probably a bit of disgust. I was so ashamed of my behavior I wondered what my college ethics professor would think in light of what I just shared with Rosalie.
"Well, between your fucktabulous approach on his story and the in-car freak out display, I just… am at a loss."
Zephyr was fast asleep after having eaten his weight in pepperoni pizza and gorged himself on popcorn during the DVD viewing of my junior high favorite, Back to the Future. I had sent him to the bathroom to brush his teeth afterward and answered the phone. I chuckled to myself recalling his reaction to my catching him mid-riff during his air guitar display. The movie had inspired him.
Whatever happened to Huey Lewis and the News? I smirked, remembering how MTV had revealed their extreme lack of coolness. They are probably like fucking sixty years old by now.
"What's so funny, Swan?"
Right. Rosalie. Focus .
Rosalie had come over after running a few errands on her way home from work. She was supposed to be making me feel better.
"Nothing," I said, hiding my amusement with my beer and taking a drink. Sometimes a cold beer was the most quenching way to slake your thirst. I was desperate to find a way out of my current uncomfortable predicament and I knew by the way that Rose was winding up that she was only just getting started. Avoidance wasn't an alternative. Her eyes traveled over me; likely trying to find the words to accurately label my various layers of absurdity.
I was shifting uncomfortably awaiting her next utterance.
Rose leaned forward resting her forearms on her denim-clad thighs, prompting me to unconsciously lean into what she was about to say.
"Do you know why I am able to avoid situations like yours? Hmm?" she said, not really expecting an answer to her rhetorical question. "Because, Bella, I think like a man. And if I were Edward? Right now, I'd be thinking you were a certifiable loon. Trouble."
She took another drink and gave me a smug look, taking in my defeated expression. "Cute as fuck– but trouble."
My lower lip that was firmly embedded between my teeth in a disappointed frown, turned up a little at the corners. Rose leaned back on the couch and crossed her ankle over her right knee.
Shit, she even sits like a man.
She gave me a loud guffaw and rubbed her fingers to her forehead. "Oh don't worry, Bella. I don't swing that way. But if I did, I'd totally do you."
Now it was my turn to laugh. God, when did my life get so fucking complicated that being considered hot by a girlfriend was the highlight of my day.
When you laid your fucking eyes on Edward – that's when.
"So, I'm reading between the lines, but it's obvious have a thing for this Edward guy. Why not just tell Marcus you have a conflict of interest? I mean, he should let you out of this story with an explanation…"
"I don't think so. I told you, Lauren knows I have some sort of personal connection with Edward as it is. That's what she's banking on to get the story." I sighed feeling more and more like a lost cause.
"I hate that bitch," we said in unison.
We laughed again and I was grateful for the release. I'd been so tense all day, just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
"Well, the way I see it, you have only one option then. Get the story, and the man," she said, matter-of-factly. She picked a piece of lint off her jeans absentmindedly.
I was about to argue with her logic, but she cut me off. "Don't even bother to waste your breath telling me you aren't interested in him or that you don't think he likes you. You're hot. You're horny. You have no choice but to do the story. So… why not make it worth your while."
"Do you normally talk to your women friends like this?" I asked, incredulous at her bluntness.
She chuckled a little and stood up to put her empty beer bottle in the recycling. Sauntering to the fridge, she opened the door and bent over to display her assets. Looking over her shoulder at me Rose gave me a knowing grin. "I don't have any female friends, Bella. I'm sure you can appreciate why might be."
She pried off the bottle cap on the opener on the side of the fridge and put a hand on her hip, allowing her statement to sink in. To say Rose was stunning was an understatement. Her hips were narrow, her ass was round, her legs went on for miles and her breasts were large and fabulous. To top it off, she had thick blonde hair and a flawless complexion. The woman could stop traffic during rush hour. Sure, I had noticed, but it never occurred to me to not like her because of it.
"Women hate me because of the way I look, most men are intimidated by me and expect me to be dumb as a doornail and on most days I go home alone wondering if life would just be easier if I were born without the brain cells necessary to deduce Pythagorean theorems and be a step ahead of a state prosecutor strategizing effective techniques of voir dire."
I was wracking my brain for a definition of voir dire.
Second semester political science… the mnemonic device I'd used to memorize legal terms was on the tip of my tongue, but Rose took pity my apparent vocabularylapse.
"Jury selection strategy, Bella."
Yep. I knew I'd heard it before.
"Right," I giggled, pointing the neck of my beer bottle at her. She laughed too and my discomfort with her knowledge of a handful of my most embarrassing moments, dissipated.
"What do you suggest I do, Rose? I mean, our last conversation ended with me stomping away. How am I going to worm my way back into his trust to get a story, without making myself look like a complete asshole again?"
"Preparation, my friend. Preparation and confidence. If you don't feel confident, then we are just going to have to make sure you are damn well prepared to fake it until you make it."
"Fake it till you make it, huh?"
"Yeah, it's a philosophy I developed to get me through all of those fumbling buffoons in college until I met Bobby Longfingers." The inquisitive and humored look on my face prompted further explanation. "What? He helped me to find my g-spot."
I had a hard time envisioning Rose with fumbling buffoons. A very scary image of her with big hair and a Smashing Pumpkins T shirt, barking orders at the boy wedged between her mini-skirt clad thighs. A chill came over me.
I was skeptical of her advice, but it was better than any other plan I had. Monday morning was speeding towards me like a fucking freight train and even if I wasn't able to admit it to Rose, or myself, the fact that I was likely to come into contact with Edward Cullen on Monday was both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.
Charlie picked up Zephyr early Saturday morning to go fishing and Rose kidnapped me and took me to her favorite salon for what she called "a little pick me up."
Outside of work and Zephyr my life contained nearly zero entertainment so I figured it would be a nice thing to pamper myself with considering the week I'd just had. Only, it cost me nearly $250 and rather than feeling pampered, I felt assaulted. Rose was pure evil, like, the devil incarnate. I had to hand it to her though, she was good. She started me out slow, convincing me that a few highlights and lowlights would bring out the hazel and golden flecks in my eyes. The manicure was nice and I was even fine with the eyebrow shaping she recommended. The coochie wax was a whole other story though.
I knew I was in trouble when the waxing specialist brought me a glass of water with fresh squeezed lemon and a disclaimer form I had to sign. She had piercing in every orifice and a few unusual places. Who knew that people put piercings in the center of their cheeks? It was her question that tipped me off that I might not be willing to entrust my precious—albeit neglected— vag, in her care.
"So, are you a bleeder?" she asked, smacking her wad of gum.
"Rooooose!" I called out, embarrassed about the squeak and questioning fear in my voice. I walked through the salon and found her behind the curtain already, with a towel laid out around her waist.
"Hey, Rose? Um… I'm not so sure about this. I had no idea this trip of yours involved physical pain."
"How long has it been since you waxed your kitty cage, Bella?" She got up onto her elbows so she could eyeball me better.
"Yeah, kitty cage. You know, your rack of clam? If you are sporting an Amazon forest down below, you are not going to be able to walk into Edward's office feeling confident in that new skirt and panties we bought earlier."
"I wouldn't call it the Amazon, but—"
"This is all for you, Bella. Trust," she implored, raising her eyebrows. Rose's esthetician walked through the curtain. "Unless you want a show, babe, I suggest you find that pin cushion and get started."
"Right." I smirked at her pin cushion remark and walked back across the salon. Fucking Rose saw the scary beast about to lay her hands on my holiest of holeys.
I could hardly believe I was allowing Rose to bully me into this. I sucked it up and signed the form. Before I knew it, I was on a table steeling myself for certain torture.
The pin cushion walked into the room once I was covered, all happiness and smiles.
"OK, so what are we doing here for you today? Hollywood, Brazilian, American? We can even trim it into cute shapes if you like."
"How about a little off the top and the sides? Shit, I don't know. You got a menu? This sounds more like a bus tour than a salon treatment."
She snorted at my suggestion. "Clearly this is new for you, so why don't we just take it slow with a vanilla bikini wax and a few extras." She knit her brows together as she took in the scene of my nether region and I had never been more self conscious in my life.
What? Is it hideous?
I mean, if anyone would know, she would. I looked on, wondering what she saw. I figured that she is a seasoned professional, with a veritable index of vaginal neuroses to choose from.
Oh gawd. Just. Kill. Me. Now.
I laid my head back down on the table.
"Alright, but I have to tell you, I'm kinda freaked out by this whole thing right now."
"Relax. I will even use the gentler wax." She snapped on the gloves and instructed me to spread my legs.
I laughed at the poster that they hung on the ceiling and couldn't help but draw the similarities between this and a pap smear. She said she would count to three to warn me before peeling off the strips.
"Sweet Jesus! Fuuuuck!"
My head was swimming and I was on the verge of passing out by the time the lady was done with me. At least I thought she was done. When the light caught the silver glint of the tweezers and she started prattling on about how much my boyfriend was going to love this, I started thinking up revenge scenarios for Rose.
"All done," pin cushion said proudly. "This should last you two and a half to three weeks."
I looked between my legs at the raw hamburger that was now my vag and let out a strangled animal sound. I didn't have the heart to tell her that her handiwork would likely go unappreciated. Hopefully this would heal before Monday or I was going to kill Rose.
I climbed into her car gingerly and tried to ignore the burning heat emanating from between my legs.
"So… that bad, huh?" Rose threw me a sheepish look. She knew she was treading on thin ice.
"What gave it away, Rose? Me, walking like I have a load in my pants, or the visceral scream I let out when pin cushion plucked a pube from my butt hole?"
The rest of the ride home with Rose was pretty quiet. She mumbled something about being a little put out by my "poor show of appreciation" for her efforts.
"He will see you now, Miss Swan," Tanya said as she walked out of his office and into the massive, yet sparsely furnished lobby. "Mr. Cullen will answer no questions about his personal life, his father,or his father's newspaper. Oh, and um, let me save you the trouble," she added, looking me up and down. "You're not his type. We clear?"
Who the fuck did this lady think she was and what kind of show did she think I was running? Not his type? I need this story and I sure as hell have no intention of allowing the likes of a public relations bitch like Tanya tell me how to do my job.
"Great. You have 45 minutes until his next appointment. Make it count." With that, she turned on her expensive-looking heel, tossed her hair over her shoulder and stalked out.
Channeling Rose, I straightened my new pencil skirt, grabbed my notebook and walked confidently into Edward Cullen's office. I found him grinning crookedly, with crossed arms and leaning against the floor-to-ceiling window that overlooked Puget Sound. Rather than throw him on the ground and rub myself all over him, I decided to keep my job and opt for the less obvious route. I steeled myself for my line of questioning and put on my tough-as-nails facade.
"Nice to see you again, Edward. The readers of the King County Reporter can't seem to get enough of you and so I am back–against my better judgment–to find out a little more about what makes you tick."
With one raised eyebrow he pushed off the window and leaned over his desk, a bit too closely into my personal space and said, "Oh, Miss Swan … it's going to take a lot more than 45 minutes and a tape recorder to find out what makes me tick."
His piercing green eyes were making me dizzy, and I had to glance away to regain composure. Biting my bottom lip, I swallowed thickly. "Well Edward, I can't go back to my editor without getting this story, so what pray tell, is it that you have in mind?"
Thirty minutes later I slammed my door shut and leaned over the steering wheel of my beater truck trying to figure out where the hell I went wrong. Replaying the conversation in my head, I groaned out loud.
Well, you walked through the door, dumb shit.
Resigned to my fate, I picked up my Blackberry and found Emmett's phone number.
"Emmett, for some reason your boss's son is dead set on destroying my life, so I have a favor to ask. I have two and a half weeks to get my ass into shape enough to go backpacking with Edward-fucking-Cullen, because apparently he thinks he is Crocodile Dundee or something. Are you up to the task?" I asked exasperatedly. "Because I don't think I've walked more than two miles at a time since like …."
"Whoa, hold up. Calm the fuck down, Swan, and start at the beginning. How did you start out with the simple task of 'business feature' and turn it into a Grizzly Adams sleepover and fuck-fest in the span of an hour?" he asked, obviously on the verge of busting a gut. "Girl, what do you think Daddy Warbucks is gonna say when he finds out his main squeeze is flirting with the family jewels–only the ones that don't belong to him?" He finally let out a chuckle. "I mean, you might as well pack up your desk now, because there is only one way this little camping trip is going to end… badly."
Emmett continued spewing his asshattery for a few more minutes before inviting me to tag along on his morning run for the next couple of weeks. He also said he could fit in some additional strength training at the gym.
I offered him no real explanations beyond the current disclaimer that I was brand new on the job, and I would be damned if I just usurped my life in California to lose everything a month later.
If I were being really honest though, I would admit to myself that Edward was the most exciting man I had ever been exposed to in my life. Despite that, my entire being suddenly filled with dread over what may well have been my untimely demise. This wasn't going to be pretty.
I put the keys in the ignition and willed my old truck to life. I still had to break it to my editor that I had no story for tomorrow and that he was going to have to pay me extra for the physical exertion and extended hours of my upcoming weekend getaway.
Flipping through the radio stations, I happened across AC/DC's familiar lyric, "I'm on the highway to hell." While not normally a classic metal fan, I just turned it up. I mean let's face it–the song fit the bill, and I have a tendency to wallow in my misery.
We have now arrived to the prologue. Want more? Tell me so.