Just two weeks before her best friend's wedding Bella gets dumped by boyfriend James when she refuses to give him what he wants. The next night she discovers he's made a bet with gorgeous pal Edward Cullen that he can't bed her. She brilliantly decides to string Edward along for a few weeks...and subsequently land herself a hot date for the wedding. Things soon get very interesting...

This story wouldn't get out of my mind...and I think I can have a ton of fun with it. Hope u enjoy, let me know what you think!

Disclaimer: All things Twilight belong to Stephenie Meyer

A Betting Man

Chapter One

I check my phone for the umpteenth time today - no missed calls, unless you count the one from my mother where she's left a message asking if I've seen her white pearl necklace. It's the one Phil bought her for their anniversary two years ago. Sorry, Mom...no luck here.

I sigh loudly, the noise unheard in the empty room. I finger the numbers on my phone, wandering if I should text him again...

Part of me is bummed that he's doing this. I feel let down - disrespected. Another part - the greater, scarier part - is pissed off something fierce.

James and I had gotten into an argument just yesterday when I'd told him, yet again, that I simply wasn't ready to sleep with him. Call me old fashioned, but we've only been going out for two months, and I'm still unsure where my feelings lie. It's not something I can really place my finger on - he's attractive and wealthy, funny and smart. But do I really want to be with someone who's going to get angry when I refuse to sleep with him?

Where's my knight in shining armor - the one who would wait a lifetime if it only meant he could be with me? Does he exist? Is he wondering where I am, too?

I'm starting to doubt it. I feel my expectations of men may be a little too high. It must be all the Jane Austen....

I faintly recall that Austen never married. Did she suffer the same problem as I?

I sigh again - it seems to release some of the tension - and pick up the phone, ready to dial. I'm torn between apologizing and ripping him a new asshole. Before I make up my mind, the phone rings in my hand, causing me to jump.

It's Rosalie, my confidant and best friend. I'm relieved to hear from her - maybe she can offer some advice.

"Hey babes," she greets me. "Have you called the dick yet?"

I may have told her about the little incident yesterday.

"I was about to," I answer. "I just have no idea what to say..."

"Tell him to go fuck himself, that's what you say."

God love her. She has the beauty of Aphrodite and the mouth of the dirtiest, one-legged sailor to boot. She really drives the men wild with that combination.

"You don't think I'm over-exaggerating? I don't want to seem crazy..."

"You'd seem crazy if you didn't dump him. I'm serious - call him, now." So demanding! She's just what I need at times like this.

"But then I won't have a date for Jake's wedding...." PA-THE-TIC. I don't need to hear Rose's comment to know how pitifully sad I am. I'm painfully aware that my last shred of dignity has just hopped the train to China, waving sadly at me as it fades from view.

But just to make things worse, Rose gasps...and then she's silent. So unlike her. I know this isn't going to be good...

If I could time travel, I'd definitely travel back thirty seconds and make myself less pathetic by keeping my big mouth shut. Yes, definitely.

"Bella," she says slowly, as if she's talking to a retarded person, "I'm going to pretend you didn't just say that. I mean, are you really implying that you'd rather be with that douche then to show up to a wedding alone? Seriously? I mean...seriously?"

So much for pretending.

"That's not what I said. I was simply stating my grievance--"

"Well my grievance is that you haven't dumped his sorry ass yet. Call him, now. And call me back when it's over, I wanna hear the details." She hangs up on me.

I glare at the phone. Damn her, she's right. I need to do this.

I quickly dial his number before I can chicken out. It rings once, twice...four times, then to voicemail. I'm fuming - is the asshole really avoiding me? - and I leave a message.

"Hello, James." I say his name like it's foul. "If you find time in the next month I'd really appreciate it if you'd call me back. We need to talk." I hang up without saying good-bye - Ha! Take that!

I guess there's nothing I can do until he calls back. I get up and make a tuna sandwich with extra pickles. I watch Lost and Happy Days before passing out on the couch, a bag of barbeque chips balanced precariously on my chest. Rose calls again, but the conversation is short when I have nothing to report.

I decide to go to bed and forget about him - maybe this was the easiest breakup in history? I guess I got it good...

I'm still uneasy, however. I'd probably feel better if I gave him a piece of my mind. I hate that he thinks he's better than me, the ass.

I change, brush my teeth and wash my face. I decide to just let it go for tonight, but as soon as my head hits the pillow my phone blares from the nightstand. I quickly pick it up and check the number - it's him.

Hmphf. He finally found the decency to call me back, huh? I answer: "Hello." It's a very unenthusiastic greeting - I don't need him thinking I'm glad to hear from him.

"Hey, Bella," he says. He sounds almost...bored? "Sorry I missed your call. I was busy."

"Well is there a reason why you decided to call me in the middle of the night, then?" I ask snidely.

"It's not the middle of the night, Bella...it's nine forty-five." Shit. I forgot it was so early. Doing nothing all night will do that to you.

"Well, I'm trying to sleep."

"Okay then...I'll let you go."

"Wait!" He pauses. "I think we need to talk, James." I hear him sigh.

"All right." His next words are slow and deliberate: "I don't think this is working out, Bella. I think..." He sighs, frustrated. "I think that we should see other people."



"I think we both want different things," he goes on. "This will be good for both of us."

I can feel my whole face heating in anger. How dare he!?

"Wait a second - you're breaking up with me...over the phone?"

"It's not exactly how I planned it--"

"Is this because I wouldn't sleep with you?"

"I never said that, Bella. Don't put words in my mouth, please."

"Oh, right, right. Because I'm sure you would've just taken what you wanted last night and broken up with me anyway, huh? Or maybe gotten one last round in before calling it all off and moving on?"


"Rose was right about you," I huff. "You're an ass. I should've broken up with you weeks ago." I promptly hang up, determined to have the last word. Asshole...

To my dismay, he doesn't call back to apologize...or beg for my forgiveness, which a tiny, shameful part of me expected...and this only infuriates me more. Now I'm dateless and without pride. Feeling extremely bummed out, I send a quick text to Rose.

You should be happy to know that it's over.

I leave out the details - I'm frantically grasping what little remaining dignity I can. It's all slipping through my fingers at this point, slippery and hard to grip.

She texts me back: That's my girl ;-)

If she only knew.


Jake and Rose take me out to the club the following night to help me forget about things. To "drown my sorrows," so to speak, although my sorrows are more of the red-hot-anger-variety. I have to love them, though, because they do try....and quite successfully at that. By my fourth drink I've forgotten all about him. I've forgotten about pretty much everything...

I'm not really a club-type of girl. I prefer my books and my writing. I enjoy quiet nights at home with a glass of wine and a date with Bronte. I watch marathons of Lost and Law and Order.

I realize I don't have the most exciting life in the world, but it suits me. I hang with Rose and Jake, I shop, I cook, I spend time with my family. I've never gotten too serious with a guy, having never found "the one," and sometimes I muse that I may be too uninteresting to catch his interest should he appear, anyway.

I've always been close to Jake growing up. His best friends, Quil and Embry, have teased me mercilessly over my lackluster love-life. This was the main reason I'd been so set on being with James during the wedding - I wanted to prove to everyone I could snag a decent guy if I wanted.

Of course, James turned out to be hardly decent...

What do I need to prove this for? I still have no idea. It's a simple desire, like the purchase of a shiny new car - it would shut them up and eliminate their construed misconceptions about me.

But are they really so misconstrued...?

The club is loud and dark, the table sticky from spilled cocktails. I'm sweaty from dancing - Rose had dragged me to the floor, and I'd surprisingly had a blast. It's amazing what a little alcohol can do.

I make quick use of the bathroom again. When I return I see that Jake looks a bit distressed, his brow furrowed in concern. When I question him, he pulls me to the side, where it's slightly quieter - though still deafeningly loud. He puts his lips right against my ear and shouts, "I've got bad news - don't get upset, though."

Uh oh. This can't be good. "What is it?"

"James is here."

Crap. Or, wait - is this a good thing? Maybe I can tell him off some more...

"And I was in the bathroom stall and heard him talking..." Jake goes on. "He was talking about you."

He watches me carefully for my reaction. Expecting an outburst, perhaps? I cock an eyebrow. "Oh...?"

He just nods.

"Well? What did he say?"

He looks like he doesn't want to tell me at first. He thinks better of it. "He actually has a friend with him - some sharp looking guy, and he was saying how you wouldn't go to bed with him. Then his friend was saying he'd never had that problem, and James bet the guy he wouldn't be able to get you into bed..."

I'm absolutely...mortified. That asshole!! I can't believe it. I knew he'd been lying last night..."Don't put words in my mouth, Bella," he'd said...Ha!

And what the fuck was Jake doing? Just standing there, shamelessly eavesdropping?

"Why didn't you say something?" I yell. "You know--stand up for a friend? Ever heard of that?"

"I was using the bathroom..." he looks embarrassed, yet it's impossible to see his russet skin flush in this darkness. I roll my eyes. Men are pathetic, I swear. "I'm telling you so you won't fall for it. I'll kick his ass if he touches you, Bella." He tries to sound threatening and tough.

It seems this conversation has sobered me up. I'm ready to leave. "Where's Rose?"

"Dancing, I think..."

"Well, I'm ready to go."

"Don't let this ruin your night, Bells. We were having so much fun! I'll buy you another drink..."

I sigh.

"Make it a double."

"Yes Ma'am!" He grins and scurries away to the bar.

I sit back down at the sticky table, careful to keep my elbows away, and consider dancing again. I finally spot Rose - she's in the middle of the floor dancing her ass off for a cute guy. At least I think he's cute - he must be if she's giving him the time of day. She only dances like that if she's really interested. I feel it wouldn't be wise to intervene. Maybe Jake will want to dance. His fiancé, Leah, is out of town for a conference. She knows we've been friends for years - and only friends. She understands our relationship and is never jealous.

Gosh, I love that girl. He couldn't have done better if he'd tried.

I feel someone come up behind me, so close I can feel the heat radiating from their body. I figure it's Jake and turn around, ready to claim my drink....only to come face-to-face with a startling pair of green eyes. Even in the darkness they're intense.

Intense and....beautiful. I refocus, noticing a handsome face with a strong, defined jaw, unruly bronze hair and sharp attire. He's dressed in fitted jeans and a snug black shirt.

I stare at him a moment, dazed by his beauty. Can a man be beautiful? I never knew it was possible... I realize my mouth is hanging open slightly and I hasten to close it.

He regards me with amusement, his eyes sparkling in silent laughter. I immediately feel embarrassed. I'm not sure what he wants. Before I can question him he leans over, so close to my ear I can feel his heated breath, and says, "Hi, I'm Edward Cullen. Dance with me?" His words are simple, and yet so slow and seductive...

I take a cleansing breath. I lean back, trying to regain my composure. This man...this...God-like creature...wants to dance with me?

I glance towards the bar and see Jake immediately. He's staring at us with wide eyes, and as soon as he meets my gaze he quickly whips his hand across his neck in rapid successions. A warning.

Understanding dawns. This is James' friend...

I'm extremely disappointed. Who knew James has such gorgeous friends? Such gorgeous, off-limit friends. Edward is watching me expectantly, patiently waiting. He has no clue that I know about his little bet. I'm unsure whether to call him out or refuse him nicely.

I decide on the latter. "I'm not really much of a dancer," I confess.

He shrugs, at ease. A crooked smile lights his face, and I gasp. He really is handsome.

"I saw you earlier," he says, leaning close to my ear again. His breath sends a welcome shiver down my spine. "You seem like a fine dancer to me."

I glance around again...what to do, what to do? I suddenly spot James at the bar. He's talking to the bartender, laughing at something he'd said. He takes a big swig of his beer, and a new fury alights inside of me.

That ass. The very sight of him enrages me. I can't believe I meant so little to him that he'd make this bet! Suddenly, an idea occurs. I bet he'd be surprised if I actually did take this juicy bit of bait...of course, I'd never sleep with him. I've obviously exercised my self-control before - I can do it again.

I wonder how long this Edward Cullen will be willing to put up with me. James lasted two months...could Edward last two weeks? I'd have the hottest date at the wedding and could perhaps have a bit of fun with him along the way.

I'm up to the challenge, Edward Cullen. I grin a little, amazed at my own brilliance. He leans in again.

"You never told me you name," he says. God, that voice...

I blink - easy, Bella! Why is he affecting me this way? "Bella Swan," I say, my voice shaky.

He smiles, once again taking my breath away. "Well, Bella. What do you say about that dance?" He holds his hand out to me - it's large and enticing.

I glance once more at James, and my decision is resolved. I stand and place my hand in his - a strange sensation shoots through me just from his touch. It's unlike anything I've ever experienced.

I smile at him, reeling in my confidence. Somewhere, behind me, Jake is standing with his mouth agape. I'll fill him in on the details later - right now, I'm on a mission.


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