Title: Boycotting Valentine's Day
Genre: Romance; AU; All-Human
Characters/Pairings: Bella/Edward; other cannon pairings
Summary: Some women have trouble finding guys, Bella has the opposite problem. When Valentine's Day approaches, her prospective suitors turn up their game, hoping to be her Valentine. Instead, Bella chooses to hang out with her best friend Alice and they both decide to boycott Valentine's Day. A weekend of non-Valentine's Day activities are lined up including no guys allowed. But, surely Alice's brothers, Edward and Emmett, don't count, right?
Any warnings: None
Disclaimer: These characters belong to Stephanie Meyer.
Chapter 1 "The Plan"
It was going to be Valentine's Day. The day for lovers and romance. It was a day for sentimental memories and expensive jewelry. If one was lucky, and people usually are on this day, it would also end with mind-blowing sex.
Not for Bella.
It wasn't that she was anti-love or hated this particular holiday, but lately her love life was just, well, a mess.
It wasn't that she was lonely or she had no prospects. She wasn't dying to meet that special someone, nor was she wasting her time on an unrequited love.
There were just too many guys wanting to be the one.
It was one of those situations where when it rains it pours.
And it was a God damn storm right now.
And it wasn't even the good kind where "It's Raining Men" is playing in the background and you've got hot males beating the crap out of each other for you in the street.
The deluge of man storm ranged from the totally inept to the just say no kind.
Bella worked as a temp, but she had been working at this particular office for a couple of months now. It wasn't unusual, and she liked the steady income it afforded.
It started with Mike Newton.
Mike was harmless. He'd flirt and talk to her whenever he had a minute, but it wasn't anything she couldn't handle. She was friendly enough, and she didn't think she had done anything to imply she wanted anything more.
Then suddenly the friendly banter turned into questions about when she was free and if she'd like to get together for dinner.
She mentally hit her head on the desk. Why couldn't she just be nice and for it not to be taken the wrong way?
Fortunately for her, after countless no's, her time at his office was up and she started work at another place.
And it only got worse.
She started working at a gym to do some light book keeping and clerical duties. It was easy and she usually had her work done in no time, so instead of just sitting around in a place where everyone was so active, she decided to take advantage of one of the perks of her job and use the gym.
She should've just stayed in her small cubby hole and messed around on the internet until it was time for her to go.
She had somehow become part of a personal trainer battle between the two most sought out gym experts: James Trapper and Jacob Black.
At one point, she had become dizzy to the point of exhaustion during a work out with both of them.
And not in the good way either.
They were competing with each other, having Bella try different machines and different cardio techniques, proving that the other knew what was best for Bella's well being.
She just wanted to walk on one of the treadmills while she listened to Rihanna on her iPod.
They were even recommending vitamin supplements that would improve her energy and at one point James had frowned at the peanut butter and jelly sandwich she had for lunch, saying if she wanted protein, there was an excellent protein bar on the market that he could get samples for her.
And then there was Jacob. It became obvious that he had a crush on her. She wasn't normally so adept at reading guys, but one day when he was showing her how to use the weights, Jacob leaned too close and she felt how much he liked her.
On her back.
To say it was embarrassing was an understatement and after that, Bella avoided Jacob as much as possible. She felt bad about ignoring him, and he had become somewhat of a friend at work, but she just was not interested in him that way.
She decided to take a temp job at one of those bookstore chains. Bella figured that there couldn't be any way she could attract anymore attention to herself. It was a bookstore. Generally, guys flee from books, right?
She had just started at the store that week and already she could feel some of the male workers who worked in the retail section gravitating toward her. There was Tyler who worked the register and sometimes the little bakery in the store. Whenever he worked in the bakery, Tyler always delivered a latte to her while she worked in the office doing clerical stuff with inventory.
Then there was Riley who worked in the stockroom. He always had a recommendation or tried to finesse his charm by offering her a look at any of the books in the stockroom.
At first, she attributed their attention to her as sort of an infatuation due to their youth and the fact they were both still in college. She probably appeared to them as the older, unattainable, new toy, hence all the attention.
But of course, she was wrong.
There was also Ben the store manager. They were the same age and he was actually a really nice guy. All the sales girls had crushes on him, but he never was inappropriate with them. She had the impression that since they were in either high school or college, they were off limits.
She respected him for that because no doubt, if Tyler or Riley got any attention from the girls, they would take full of advantage of it.
It wasn't until one day, one of the salesgirls Bree came in the back to drop off mail that she made a remark that it was unfair that Bella kept Ben in the office to herself.
Bella didn't know what to say. Again, it was one of those moments where she was clearly clueless about the opposite sex until it was held up to her face with a how-to diagram.
When she thought about her interactions with Ben, their conversations revolved around work, but lately there would be an occasional slip of some personal detail. She realized his eyes lingered on her a little longer than before and he smiled more often, too.
Another mental head desk for Bella.
From that point on, she kept exchanges brief and professional with Ben. It pained her to see the soft look of confusion on his face, and had it been any other time in her life, she probably would've welcomed his attentions.
But there was just too much attention from the opposite sex at the moment, and Bella felt she just needed space from it all.
Plus, she still had a few more weeks at the bookstore, so she had to find a way to make things tolerable at work.
When she told Alice about her recent problems, her best friend had no sympathy for her. At all.
Alice pointed out that other women would relish in all the attention. Bella pointed out that she wasn't like other women. Why couldn't she just have a normal love life?
Alice asked her what she meant by "normal". Bella stated she wished that she could attract the right guy. When Alice asked for further clarification on what exactly is the right guy, Bella didn't know what to say. She never really thought about it before.
Alice told her she probably knew more than she realized. Bella didn't understand what she was talking about and just attributed what she said as one of Alice's cryptic comments.
Then the week before Valentine's Day, all the guys she had thought she escaped from seemed to crawl out of the wood work. She started getting phone calls and e-mails from Mike. James had sent her a basket of protein bars and Jacob sent her some roses.
Things at the bookstore weren't any better. Riley left erotic novels on her desk and Tyler now gave her a small dessert with her lattes.
And Ben. He was actually very good about keeping his distance, but every now and then she would catch him looking at her and a few times his hand ended up on the small of her back when they worked together.
She should've been flattered. She should've been crushing on Ben just a little for being so sweet, but she just couldn't bring herself to be interested.
When she told Alice, Alice had said that she was crazy not to give Ben a chance. Alice was right, but for some reason Bella didn't feel like she had a connection to Ben.
It didn't help that Valentine's Day was approaching. She didn't want to go out on a romantic date. She didn't want to celebrate it at all-she had her fill of romance.
Alice said she was being silly, but Bella pointed out that if she agreed to go out with anyone, it would be a lie because she didn't have any romantic feelings toward any of them.
Alice conceded her point and suggested that they have a boycott on Valentine's Day.
"A boycott? How do you boycott Valentine's Day?" asked Bella.
Alice pondered her question for a minute before she said, "Well, I suppose you do stuff that wouldn't normally be done on Valentine's Day."
"What? Like laundry?"
Alice giggled. "No. Like instead of going out to some place fancy for dinner, we could stay home an order out."
"Oh. We should order pizza and have beers."
Alice said, "And instead of watching some sappy, romantic comedy, we should watch some action flick."
Bella liked the idea of this, but then she realized something. "Alice, don't you have plans for Valentine's Day?"
Alice sighed. "Nope."
"Alice," she said in a suspicious tone.
"I guess I'm like you. I'd rather spend it with someone I genuinely like rather than going out just because it's Valentine's Day."
Since Valentine's Day fell on a weekend, they decided to make a weekend of it. They were debating at whose apartment to stay, when Alice got another call and was back in a minute.
"That was my mom. Apparently my dad is surprising her this weekend with a trip to New York City for Valentine's Day."
"Oh that is so sweet!"
"Yeah. I told her about our plans, so she invited us to stay at their house while they were away."
"No way! For the whole weekend? I love your parents' house."
"Yes! It'll be nice." Alice hesitated before she asked, "Is it okay if I invited another friend?"
Bella couldn't help frowning even though Alice couldn't see her face. "What friend?"
"She's new in town, so she doesn't know very many people yet. Although I wouldn't be surprised if she had a date for Valentine's. She's gorgeous."
Bella let out a sigh of relief. She thought Alice might be trying to set her up. "Sure. What's her name?"
"Her name's Rosalie. She just started a couple of weeks ago at the magazine."
"Oh. That's cool. Should I call up Angela, too?"
"Yeah." Alice hesitated again before she said, "There's just one thing."
She knew there was a catch. "What is it?"
"Well, my mom said that I had to also let my brothers know too. I told her that I was going to have you and maybe a few other friends with me, but she insisted that I let Emmett and Edward know. She said she'd feel better if us women had some kind of male figure protecting us." Alice rolled her eyes even though Bella couldn't see her.
"Oh, that's not too bad. I don't mind if they hang around."
"Bella! This is supposed to be an anti-Valentine's Day celebration. There shouldn't be any guys there."
"Yeah, but they don't really count."
Alice couldn't help laughing. "I'm sure Emmett and Edward wouldn't have appreciated that comment."
"You know what I mean." Bella had known Alice since high school, hence her brothers.
Alice laughed again. "Well, I'll let them know, but I don't expect them there. Knowing Emmett, he probably has made plans for a wicked get away with some flavor of the month and Edward is probably going out with Tanya."
"So, no worries then."
"I'm pretty sure we'll be testosterone free this weekend."
Bella laughed. Then they finalized their plans and said their goodbyes.
That was earlier in the week and now it was time for the weekend. Bella had all her stuff packed in her car and was heading down to Forks. It would be a three-hour drive, but by the end of it, Bella was sure it would probably be the best non-Valentine's Day she would ever have.
Special thanks to mrskatycullen for her beta skills. It was short notice, but I'm so grateful that you took the time to look over this.
For those of you who are used to the chapter lengths from MBBF, this is relatively a short chapter. Originally this was supposed to be a one-shot, but when it got to be +18,000 words and it still wasn't finished, I realized that this was going to be more like a novella. This is the shortest chapter. The others will be longer. There might be 6 chapters, maybe 7, and 5 are already written.
Please also take note, this isn't meant to be realistic or have hidden messages about the meaning of life. So, Bella is pretty dense in this story. Okay. A lot dense, but this is purely a fluff piece and all in good fun for the Valentine's Day holiday. No srs bsns here.
I don't know what the posting schedule is going to be like. It will depend on when my beta is available and when I have time to post, but I plan for the the final chapter to be posted on Valentine's Day.
I hope you're all intrigued. Next chapter will be Bella at the Cullens' house. :)