Unwritten Rule

Summary: Pessimistic 26 year-old Bella Swan been forced to live with a 'glass half empty' attitude to love. After too many let downs and broken promises, she gives up on finding someone. That is until she meets the mysterious and sexy Edward Cullen. But there's just one problem. He's with her best friend Alice. The unwritten rule 'chicks-before-dicks' is a rule Bella lives by, but how long can she stick to it when the man of her dreams is staring her in the face? AU&AH&OOC.

Disclaimer: S. Meyer owns Twilight. I just get to have a helluva lot of fun with her characters.

Song: Somewhere Only We Know- Keane. It's more the sound of the music that's fitting, its sounds quite reflective, so it's a good one for this chapter.


I woke up on Saturday to the fabulously irritating sound of my alarm clock. I growled out loud and contemplated throwing it against the wall. I looked at the screen, sneering at the time it read; 08:30.

When I was younger, Saturdays were the best days of the week. The weekend had officially started, and I could party till the small hours of Sunday. But not anymore.

I was London's Carrie Bradshaw. I had my Samantha and my Charlotte, I had the book deals, the signings, the shopping, the London townhouse, and I had recently won an award for being one of the most successful younger authors of 2009. All of this should have made me jumping around doing a happy dance every morning and night. But it didn't.

I'd trade everything to just not be alone anymore. I was 27 years old, and I had been single since I was 23. That was four years of nothing. I had even forgotten what a male induced orgasm felt like, how it felt to be touched with such primal desire that my blood started to flow like lava, heating my body and my veins. I had forgotten what it was like to felt needed and wanted.

I was a lonely person, and I hated it. Sure, I had Alice and Rosalie, my best friends, soul-mates and personal cheerleaders, but I wanted more, I wanted different. I didn't know if that made me selfish, desperate or whatever, but I knew that I didn't want to be single anymore.

When we did the countdown for 2010 in Trafalgar Square, I made it my resolution to find love this year. And not just a fling. A proper, full on relationship lasting more than six months if possible.

Alice and Rose were both up for helping me in re-inventing my look, helping me as much as possible and wherever possible. I couldn't have trusted two people more in my life. They had been my rocks since we were nineteen years old and met at University, fresh faced with impressionable minds and a yearning for knowledge and success. I was studying English Language and Literature, Rosalie was studying Law and Alice studying Fashion and Interior Design. I was looking for living arrangements, and saw an advert looking for a third roommate for a three bedroom flat about 10 minutes from the University campus.

I rang the number, and two hours later met Rose and Alice in a nearby Starbucks. Ever since then we were as tight as true family. I moved in a week later, and never looked back. We finished University together, and moved to the heart of London. It took us a while to get started, but as time flew by all three of us had really decent careers, money and a home and were getting started in life. I had pursued my interest in Literature, and ended up having my first book published at the age of twenty-three, earlier than I would have ever dreamed. Alice became a fashion designer, owning her own boutique in London, with a host of celebrities clamouring after her original yet timeless pieces. Rosalie was incredibly clever and quick with her words, so it was only natural that she used her ability to come back with a counterargument in no time flat, and became one of the best corporate lawyers in the UK.

We were very lucky girls. We were attractive, strong and hardworking, and very proud of our accomplishments so far.

I did feel somewhat different from Alice and Rose. They were stunningly beautiful, almost painful, and they both knew it. Sure, they were intelligent, but they oozed sex appeal and had men dropping at their feet like flies. They could walk in a room and heads would turn to ogle them.

I never got that. I wasn't ugly, but I wasn't as confident as them, and I definitely didn't ooze sex appeal. I was awkward and shy, with limited experience with men. I had my fair share of sexual encounters, but it was tedious and laboured, and I rarely climaxed at the hands of the few men who had managed to get in my pants. I felt violated, raped of my youth, like it had been stolen from me. When I should have been acting like a slut with friends, making out with random guys at parties, having drunk sex in some random room at a house party, I would be the one leaving the party alone, or staying sober to be the designated driver.

I had only had a few 'proper' relationships; Jacob Black, Mike Newton, Eric Yorkie and Tyler Crowley. I would call them 'proper' as they lasted more than five months. My heart was never really in the 'relationships', apart from with Jacob. I had truly thought I loved him, and that he was perfect for me.

We met in a book shop when I was twenty-two, waiting in line for a book signing. We hit it off right away, and after we got the autograph, we went for coffee. He was funny, articulate and intelligent, and sexy as hell. He was tall and broad, clearly a rugby player, with dark hair and twinkly black eyes. His russet coloured skin was flawless. He had a sense of humour like mine, and was interested in literature, and we compared our favourite authors and books for hours.

We exchanged phone numbers, and a few days later, he called me, wanting to know if I would go on a date with him. To say I was giddy was an understatement. I readily agreed, with a false sense of coolness, but when we said our goodbyes and hung up, I screamed so loud and high, that Rose came running in, eyes panicked brandishing her hairdryer.

I knew that there was something there with Jacob. He was right for me, the person someone like me needed. He was constantly happy and bright, whereas I sometimes was down and a bit blue. He picked me right back up, and for that I knew I was lucky to have him.

Jacob and I had a long relationship; seven months, which was a record for me. Although he wasn't the person I wanted sexually, I was willing to sacrifice my pleasure for someone that I knew was right for me.

He was a romantic, but after about six months of being together, he became less interested in taking me out, or being with me in general. I knew that he had a new job, and surmised that it was probably the heavy workload and pressures of being an editor at a big publishing company in London city central.


On one normal day, in the middle of the week, I went to Jacob's office, to drop off his phone charger, as he had forgotten it that morning. I knew his mobile was low on battery, and the drive wasn't long, so to be helpful, I dropped it off.

Jacobs's office was very smart. The building was clean and tidy, with a reasonably relaxed attitude. It was a nice place to work, and I knew a few of the people that worked there.

I walked in the elevator, pressing the appropriate button. When I reached his floor, I made my way towards Jake's office door. He was a pretty senior publisher, so had his own room. When I reached the door, I heard voices behind it. I thought that he would be in a meeting, so I left it a few minutes. I quietly tapped on the door, and opened it.

I could not have prepared myself at the sight I saw before me.

The voices were not those of men in suits, gathered round Jake's conference table, discussing books.

The voices were that of a man, and a woman.

My eyes couldn't blink as I saw Jacob fucking a girl over his desk. It was primal – animalistic - and I could hear the sounds of flesh slapping against flesh as he pounded into her. He had never touched me that way. It was always gentle and loving, but he treated me as though I could break at any moment. For a reason I do not know, I looked at the girls face. It was contorted in ecstasy, her hushed whispers of encouragement and gratification seeming to echo in the silent room.

I could feel my stomach rolling.

I trusted Jacob. I trusted him in a way I could only trust someone I loved. I had told him I loved him, and he returned the words, making my heart soar every time.

And he betrayed me. I was humiliated. Whilst I was walking on cloud nine, Jacob was fucking some girl over his desk during lunch hour, behind the oak door.

My hands shot up to my mouth as I let out a gasp. He looked up then, and his tanned skin visibly paled when he saw me. He stopped fucking the girl, who looked up too.

I saw her put two and two together, and I thought that if there was a hole in the ground, we would have both jumped into it. This wasn't a onetime thing. This wasn't some 'accident'. This is what was keeping him from being with me, touching me, loving me.

Jacob looked me in the eyes then. I had never felt so repulsed, so disgusted in all my life. I threw his phone charger on the floor, and ran head long out of the room.

When I reached the elevator, I slammed my fist on the button. But the fucker wouldn't come fast enough. I knew it had to come soon, or Jacob would catch up with me.

I looked up, and saw that the elevator was on the first floor. Jake's office was on the eighteenth floor. I shouted at it, begging with it to come faster.

As it reached the fifteenth floor, I heard pounding footsteps.

The tears that were pooling in my eyes spilled over. Jake drifted round the corner, tie askew, shirt un-tucked, and I nearly vomited.

"Bella..." he panted, looking at my face with a terrified expression.

"Don't. Go away." I responded, not looking at him.

"Bella, I'm so sorry... just let me explain the sit-" he began, but I cut him off.

"It's fine, you don't have to make it up to me. Because you aren't going to see me. Ever again. Go away. Now."

"Bells, hear me out please," he asked, practically begging, using his nickname for me.

"Do not ever say my name. Get the fuck away from me. Don't even look at me. Hearing your voice makes me want to vomit. Just... go away. I can't even bare to be seven foot from you." I spat at him, hoping he'd get the hint.

"No Bella. Fuck, I know this is bad, but we can work it out, we always do babe..." He tried to reason. But I was beyond any sort of reasoning.

I span round, almost prowling towards him like a lioness stalking her prey, and I saw his terrified expression, and I got this fucked up kind of pleasure at seeing him scared.

"What do you want to talk about Jake? You want to tell me why you were fucking some other woman? Are you saying you're going to tell me how you fucked her, how good it was to fuck her? Is that it Jacob? There is nothing to fucking talk about. You're a betrayer, a liar, an animal and a sick, disgusting excuse for a boyfriend. I'm going to get in this elevator, and if you follow me, I will rip your balls off, and get you're skanky ass whore bag of a fuck buddy to staple them back on. If you ring me, contact me, or try anything, I will get a restraining order on you. Now watch me walk away. I'm going now because looking at you makes me want to throw up, which would ruin my Choo's. So, Jacob fucking Black, don't bother coming to pick up your stuff. This is over. We're through, fuck off," I said, with a cold and menacingly calm voice.

As I was about to turn around, his hand grabbed for mine, and I saw red.

I had never been a fast reaction type person, but my fist met his face with such speed and force, that if I was in a different situation, I would have been majorly impressed.

My clenched fist collided with some part of his face, and I felt this sudden burst of intense pain shoot up my hand, and then on through my forearm. I also heard a sickening crack, and I leered at him.

Needing to get out of that situation as soon as possible, I turned round, and pressed the elevator button again. The door opened as soon as the button was pressed, and I walked in, jabbing at the ground floor button with my good hand.

I stomped to my car, and it was as I sat down, that the tears I'd been holding back spilled over, with the adrenalin pumping around my body making me shake violently.

I frantically rummaged for my mobile, getting more and more frustrated when I couldn't find it. When I finally did, my hands were trembling, my vision blurred from the tears spilling over my eyes. I stabbed at the buttons, desperately trying to type Rosalie's number in. I screamed out in anger when I had to start again, but after a few attempts, I got through to her.

"Hello my special lover, how are you?" She asked, in a cheery voice. I couldn't respond, my voice constricted with the wave of emotion I was holding in.

"Bella? What the fuck is wrong with you? Are you there? Bella?" Rose kept firing questions, ones I couldn't answer. What was wrong with me? I didn't exactly know, all I knew was that it hurt. I didn't know if I was there. It was like someone had removed all my insides, and stuffed me with woodchips. I felt empty, but full. Empty of the things that may have mattered, but full of something I couldn't explain.

"Rose..." was all I managed to choke out, before I properly broke down into distorted sobs, sounding ugly and wrong to my ears.

"Bella, tell me what the fuck is happening, you're scaring me. Where are you? I'll come and pick you up now..." she sounded panicked, and could hear her rushing around, the slam of a door, and the ding of an elevator. The innocent ring of the lift sent me into more hysterical sobbing.

"I'm... at... Jacob's office... Rose..." was all I managed to say, before I heard the sound of her revving her BMW M6, and before I stuck my head out of the door and threw my guts up onto the car park. I hung up the phone, throwing it on the seat next to me, wishing it would burn up.

Somehow, before Rose arrived, I had calmed myself down to sniffling, hoping to look even a little more dignified before Rosalie came.

My eyes were closed, trying with everything in my body to not remember the last forty-five minutes of my life, when I heard a knock at my car window.

I jumped, whipping my head around to see Rose peering in, eyes panicked, but the rest of her expression calm and businesslike.

I opened the door, and threw myself at her, the sobbing returning. She held me, rocking me slightly from side to side, as I mumbled unintelligible things, trying in vain to explain the occurrences earlier.

She pulled me into her embrace tighter when I managed to mumble the words; saw Jacob... fucking girl... over his desk... walked in... hit him... hand hurts.

She pulled me up from my seat then, and still hugging me, walked us both over to her car. She silently got me into the passenger seat, buckled me up and drove me to the hospital.

-Flashback ends-

Looking back, even now, still hurt in the cold place where my heart was meant to be. Jacob Black ruined me. When I met him I was still quite tentative and shy, but he drew me out of my shell, showing me my potential. I was funny, witty, quick-tongued and game for anything.

But after that day, my walls went back up. Walls in which no one could penetrate. Alice and Rose rarely saw me with my walls down, but when they did it was not pleasant. I'd either be a hysterical wreck, crying until my whole body ached, or I'd be a massive bitch, lashing out at them for nothing. They'd send me to the gym to work off my energy. There I would sweat like a paedophile in a children's playground, running solidly for hours on the treadmill practically growling at any fucker who would dare to look at me.

But thus far, it had worked out. Not well, but I was coping. If it wasn't for Rose and Alice I probably would have reverted to hard drugs or suicide, but thanks to them, they kept me on track and helped me get to where I was now.

But stiff upper lip and all that, because today I had a red carpet event to go to; a fundraiser for Great Ormond Street Hospital, a charity that I regularly donated to. I was not looking forward to it. It was just another excuse for Alice to treat me like a giant Barbie.

But live and let live, if it meant someone else did my hair and makeup for free, it was alright in my book. In thanks I'd bring her and sometimes Rose along to a signing, or a party or an awards ceremony.

The most exciting thing for Alice was when someone recognised me when she, Rosalie and I were walking around London. They came up to me, all giddy and excited, and asked for a picture. Alice nearly burst my eardrums with the pitch of her squeal. Being recognised always gave me a warm feeling, like knowing someone reads and appreciates your writing humbles you. It was one of the main reasons that kept me writing.

In no way was I a celebrity, but on some days I'd have a hefty amount of fan mail, asking for signed copies of books, or just a letter telling me how much they enjoyed reading my books. I had kept every single letter, and replied to all of them.

Today I was lying in my bed, just thinking, when I heard loud thuds on my door.

"Bella! Get your arse out of bed. Auntie Alice has come to save the day. I need you out of this room in approximately 10 minutes. Up and at 'em Bella! I can't make time, and I want to make you look killer tonight..." Alice bellowed through the keyhole.

"Just fuck off... stupid little pixie..." I groaned. I wasn't up for Alice's enthusiasm today.

"I heard that!" She yelled, and I smiled.

I removed myself from my bed, and automatically missed it, feeling deprived of the warmth and comfort it gave me. My bed was an absolute god. A classic wooden four-poster frame with sheer cream drapes at the top of the beams, coming down each of the four pillars. It was huge, and high up too. I often had to make a little jump just to get my arse situated on the mattress.

Alice had shoved about seven-hundred cushions on the covers, most of which I hated. Her taste in interior design was classic and timeless, simple yet slightly modern and a little bit sophisticated, and she had a knack for stuffing more things in places that they shouldn't go. Our town house didn't look too full, or too mad, but she somehow managed to cleverly cover up a stupid amount of cushions, or a few too many scented candles. It was a talent that she swears she's had for years.

I slumped across my bedroom floor, cursing the wooden floors that were cold and unhappy for my previously warm feet. As I passed my massive gold framed mirror, I glanced into it, regretting that choice immediately. My hair was stuck out at odd angles, knotty and ragged at the ends. The remnants of my eye makeup were smudged on my face, and my eyes were squinty. I sighed, knowing that Alice would primp me to my full potential today.

I made my way down to the kitchen, knowing that a massive mug of coffee would be waiting for me. Alice and Rose would often mother me, knowing full well that I was not a morning person, so always had a flask of coffee ready, or a plate of buttered crumpets. I loved them.

I walked through the archway that led to our modern but classy kitchen, heaving myself into the bar chairs that were tucked under the black granite breakfast bar. I groaned, and rested my head on my folded arms on top of the counter. I saw my massive Starbucks mug slide across to me, and couldn't help but smile.

The aroma of freshly ground and brewed coffee was floating in the air around me, and I took in a deep breath, inhaling the beautiful, rich scent. I took a long sip, relishing in the almost immediate 'pick-me-up' feeling I got. Made just the way I liked it. Perfect.

"So Bella, I vote we go shopping for tonight. You need something sexy and young, but classy and chic. There must be some hot men there tonight, so let's make an effort okay sweetie?" Alice said, with her patronising voice that made me slightly angry.

I glanced around at Rosalie who was sitting on the counter near the sink, rolling her eyes and sipping on her mug of tea quietly.

"Smile and nod Bella... just smile and nod. Everything's better that way..." she responded to my glare.

Ever since she found me after 'the incident that we shall not speak of' she had seemed to always be one step ahead of me, looking out for me, but always in the background. Never obviously doing it, but she would be the parents I didn't have; the person to look out for me in a responsible way. My parents died in a freak car accident when I was about twenty-one. It was an emotional time, but my girls were there for me. They were my family now.

I gave Alice a forced, tight and thin lipped smile, and nodded. She laughed, and came over to pat me on the head like a dog.

"Good girl, get your cute little ass back upstairs, be ready to leave in an hour. Or suffer the consequences!"

I groaned, and Rosalie laughed, hopping off the counter, depositing her mug in the sink and then walked over to where I was sitting. She hugged me from behind, and then pulled me backwards so I was horizontal against my barstool.

"Come on Bella, up you get. Just think, all of the effort is worth it in the end, there are guaranteed to be some men there. Chin up sweetie," she said, looking at me with an almost motherly expression, kissing me on the nose, making me snort at her.

There was no denying it, we were wealthy. All of us were from wealthy backgrounds, so when my parents died and left all their money and assets to me, I was already sorted for life. My trust fund alone would be enough to keep me going with no job for a good few years. Along with the money from my book deals, I wasn't strapped for cash. So I regularly donated money to charities up and down the country. Tonight was a fundraiser for Great Ormond Street Hospital, a charity I regularly donated to. I had been invited along with a host of other high society snobs, celebrities and business men. Just what I loved. Not.

As I heaved myself off my barstool, I grumbled to myself. I had yet to understand why Rose and Alice still lived with me. I was grumpy in the mornings, the Queen of PMT, and an emotional drunk. But, low and behold, they had stuck by me since I met them, putting up with my shitty attitude and my constant bouts of over emotional behaviour.

I shuffled up the stairs, and to my bedroom, losing an internal battle on whether to fake being ill tonight. I knew deep down that Alice would never let me get away with it, but I didn't want to go out. I wanted to sleep all day and look like shit.

I wandered into my spacious en suite bathroom, and leaned against the long vanity, staring at my reflection. I did not look good. How Rose and Alice seemed to wake up looking gorgeous was something I often had a problem with. My fists rubbed my eyes hard, and I groaned for what seemed to be the seventeenth time this morning, and turned my beautiful power shower on, stripping off my dirty pyjamas, and walking into the glass box. The hot water enveloped me in its comfort, the force of the jets easing all the stress in my muscles, washing away all the negative vibes, sending them twisting down the plughole.

I washed my hair twice with my strawberry shampoo, washed my body, and regretfully turned off the water.

The mirror was all fogged up when I stepped out of the shower, so I wiped away some of the condensation, pleased that I was looking a lot healthier than when I went in.

I picked up my dirty laundry and threw it into the hamper, sending a silent prayer to Jesus for sending us the best cleaner in the whole world; Siobhan. She was literally a God send. To her, we were her babies. She mothered us, cared for us, and loved us, and always worked her ass off. If it wasn't for her, this house would be a state.

My walk-in-wardrobe was next up on my morning routine. It was beautiful – I had to admit it – with a long tall corridor, lined with cupboards and shoe racks and clothing racks and boxes. At the end of the corridor was a reasonably sized square room. In the middle of the room, it had a vintage chaise lounge, and a big display counter for all my jewellery, sunglasses, and a special cupboard for my handbags.

I rummaged around for serious casual attire, and found a long oatmealy 'boyfriend-fit' cardigan, jeans and my loafers. Then I went into my display case, and grabbed my favourite Chanel sunglasses, not feeling up to putting make up on today.

After letting out a big sigh, I left my wardrobe and turned off the lights, already missing the tranquillity of my sanctuary.

My bright red Mulberry bag was on my bedroom vanity, and I picked it up and shoved my sunglasses on my face. I ruffled my hair, trying to give it some 'oomph' and then stalked out the door.

Alice was already waiting in the living room, bouncing around on the sofa like a constrained and hairy jumping bean.

"For the love of Christ Alice, calm down. How can this be exciting? You go shopping every day..." I said, giving her a look of disdain.

"Well making you look pretty always excites me, you know that... I plan to make you look stunning, beautiful, a masterpiece!" She chirped happily.

Just as I was about to make a sarcastic comeback, but Rosalie breezed into the room, all blonde Amazonian should-be-a-Victoria's-angle-back-off-Gisele-you-haven't-got-shit-on-Rose. It made me feel repulsive, like a disgusting ugly fish that only comes out at night. With deformities. And smells rancid. I grumbled again. I realised now that all I seemed to do was grumble, or sigh, or groan, or say something snappy to Alice or Rose. And in all honesty? I found it hard to care much. Yeah, I had my money, and my career that I had dreamed off since I was doing creative writing at school, I had the two best friends ever... but all I could have was a 'fuck my life' attitude. I'd change when there was a reason to, but until then my walls would be up.

"Let's get this over with. I refuse to spend all my day shopping. We're taking my car, let's go." I said, huffing past them towards the front door.

They both sighed a slightly sad sigh, but I chose to ignore it, just wanting to get this day over with.

The shopping was eventful. Alice worked her magic and found me a beautiful midnight blue satin Roland Mouret gown, with the most stunning draping. It hugged my hips but hung in such a way to give my plain figure a beautiful silhouette. We also picked a pair of cream patent leather t-bar platform Mary Jane type heels from Christian Loboutin and a cream Jimmy Choo clutch bag to complete the outfit.

The girls took me to our favourite salon where I had a full leg, eyebrow and bikini wax, and a manicure and pedicure.

Alice then proceeded to spend the rest of the day primping me, putting my hair in rollers for hours, spending hours on 'perfecting' my face, and then went to my jewellery cabinet, picking out some simple diamond earrings and a diamond tennis bracelet by Harry Winston. I had a lot of love for that man. If I ever felt particularly down, I'd often stare at his diamonds in my jewellery cabinet longingly, maybe cuddling them close. Diamonds are a girl's best friend.

When the Rolls Royce came at nine o'clock, Alice all but shoved me out the door. I double checked that I had my purse, iPhone and make up before I slammed the door, huffing and puffing the whole way down the stairs and into the car.

The drive to the venue was boring, quiet and awkward. And I couldn't wait to get there, put on my happy face, and try and do something nice for someone else.

We finally arrived, to flashing lights and a long daunting red carpet. My hands started to shake and breathing became difficult. Suck it up and grow a pair of balls Bella I said to myself. I thanked the driver in a monotonous voice, took a deep breath and opened the car door.

Alice had always made sure I had an air of grace and elegance about me. The only thing about that was that I was the Queen of Falling Ass Over Tit. She had taught me how to get out of a car with a certain amount of grace, and for that I was grateful.

Big smile and good posture Bella, it's all you need girl... I was usually a complete fucking spastic at events like these, looking like a deer caught in headlights. The flashes of camera's were making my vision fuzzy, but I stood there gallantly, hand on hip, slight 'pop' of the foot, and the thousand pound smile Alice made me invest in.

I walked down the red carpet a little bit further, and all I could here was my name being shouted over and over again. I tried to face the shouting voices but I was confused, practically corkscrewing on the red carpet. I jumped when a hand touched my back, and I turned round, trying to keep a composed expression.

I looked round with a slightly alarmed expression but then my faced relaxed when the owner of the hand turned out to be my agent Garrett.

"Fuck G, you scared the shit out of me!" I whispered angrily at him, but he just grinned at me.

Garrett was my only constant man in my life. He was dependable, reliable, loyal and completely trustworthy... not like some of the other douche bag men I'd had the great misfortune to meet. He was also gay, which I liked very much. Gay men are almost as good as women. I say almost, because they have a penis, which isn't good. But Garrett's masculinity was often something I questioned. I would find him sometimes prancing around my wardrobe fully decked out in all my best things, usually singing something like I Touch Myself by The Divynls.

"You know you love it you schlag!" He said, grinning again and winking at me.

"There's a guy up there wanting a quick interview. He's from Hello magazine so it would be cool to give him a quick minute. Come on, he's up there..." he said, pushing against the small of my back with more pressure.

I smiled at the camera's, and let myself be dragged up what seemed to be a mile long hall rug.

Garret introduced me to Matt, the guy from Hello.

"Hey Bella, mind if steal a few minutes of your time?" He asked, holding out his dictaphone.

"Of course, what can I do for you this evening?"

"Well, firstly I want to congratulate you on your last book. It reached number two in the USA charts earlier this month and number one right here in the UK, how do you feel about that?"

"I was pretty shocked at first. I never imagined that I'd make it across the pond, but I'm so grateful to everyone who took the time to buy and read my book" I said with a smile.

He was just nodding away at me, like one of those irritating as fuck nodding dogs that shitty people put in the back of their cars...

"What made you come up with the idea of the story line? It was a pretty emotional read..." he went on to ask, shoving the recorder just inches from my face.

"Well, at heart I am a romantic. I love the idea of true love and romance, but I felt like I needed to do something different. Loss in love is something that's hard to write and hard to read, we all want the happy ending, but this time I felt like not giving my readers the closure they wanted" I said, hoping that it was a good enough answer. Garret squeezed my hip, letting me know I was doing fine.

"You certainly did. It was an amazing book. How are you enjoying your evening tonight so far?" he asked.

"So far it seems to be a brilliant atmosphere. I know a lot of people that really want to help children, in any shape or form, and seeing so many people turn up tonight to donate is absolutely amazing." I replied, hoping that this interviewer would wrap it up soon.

"I'll finish up now, but just a few quickies. Any romance on the scene for you this year Bella?" he asked, tilting his head with an innocent expression. I nearly ripped off his balls.

"No, not yet. I want to concentrate on my writing as much as possible, but I'm not opposed to the idea," I replied, smiling tightly at him.

"Who are you wearing this evening?"

"Roland Mouret, Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo."

"Will you be going to America anytime soon?"

"Yeah, I'm going in a couple of weeks time for a book signing and interviews and things. I'm pretty excited." Hurry up you annoying prick...

"That's all for now. Thank you for your time Bella. We'll send you next month's issue as soon as it pops out the factory."

"Thank you," I said, smiling at him as Garret took my arm and we walked into the venue.

My face ached from all the smiling and fake laughter. My feet were killing me. I had probably drunk way too much alcohol for my small one-hundred-and-ten pound body, but I didn't care.

Garret led me to a taxi and quickly bundled me in, clearly embarrassed at my awful rendition of Don't Stop Believing, which I was belting out at full volume.

He came with me to the house, took out my keys and put me into the hallway.

"Bella, get yourself sorted. Alice knows your back and she'd probably kill you if you damaged this dress. So stay right here, I need to go back to my home now. Love you babe," he said, giving me a kiss on my cheek and a pat on the bum.

Alice was at my side a few seconds after Garret had shut the front door.

"Come on Bells, up we go. Take my hand, yeah?" She said in a calm quiet voice.

"Don't ever call me Bells again. Don't you ever fucking say that word in front of me ever" I spat at her, yanking my hand back from hers and almost pulling her over with the strength of my pull, staggering backwards slightly.

I kicked off my Louboutin's, not caring that I just kicked hundreds of pounds worth of shoe down the hallway of my house.

Somehow I managed to make my way towards the staircase, probably looking like a mad woman, and made my way up. It was a two steps forwards, one step back process that took entirely too long to be deemed acceptable. I made it to my room and slammed the door, threw my clutch on my bed, and all but ripped my dress in my haste to get it off.

The zip was stuck, and I cried out in frustration, angry tears pooling in my eyes.

I heard the door open and close timidly, and small hands pry mine away from the zip as they pulled it down gently, letting the blue mass of fabric pool at my feet.

I tried to look at Alice as best as I could, but I was swaggering on my feet. When I managed to finally get a good look at her expression, it sent the tears in my eyes spilling over and down my cheeks.

She had the saddest look on her sweet little face. Her eyes were almost downturned at the corners, as was her mouth. She titled her head and opened her arms to me. I threw myself into them, sobbing like an uncontrollable child.

Sobbing for what, I wasn't too sure. All I knew was that the term 'Bells' dragged up painful memories of when I wasn't the angry bitch who had to fake all the time.

I must have cried like a drunken turd for what seemed like hours, but eventually I stepped back, eyes downcast and thoroughly ashamed. Alice silently went to get me my jammies, helped me get dressed and then made me get into bed.

She looked at me for a while, and then joined me, curling up at my side, just stroking my hair and generally being too nice and loving and rainbows and unicorns for what I deserved.

It had felt like too long since I had been cuddled or something, because it was like an alien feeling. Almost not right, but now that she was cuddling me, I craved it; holding on to her tight. It was definitely not a good night.

I woke up the next day feeling really, really shit. My eyes were red and raw, and my throat felt like it was on fire. I had a pounding headache and wanted to spend all day in bed, not taking to anyone, and generally lying in my own sorrow.

Alice was gone from my bed, so I turned over to catch some more shut eye, when my door flew open, hitting the wall with a loud thud that seemed to echo in my hungover ears.

"Up you get Bella. You're not going to just wallow in self pity and in a hungover stupor, you will get your perky ass out of the bed, and come and make cookies with me", she said with a bright and cheery voice that made me want to just jump out of a window.

"No." I replied with conviction. I wasn't getting out of bed unless someone was either paying me, or if there was a large pile of Starbucks vanilla lattes (with extra vanilla and whipped cream, God...) on my bedside table.

There was neither, so I was not getting out of my bed.

I turned over again, and shoved a pillow over my head, trying to block out the sunshiney happiness and love and crap that was basically what Alice's DNA was made up of.

"Fuck off Alice, I sure as hell aint getting up with a fucking headache and a bad attitude. So seriously, piss off." I mumbled from under the pillow.

It went silent for a while, so I sighed contentedly, thanking the God's that for once, Alice was actually listening and comprehending what I was saying.

The content was short lived. Because the next second, I went from being warm to fucking freezing in a nano second.

That fucker had pulled the duvet off me. Rose and Alice both knew that doing that meant I was going to sacrifice a bag to Satan.

I turned my head towards the pokey little dwarf, whose expression made we want to reach for the gun I wish I owned in my bedside table.

She was stood there, with look of such evil happiness, that my fists actually balled up unintentionally. Her eyes were squinting at me, and she had the stupidest grin on her face.

"Oh no you fucking didn't..." I said to her.

"Oh yes I fucking did. Get your sorry self out of the bed now." She said, and actually stomped her foot.

"You know, you are just a massive, full out, total, complete and utter dickhead. And I wish I could punch you in the face. Really hard, so that you have to go to Dr. Sloane to get it fixed." I said to her, looking her dead in the eye with the most deadpan expression.

She started to look worried then, her expression changing from one of glee, to one of fear. I twitched, and she jumped back a foot, her hand halfway towards the door. Suddenly I leapt from the bed, running towards her. She half screamed with fear and half shrieked with laughter, darting out of my bedroom door and down the stairs. I chased her around the house and finally caught up with her in the living room, where I tackled her onto the sofa.

We wrestled, her cackling like a deranged lunatic and me growling like a caged bear, whilst Rosalie did nothing but look on from the big armchair by the fireplace.

I successfully shoved Alice onto the floor, where she fell with a loud thump. I allowed myself a few well deserved victory fist pumps, and slouched off to the kitchen. I brewed a massive mug of coffee, inhaling the aroma that seemed to wake me up better than anything. I cursed Alice and her stupid happy attitude, because now I was fully awake, still with a pounding headache.

"So Bella, how was last night?" Rosalie asked, coming up to sit next to me at the breakfast bar.

"In all honesty I don't really remember. Garrett was there, kept me as sane as possible, but there was an open bar... tequila by the bucket load... y'know the rest was history..." I mumbled, taking in a big mouthful of steaming hot coffee.

Rosalie laughed at me, and how someone could look so painfully beautiful at 9 o'clock in the morning with no make-up on was beyond me. Fuckin' bitch...

"You're such a classy chick. And to think you went to finishing school. Your mother would be ashamed!" laughed Rose, winking at me over her mug.

"Oh fuck off. Biggest waste of time and money ever. Don't bring up these painful memories again, you know they only make me psychotic..." I responded, throwing my spoon at Rosalie.

I should have known that my shit aim would send the spoon flying about a foot from her head.

"If you dented the floor, I'm taking your Mulberry bag and leaving it out on the balcony for the pigeon's..." grunted Alice, still rubbing her ass that was probably now bruised from where I dumped her to the floor like a sack of shit.

I ignored her, choosing to just carry on drinking my coffee pretending the dwarfish one just wasn't there. I was the Queen of ignoring. I did it with everything, anything and anyone. Ignoring everything helped to reinforce the walls that I had put up around my heart and self esteem.

There were times, like last night, when my walls came down just a little. It wasn't pretty, and it hurt like nothing else did, but it made me feel human; a feeling I seemed to have forgotten since Jake.

"Girls," said Alice, standing on the other side of the breakfast bar from Rose and I, "you know I've been casually seeing the guy-"

"The one you refuse to even name, or describe or even introduce to your best friends?" I interrupted. Rose laughed.

"Yes, that one. I just don't want this relationship to be jinxed girls. All those other guys were arseholes. I haven't been with a man in like, 9 months. There's only so much Anne Summers can do for a woman with needs. You don't understand what it's like being all alone".

There was the king of all awkward silences. Tension so thick you could cut it with a butter knife. Rosalie's mug halted at her lips, and Alice's jaw dropped.

"You haven't been with a man in 9 months? Alice sweetie, try being alone for four fucking years, then you'll know what being 'all alone' means. Okay? I all but hissed at her. She nodded, her eyes looking down at her Ugg slippered feet. "Good."

With that, I got up and left, kicking the breakfast bar stool back with so much force that it toppled over, no doubt denting the wooden floor. Fuck it. I stormed upstairs. When I got to my room, I opened the door so hard I was surprised it wasn't wrenched off of its hinges. I threw on some clothes, not bothering to care what I had put on and grabbed my bag.

Again I stormed off, down the stairs and out the front door. I rummaged roughly through my bag, desperately trying to find my car keys. Once I found them, I clicked the unlock button angrily. I stomped into my Range Rover Vogue and after successfully shoving the key into the ignition, I threw the car into drive sending a silent and angry prayer to the gods thanking them for giving me the wisdom and foresight to buy an automatic car.

I sped out of the underground garage with such speed that the wheels spun against the tarmac, screeching at an ear splitting level. Fuck it.

I drove for about 2 hours. Driving nowhere in particular, but just driving. Driving away from what I knew was the truth – that I was alone. I had people around me, but I still felt alone.

"I feel like I am standing in a crowded room, screaming at the top of my lungs and no one even looks up"*

It's human nature to want a mate. It's buried deep inside our psyche. It's an unconscious feeling. But consciously we want "true love". True love is bollocks. It doesn't exist. It's all instinct. Over the millennia the need for a mate to create the next generation has been twisted into the need for someone who is 'perfect' for you – when all we really want is someone to shag stupid and make babies with. Spreading those wild oats so to speak. Just take a gander at the animal kingdom. They don't fuck about; find a mate, shag until you drop and then bob's your uncle, fanny's your aunt, babies are made. But not with people. We feel we have to have a 'connection', a 'spark'. But it's just total bullshit. There is no deep connection that individuals have. Even if there is, the inevitable fact is, is that that 'special' connection is going to eventually disintegrate into fuck all... apart from resentment and regret.

And I was not willing to waste time wanting something I knew I would look back on and wish I never did. Love is dangerous. You're setting yourself up for pain, heartbreak and failure. Love is masochistic. I didn't want to feel that pain ever again. I experienced it once and had no desire to feel it again.

When I finally got home, Alice and Rose were nowhere in sight. I called out their names, but got no reply. I went to the kitchen and poured myself a massive glass of white wine, deciding that the best course of action would bet to have a bath and just lie in the water and prune all my worries away.

AN:Hello one and all. I've tweaked this chapter a bit and it's gotten me back in the groove of writing again. Which is good. I hope you all will continue to read and maybe motivate me occaisionally? Reviews would be the best thing on this earth to me and would only make me want to write more. ALSO if anyone would like to, or knows anybody that wants to be, a Beta I would LOVE to talk to you. I desperately need someone to help motivate and encourage me, as well as go over those little mistakes that are hard to pick up on when it's you on your own.

*'I feel as if...' – This is one of my favourite quotes from Titanic and just sums up how Bella feels. Rose says some wise things people. Expect lots of movie quotes in future chapters.