"The one with all the Twilight"
Twi-Friends contest entry
Story Title: Sister Knows Best
Disclaimer: I do not own Friends or Twilight. I do like to play with the characters. But alas, doing so has never made me rich, so suing is useless. Unless you happen to want to sue for books. I have lots of those.
I'm Bella Swan and I'm disgusting.
I stalk guys and steal their underpants.
Well, not exactly.
Okay, maybe exactly.
But it's not like it sounds.
Maybe I should start from the beginning.
I've been in love with Edward Cullen since the ninth grade. The summer after ninth grade I saw him in a one piece for the first time and the obsession grew. From there, there was no turning back. Once you've seen a guy who looks good in a speedo, there's no recovering from that. And he looked good. Really good.
That happened when I was fourteen.
Now I'm twenty-five. I'm a chef at a semi-upscale restaurant. I have a decent job, a steady paycheck, and good friends.
Life is good.
After twenty years of friendship, Alice, Edward's twin sister, is still my best friend. She's like the sister I never had. She's been in a committed relationship with a paleontologist named Jasper for five years. When people ask her how come she hasn't got a ring on her finger, her answer is always the same: the anticipation is better than actually receiving the rock. Yeah, they're a little weird. If you need further proof, she once tried to change her name to Princess Consuela Banana-Hammock. (Which, coincidentally enough, only served to remind me of her brother.) Needless to say, Jasper is a loving, very, very patient man and a good friend. Even if he does drone on about dinosaur bones on a daily basis.
Then there's Rosalie, my roommate. She's tough as nails. She lived on the streets for most of her adolescence and it shows. She's smart as all hell, though. Who else but Rosalie would go from being a girl who lived on the street, singing songs about smelly cats for spare change, to a PhD-holding, fully-qualified stock broker who can make two million dollars before breakfast without breaking a sweat? You can't make these things up.
Then there's my brother, Emmett. He's the best brother I could ask for. He loves me like crazy, and has always been my number one protector. He's Rosalie's on-again/off-again boyfriend. They love one another, really they do, when they're not on a break, at least. He cheated on her three years ago and they've never been able to get over it. When they aren't at one another's throats they're friends. Or they try to be.
Then, of course, there's Edward. He lives across the hall with my brother. We've been close friends for a decade, and he's never stopped to look at me twice.
Until six months ago.
My unemployed, actor brother decided it would be a good idea to go to Vegas and let loose for a weekend. And maybe it would have been, if he and Rosalie hadn't decided to get plastered, scrawl all over one another's faces, and the clincher: get married.
While, needless to say, that mess is still blowing up in our faces, it landed me the little slice of heaven more commonly known as Edward Cullen. It all began one fateful night in a hotel room in Vegas. On a bed graced by the most hideous gold sheets ever created by man, I found my soulmate. Between those god awful gold sheets I found Jesus, God, and all the apostles. Seven times.
Now, I'm not stupid, I know he's not perfect, not by a long shot (otherwise he'd stop leaving his socks in my apartment and cease making stupid jokes), but he's perfect for me. Only, he doesn't realize this and wants to keep our relationship on the down low until 'we're sure about one another.' What he doesn't seem to realize is that I've been sure about him since I laid eyes on him when I was five; I handed over my heart at fourteen; and by twenty-five, I was ready to rip his balls out very slowly and painfully for his obliviousness. Those seven orgasms smoothed that last one over, though, and my heart was his again.
So that's how I got to where I am now, having an affair with my best guy friend, sneaking over to his apartment in the wee hours of the morning to maybe, possibly steal his underwear.
He looks just as good in his tighty-whities as he did in his speedo, that summer eleven years ago. Maybe even better.
So you can imagine why I'd want to keep a souvenir.
So, it's three in the morning and I'm sneaking across the hall to have sex with my secret boyfriend, who I secretly love, but am afraid to tell, because I'm worried he doesn't feel the same way about me. I know he loves me, but that isn't the same.
I tiptoe across my apartment, closing the door quietly when I'm sure Rosalie is sound asleep. I enter the opposite apartment just as soundlessly, not wanting to awaken my brother, who will no doubt be extremely grouchy when he finds out what I'm planning to do with his best friend.
Emmett is the only one who knows about me and Edward. He wasn't happy at first, but he recognizes that I would have pulled every single curly hair from his head (and any other place they might grow) one at a time had he tried to stop me. He knows how I feel about Edward, and he'd never deny me my happiness. It's a wonder after so many years of knowing about my little crush, he never spilled the beans. Furthermore, it's a downright miracle he hasn't told any of our friends about Edward and I. He might be a little dense, but he's a good brother.
Unfortunately, despite the midnight hour, both roommates are sitting in their ugly brown leather chairs, eating breakfast cereal and arguing about the logistics of Cap'n Crunch's facial features.
"Man this is weird," Emmett tells Edward, holding up the bright, red cereal box and pointing at its mascot. "You ever realize Captain Crunch's eyebrows are actually on his hat?"
Edward scoffs. "You think that's what's weird? Em, the man's been captain of a cereal for the last 40 years."
They both look up and smile when they see me. Edward mutters a quiet "Hey," as I settle into his lap, his smile softening accordingly.
Emmett's quickly folds into a frown when he realizes the most likely reason I'm at his apartment at two in the morning, dressed in a night gown.
When I lean over to kiss Edward hello, Emmett's face contorts further. "Aw! I don't want to see that!"
Edward shrugs nonchalantly. "I guess you'll be wanting to get out of here, then, because it's about to get a lot worse."
"Aw man. That's my sister, dude," Emmett grimaces. "Get a room."
"This is my room. I pay the rent, freeloader," Edward points out, a teasing note in his voice. Emmett shrugs, not offended in the least. "I suggest you go into your room."
"But the walls are like paper," Emmett says, his frown deepening. "I'll hear stuff. You know, stuff. And that's my sister, dude."
"I had to hear you have dirty dreams about Alice," Edward counters, "And hear you and Rosalie getting it on, and she's like my sister."
"Almost doesn't count. And dreams are totally different," Emmett protests. "I'll know it's real. Do you know how scarring that is? Do you?"
"Not my problem," Edward shrugs, holding me closer to him. The action is extremely comforting.
"Em," I say sweetly, "If you ever want me to make your favourite chocolate-chip, oatmeal raisin cookies again, I suggest you find something to occupy yourself, while Edward and I occupy ourselves."
Em looks as if I just forced him to eat a pair of his dirty underwear. Whether it's because I'm threatening to withhold food or the sexual innuendo about Edward and I, I'm not sure. "Occupy? Thanks a lot. I'm never going to be able to look at one of those signs on port-a-potties or airplane bathrooms ever again without getting a massive anti-hard on. I'll never be able to join the mile high club now!"
"Sorry," I mumble with a shrug, not really sorry at all. "I'm sure you'll live." After ten years of promiscuity, my man-whore brother had it coming.
"Come on," I beg Edward, reluctantly removing myself from his lap and grabbing his hand to drag him towards his bedroom. I afford one last smirk in my brother's direction. He grimaces, and pops in the ear buds to his iPod, before heading for his own room.
"Finally," Edward murmurs once we're laying side by side on his bed, robes abandoned on the floor, covered only by flimsy sleepwear. He pulls me against him, so my head is lying on his chest, his arms wrapped around me.
"Finally," I echo sleepily, in full agreement. "I've been waiting for this all day."
"Me too. Work was boring as fuck. I hate being a masseur. Someone grabbed my ass today. I was working on this client's back; they had a really nasty case of Sciatica. So I'm giving the requisite back massage, and all of the sudden a pair of hands are squeezing my ass," he complains.
"Some woman grabbed your ass?" I ask, indignantly, not liking the idea of another woman grabbing things that are mine. "Is she pretty? Do you like her?"
"I think you misunderstood," he smirks. "A man grabbed my ass."
I can't help but laugh at the image. "Did you grab his back?" I ask.
"No," he huffs. "There was no reciprocal grabbing. I pulled his hands away and told him firmly that that wasn't appropriate behaviour with a masseur."
"You're not a masseur, baby. You're a physical therapist. You have a degree." I pause a beat, holding back my grin. "One that apparently qualifies you to get felt up by hot men. He was hot, wasn't he?"
He sighs, not bothering with a response. I'll just have to suffice with my own mental images.
"As if that wasn't bad enough," he adds, after a minute of comfortable cuddling, "They've implemented some new program called W.E.N.U.S. as part of our filing system. It's supposed to track our individual productivity and profitability on a weekly basis. It sounds like a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo to get the slackers at the office moving their asses, if you ask me."
"Your wenus?" I ask coyly, reaching down between us, stroking his chest and lower stomach to drive my point home, not that he seems to need any clarification. "That doesn't sound so bad. I wouldn't mind playing with your wenus, and getting paid for it."
Though he's fighting it, I can tell that he thinks it's funny, too, if the smile tugging at the corners of his perfect lips is any indication. "You can file my wenus for me any time you like, baby," he tells me sexily, and I nearly combust on the spot.
"How about right now?" I suggest.
He nods. "Sounds good to me, but wouldn't you rather I give you a massage first?" I nod. Never would I deny myself the pleasure of his hands on me. My boyfriend has, hands down (pun intended), the most amazing hands on the planet.
He flips me onto my stomach, and I cuddle into the soft flannel of his sheets as he begins to rub his magic fingers across my shoulders.
"You are so cute," I sigh. "How did you get to be so cute?" I ask, rhetorically, not really expecting an answer.
"Well," he says coyly, continuing his pleasurable torture, "My grandfather was Swedish and my grandmother was actually a tiny, little bunny," he explains, pinching his fingers together to indicate how tiny. I laugh, and kiss him. He really is that cute.
But I don't want to think about cuteness any more. I push him off of me and crawl on top of him, seductively, and rub myself against him meaningfully.
Immediately he's quiet.
I think I'll have to file this away, for future reference, as a useful, and altogether enjoyable way of shutting him up.
I'm Alice Cullen. No one keeps secrets from me, least of all my brother and my best-friend. I know they think they're being all sneaky, creeping around, having sex on the down low. But, really, you couldn't find two less sneaky people than Edward and Bella if you tried. They're a match made in anti-stealth heaven.
It also helps that I'm Alice Cullen and I know things. Whether people want me to or not. I'm not a gossip per se. What I do is more of a public service. I get information out to the needy masses.
Which is precisely why I'm sitting at the kitchen table in my best friend's apartment, with her sometime surly but entirely cunning roommate. With Rosalie's help, I can give Edward and Bella the push they need to come out of the non-gay closet.
Because, naturally, my brother and Bella need my help. And no, I'm not interfering. I'm guiding. It's totally different.
First order of business? Operation: Get Rosalie in on the Scoop. This step is crucial to the rest of the plan.
I smooth my short black hair, preparing for battle.
"Rosalie," I ask sweetly, "would you mind going over to Edward and Emmett's and getting the book Edward borrowed from me? I think it's in his bedroom." I file my nails, making sure to look busy so she won't insist I go myself.
She looks at me in shock. "You want me to go into Edward's bedroom? Now?" she asks, before tittering nervously. "But he and Bella just went to do laundry. I'm sure he wouldn't want me breaking into his apartment."
I look at her suspiciously. She knows something. Time to find out what. "The door's open," I explain nonchalantly. "My brother and Emmett never lock their door. Remember when they got all their furniture stolen?" Granted, Emmett had been home… but that was beside the point.
"Ah, well," she stutters, backing towards her bedroom. "Ooh, I just remembered: I have some correspondence to do! I guess you'll have to go find it yourself."
"You know!" I gasp, pointing dramatically.
She looks at me carefully, eyeing me up and down. "I might know something. What do you know?"
"Oh, I can't tell you what I know," I explain. "You'll have to tell me what you know."
She smirks, her eyes narrowing. "You don't know!" she says, confidently.
"Fine," I say loudly, already marching for the front door. "I'll just have to go across the hall and see if that thing that I think that I know is actually the thing that I think that I know!"
We both gasp and point at one another.
"And you know!"
"This is unbelievable. Our best friends are doing it!" she exclaims.
"How long have you known?" I ask.
"For a while," she says cryptically, flinging her long blonde hair over her shoulder. "What are we going to do? Should we tell them we know?"
"Oh, no," I shake my head. "They're so weird about that. They know Emmett knows, but they don't know I know."
"Well now enough of us know, we can just tell them we know," she suggests, pragmatically.
"Or," I counter, brightly, "We could have some fun instead! They've been keeping this from us for months. I think we're entitled to have a little fun at their expense."
"I like the way you think, pixi stix."
"Okay, so, the plan," I tell Rosalie, and Jasper, who has been dragged in on the plot, the following afternoon. Well they couldn't really expect me to keep a secret from my other half, my destiny, my soulmate, could they? "You two know The Plan, correct?"
"Of course I know The Plan," Rosalie scoffs. "The Plan is infallible."
Jasper rolls his eyes. "Yes. The Plan. Capital T, Capital P."
Both Rosalie and I stare at him. He looks back steadily. "Don't worry, those are the right letters."
I grab Jasper's arm and squeeze just a teeny, ieeny bit. The big baby winces and pulls his arm away and glares at me. I smile back innocently. "Oops, did I hurt you sweetie?" I simper. "I'm sorry. But," I continue in a sharper tone, "if you ever want to get laid again, I suggest you start paying attention."
"There are other women out there!" he protests, rubbing his arm.
"Yes," I counter, "but how many of them would sleep with you?" He shrugs as if to say 'fair point,' and of course it is, because I'm Alice Cullen; my points are always valid.
"You know, that your plan involves me pretending to cheat on you, don't you?" he drawls, a hint of his southern heritage seeping through.
"Of course I know that, baby. That's why it's my plan, and not yours. I came up with it."
"Hey!" Rosalie says indignantly. "It's my plan, too. We both know I'm the brains behind the operation."
Jasper rolls his eyes at our antics, and quickly intercepts the possible argument. "Fine. Fine! I'm game. I am your puppet. I'll do whatever you two tell me to do."
My little peacemaker. I kiss him in thanks.
Before we can further detail The Plan, Bella enters the little coffeehouse that we spend most of our daily lives in. She's heading for the front counter, no doubt looking for a coffee to go.
"Shh, shh," I hiss towards my co-conspirators. "Go!" I tell Jasper, giving him a shove in Bella's direction. He stumbles, and glares back at me and Rosalie, muttering that we shouldn't eat his cookie.
Is he telling me what to do? I scowl in defiance and take a giant bite out of his cookie.
Rosalie and I slink down in our seats at the back of the shop, hopefully avoiding Bella's detection.
"Hey Bella," he says cheerfully.
"Hey Jazz," she returns, equally as sunnily. "You're in a good mood today."
He grins his beautiful smile at her and I feel myself melt a little. That's my man. "Of course I am. In your beautiful company." He winces, looking at me over Bella's shoulder. I shake my head at him. Frowning, he returns his attention to Bella.
"Jazz?" She looks at him oddly. "Are you okay?"
"I'm doin' good. How you doin'?" he asks, deepening his voice an octave and smiling sideways at her. If he didn't look half-constipated, it would be truly believable. I'd still do him. And I will, tomorrow. Many, many times. But only after Edward and Bella have been cracked.
"Are you hitting on me Jasper?" she asks indignantly.
"Yes," he says in his faux deep voice, "Is it working? I saw that on a TV show once. It looked effective."
Bella glares at him. "What about Alice?" I give her a mental best friend high five. At least I know my best friend is loyal. Not that I ever had doubts. "Alice will cook your balls and feed them to you, Jazz."
"She knows," Jasper explains, cringing only slightly, to his credit. "We're not exclusive. We never have been. Did you really believe that crap about anticipation being better than the real thing? That's a party line, nothing more."
"Oh," Bella says, looking deflated. "Well, I – I don't know if I'd feel right about it… She's my best friend."
"Bella," Jasper says slightly more forcefully, "don't worry about Alice and I. We're perfect. We just like to mix it up a little. Do you have a reason you can't go out with me?" he asks hopefully. I know he wants Bella to break, the poor dear, but even he can't be naïve enough to think it will be that easy. No, Bella and Edward are hardened secret keepers who we will have to out-wit with meticulous planning and an unrelenting stream of action.
Bella shifts uncomfortably. "No. I guess not. Still–"
Jasper doesn't let her continue. That's my big, strong, beautiful man! "Well, then there's no problem. I'll see you here tomorrow night. Say seven? Wear something pretty."
He scurries away before Bella can even open her mouth to respond. Soon as the door closes behind him, Bella slumps into the hideous orange couch in the seating area, her eyes wide, and whips out a cell phone. She immediately begins texting someone. Someone who no doubt shared a womb with me.
Tomorrow night cannot come fast enough.
This is going to be epic.
When tomorrow does eventually roll around (after taking far, far too long, I might add; so what? patience isn't my strong suit), I give Rosalie and Jasper a pep talk, and explain calmly what we're going to do when Edward and Bella make their appearance, because, duh! I'm Alice Cullen. My advice is legendary.
We're sitting around in Bella and Rosalie's apartment, being all nonchalant and stuff, when Edward and Bella finally (finally!) decide to make an appearance. My brother looks very happy, like he used to when Dad would tell the story about him being a medical marvel. Whatever. We shared a uterus. If he's a marvel so am I. But that's beside the point.
It's action time.
"Bella?" I ask sweetly, "Jasper told me that the two of you are going out? Is that true?"
Bella clutches Edward's forearm, looking like a deer caught in headlights. I grin internally. This is going to be so awesome, I can just feel it.
"Uh, not exact-"
"You two are going to have so much fun!" I squeal. "Jasper is just the best date. Isn't that right, honey?" I ask, turning to the man himself.
He smiles uncomfortably, so I nudge him with my knee. Hard. "That's what you tell me, darling," he drawls, barely refraining from sounding deadpan.
"You know you are," I tell him, kissing his cheek, sweetly, pausing briefly to nip his ear sharply so he knows that I'm not messing around. I will break my brother and Bella if it's the last thing I do.
"Ow!" he mumbles, under his breath, turning away from our friends, who seat themselves side by side on the couch next to Jasper and me, even though there's still a chair free. Oh, they are so doing it. Not that I needed any more proof of intimacy.
"Wait…" Bella looks more confused than ever. I can't blame her. "You're okay with this? You want me to go on a date with your boyfriend?" Her face scrunches up.
"Of course I am," I explain with my most innocent smile. The one that gets Jasper every time. "Jasper and I love sharing. Sharing is caring. And you're my best girlfriend. Who better to share with?"
"Oh." She nods dumbly, and forces a grimace, but even that is a stretch. She's no doubt thrown for a loop by my imaginary polygamous tendencies.
I decide a little indignation is in order. She's refusing my awesome sauce boyfriend. She has it coming. "Why? Why don't you want Jasper? What's wrong with Jasper? Jasper is good. It's been a while for you, hasn't it? Do it! Get yours!"
Bella glances at Edward in panic, before realizing her mistake and looking at the floor instead. "I – no – I didn't mean it like that. Nothing is wrong with Jasper." I notice she ignores the question about how long it's been. She looks as if she's been trapped, like she doesn't have a clue what she should be thinking, or saying. Perfect.
Edward, on the other hand, doesn't look quite so pleased with the new developments. He's usually pretty good at keeping a neutral face. He does excellent at poker – perhaps that's because he charms the socks off of anything with a vagina. But I'm his twin. I know his 'I'm playing cool, but not feeling so cool' face, and I'm immune to his charms.
"Edward," I look to my brother and turn my beatific smile on him. "You look constipated. Are you okay?"
"You and Jasper aren't serious?" he asks, glaring at my boyfriend, who cowers slightly under his gaze. He's talking to me, but looking straight at Jasper. "After five fucking years? You're not exclusive? Is this his way of getting out of proposing to you? Because I will kill him. Kill him dead." His glare turns murderous. Jasper turns almost fetal, and presses up against me for protection.
"You will do no such thing," I declare, firmly, straightening up so I look taller than my four feet eleven inches. "You don't think this is a mutual decision? You don't think that I'm intelligent enough to stand up for myself as a woman?"
It's Edward's turn to cower slightly. "That's not what I said," he protests.
"Well, good," I say haughtily, "Because I do. Just last week I went on a fabulous date with the most interesting football player."
"Oh, you mean the kid?" Rosalie snarks, butting in. As if I need help making up a story. "What was he, like, 12? The one who was always yelling 'dude,'" she mocks, deepening her voice, "Right? Or wait! Was he the one who was stealing twenties from your wallet?"
"Neither," I explain between gritted teeth. "The handsome one."
"Oh!" she says, nodding, pretending to remember. "The one who looked like Danny Devito."
I grind my teeth, and decide not to respond. Rosalie is not going to make this easy. She was supposed to be on my side.
Edward looks at us skeptically, and I have to admit, a little bit hurt. "Just how many dates have you been on? And why didn't you tell me? We tell each other everything, twinsie." I wrinkle my nose at the nickname.
This was not how this was supposed to go. I don't like it when things don't go according to my plans. I knew I should have given everyone play by play itineraries. With colour coding.
"Sorry." I shrug, turning up the innocent-o-metre. "I knew you'd react like this. We wanted to spare you the anguish," I explain, every molecule of the concerned sister. I rule this one, and Edward is never any the wiser.
"Oh, well, I guess that's okay, then." He nods, pointing at me sternly. "But if Jasper does anything, anything at all, to upset you. You let me know, okay?"
"Of course I will. I know my big, strong brother can protect me," I say, my eyes wide and innocent. "We should focus on the good news, then, huh? Jasper and Bella are going on a date!" And we're back on schedule. Excellent.
Jasper shifts in his seat. Bella raises an eyebrow. It's Edward's reaction that's interesting, though. His jaw tenses, and his fists clench marginally before unclenching again. "Uh huh. That is good news." His voice is so tightly strung it contradicts his words entirely. He pauses a beat before continuing, "Are you sure this is a good idea… for Bella, I mean. She might feel awkward after, seeing as Jasper and you are… well, you know."
Jasper cuts in dutifully. "Don't worry about me and Alice," he nods a little too brightly. "We're awesome." He smooches me to support his statement. I kiss back. Who am I to say no to a smoldering hunk of a man?
Bella regards us with a raised eyebrow and, taps Edward's shoulder. "Edward? Can I speak to you in your apartment for a moment? I wanted to, uh, ask you something about, um, the thing."
Edward nods eagerly. "Oh, yes. The thing. The thing is very important." He quickly rises to follow Bella, who is already halfway out of the apartment.
I nudge Jasper gently, naturally, with my knee, encouraging him to say good bye to his date.
"See you later tonight! We're going to have so much fun on our date!" He actually manages to sound halfway convincing this time.
Edward glares briefly at him and slams the door behind him.
Rosalie grins and declares, "They're going to have sex. No one leaves that fast unless they have a fire in their pants that needs to be put out ASAP."
I smack Jasper wetly on the cheek. "You were perfect! They are totally freaking out."
He groans, "Then why is my leg covered in bruises shaped like your knee?"
"That was encouragement," I protest.
"Next time, a pat on the back will suffice."
Edward glares at me, once we are safely in the confines of his apartment. "Bella! What the hell were you thinking, accepting a date with Jasper? You, my girlfriend, with my sister's boyfriend? Isn't that like incest or something?"
"I didn't accept anything. It just kind of happened," I groan. "One minute I was ordering a cup of coffee, the next thing I know, I'm watching Jasper's retreating back, learning I have a date with him. He didn't let me get a word in edgewise."
"So?" he asks, eyes wide. "You could have said something just now!"
"Doesn't it seem a little suspect to you, though?"
He looks confused. "In what way? I mean, yeah," he says, sarcastically, "I have to admit that the idea of my girlfriend accepting a date with another man bothers me just a tad… but –"
"Not that," I interrupt. "Rosalie and Alice, just now. They were a little too supportive. Alice was practically begging me to go on a date with her man. Women don't do that. We're more jealous and possessive than men. For instance, if some woman tried to take you on a date, knowing you were with me, I'd–"
"Scratch her eyes out?" he suggests.
"Hmm, that's a start," I agree, "but maybe not painful enough."
"Is it wrong that I find that totally hot?" he asks lowly, reaching to pull my body closer so I'm pressed up against him, his hands palming my butt.
"Not at all," I smirk. "However, we were in the middle of talking about something, which means the sexcapades will have to wait."
"There's going to be sexcapades?" he wonders, hopefully,
"When isn't there?" I ask pointedly. "You missed my point entirely, though. Alice and Rose were being a little too supportive of this date."
"They're your friends," he shrugs, "Of course they're going to be supportive. Now about the sexca–"
"No," I declare, cutting him off before he gets me distracted, too, "this was different, Trust me. Women's intuition." I gasp when it hits me like a cinderblock to the head, it's so painfully obvious. "I've got it. They know about us!"
"They know about us?" he asks dubiously. "How? We've been so careful."
I shrug. "I'm not sure. But that has to be it. They're trying to out us."
He raises an questioning eyebrow. "Are we suddenly gay?"
"You know what I meant," I complain, good-naturedly. "They want to out our relationship."
Before Edward can reply, Emmett bursts out of his room, making a beeline for the fridge, no doubt to empty its contents. Edward's lucky if he can keep it stocked for a few days, let alone a week at a time.
Emmett glares at Edward as he passes us. "Mind getting your hands off my sister's ass?" Edward immediately raises his hands to my waist, looking a little green. He should just be thankful Emmett missed the sexcapades conversation. Once inspecting Edward's hands are in a suitable position, Emmett nods at us and ambles on towards the fridge, as if nothing out of the ordinary just occurred.
I turn to Emmett. "Do you know anything about this, Em?"
"About what," he asks, chewing on something unrecognizable he's retrieved from the fridge. I really don't want to know.
"Alice, Rosalie, and Jasper know about us."
He shrugs. "Beats me."
"Well," Edward says, "If you're right about this… It has been a while, and we were thinking about maybe telling everyone in a few weeks, if we were still solid. And we're good. We're really good. So what's a few weeks?"
I shake my head, immediately. "No way. That's exactly what they want. If they want to play, we're going to play. And we'll win."
He sighs. "How are you so sure?"
"Because you're on my team, and my team always wins," I declare.
"She's right," Emmett butts in, with his mouth full, half-buried in the fridge again. My dumb brother has been eavesdropping on my conversations since I was twelve. And that's a highball estimate. At least he's made a valid point, this time. I do always win.
My boyfriend sighs melodramatically, ignoring Emmett. "Your competitiveness is showing," he snarks, before sighing again. "Wouldn't it just be easier if we told them the truth?" His tone is a shade away from pleading.
I pat his cheek condescendingly before proceeding to kiss it. "Aww, my little Boy Scout. Always wanting honesty to prevail."
"So we'll tell them?" he asks, hope lacing his question.
"No. It's game on. Game on."
I'm in Edward and Emmett's apartment, sitting around with all of my closest friends except Edward and Bella, when Jasper's cell phone rings. He looks at me and asks, frantically, "It's Bella! What should I do?"
I motion that he should answer it, and he does so, reluctantly, holding the phone as if it's a tarantula. I can hear Bella warbling on the other end, like the adults in a Peanuts cartoon.
"You what?" he screeches.
I immediately look up from the issue of Vogue I'm perusing with Rosalie, my attention piqued. My boyfriend is not so good with on-the-spot performances. I rush to listen in on the phone conversation he's having with Bella, making him stoop down so I can reach the earpiece.
"Yeah," I hear Bella intone, seductively, "I'm really looking forward to our date tonight."
With an elbow to the side, Jasper manages to strangle out, "That's nice."
"I was thinking, though," Bella continues, "instead of going out, why not skip all of that unnecessary getting to know one another stuff? We're already good friends. You can just come over to my place. We'll get straight to the good stuff?"
"Uh…" Jasper stammers.
"Excellent," she trills, with a laugh. "I'm really looking forward to you and me having sexual intercourse."
My eyes bulge. She did not just proposition my man. That is so past the line. She can't even see the line. The line is dot to her.
My blood starts to boil. Who the fuck does she think she is? She's planning on having sex with Jasper. Jasper. My boyfriend. My boyfriend. There is no way to say it that doesn't sound wrong on so, so many levels.
"Okay. I'll see you tonight then," Jasper chokes out. "Bye bye." He presses the button to disconnect the call and immediately proceeds to drop the phone he's shaking so much.
"Alice!" he shrieks, flailing his hands around frantically. "What am I supposed to do? She wants me to have sex with her!"
"I know!" I screech in return. "I cannot believe she'd do that to my brother! Or me! What a slut."
I fume in silence for a moment.
"Wait!" I call out, suspicion beginning to congeal in my head. "When have you known Bella to be anything but absolutely one hundred and twenty percent loyal?"
"Never," Jasper says, his brow scrunched in confusion. He's so cute.
"They know we know," I state matter-of-factly. "Bella wouldn't cheat. It's the only explanation."
Jasper looks a little put out. "Okay, but what about my, y'know, irresistible sexiness?"
I shake my head. "No. That can't be it."
I round on Emmett, who's been looking just a little too innocent throughout this whole ordeal, clutching his stupid penguin and watching TV. "Emmett, they know you know… do they know we know?"
"No…" If there's one thing Emmett's horrible at, it's lying.
With the right tone and a little death glare he folds like a cheap hooker who got hit in the stomach by a fat guy with sores on his face.
"They know you know."
"Ugh!" I growl, turning to Jasper, exasperated. "They think they can mess with us? They're trying to mess with us?" This is unacceptable. They are mere messees, trying to mess with the messers. We rule this game, whether they like it or not. It's time things get turned back on them.
"So what are we going to do?" Jasper asks.
"They don't know that we know they know we know!" I explain, cunningly, a plot already forming in my mind. Emmett looks at me like I've tried to steal his stupid penguin. "Emmett, you can't say anything," I threaten, "or Hugsy gets it."
He pouts, clutching the stupid toy tighter.
Rosalie glares at him in disgust. "I can't believe you still have that thing." She looks up at me, her lip curled. "When we were dating, he used to occasionally bring that thing to bed with us." She turns back to Emmett, looking at the toy in revulsion. "You know you're twenty-seven years old, right?"
Emmett's pout grows larger. "Bedtime penguin pals are suitable for all ages." He turns the toy over, showing Rose its tag. "See, it says ages two and up. I'm 'and up!'"
"You're also thirteen times the minimum required age. Though…" she drawls, "I suppose your mental age is just about right."
Emmett huffs. "Whatever! At least I don't have dirty novels stocked under my pillow!"
Rosalie glares at him harder than she already was. "That was entirely necessary while we were dating. Besides, it's a healthy expression of female sexuality… which, by the way, you will never understand. There is nothing wrong with a woman enjoying a little… erotica."
Emmett smirks. "You've got porn."
"Ugh," I cut in, "children, children. We've got a couple to tear down, burn to the ground, and dance over the ashes of, in triumph."
"Isn't that a little drastic?" Jasper drawls. "We just want Bella and Edward to admit what the rest of us already know."
"Technicalities," I scoff. "So here's the plan," I explain, whipping out four custom planned itineraries from my Prada bag. I got it last season, 40% off and best of all, it goes with everything! Neutrals, colours, Jeans, skirts, slacks…
I'm dragged back to reality by Emmett's whining. "Alice!" he groans, glancing only cursorily at the sheet I've handed him. "I don't wanna!"
"Who asked what you wanna?" I say sharply.
Emmett stares back defiantly. "No way. I'm not getting involved in my sister's love life. Last time I tried she pulled my ear until it was purple. The colour didn't go away for a week."
"Fine," I snap, "Emmett is absolved of his duties. Anyone else have anything to say? Speak now or forever hold your peace."
I know whatever Jasper has to say is unimportant.
"Excellent. So here's how it's going to work…"
"Bella, are you sure this is a good idea? Edward asks, worriedly. He's sitting on my bed, watching me get dressed for my date with Jasper. He's been trying to talk me out of it for the last half hour. "It's never too late, you know. You can back out any time, and I will support you."
I'd think he was sweet if he wasn't so infuriating.
"Edward," I say, calmly, "Have a little faith in your girlfriend. I know what I'm doing."
He huffs, "Oh yes, I forgot you were an expert on fake seducing your friends' boyfriends. How silly of me!"
"Aww, are you jealous, baby?" I coo, stepping in between his legs, which are hanging off the bed, and wrapping his arms around me.
He rolls his eyes. "No." He says it in such a way that I know he really means yes.
"Well" I drawl, "how about this, to sweeten the pot a little: if we win, we'll do whatever you want for the rest of the night? Sound fair? Hmm?"
"Ugh, you are a devil woman," he murmurs against my neck. He's so easy. "How come you're so stubborn?"
"It's what makes me me. And you love me." I realize my slip immediately after I say the words. I just pray he doesn't pick up on it. We've never said those words to one another. If he dares say them now, while I'm dressing up for another man, he will be lucky if all I do is rip off his balls.
"Uhm hmm," he hums, and I breathe a sigh of relief.
The doorbell rings in the next room. Jasper's here.
"Wish me luck?" I ask, biting my lip the way I know he likes and pouting just a little.
He sighs and pulls my lip from between my teeth, gently. "Good luck, honey." He kisses me tenderly. But he can't just let the moment be, so he slaps my ass, and gives me a shove towards the door, adding sarcastically, "Now go get some!"
I love my boyfriend. I really do.
I know I'm being stubborn, but this is something I have to do.
I smile at him one last time and go to answer the door.
My ear is pressed tightly against the vent above the bedroom door. I hear her open the door in the next room. My girlfriend. The girl I'm in love with is opening up the door because she's going on a date. With a man. Who is not me. And I'm okay with it. Sort of. Okay, not at all. Hence why I'm listening.
At least I'm occupying the bedroom. There's no way any fucking around is going on with me in here. I trust Bella, though. She might be stubborn, but not even she would have sex with someone just to prove a point.
Although… she did kind of make out with me in front of Emmett, when he forbade her to see me. Though that isn't really the same… is it?
I sigh, and listen to what Bella's saying to Jasper, thankful that the acoustics in here are just peachy.
"I've been looking forward to this all night," Bella coos to Jasper, who's standing in the doorway, rigid as a board. In addition to decent sound, this vent also has wide enough slats that I can make out some visuals too.
I watch Jasper for a moment, and strangely, instead of anger, all I can seem to feel is pity. I feel for the poor guy, really, I do. I know my sister has coerced him into this. This is not something Jasper would ever do of his own volition, and my sister can be very convincing. I can only imagine what she's done to… or promised him in return for this small favour. I banish that thought quickly, more than a little disturbed. She's an evil voodoo little pixie. How we shared less than a cubic foot of space for nine months I'll never know.
"Er, yeah. Me too," he says slowly, carefully. Bella wraps her hand around his tie. The jealousy that was void in me before suddenly starts to bubble up. That should be my tie.
"Would you like to come in?" she asks him smoothly, giving the tie a tug.
He nods hesitantly, seeming to suddenly remember he's carrying something. He raises the bottle of wine and a pair of wine glasses, clearly relieved to have a distraction.
"I brought us something to enjoy," he explains, proudly.
Bella glances at the objects in his hands, taking them gingerly. "So you did," she smiles at him. I notice with relief that she doesn't give him my smile. That shit is trademarked, and I'm the sole patent holder. "Would you care to pour?" she asks.
Jasper nods. His fingers are trembling so much he has trouble peeling the foil, and even more trouble twisting the corkscrew. Perhaps I won't have to worry and Bella's right: she will win this. The competition certainly seems flimsy enough.
Eventually both glasses are poured, and they're sipping… no wait, chugging their contents.
"So, here we are," Bella declares. "Nervous?"
"Me? No. You?" Jasper says quickly.
"No. I want this to happen," Bella says unconvincingly.
It's been less than twenty seconds and both of their glasses are drained. Unfortunately, Jasper's seems to have given him a little liquid courage and he's braved placing his hand on Bella's thigh. "Is this okay?" he asks.
I want to tell him, no it's not okay, but Bella's faster.
My girl hops up like a nun being felt up in church. "It's fine. But how about some music?" she suggests, her voice trembling slightly.
Jasper's bravery might have shaken her a little. This is not looking good for me doing whatever I want to do with her tonight. And I already made such clear, well thought out plans… that involve a lot of nakedness.
Some down tempo pop song I don't recognize filters through the vent, and I hear Jasper suggesting they dance.
Bella accepts his outstretched hand, and they immediately fall into a slow rhythm. Sort of.
I stifle a snort when Bella steps on his foot for the third time in so many minutes. Those pointy heels have got to hurt. He takes it like a man.
No one but me knows how to dance with my girl properly. Front to front just doesn't work. Bell's two left feet make it impossible. You've got to hold her closer, so you're controlling most of her weight. It's got to be dirty dancing all the way.
I start to get a little bored watching them dance, though I have to admit the foot crunching is a little hilarious, even if it does lose a little of its charm after the tenth time.
Once a few songs have rotated through the sound system, Jasper pulls away, glancing down at his feet and wincing. "So," he says, in what I'm sure is his 'under pressure suave' voice. How did this man ever get my sister to sleep with him? "How about we move this into the bedroom?"
"Now?" Bella squeaks.
"Oh, do you not want to?" Jasper asks, hopefully.
"No, no. It's just, erm, I was surprised. Let's go," she says firmly. "So, we're going into to my bedroom now!" she yells suddenly. I know this is for my benefit.
Oh fuck, where can I hide in here? Should I hide? They're coming into the fucking bedroom. That can't be good. I know what goes on in bedrooms. Hell, what I've done in this very bedroom.
I guess I'm a pussy, because I fucking hide.
I snatch up the folding chair I'm standing on and duck into the closet. Just in time, I suspect, by the sound of the door opening.
The view in here isn't nearly as good as my view out of the vent was. It's dark, despite the slats in the door. They're facing downward, so I can't really see anything, either. I still have decent audio. Thankfully. I think.
Oh God, were those bedsprings that I just heard?
I hear the springy noise again.
Yes. Yes, they were.
"Jasper," I hear Bella groan. Groan? Is that a good groan or a bad groan? What the hell is that bastard doing to her out there? He'd better not be touching her.
"Yes, Bella?" he asks, rather formally, and I sigh in relief. That's not the voice of someone in the heat of passion.
"How do you feel about lotion?" Bella asks, sending me right back into a panic.
I can imagine several things they can do with lotion and I don't like any of them.
That's it, I'm going out there. I don't care if we lose. Bella can kill me after I kill Jasper.
I throw open the closet door with a loud bang, causing Jasper to squeal in a not so masculine way and jump in fright. "Get off of her," I growl, rather needlessly, seeing as they're sitting side by side on the bed and barely touching.
I start to feel a little stupid for my overreaction. Fuck, I have an overactive imagination. At least where Bella's concerned. This is a fact which has served me well… usually.
Jasper pretends to look surprised. The dude has no future in acting, that's for sure. "Edward!" he says in mock shock, "What are you doing in here?"
"I'm stopping you from fake humping my girlfriend."
He wisely ignores the part about fake humping and instead queries, "Girlfriend? I just thought you guys were screwing around, I didn't know you were dating!" This time he actually sounds shocked.
"Well, I love her, so if you wouldn't fucking mind, get away from her, please," I say cordially.
Jasper instantly removes his hand from Bella's knee and scrambles so there's a foot of space separating them.
Bella looks shocked. I replay my words in my head, and suddenly I realize why. I've never told her that I love her before. Shit, this is not the way that this was supposed to happen.
She seems willing to overlook my gross stupidity and pitiful timing, however.
She grins widely, immediately reaching for me, wrapping her arms around me, tightly, Jasper already long forgotten. "You love me?"
"Quite a lot," I admit.
"Say it," she demands, "Out loud."
"I love you, Bella Swan."
She grins ear to ear, and then slaps my chest. "Do you have any idea how long I've been waiting for that?"
"Um, five minutes?" I ask cheekily, sliding my hands down to cup her round bottom.
She nuzzles into my neck, murmuring, "Try eleven years."
"Eleven years? That long?" I question in awe. This amazing woman has wanted me for eleven years. I feel like the lucky bastard that I know I am. "I love you," I repeat, and for the first time, she says it back.
My heart, I swear, grows. But, naturally, because the moment is too perfect, it has to be ruined by my sister and her two cronies, who barge into the room like they own the place.
"Finally!" Alice shrieks the instant she's through the door. "Took you long enough!"
"Aw man," Emmett groans, once his eyes settle on Bella and I. "Not twice in one day? Is it so bad for a brother to ask his friends to keep their hands off his sister's ass?"
"Shut up," Bella snaps. "I'm twenty-five, Emmett. That's not even two full years younger than you. I can make decisions for myself. And this is my room. And I want his hands on my ass. We were having a moment, in case you didn't notice? Or do you just have an 'annoyance' quota you have to reach?"
"I think I'm going to be sick," he gags. Rosalie rolls her eyes at his antics. I sigh and remove my hands. Bella stubbornly puts them back. I love this woman.
"I'm so happy for you guys!" Alice squeals.
"Me, too," Rosalie says, gruffly. From Rosalie, that's ringing endorsement.
"This is, like, the best day ever!" Alice trills.
"Does this mean you and Jasper aren't swingers," I ask, hopefully.
Alice giggles. "Of course not, silly. I hexed Jasper's diddly doo. He couldn't get it up for another woman if he tried."
Emmett and I both groan in disgust, and Jasper looks a little embarrassed. "Thank you for that lovely mental imagery, pix," I mutter sardonically.
"No prob," she grins, seating herself in Jasper's lap. "You were awesome, babe. We kicked ass."
"We?" he sniffs. "I think I did all the hard work."
"You'll be rewarded soundly, trust me," she coos, and suddenly he's grinning. I don't even want to imagine why.
"Ugh," I grunt, "Brother in the room."
"Oh, so now you care about brotherly rights," Emmett scoffs. "Turn about is fair play, buddy."
"Bel-la," Alice trills, "I'm so happy for you! You and my brother! We'll be sisters one day! Now, if Rosalie marries Emmett we'll all be related, wouldn't that be awesome?"
"Not going to happen," Rosalie says firmly. "I want a husband who can keep it in his pants."
There is a collective sigh amongst the group. We all know what's coming.
"We were on a break!"
And everything is back to normal.