Welcome to my next story! I hope you enjoy. And, of course, a shout out to all the women who have ever loved a bad boy before (me included)!

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the owner. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators or producers of any media franchises. No copyright infringement is intended.



The way I felt right now, I could have screamed. Never in my wildest fantasies could I have believed that I would be so stupid. Of course he left. Why wouldn't he? Why, for all the love that is holy would he bother to stick around when I had emasculated him like that? I was a bitch on two legs...there was no doubt about it in my mind, and now I had paid the ultimate price for it. I'd lost him...the one guy who truly loved me...who also happened to be the one guy I tried to change.

And now? Now I was a pathetic, lonely twenty four year old woman who in the blink of an eye had alienated not only the man who loved me, but seemingly everyone else on the goddamned planet! What an idiot I was! What a fucking fruit loop! I had become so obsessed with moulding him into my idea of the perfect man, that I couldn't see that I was going to lose him. To be more accurate, I scared the bejesus out of him, driving him away with my unreasonable demands and my unrealistic ideals. Poor guy. After years of knowing him as a friend, then finally becoming lovers after a drunken night, I had managed to damage our relationship so far beyond repair, that he moved back home to get away from me. Jesus, I was such a piece of work.

Of course, losing Jacob was just the tip of the iceberg. I also managed to frighten the shit out of my friends, my antics alienating them to the point that they just didn't call anymore. I couldn't blame them. They were his friends as well, and I had driven him away. Of course, I was the one to blame. No-one understood me. Not even me most times. I just wanted him to live a little...be adventurous...be a little wild...be bad. Was that so much to ask? Oh, if only he could have been even a little bit rebellious...then he would have been perfect. The man didn't have one unkind bone in his body...he was a saint for Christ sake! He only dated girls before me long term and was giving and kind, and romanced me every chance he got. Why wasn't that enough for me?

I just didn't understand men. Obviously. Jake was a nice guy who loved being with me. Why couldn't I just realise that he wasn't the one for me...instead of trying to turn him into something he wasn't? I knew what it was that I was missing. I liked bad boys. Ones that treated me horribly. Ones that were a combination of panty-dropping handsome as well as mean and aloof, just like a tiger with its claws out, ready to pounce. Ones that were the polar opposite of Jake.

My first taste of the bad boy that I now craved happened back when I dated Mike Newton. He was such an arrogant bastard, handsome and treated women like crap. Eventually though, I just had to break it off. He began to fall for me and after dating for just six weeks, he asked me to marry him. That move sent me running for the hills and into the comforting arms of my friend Jake after a post break-up bender. He was the nicest guy I knew, and one who had been my best friend since high school. Besides, Mike was a dud in bed. Bad boy, but a dud...so full of himself that he thought that thirty seconds of poking me should be enough to satisfy my insatiable libido. What a loser.

So...now I was all alone. I couldn't believe it. It wasn't as if I didn't enjoy my own company...it's just that now that my own company had been forced on me, I didn't exactly take to it too well.

At least there was one part of my life that I was happy with. I enjoyed my job as a journalist. I wrote columns on entertainment and lifestyle for a women's magazine based in Seattle, known as I Am Woman, and my articles were popular because of their unique, biting slant. I'd pretty much cornered the market on bitch...giving a no-holds-barred take on anything I wrote about. No fluffy, feel-good articles for me.

It was strange, though. I still attracted my fair share of people willing to give me an interview, my scathing and extremely witty articles giving them a unique kind of exposure. Well, you know what they say...'there's no such thing as bad publicity', and I knew I'd helped promote more than one movie or book in my time. I'd met my fair share of artists; everything from movie stars to up and coming authors to people who just found themselves in the spotlight...famous for being famous. I treated them all the same...and never crawled up their asses like some in my profession did. Nor did I do it when I wrote the articles. I prided myself on being crystal clear, and brutally honest, not to mention always getting what I wanted. Trouble was, I just didn't filter things too well and though that served me well in my job, it wasn't such a good trait to possess in my personal life. Go figure...

It was a bright Monday morning in the middle of Fall, and I'd spent the weekend thinking about my life and its direction while sweltering in my small apartment, the unseasonably hot weather catching me off guard. I replayed our break up and the things leading up to it over and over in my head, but I got nowhere. In frustration, I finally got out of bed and got dressed, realising that I was wasting my time moping about. I needed to get to work for a meeting anyway, and would not give Jake the satisfaction of thinking that I'd cancelled one single appointment to pine over him. It just wasn't in my nature. At least, I hoped it wasn't. Nothing like keeping oneself busy in times of crisis. My personal life may have been going to hell, but I was damned if I was going to allow my career to follow the same path...

I took my usual half hour stroll to Hale Publishing and walked through the sliding doors which opened up into a huge reception area, the spectacular marble walls and floor to ceiling glass a wonderful feature of the lobby. This place published everything from fashion magazines to fishing rags, and I had a free subscription of Fisherman's Basket sent to my dad, Charlie, every month. I was a messenger for the Mecca of the glamorous world of fashion and human interest...and this small but powerful company produced various versions of the bible for the masses. I was always so jazzed to be part of something bigger...something that kept me busy...something that distracted me from my life. If that's what you could call it.

The perpetual water feature behind the reception area flowed as always, the sound soothing. Soothing, and a little distracting. I was sure that Jessica, the receptionist who stood there day in and day out, would need to pee twice as often because of it, the cascading water flowing down the opaque windows behind her like a constantly running tap. That girl was pretty, efficient and a perfect frontline person who projected the right image for the company...and I didn't like her one bit. Bitch.

"Good morning, Miss Swan," Jessica said, as she stared up at me over her tortoise shell rimmed glasses. This girl had an authoritative tone of voice, and an unseen dominance. She knew martial arts, and her body appeared strong and muscular, even within her petite frame. Hell, I could even see her being a bouncer at a nightclub. She wore her hair up in a severe schoolmarm style bun, her red lipstick always a shocking contrast next to her pallid skin. She was a little scary at times, and when I dated Mike, she went from being cold and indifferent to downright loathing me. I got the feeling that she had a little crush on Mike, and it was proved to be fact when she turned up at the office Christmas party with him last year, two days after we'd split up. What an asshole! Of course, they only dated that once, before mister I poke for thirty seconds probably made his first and last appearance, Jessica no doubt booing him offstage, the audience not asking for an encore performance. It didn't help that he made a complete ass of himself there...but that's a story for another time.

"Hey, Jessica," I replied informally. She hated it when I didn't say Miss Stanley. I swear that, besides having a pole up her ass, she also had a riding crop hidden behind that desk of hers, ready and waiting to whip me into shape when I blurted something that she didn't approve of. I could just picture her dressed in a leather corset with knee high boots on, and chuckled at the image that now made its way through my head.

"Something funny, Miss Swan?" she asked with an accusing tone, the schoolmarm act over the top now as she arched her brow at me. For the love of all that is holy, the woman was the same age as me, but acted like she was a hundred and fifty!

"No," I replied, smirking as I imagined Mike on all fours under the stiletto heel of her boot, Jessica whipping his ass as punishment for only lasting thirty seconds. She scowled at me in response, her face even harder than usual, and her lips were so thin and pursed that the red lipstick disappeared for a moment. She was literally lipless. I covered my mouth with my hand, trying to stop myself from rolling on the floor in a fit of laughter, and as I composed myself, I tried to explain my rude behaviour.

"I'm just in a good mood. I kicked my boyfriend to the curb last week, and I couldn't be happier!" I boasted as I winked at her. "You want me to set you up with this one too, Mistress Jessica?" I mumbled as an amusing afterthought.

"What did you say?" she asked, her stare now turning a little hateful. Oh this girl was just too easy to get a rise out of!

"I said...oh never mind!" I laughed evilly, my inner bitch lurking just beneath the surface and threatening to bust loose. Oh, it was so good to see her finally making her way back! I'd spent the last week holding my own little one person pity party...and I was relieved that I'd begun to turn the corner. The bitch was making a comeback in all her glory, and just in time for my vacation.

Seething, she changed the subject, as her only other priority in life, besides being a sourpuss, was being good at her job. She cleared her throat and said icily, "Yes, well. Miss Hale requested that you meet her in her office as soon as you got in. She's got a launch to attend in fifteen minutes, so you'd better hurry up, Miss Swan." Oh, this woman really got up my nose.

"Sure thing, Mistress Stanley!" I laughed.

She snorted like a pig and glared at me, but before she could open her mouth and make a bitchy comeback the phone rang, to my relief. I headed straight for the elevator, taking the opportunity to get away from the psycho. "Hale Publishing, how may I help you?" she in her sharp, generic, switch bitch phone voice as she glanced at me once more, a look of disdain crossing her already hardened face. I really felt like slapping her across the head to knock some silly into her, truth be told. I turned away from her made my way towards the elevators, feeling her stare bore into the back of my head. I pressed the call button several times, as if doing that would somehow bring the elevator here faster and get me away from the wicked witch of the west before I said something else that I would pay for later.

As the bell announcing the elevators arrival rang, I sighed heavily. This was just a great way to start the day. I knew why I was being summoned by one of the most powerful women in publishing...the only one who was a bigger bitch than me, or even Jessica for that matter. I'd submitted an article on Friday on the outdated and ridiculously unrealistic characters that were written by romance novelists, and got the feeling that she was going to reject it. Even at the time I wrote it, I knew it wasn't to my usual standards. It just lacked my normal edge, and I knew the reason why. I'd written it in the middle of my break up with Jake, and it came across a little too soft for my style, in a limp dick kind of way. Though I knew that, I had never missed a deadline and wasn't about to start forming bad habits now. The elevator finally arrived and the doors opened, and I reluctantly got in and pressed the button to the tenth floor, poking my tongue out at Jessica as the doors closed, her scowl the last thing I saw. Suddenly, a knot appeared in my stomach as realised I was going out of the fry pan and into the fire. The elevator sped upwards, whisking me toward the wrath of the queen of bitches herself...

A/N: Let me know what you're thinkin!