AN/ First let me apologies for the delay. I had a hard time with this chapter, but at least it's the longest so far. Believe it or not I wrote three (!) different versions of this chapter. My poor betas had to read all of them over and over and I believe they really had it with me lol! If anyone is interested in the different versions let me know...I might post them ;)
Now let me clarify before we get to this chapter: Yes Bella is behaving in a very odd way and I hope I made it clear in this chapter why she was so strange!
I get that some things do not make sense...YET! We are just getting started. Be patient with me. I promise this is meant to be a funny story not an annoying one!
A HUGE Thank You to mylittlebakersdozen! Not only did she read this chapter over and over she listened to all my rambling and complaints. You are the BEST sweetie!
Thank you Wicked Winter for agreeing to read all my versions of this chapter and for being so understanding! You Rock!
ikss I know you have a lot to work on...I still thank you for taking the time to read!
Also a BIG thanks to all your reviews, pms and alerts! Keep them coming, they are the reason I want to write this story :))
DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN TWILIGHT OR IT'S CHARACTERS; STEPHENIE MEYER DOES! I DO HOWEVER OWN THIS PLOT SO PLEASE DO NOT COPY PASTE!
REC Chapter 4
Here I was, sitting in a smelly cab, with the last person on earth I ever wanted to be with. In truth I was embarrassed by my actions, but it felt so much easier to be angry at Edward than at myself. This was not how I imagined this night going. I should be happy that I got a well-paying job in a very good firm. Instead I was constantly irritated by this stranger, and I was dreading the upcoming dinner with my mom.
There was no use in trying to get rid of Edward. It was obvious that I had to make a choice. I could either name my address in front of him -which was not an option I favored since he seemed to have stalker tendencies - or get out of the cab and walk to the metro. There was no guarantee that he wouldn't have followed me again and I honestly didn't want to face the nosy mob still watching us. I could see Jasper eyeing me quizzically, no doubt asking himself what the hell was going on with me. I couldn't blame him because I was wondering about it myself.
"What the heck...," I murmured to myself and gave my address to the cabbie. I sat back waiting for Edward to speak. I sure wasn't going to be the one to start this conversation and I was also curious what exactly he was doing here.
"I'm really sorry." He apologized again, then a frown became visible on his face. "But seriously, who does that? What were you trying to do? Kick me or punch me?"
In hindsight, his question was a valid one, of course, but as I mentioned before I was clueless myself. What was I trying to do? I met irritating people all the time; my own mom was a constant challenge. Besides, I don't lose my calm easily. Edward just appeared to have been pushing all the right buttons to cause me to explode.
Edward was insisting further, "I would also like to remind you that it was you, who started all of this. You came to me to give me hell for looking at you, remember?"
"Not because you were looking. Because you were listening in on my call," I corrected him angrily. "Trying to pin this on me is rich, Edward. I can't believe you."
"Pin what on you? That you attacked me? You are right. How dare I?" His tone was sarcastic. "You were screeching about leaving the country, for heaven's sake; of course that would get anyone's attention and you also interrupted my playing. If you're so averse to attention, don't draw it to you in the first place."
He justifies his action by pointing out I am to blame for this outcome, because I interrupted his majesty's playing and for having a loud moment on the phone?
I was really mad at him. Gone were the guilty feelings I had for trying to hit him, or for being angry at him instead of myself.
"I would also like to ask you something," he went on, oblivious of my inner monologue. "If you were in a bus and you got a call, would you accuse everyone sitting in the bus of eavesdropping?"
"We weren't in a bus and you were sitting far from me, yet you strained yourself to get my whole call. You even remember the part about leaving the country. That's what I call eavesdropping." I narrowed my eyes at him before I continued.
"People sitting in a bus are involuntary listeners. They wouldn't tell me to hurry up to an interview they shouldn't know about, or follow me there."
"I brought you your book back. Do you think I would have followed you if I didn't find your book? I'm not a stalker," he pouted.
"How would you know that?" I eyed him sternly.
"How would I know if I'm a stalker? Seriously?" He stared angrily at me. "I've spent a lot of time in the park lately. I've seen you there often, yet I never spoke to you. I'm sure you've seen me there, too, or are you in the habit of nodding at people you've never seen before? I call that being perceptive, not a stalker." He enjoyed pointing out that I had nodded at him that morning, which I started to think was a huge mistake.
"You are so full of yourself it's almost amazing. Did anyone ever tell you that?" I countered. It was so much easier to stay angry at him than being mad at myself for behaving like a stupid brick. I started to see a few similarities between my actions and Edward's today. I was as much responsible for the day I had as he was. He might be a jerk, but I was being a stubborn idiot.
"Whatever made you think I don't know that? And I also happen to know why you came over to me," he added, smugly.
"What do you mean?" I hissed at him.
"Isn't that obvious? You like me...umm...I mean my music, don't you?" His grin as well as his humor was obviously back.
Was he kidding? I had no idea. Did he really think I used my anger as an excuse to go talk to him? I never met anyone in my life as cocky as he was, and I have never been as flustered as I was constantly feeling since I met him. Usually I can control myself, but today, because of him, I lost my cool and made a fool of myself in front of a lot of strangers.
Now, however, when he spoke of himself as if he was every girl's dream, I finally snapped out of whatever daze I had been caught up in since I first talked to Edward. Sure, he was one handsome devil, and I'm talking Greek-God-like, but that didn't mean he was irresistible, or that I was pining for a way to speak to him. I knew his type. He knew he was good-looking, and therefore treated women as if they should count themselves lucky for getting his attention.
"So?" he mocked me.
"Gee, I don't know how to thank you for a wonderful day, Edward, and I'm sorry I ruined yours. You didn't harass me all day long, didn't make me look ridiculous in front of a bunch of strangers, overheard my calls or followed me to my job interview." My tone was level, which surprised even me.
"When you put it that way...," he squirmed a little in his seat. "I might have gone a little too far today."
"Might have gone too far?" It was my turn to raise my eyebrow at him.
"Okay, I went too far," he said with an apologetic look on his face.
I had to admit, I did feel a little better, because for the first time tonight Edward finally felt a little uncomfortable, sitting on the hot spot.
Suddenly he smirked again, all traces of regret gone. "I pushed your buttons, true, but you are so full of shit, by the way. You were so offended, because I listened to your call. I would say that trying to beat a stranger is worse."
"You deserved that kick, Mister. No one ever told you it's dangerous to antagonize a woman?" I smiled a little. "I don't know what you normally achieve by doing what you did today, but I'm not the shallow kind of woman you apparently socialize with."
"You have no idea." I thought I heard Edward say.
I could see the cab driver regarding us in his mirror, and I wasn't happy to yet again have an audience to my conversation, but I found, it didn't bother me as much as it did with Edward.
I turned, looking out of the window, choosing to ignore his mumbled comment. I was tired, and only wishing for this bizarre day to be over.
"So, do we call a truce now? Are we friends?" Edward asked after a while.
"What?" I asked unbelievingly.
"Friends. You know - the kind of people who meet up and have fun together," he answered stupidly. "No way do you not consider what we had today as a lot of fun. I know I had a blast."
"That'll be twenty-three dollars, Miss," the driver interrupted me before I could say anything. I started taking money out of my little purse, but Edward again beat me to it, and paid for the drive.
We both got out in silence, and I felt a little bad for him paying. Who knows how much he earns from his occasional gigs. I don't think it's much. Although I was still a little annoyed, I tried to give him the money back but he just shook his head at me.
"Why don't you want us to become friends?" he probed again. "What exactly did I do? I teased you a bit in the park, and when you forgot your book, I brought it to you. Just so you know, I didn't follow you to the club. I was going to be there anyway, because I'm supposed to have a gig tonight. Instead, I'm here apologizing to you. That should count for something, right?" he smiled an adorable smile at me. "I would really hate to camp out here till you say you've forgiven me and that we're friends."
Something told me he was crazy enough to do that.
Suddenly I wasn't so angry anymore. I felt guilty for keeping him from work. I swear if I didn't know any better, I would have thought I was suffering from premenstrual hormone imbalance.
Wait a minute... is that the reason for my mood swings since I met Edward? Oh, oh. I guess it was my fault after all.
"For whatever it's worth, I'm still annoyed, but if it helps you sleep at night, you are forgiven. I wish you a peaceful life, Edward. Good-bye." I still couldn't admit to him that my hormones were to blame for this spectacular day.
When I turned to get inside my building, he held me back by my arm. "Wait. Since there are no hard feelings, why can't we become friends?"
Was he serious? Did he actually think that we could be friends after all that had happened?
"I'm sorry your life is so dull that you don't have much to laugh about, but I'm not here for your entertainment, Edward, and the way we both behaved today is not really promising. I don't see how we could be friends without killing each other one day," I snapped at him.
The arrival of a cab interrupted our bickering. It stopped right where our own cab had stood not so long ago, and Jasper climbed out with a buxom blonde. She had so much make-up on her face that it looked like she was wearing a mask...a scary one.
"I thought I might find you here," he greeted me. "Bella, this is Lucy. Lucy, I'd like you to meet my best friend, Bella." His little bimbo eyed me speculatively, and then saw Edward standing behind me. Her eyes bulged out for a split second before she appraised me again.
"You didn't have to come home, Jazz," I stated. "I'm heading to bed. You should go have fun."
"Are you kidding me? I saw the look you shot at me when you sat in the cab. I'm very much attached to my balls, you see," he winked at me, and I had to smile. "I wish you didn't run off so fast, we could have taken the same cab home."
"And I remember where I know you from." He turned, looking at Edward. "You have a sister? Named Mary?"
"Mary?" Edward seemed confused.
"Yeah. We met at the Halloween Party last year at Tyler Crowley's house?" Jasper tried to remind Edward.
They know each other? What the fuck?
To say I was baffled would be an understatement. I remembered Mary. Jazz went on a date with her once, but when he came home, he told me he thought this Mary had ADHD. I met her briefly at the party and thought she was a very cool girl, and in comparison to Jasper's usual conquests, she was smart.
"Oh, yeah...I remember. So, you know my sister?" Edward smiled at Jasper, but I could see that it didn't reach his eyes. It was the polite kind of smile.
"Well, we went on a date, after this party, but it didn't go too well." Jazz shrugged. "So what's going on here?"
"Nothing, Jazzy. Bella and I sorted things out. I think it's safe to say we're friends now," he regained his former self, grinning. "We should all go for drinks."
"Please, call me Jasper. Do you mind if I just talk to Bella for a moment?" He signaled to Edward and Lucy to wait, and took me aside. "Would you please explain to me what the hell got into you when we were at the club?"
I sighed heavily, explaining in a few words about meeting Edward, and how he spent all day following me. All the while, I was glaring at the two standing close to us, seemingly lost in their own conversation. Why does it bother me?
"Are you friends now, or do you think there's something fishy about him?" Jasper was half-serious. "I met him only that one time. He gave the impression that he's okay, but if you think we need to call the police... I will." He was, no doubt, trying to show me that I had overreacted.
"No," I sighed. "He's not dangerous. He's just a guy who plays music in Central Park. I know that I went crazy there for a while... kind of. He's annoying but harmless." Honestly, I didn't know where all my anger and frustration had come from today. I remembered seeing him almost every day for the past two weeks playing his guitar, lost in his own world. He seemed so nice back then.
Come to think of it, I wonder why I never noticed the cockiness he's been showing all day? I'm normally good at reading people.
"I don't think he's a street musician, Bells. Remember his sister? Mary was very sophisticated. Maybe it's just a hobby?"
"I have only seen him there playing his guitar. For me, he's a street musician." I didn't want to argue with Jazz, but I also didn't like his friendly attitude toward Edward.
We were still standing in front of our building, and my feet were hurting in these silly heels. I wanted to sit down and wrap myself in a warm afghan to warm up. My outfit was not meant for December.
"I'm going upstairs. You go have fun with your bimbo," I smirked at him.
"Don't be a killjoy. Let's all go for drinks. You still owe me a treat." He put his arm around my shoulder, not listening to any objection, and led me back to where the others were waiting. Joe's Bar and Grill was just a block away, so I offered to invite them for a drink. I didn't want to include Edward, but somehow I thought it would be rude to tell him he couldn't come, especially since I've been nothing but all day.
Edward and I walked in silence, each of us lost in our own thoughts. Jasper and Lucy were talking animatedly with each other when we reached Joe's Bar. I came here often in the evening when it was simply too cold to go to Central Park. I knew Mike, the owner of the bar. When money was tight he sometimes let me do a shift or two. Of course, he only hired me when someone was sick or on weekends, when there was extra work to be done. I knew he had a soft spot for me, but I always kept our relationship professional.
Edward opened the door for us and we were welcomed by the loud noise of the jukebox. The bar was well-attended on Friday nights. Mike was standing behind the counter, facing the entrance. When he saw me, he waved, and I waved back, searching with my eyes for an empty table. Luckily, a couple was just leaving and Jasper rushed to take their table before someone else could. I strolled over, sitting down across from Jazz and his flirt. This meant that Edward had to sit down beside me in the only empty chair left.
I saw Edward at the bar ordering drinks, even though I had said before that it was my treat. Why is he always forthcoming when it comes to paying?
He carried four bottles of beer back to our table and I frowned. I never drank beer or hard liquor, not even wine. I was drunk once - shortly after I turned twenty-one - since I thought it would be cool, but I still remember how bad I felt and I never repeated it again. Nevertheless, I didn't say anything. The atmosphere between us was already tense enough.
"To Bella's new job." Jasper raised his bottle indicating for the others to do the same.
"Thank you." We all clinked bottles and I took a sip, grimacing involuntarily.
"Is something wrong with your beer?" Edward looked concerned and tasted his again to make sure it was okay.
"No, it's fine," I hurried to assure him.
"Bella doesn't drink alcohol. She had a bad experience two years ago," Jasper barged in, laughing at me.
I stuck my tongue out at him.
"Oh, why didn't you say? Would you like something else?" Edward offered.
"No, it's okay. I'll drink it." I replied. How bad could one beer be?
"So, Edward, what do you do?" Jasper started to make small talk.
"I'm a musician. I play guitar." Edward answered with the same polite smile he had shown before when Jasper had asked him something personal. Interesting!
I raised my eyebrow at Jazz, telling him that I was right about Edward's job.
Lucy, who had taken off her coat revealing a slutty dress beneath, felt left out and started sucking along Jasper's neck to get his attention back. I rolled my eyes disgusted by the display. I wanted to tell her to go get a room, but for Jasper's sake I chose to be civil and bit my tongue. Edward turned to me, winking, and we both snickered quietly. It was refreshing to not be angry with him for a change.
"Can I talk to you outside for a minute?" Edward stood up before I could answer him, gesturing for me to go ahead of him.
I groaned at the prospect of going outside into the cold, because I was just starting to feel warm. I wanted to tell him to give me a break already. I knew I was wrong to lunge at him, and he knew he was wrong to annoy me all day. It was over; what was left to talk about? I went with him though, interested in what he needed to say away from our company, and frankly hoping he would leave soon after, because he was a constant reminder of how terribly I behaved.
"It was getting pretty hot in there, right?" he joked.
"Hot? I thought it was rather nauseating," I laughed. "Thanks for the rescue, although it's really cold out here."
"You're welcome. By the way, we were interrupted before. Are we friends now, or not? I'm serious, I can keep talking all night if that's what it takes to make you accept my friendship," he threatened with a gleam in his eyes. I had to admire his tenacity. "I'll just keep pleading with you until you agree."
"Why do you insist on us becoming friends? You don't even know me." I tried to understand why he was so eager.
"Because I had a lot of fun with you today, I told you that," he shrugged.
For some reason, I didn't believe that was all. Who would be so determined to be friends with someone they barely knew? He definitely had an ulterior motive.
"Why don't you want us to become friends?" he asked in return.
My phone rang, interrupting Edward.
"Don't pick up before you answer me, because I'm not going anywhere, and you will accuse me of eavesdropping again. Please, Bella." He was leaning closer to me; his hands folded as if in prayer, and started his pleading mantra. "Please, please, please."
I took a look at the display and moaned when I saw it was my mom. "I have to take this one." I explained to him. "Can you please be quiet for a few minutes?"
"No," he interrupted his chanting to reply. "Please, please, please, Bella. Bella, please, let's be friends."
I huffed in agitation and started to walk away from him so I could talk to my mom, but he stayed right behind me.
"Hi, mom." I greeted her, resignation evident in my voice.
"Bella, honey. You didn't return my call. Didn't Jasper tell?" She sounded a bit heated.
"Hold on a second," I said to my mom, and turned to Edward, who was still following me. "Stop that. It's my mom and I need to talk to her."
"You just have to say we're friends, and I'll leave you to your call." He whispered back, picking up his pleading again.
I sighed and continued my call.
"Mom, Jasper told me you called to remind me of the dinner, but he never said I needed to call you back." I was still walking with Edward on my tail, pleading in a lower voice now, but still distracting me.
"Don't run away, Bella. I'll keep following anyway," Edward said in between.
"You should have called to tell me when you're coming, Bella," I could hear her say. "Is there someone with you?"
"No, it's just a friend talking," I hurried to explain, and glared at Edward. "When do you want me to be there?"
"You just admitted that we're friends," Edward laughed triumphantly.
"That doesn't count," I hissed. "Now shut up."
"Oh, Honey, I have a surprise for you. You'll never guess who is back in town. Jacob Black! He called me two days ago and he'll be joining us for dinner tomorrow."
Jacob Black? Oh God, no! It's worse than I thought.
"Mom, no! I'm not doing this again. This is absurd. You remember how I felt after he left? Why would I want to meet him again and conjure up all these bad memories? You call him now and disinvite him Renee, understood?"
I didn't mean to be rude to her, but I was overwhelmed by the news she just gave me on one side, and Edward on the other still chanting his pleas. Jake was the only guy who ever broke my heart. He was also the guy my mom had bought me this dress for. Ironic, that I had been thinking of him just this evening.
On first sight, Jake was a good-looking guy, but once you got to know him, you could see immediately what a shallow and self-absorbed moron he was. He needed help with his studies, which would have been okay, but he made me believe he was in love with me, and I really fell for him. After dating for three years in college, he left me for another girl. The problem with Jake, however, was that he didn't get the concept of the word break-up. No matter how often I told him I didn't want to see him anymore, he always came back when he needed something, and behaved like it was a gift that he still talked to me. It was bad for a while when he started showing up in my dorm room without calling. I never got the chance to fully get over him, but I was lucky when he got an offer to finish his last semester in London, with Leah, the girl he left me for. I thought I finally got rid of him then.
"It's good to know I wasn't the reason for your fury. You're like that even with your mom," Edward commented.
"Shhh." I was in no mood for Edward's childish behavior anymore
"Isabella Marie Swan, watch your tone with me," my mother said sternly. "I only mean to do what's best for you. When you broke up with Jake, I understood the no-boys rule you had. I just thought you were waiting for him to come back, but now you don't even want to meet Jake. You are twenty-three and not getting any younger. You need to find yourself a good man, and as long as you aren't doing anything about it, I will. And don't you dare bail on dinner."
Renée didn't know the real reason Jake and I broke up. She believed that we agreed on going our separate ways because neither of us wanted a long-distance relationship. I was convinced that little white lie was better than suffering through my mom's pity, if she found out Jake cheated on me. I also didn't want my mom to start hooking me up with guys right after Jacob left me. I knew why Renée wanted me to have a man in my life; she had had a rough time after getting divorced from Charlie. Raising me on her own was a struggle for her, and she simply didn't want me to be alone, especially since she found happiness with Phil.
My mom has been married to Phil - a successful baseball player, who made a lot of money - for ten years now. He and Renee had paid for my college tuition, and her only condition was that I would come visit her every month for dinner. She was afraid we would lose touch, what with her traveling around the world with Phil, and me busy with my studies. We kept up the arrangement even after I graduated, because it worked out fine for us, and I knew my mom was right. Without it, we would probably go months without seeing each other. However, if I knew then that she would invite suitors to our dinners, or start inviting my ex-boyfriend; I would have applied for a student loan even against Charlie's wish.
"Come on, Bella, I'm freezing out here. Are friends now or not? Please, say yes. Please, please, please." Edward was still talking in my ear, not fazed at all by my narrowed eyes and angry stance.
"Mom, I met someone," I blurted without any preamble. I don't know what made me say that. Maybe it was Jasper's joke when he said I could only get my mom off my back if I had a boyfriend, or maybe it was Edward's distraction at the moment which caused me to be unfocused. Whatever the reason, I was desperate, and no way did I want to meet Jake again.
My mom inhaled sharply when she heard my outburst. Edward, on the other hand, briefly stopped in surprise, before continuing on with slightly less enthusiasm.
"You met someone? Is it the guy I hear behind you? You mean he's your boyfriend? Why didn't you tell me? How long have you been together? What's his name? Come on, Bella, I need details," she fired her questions at me.
"Mom, please calm down. It's late; please can we talk about it tomorrow?" I really wanted to shut this conversation down. I wasn't a good liar, and if I was going to lie to my mom, I needed to think. Edward was making that impossible.
"Oh come on; at least tell me his name, Bella."
"Tomorrow is good," Edward spoke in a low voice. "I've been waiting longer for my answer, so I should get first dibs. Put me out of my misery already. Please, Bella. Please, please, please, please...,"
"Honey, come on. I can hear him in the background. Is that why you won't tell me his name?" My mom sounded hurt.
"Please, Bella. Bella, please. Please, please, please, please." Edward wasn't giving up.
"Then, Bella, please tell me his name."
"Please, Bella. Bella, please. Please, please, please. Tell me we are friends now."
"Why can't you just tell me his name, Bella? Please!" My Mom pleaded at the same time.
That was when I finally lost it.
"EDWARD!" I yelled out loud.
"His name is Edward?" My Mom sounded very excited.
"What?" Edward asked, startled.
"Who?" I asked my Mom.
"Your boyfriend, his name is Edward?" my mom questioned again.
Edward was staring at me with an astonished look on his face, although I didn't think he understood what this was about yet.
I did what I thought was the best solution for this situation.
"Yes, Mom, my boyfriend's name is Edward," I sighed.
I'm definitely going to regret this!
Edward, Edward, Edward. What did you get yourself into? You should have listened to Bella, when she told you to shut up! Ha ha!
I know some of you do not understand why Edward is insisting for them to become friends. I can only keep repeating myself: trust me! It will all become clear as we move further with this story!
A few rec's for you:
I was readin a very very funny story called Bella Swan: Kidnapper by Kamria Rain
Summary: Um. Hi. I don't really know how to say this, but I have your kids with me, and I was thinking maybe you would like them back. So yeah… call me.
It's hilarious! I bet you will love it...
Those Eyes by theotherbella
Summary: Edward Cullen's a lost boy until he meets a girl with a particular pair of brown eyes. Will she be able to save him? Or will he end up saving her?
I know my rec's are rather old news for some of you, but what can I say...I don't get much of a chance to read anymore. I'll try to get up todate ;)
By the way if you guys are MOTU fans...Snowqeen's Icedragon is currently writing a sequel on her blog. www. 50shades. com!
Your reviews rock my world and as long as you keep them coming I try my best to write good stuff fast! Don't deny me a few words to keep me going!