I tried to calm Edward down and keep him from going straight over and kicking James' ass. He was raging at first; a thin blue vein actually popped out of his forehead. I made a vow right then never to make Edward that angry again. Yikes.
"He thought he could blackmail you into screwing him?" It came out kind of choked and growly.
It was rhetorical, of course, so I didn't answer. He was mad. Really mad. Fists balled. Labored breathing. James would be lucky to walk away from this with his face intact.
I was also angry, but I wanted to fight fire with fire. If James thought he could take me down with one incriminating photo, then he needed his tiny, idiotic brain checked. My goal was to take him down. How? I wasn't sure, but if James could make me look like a cheap whore simply by posting photos on Facebook, I figured the four of us come could up with something.
We met with Alice and Jasper at The Diner. While everyone else was at post-formal parties, we ate waffles, drank Coke and plotted revenge on the biggest douche in Forks history. Jasper may have been as angry as or angrier than Edward. I was able to talk them through my idea, though, and by the end of the night we had something solid to work on. Around two in the morning the boys dropped us off at my house, this time with the right couples in the right cars.
I stared at Alice and Jasper taking turns shoving their tongues down each other's throats. "Gross, we have to live with that now, you know."
Edward scrunched his nose. "Yeah, I say we try to gross them out back." His tongue was in my mouth before I could even laugh.
"You're such a horn dog," I chastised, giggling as his lips roamed my neck.
"Totally," he mumbled, sucking hard enough to leave a mark.
"Stop," I pushed him away. "My mom will see that for sure."
He unlatched his lips but shrugged. "She'll think it was loverboy over there."
"Not after tomorrow."
A smile graced his pretty mouth. "Nope, not after tomorrow."
Alice and I spent the next day at the Cullens'. I made the phone calls I needed to, first thing in the morning. I talked things over with Jacob and I wanted him to call Eric before I did-to soften the blow. I wouldn't out either of them if they didn't want me to, but I was clearing my name.
"What do you want me to do?" I asked. I was standing in the hallway outside Edward's bedroom. I had just told Jacob everything that had happened with James and our current plan.
Jacob was quiet and I wasn't sure if he had hung up or not. "Jacob?"
"Let's do it," he said in response.
"Tell them. I'm ready. This game was stupid and I'm tired of pretending. I'm bigger than the rest of those guys so it's not like I'm afraid of them, and they know already."
"They really do. Are you sure?"
"Yes. Let me call Eric."
He hung up and I went back into Edward's room. Jasper was sitting at the computer desk and Edward hovered over his shoulder. Alice was roaming around Edward's room being nosy. The boys were designing a new Facebook page.
I walked over to Alice. "What are you doing?"
"Have you seen this?" She fingered a photograph on the mirror.
"No, I've never been in here before. Let me see."
She handed me the faded photograph. It was a picture of a group of us from ninth grade at a math tournament. My bangs were terrible and I had braces on my teeth. I was wearing a sweatshirt. No, wait. The. Sweatshirt.
"He really has crushed on you this whole time," she said.
My heart flip-floppped. "I know."
"Almost done," Jasper called from across the room. The page was pretty basic. They had imported all the photos from the last couple months and put them in order, telling the real story behind the picture.
We ended it with one of Edward and I from last night, lip locked. I friended each of these boys, giving them the opportunity to tell the truth in their own comments before I did it for them. They had 'til midnight before the account went to the masses.
The next part was all on me. I was going to make a video explaining what I did and why I did it.
Edward had a camera on his computer. He showed me how to record and stop. They were leaving me in peace to film it-I asked for a little privacy.
"Ready?" Edward asked.
"We've got your back."
"I know. Okay, let me do this." He nodded and gave me a fast kiss. The door closed with a soft click.
I pressed record.
If you're seeing this then we go to school together. Most likely since the first grade. I've always had the reputation of being a little aloof. Nerdy maybe? Kept to myself. Some would say bitchy. I would say shy.
Recently though, other words have been used to describe me:
Why? You know why. Because I slept with Jacob Black and for some reason this was reason to tear me down. Well guess what, I didn't sleep with Jacob Black. Why did I pretend? I never thought anyone in Forks would find out about our lie. Stupid me. From there, the lie took a life of its own and others found a chance to boost their own reputation at the expense of mine.
Eric? Eric took advantage of a hair straightener incident and worked it in his favor. Garrett tricked me into a date to win another girl, and Ben, as well as almost every other boy in school, simply spoke to me and the rest became history. Or legend. Whatever.
I have another confession. Jasper is not nor ever has been anything other than a friend to me. In fact, as you all saw the other night, he is dating my best friend Alice. He's an awesome friend, though. He stuck by me through all this and never once took advantage.
Which brings me to the final chapter of this little drama. The real reason I'm coming out now is because the person behind the Facebook photos made an attempt to blackmail me. He threatened to post more "incriminating" photos of me by tonight. What did he want? I'm not going to discuss it here because he's disgusting and gross and a pervert. Let's just say my boyfriend and his best friend aren't here right now and I bet that motherfucker will bear the marks of a lost fight by tomorrow.
Did we learn anything from this? I learned that lying, even for a good cause, gets you nowhere. Universally, boys are perverts. And that guy who makes you crazy in Chemistry? He may just have the hots for you.
"That was the longest, yet most interesting day ever," I said.
It was Monday afternoon and we were in the parking lot at school. Edward and Jasper met me at the car. Every eye in the parking lot was on us. Still.
Edward kissed me (sigh) and I touched the swollen skin under his eye. He winced. "I told you not to let him damage the pretty."
"Not my fault," Jasper said. "James got a lucky shot."
I frowned at both of them. "I know, but you should have kept James away from him." To Edward I said, "I like you pretty."
He cocked his head. "You don't think I'm pretty anymore."
"Hmmm… well, now you look kind of rugged and hot. Which is also nice." I kissed him again, a little harder.
"Okay, that's my cue to leave."
"Bye, Jasper," I said, lips attached and Edward mumbled something similar. "You didn't have to do that, you know. Fight with James."
"Yes, I did."
I couldn't suppress my smile. "James is such a jackass. He looked like a fool today." Everyone knew I was talking about him in my video. His busted lip and nose gave him away. "Did Jasper take a shot?"
"Nah, two on one isn't fair. He just watched and taunted from the side. "Edward's hand grazed my neck, pushing my hair over my shoulder and my hoodie aside. His breath caught. "What's this?"
"Something I found." His hands moved into action, unzipping the hoodie and tugging it down my arms.
A finger slipped in one of the holes at the collar, running under my bra strap. "I can't believe you still have it."
"Lucky for you, I'm a pack rat."
"Lucky for me, you fill that shirt out better now than before," he said. I opened the car door and slid inside. Edward did the same. Once inside he said, "You know I think this is as hot as the other outfits, right?"
"I know." He was so perverted. Perverted and mine.
"Did you see Jessica? She's so jealous," I said. She was, too. I made sure to stop and kiss Edward in front of her locker. Twice.
"No. I'm not really interested in Jessica." He reached over and dipped his fingers under my shirt showing me what he was interested in. His lips too, they seemed very into my neck, which felt so very, very good.
"As much as I love a good public make out, I think maybe we should take this elsewhere."
"Will you still wear the shirt?
I raised an eyebrow and thumbed the hem. "This?"
He nodded. His eyes flashed green and bright. He loved me. Me.
"As long as you want me to." Yep. Still slutty.
That comment earned me a wicked smile. I feigned innocence. "What?"
"I'm glad this happened; every, single twisted thing that brought us together."
"Even when I puked on your shoes?"
He blanched. "Well, no."
"Or when we fought?"
He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "Are you done?"
"What about when you kissed me and you thought you were betraying your best friend."
"There's a way to shut me up, you know..."
Since he's a fast learner and didn't need to be told twice, he did, planting his disturbingly perfect lips on mine. And I let him, because why wouldn't I? If I couldn't talk, then Edward's lips were pretty much the best thing to keep my mouth occupied. After all the drama and games and lies, all I wanted was to be with him and for some crazy reason, he wanted me. The real me, in a ratty sweatshirt, not push-up bras and stripper shoes. The me who had an awesome group of friends who stood by me while I tried my best to tear my life apart.
I couldn't have planned it better if I tried.
done and done! whew, always the biggest feeling of relief.
thanks to wime09, greenyellow & vanessarae1 for their reading and beta help. It takes a village to raise an angel fic. srs. I'm tragically needy.
thanks for the pimps, reviews, tweets, faves alerts and all that stuff. I really do appreciate it.
(Every answer comes under the * never say never policy)
will there be an epilogue? no. nothing is planned. seriously, i'm not a big fan of epilogues on a good day.
will you write another fic? no ideas right now.
are you going to pull your fics? not at this time or at all really but who knows. the time may come.
thanks for everything!