A/N: This is my love letter to so many things and people: sick, twisted, odd, funny, and honest as it may seem. This fandom gave me a home and a family when I was adrift in so many ways. You've comforted me, listened to me, and championed me over the past two years and for that, you deserve eternal thanks.
To A Cullen Wannabe and Mizzdee, my betas and dear friends, you make my words better. To Tkegl and burntcore, my pre-readers, you ask the questions that push me to think harder. To all the people I WC with, for telling my words have beauty and helping me see that beauty, while inspiring me to be better than I am. To everyone on twitter, thank you for the distractions. To my readers and reviews, for sticking with me through long update waits and crazy plots, you're the best this fandom has.
To KitsuShel, Laurnorder, I Punch Werewolves 4 Fun, Barburella, bert1987, and Dallas, thank you for making my first twi-meet up so wonderful…1000 things could have gone wrong, but everything went right!
This will go up all weekend, a chapter a day, until my 2nd fanfiction anniversary, on Monday, July 4th. Hope you enjoy!
Things I don't own: Twilight, which is the work of Stephenie Meyer, Red Light Winter, by Adam Rapp, and the brilliant, aneurysm-causing kiss between Rob and Taylor that just fucking haunted my psyche until it found its home. The bastardization of these things is all me. No infringement is intended, I'm just taking two works of fiction that I love and blending them.
The Play's the Thing
I'm secure in my sexuality.
It doesn't matter how many times I wear tights, or how good I am at applying makeup, I know that I will always worship at the temple of T&A.
But that didn't stop me from staring at the cast list like I was fucking simple.
I'm a third year Bachelor of Fine Arts acting student and nothing has ever given me this much pause in my theatrical career. The small sheet of paper read:
Red Light Winter
This had to be a mistake; they switched it up. I had auditioned for Matt and Bella for Christina. I should know, because when we filled out our form before the department-wide audition for this semester, noting the roles we were most interested it, I was surprised that she went for this show. Bella was an actress destined to do Shakespeare and classic plays, tasteful things, but I guess she was trying to show her edge before going out into the world. But still, this was a mistake.
"It's not a mistake," Bella said, obviously noticing my dumbfounded expression.
"You can't be serious?" I turned to look at her, hoping to see the tell-tale blush that would let me know she was lying, it wasn't there.
"I just came from Aro's office, he said that Adam Rapp pushed at what people would accept with this work and he wanted to push the conventions of casting with this. Two-thirds of the cast is in drag and there's a heterosexual rape scene which is turned homosexual because the female character is being played by a man."
"Does he seriously think the department is going to go for it?" I had a hard time seeing it being allowed.
"You know Eleazar, he's been trying to get rid of Aro since we were both auditioning for the program freshman year. If this crashes and burns, it's his ticket out, if it somehow doesn't then the school looks edgy and groundbreaking."
"You catch this shit?" Jake called from down the hall obviously annoyed too.
"I don't know why you're complaining, you're only a second year, you have three more semesters to build on after this, Bella and I graduate in June, we have one more show after this to get something good in before we try to make it out there."
"Hey, guys. Did you ever stop to think that we could really do something out of the box here? How often do you think we'll get the chance to do this again? And Angela Weber is our stage manager. If anyone can tap dance around Aro and fight for us, it's Ang. She's a fucking ninja!" Bella reassured us both and I had to give it to her, Ang was fucking awesome.
Maybe this wouldn't suck?
Still pissed off about the casting, Bella and I headed off to stage fighting class, hoping to blow off some steam. We'd known we were in the show simply because it was the only cast list that wasn't up and we weren't in the other productions, but the curve ball was really eating away at me, especially because we were told to look at the cast list today before Monday's first rehearsal.
It also didn't help that after class, Mike Newton decided he should try and punk me out. "Hey Cullen, when's your dress fitting? We have to make sure they tart you up real nice for your working girl debut."
Tyler laughed as he carried on. "Maybe they'll make Bella use the men's showers? Then we can sneak a peek at that tight little-"
His sentence was cut off by my forearm in his throat, "You shut your fucking mouth." I seethed at him, but my glare caught their entire punk-ass group. "You want to tease me, whatever; I'm a big enough man to play the role I was cast in and not whine like a bitch. But if I ever hear you say another word about Bella, in private, or to her face, and I will break the arm you use to jerk off with."
I released him and turned to see Bella and some of the other girls standing by the exit to the women's locker room. I pushed past them all and went to the tunnel, knowing I needed to talk to Laurent about my scene shop hours, because there was no way I was wearing a dress and working in the costume shop this semester.
The comments they made about Bella festered in my mind. I knew why they went there; Bella was the ungettable get. Theater departments were incestuous by nature. You have a bunch of people in their late teens to mid-thirties spending unhealthy amounts of time together, seeing far too much of each other's bodies for any number of reasons, and partying for any reason under the sun. We're artsy, lines get blurred, but somehow, Bella had never hooked up once in our two years in the program. She'd been dating someone our freshman year, but when we auditioned for the BFA program that March and she got in, things got rocky. Then they cast us both in one of the productions they were doing over the summer, our first official show as BFA's, and it was a two person show. That show was the first time I ever kissed Bella. It was a stage kiss, but I would have minded if it had been more. When we came back as first-year BFA's that Fall, she was single, and stayed that way ever since.
Our BFA class was me, Jasper, Mike Newton, Tyler Crowley, Ben Cheney, Sam Uley, Bella, Jessica Stanley, Lauren Mallory, Tanya and Kate Denali, and Leah Clearwater. We were a tight group, when the guys weren't being douches and the girls weren't being catty, but we could have done a lot worse.
Jake lucked out with his class and I'm just glad that we'll be gone next year, because I'm not sure I could handle the next group of snots that come through this process. Angeles University breeds divas, it's the way they coddle us and look down at the technical students. It gives some of the actors a superiority complex that will get them fired in the real world. I should know, I've worked professionally before and I was twelve the first time I saw a diva be thrown out of a production for acting like Julia Roberts when they were anything but.
But I digress, I'm also late for my chat Laurent.
I run to the scene shop, which is a madhouse as they work to complete the mainstage show's set so they can begin on ours. Laurent is nowhere to be seen, so I go out onto the loading dock, where I'm sure he's holding a 'meeting.'
"McCarty, we're going to have to talk about this, I'm not sure it's going to work, but that's something that can be discussed later. Just don't draw attention to it when you present at the rehearsal, we'll mock it up this weekend and hopefully you will have an answer before Monday. Last thing I need is that prick to get a hold of the idea like a stray dog with a bone." Laurent looked up from the plans and nodded at me.
"I need an assignment."
"Leave it to the actors to wait until the last minute to come to me," Laurent said with a roll of his eyes.
"I was supposed to be deck crew on the show closing this weekend, but they decided to have the actors move the sets, so I got cut."
Laurent pulled a cigarette from under one of his dreads and lit it up. "That was two weeks ago, Edward, but you only decided to come to me today. My prop closets are a disgrace. They're unorganized, filthy and there's no catalogue to them. I have no clue what's in some of those rooms. You and Swan can go through them all."
"Until the seventy hours are complete?" I asked, because one technical credit was seventy hours of work for a respective shop.
"No, until the jobs done. If you go over, you can bank them for next semester. Bella already has everything you'll need for down there, she mentioned starting on Monday, so get together with her and figure it out. Irina will be keeping tabs on you so we know you aren't just sitting around down there."
"Thanks Laurent," I said and went inside before he could give me an assignment that would suck even more. At least this one meant I could hang out with Bella.
With my classes done for the afternoon, I texted Bella to see is she wanted to get together and run lines, seeing as we had to learn each other's now.
Wanna run lines? Jasper will be at Alice's so we can concentrate without them trying to swallow each other's heads. –E
My phone chimed before I could even pocket it.
Sure, do you want pizza or chinese? –B
With the final word sent, I went to the theater office to pick up my pre-rehearsal packet. I was just about to leave when Bella walked in with Angela.
"Ladies," I smiled at them, "we're about to run lines, but if you'd like to join us, Angela, you're more than welcome to."
"No thanks, I have to build my production book and find an AA meeting for Tuesday night." Angela winked and then rushed off, leaving Bella and I alone.
"Ready to start this?" She asked as we walked to the elevator.
We got on the bus and rode to my apartment where we ordered pizza and started running lines. It was a typical night, one we'd shared 100 times before, but I couldn't help shake the feeling that things were different. Maybe it was the shit storm we were walking into on Monday, or maybe it was something else. All I know is that I was glad Bella was going to be the person standing opposite me, because I'd need a partner who could hold their own.
When the moment of truth came, Bella and I had the same fight as always. She told me she'd be fine going home, while I argued she should just crash here. It made it easier and I wouldn't spend the next hour freaking out about her on the ferry.
Eventually she gave in and borrowed some of Alice's clothes and curled up in my bed while I went into Jasper's room. It was an unspoken rule that we only shared a bed during cast parties, a tradition that started after someone groped Alice's ass in her sleep at our first party, since then we were paired up, unless someone was hooking up.
Hell, the buddy system worked when we were five, and it had definitely made a comeback.
I woke up the next morning and Bella was gone, a note on the fridge. This was not something that was odd either, but I had hoped that she wouldn't have left before I woke up.
The weekend passed quickly and soon I was sitting in the third year acting class. Bella smiled at me as we broke into our scene pairings and the day began. There wasn't much that happened during the day, but that was mainly because I was staring down the barrel of this first rehearsal.
I grabbed a bite to eat before finally heading back to the theater building for rehearsal.
I walked into the rehearsal room to see Bella stretching off to the side. Angela had the table set up along one of the long walls with plenty of chairs around them. There were props on the shelves for easy use during class and a few old set pieces stored there. Angela's papers were stacked neatly as Eric Yorkie, one of the other second-year actors, walked in and sat next to her.
"So, Angela, what am I doing?"
Ang rolled her eyes and handed him a copy of the script. "For tonight, you watch me. In a while some of this will be your job, but for now you just learn. Oh, and you better be on time tomorrow."
Yorkie looked at her and then down at his watch. "But I'm ten minutes early."
"Crew is the first to arrive," she explained. "See how Bella's stretching over there, if she's going to be here fifteen minutes early to stretch, you have to be here early enough to sweep up the floor. Rehearsal starts at 6:30, you are to be here no later than 6:00. And come ready to work, don't show up with your dinner and expect to hang out until rehearsal starts. You're not an actor in this room, Eric, you're my Assistant Stage Manager. Your grade depends on my evaluation."
Part of me wanted to add 'bitch' after her last comment, but I knew better.
Jake showed up a few minutes later and then everyone else filed in. The designers, the head techs and the various faculty that made their appearances at first rehearsals. Carmen, the head of the BFA along with Eleazar, who headed the department, Laurent was there as the technical director and Charlotte, the head of the costume shop. Peter, the head of electrics was the lighting designer for our show so he was there on double duty. Emmett was there with his model and I was happy to see the exchange between him and Laurent, which meant whatever near-train wreck had been avoided without Aro knowing.
Now that the room was filled, Aro made his grand entrance and welcomed everyone to the beginning of what was bound to be an amazing experience that would elevate us all and be the talk of Seattle. I just hoped it wasn't for the wrong reasons.
The next part of the rehearsal was the presentations. Emmett McCarty gave his presentation on the set, showing how they were going to make the set walls double sided and then they'd be set up on a pipe so they could be spun around for the second Act. It was a cool design and only the wall with the door would be stationary, which would also have the coat hooks that Bella would be using for the opening scene. As soon as I remembered that particular moment I got pissed at Aro again.
Within her first ninety seconds onstage, Bella would try to hang herself with her belt from the coat hooks, only to have it pull from the wall. I knew it well because I'd been preparing myself for it, but the thought of Bella doing it had me worried. It was around that point that Alice mentioned her design for the dress and I looked up to see that she was halfway through her presentation.
"So the original costumes for Matt and Christina are going to stay similar, but there will be certain alterations that need to be made, as well some additional purchases that we hadn't originally anticipated."
"But the design esthetic won't change, correct?" Aro asked, his tone was especially annoying because it was his fault that things had to change.
"The only major change will be to the color of Christina's dress, it will still be dark, but I have to see what will work with Edward's skin tone and what type of fabric will be the most cost effective. I'm also going to have to find heels that will fit Edward, probably more than one pair since he'll need to learn how to walk in them. As far as the costume for Bella, we'll have to look in the boys department to get something that will be appropriate and the correct size."
"Excellent, I have every faith in you, Ms. Brandon." Aro smiled and then Angela took over.
"Okay, now that we're ready to begin the read through, we'll take a five minute break and then start with Act One. I'll need the actors to hang out for one more moment."
The room emptied until it was only the three of us, Angela and Eric. "You guys have to pick your Representative. Just let me know before the end of tonight."
We looked among ourselves and Bella shrugged. I turned to Jake and he clapped me on the back. "Edward's got it."
"Cool, enjoy your break," she said as she turned back to her binder to make a note.
I ran to the bathroom before the break was over and then went back inside. Most of the people stuck around and we started the read-through, with Angela reading the stage directions. There were a few rough moments, but the worst was when we got to the song and I just stared at Aro until he realized the problem.
"Speak the lyrics for now until you write the melody."
"I have to write the music for a song I didn't even know I'd have to sing last week?" I was annoyed that this hadn't come up until right now.
"You're a talented boy, you'll figure out something. Continue," he said dismissively.
We finished the first Act and then took another break before finishing the play. When rehearsal was over, Aro left, followed quickly by everyone but the students working on the show.
"So, when do we start drinking?" Emmett asked, looking seriously at all of us.
"Tomorrow night at The Ballet Studio," Angela answered as she finished cleaning up the room.
"That's a chick bar," Eric whined.
"It's cheap and tons of college students go there. You can always stay home if you don't want to come out with us," Emmett remarked, putting his arm around Angela.
There was a definite divide between the actors and techies, but I'd managed to show them the appreciation they deserved so we didn't have the awkwardness that some of the others actors did. Bella and Jake were both living with techies, so it made it easier for them. The school didn't have dorms so the theater department helped its fine arts students find roommates in various university-approved apartments around the city.
It was one of the good things about entering the school through the theater department, it made moving from Chicago easier and Jasper had been the perfect roommate.
"Calm down guys. Eric, stop being a tool," Jake said with a shake of his head.
We gathered our things and headed out for the night, with the feeling of dread starting to seem justified.
The first week passed at a painfully slow rate, the only thing that made up for it was the fact that Bella was practically living with Jasper and I. Emmett loved it because he could go to Bella's place and be with her roommate Rosalie without any problems, which opened up his and Jake's place. Only Jake didn't have a girlfriend, so he played PS3 and drank. He was celebrating his 21st birthday for the whole year it seemed because he was attached to the bottle like an infant.
The best part of the week had to be clearing out the prop rooms with Bella. We'd started with set storage and managed to finish the left section of the under the stage storage. Bella created a tracking sheet and had recorded that first room, which was the easiest because of how big things were and how easy it was to organize. As we found things that were questionable, we called Irina and she either had us trash it, bring it to the shop for repairs, or save it.
We spent Thursday going through what was referred to as the fabric room, which had tons of sheets, blankets, and extra yards of fabric. That day Bella had rubber gloves for us as we sorted through what could be cleaned and what couldn't, taking the things that were salvageable up to the costume shop where some of the shop workers did the laundry for us. It was there that Bella and I had Alice take our measurements, and she broke the news to me.
"Edward, you're going to have to shave your legs."
"I'm sorry, I must have heard you wrong," I laughed. "It sounded like you said I'd have to shave my legs."
"Edward, you're going to be naked onstage with nothing but a thin, skin tight speedo for you to tuck your twig and berries into and some falsies that will be secured to your chest. You have to shave your legs."
"How are you attaching his boobs, is it just going to be double stick tape?" Bella asked, way too interested in my emasculation.
"No, we're actually going to go with latex boobs, so a layer of latex will be attached to the falsies and then it will be painted onto his chest, like they do for movies. The lighting will hide any imperfections so it doesn't have to be perfect." Alice responded, very sure of herself.
"So when are you getting this stuff?" I asked, hoping I could put it off for as long as possible.
"Because of Aro's stunt casting, we're trying to get the production manager to okay a larger budget, right now he's not going to give us the money, so we have to get it from Emmett after he's done doing props. And he already has a small budget on the props side. We'll have to look through it together and see what we can manage."
"Alice, Bella and I are cleaning out the prop storage for our tech credit, we'll talk to Em, get him to give us the list and we'll dig up everything we can so he only has to buy what's absolutely necessary," I said, seeing that she really was worried about this.
"Thank you! Oh my, god, you have no idea what a relief that is. I'll head down with you now so we can all discuss it."
With that, the three of us met with Emmett. He was thrilled to have the help and gave us descriptions of exactly what he wanted. My first move was to call Jasper.
"Hey Jazz, when you buy the beer this week, get Heineken. Yeah, we need the empties for the show. Thanks man."
"Well, we can cross that off the list." Bella smirked and we started breaking down the list to the different rooms.
The list was pretty basic, so hopefully we'd get 90% of it in-house and save enough for Alice to get what we needed. Friday, Bella and I met before classes and headed to the main prop room. In the two hours before our first class we organized the section that had dishes and kitchenware and found the few props we'd need from there.
After our theater history class, we were back in the prop room. This time, we focused on the list, making note of what we took so it would be counted on our sheet, and started looting. Alice texted us that the dirty clothes and purse were both things she could pull from the costume shop, so we grabbed a dishrag and an afghan from the fabric room and moved back to the search.
There were a lot of easy things: toiletries, milk bottle, ketchup bottle, that Bella and I were going to bring from home and use the empties for the show. There was an old laptop and a bag for it down there along with the duffle bags.
Bella grabbed five milk crates full of books for set dressing and I went into the bathroom and "requisitioned" some toilet paper rolls and paper towels. The list was quickly dwindling and Bella headed to her English class while I continued to dig through it. I threw a box of condoms I'd brought from home into the crate now that Bella was gone, so I didn't have to explain why they were nearly expired and not even opened. I didn't need her to know that after the Jessica Stanley fiasco I'd stopped dating in the department and was far too busy to find someone outside of it.
I found two cellphones as well as the house phone with the answering machine for Act Two along with the other electronics. Somehow, we were very close to our prop list being complete and we hadn't spent a dime. I knew I had an expired passport at home, so I'd bring that in tomorrow and give it to Emmett during one of our breaks.
With everything loaded onto the cart, I walked down to the elevator and rode up to the scene shop to present my loot to Emmett. When he walked in, Laurent and Irina were there so I laid everything out for Emmett to look over.
"Dude, this looks awesome! All we need are the cigarettes, rolling paper for the joints, a zippo, the snow globe and pill bottles."
"Let me handle the snow globe and pill bottles," Bella said as she walked in.
"What do you mean?" Laurent looked at her as she threw a brown paper bag at Emmett, who opened it and scoffed.
"Shit, there are a ton of pill bottles and cough syrup bottles in here. What did you do, rob a pharmacy?"
"No, I went in and explained that it was for a show and we didn't have a huge budget because it was a college so the pharmacist filled up the bag. And the snow globe I can get from the guy outside the ferry, he sells them for like $2.00. Which reminds me..."
Bella reached into her pocket and handed Emmett $80. "Bella, where did that come from?" Laurent asked.
"Aro said he wanted us to smoke in rehearsal and I told him the cigarettes were expensive, so he gave that to me and said 'problem solved.'"
"I fucking love you, Bella," Emmett said, a huge smile lighting up his face. He swept her up in his arms and swung her around.
After that, he called Alice and told her that he was buying the cigarettes and paraphernalia and would give her the cash tomorrow.
Rehearsal that night was long, but we were finally starting to do better as we ran our lines, so Aro announced that he would like up to be off book by Wednesday. For Jake, that wasn't a problem, but I knew I'd have a work to get there.
As it was Friday, we met up with some of the actors from the show that just opened on the mainstage and went to Newton's place for the cast party he was throwing.
There was a ton of booze and music, which I had a feeling would hurt me by the end of the night. Bella was dancing with Angela, Alice, and Rosalie when I went to get another beer, so I was surprised to see that she was gone a few minutes later. I looked at Angela and she mouthed 'Jess' before pointing to the door to the apartment.
I went out the door and saw Jessica walking up from the first floor. I stalked over to her and she smiled at me…like I'd go near her again.
"I don't know, all I did was slip her a condom in case you finally decided to make a move. You've been marking your territory since we broke up."
"Did you say something to her?" I was starting to get pissed that she was messing with my life again.
"Nope, just told her she may need it. I'll let you pull the trigger on that." And with that parting shot, she reentered the party.
I ran down to the first floor, just in case Jessica was lying about having a more involved conversation with Bella, but I couldn't see her anywhere so I decided to head for the roof. After scaling the three flights of stairs, I opened the door to the roof and looked around wildly.
I could hear someone making out behind me so I decided to turn without looking, that is, until I heard her voice.
I spun around to see Bella pressed into the brick wall while Newton sucked on her neck, his dick grinding into her stomach. I may have snapped a little. I pulled Mike off Bella and slammed him against the wall.
"Did he hurt you?" I asked her, staring at him the entire time.
"No, Edward, I'm sor-"
"If you tell anyone about this, I will make you wish you never threw this party."
He nodded and I finally looked over at Bella. She was barely holding in her tears. "Can we go?"
"Sure," I took her hand and we headed downstairs.
We just made the bus when Bella whispered, "Take me home."
"We'll be at my place in fifteen minutes."
"No," she shook her head, "I want to go home, please. I want to sleep in my own bed."
"Okay, when's the last ferry?"
"1:35am." Bella said as she started texting Rosalie.
"We'll make it. Are you sure you're okay?" She looked up at me and the tears had begun to fall again.
"It's just something Jessica said…" She trailed off so I pushed a little.
"What did Jessica say?"
"That you were talking about wanting to bang me," she whispered.
"What? No, Bella I would never do that to you. You're my best friend."
She sniffled again and then whispered, "Thanks."
The fact that Jessica and Mike had double-teamed Bella against me really pissed me off. Before Jessica had gone public with her relationship with Mike during our first year as BFA's, I'd made the mistake of getting drunk and hooking up with her only to have Mike come up and accuse me of breaking them up. Then Jessica dumped him for me and I told her I wasn't interested in someone who could do that, so she was without both of us. That started the vicious cycle of her sleeping with whomever she could. But Bella didn't deserve to get pulled into this because Mike wanted her and she was important to me.
We were silent for most of the ferry ride and I finally got her into the apartment. I pulled off my jeans and sat them on my shoes, getting ready to sleep on the couch when she came out to find me.
"Will you sleep in my room?"
I blinked at her and then nodded, following her into her bedroom. While I hadn't expected her to ask me that, when she climbed into bed and I pulled her to me, I was happy to feel her relax into me as she fell asleep.
The next morning, I woke up to breakfast and a smiling Bella. "We should head in; it takes a while on weekends."
I nodded and two hours later we were at the theater. Angela had Eric sweeping and Jake hadn't shown up yet, so the girls walked away to talk, presumably about our disappearance last night. The six hour rehearsal began and when we're on our last break five hours later, Alice was waiting for us.
"I seriously love you guys; we should have enough money to get everything we need shopping tomorrow." She beamed.
"So we're meeting up at 11am, right?" Bella asked, getting her answer from a near giddy Alice.
"Edward, I'm sorry, but you're going to have to tough it out, because you need to get stuff at almost every store we're going to. I promise it'll be worth your time." Alice giggled and then ran away, leaving Bella and I to go and finish our rehearsal.
When rehearsal ended, Bella ran to catch the ferry, so I moved slowly, watching Angela get her things together. I could tell by the looks she'd shooting me all day that she wanted to talk to me, so I helped her put the room back the way we found it and then walked her out of the building.
"What's up, Ang?"
"For a brilliant boy, you're pretty fucking thick." She smiled sweetly, like it would lessen the blow. I just glared at her and she sighed, jerking her head in the direction of the Chinese restaurant across from the school's side gate. After placing our orders, we sat down and I waited for Angela to elaborate, but she didn't.
"Care to explain that comment?"
"I know what happened last night," she stated plainly.
"So you know that Mike's a prick and Jess is a bitch-"
"No, I mean that you almost threw Mike off the roof for kissing Bella and then had the balls to tell her that you'd never sleep with her. You like her, it is glaringly obvious, but the longer you dance around it, the more chance of someone swooping in and taking that amazing girl away from you."
"What are you talking about? I never-" I stopped short, remembering our conversation and what Bella had obviously misunderstood. "What I meant last night was that I'd never just screw her. If I ever made a move on Bella, it would be more than a one night thing…she's worth more than one night."
The lady behind the counter yelled out to get our attention, so I jumped up to get our food and sat back down at the table with her.
"Do you really think Bella would ever go out with me?" I asked as Angela opened up a few packets of duck sauce.
"I think she was upset enough by the ideas put into her head to let Mike paw on her when she tolerates him on her best days. Talk to her, Edward."
"Thanks, Ma," I joked, watching Angela's eyes twinkle when I called her by that nickname. A stage manager fills many roles outside of their job, therapist, mother, negotiator…and she was the best I'd ever worked with.
"If I was your mother, then that means that I'd have gotten a chance with that dreamboat, Carlisle, so I can't complain about that."
I choked on my soda, "Angela, can you not talk about my dad that way."
"I'll just have to take my crack at him when he comes to see the show."
"Oh God," I hadn't told them to not come out for this show, "They're going to come see me have sex with Bella while we're both in drag. Son of a bitch!"
"I won't tell Esme you said that." Angela smirked and then ran up to pay the seven dollars for our meal before I could stop her.
"Why did you do that?" I asked her as we walked to the bus stop.
"Because, I was giving you hell, the least I could do was buy. You'll get me next time?" She smiled as she stuck out her hand to hail a cab.
"Absolutely," I called back as she climbed into car that had just stopped in front of her and headed home.
My bus arrived a few minutes later, and as I got on my mind was reeling from Angela's talk. Was it that obvious to everyone but me? Did Bella know and just not tell Angela? Part of me desperately hoped so, while the other prayed she didn't because how would she feel if she thought I liked her but never made a move. Could I make a move? She was my castmate and best friend. What if she didn't want to be with me? That thought was like a sucker punch to the gut.
I unlocked my front door a little while later, still mulling over all the possibilities and headed upstairs to the apartment. Grabbing my script from my bag, I headed for my bedroom to relax and work on my memorization.
I was trying to get comfortable when I pulled on the offending pillow and noticed it was Bella's. It had never seemed odd that there was a pillow here that was by default hers, because she slept here enough. But as I settled back onto it and was enveloped by her scent, I was dumbfounded. How could there have ever been a doubt?
I loved her.
I was getting ready to give up on running lines for the night when Bella texted me.
Alice called, we're meeting her at Target, they open at 10am.
I looked at the message and texted her back.
Want to grab breakfast first?
Her response was pretty quick.
Can't I'm coming from Forks, Charlie dropped a bombshell on me tonight.
I wish I'd known she was driving out to Forks, I would have gone with her so that she didn't have to make the trip alone.
Oh yeah? How's Forks' Finest?
Another moment and another text.
Engaged, and not too pleased about the show, but then again, he's not a fan of thinking about me and sex in general.
What father would be, tell him I said congrats. Night Bella. I fired back.
Night Edward, catch you in the AM.
And with that, I decided to work on my lines some more, Bella's sweet scent helping to keep me focused.