Hello lovelies! Here's another short update :-) Better than nothing, right? Yes! Haha. Thank you all for being so amazing. I'm seriously blown away by your love and support of TD. There are no words to describe my love for you all. You're all champions of the Assward! Just a couple of things, I swear.

-Happy belated birthday to MissThespian! (I couldn't get this done in time for your birthday so consider it a belated one.)

-Everyone thank myheroin1 for sucking me into doing her bidding by requesting this as a Christmas present.

-I know chapters are short, but I'm trying my best to build things up. Things will get wrapped up in time but I'm a fan of the journey and not the destination. Who else is with me? :D

-Andddd (sigh) I might be off on my weeks/days a little with where this is landing. Sooooo... let's ignore that. My brain is fried. Just go with me here.

Anyway, ENJOY! And thank you for being the best!

Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight.


I could count on two hands the things that I hate.

Rude people.

The word "diarrhea."

Actual diarrhea.

Thongs.

Skinny jeans on men.

Anchovies.

And, like most women who tended to be single all the fucking time, Valentine's Day.

Guh.

Fuck. Me.

The problem with hating Valentine's Day is that it's fine when you have someone else in your life who hates it. My person had been Angela. Me and Ang rallied in our hate of the color pink, balloons, overpriced flowers, and chocolates that made my skin break out. For years, we'd spend the night at one of our place's to watch scary movies and scarf down take-out from an overpriced restaurant. Angela was my boyfriend, my girlfriend, my best friend.

And now the bitch had a boyfriend.

And that bitch suddenly had plans for Valentine's Day.

I was happy for her. Truly, genuinely happy that she was dating someone who thought her eccentricities were cute—she liked putting ketchup on her sandwiches—and was just a nice guy. If anyone deserved to be in a happy relationship, it was her.

My problem was that now I had no one. Not really. Where we'd spend three or four days out of the week together, I now only saw her maybe once. If I was really lucky, twice. But that was it. So I didn't even bother asking her what we were doing on the Day of the Damned.

I'd donned my usual black: a black dress that hit me right below the knee and looked like something I could wear to a funeral.

When I got to work that morning, Mr. Cullen came in and raised an eyebrow at me. I'm sure I had a face that looked like I was constipated, and I was slumped over the keyboard.

"Good morning, Isabella," he greeted right in front of my desk. He had his briefcase tucked under his armpit, the opposite hand was busy with his cellphone clutched in it.

"Morning, Mr. Cullen." Yep, I definitely sounded sullen.

But I was paying enough attention to realize that his lips started twitching. "Having a bad morning?"

I grunted. "No." I was kind of being a bitch and it wasn't the poor man's fault. "Thank you for asking though."

His eyes swept across my desk leisurely. Mr. Cullen took two steps forward before pausing again. "Is your car working fine?"

In my one-day-a-week date with Ang, she'd taken me to pick up my car after work from the mechanic. After an astronomical bill that was well into the nearly two thousand dollar range, I'd gagged but thanked God that I'd gotten a scholarship for school so I could afford it. Otherwise...I didn't even want to think about it.

"Yes, fortunately." Repressing my inner grump that was angry at the world in general, I smiled at him. "Thanks again for all my rides."

I didn't know where Mr. Cullen lived but I sure as heck knew it wasn't on my side of town. He had to have been going out of his way to pick me up and drop me off for more than a week, and I was extremely, ridiculously grateful.

He shrugged at me, the corners of his mouth tilt up in that familiar way that I'd grown accustomed to. Six steps later, he'd disappeared into his office and I had to get up to get his coffee. Despite the fact that I wasn't in the most awesome mood—I was still being a bitter bitch—I welcomed the pile of work that was waiting in my inbox.

It was one of those days where I only managed to take a thirty minute lunch in the break room, watching as Mr. Cullen made his way in and out of the office three times to attend meetings that I was spared from. On his second trip back in at a little after three in the afternoon, I was focused in on a graphic I was putting together for a presentation of his, when he paused.

"Do you have any plans for tonight?" he asked me casually. It was the middle of the week, so I knew it wasn't like it was Friday and there might be a possibility that I had something going on.

I grunted again, sliding my eyes over in his direction. "Not anymore." I looked at him, taking in the slim cut of his three-piece suit. All matte black lines on top of more black. Being a man that was always dressed up, I don't know why I thought for a split second that he looked nicer than usual. "And you?"

Mr. Cullen looked at me for a long moment. Those emerald green eyes were calculating before he spoke. "No. This is a commercialized holiday. I'm annoyed with all the flowers and balloons I've seen throughout the office. All the pink and the red makes me nauseous." He said the words so crisply, I knew he was being completely honest.

What did I do? I snickered, and then laughed. "I completely agree with you." And in a bout of insanity, I pointed at my black ensemble. "Which is why I'm wearing black today."

His lips twitched again but this time their movement was more fluid. He was fighting the smile but losing it slowly. Mr. Cullen stood there in that thick, silent fog before saying, "I need that presentation before you leave."

O-kay.

The next two and a half hours went by fast, fortunately. I'd just emailed Mr. Cullen the folder with notes and the presentation I'd created for the next day, when I heard the door swing open. I knew Mr. Cullen was still in a meeting. He'd told me he'd be gone the rest of the day after he'd left for the very last meeting.

Rounding the corner was a man in a pale brown shirt and matching pants.

And he was holding a vase of purple and white flowers.

I don't know why my first thought was, Holy shit, the psycho sent Mr. Cullen flowers for Valentine's Day.

Really, I have no idea why that's what I assumed. But the man smiled at me, hitching the large collection of lilies, carnations, mums, and something purple that looked really neat.

"Ms. Bella Swan?" he asked, arms outstretched to plant the bouquet on the edge of my desk.

I flashed him a surprised smile. "Yes?"

The man set the flowers down, and then handed me a tablet to sign on. I signed my name but kept glancing at the bouquet out of the corner of my eye.

"Happy Valentine's Day," the man called out before leaving.

Uhhh.

I knew Angela hadn't sent them to me. Ang was too cheap to send flowers on Valentine's Day. And my parents... please.

There was a neat little white envelope tucked between the flowers that I plucked out. A small lavender purple card was inside.

Bella,

Every girl deserves flowers on Valentine's Day.

Lunch soon!

Regards,

Esme Cullen

There were a couple things that hit me at once.

Esme Cullen was a sweet lady.

My boss had a big mouth. A huge mouth.

But for all of his hate for the holiday, his intentions had been...God. I couldn't even think about it.

Mr. Cullen had a huge mouth. I'd leave my thought there.

And for the first time since elementary school where teachers forced all of the kids to give everyone cards or candy for this stupid day, I smiled.


And my dog puked on my hand while I was rereading this to post. Did I need to share that? Yes.

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate and to those who don't, enjoy your days off from work! xoxo -M