Hi! I'm a few days late but I couldn't get this right. Also, if you caught the boo-boo on the last chapter with the dates... that was an accident. I was paste-and-copying the headers because I'm lazy and missed a couple. The dates should have all been March 15th.

Anyway, enjoy the chapter! Thanks everyone for being so awesome!

Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight but the rest of this is allll mine.


Of course it happened the next day.

I was in the middle of preparing an expenditure report for Jasper when the shadow came over my desk.

"Good morning, Bella."

I froze. For a split second, with a Kit-Kat halfway hanging out of my mouth like a cigarette and my fingers in mid-air over the keyboard, I froze in place, recognizing the person speaking. Now, so that it's known, I rarely ate at my desk. I had snacks, sure. But I usually managed to wait until lunch to eat.

That one time I was in the middle of snacking… Mrs. Cullen would show up. A board member's wife. Partial majority owner of the company.

Thank you, fate, you spiteful bitch.

There was no use in trying to be all coy or pretend like I didn't have chocolate in my mouth. I reminded myself that Mrs. Cullen was all those other things and more. She was also my friend's mom. My friend. Edward. The title didn't seem to bear the weight that it had before.

And so if was with that thought that a smile came over my face as I spun my chair around to face my visitor. Kit-Kat still dangling from my mouth.

"Hi, Mrs. Cullen. How are you?" I asked her, pulling the chocolate out as gracefully as possible to settle it on the napkin I had laid out on my lap.

"I'm doing well, thank you for asking," she responded, eyeing the red packet on my desk. "Oh my, I haven't had one of those since Edward was a boy and wouldn't finish them."

I laughed, sharp and natural. This lady was as subtle as a rhino. I grabbed the package and held it out toward her. "Here, have two."

Maybe a part of me wasn't really expecting her to take two but she did, biting into the first with a dainty bite followed by a soft sigh. "That was better than I remember," she said… right before she stuck the remaining bar into her mouth.

I stuffed the rest of the one I'd been eating into my trap too, taking advantage of her doing the same. We smiled at each other once we were done, Mrs. Cullen licking her fingertips after glancing around a moment. I handed her a napkin from my drawer.

"Are you visiting Edward?" I asked.

If she caught onto the fact that I called him by his first name instead of his last, she didn't say a word and I was too distracted to notice that I'd done so. "I came by to see Whitlock, actually; I have a little present for Alice and the baby." She made a casual, serene face. "I haven't heard from Edward today but I'll stop by and see if he's in."

It was a trap. A total trap and I fell for it like an idiot. Later on I'd realize she set the bait on purpose but then, I didn't. "He just emailed-"

Fuck.

Shit.

Fuck. Shit.

My face went hot. "He's... in."

Mrs. Cullen smiled, slow and sneaky and like a pleased fox. "Great." Her smiled pulled wider. "You know, we're having a get together for Carlisle's birthday in two weeks. You have to come. "

Nerves pooled in my stomach. "I think I might-"

She gave me this smile that had 'mom' written all over it, patting my shoulder. "I won't take a no. Listen, I'll have Edward give you the details. It's just a small dinner we have, nothing worth a proper invitation." She took a step back on heels that would have had me tipping over. "Two Saturdays from now, Bella. Thank you for the candy!"

And she was gone. Just like that.

Five-foot-eight inches of perfectly coiffed hair and robin's egg blue suit, gone.

Three feet behind where she had stood sat Jessica, watching. Lord. I waved at her. "Hi."

She turned around like I thought she would.

Slowly, I spun back toward my computer and eyed the last Kit-Kat in the packaging. Shoving half of it into my mouth, I pulled up my email.

From: Swan, Isabella

Dated: March 17, 2012 10:48 EST

Subject: Surprise Visitor

E.C.,

Your mom just scared the crap out of me. We shared a Kit-Kat, and she invited me over to her house (your house?) for your dad's birthday.

..I hope you aren't mad but I called you by your first name in front of her and accidentally let her know we've been emailing.

-Isabella

Isabella Swan

Corporate Purchasing Department, Masen Super Markets Inc.

555-555-5878


From: Cullen, Edward

Dated: March 17, 2012 10:50 EST

Subject: Ambushed

Bella,

That wasn't a surprise visit. I'm sure she's been planning it since yesterday. I'm also not surprised you're invited over for his birthday, which reminds me I need to buy him something. Thank you for that.

You know I don't live with my parents, correct?

Also, why would I be mad that she knows we're friends?

-Edward

Edward Cullen

Chief Financial Officer, Masen Super Markets Inc.

555-555-5665


From: Swan, Isabella

Dated: March 17, 2012 10:57 EST

Subject: A pleasant ambush

Edward,

What are you getting your dad? What should I get your dad? I'm sure he has everything, so...

I figured you probably didn't live with them but I wasn't positive. Maybe you three live in some estate outside of the city. If my parents did, I would.

I'm sorry if I made it seem like I thought I was your dirty little secret. I know we're friends but I wasn't sure if you'd want them to know or not. You're a private guy. :)

-Bella

Isabella Swan

Corporate Purchasing Department, Masen Super Markets Inc.

555-555-5878


From: Cullen, Edward

Dated: March 17, 2012 12:10 EST

Subject: Re: A pleasant ambush

Bella,

I was thinking about getting him a yacht for his birthday. He's always wanted one. Let me think about what you could get him, and I'll get back to you.

For the record, I haven't lived with my parents since I was eighteen. I had to wait until I was old enough to legally live on my own to move out. They still live in the house we had when I was a kid, and it is outside the city limits.

I'm glad to hear that you don't consider yourself my dirty secret. You're not. I think everyone-my parents and Jasper-are more than likely relieved to know that I have another friend. Her exact words were: "That Bella is too cute."

Speaking of cute, I have a joke for you.

A guy at the bar: Hey girl, are you made of Copper and Tellurium? Because you are CuTe.

-Edward

Edward Cullen

Chief Financial Officer, Masen Super Markets Inc.

555-555-5665


From: Swan, Isabella

Dated: March 17, 2012 12:38 EST

Subject: Re: Re: A pleasant ambush

Edward,

A yacht. You're messing with me again, aren't you?

Excuse me, Doogie Howser. I forget you graduated high school when you were still in diapers.

I'm pleased to hear your mom thinks I'm cute.

As far as your joke…. I don't know what to say to you. I'll give you a better one:

Person One: Tell me a Potassium joke.

Person Two: K

That's how you do it.

-Bella

Isabella Swan

Corporate Purchasing Department, Masen Super Markets Inc.

555-555-5878


From: Cullen, Edward

Dated: March 17, 2012 12:59 EST

Subject: Re: Re: Re: A pleasant ambush

Bella,

Yes, I was joking with you. He can buy his own yacht if he wants. I'm considering renting a boat to take him offshore fishing for the day, honestly.

What's a Doogie Howser?

Since you didn't like my other joke, I have one that I think you'd appreciate.

What do you do to a dead chemist?

Barium.

It's a good one if I do say so myself.

-Edward

Edward Cullen

Chief Financial Officer, Masen Super Markets Inc.

555-555-5665


There's a reason for all the emails. I promise. I know you guys trust me, but I want to make sure everyone is aware of the fact that I'm not trying to write for the sake of writing to fill up space. I'm trying to move the story along at a natural pace :-)

xo

Mariana

www dot facebook dot com slash marianazapatawrites

www dot twitter dot com slash marianazapata_