"Bella," Carlisle nods as I walk into his office. It's hard to believe I was just here in this same situation only two days ago. It feels like so much more time has passed. "Have a seat."
Nervously, I clutch the file I'm holding in my hand, and I sit down. Fuck, I'm still sore. And even though I'm a nervous wreck, I can't help but smile as I think about why. Squeezing my legs together gently, I try to compose myself.
"How are you feeling?" he asks. "I heard you were sick yesterday."
"Ummm…yeah," I begin. "I'm sorry about that – about calling out. I was…well, I think I had food poisoning."
He looks at me speculatively. All I can think about is what Edward said about being able to read me, and I wonder if he knows I'm lying. I get the distinct impression that he does, but he doesn't seem upset.
Just as I'm about to speak, there's a soft knock at the door.
"Edward." Carlisle smiles. "Come in. Bella just got here."
"Thank you, sir."
Edward sits down in the chair next to me, and I have to force myself not to look at him. Which is basically impossible. You know, because he's gorgeous…and he fucked me senseless last night. Oh, and he told me he wants to be with me. Out of the closet or whatever.
So, I look at him. And when I do, he looks down. Fucking smiling, and maybe even blushing a little. And I die…again. Because this is a side of Edward I've never really seen.
And I love it.
"Edward, what's on your mind?" Carlisle asks. "I can't imagine what's so important, that you needed to meet with me," he looks at me, his expression still unreadable, "and Bella today."
Clearing his throat, Edward begins. "Carlisle. I need to…well, we," he looks at me, "we need to speak with you…about something."
I look at him, panicked, my eyes wide, and completely unable to breathe.
What the fuck is he doing?
No, really. What the actual fuck does he think he's doing?
I look over at him, begging him with my eyes – pleading with him – to not do what I think he's about to do. This is it. He is going to ruin my career right now. And there's nothing I can do to stop him. He just smiles at me. And while that should serve to comfort me, it only pisses me off. Because honestly, who the fuck does he think he is to just…to just do this? Without talking to me first. Without even asking me.
Ignoring me completely, he looks back to Carlisle.
"Bella and I can't continue working together," he says.
And even though I just said the same thing to him this morning, his words sound foreign and unfamiliar. Like this is a dream…or a fucking nightmare.
"I know that the two of you are…highly independent," Carlisle says. "But I really need you both to be team players here. You're going to have to work through whatever…issues…" he says, almost knowingly, "that you have…and be productive. Together."
"Together," Edward repeats. "Yeah…see? That's kind of the issue."
"And what's that?" Carlisle asks.
"Ummm…well…" Edward stammers, and I can't even look up. I'm looking at my lap like it's the most interesting goddamn thing in the world. Even Edward would blush at the words I'm screaming in my mind. And he has a dirty fucking mouth. "We've sort of been…"
Oh, my fucking god.
I want to die. I may very well die right here in this chair. Cause of death – absolute mortification.
"Sort of been…what?" Carlisle asks. "Spit it out, Edward. If there's a viable reason for your inability to work together, I'd like to know what that is."
I look over to Edward. I don't want to, mind you. I want to stab him in the eye with the pen I'm holding. But I'm hoping that there's some way to salvage this train wreck – this colossal fucking disaster – he's getting ready to bring about.
He looks at Carlisle.
Then back to me.
Then back to Carlisle.
I'm certain I'm not breathing. But that's the only thing I'm certain of in this moment.
"I'm in love with Bella," he blurts out.
Only, apparently, I do still have breath. Because all of it fucking leaks out of me when I whisper, "What?"
"Shit," he exclaims, looking at me. "I'm sorry. I'm so fucking sorry. I didn't mean to blurt it out like that. Here. In front of him," he says, looking over at Carlisle. "But it's true. It's true, Bella. I love you. I've loved you since the first day in the closet. Hell, I think I loved you before that."
"This?" I hiss. "This is your plan? Are you crazy?"
He's smiling, and for the life of me, I can't imagine why.
"I just told you I love you, Bella," he says.
"You also just told our boss that you fucked me in a closet!"
His eyes widen, as my hands shoot up and cover my mouth.
This isn't happening.
This can't be happening.
"No," he says, still smiling. Fucking grinning. Whatever. "You just told our boss that we fucked in a closet. I told you that I love you. I love you, Bella. I'm in love with you."
I can't process any of this. It's too surreal. It's so surreal, I'm certain that I'm going to wake up at any moment.
The sound of laughter fills the room. Only it's not mine. It's not Edward's, either. I look up, and Carlisle is laughing. Seriously. He's laughing his ass off. Only none of this is funny. This is mortifying. And also further proof that this has to be a dream.
"It's about time," Carlisle states matter-of-factly. "I was beginning to think you'd never come clean. And I was worried I was going to have to fire you. Both of you. And then I would never have heard the end of it from your Aunt Esme."
"You knew?" Edward asks. "You knew about us?"
"Of course I knew, Edward," he says dismissively. Still laughing. "And Bella…"
He looks at me expectantly. I try to meet his eyes. When I finally do, they're smiling just like him.
"Yes, sir?" I say meekly.
"It never takes thirty minutes to get paper and staples," he says, standing up. "Just for…you know…future reference and whatnot."
If I thought I wasn't too sore, I would crawl under the desk right now. And vomit in the trashcan. Repeatedly.
He walks around the desk, and looks at Edward – at least I think he does. I'm pretty busy trying to think of ways to kill myself with this ink pen.
"Thank you for being honest with me, Edward," he says. "You're right. You can't continue to work alongside her. I'll reassign someone else to work with her starting tomorrow. Now, I'm just going to give you both a few minutes."
And with that, he walks out of his office. I'm pretty sure I can still hear him laughing down the hall.
I sit here, fuming. I know if I speak, I'm likely to scream.
I do it anyway.
"He's your uncle?" I shriek. "Your uncle?"
"Is that the part you're focused on?" he asks. "Really, Bella?"
He reaches out to take my hands, but I jerk mine back.
"What part should I be focused on, Edward?"
Ignoring me, he stands up, reaching out and pulling me up with him. I don't look at him – I can't. But I'm still so horrified all I can do is bury my face in his chest.
"You could…" he whispers, "I don't know. You could focus on the fact that I told you I love you."
He wraps his arms around me, and I let him. And somewhere inside his arms, his words start to sink in. Like, really sink in.
He loves me?
"You…you really love me?" I murmur against his chest.
"Fuck yeah, I do," he says, forcing my chin up with his hand, and making me look him in the eye.
He lowers his head to kiss me. I let him. It's sweet and soft, but it starts to build. And I still feel like I'm dreaming. But this dream is so much better. This dream is fucking perfect.
"And what about you?" he asks, pulling back.
I smile, too happy to contain everything I'm feeling inside.
"I…I…" I stammer. "I think you're really neat."
I bite my lip, trying not to laugh. It's impossible. But he laughs along with me…and I fucking know. It's the same for me. Maybe since the closet…maybe before. But none of that matters when we're both standing here right now…feeling the same thing.
"You love me," he says softly.
"I love your cock."
"Yeah?" he asks. "Well my cock loves you, too."
He pulls me even closer.
"You love me," he repeats.
"Fuck yeah, I do."
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Thank you for the wonderful response to this little fic today. I had a great time writing it. And it makes me so happy to know that you all enjoyed reading it.
Marvar is the love of my life. Seriously. If she jumped off a cliff, I would totally go to Italy and ask some creepy, crazy family to kill me. Of course, she would totally have to come save me because at the end of the day, out of the two of us, she is the most capable and amazing one. She takes time out of her own personal life to edit for me. A lot. And I am truly grateful to call her my friend and soulmate.
I have the most AMAZING pre-readers ever! Like EVER! They make doing this fun. And their feedback always makes me happy and excited to write the next chapter. Jaimearkin, Kourt17, Laura_1025 and Raina…I totally want to make out with all of you in a meadow of lilac flowers. And talk about how you're my heroin and shit. (That sounds like it would be a good scene in a book. J/S) Thank you for being wonderful.
See you all when I decide to write something else. You know, whatever floats through my pervtastic brain. As always, I love each and every reader. Thanks for the reviews, the comments and the tweets. You guys are the reason I do this. You make it fun.