Disclaimer: These are not my characters, as you might have noticed. I'm just playing in SM's backyard with her fuckawesome toys.
"Thanks so much for this. You have no idea how much you're saving my life."
I smiled at the new girl. She was a genuine type. Pleasant enough to be around, which made my job all the easier. Since I'd handed in my resignation, almost two weeks ago, I'd suggested her as a new hire at the request of my boyfriend. She was smart enough - not that my job was rocket science.
We worked in the admissions building at the local University. At the information desk to be exact. It was a glorified way of saying we directed Freshman and visitors where to go, as well as maintaining Professor requests. Like I said, easy peasy stuff, but you wouldn't believe the number of people who couldn't hack this job. But it paid well enough, and it had its perks.
Rich, pleasant laughter reached my ears, and I turned. Speaking of perks...
"Who are they?"
I grinned at the new girl, leaning in and speaking low. One of the best things about my job - her job now - was that I got to know or at least come in contact with pretty much everyone on the campus. "Professor Whitlock teaches history, and Professor Cullen teaches English. They are easily the most attractive Professors on the campus." I frowned and sighed. "But they're also very unavailable. Professor Whitlock has a long term girlfriend."
"And Professor Cullen?"
I grimaced. Professor Cullen's perpetually single but perpetually disinterested status had me beyond vexed, and I wasn't the only one. "Professor Cullen is... a tough nut to crack," I said finally, hoping my voice wasn't as sad as I thought it might be.
To say I had a little crush on man was putting it far too mildly. I was infatuated. Beyond infatuated, actually. In fact, it'd taken me some soul searching to figure it out, but my unconscious wish to keep myself available for the Professor was what kept me from accepting my boyfriend's proposal for shamefully long. Jake didn't deserve that. He was a nice man. A good man. I loved him.
Which was why I was quitting my job here. I'd finally said yes. We were getting married and moving on - away from the influence of Professor Edward Cullen.
"Hmm," the new girl hummed. She shrugged. "Oh, well. Maybe he's gay," she said dismissively.
I wanted to snicker but held myself back. She was trying not to be affected, but who could help it? Both men were gorgeous, charming, and way too intelligent for anyone's good. She'd only seen the gorgeous part of the trifecta. It would only be a matter of time before she got to know them a little better.
If she thought I didn't notice the way she glanced up so casually, her eyes following the pair across the mezzanine to the little cafe in the corner, she was greatly mistaken.
A few hours before my shift ended, pretty much every employee in the building flooded the downstairs. Suddenly, there was a huge cake resting on my booth.
A farewell party.
I'll admit, I cried a little bit.
I was chatting with Professor Masen when a shiver went down my spine. Not a split second later there was the low, smooth tone of Professor Cullen's voice rumbling in my ear. "Congratulations."
My breath caught. I turned slowly to give myself time to put on my most beatific smile. "Why thank you, Professor."
Edward made small talk while I pretended I wasn't as thrilled as a fangirl who's just run into her celebrity crush. Then, as if the interaction weren't delicious enough, he leaned even closer. "So tell me..." He began, his voice conspiratorial.
My heart began to pound. After years of my pining, was he really about to make a move the very day I left to marry my long suffering boyfriend? "Yes?" I squeaked.
"The new girl...your replacement. What's her name?"
I stared at him, blinking dumbly. I felt a rush of indignation. It'd taken him a year to learn my name. Not that we saw each other that often - I usually only saw him as he crossed to the cafe - but still! He'd never sought my name out. "Um," I began, unreasonably jealous of the new girl, but then she appeared by my side.
"Hey. Let me help you take your things out to the car," she said, smiling at me in that friendly way of hers. I sighed to myself because I knew I could never hate her. It was a bad idea to dislike her anyway. She was one of Jake's favorite people.
Just as she picked up the box, Professor Cullen snapped into action. "No, I got it. I was just about to offer, actually." He grinned what could only be described as a panty melting smile at her.
Somehow, I resisted the urge to pout. He'd never looked at me that way.
And he was such a liar. He hadn't even thought of helping me before she showed up. Fucking showoff.
He looked at me somewhat expectantly, his eyes flicking back at her.
Oh, right. I cleared my throat, reminding myself that I had a wonderful boyfriend waiting for me at home. I could probably get him to give me a foot massage tonight. "Bella, this is Professor Edward Cullen. Professor, this is Bella Swan, my replacement."
They shook hands, and I could tell Bella was trying not to be as charmed as she was. Good luck with that, sister.
When he was finally able to tear his gaze away, Edward looked over at me, hoisting the box of my things into his arms. "Come on, Tanya. I'll walk you to your car."
A/N: This fic will consist of 15-20 very short chapters. I will be posting daily. Each chapter will be from a different person's PoV but this is an E/B story, so we'll see how that goes.
Thank you to bmango for the idea. She wrote a voyeuristic drabble that sparked this in my head.
Thank you to CellaCullen for helping me plot and inspiring me. ;) You're a force of nature, baby.
Thank you to my team, my beautiful girls, for putting up with yet another of my fics - jfka06, barburella, and jadedandboring.
So. Preliminary thoughts?