A/N: Thank you to my beta, Breath-of-twilight, for checking for errors as always. Been wicked sick with the plants and trees having sex isn't helping ;) Definitely trying to get this updated as soon as I can, so don't flounce on me yet. Thank you to all of you who read this. Not much is going to happen in this chapter, but there is a little something in there for those of you can find it. It's going to make an interesting turn of events later on.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Stephanie Meyer is a goddess and she owns everything. No copyright infringement intended.
I walk into my studio apartment and drop into the first chair I come to. I have so much on my mind after last night and I can't seem to get Edward out of the majority of it.
Yesterday, I was ready to swear off men completely, pissed that I was doomed to be an old maid at such a young age.
I am totally exhausted, ready to shower and climb in bed. Part of me doesn't want to wash away the scent of Edward on my clothes, but the more dominant part just wants to relax and eat my cold dinner.
My studio is so quiet and I am feeling a little lonely. I plug my iPod into the docking station and turn up the volume on the speakers so loud that I may get complaints from my neighbors.
I walk into my bathroom, and soon I am surrounded by steam and the vanilla scent of my bath soap. My muscles ache, and I can't believe how crazy the sex was that I had last night. Crazy, hot sex with a much older man, just thinking about him makes my skin warm.
I've never been with someone that made my body feel quite the way that he made me feel. I am just getting lost thinking about how I can't wait to see him again when I hear my phone ring in the other room. Not like my apartment is that big, but it definitely takes me a minute to get out of the shower to answer it.
"Where the hell have you been, bitch? I've been trying to get a hold of you since I left you in that bar."
"I'm so sorry, Alice. My battery died in my phone and I forgot to charge it until this morning," I say as I cringe. I hate blatantly lying, especially to Alice. She's been with me since high school, when I was a shy little wall flower.
I don't know why I don't want to tell Alice about Edward. I'm not ashamed of our age difference, that's not it. I'm really afraid that if I don't keep this little secret for myself that I'll somehow jinx it; whatever "it" is.
"Well, if that's all. I've actually been pretty concerned about you. I just kept thinking of you by yourself, and lonely, on the happy couple's holiday. Did you meet anyone interesting last night?"
"Umm, yeah, I guess. Just a couple other singles having a drink. Nothing special."
"Yeah, why do you ask?"
"No reason. You just sound funny, like you're guilty of something. I don't know. I've known you for so long, Bella. I just want you to be happy."
"You don't need to worry about me, Alice. I'll be okay, promise. How was your evening?"
"It was so wonderful. Jasper really outdid himself this time. He's been learning to cook, Bella; can you believe it? When I left you last night and headed home, I totally thought he was going to take me out. As soon as I walked in the door, he had the whole apartment decorated and the table set. I was so shocked."
"That's great Alice. Really, that is so sweet of him to do. God, most men wouldn't even think of doing something like that for their significant other."
"I know, right? But checking on you wasn't the only reason I called. I got a call today from the Denali group this morning. They were calling to see if I was available to decorate a new house that one of the owner's is buying. They want the house completed in a little over a month, and there's no possible way that I can do it without any help. I was wondering if you'd be willing to come and work with me for the time being until you found another job?"
Shit, that's right, I got fired. I totally forgot.
"That sounds great, Alice. When do we start?" I'd taken a couple of design courses during college with Alice, and so over the years I would help her in a pinch.
"Tomorrow. Is that okay? I know it's soon, but they really want this done. I didn't get all the specifics, but the owner's girlfriend is finally moving in with her and she wants them to start their lives out fresh. Irina Denali has given me a really detailed list of what they want so I think we can get this done before the deadline."
"Okay, where should I meet you?"
"I'll pick you up tomorrow on my way out to the house. We can go over in the car any of the other pertinent information you'll need. Thank you so much, Bella, for doing this. Work's out for both of us, doesn't it?"
"Sounds like it. I'm actually happy to come and work with you for a little bit. Advertising is fun, but until I find a place that I really want to be, I'm glad I'm going to get to spend some time with my best friend."
"Ah, me too, honey. See you tomorrow, bye."
I just hit end on my call when the phone starts to buzz in my hand again.
"Yes, this is."
"Edward, how are you? Miss me already? It's only been two hours since I last saw you," I giggle.
"I know, but I felt like our time was cut shorter than if we hadn't run into my sons. I was looking forward to spending a little bit more time with you."
I feel the same way. There is just something about him. He is confident and kind and so not what I would have thought a man of his age would have been. He so easily could have been cocky.
"I agree. What are you doing right now?"
"Nothing, actually. I went to the dinner meeting with the boys and checked out of our room, and now I'm finding myself quite lonely."
"Well, we can't have that. What would you say to coming over here?"
"I'd love to, just tell me where."