Disclaimer: Not mine.
I slapped my hand on top of the bedside clock, the incessant beeping of my alarm finally defeating my reluctance to get out of bed.
It was my own fault really, had I went to bed at a normal hour instead of talking to Sarah until three this morning I wouldn't be dragging ass right now.
Showered, dressed, and keys in hand I jogged down the stairs and headed toward Parnassus. I hated going there when I wasn't working, but since I failed to buy any coffee yesterday, I was left with few options.
My phone rang as I started across the quad and I fished it out of my pocket wondering who would be calling so early. I knew it wasn't Charlie, he avoided me like the plague these days, constantly asking when I'd become so pushy and annoying.
I'd hazard a guess it was around the same time some lowlife thug shot and almost killed him, but what did I know.
"Hi, Jake." I answered as his name flashed across the screen.
"Do you have an early class this morning or have you just not been to bed yet?" I wouldn't be surprised if it was the latter, he was more of a night owl than I was. And that was saying something considering how much I tended to avoid sleep these days.
"Early class," he yawned, "I was calling to see if you were busy later. A couple of us are heading over to Gameworks and I thought you'd like to go."
Damn. I loved Gameworks, I really did, but lately I'd gotten the feeling Jake was a little more invested in our time together than I was. It wasn't that I didn't like Jake, and he surely wasn't lacking in the looks department, but I just...wasn't interested.
After my disastrous relationship with Peter, the last thing I needed to do was complicate my life with another guy. No, my main focus was taking care of Charlie and finishing up these last few semesters of school.
"Maybe next time, I had a late night so I'm going to turn in early." I pulled open the door to Parnassus and stepped to the back of the line, rolling my eyes when I realized Jane was working the register.
"Late night?" His voice was a little strained and held a now familiar tone, suggesting my whereabouts were more than just casual interest―I sighed internally.
I shuffled forward in line, my irritation growing, I didn't want to explain myself to anyone, it was one of the perks of being single. Just as I opened my mouth to respond to Jake the guy in front of me spoke and my attention was completely redirected.
"Is Bella working today?"
"I gotta run, call you later." I ended the call, slid my phone back into my pocket, and straightened my shoulders.
He spun around to face me, his eyes wide as they darted over my face.
Whoa. Dude was hot.
He turned briefly and grabbed his coffee before flashing me a smile and sliding to the side. I knew that smile, I'd seen it a hundred times in bars, nightclubs and parties.
We have a player ladies and gentleman, color me surprised.
When did hitting on chicks in a coffee shop first thing in the morning start? I furrowed my brow as I stared at him, never breaking our gaze even as I ordered my coffee. I assumed since he was asking about me he actually planned on speaking, but the longer he remained silent, the longer I wondered if maybe something was wrong with him.
I think I may have even asked him if he was brain damaged since he'd still yet to tell me who in the hell he was. His eyes widened comically and I fought to keep a smirk off my face.
Okay, I wasn't expecting that name. It was probably fake, no one as hot as this guy would be named Edward.
"Well, Edward," I emphasized the name, letting him know I was onto his little game, "what can I do for you?"
He looked indecisive, almost unsure with a hint of panic, and for the second time I wondered if maybe I'd misjudged this guy. He didn't seem nearly as self assured as he was trying to appear.
"I just uh, I've seen you around campus a couple of times, and someone mentioned your name was Bella and that you worked here."
"Okay." Something felt off, but I wasn't exactly sure what. He seemed sincere, but why would a guy who looked like him worry about tracking down a girl he'd never met before unless..."So are you just working on becoming a stalker or did have a reason for coming here this morning?"
"No," he chuckled, "I just wanted to meet you."
He stepped closer and holy shit he smelled good. I met his gaze, realizing for the first time that he had green eyes. Really pretty green eyes. As a matter of fact everything about him was pretty.
He leaned in a little more and my breath caught, he was too close, and I found him far more attractive than I was comfortable with. I straightened my back and let Peter's face flash in my mind. It was all I needed to regain myself.
"And then what?" I didn't really care at this point, I just wanted to bail.
"And then I thought I'd see if you wanted to go out, maybe grab some dinner, drinks, or whatever." He moved so close we were nearly touching, his stance trying to portray nonchalance with his little shoulder shrug and cocky smirk.
No way, buddy.
I couldn't stop my own smirk from pulling at the corner of my mouth, I wasn't wrong after all. He was definitely a player. Now I just needed to figure out what kind of game he was running.
"And what if I'm not interested?"
He widened his eyes, covering his heart like I'd wounded him, it took everything I had not to roll my eyes. "Ah, we just met and you're already breaking my heart." His tone was playful and this time I didn't bother holding back my eye roll.
Who did this guy think he was kidding? I'd had enough of this, I found him far too attractive to keep playing with fire.
"Right," I chuckled, "well, Edward, it was nice meeting you. It's not everyday a girl gets her very own stalker." I nodded, then before I gave myself too much time to think about it I added, "I'm sure I'll see you around."
I waved bye to Jane and moved to the door. Why in the hell did I say I'd see him around? Was I encouraging him? No. Not possible.
"Hey, wait up," he yelled seconds before yanking on the back of my jeans, causing my upper body to fall forward and my coffee to spill.
Oh, hell no.
I spun around and stared at him slack jawed. "What the hell, man?" I twisted away, jerking his arm before freeing myself.
"You never answered my question." His tone was indignant.
Was this guy for real right now? "You never asked one."
He opened and shut his mouth a couple of times before a look of annoyed disbelief crossed his face, and something else that made my stomach tingle.
"Come out with me," he said, not asked, his face just as cocky as ever. This guy was ten different shades of hot, and a complete jerk, what a pity.
"Thanks, but I'll pass." I answered, resigned to the fact that hot or not, he was an ass. The look on his face was almost comical, like the idea of me not being interested was above his comprehension.
"Are you seeing someone?"
I shook my head at his complete disregard of privacy invasion.
"If I said yes, would you go away?" I watched as he eyed me for a second, actually appearing to give some thought to my question. I was so entranced by the possibility that he might actually have some sort of decent guy hidden in there somewhere, that I was completely taken off guard by the way his green eyes glinted when his hand pushed through his hair, the way his forearm flexed.
"Prolly not," he chuckled.
I stopped in front of a trash can and tossed my cup inside, my jittery nerves not needing the extra caffeine. I sighed and shook my head, what in the hell was I doing? Was I really going to go out with this guy? Was I going to let his fuck hot looks override every warning bell sounding in my head? But there really wasn't much of a risk with a guy like this was there? He didn't want to date, he didn't want to talk about our future and make promises he had no intention of keeping.
No this guy wanted to get in my pants and that was it.
But was I okay with that? Was I willing to let him use me as much as I'd be using him? I wasn't so sure I was. He walked over to me, stepping so close that our bodies were nearly touching again.
"So?" He whispered, hooking his finger through my front belt loop and pulling until I stumbled forward, my chest lightly pressing against his.
An uncontrollable shiver slid down my spine, and I clenched my fist in anger that my body was responding to him the way it was. I had to regain control of myself, now. I looked up at him and blinked slowly before dragging my tongue across my bottom lip, my movements slow and intentional.
A thrill shot through me as I watched him tense and his breathing become labored. He stared at my lips before dragging his eyes to mine and the look on his face was nothing short of primal, he looked at me like he could eat me alive. Sparks ignited deep inside of me at the thought of his hot mouth running across my naked flesh, my vision blurring as my eyes dilated.
"I think," I exhaled, my hand rising of its own accord and pressing flat against his chest, "that you're going to have to work a little harder than you're used to if you plan on ever getting me to go out with you." The heat from his body seeped into to my skin and made it difficult to concentrate. There was no way I could let him have that type of power over me. I pushed my palm against his chest, causing him to stumble back as I grinned at him playfully.
"What?" he laughed, his voice colored with disbelief.
"You heard me," I said, stepping around him and heading down the sidewalk, unable to stop myself from smiling when I noticed the smile on his face. He had a really freaking nice smile.
"That's not a no," he yelled out, cocky as ever.
Indecision warred within me about what I should do. No doubt the chemistry I felt with this guy was off the freaking charts, but was it worth the hassle? Didn't I just say I wasn't looking to get mixed up with some guy?
Screw it, he may never show up again anyway, it wouldn't hurt anything to see if he came back around. Just as I turned the corner I yelled back at him, "That's not a no."
The rest of the day, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't seem to stop my mind from wandering back to green eyes, messy hair, and a cocky smile. What was it about this guy? I'd seen his type a million times, I knew the drill, but there seemed to be something different about him―both genuine and not at the same time.
"So I met a guy today," I said, trying to sound casual.
"Oh really?" Alice asked, I could practically see her lifted brow through the phone.
"He's a dick. A hot dick, but a dick nonetheless."
"And you're bringing him up, why?" The confusion was clear in her tone. "Did he do something to you?"
"He asked me out." Was that a hint of excitement in my voice? Surely not.
She scoffed. "Did you tell him to go fuck himself?"
I bit down on the end of my pen, realizing how much of a lunatic I was about to sound like. "Not exactly."
I sighed and shifted in my seat. "Yeah, yeah, I don't know what in the hell I was thinking either. There's something about him Alice, I don't know. Aside from being totally fuck hot, he's got this cocky confidence that just oozes trouble-"
"And that's a good thing why?" She interrupted. Clearly she thought I'd lost my damn mind, I wasn't entirely ruling out that theory.
"He―there was something about his eyes, I can't explain it, but...it seemed forced." I still couldn't put my finger on exactly what it was I saw, but the look in his eye was familiar.
"So he was trying to act like an asshole? Bella, I'm just not following."
"Me either," I mumbled. Why in the hell was I still talking about him?
She hummed into the phone in a way that let me know my earlier assumption was correct―she thought I'd lost my damn mind.
"Well, just be careful. You have a reason to be guarded after...everything."
She didn't need to elaborate, I got it.
"I will. I mean, I doubt I'll even see him again, he's probably not used to having to work to get a girl to go out with him. I'm sure he's decided I'm not worth the effort." Why did that bother me? I needed to get some sleep, obviously sleep deprivation was messing with me more than usual.
"Maybe that's for the best."
"Maybe." I shrugged.
After telling Alice I'd talk to her later I went about my nightly routine, most certainly not thinking about Edward.
I studied myself in the mirror as I brushed my teeth, noticing how my lack of sleep was beginning to catch up with me. My eyes seemed heavy, darker than usual, like they did the first few weeks after I left Phoenix. That's when it hit me, what I saw flicker in Edward's eyes quickly before it disappeared again. His eyes... they looked pained, damaged―hurt.
I shook my head and spit into the sink, chuckling to myself at how absurd I was being. There was no way that was right, I was over-thinking things, trying to solve a puzzle that wasn't there.
He wasn't like me, he was an arrogant flirt, a player. And a damn hot one at that. He was trouble. Trouble I didn't need. But even as I tried to convince myself if I saw him again I would blow him off, the butterflies in my stomach told me I was full of shit.
I was so screwed.
Hiya! This was an outtake I did for Fandom4LLS. I know I promised some other chapters, and I've been working on them slowly. I'll post when they are done if y'all are still interested!
See y'all soon!